Are Raisins Good Snacks for Kids?

Are Raisins Good Snacks for Kids?
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The California Raisin Marketing Board need not have funded such misleading studies, given the healthfulness of their product.

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Raisins, like all fruits, have a variety of health benefits, but dried fruit is higher in calories per serving than fresh, so might they contribute to weight gain? This study helped set people’s minds at ease. Men and women assigned to consume a cup of raisins a day for six weeks evidently successfully offset the consumption of other foods in their diets such that they experienced no significant change in weight or waist circumference. What about in kids?

Leave it to the California Raisin Marketing Board to dream up a study like this. An after-school snack of raisins lowers cumulative food intake in young children. Sounds good, right? But that’s compared to potato chips and chocolate chip cookies. They gave kids raisins, grapes, chips or cookies and said they could eat as much as they wanted and, surprise surprise, kids ate less fruit and more junk. But I guess naming the paper “Kids Prefer Cookies” would not have garnered the same kind of marketing board sponsor support.

Reminds me of this study they did. Regular consumption of raisins may reduce blood sugar levels…compared to fudge cookies and Oreos. Or how about this one: Raisins were found to cause less of a blood sugar spike than Coca Cola and candy bars. Though you can tell it was not funded by Big Raisin by their conclusion. Whether the general public should be advised to snack on fruit rather than on candy bars requires further debate and investigation. Guess who funded that one?

Comparing raisins to chips and cookies was similarly unhelpful. This is the study I was expecting. Nine- to eleven-year-old boys and girls were told to eat all the grapes or raisins they wanted 30 minutes before a meal in which they could eat all the pizza they wanted. If you just gave them the meal, no snack, they ate 837 calories worth of pizza. If you gave them all-you-can-eat grapes before the meal, they ate 128 calories of grapes, but that seemed to fill them up a bit, so they ended up eating less pizza. But because they ate the snack and the meal, they ended up getting more calories overall. Still, grape calories are certainly better than pizza calories, but check this out. When given raisins instead, they ate even more snack calories, but the raisins were evidently so satiating, so filling that they ate so much less pizza that they ate fewer calories over all.

Now I know as parents there’s a concern that if our kids eat snacks it might spoil their dinner, but when the snacks are fruit and the meal is a pepperoni and three cheese pizza, the more we can ruin their appetite, the better.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to sciencesque via Flickr.

Raisins, like all fruits, have a variety of health benefits, but dried fruit is higher in calories per serving than fresh, so might they contribute to weight gain? This study helped set people’s minds at ease. Men and women assigned to consume a cup of raisins a day for six weeks evidently successfully offset the consumption of other foods in their diets such that they experienced no significant change in weight or waist circumference. What about in kids?

Leave it to the California Raisin Marketing Board to dream up a study like this. An after-school snack of raisins lowers cumulative food intake in young children. Sounds good, right? But that’s compared to potato chips and chocolate chip cookies. They gave kids raisins, grapes, chips or cookies and said they could eat as much as they wanted and, surprise surprise, kids ate less fruit and more junk. But I guess naming the paper “Kids Prefer Cookies” would not have garnered the same kind of marketing board sponsor support.

Reminds me of this study they did. Regular consumption of raisins may reduce blood sugar levels…compared to fudge cookies and Oreos. Or how about this one: Raisins were found to cause less of a blood sugar spike than Coca Cola and candy bars. Though you can tell it was not funded by Big Raisin by their conclusion. Whether the general public should be advised to snack on fruit rather than on candy bars requires further debate and investigation. Guess who funded that one?

Comparing raisins to chips and cookies was similarly unhelpful. This is the study I was expecting. Nine- to eleven-year-old boys and girls were told to eat all the grapes or raisins they wanted 30 minutes before a meal in which they could eat all the pizza they wanted. If you just gave them the meal, no snack, they ate 837 calories worth of pizza. If you gave them all-you-can-eat grapes before the meal, they ate 128 calories of grapes, but that seemed to fill them up a bit, so they ended up eating less pizza. But because they ate the snack and the meal, they ended up getting more calories overall. Still, grape calories are certainly better than pizza calories, but check this out. When given raisins instead, they ate even more snack calories, but the raisins were evidently so satiating, so filling that they ate so much less pizza that they ate fewer calories over all.

