10 Most Overhyped Health Products on the Market

Posted by Staff Writers on Apr 11, 2012
hand sanitizerHealth products are notorious for making bold claims that are often bold-faced lies, but it doesn't take much for a person to get swept up in the hype of these popular products. Effective marketing strategies, like customer testimonials and word of mouth, help spread the hype and increase sales, but is it well deserved? So many of the health products we've come to trust and love have proven to be, well, pointless, and they may end up costing you more money and worries in the long run. Check out the 10 most overhyped health products on the market.
  1. Multivitamins

    Did you take your vitamins today? Are you pregnant? Do you have a vitamin deficiency? Those who fall into one of these categories may benefit more from taking a multivitamin versus a healthy person with a well-balanced diet. The truth is we don't know a whole lot about multivitamin supplements, but we do know that they aren't miracle pills. Multivitamins are extremely overhyped and may not be worth your money in the long run. Experts agree that it's far better to get your daily intake of vitamins and minerals through food, but if your diet isn't balanced, taking a multivitamin may not be a bad choice. Just know that multivitamins may not prevent you from having a heart attack or getting cancer, and they sure don't replace the need for exercise and a healthy diet.
  2. Antibacterial soap

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Two glasses of wine a day for middle-aged adults 'makes your life better'

Drinking a couple of glasses of wine each day improves your quality of life, researchers say.

They found that those who drink in moderation had better scores in an index that measures factors including dexterity, emotion, mobility and the ability to understand than those who abstained completely.

U.S. researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine studied 5,404 people at the age of 50, and continued to observe them over a follow-up period.
Those who drink in moderation scored better for dexterity, emotion and mobility, according to research
Those who drink in moderation scored better for dexterity, emotion and mobility, according to research

Most showed a stable pattern of alcohol consumption and ‘persistent moderate drinkers’ were identified.

They found that these regular moderate drinkers – those who consumed no more than 14 drinks a week and no more than three a day for women and four a day for men – scored highest in each section of the Health Utilities Index.

Subsequent changes in quality of life past 50 were similar in all groups, except for those who cut down on drinking from moderate levels – and these showed signs of decline.
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A drink a day for pregnant women 'will NOT harm unborn baby's development'

Drinking alcohol while trying to conceive or in early pregnancy – even the occasional binge – will not harm the baby’s development, research has claimed.

It also shows moderate drinking, around one a day, does not affect the child’s IQ and other brain functions.

However, high levels of consumption – nine or more drinks a week – were linked to a lower attention span at the age of five.

The findings contradict official guidance, which says alcohol is best avoided in pregnancy and when trying to conceive.

Previous research has suggested the odd tipple does not affect intellectual or behavioural development, but this is the first significant evidence that occasional binge drinking in the early weeks of pregnancy is unlikely to irrevocably harm the baby.

Danish doctors behind the research said the findings should not be taken as a green light for pregnant women to binge drink, defined as having five or more drinks on one occasion.

Joint author Professor Ulrik Kesmodel, of Aarhus University Hospital, said it was clear that heavy, continuous drinking was detrimental to the unborn child.
Heavy drinking in pregnancy is linked to Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in children, which can cause physical, mental and behavioural problems. Newly pregnant women were often concerned their baby had been conceived at a time when they may have been binge drinking, said Prof Kesmodel.
But he added: ‘These findings, which were unexpected, should bring some comfort to women if they were drinking before they realised they were pregnant.’ A total of 1,628 women, aged 31 on average, were recruited for the research at their first antenatal visit.

Their weekly drinking habits were recorded, with low consumption defined as one to four drinks, moderate as five to eight and high levels as nine or more. Women who did not drink during pregnancy were included for comparison. In Denmark, one standard drink is equal to 12 grams of pure alcohol, compared with a unit of 7.9g in the UK.

Five studies published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology looked at the effects of alcohol on IQ, attention span, and functions such as planning, organisation and self-control in five-year-old children.
The study by Danish researchers contradicts the official advice warning pregnant women to stop drinking
The study by Danish researchers contradicts the official advice warning pregnant women to stop drinking

They showed occasional binge drinking, or low to moderate weekly drinking, in early pregnancy had no significant effect on the neurodevelopment of children aged five.

No differences in IQ and other tests were found between children whose mothers had up to eight drinks a week in pregnancy compared with those abstaining.

There was also no effect on a child’s selective attention and sustained attention in children of mothers drinking up to eight drinks a week. However, nine or more drinks a week were associated with a lower attention span among five-year-olds.

Prof Kesmodel, a consultant gynaecologist who carried out the studies with Erik Lykke Mortensen at the University of Copenhagen, said: ‘We were not so surprised to find no effects from lower levels of drinking, as previous research suggested this, but we didn’t even find subtle effects caused by low to moderate and binge drinking.

‘But the key message is that drinking during pregnancy is not beneficial and additional studies should be undertaken.’

The Department of Health said: ‘Our advice remains that women who are trying to conceive or are pregnant should avoid alcohol.’

4 cups of coffee a day 'cuts risk' of diabetes

(DAILYMAIL) — Drinking coffee may cut the risk of diabetes, say researchers.

Moderate consumption of coffee – four to five cups of coffee a day – may lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those drinking it occasionally or not at all.

A new study suggests a cut in risk of around 30 per cent from regular consumption of coffee – whether it was caffeinated or decaffeinated.
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Three cups of tea a day ‘protects against heart problems and diabetes’

Drinking just three cups of tea a day may protect against heart attacks and type 2 diabetes, claim researchers.

A review shows regular drinking of black tea, with or without milk, can reduce the risk of heart problems by cutting levels of bad cholesterol and blood sugar.
Experts say the benefits of tea are largely due to the flavonoid content – antioxidant ingredients that counteract cardiovascular disease.
Benefits: Researchers claim that drinking just three cups of tea a day may protect against heart attacks and type 2 diabetes
Benefits: Researchers claim that drinking just three cups of tea a day may protect against heart attacks and type 2 diabetes

One cup of tea provides 150-200mg of flavonoids and it is the best source of antioxidants in the nation’s diet. In terms of the delivery of antioxidants, two cups of tea is equivalent to five portions of vegetables.

A review in the journal Nutrition Bulletin found drinking three or more cups of black tea a day protects against heart disease and two or more cups a day may protect against type 2 diabetes.
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Living to see 100 is just luck, not lifestyle

Those who are lucky enough to qualify for a telegram from the Queen have simply been dealt a good genetic hand at birth, the study indicates.
Academics studied almost 500 people between 95 and 109 and compared them with over 3,000 others born during the same period.
They found those who lived extremely long lives ate just as badly, drank and smoked just as much, took just as little exercise and were just as likely to be overweight as their long-gone friends.
The study was carried out by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, who interviewed 477 very long lived Ashkenazi Jews.
Prof Nir Barzilai, director of the college's Institute of Ageing Research, said previous studies of this group had identified certain genes which protected them from the effects of a normal Western lifestyle.

