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Mon Jan 13, 2014, 11:59 AM

The Dark Side Of Kale (And How To Eat Around It

http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/01/the-dark-side-of-kale-and-how-to-eat-around-it


The headline in The New York Times made my heart sink: “Kale? Juicing? Trouble Ahead.”

Confession: I’m one of those Vitamix-loving, green-smoothie worshipping, kale bandwagoners. I brim with holier-than-thou pride when my kids eat raw kale (no dressing, even!) and thick kale-laden shakes while other children snack on sugary GoGURT squeezes and suck on juice boxes.

I am not alone. Presidents and stars are kale-lovers too.

Kale, in case you haven’t noticed, is health-conscious America’s “it” vegetable. Raw, blended, sauteed or in chip or “crunch” form, it appears to be the manna of celebrities: Gwyneth and Jennifer devour it while Kevin Bacon recently declared “the age of kale.” In an astutely reported feature called “Stars Who Love Kale,” US Weekly quotes Bette Midler saying: “Kale is burning up the veggisphere.”

Even the Obamas dined on kale salad at their Thanksgiving feast, notes The Washington Post.

But apparently there’s trouble in cruciferous paradise.

Writing for The Times, Jennifer Berman reports on the dark side of kale, and how the health-infused, veggie Eden she’d carefully built over years began to crumble:

Imagine my shock, then, at my last physical, when my doctor told me I had hypothyroidism, common in women over 40. When I got home I looked up the condition on the Internet and found a list of foods to avoid. Kale, which I juiced every morning, tops the list, followed by broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and collard greens — the cruciferous vegetables I consumed in large quantities because they are thought to prevent cancer, which runs in my family. And flax — as in the seeds — high in omega 3’s, that I sprinkled on cereal and blended in strawberry almond milk smoothies. Also forbidden: almonds and strawberries, not to mention soy, peaches, peanuts, corn, radishes, rutabaga and spinach.

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Dark Side Of Kale (And How To Eat Around It (Original post)
mfcorey1 Jan 2014 OP
MinneapolisMatt Jan 2014 #1
kentauros Jan 2014 #20
theHandpuppet Jan 2014 #2
get the red out Jan 2014 #11
Warren Stupidity Jan 2014 #3
LuvNewcastle Jan 2014 #6
Glassunion Jan 2014 #28
Warren Stupidity Jan 2014 #31
LuvNewcastle Jan 2014 #4
BronxBoy Jan 2014 #17
Retrograde Jan 2014 #18
BronxBoy Jan 2014 #22
Warren Stupidity Jan 2014 #32
notadmblnd Jan 2014 #27
MoonRiver Jan 2014 #5
PasadenaTrudy Jan 2014 #8
otohara Jan 2014 #14
Name removed Jan 2014 #25
William769 Jan 2014 #26
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2014 #7
get the red out Jan 2014 #12
nolabear Jan 2014 #9
Ganja Ninja Jan 2014 #10
curlyred Jan 2014 #30
get the red out Jan 2014 #13
Neoma Jan 2014 #15
catbyte Jan 2014 #16
Retrograde Jan 2014 #19
pipi_k Jan 2014 #23
Warren DeMontague Jan 2014 #21
liberal_at_heart Jan 2014 #24
Glassunion Jan 2014 #29
FrodosPet Jan 2014 #33

Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:04 PM

1. Everything in moderation.

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Response to MinneapolisMatt (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:30 PM

20. In fact, what seems to be fueling the fear in this article

has nothing to do with moderation. From further down in the article content not posted:

Very high intakes of cruciferous vegetables…have been found to cause hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone) in animals (68). There has been one case report of an 88-year-old woman developing severe hypothyroidism and coma following consumption of an estimated 1.0 to 1.5 kg/day of raw bok choy for several months. Two mechanisms have been identified to explain this effect. The hydrolysis of some glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables (e.g., progoitrin) may yield a compound known as goitrin, which has been found to interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis. The hydrolysis of another class of glucosinolates, known as indole glucosinolates, results in the release of thiocyanate ions, which can compete with iodine for uptake by the thyroid gland. Increased exposure to thiocyanate ions from cruciferous vegetable consumption or, more commonly, from cigarette smoking, does not appear to increase the risk of hypothyroidism unless accompanied by iodine deficiency. One study in humans found that the consumption of 150 g/day (5 oz/day) of cooked Brussels sprouts for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function.
(emphasis mine)

And for those that don't remember their metric conversions, 1 kilogram (kg) is 2.2 pounds!