Now I know as parents there’s a concern that if our kids eat snacks it might spoil their dinner, but when the snacks are fruit and the meal is a pepperoni and three cheese pizza, the more we can ruin their appetite, the better.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to sciencesque via Flickr.

66 responses to “Are Raisins Good Snacks for Kids?

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  1. Raisins are great, but not for your teeth. They coat the teeth with sticky sugar film that does not come off. Major brushing has to follow…

    1. Good point. Overall oral health is supported by plant based diet… see http://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-based-diets-oral-health/ and for periodontal disease… http://nutritionfacts.org/video/whats-the-best-mouthwash/. Periodontal disease less of concern for kids then caries see… http://nutritionfacts.org/video/protecting-teeth-from-hibiscus-tea/ for information on drinks. I will try and run down video on timing of swishing vs brushing teeth.

        1. Dr. Forrester: I was wondering if we might update that advice to “swish with green tea”? (instead of water) The video you are referring to in your post immediately above (concerning citrus) was released long before the more recent video which talks about the best mouthwash being green tea (a video which you referred to in your first post). And the video about swishing with water is just speculation to begin with. A “best advice so far” that is not based on studies. So, why not recommend swishing with green tea instead of water? After seeing the latest video on the green tea mouth wash, I was thinking that it superseded the earlier video about swishing with water for acidic foods. Not true?

          I’m just trying to figure out if I’m missing something. (ie: green tea is also acidic? and so swishing with tea immediately after meals hurts more than helps in terms of enamel erosion??? So here is how we reconcile the two pieces of advice…) Or do we really just not know and we can take our pick on which advice to follow???

          Any thoughts?

  2. In reference to ruining your appetite, if you want to also ruin your appetite for meat you could read everything on nutrition facts.org (gently ruins) or watch the documentary Earthlings (disturbingly ruins)- warning! Not for the faint-hearted. I made my children watch this so they could understand where their fast food and meat comes from. (Get the Kleenex)

    Great piece of showing how some “science” is portrayed.

      1. Our local Eat Smart, Live Longer has shared the Cowspiracy video with about 100 of us and everyone took to heart the message conveyed.

        1. At least you are influencing them by providing them the best information. I can’t think of how many soccer pizza parties I held when I was coaching youth soccer when my kids were young… they are now in mid to upper 30’s. Working on your grand kids through your kids and their spouses is a different challenge… fun but also not always successful. I like to point out to my patients who have trouble giving up dairy that they are just suffering from addiction. Marketing by cheese industry classifies 40% of consumers either as cheese cravers or cheese enhancers. Casein (main protein in dairy) is metabolized to 8 casomorphins which are absorbed. Meat and sugar have been shown to release endogenous morphine like substances in the brain. A good book for those interested in a broad overview and specific references is Neal Barnard’s, Breaking the Food Seduction. For my patient’s who really have trouble with decreasing or eliminating dairy I advise them to read, Whitewash. Or you could take another tact in influencing their habits such as… if they are athletic and don’t want to have mucous interfering with their breathing show them.. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-milk-and-mucus-a-myth/ and of course an ace in the hole is to take advantage of the adolescents distain for acne by showing them… http://nutritionfacts.org/video/saving-lives-by-treating-acne-with-diet/ with the added knowledge re: mTORC1. A good resource resource for navigating peer pressure at any age is Doug Lisle’s DVD presentation, Getting along without Going along, one of the three presentations on his DVD, The Pleasure Trap, available via John McDougall’s website. Back to my soccer coaching days… I try not to be too hard on myself for the things I would have done different in the past since most of the science supporting the best way to eat has come out over the last 20 years. Just another reason for folks to subscribe to NutritionFacts.org to keep up with the latest in science. Good luck with working with your teenagers… always a challenge.

  3. Are there any foods we can eat that increase levels of Brain-derived nerve growth factor (BDNF)?

    A report came out today showing that increasing BDNF can greatly help the brain, heart, energy, mood, etc.