The War on Soy: Why the 'Miracle Food' May Be a Health Risk and Environmental Nightmare

Vegetarians aren't the only ones who should be concerned; there's soy in just about everything you eat these days -- including hamburgers, mac 'n cheese and salad dressing.

These days, you can get soy versions of just about any meat -- from hot dogs to buffalo wings. If you're lactose-intolerant you can still enjoy soy ice-cream and soy milk on your cereal. If you're out for a hike and need a quick boost of energy, you can nibble on soy candy bars.

Soy is a lucrative industry. According to Soyfoods Association of North America, from 1992 to 2008, sales of soy foods have increased from $300 million to $4 billion. From sales numbers to medical endorsements, it would seem that soy has reached a kind of miracle food status.

In 2000 the American Heart Association gave soy the thumbs up and the FDA proclaimed: "Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease." Over the course of the last decade medical professionals have touted its benefits in fighting not just cardiovascular disease, but cancers, osteoporosis and diabetes.

But soy's glory days may be coming to an end. New research is questioning its health benefits and even pointing out some potential risks. Although definitive evidence may be many years down the road, the American Heart Association has quietly withdrawn its support. And some groups are waging an all-out war, warning that soy can lead to certain kinds of cancers, lowered testosterone levels, and early-onset puberty in girls.

Most of the soy eaten today is also genetically modified, which may pose another set of health risks. The environmental implications of soy production, including massive deforestation, increased use of pesticides and threats to water and soil, are providing more fodder for soy's detractors.

All of this has many people wondering if they should even be eating it at all. And you are most likely eating it. Even if you're not a vegetarian or an avid tofu fan, there is a good chance you're still eating soy. Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved, explains that soy is now an ingredient in three-quarters of processed food on the market and just about everything you'd find in a fast food restaurant. It's used as filler in hamburgers, as vegetable oil and an emulsifier. It's in salad dressing, macaroni and cheese, and chicken nuggets.

"Even if you read every label and avoid cardboard boxes, you are likely to find soy in your supplements and vitamins (look out for vitamin E derived from soy oil), in foods such as canned tuna, soups, sauces, breads, meats (injected under poultry skin), and chocolate, and in pet food and body-care products," wrote Mary Vance for Terrain Magazine. "It hides in tofu dogs under aliases such as textured vegetable protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and lecithin--which is troubling, since the processing required to hydrolyze soy protein into vegetable protein produces excitotoxins such as glutamate (think MSG) and aspartate (a component of aspartame), which cause brain-cell death."

Health Risks or Rewards?
"I grew up in Houston on po' boys and the Wall Street Journal," said Robyn O'Brien. "I trusted our food system." But all that changed when one of her kids developed a food allergy and O'Brien began doing research to find out what's actually in our food and the companies behind it.

Her work led to the book,The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It, and she's become an incredible crusader on multiple fronts when it comes to food. She's also been educating consumers about soy's double-edged sword.

To understand why, it helps to know a little history about soy. It's been cultivated, starting in China, for 3,000 years. While Asian diets have generally included soy it has been in small amounts eaten fermented -- primarily via miso, natto and tempeh. "Fermenting soy creates health-promoting probiotics, the good bacteria our bodies need to maintain digestive and overall wellness," wrote Vance. "By contrast, in the United States, processed soy food snacks or shakes can contain over 20 grams of nonfermented soy protein in one serving."

It's not that all soy is bad; in fact, eating it in small doses can be quite healthy, if it's fermented. But when it's not, that's where the problems begin. Soy is a legume, which contains high amounts of phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to minerals (like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc), interfering with the body's ability to absorb them (which is usually a bad thing). Soy is also known to contain "antinutrients," among them enzyme inhibitors that interfere with protein digestion. The Chinese figured out about 2,000 years ago that antinutrients and phytic acid could be deactivated during fermentation, but in the processed-food laden land of the West, we've chosen cultural ignorance in favor of quick and cheap. Most of the soy we eat is unfermented.

Another issue with soy is its high amounts of isoflavones, which can be good and bad (hence the double-edged sword). Isoflavones are a powerful antioxidant, writes Robyn O'Brien in her book, that can help boost immunity. They also impact estrogen levels and have been shown to have positive effects on easing symptoms of menopause. "But that plus can also be a minus," writes O'Brien, "because isoflavones' very ability to boost estrogen production can also pose hazards to our health. For example, the FDA scientists point out, during pregnancy, isoflavones could boost estrogen levels even higher, 'which could be a risk factor for abnormal brain and reproductive tract development.'" There is also a risk of breast and other reproductive cancers for women and the potential for testicular cancer and infertility in men.

While there was much news about the American Heart Association endorsing soy in 2000, there was little attention given when the AHA changed its mind and quietly withdrew its pro-soy claims in 2006, O'Brien points out. She also learned that they were not the only ones who expressed concerned about soy. A study in the British medical journal Lancet in 1996 warned of the effects of soy in infant formula. The study found babies had levels of isoflavones that were five to 10 times higher than women taking soy supplements for menopause. The effects in girls could be early-onset puberty, obesity, breast and reproductive cancers. Boys could face testicular cancer, undescended testicles and infertility. Additionally, O'Brien says, a 2003 British study conducted by Gideon Lack of St. Mary's Hospital at Imperial College London followed 14,000 children from the womb through age 6 and found that kids who had been given soy formula as infants seemed almost three times as likely to develop a peanut allergy later on.

As if all this weren't disturbing enough, there's also another reason to be alarmed -- most of the soy we eat is genetically modified to withstand increasing doses of weed-killing herbicides, and really, we have no idea what the long-term affects of that might be. So, what's a person to do? Stay away from soy as much as possible, which also means avoiding processed foods. And, even if we choose not to eat those things, some of us may end up getting them anyway. "There are different sales channels that these companies are using to sell soy with little regard for the cost to people down the road," said O'Brien. "Soy that is not used in grocery stores, in restaurants, or consumed by livestock, is disposed of in school lunch programs, hospitals, and prisons."

One organization, the Weston A. Price Foundation, is actually engaged in a lawsuit on behalf of Illinois state prisoners who say they're eating a diet made of largely soy protein. "In their letters, the prisoners have described deliberate indifference to a myriad of serious health problems caused by the large amounts of soy in the diet," the WAP Foundation writes. "Complaints include chronic and painful constipation alternating with debilitating diarrhea, vomiting after eating, sharp pains in the digestive tract after consuming soy, passing out after soy-based meals, heart palpitations, rashes, acne, insomnia, panic attacks, depression and symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as low body temperature (feeling cold all the time), brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, frequent infections and an enlarged thyroid gland."