Really now, I see nothing to worry about at all.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:09 PM

2. Too late

I love kale and I ain't stoppin'. Hell, it seems every other week there's a new list of foods we're supposed to avoid. Since I've been eating kale as a staple for nearly 60 years, I figure the damage is already done. Now I think I'll go to the kitchen and fix up a pot of ham & cabbage....

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:55 PM

11. I agree

I was eating "healthy" several lists ago, at this point I just try to use common sense and go with what works for my body.

I think a bunch of this every changing nutrition advice is about maximizing profits anyway. Look at juicing, those juicers are expensive! If they change the "rules" every week people who try to follow the rules have to constantly buy more gadgets and special foods. It's a cycle of profit.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:12 PM

3. I removed raw kale for a different reason.

It appeared to bring forth urgent massive shit attacks, making morning bike rides an interesting adventure. Cooked kale doesn't have this affect on me.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:31 PM

6. It might be good for someone with chronic constipation.

It might just keep them regular.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 07:58 PM

28. Warren... Is that you?

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Response to Glassunion (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 08:42 PM

31. Damn, every damn thing is on the internets.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:29 PM

4. I love all of those vegetables, except for the brussel sprouts, and I eat them

even though I have hypothyroidism. In fact, I pretty much eat what I want. I've been on medication for it for years and I have regular blood tests every 3 months because of some other meds I take. The hypothyroid medicine works just fine, and I never have an issue with my thyroid. I don't eat any of those things every day, though. Unless you have an extremely unusual problem, moderate amounts shouldn't harm you.

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Response to LuvNewcastle (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:00 PM

17. Poor Brussell Sprouts.....

The Fredo Corleone of the vegetable world

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Response to BronxBoy (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:20 PM

18. Probably because few people have access to fresh sprouts or know how to cook them

I disliked them until I had my first ones fresh off the stalk (it helps that much of the US crop is grown within an hour's drive of where I live, and growers sell them at the local farmers' market). Fresh, simply steamed or roasted with maybe some good oil and vinegar and they're divine. Frozen then boiled to within an inch of their lives, not so good. And I shudder to even think of canned ones.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:39 PM

22. I love them roasted.

It's definitely a veggie that needs to be fresh and treated with respect in the kitchen

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Response to BronxBoy (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 08:44 PM

32. Roasted is just the best.

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Response to BronxBoy (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 07:51 PM

27. I love brussel sprouts

sauteed in olive oil and garlic with a little salt. My dog loves them too!

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:31 PM

5. Read this today on my cancer board.

Can't for the life of me understand why people gorge themselves on one thing in the mistaken belief that it will bring them good health. Hello, we need a BALANCED diet.

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Response to MoonRiver (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:36 PM

8. +1

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Response to MoonRiver (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:35 PM

14. Rotation Is Key

foods are powerful - eating too much of a good thing can backfire.

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Response to otohara (Reply #14)


Response to Name removed (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 07:40 PM

26. Big Pharma saves lives!

Merck in particular.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:34 PM

7. If I listened to the list of foods to avoid

I would be malnourished.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:56 PM

12. There would be nothing left to eat

If you put every list of "bad" foods together, you'd die of starvation trying to stay healthy.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:39 PM

9. This is another article that creates drama and then dials it back.

I hate these kinds of "health" articles. They start out with a headline designed to shock and frighten and then as they go on they pull back further and further, until they end with "Of course anything done to a ridiculous excess can cause problems, particularly if you have an underlying condition, so just don't overdo, kids, mkay?"