    1. Foods rich in flavonoids such as dark berries, type “flavonoids bdnf” in Google Scholar for more info. Generally foods rich in flavonoids (while not necessarily studied in regards to bdnf) are tea, cocoa, red wine, berries, nuts and beans, fruits and vegetables (often colorful) – most of the healthy stuff. Also perhaps most reported way to increase levels of BDNF is to exercise (aerobic type, data on anaerobic is very limited). Generally I get a feel that BDNF is rather tightly negatively related to brain inflammation and oxidation, so here you go…

    2. Animal studies indicate diets high in saturated fat and refined sugar reduce BDNF (1, 2), while similar diets also appear to cause cognitive decline in humans (3). Supplemental DHA (4) and curcumin from turmeric (5) appear to normalize BDNF, while exercise (6, a synergy with DHA 7), learning (8), caloric restriction (9) and for those that need them, antidepressants (10, 11) are all linked to preserving BDNF levels.

  4. Seriously … I can’t believe they are spending, probably overspending, so much money on these kinds of studies …. just to create a misleading headline … guess that’s just America.

  5. Unbelievable where the money go for research – raisins vs junk food! It is very heartbreaking to watch that in regards to children who don’t know better… we have 4 little ones ( 11, 9, 7 and 3 ) and we try our best to feed them plant based diet, no junk and we take one day at the time, everyday… very challenging process – so far the most challenging in our lives but I won’t give up.

  6. Dr. Greger claims every study that doesn’t agree with his personal agenda is fixed and every one that agrees with his agenda is accurate. Word is that he got completely demolished by Chris Masterjohn in a debate in regards to his claims and the fact that Greger didn’t even understand the studies he was critiquing.

    1. There must’ve been a rematch that I don’t know about because the debate I heard had Dr G splattering every bit of b.s. that came out of Masterjohn’s mouth. Admittedly I was laughing so hard after Masterjohn’s “beta carotene is not harmless” line that I did actually miss a few minutes of the debate.

    2. I saw your post and was curious about this interview so I just listened to it. Demolished? Hardly. I thought both parties made good points, were respectful toward each other, and spoke intelligently.

      To say that Dr. Greger’s opinion doesn’t evolve with new data is completely inaccurate. I’ve watched a number of his videos in which he updates or changes position on various foods based on new studies.

      If you’re posting as a troll, at least be honest about your agenda.

    3. To get a sense of Masterjohn’s qualities as a scientist and educator with respect to dietary fat and cholesterol see plantpositive’s very informative video Cholesterol Confusion 5 Cholesterol Is Necessary for Life 22: http://plantpositive.com/22-cholesterol-confusion-5-cho/ . It’s a bit long (28 min.) but well worth the time to examine closely. In my opinion Masterjohn is quite disreputable, perhaps incompetent if not downright dishonest.

      1. Thanks for sharing this. What baffles my mind is how this guys ever even became considered an authority in nutrition? I guess if you tell the masses what they WANT to hear, you win every time. Especially if you have a personal anecdotal story as proof.

  7. I love organic raisins as a snack. There is something perfect about them as they are both satiating and satisfy any sweet cravings, keeping me away from desserts and junk.

  8. Well done and witty! Appreciate your insights!
    Weird that my daughter had what appeared to be an allergic reaction to raisins when she was young – eventually grew out of it.
    Is this common?