While the soy industry has profited from the widespread adoption of its products here in the United States, other developed countries have taken a more precautionary approach and not allowed soy to become as pervasive in their food supplies in an effort to protect the health of their citizens, says O'Brien. But it's not just people who are at risk. The deleterious effects of soy can start with the seed.

Goodbye Rainforests, Hello Roundup
Glenn Beck recently chastised Al Gore about his meat eating, telling him that if he really cared about the planet he should put down his burger and pick up some Tofurkey. But unfortunately, it's not that simple. Increasing evidence is showing that soy production is also catastrophic for the environment. Just like a beef burger, a soy-based veggie patty may also be leading to deforestation, water depletion, and pesticide pollution. But it's also important to note that the vast majority of soy produced globally isn't used for tofu and veggie sausage -- it's actually used to fatten livestock and create biofuels (so, yeah, you may still want to put down the burger).

"Soy is a really sexy crop; it's fantastic. It's nitrogen fixing, it's full of protein; it's very rich and flexible," Raj Patel said in an interview with New America Media. "The tragedy is that the way we grow it today has turned a blessing into a curse because the way that soy agriculture works is monocultural, which means it takes over large parts of land. In Brazil, that means the Cerrado and the rainforest in the Amazon, and they are draining the water that is beneath that land. There are even some soy and biofuel plantations in Brazil where the International Labor Organization says there are 40,000 slaves working today. Slaves! In Brazil, producing biofuels and soy."

Brazil is one of the leading soy producers in the world, second only to the U.S. and poised to quickly move to the top spot. And overall, the growth of the world market is huge, with global production doubling over the past 20 years and 210 million tons produced a year.

But it has also led to problems. Countries across Latin America, including Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia, are experiencing environmental problems similar to Brazil's. Rainforests are cleared, carbon emissions increase, indigenous and small farmers are displaced, aquifers are sucked dry, roads are built through sensitive ecosystems, and heavy pesticide use threatens waterways, soils and the health of locals. And as with all industrial monocultural farming, the rich (Monsanto, Cargill, and Bunge) get richer and the poor get poorer.

"The soy 'gold rush' has attracted fierce competition for land, leading to violence and murder," Marianne Betterly summarized in Mariri Magazine. "Hundreds of acres of rainforest are being cleared everyday, often by slave 'debt' laborers, to make room for more soy plantations."
So, we may get our cheap burgers and a deluge of soy-infused foods, but at great cost.
Adding to all these environmental problems with soy is the fact that much of the world's soy (and 85 percent of the U.S crop) is genetically engineered. Since the early '90s farmers in the United States (and now across the world) have been using Monsanto's Roundup Ready soy that is genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup, which is liberally sprayed on the crop to kill weeds.

Much of the promise of GE crops was that they'd lead to the use of less pesticides and herbicides, which threaten both human and environmental health. But that hasn't actually panned out. "Because herbicide-tolerant crops are designed to withstand application of weed killers, farmers can apply large amounts of pesticides without fear of harming their crops. The U.S. has seen more than a 15-fold increase in the use of glyphosate, or Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, on major crops from 1994 to 2005," Co-Op America reported.

And more damning evidence has just been released. A new study that just came out this week funded by a coalition of non-governmental organizations including the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Center for Food Safety, the Cornerstone Campaign, Californians for GE-Free Agriculture, Greenpeace International and Rural Advancement Fund International USA, found that GE corn, soybean and cotton crops have increased the use of weed-killing herbicides in the U.S. by 383 million pounds from 1996 to 2008.

The study will surely be accompanied by more alarms bells set off by small farmers, environmentalists and organic supporters. And it will be one more battle in the war against soy that's being fought on both health and environmental fronts. Perhaps it will make people think twice before eating soy products, processed food and even most meat.

Low-carb diet may be beneficial in type 2 diabetes

By Megan Rauscher
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Restricted-carbohydrate diets seem to improve blood sugar control and reduce harmful triglyceride levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, but it is unclear whether these diets aid in weight control or weight loss, new research suggests.
"Many patients with diabetes are looking for ways to lower blood sugar, and they are often confused about which meal plan would be best for them to follow," Dr. Julienne K. Kirk from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, noted in an email to Reuters Health.

"Even health professionals -- aware that carbohydrate foods have the largest impact on blood sugar -- are sometimes uncertain what type of diet to suggest to their patients," she added.

Kirk and colleagues pooled data from 13 studies that evaluated restricted-carbohydrate diets in type 2 diabetic patients.  "We included studies with a wide range of dietary carbohydrate content in this meta-analysis, from 4 percent to 45 percent of calories, to try to determine if there is a moderately restricted carbohydrate amount that would impact diabetes-related outcomes," they point out in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

The results showed that even moderate decreases in carbohydrates can be beneficial in treating type 2 diabetes, not only leading to improved blood sugar control but also to positive changes in lipid levels.

For example, a decrease in dietary carbohydrates from 65 percent to 35 percent could be expected to lead to about a 23 percent fall in triglycerides, the investigators report.

However, the overall effect of restricted-carbohydrate diets on body weight was equivocal.
Kirk noted that there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend low or very low carbohydrate diets (that is, less than 130 grams per day) in patients with diabetes "since long-term effects have not been fully investigated."

As a point of reference, 130 grams of carbohydrates equals 43 percent of calories in a 1,200-calorie diet, 30 percent of calories in a 1,700-calorie diet, and 24 percent of calories in a 2,200-calorie diet.

"While restriction of carbohydrate content is a necessary part of most meal plans, it must be achieved without sacrificing essential nutrients," Kirk said.  "The key, as in many aspects of diet and health, may lie in moderation."

SOURCE: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, January 2008.

Is All Animal Flesh GOOD FOOD?

Herbert W. Armstrong
Is All Animal Flesh GOOD FOOD?
by Herbert W. Armstrong

Were all animals made clean? What about the unclean animals shown to Peter in a vision? Here is a straightforward Bible answer, giving the New Testament teaching. This subject is important to your health and well-being!
AFTER THOUSANDS of years of human experience on earth, it seems there still is nothing people know less about than food. 

Observe a little baby. It seems to think that anything and everything its little chubby hands can get into its mouth is good to eat and everything baby gets his hands on goes straight to his mouth! How often must young parents take things away, and try to teach the lovely little bundle of humanity that everything one's hands can touch is not necessarily good for the digestion! 

We're Just Grown-up Babies!
Well, one might wonder if any of us has grown up! Most of us adults still seem to think that anything we can stuff in our mouths is good for food. About the only difference between us and the baby is that baby puts into his mouth whatever looks good, while we employ the sense of taste in deciding what goes into our mouths. 

