Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The 10 Dirtiest Foods You Are Eating

Dirty Food = Getting Sick. Hard to have a well protected food supply without regulating it into the dirt (no pun intended). Aside from existing regulations and controls believes that the market will go along way in regulating itself, even in the supplement market. Government regulation, intending to regulate behavior to make the public safer, often degrades personal freedoms….plus drives costs up. Let the buyer beware to a certain extent. The consumer has to have some responsibility over what they buy and consume. One of the ways to become a better and safer consumer is to arm yourself with knowledge. We found this article on Dirty Foods from Men’s Health. However, you’ll have to click on the link at the bottom to get to the full story that outlines the specific problems with the ten dirtiest foods.

By Bill Phillips and the Editors of Men's Health, June 21, 2011

I got this email from a colleague the Tuesday after Memorial Day: “Can’t come in today. Stomach bug.”

I’m no detective but—with barbeque season officially starting the day before—a prime suspect immediately jumped to mind: the norovirus, the most common cause of food poisoning in the world.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 200,000 Americans contract food poisoning every day. But Philip Tierno, Ph.D., a microbiologist at New York University medical center and author of The Secret Life of Germs, believes the actual number is closer to 800,000.

And in 4 of 5 of food poisoning cases, the attack happens at home—right (on the plate) under your nose.

"Everyone in this country will have at least one incident of sickness this year attributable to a foodborne virus, bacteria, or toxin," Tierno told Men’s Health. Except that most of us won't know what hit us. Like my colleague, we'll chalk up the usually mild symptoms—nausea, diarrhea, cramping—to a stomach bug that's going around.

We asked Men's Health contributor Jim Gorman to help us identify the 10 dirtiest foods we put on our plates. His report is shocking, in that it reads like the average American’s grocery list. Read on for the dirt about your favorite foods—and how to protect yourself at the supermarket and your dinner table.

Chicken, Ground Beef, Ground Turkey, Eggs, Oysters, Cantelope, Peaches, Lettuce, Cold Cuts, Scallions

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Monday, June 27, 2011

No Excuse Not To Walk!

Physical activity or exercise conjures up visions of having to drive to a gym and sweat among a lot of fit toned bodies and this is enough to intimidate most people. However, physical activity, a necessity for overall health along with eating good,taking high quality supplements and avoiding toxins, does not have to be gym work or even road work.

Walking is a good, safe, easy on the joints alternative. You can vary your speeds - fartlek walking - to vary the degree of difficulty. Real Age recently published an on-line article about walking and interestingly enough, made it easy to understand.

Real Age Article:

Can't squeeze in a daily walk? You may not have to. In their recently updated book, YOU: The Owner's Manual, RealAge experts Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD, say that a mere 20 minutes of moderately intense exercise 3 days a week may be all you need to help lower lousy (LDL) cholesterol, raise healthy (HDL) cholesterol, and knock blood pressure down a few points. Those 20-minute sessions will strengthen your heart muscle and help you lose weight, too.

Your inner voice may cheerlead you into thinking longer walks equal more pounds lost, but research shows it may not be so.

Long walks may be best for someone more fit, but shorter strolls -- about 30 minutes 5 days a week -- could be all you need in the first 3 months of a walking program to achieve the weight-loss benefit you seek. Once you're feeling stronger, and the walking is easier, add minutes and intensity to reach your next goal. That'll give your inner voice something to cheer about.

In a 12-week study of significantly overweight women, those who walked for 30 minutes 5 days per week lost weight at a rate similar to that of women who walked for 60 minutes 5 days per week. Researchers speculate that greater health benefits from longer walks probably start to kick in after 12 weeks. Your weight and fitness level will likely determine how your body responds to exercise programs of varying degrees of intensity and duration.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Diet and Exercise Myths

10 diet and exercise myths that pack on pounds, by The Editors of Prevention, on Jun 15, 2011 which I found to be a good article about common myths which are surprisingly still believed in by many people in this day and age of enlightenment.

Believing popular misconceptions can keep you from taking the right course of action to reach your goals, says Julia Valentour, MS, program coordinator and media spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. Blaming a plateau (or a gain) on any of these half-truths will keep you stuck in your rut and derail your motivation. Here, 10 of the most pervasive diet-related rumors and the real scoop on how to hit your goal weight for good.

1. “Strength training will bulk me up.”
First, let’s tackle the myth that a pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat. A pound is a pound is a pound—whether it’s made up of muscle or fat. That said, muscle is denser than fat and takes up less room, so two women who weigh the same can look much different if one has a higher ratio of lean muscle mass to fat, says Valentour. “Muscle weight is a good weight because you look firmer, smaller, and more fit. It’s also more metabolically active, so just having more muscle will
boost metabolism throughout the day to help keep you leaner.”

It’s important to incorporate strength training into your routine so you burn calories at an optimal rate all day long—and using heavier weights could help maximize your efforts. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that working out with heavy weights even for as few as 3 to 6 repetitions increased exercisers’ sleeping metabolic rate—the number of calories burned overnight—by nearly 8%. That’s enough to lose about 5 pounds in a year, even if you did nothing else!