  9. please, Dr. Greger, when are you going to get on board with the fuller story with articles such as this which potentially speak to such a large and impressionable audience? — people trying desperately to zero in on the important subjects which need to fuel our personal life changes. This was another perfect missed opportunity to address the other (albeit more controversial) elephants in the room such as alerting parents to the FACT that grapes (raisins), unless USDA Certified Organic (or home-grown without harmful chemicals) are ranked #3 on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of contaminated produce sold in the US. It is not easy to get on this list People! And EWG does not test for all the agricultural and other chemicals which are bioaccumulating in our food stream and bodies! This is what is behind the skyrocketing respiratory disease rates, serious reproductive incapacities, increasing cancer in younger people, Autism and other cognitive, mood, perceptual disorders — we have known for decades there is a direct link to pesticides in foods, and that the end result is species destruction – the bees are the “Canary In The Coal Mine,” and we need to pay attention. Conventionally grown grapes/raisins is not a safe food and this is the story which should have been told — Grapes are so saturated with harmful agricultural chemicals that it trumps the good fiber, antioxidants, and potentially healthful phytochemicals….so discussions about tweeking kids’ calories through snack feeding schedule changes is not so important, is it? Why go down the rabbit hole with the mental gymnastics of glycemic index or comparisons between tomato lycopene vs. grape flavanoids — consider the out-of-control agricultural practices used on grapes! This again, distracts people who are seeking real help with the avalanche of “information” coming at us — we need help to order by real importance, our food and health change priorities. If, out of literally a thousand produce items that have been studied by EWG’s expensive testing lab, the FACT emerges that the THIRD most harmful produce food we should NEVER eat if conventionally grown, is the little box of raisins we give to our little kids, then why would this not be the most important story to publish? The level of saturation of known harmful chemicals has reached a critical mass stage on this, our Only Planet. We are at a critical stage of our survivability as a species. The primary cause of this threat is the fact of our continued unabated increase in chemical contamination and exposure to all living things. We are bombarded from morning to night with misinformation, irrelevant information, and lies. We need your superior intellectual and technical resources and capacity to hlep us plow through it all.

    1. Ariel: Here is one quote from Dr. Greger on the topic of conventional vs organic:

      “A new study calculated that if half the U.S. population ate just one more serving of conventional fruits and vegetables, 20,000 cases of cancer could be prevented. At the same time the added pesticide consumption could cause up to 10 extra cancer cases. So by eating conventional produce we may get a tiny bump in cancer risk, but that’s more than compensated by the dramatic drop in risk that accompanies whole food plant consumption. Even if all we had to eat was the most contaminated produce the benefits would far outweigh any risks.”
      from: http://nutritionfacts.org/2013/06/25/apple-peels-turn-on-anticancer-genes/

      The above quote does not address all of your concerns about conventional produce, but it points to some evidence which puts the issue into perspective. Your perspective seems very different. Do you have evidence to back up, for example, this statement?: “Grapes are so saturated with harmful agricultural chemicals that it trumps the good fiber, antioxidants, and potentially healthful phytochemicals.” Is that a gut feeling or do you have studies to back it up? While I disagree that this video was off target, I do agree that the topic of conventional vs organic is very important and worth keeping an eye on. So, if you have some studies to share, I would be very interested in general. Thanks.

      1. thea, you too miss the entire point of me bothering to speak in this way through this important food and nutrition platform. Dr. Greger continually opts to avoid controversial subjects for fear of being further marginalized as a pseudo-scientist. It frightens me that you do not seem to actually understand what is being said to you when someone directly points out the science-based facts, as reported via the EWG platform – it would be your job Thea, to go to that site, study the point being made by this contrarian reader, then go to Dr. Greger and present the opinion I have given. The opinion I have given does not involve the facts about contamination of grapes! It involves the wasted resources – nutritionfact.org platform, expended to discuss things related to raisins which just don’t stack up in importance. To reply to me that in some other article somewhere some time ago, that Dr. Greger (again) failed to get it right about the widespread contamination of agricultural chemicals and what is destroying life on the planet, is further evidence you are just not connected, paying attention, or your own misplaced loyalty is getting in the way of your scientific education. Granted, Dr. Greger has his business model, and it is to consistently choose non-controversial topics – to wit, todays focus on raisins in the way he has, while avoiding the most glaring information which literally millions of American adults need to realize. The amount of chemicals in CONVENTIONALLY GROWN grapes trumps the importance of them as a legitimate food source for anyone, much less little kids. And by the way, when a food gets on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list it means something, then when it is CONCENTRATED by processing such as the making of a raisin, that means even more! This is similar to the FACT of how agricultural chemicals in conventionally grown apples (conventionally grown apples are the #1 on EWG’s list of contaminated produce item in the US Food system) will CONCENTRATE when turned into a juice. How you and Dr. Greger do not know, or refuse to understand the significance of this is unfathomable. This is the universally agreed upon reason why no thinking caring adult would choose to NOT purchase Certified Organic Apples for any mode of consumption – and the same applies to grapes, although they are #3 on the death list of known carcinogen foods. Imagine the moral choice being made – not the financially expeditious choice – this should have been the story! The ubiqutous box apple juice that 99% of American kids drink nearly daily is just another version of the same discussion for grapes/raisins –apples are the #1 produce item contaminated and that is out of 1000+ items tested, grapes are #3. Your insistence that I prove something, that I do the work, is precisely why I wrote to you in the first place. EWG’s work matters and is for the world to use, certainly Dr. Greger would appreciate someone pointing out this glaring lapse in his research and publications.

