What are your taste buds saying?  If your taste buds are like most people’s, they are saying, “Sugar!  Salt!  Fat!”  So how do you get them to crave foods that replenish vital nutrients and sustain health?  How do you avoid feeling deprived?  In October 2011, the Harvard Health Letter cited scientific evidence that if you cut down on junk food for a few weeks then your tastes start to change.  The less we eat of a food like sugar, the more sensitive our taste buds become to it.  Then you can eat less and still have the same sugar satisfaction.  If we eat lots of salt, or instance, our taste buds become blunted to it and we taste it less and less; therefore, we naturally eat more of it to achieve that salty sensation.  When people eat less sugar, salt, or fat for a few weeks, studies show that they want less and less sugar, salt, or fat.  Your taste buds physically change.  And, the great news is that the longer we eat healthier foods, the better they taste!   START SOMEWHERE today doing your own experiment on taste bud transformation. We have built-in drives for sugar, salt, and fat.  Decrease just one area for three weeks and see how your taste buds react!   

#AskDrDebbie: “What is your opinion of Triclosan?” – Jeannie K.  Triclosan is a controversial one!  When it first came out in toothpaste approximately 20 years ago, it sounded like it was the best thing since sliced bread!  But, my opinion has changed on it as well as regarding many other antibacterial products.  We went through a “germ phobic” time in the 1990’s and numerous antibacterial chemicals were added to commonly used products.  Triclosan has been used in personal products such as cosmetics, toothpaste, deodorant, and soap as a common antibacterial ingredient.  Since learning more about how different substances affect our bodies, I now read labels and started to avoid Triclosan several years ago. If it was labeled as “antibacterial,” then it likely contained Triclosan or some of its cousin chemicals.  In the autumn of 2016, it was banned by the Food and Drug Administration in some soaps.  

Triclosan was first registered with the Environmental Protection Agency in 1969 as a pesticide and is still registered that way today. It is a broad- spectrum antimicrobial agent widely used industrially as an antimicrobial pesticide in ice makers, on conveyor belts, or in fire hoses, for example.  It is added to a variety of other products including shoes, toys, floor wax emulsions, carpeting, and caulking compounds.  

It seems logical at first to think that adding an antimicrobial routinely to common products is a good idea but time has proven otherwise.  Based on my research and current education, Triclosan is best avoided because it can:

  1. Disrupt estrogen:  Hormones are the chemical messengers that regulate our body functions, including emotions and mood.  This ingredient has been shown to mimic estrogen, which can increase breast cancer risk.  Since it is found in human breast milk, this information may be just the tip of the iceberg.  A study published in Toxicological Sciences done on rats demonstrated that Triclosan disrupted some estrogen-dependent functions.  While humans are not rats, we do have metabolic similarities.  
  2. Disrupt thyroid hormones:  Because the chemical structure is similar to that of thyroid hormones, concern has been raised that it may interfere with circulating levels of thyroxine.  Thyroxine is the main hormone produced by the thyroid gland and has a vital role in the regulation of metabolism, digestion, heart and muscle function.  
  3. Contribute to bacterial resistance:  The United States Food and Drug Administration published a report on the additive.  They state that studies on Triclosan have raised concerns about its potential for contributing to increased antibiotic resistance.  Recent laboratory studies have verified this concern in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica.  A number of studies since 2000 have confirmed Triclosan resistance among intestinal, dermal, and environmental bacteria.  

Antibiotics are life-saving when you need them.  The widespread use of this antibacterial is, in my opinion, a potential health risk.  The key is to keep your body as healthy as possible with a strong immune system. While Triclosan will be phased out of soaps for consumer use, it is still in some toothpastes.  Read labels and vote with your dollar.  Thank you, Jeannie, for this thought-provoking question.

Sarah Beth’s Yummy Bars (Originally from Barre 3)

You will need:

  • 2 C Dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 C Cashews
  • 1 C Almonds
  • ½ C Dried, Unsweetened Coconut
  • ½ C dried Cherries
  • 2 T softened Coconut Oil
  • 1 t Vanilla Extract
  • Generous pinch of Sea Salt

Here’s the drill:

  1. Fit a food processor with a metal blade. Add almonds and cashews to the processor and pulse until they are uniformly finely chopped.
  2. Add the dates, cherries, coconut, coconut oil, vanilla extract and sea salt and process until a thick paste forms and clumps together in the work bowl. (The time will vary depending on the strength of your food processor. You may need to frequently stir the ingredients and process for a longer duration for a stickier, more consistent texture).
  3. Line an 8×8 pan with a large sheet of parchment paper so it hangs over the edge on one side.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the paper-line pan, and using your hands, press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Fold the excess parchment over the bars to cover them and continue to firmly press the bars down with a flat hand or heavy object until smooth.
  5. Refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting.
  6. Use the edges of the parchment to remove the bars from the pan to a cutting board.
  7. Cut into desired size and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.”  Saint Francis of Assisi

Thank you for joining me today for Friday Food 4 Thought where we are learning to LIVE YOUNGER together.  Your taste buds change, and that’s great news!  You can do it!  I will help you!

Taste Buds Change

Taste Buds Change