Do umbrellas cause rain to fall? Does rain cause umbrellas to appear? Researchers aren’t sure.

Some say the number of umbrellas that come out in the rain depends on a signal given by a weather forecaster.

Other researchers have found, however, that these numbers do not hold up well in urban environments due to a phenomenon known as the “street side-vendor” Further research is needed.

The human body is complicated. When one thing occurs, like alcohol consumption, and another thing occurs, like health, we cannot say that one caused the other until we understand what causes what. Simultaneous occurrence doesn’t mean anything.

Any time we are trying to understand the chain of events responsible for anything from a sports victory to the development of heart disease, many factors have to be taken into consideration, and many can be blown out of proportion.

One missed shot at the end of a game may seem to make a team lose, but that one shot did not cause the loss any more than any other missed shot in the game.

The player who missed the shot may blame himself for years, yet he is seeing things out of proportion.

Anyone element in our diet, whether beneficial or detrimental, must be understood in the context of the entire diet. It is the sum total of everything we do in life that keeps us healthy or creates disease.

The residents of Rosetto , Pennsylvania , are well known for their high-fat diet and low rates of heart disease.

Their community is very tightly knit, which may in turn have many beneficial health effects. A tight network of social support is a health- building factor that is rarely discussed.

It is something that is rare in fragmented societies like America . The drinking of alcohol is often associated with social bonding.

With all of the many factors that affect health, and in particular he health of the heart, can we isolate one food, alcohol, and figure out whether it is beneficial?

In countries like France , red wine is credited with keeping heart disease rates lower than those in the United States .

There is no question that there are beneficial substances in red wine that protect against cholesterol oxidation and may protect against heart disease.

Yet there are also damaging effects from alcohol, which probably lead to the increased rates of cirrhosis of the liver seen in France .

And the French rate of heart disease is not as low as it could be. Primitive cultures in which no alcohol is consumed have much lower rates of heart disease than the French.

Healthy Cooking Basics

ADOPTING HEALTHY COOKING HABIT-SIS one of the most important things we can do. It increases the amount of nutrients and decreases the toxic substances we ingest.

Like any aspect of maintaining your health, healthy cooking requires principles.

You can learn all the facts you want, but if you don’t learn the principles, you will never make it a part of your life. Facts are forgettable.

Principles fit our need to improvise and make do with the variables of life: the food at hand, the likes and dislikes of those we live with, and our desire for an enjoyable, original meal.

We need a new cuisine. The great cuisines of the world grew up for the most part with little interest in health.

When you step into the kitchen to combine your newfound health promoting foods such as whole grains, flax-seed oil, other unrefined oils, expensive organic vegetables, and lower-fat cuts of meat, you are going up against thousands of years of recipe development that have accentuated the tastes of fat, sugar, and white flour.

Learning how to replace these ingredients is crucial for healthy cooking.

Too often, attempts at improving our diet fail not for any lack of enthusiasm, but because we have been missing one link in the chain: the ability to make whole foods taste good.

There are many ways to use whole grains, vegetables, unrefined oils, and lower-fat meat and dairy products so that they are palatable to everyone.

Many of the ways we learned to prepare food are no longer acceptable. Frying is out. It creates highly toxic products that destroy the body.

Using sugar and white flour is frowned upon because of the stress these foods place on the body.

We get enough salt in our food and do not need to add more. We need, therefore, to look at food preparation in a new way that exploits the natural flavors of food and maximizes their nutritional value.

Once you understand and adopt a few simple principles, you will have all you need to begin preparing your food in ‘the healthiest way possible.

Top Ten Nutrition Myths

1.Eating according to the new food pyramid will ensure that you are eating a healthy diet.

Virtually any food can fit into the food pyramid. Ice cream, sugar-laden cookies, fried chips, and refined white flour products.

The problem with the food pyramid is that it makes little distinction in food quality.

It tells you to minimize fats, but does not tell you which fats are best. It also emphasizes carbohydrates, which for many may be inappropriate.

2. Eggs should be avoided, for they are high in cholesterol .Eggs are one of the most nutrient-rich foods known, and there is no evidence that they have any effect on cholesterol levels.

They are an excellent source of important nutrients like sulfur, zinc, and choline.

3. Nuts are fattening. Nuts .have a significant amount of calories, but that does not make them fattening.

It is the sum total of the food you eat and the efficiency of your metabolism that will determine whether a food you eat .

increases your weight. Some actually find nuts all excellent snack to help them curb cravings and lose weight.

4. You need to exercise to lose weight. Exercise is an excellent and highly recommended adjunct to the weight loss process, but it is not necessary for healthy and permanent weight loss. Diet and nutrient intake are far more important.

5. Foods must only be eaten in certain combinations. There is no research that demonstrates that humans need to eat only certain foods at the same time. Humans are omnivores.

Our pancreas secretes fat-, protein-, and carbohydrate digesting enzymes simultaneously. Throughout history, the human race has thrived on a wide variety of foods eaten in innumerable combinations.

The human body can handle any combination of whole foods eaten at the same time.

6. Diet and nutrient intake has no effect on arthritis. Vitamin E, EPA, and glucose amine sulfate are just some of the valuable nutritional aids that have proven effective in helping arthritics.

The Lancet recently published a study showing the dramatic reduction in pain a vegetarian diet can make.

When someone tells you that there is no success with nutritional therapies, check to see who funds that organization. They are often funded by drug companies that make arthritis medications.

7. Cholesterol-lowering medication will lengthen your life. Statistics show it will shorten it.

8. Diets don’t work. Well-designed diets by well-educated nutritionists do, especially when optimal levels of nutrients are included.

9. There are no magic foods. Nutrition is science, not magic. If certain foods quench free radicals or protect against cancer, suggesting we eat more of those foods is not a sleight-o of hand trick.

It is a well-reasoned suggestion based on solid research, and an important strategy in our fight against degenerative disease. Saying “there are no magic foods” implies that all foods have the same effect on the body.

That is ridiculous. Those who downplay the value of super foods are trying to enforce a brand of mediocre nutrition that has kept Americans dying of degenerative diseases long enough.

10. Senility is genetic and has little to do with diet. While there are certainly genetic factors at work in such ailments as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of senility, an overall program of optimal nutrition, including nutrients like niacin and herbs like ginkgo, can playa powerful role in preventing senility and enhancing brain health.