        1. Ariel: I assure you that I have done nothing to come between you and Dr. Greger. Dr. Greger reads many (if not all?) of the posts. The NF Team helps out the site by participating in conversations, but we never bring specific posts or issues directly to Dr. Greger’s attention. He reads the posts himself. So, no worries. He just can’t respond to the majority of posts given constraints on his time.

          I was prompted to respond to your post so that you would feel heard. Also I thought you might appreciate my response because you may not have known that Dr. Greger had already addressed your issue.

          Note: I am already familiar with EWG. I have read a great deal on their site in the past and refer people to them all the time here on NutritionFacts. Last I looked at the EWG site, though, they had no references on their FAQ page to back up their claims linking the eating of conventional crops to human health problems. (It may be there and I just missed it?) That’s why I asked if you had any such studies. I wasn’t criticizing you. I was asking an honest question. I wasn’t insisting you provide references. I was just asking if you had any. There’s nothing wrong with you expressing an opinion. I was just wondering if you had more than an opinion.

          I’m sorry you feel that I don’t understand your point and that my post came off as criticism. I hope you understand that reasonable people can understand each other’s points, but still disagree with each other. I agree that the real environmental problems due to conventional crops (and the eventual consequences on human health resulting from environmental issues) need to be addressed by society. But my opinion is that the scope of *this* site is to point out those studies which are relevant in showing direct links between consumption of food to human health. Environmental and other ethical topics are generally outside the scope of this site. This has nothing to do with missing grand opportunities nor shying away from controversy. That’s just my opinion. I understand that you feel differently.

      2. thea, I think the reason why Dr. Greger’s topics and writing fails to include so much of the cutting edge of outside science is that he (apparently) feels too comfortable referring to the cutting edge of conventional medical research publication platforms. Professional ostracization is rampant and ruthless in American medicine and health care for the conventionally trained M.D., and Dr. Greger is trying to survive like everyone else. But by sticking too much with the mainstream research platforms, will automatically restrict subjects to non-controversial outcomes (to stay too cozy with industry). Whatever stories he has put together about ways the food industry hurts us, that story idea was already covered in alternative news often years ago, and he misses (such as this raisin story and failing to incorporate EWG’s findings into all his writing) the most important contributions he could make to mainstream America, which are researched and published via the non-mainstream self-healthcare platforms. How do I dare to say this? Because I am also constantly reading a dozen other “nutrition facts” type of websites, newsletters, AP-platform stories, and they also cite their sources, and I have never seen Dr. Greger draws from these truly cutting edge research opportunities until the story hits mainstream research facilities, year(s) later. By that time, it has been re-hashed, abused, discredited, and “un-proven” (such as the pesticide-autism connection) by multiple industry financial empires or the story is now simply old news, and there is already a product on mainstream retail food shelves! Dr. Greger needs to take a look at just what his niche is in – if his goal is to speak to the mostly conservative, risk-aversive doctor who will read and thank him for helping with today’s story because of his avalanche of reading material (that all doctors are confronted with — Continuining Education service for mainstream doctors), or if he wants to really serve the public interest and choose to collaborate and cooperate with the many other food and nutrition researchers and writers who are doing the next generation of Food Education that I thought nutritionfacts.org started out to be. We are at the precipice and Dr. Greger is failing to understand the magnitude of the problem, and clearly reflects an intellectual bias in favor of mainstream science. Far too much of his work and topics have degenerated into academic nit-picking on lower level topics which are presented with more effort put into the clever language than the original thought of what the average non-scientific American needs him to process. I say this because so many other Health Advocacy Writers, with much less education, are doing a far better job weeding through the noise and putting together original science-based stories on the most relevant topics to the average non-medical person. They are also not spending so much time pouring over the conventional medical publications. The cognitive bias is a non-issue if Dr. Greger’s target audience is his peers.