Your stomach is your fuel tank. Your automobile's tank is its stomach. You wouldn't think of pouring just any old thing that will pour into the "stomach" of your car. You know that your car was not made to consume and "digest" fuel oil, water, milk, or kerosene. 

Yes, we are very careful what we "feed" our automobile--and totally careless and indifferent about what we feed ourselves and our children! 

What happens to the food you eat? In the stomach the digestive process takes place. And, once digested--if you have eaten fit and digestible food--a portion of the essential minerals and vitamins--the life-giving properties in the food--filter through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream to replenish and build up decaying cells, to provide energy, body warmth, good health.
Your body is wonderfully made! It is the most wonderful mechanism in the world. 

But, just as you must use the right kind of gasoline in the gas tank and the right kind of oils and greases in the other parts of your car or impair its performance, so you must put the right kind of food into the most delicate mechanism of all, your body. 

If you tried to oil a fine watch with axle grease you wouldn't expect the watch to keep good time. 

And when you put into your stomach all kinds of foul things which the Great Architect who designed your human mechanism never intended, you foul up your body and bring on sickness, disease, aches, pains, a dulled and clogged-up mind, inefficiency and inability--and you commit suicide on the installment plan by actually shortening your life! 

The God who designed, created, and made your body has revealed some essential basic knowledge about which meats will keep that body functioning in tip-top shape. Why does humanity refuse His instructions? 

You Are Eating Poison!
You don't eat every plant that grows out of the ground. Some things that grow are poison, not food.
But did you know there are many kinds of poisons? Potassium cyanide will kill you very quickly. Some poisons will result in death within a few hours or a few days. But very few seem to know there are other poisons people mistakenly eat as foods which result in premature death after continuous usage for, say, ten, or thirty, or fifty years. 

The only difference between these poisons we falsely call foods and potassium cyanide is the relative number of minutes, hours, or years it takes to accomplish its mission. 

Just as every plant that God caused to grow out of the ground was not designed for food, so it is with animal flesh. Some will say, "Well, if swine's flesh isn't supposed to be eaten as food, what did God create swine for?" You might as well ask, what did God create weeds and poison vines for? Everything may have been created for a purpose, but not everything for the purpose of eating. 

Now some believe that in the original creation--in the Garden of Eden God did not intend any animal flesh to be eaten. God's revelation on that point is vague, and many have argued it both ways. However, God has clearly revealed that certain animal meats may be eaten as food now, in this age, and Jesus who came to set us an example did eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, and so do I. 

What the Great Architect of Your Stomach Instructs
When the first written revelation of God came to man through Moses, God instructed man as to which kinds of animal flesh man ought or ought not to eat. You will find this list in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. 

This is a basic law--a revelation from God to man about which kinds of flesh will properly digest and assimilate in the human system, and which will not. It is not a part of God's great spiritual law, summed up in the Ten Commandments. Neither is it part of the ceremonial, ritualistic, or sacrificial laws later abolished at the crucifixion of Christ. 

God is the Author of all law, and there are countless laws in motion. There are laws of physics and chemistry. You know of the law of gravity. There is the great immutable spiritual law to regulate man's relationship to God and to fellow men--the law of love--the Ten Commandments. God gave His nation Israel civil statutes and judgments--national laws for the conduct of the national government. Israel was His Church, under the Old Covenant. And for the dispensation then present God gave Israel rituals and ceremonial laws for the conduct of religious services, laws relating to typical and temporary sacrifices, meat and drink offerings--temporary substitutes for Christ and the Holy Spirit. Those laws, of course, ended when the Reality came. 

And then, we must realize, there are physical laws working in our bodies, regulating our health. This meat question has to do with these laws. 

I know of men who make a hobby of bitterly accusing others of sin for eating pork, oysters, and clams. 

Let us get this straight and clear! 

We usually speak of sin in its spiritual aspect. That is the aspect in which it is considered in the New Testament. The Bible definition of it is this: "Sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4). 

The penalty for violation of that spiritual law is death--not the first or physical death, but the second, of spiritual and eternal death in the "lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14). 

Now the eating of wrong food is not a transgression of this spiritual law, and is not a sin. To violate the physical laws of health often brings the penalty of disease, disability, pain, sickness, and sometimes the first death. It is not necessarily spiritual sin. 

That is what Jesus made plain, as recorded in Mark 7:14-23. Here Jesus was speaking of spiritual defilement, not physical health. Not that which enters into a man's mouth, but the evil that comes out of his heart, defiles the man spiritually. What defiles the man--and he is speaking of defiling the man, not injuring the body--is transgression of the Ten Commandments--evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, blasphemy (verses 21-22). These things have nothing to do with the physical laws of health. He was making a point concerning spiritual defilements, not physical health. 

Specifically, on the physical level, He was referring to a possible particle of dirt which might get on the food from dirty and unwashed hands--He was not here speaking of clean or unclean meats at all. 

No Change in Structure of Animal Flesh at Cross
The animals whose flesh properly digests and nourishes the human body were so made in the original creation. No change was ever made in the structure of men's bodies at the time of the flood, or at the time of Jesus' death, or any other time. Neither did God make some sudden change in the structure of animal flesh, so that what once was unfit for food will now digest properly and supply the body's needs. 

The unclean animals were unclean before the flood. 

Notice, before the flood, Noah took into the ark of the clean animals, to be eaten for food, by sevens; but of the unclean, of which he was not to eat during the flood, by two's--only enough to preserve their lives. The inference is inescapable that the additional clean animals were taken aboard to be eaten for food while Noah and his family were in the ark. 

Prior to the flood, clean animals were usually offered as sacrifices. Those who ate the sacrifices often partook of the animal flesh, but vegetables were the main constituent of diet. After the flood God gave Noah not merely the green herb--vegetables--as the major part of diet, but of every type of living creature--clean animals, clean fish, clean fowl (Genesis 9:3 and Leviticus 11). 

Genesis 9:3 does not say that every living, breathing creature is clean and fit to eat, but that "as the green herb have I given you all things." God did not give poisonous herbs as food. He gave man the healthful herbs. Man can determine which herbs are healthful, but man cannot by himself determine which flesh foods are harmful. That is why God had to determine for us in His Word which meats are clean. Since the flood every moving clean, healthful, nonpoisonous type of animal life is good for food--just as God gave us the healthful, nonpoisonous herbs. 

This does not give us permission to do as we please! 

Not Ceremonial Law
The instruction in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, then, is not some ritualistic regulation for the Mosaic period only. Why do so many people have the idea that God is some great unfair monster who imposes foolish hardships on His people? Whatever God instructs us is for our good, not some nonsensical restriction for one period to be changed around some different way for other people of a different period. 

