pancreatic cancer

Stop the Light Mayo Lie!

Light Mayo vs. Real.

For years people have tried to convince us that light mayonnaise tastes as good as regular mayo and it’s healthier to boot.  Stop it.  Just stop it.  Not only does it not taste like regular mayo, but it doesn’t really taste good at all.  Light mayo is bad and fat free mayo is disastrously nasty.  No amount of advertising and brainwashing will ever change that.

I think everyone knows this.  Sure some people may say they can’t tell the difference but they are lying to us and themselves.  Light mayo is palatable at best.  Fat free mayo tastes like really old sneakers that have been dipped in Sasquatch sweat then slathered with crude oil from the Gulf.  I’d like to tell you how I know this but some of the details from that weekend are still a little fuzzy.

Dukes Light MayoBut the healthy claim, where does that stand?  As it turns out light mayo tastes better than it is healthy.  Common ingredients in the average light mayonnaise include xanthan gum (a sugar-like compound), yellow #5 (increases levels of hyperactivity in children), modified corn/food starch (can cause constipation) and one of the most dangerous chemicals on earth High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

Kraft Light MayoThe body cannot metabolize HFCS so it stores it as fat cells in the liver.  As a result, people with a steady intake of HFCS have liver ailments most often associated with alcoholics and there is also evidence that HFCS plays havoc with the pancreas leading to Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer.  HFCS, despite what those cute but scientifically unfounded commercials tell us, is the major contributor to our obesity epidemic as HFCS causes significantly more fatty tissue growth as an equal amount of calories from table sugar.

The Corn Refiners Association sponsors those misleading TV commercials.  They also maintain a website that is chock full of contrived scientific studies.  I have even been flamed by packs of paid lobbyists on Twitter for expressing my distaste for their lethal product.  That’s right, they actually pay people to go on Twitter and promote their product, not unlike a drug dealer on a play ground.

Winn Dixie light mayoWhat I struggle with is why people think that mayo, real mayo, is so unhealthy.  Sure a 1 tablespoon serving has 10 grams of fat but only saturated fat is bad for you and it only has 1.5 grams of saturated fat.  Unsaturated fat is good for you especially when it contains Omega 3 fatty acids like those found in olive oil and canola oil.  And here’s another secret, most people use less than that on a sandwich.

I know all 90 calories in that tablespoon serving are from fats.  Though percent-calories-from-fat is a very logical theory it is still just a theory.  And when applying it to practice you should really only concern yourself with the percent-calories-from-fat of the meal as a whole.  Regardless of fat and caloric content nothing containing HFCS can ever be considered healthy.

Hellmann's Canola Mayo from amazon.comBut if you are still concerned about the fat, Hellmann’s makes a real mayonnaise with canola oil that has half the fat and half the calories of regular mayo and no cholesterol.  That’s comparable to those HFCS tainted light mayos but the canola mayo tastes just like the real thing because it is the real thing.  They just use a healthier oil.  It’s the best of both worlds.

Not healthy enough for you?  Consider using plain Greek yogurt instead.  It’s very healthy and tastes a lot better than light or fat free mayo.  And don’t even get me started on Miracle Whip.  Not only is that crap not an acceptable substitute for mayonnaise but it isn’t really even food.

Obamas Getting Tough On Obesity?

This week we learned, ”People who drank two or more soft drinks a week had an 87% increased risk — or nearly twice the risk — of pancreatic cancer compared to individuals consuming no soft drinks,” says Noel T. Mueller, MPH, lead research associate at the Cancer Control Program at Georgetown University Medical Center.  This from the recently published study in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention?

The study was done to test a theory that high glycemic beverages like soft drinks and commercial grade fruit juices are a major contributor to pancreatic cancer.  The study found that commercial grade juices, though extremely high on the glycemic scale, do not effect pancreatic cancer risk.  So what could be the difference?

Oh yeah, juice contains a natural sugar.  Soft drinks contain a synthetic one, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  Coincidence?

HFCS of course is the brainchild of one of the wealthiest corporations in the world, Monsanto.

This week we also learned that the Obama’s have announced a new child obesity initiative with cheflebrity Jamie Oliver, Let’s Move.  This would be exciting if it weren’t such an utter fraud.  While Oliver is genuine, Mrs. Obama made her announcement with USDA chief Tom Vilsak (legendary Monsanto lobbyist) and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin (a Burger King consultant) at her side.

Also standing with the first lady was Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, a career politician with absolutely no experience or training in social services or nutrition.  Ms. Sebelius has degrees in political science and public administration, the academic equivalents of basket weaving.

With a stroke of his mighty pen, President Obama signed an executive order that outlines the ever expanding federal government’s role in a problem that affects one-third of the school-age children in the country.  An issue that he claims as, “one of the most urgent health issues we face in this country,” with all of the sincerity of a fox offering to guard the hen house.

While proper exercise is another key factor in childhood obesity the chief cause is diet.  Between diet and exercise, diet is the most important.  If children enjoy a proper diet then the amount of exercise they receive in an average school day would suffice. But a diet of processed foods containing HFCS and hydrogenated oils requires much more exercise to negate the negative effects of that diet.

That’s why the Obama’s Let’s Move serves as little more than a diversion from the real issue.  The people the President has appointed to make the decisions about what is and is not healthy are not qualified to make these decisions.  People like Sebelius, Benjamin, Vilsak and many others do not base their policies on what is best for the country but what is best for their corporate masters.

If President Obama were genuine he would not have traded our children’s well-being for campaign contributions.  He likely did not chose his appointees because of careful examination of the facts but more likely to repay the people who financed the most expensive Presidential campaign in history. Clearly they where not chosen based on qualifications.  Holding a press conference vowing to end the obesity epidemic while surrounded by the very people championing the chemicals causing that epidemic is at best  hypocritical.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


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