      3. Very well, and kindly put, Thea! Rants are not useful in general, but you have a gentle-yet effective way of asking for evidence backing up such global statements.Thus even rants can be triggers (int the right hands) for new learning including helping people learn to ask themselves what evidence backs up their own opinions and those of others. This can liberate us all.

        It would be so nice if we could have a site that expresses, curiosity, explanation, requests for clarity and information on even tangential topics without the anger and fervor that diet issues often give rise to. Thank you for helping to keep this site so very informative and interesting.

  10. Pointing out ill-conceived and misleading studies seems to be a mainstay of your research. I think this is exceptionally valuable work because it alerts even the less informed how studies can be used to support any argument provided the study is designed to do so. The media seems especially gullible and often use well published studies as real news items, without doing any research at all. You on the other hand and in direct contrast put in the work to make sense of often technically complex issues. You have my continued admiration for offering up honest information which really is intended to help us make good choices.

  11. You are a devious man Dr. Greger, suggesting parents manipulate kids appetites while they are kept none the wiser!
    Thanks for the laugh! :)

  12. NF Team, please enforce the “Common Etiquette” rule. Rants and personal attacks are offensive. I can see this discussion devolving into a contest of who gets in the last word.

    1. I have not in my life seen better and more respectful moderation, towards differences in opinion or level of informedness ever anywhere.
      From hyper focused experts to high school drop outs, if you want to voice concern or have any question or any statement at all it seems you can post it.

      How despite of that they maintain a respectful environment seemingly without scrapping comments left and right is a bit of a mystery to me.
      As someone who habitually gets into trouble with censors, fallout of my pathological incapability of keeping my trap shut, I can’t say I’ve been limited much here at all. And I have been highly critical on a lot of things on this site, I assure you! Still never been gagged that I am aware of.

      With disqus moderation on this site I cannot seriously find any fault at all, quite the reverse I think the people responsible for this are doing a exceptionally good job. And they deserve credit because of it.

  13. Off topic: We just visited a wonderful video on preventing macular degeneration and tried to follow a link to “alternative healthy eating index” of which we had not previously known. The link did not work. Does anyone know about this index? Thank you!

  14. Dr, Greger has recommended golden raisins, dried apples, and dried pomegrantes seeds. He said he eats the first two of the three daily as a snack when on the go. One snack box a month of raisins can help pregnant women, according to this site. He also recommends garlic and nori sheets to pregnant women. The March of Dimes recommends beans or folate or folic acid supplements, such as from oranges. This site says to eat one cup of berries a day, as does “Superfoods Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life” by Steven Pratt and Kathy Matthews and that can include some raisins. Did you know that dried apples may be very cancer preventative? I am very interested in the brain healthy diet and have collected some links for long health
    Web MD Brain Healthy Diet:
    http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/eat-smart-healthier-brain
    Dr. Oz Longevity Prescription:
    http://www.doctoroz.com/article/dr-oz-longevity-prescription
    “Superfoods Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life” by Steven Pratt and Kathy Matthews
    http://www.superfoodsrx.com/products/superfoodsrx-books/superfoods-rx.html

    These resources all gave some common advice. Did you know that the diet of prisoners and prisoners of war is supposed to be something that would make them live longer? It seems to be a by law of the U.S. Constitution. No one knows what they would use for such food. You using resources such as these and this site, could come up with that diet. Sometimes they feed prisoners nothing not knowing what that diet would be. That’s worse! I think some common elements include beans, nuts, whole grains, tea, chocolate, berries, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables.