Now for some specific instruction concerning mammals: "These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox [beef], the sheep [lamb], and the goat, the hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg [antelope], and the wild ox, and the chamois [mountain sheep]. And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat. Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. And the swine [hogs], because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh (Deut. 14:4-8). 

Horsemeat is not fit for humans because horses not only do not have divided hoofs, but they also do not chew the cud. 

Similarly, swine flesh--pork, ham, bacon, sausage, rabbit meat, etc.--is simply not fit for human consumption. The same is true with oysters, lobsters, clams, crabs, shrimp, crawfish, dogs, snakes, rats, and skunks. 

The only seafood fit for food are fish having both fins and scales. Halibut has both and is clean. Catfish is a skin fish--unclean. 

It's all a matter of what we have become accustomed to doing. It seems strange and horrifying to hear that some Orientals eat mice as a delicacy. But many Orientals are horrified to hear that we eat nasty, slimy, filthy oysters! But some human grown-ups, like little babies, will eat anything they can get their hands on and stuff into their mouths. 

At so-called "quality" grocery stores in large towns and cities, specializing in rare delicacies, you can purchase "delicious" canned rattlesnake--if you care for it. 

So far as I am concerned, you may have my portion if you wish to try it. I do not care to eat it for the same reason I do not eat slugs, skunks, cats, or eels-- for the same reason I do not eat poison ivy or weeds. Yes, and for the same reason I do not put fuel oil mixed with sand in the gas tank of my car! 

The day will come when we will at last learn that eating greasy hog flesh and other unfit "foods" has been a prime cause of cancer and other deadly diseases. 

What About Peter's Vision?
But what about the sheet containing unclean animals which was shown to the Apostle Peter in a vision (Acts 10)? Did this vision change the entire composition of all unclean animals, or of the human apparatus, so that these unfit things suddenly became nourishing food? 

Not at all! 

The purpose of this vision was NOT to change God's food and health laws which have been inexorably in motion from the beginning, but to show Peter "that I should not call any man common or unclean" (Acts 10:28). Why? Because the Jewish people had been taught to regard Gentiles like unclean animals--to have nothing to do with them. 

It is time you fully understood this vision. It may well affect your health, happiness and eternal life. Open your Bible to the tenth chapter of Acts. 

Notice that Cornelius was an Italian soldier--an uncircumcised Italian--a Gentile by race. To the strict Jews, he was to be regarded as an unclean man. But God looks on the heart. Cornelius gave "much alms" to the Jewish people (verse 2). God remembered his alms and revealed in a vision that he should send some of his servants to Joppa to contact Peter. 

In verse 9, we find Peter was a man of prayer. While praying on a housetop, Peter became very hungry. Just before noon Peter fell into a trance. In vision he saw heaven opened and a sheet was let down to the earth. This sheet contained "all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air" (verse 12). 

Notice this carefully, This sheet contained every type of animal imaginable, including wild animals--lions, tigers, hyenas, monkeys, skunks. And creeping things--snakes and lizards, vermin and spiders. And fowl like vultures and crows and eagles! 

Peter was shocked by the sight of all these creatures. Then, of all things, God commanded Peter to kill and eat of these creatures! What did Peter say? 

"Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean" (Acts 10:14). 

Peter had lived day and night with Jesus for over three years. He certainly understood from Jesus' teaching that there were some creatures which are simply not fit for human food. That is why when this vision came ten years after the rituals and ceremonies were abolished at the cross, Peter refused to eat. He knew that God's law of clean and unclean meats was still in full force and effect! 

Now notice what the voice from heaven told Peter when he refused to eat: "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common" (verse 15). It does not say that what God cleansed were these revolting unclean reptiles, fowl and wild animals. It does say that what God cleansed is not to be called common! But what did God cleanse?  

What God Really Cleansed
In this vision which Peter saw, the voice from heaven spoke three times, then the sheet was received up into heaven again. And what did Peter do? "Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean" (verse 17). He did not immediately assume like so many people that God suddenly changed His laws ten years after the crucifixion! 

Now notice what happened "While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, 'Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I hay sent them'" (verses 19-20). 

The voice from heaven in the vision spoke unto Peter three times because three Gentile men--two servants and a soldier (verse 7)--were at that moment on their way see him. Peter went with them to see Cornelius. This is when Peter understood the vision! He confessed in verse 28 "...God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." 

"What God cleansed" were not those unclean animals, but those Gentile men, formerly regarded unclean by the Jewish people. 

Those unclean animals in Peter's vision were used to symbolize the Gentile races of men. The Jewish people had been forbidden to associate with them because of their abominable practices. But now the wall of spiritual separation had been broken down and salvation was extended to the Gentiles. Peter finally realized that this was the meaning of the vision and said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (verses 34-35). 

Yes, to be accepted with God, we must fear Him and work righteousness. What is righteousness? "...All thy commandments are righteousness" (Psalm 119:172). And among those commandments are the laws which tell us which kinds of flesh are clean and which are unclean!
Would You Eat Skunks and Rats?
But suppose God had been trying tell Peter--and us--that he should eat all the things contained in the sheet that was let down in vision. Would you eat those "creeping things"--lizards, snakes, spiders? Would you eat skunks and hyenas? Of course you wouldn't! Why? Because you have your own law of what you think is clean and unclean! 

Common sense tells us that God did not intend for us to eat every creature. But we just aren't willing to let our Creator tell us which meats will give us lasting health and strength, and which ones are injurious to our bodies, and will eventually bring on more sickness and disease. It is time we let God tell us what is clean and what is unclean instead of using our faulty human reason! 

Some people, however, still want to argue with God. One text they will bring up is found in I Timothy 4:1-5. Read it carefully. 

Notice that these "doctrines of devils" include "commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving...." By whom? "Of them which believe and know the truth." What is truth? Christ said, "Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17). Then the Bible itself reveals the truth concerning which meats are good for food. We should not refuse to eat any food which, according to truth, God created to be eaten with thanksgiving. But this does not mean that all meats are healthful and fit for the human body. 

Notice that the false doctrine is commanding to abstain from meats which are thankfully received by those who believe and know the truth--who know God's Word. But God's Word--the Holy Bible--tells us that there are some meats which are "unclean," and are not to be received with thanksgiving!
Now consider what verses 4 and 5 tell us: "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. "What does it mean to be SANCTIFIED by the Word of God and prayer? 

"Sanctify" is a word meaning to make holy, or set apart for a right use or purpose--to set apart as fit for human food. 

Now which meats has God sanctified for human food? The only passages in all the Bible showing which meats God sanctified are found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. 

Here you find that it is the "clean"--healthful--meats which are good for food. These are the only meats that can be received with thanksgiving and prayer! 