Eat your vegetables.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:43 PM

10. My favorite cooked greens in order.

Broccoli Rob, Turnip Greens, Spinach (with Parsley, Scallions & Cheese) Collards, Mustard, Kale. I've tried Kale but I just can't get into it.

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Response to Ganja Ninja (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 08:05 PM

30. I know it was spell check

But I am just tickled to read"broccoli Rob". So much better than plain old broccoli rabe.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:58 PM

13. My favorite food is Brussels Sprouts

And the nutrition nuts will need a fucking court order to take them from me, I have knives. BREAD knives, yea, I know bread is illegal now too, take that rebellion!

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:54 PM

15. Including myself, I know others who have hypothyrioism that are in their 20s.

Since I was thin as a rail, people sort of questioned that it wasn't hyper instead of hypo...Apparently my doctor caught it when I got it. Though really, I don't doubt that some people have hypothyroidism for a long time before they find out, as with all things.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 02:38 PM

16. I stopped watching the Food Network because it seemed like the majority of shows featured

recipes with either kale or lamb, both of which I do not eat. I don't eat kale because I don't like it; I don't eat lamb because it's well, lamb.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:27 PM

19. I never understood this whole juicing thing

if you want to eat vegetables, eat vegetables - and keep the fiber in them.

Kale's OK, and I'm not planning on increasing or decreasing my consumption. I've been around long enough to see miracle foods come and go: I figure that going for variety means at least some of them will be good for you.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 04:59 PM

23. Almost bought

a juicer some years back but never did.

Last month I got a NutriBullet. It doesn't juice...it pulverizes so you get the entire vegetable or fruit, fiber and all.

So far I haven't found a combination of vegies or fruits (or even a mixture of the two) that doesn't taste good.

One fruit/vegie drink a day (or mixed into hot soup) at lunch and my fat gut seems to be shrinking a bit.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:31 PM

21. I read this yesterday. Interesting, but I'm not sure it's applicable to most people who eat kale.

It sounds like problems can show up with eating a LOT of kale, particularly a lot of raw Kale, which (I guess unless you're juicing it) doesn't seem to be a very preferable way to eat the stuff.

I particularly like Kale because it's pretty versatile- it's good in stir fry and it's also really tasty just baked- it's pretty easy to grow; and will grow year-round up here, in fact the climate seems to be about perfect for it.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 06:34 PM

24. kale, chard, and spinach salads have been a big part of how I have lost 20 lbs in the last

5 months. I've also started adding vegetables in with my breakfast. I never gave omelettes much thought before I started doing this but omelettes are awesome for adding vegetables to your breakfast. I have been eating egg whites for years but never thought about adding vegetables to them until now. I love it. I can even put mushrooms in it and the taste of the egg and vegetables mask the taste of the mushroom. I've never been a big fan of mushrooms but they are suppose to be good at preventing cancer. Eating salads before I eat my main dish at lunch and dinner have helped me cut back on how much of the main dish I eat, and I have sneaked in a treat. If I add a very small desert after lunch or dinner then I can eat a treat without over indulging because I'm already full on lunch or dinner. I have a family history of cancer as well, and I have the BRCA1 gene mutation so I am very interested in eating foods that will help prevent cancer. I sprinkle flax seeds on oatmeal or in my salad. I love the word moderation because quite frankly I get tired of people telling me I can never have sugar ever again in my life. Yeah, watch me. I love sugar. I will not completely give up sugar, but I have learned how to eat it more in moderation. Same goes for the healthy stuff. I hear too much soy can cause problems too, and since I am trying to prevent cancer you won't catch me eating pounds and pounds of it. But I might consider trying it because most things in moderation are a good part of a balanced diet. So, as with most other things I will keep eating kale but will make sure to eat it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 09:05 PM

33. Less Kale, More Cale

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