  15. Okay, odd question here. Does anyone know how our prehistoric ancestors teeth fared? (Before the invention of tooth-brushing?) I realize they showed more wear from the tougher plant fibers and perhaps didn’t always have the ultimate in nutrition or the longest of life spans, but here’s what got me curious. I’ve noticed after 50 something years of being exposed to and owned by pets, mostly cats, that periodontal disease is not, unfortunately, a rarity in them either, though they seem to lose teeth rather than suffer cavities. When I lived in the city, the feral cats who scavenged human leftovers looked mangy and had horrible teeth…though I don’t make a habit of prying open feral cat jaws, the missing teeth and abscesses are painfully obvious! Yet, in the woods beyond the rural area I now live in, where the cats hunt and feed themselves, all the cats, even the older ones we’ve trapped to spay and re-release, seem to have remarkably sound choppers! They even look healthier than the “city” cats, maybe slimmer, but with clean shiny coats. Though I love them all, the braver ones that come to homes to be fed by domesticated humans maybe should run the other way! Why does it seem that the more “domesticated” a species becomes, the sicker it gets?

      1. Coacervate: re: “I think it was Barnard who pointed out that 3 species of animals commonly get type 2 diabetes…”
        Dr. Lisle (in his talk How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind) says that there are only three animals on the planet who are overweight for our species – yep same 3.

      2. Thanks Coacervate, interesting article in that it also helped answer my question by stating: “This individual was unusual because ancient humans rarely showed such significant dental decay, probably because human diets were generally low in sugar until the beginnings of agriculture about 10,000 years ago.”

        I found the article following it interesting also, about the woman who died from a painful condition of being “Poisoned” by Vitamin A. They said she consumed too many carnivorous animal livers! (Another plug for veganism… or that carnivores will get you one way or another? LOL)
        Your comment about the 3 species also applies to other diseases including obesity, heart disease, skin, respiratory, digestive and psychiatric disorders, etc.. I reiterate… domestication comes with it’s perks, but good health isn’t necessarily one of them! Obviously, that doesn’t have to be true though, quite the opposite! That’s what this site is about! Thanks doc!

        1. If you take that a bit further, as self-domesticated animals, the “newly affluent” humans SHOULD be expected to go through a phase in their continuing evolution when they suffer from these metabolic life-style diseases. It is only natural that they fall into the pleasure trap as they reward themselves, minimize energy burn and avoid pain. Then after a few generations they start to smarten up. Those big fat cerebrums slowly start to twitch and they impose intelligence upon their self-satisfied emotional reptile brains. I am sure a day will come when historians explain the sad story of the “era of the Flesh Eaters” to a revolted and disgusted public. O! happy day.

          Meanwhile my assignment on this most unbright cinder continues ;)

  16. My sister-in-law is a teacher at a rural elementary school in central California, the area mentioned in the video. Apparently to relieve parents of the burden of actually having to feed their children, all the kids are given breakfast and lunch. As in most well-intentioned government programs, waste is rampant. Whatever is not eaten, or in essence ignored, must be thrown away and this consists mainly of the fruits and vegetables. My sister-in-law, who started out in life as a migrant farm worker, hates to see such waste so she occasionally breaks the rules and brings some of the food home. As a result I have lots of little boxes of raisins.

    1. I think many of us share your sister-in-law’s concern. Food waste is a huge issue in this country and worldwide. It is especially troubling because we “subsidize” so much of the food that ends up in the trash. To save your sister in law some trouble down the road, have her contact her school district to inquire about connecting with a local food bank to come and pick up their leftover food. Most food banks will gladly pick leftovers (packaged and unpackaged) items from schools. There is zero liability thanks to the “Good Samaritan Food Donation Act” and how the food banks operate. Also, have her check out this “video” to get some ideas on how to get kids to eat healthier foods with less waste. :-)

  17. I eat Sun-Maid California raisins, but sometimes held back by the of thought of pesticides esp. the time after watching “How raisins are made” video on youtube. They immediately left the grapes in the field to dry during harvesting. I thought they’d wash them first

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