There is not a single scripture showing that God ever set apart as fit for food any unclean creatures--snails, oysters, clams, snakes, octopuses, eels, horses, rabbits, or swine! Yet people eat these creatures without realizing the harm they are doing to their bodies. 

Paul Instructs Vegetarians
Paul's letter to the saints at Rome is often quoted as supposed proof that any kind of flesh food is good to eat. But is this what Paul really taught? 

Turn to the beginning of the 14th chapter of Romans. Notice what the apostle is writing: "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye"--don't dispute with him and sit in judgment on him because of his weak understanding of the faith, Paul continues. "For one believeth that he may eat all things, another who is weak, eateth herbs [vegetables only]" (Romans 14:1-2). 

Of whom is Paul writing? Of those who were vegetarians, as well as those who believed in eating both flesh foods and vegetables. 

Paul was confronted with the same problem that we encounter today in carrying the Gospel to the world. You would be surprised at the number of people who do not eat meat or even any animal products--milk, butter, cheese, eggs. Some have meatless days or days on which they will eat fish only. These are all people who, because they are weak in the faith, abstain from those clean meats which God originally sanctified or set apart in His Word for man's physical nourishment. 

The question confronting Paul was not that Christians at Rome contended that all unclean animals had now been cleansed by God--the common false assumption of today--but the real issue, according to verse two, was over the vegetarian belief held by some that no meats whatsoever should be eaten.
Paul was straightening out the brethren on this matter, telling them that none of those clean meats which had been created by God to be received with thanksgiving should be refused. He pointed out to them, however, that it would be wrong for the vegetarians to eat meat if they had doubts about it, thereby defiling their weak consciences. For he wrote, "...Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom. 14:22-23). 

We must follow what God has revealed to us to be right according to the Word of God. This does not mean that our consciences always tell us what is right--not at all. We have to continually study to learn what is right and wrong. But God thinks more highly of a vegetarian who might sincerely and conscientiously deny himself the clean meats, because he does not know the full truth, than He does a person who would do the right thing according to the letter, but who really believes in his heart that he is doing wrong. 

So "to him"--the vegetarian--"that esteemeth anything to be common, to "him"--the vegetarian--"it is common." That is, it seems so to him. But it is not common in fact, nor to us, for we know that all clean meats are good for food. That is why Paul wrote: "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing common of itself" (Rom. 14:14). 

Notice that in this verse Paul used, according to the margin of the King James Version, the Greek word for "common," not the Greek word for "unclean." Why? 

"Common" Does Not Mean "Unclean"
Many have carelessly assumed that Paul is writing about unclean meats in this 14th chapter of Romans. He is not! He is writing about the difference between vegetarians who regard that clean meats are common, and those who know that clean meats are of themselves not common.
In the Greek there are two different words used which are often carelessly translated "unclean" or "common." Notice that in Acts 10:14 both of these words are used. The Bible does not repeat itself foolishly. Therefore these two words mean entirely different things. 

The Greek word for "unclean" is akarthatos. It means "unclean and impure by nature." The Greek word for "common" is koinos, which means "polluted through external misuse." (See any of the Lexicons.) 

Paul used the Greek word for "common" throughout Romans 14:14. He did not use the Greek word for "unclean." In other words, Paul knew that no clean foods which God has sanctified are by nature polluted, but vegetarians who were weak in the faith--weak in understanding God's Word--thought meats should not be eaten. To such a vegetarian--"to him," not to others--that meat seemed to be polluted. His conscience defiled the meat for him; he would become upset if he were to eat meat. But that does not make the meat polluted in fact or for everybody else. 

Notice Paul's conclusion: "For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure"--that is, all things that God sanctified and gave us to eat are clean --but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth..." (verses 20 and 21). 

Paul is not recommending eating unclean meats! Quite the opposite. He is recommending not eating any meat at all in the presence of a vegetarian brother if he is offended! 

When Is "Clean" Meat "Common"?
The only circumstance in which clean meats are ever common or polluted is when the clean animals have died of themselves or when the blood has not been properly drained. That is why the apostles and elders who gathered at Jerusalem forbade the use of meat from strangled animals and meat with the blood in it (Acts 15:20). This is New Testament teaching for today! 

Such animal flesh was called "common" because it could be given to strangers or aliens in Old Testament times if those people wanted to eat it. They were the common and polluted people--the Gentiles--not the chosen and clean people, Israel (Deut. 14:21). 

In New Testament times, clean meat offered to idols was prohibited if it had been polluted by strangulation or if the blood were remaining in it. Otherwise the meat was permitted to be eaten if it did not offend anyone. 

Paul devoted the entire 8th and 10th chapters of I Corinthians to instructions on not raising the question of meats offered to idols. "But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake" (I Cor. 10:28). In other words, if clean meats offered to idols were not polluted, you could eat of them unless it offended someone. Under those circumstances the meat became common, not to you, but to the other person who raised the question about idols. Notice: 

"Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other" (verse 29). 

That is why Paul said in Romans, "But to him that esteemeth any thing to be common [margin], to him it is common" (Rom. 14:14). 

Prophecy for the Future
What does the Bible say the people would be doing today? Notice: They that eat "swine's flesh"--that is what most people are doing today--"and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together"--in the wrath of God--"saith the Lord" (Isa. 66:17). 

This is the fate of those who lust after the foods which God forbids us to eat because those meats will harm us. This is the fate of those "whose God is their belly" (Phil. 3:19). 

Is it any wonder today, that with all our scientific knowledge, we have more doctor bills, more sickness than ever before in the history of the world? It is time we returned to God and began to obey His laws. He is our Creator. He made us. He knows what our bodies were made to utilize as good, healthful foods. He set the laws in motion regulating clean and unclean meats. It is time we began to obey them as Jesus and the apostles did! 

God forbids also the eating of animal fat, or blood (Lev. 3:17; 7:23-27). Butter, olive oil, and some vegetable oils and shortenings are acceptable, but animal fat should be cut off before eating meat. Cheaper hamburger is not good because it is mixed with much fat. Lard should never be used. These things will wreck any stomach in time. 

What About Fish and Fowl?
The Bible itself defines which sea life is good food: "Whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas and in the rivers, them shall ye eat (Lev. 11:9). In verse 10 it is further clarified: "And all that have no fins AND scales in the seas...they shall be an abomination unto you." 

"But which fish have both fins and scales?" is the question asked by many readers. 

First, let us name the commonly known unclean fish--these are scaleless fish--which are not fit for food: catfish, eels, paddlefish, sculpins, sticklebacks, sturgeons and swordfish. These fish do not have true scales. Together with these creatures are other forms of sea life unfit for human consumption: abalone, clams, crabs, lobsters, oysters, scallops, shrimp, whale. 

A more complete list of fish fit for human consumption is available on the next page. The most important clean fish--having both scales and fins are: albacore, anchovy, barracuda, bass, blackfish, bowfin, buffalo, carp, characin, cod, croaker, darter, flounder, gaby, grayling, haddock, halibut, herring, jack, mackerel, minnow, mooneye, mullet, needlefish, perch, pike, salmon, sardine, shad, silverside, smelt, snapper, sole, sucker, sunfish, surf fish, tarpon, trout, tuna, weakfish, whitefish. If any question arises, consult such books as Field Book of Fresh-Water Fishes by Ray Schrenkeisen which may be found in public libraries. 

Some people, who are not competent to judge fish, have thought certain of these clean fish were without scales, but this is not true. One point to remember is that many fish have very small or minute scales near the head and the tail fin. In either case, such fish are clean and fit for food. 

The second part of the question concerns fowl. Which birds are fit for human consumption? The answer is found in Leviticus 11:13-19 and Deuteronomy 14:11-20. 

Each of these sections lists specific varieties of birds unfit for human consumption. No clean birds are listed. Only about two dozen unclean birds are listed out of thousands found the world over. These unclean birds illustrate the characteristics of all unclean birds. They fall into types each of which is unclean "after its kind." The question is, how do these unclean birds differ from those known to be clean or fit for human consumption? The characteristics of clean fowl are, of course, determined by the dove and the pigeon (Luke 2:24 and Lev. 1:14-17) which were anciently used for sacrifice.
By comparing the differences between these clean birds and those listed as unclean, we can arrive at the following six characteristics of clean birds: 1) they must not be birds of prey; 2) they catch food thrown to them in the air, but they bring it to the ground, where they divide it with their bills, if possible, before eating it; whereas unclean birds devour it in the air, or press it with one foot to the ground and tear it with their bills; 3) they must have an elongated middle front toe and a hind toe; 4) they must spread their toes so that three front toes are on one side of a perch and the hind toe on the other side; 5) they must have craws or crops; 6) they must have a gizzard with a double lining which can easily be separated. (Consult articles in Jewish Encyclopedia under "Poultry," and "Clean and Unclean Animals.") 

Clean birds have all these characteristics; unclean birds lack one or more of these characteristics. If a bird lacks any one of these characteristics, it is unclean. 

Besides the pigeon and dove, the following birds are clean: chicken, pheasant, quail, partridge, grouse, turkey, all song birds, ducks and geese. 

Unclean birds not listed specifically in the Bible are roadrunners, woodpeckers and the parrot family (which divide their toes so that two are on either side of a perch), aquatic and wading birds and gulls which have no crops or craws, no double lining of gizzards, and often no hind toe or no elongated middle front toe. 

It may not be spiritual sin to eat biblically unclean foods. Yet, if one deliberately does it out of lust of appetite, that breaks the tenth command and becomes sin. But in all events wrong food injures the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It defiles the BODY if not the man, and if we continue to defile our bodies God will destroy us (I Cor. 3:17).  

Mark 7 and Unclean Meats
The context is really the heart of the matter of what Jesus actually means by "purging all meats" (verse 19). 

We take no exception to the view that after food has passed through the digestive tract, it has been purged or made clean. But how? The whole context of Mark 7 shows that it is a question of ceremonial cleanliness--not any law in the Old Testament, but instead the ritual purity which certain Palestinian sects had proclaimed on their authority. 

The Greek word broma (if not taken to mean "filth" as some authorities suggest) means simply "that which is eaten" or "food," and includes all kinds of food (see Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich). To limit the words "purging all meats" to flesh foods is unjustified by the straightforward reading of the Greek. 

The context (verses 1-14, 20-23) deals, not with biological uncleanness, but with uncleanness supposedly incurred from the omission of ritual washing (verse 15). The kind of food the disciples ate (verses 2, 5), is not referred to, but only the manner in which they ate (verses 2, 5, 15). The context throughout shows Christ dealing with the problem of the "commandment of God" versus the "tradition of men." Another point: there is no commandment in the Old Testament that forbids eating food with dirty hands. The Pharisaical tradition is in question here, not any of God's Word.  

A General List of Biblically Clean Fish
  • Albacore -- (or Crevalle or Horse Mackerel or Jack)
  • Alewives -- (or Branch Herring or River Herring)
  • Anchovies
    Black Drum
  • Bluebacks -- (or Glut Herrings)
  • Bluebill Sunfish
  • Bluefish
  • Blue Runner -- (or Hardtail)
  • Bonitos
  • Boston Bluefish -- (or Pollock)
  • Bowfin
  • Buffalofish
  • Butterfish
  • Carp
  • Chubs [Bloater / Long jaw / Blackfin]
  • Cod
  • Common Sucker -- (or Fresh Water Mullet or White Sucker)
  • Crappies -- (or Black or White Crappies)
  • Crevalle -- (see Albacore)
  • Flounder [Dab / Gray Sole / Lemon Sole / Summer Flounder / Winter Flounder / Yellow Tail]
  • Fresh Water Mullet -- (see Common Sucker)
  • Frost Fish -- (or Ice Fish or Smelt) / Groupers [Black Grouper / Gag / Nassau / Grouper / Red or Yellowfish Grouper]
  • Grunts [White Grunts / Yellow Grunts]
  • Gulf Pike -- (or Robalo, Snook, or Sergeant)
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Halibut
  • Hardtail -- (see Blue Runner)
  • Herring [Branch Herring (see Alewives) / Glut Herring (see Bluebacks) / Lake Herring / River Herring (see Alewives) / Sea Herring]
  • Horse Mackerel -- (see Albacore) / Ice Fish -- (see Frost Fish)
  • Jack -- (see Albacore)
  • Kingfish
  • Long Nose Sucker -- (or Northern Sucker or Red Striped Sucker)
  • Mackerel
  • Menhaden
  • Mullet
  • Muskeilunge -- (or Jacks)
  • Northern Sucker -- (see Long Nose Sucker)
  • Pickerels -- (or Jacks)
  • Pig Fish
  • Pikes -- (or Jacks)
  • Pilchards -- (or Sardines)
  • Pollack -- (see Boston Bluefish)
  • Pompano
  • Porgy -- (also known as Scup)
  • Red Drum -- (also known as Redfish)
  • Red Horse Sucker -- (also known as Redfin)
  • Red Snapper
  • Red Striped Sucker -- (see Long Nose Sucker)
  • Redfin -- (see Red Horse Sucker) / Redfish
  • Robalo -- (see Gulf Pike)
  • Salmon -- (Chum, Coho, King, Pink and Red) 
  • Sardine -- (see Pilchards)
  • Scup -- (see Porgy)
  • Sea Bass
  • Sergeant Fish -- (see Gulf Pike)
  • Shad
  • Sheepshead
  • Silver Hake -- (or Whiting)
  • Silversides / Smelt -- (see Frost Fish)
  • Snook -- (see Gulf Pike)
  • Spanish Mackerel
  • Striped Bass
  • Trouts [Gray Sea Trouts (or Weakfish) / Lake Trout / Sand Sea Trout (or White Sea Trout) / Spotted Sea Trout / Brook Trout / Rainbow Trout / Brown / Trout / Cutthroat]
  • Tunas [Albacore / Bluefin / Yellowfin / Skipjack]
  • Weakfish -- (see Sea Trout)
  • White Fish
  • White Sucker -- (see Common Sucker)
  • Whiting -- (see Silver Hake)
  • Yellow Perch

A General List of Biblically Unclean "Sea Foods"

Abalones / Bullheads / Catfish / Clams / Crabs / Crayfish / Eel / Lobster / Mussel / Oysters / Scallop / Shark / Shrimp / Squid / Sturgeon / Swordfish


The Bridge Between Touch and Sex
Paul H. Byerly

Touch is so vital to humans, and most of us don't get nearly enough of it. Babies deprived of touch don't develop normally because certain connections in the brain actually disappear. Orphans who receive very, very little touch often die as a result, and those who survive can experience permanent physical and mental retardation. Kids who don't get enough touch grow up to become aggressive and antisocial adults. Older adults who don't get enough touch also suffer, becoming senile sooner, and dying earlier. We're all affected by touch, and it's not "all in the mind"; rather it's the result of complex hormonal responses which actually change our bodies and brains.

Touch causes our bodies to produce a hormone called oxytocin. Not only does touch stimulate production of oxytocin, but oxytocin promotes a desire to touch and be touched: it's a feedback loop that can have wonderful results. Oxytocin makes us feel good about the person who causes the oxytocin to be released, and it causes a bonding between the two persons. Nursing a baby produces oxytocin in both mother and child, and this is a major part of what initially bonds the mother and her baby. Even thinking of someone we love can stimulate this hormone; when women in good marriages were asked to think about their husbands, the level of oxytocin in their blood rose quickly.

There's more. Oxytocin plays a significant role in our sexuality too. Higher levels of oxytocin result in greater sexual receptivity, and because oxytocin increases testosterone production (which is responsible for sex drive in both men and women) sex drive can also increase. Moreover, this hormone does not just create a sexual desire in women, coupled with estrogen it creates a desire to be penetrated (that is, it makes her want intercourse). Oxytocin increases the sensitivity of the penis and the nipples, improves erections, and makes both orgasm and ejaculation stronger; it may even increase sperm counts. And while oxytocin can move us towards sex, sex increases production of oxytocin: nipple stimulation, genital stimulation, and intercourse all raise the level of oxytocin in men and women. Orgasm causes levels to spike even higher, three to five times normal, creating the "afterglow" closeness that is experienced following lovemaking. The fact that sex increases oxytocin levels can be helpful for women who complain they "never feel like sex." Having sex, even when you don't have a drive to do so, will actually affect you in ways that will result in a greater sex drive. This also explains, at least in part, why many women find that the more sex they have, the more they want, and the less sex they have, the less they want.

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Sudden Infant Vaccine Death

Vaccine advocates – although propagandists would be a more accurate term – often correctly claim that there is no scientific evidence proving that vaccines have ever killed anyone or caused autism. Therefore, they claim vaccines can be considered the cause of nothing but a cure for cancer, an end to war and the elimination of all human disease except that caused by dirty, unvaccinated children who are homeschooled by religious bigots. To even consider the mere possibility of questioning the intrinsic and perfect goodness of vaccines, any vaccine given for any reason, is to be not only anti-science, but personally responsible for murdering anyone who died of a disease that would have been prevented by vaccination.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, please note that there is a site called “The Jenny McCarthy Bodycount,” which claims that the blonde actress is responsible for 888 deaths since June 3, 2007, which makes her the second most lethal American after Chuck Norris.


"Good" fat may be new weapon in obesity fight

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A new understanding of the origins of brown fat cells -- the "good" kind of fat that burns energy and keeps us warm -- may lead to new treatments for obesity, two research teams reported on Wednesday.

Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston said they used a single molecular switch to turn immature muscle cells into brown fat cells in the lab, suggesting that brown fat may be more akin to muscle cells than conventional white fat cells.

Seniors Dieting Without Exercising Lose Muscle

A group of sedentary and overweight older people placed on a four-month exercise program not only became more fit, but burned off more fat, compared to older sedentary people who were placed on a diet but did not exercise.
The new study also showed that when older people diet without exercising, they lose more lean muscle compared to those who exercise, said senior researcher Bret H. Goodpaster. When they combined weight loss with exercise, it nearly completely prevented the loss of lean muscle mass. The results are important because older people tend to lose muscle mass as they age and too much muscle loss may interfere with activities of daily living.
The study, “Separate and combined effects of exercise training and weight loss on exercise efficiency and substrate oxidation,” appears in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology, published by The American Physiological Society. Francesca Amati, John J. Dube, Chris Shay and Goodpaster, all of the University of Pittsburgh, carried out the study. 

The researchers wanted to know the best way to get better (more efficient) at completing a defined exercise task. In particular, they wanted to know if greater fitness could be achieved through exercise training, weight loss (through dieting), or both. In addition, they wanted to know which fuel source the body would draw upon, carbohydrates or fats, under these different conditions. 

The 64 participants were 60-75 years of age and were either overweight or obese. All of the participants were sedentary at the outset of the study. The researchers divided the participants into three groups: 

• exercise only
• diet only
• exercise plus diet 

Those who exercised could either walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle, although most chose to walk. The dieters reduced their caloric intake to achieve a 10% weight loss by the end of the four-month study period. The final group combined both the daily exercise and the diet. 

The researchers measured how many calories the participants expended during a set work load on a stationary bicycle at the beginning and at the end of the experiment. They found that the: 

• Exercise group expended fewer calories (became more efficient) on the exercise task at the end of the study compared to the beginning.
• Exercise group drew more on fat stores as the source of their body’s fuel.
• Diet-only group did not gain efficiency in performing the exercise task, even though they weighed less at the end of the experiment.
• Diet-only group’s weight loss resulted from a loss of both muscle and fat.
• Exercise plus diet group was the most efficient at the exercise task at the end of the experiment. This shows an additive effect of both dieting and exercise, but most of that benefit was due to exercise.
• Exercise plus diet group, like the exercise-only group, drew more on fat stores as an energy source. 

“The take-home message is that, even among older people and during a fairly short period of time, exercise produces metabolic changes that require the expenditure of fewer calories during physical activity,” Goodpaster said. Exercise also allowed older people to more preferentially burn fat, which may be healthier metabolically.”
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