2. “I exercise every day, so I can eat whatever I want.”
The sad truth: Even if you work out religiously, going to yoga several times a week and sweating it out in Spinning, it’s not a license to eat as much as you want and still expect to lose weight. This may seem obvious, but the desire to reward a workout well done is natural; after all, you endured those endless vinyasas—you deserve an extra slice of pizza (or three), right? Not if you’re trying to lose weight.

“You can outeat your workout,” says Valentour. Even though you burn calories and fat when you exercise, it’s often not as much as you think—or what the readout on the treadmill tells you. Valentour recommends eating 250 fewer calories per day and aiming to burn an extra 250 calories a day; that creates enough of a calorie deficit to achieve an average weight loss of a pound a week.

3. “It’s harder for women to lose weight than for men.”
Okay, this one has some basis. Biologically, men are built with more lean muscle mass (the compact, tight muscles that keep metabolism humming) than women are — meaning his metabolism is working at a 5 to 10% higher rate (even if he’s the same height and weight as you) when you’re lying on the couch together. Annoying, isn’t it?

Another biological challenge women face is that we generally have more body fat than men do, and our bodies are more inclined to store it. On top of that, women lose about 1/2 pound of calorie-burning muscle mass a year during perimenopause and sometimes a pound a year during menopause. With the deck stacked against you, why bother trying to fit back in your skinny jeans?

You can do something about these problems, but it’s going to take some work—and sweat. Add strength training to your fitness routine at least twice a week to shed fat and build lean muscle mass that will fire up your resting metabolism.

4. “All calories are equal, so it doesn’t matter what I eat.”
Ever since you learned what a calorie is, you’ve been told that they’re all alike: Whether you eat 500 calories’ worth of celery stalks or crème brûlée, your body will burn or store them equally, right? Wrong! New science shows that when it comes to weight loss, calories are nowhere near alike.

Some foods take more work to eat—and therefore burn more calories while you’re digesting them. Just the act of chewing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean cuts of meat can increase your calorie burn by up to 30%! And then your stomach and intestines do their jobs. In a Japanese study, researchers found that women who ate the foods that required the most work had significantly slimmer waistlines than those who ate the softest, easiest-to-eat foods. The fiber and protein in such foods take so much effort to digest that your body ’doesn’t absorb some of their calories.

5. “Eating fat will make me fat.”
Fat-free products are so-o-o over. There’s nothing special about fat that packs on pounds: Getting enough fat in your diet—the Institute of Medicine recommends that it make up 20 to 35% of calories—is essential for good health, but the type of fat matters.

Monounsaturated fats—MUFAs (pronounced MOO-fahs), for short—come from the healthy oils found in plant foods such as olives, nuts, and avocados. A report published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a MUFA-rich diet helped people lose small amounts of weight and body fat without changing their calorie intakes. Another report found that a breakfast high in MUFAs could boost calorie burn for 5 hours after the meal, particularly in people with higher amounts of belly fat.

6. “Eating at night will make me gain weight.”
Cutting out nighttime snacking is a popular weight loss strategy because it feels logical—eat less when you’re less active. But this topic has been debated for years, and even recently, a study in the April 2011 journal Obesity suggested that eating after 8 pm may increase the risk of obesity, but there aren’t clear-cut reasons why. It’s mainly how much you eat—not when you eat—each day that affects weight gain. Many people eat at night out of boredom or other emotions instead of hunger, and they wind up consuming more calories than they need for the day — calories that are then stored as fat. Also, people who eat at night may wake up without an appetite and skip breakfast, the meal that helps control calorie intake throughout the day.

7. “Drinking a ton of water will help me drop pounds.”
Stop hogging the office watercooler (and running to the loo). It’s possible that drinking water can aid weight loss efforts, but it won’t automatically make you lose weight if you’re not changing any other habits. A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study found that people who regularly drink water eat nearly 200 fewer calories daily than those who consume only coffee, tea, or soda. And if you sip water instead of sugary drinks, the calories you’ve saved will help shed pounds.

Drinking ice-cold water can help you burn more calories too. German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day raised resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily—possibly because of the work it takes to warm the fluid up to body temperature. It’s up to you to decide whether 50 calories is worth guzzling ice water—or whether it would be easier just to take the stairs.

8. “Becoming a vegetarian will help me drop a size.”
Eliminating meat from your diet can result in great health benefits, but if you don’t follow a vegetarian diet properly, you could accidentally pack on pounds.

Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet, explains common vegetarian beginners’ mistakes that may cause weight gain. Vegetarian “types” to avoid becoming:

* Cheese-aholic vegetarians: They cut out meat from their diets and turn to cheese as a protein source. But cheese is a high-calorie, high-fat food and should be eaten in moderation.
* Faux-meat fixators: All they eat is boxes of frozen faux meats, such as soy chicken nuggets, vegetarian sausage links, and veggie bacon strips. These products are okay once in a while, but they are heavily processed and can have a lot of sodium, resulting in bloating and water retention.
* No-veggie vegetarians: A lot of vegetarians don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. They eat only grains, beans and veggie burgers, all of which can be high in calories.
* Same-meal-minus-the-meat vegetarians: These people eat the same meals they did before, but without the meat. If they’re not replacing the protein, they’ll probably have a ferocious appetite and may be missing out on essential nutrients.
* “Vegetarian” food label fans: These people find any recipe or packaging that contains the word “vegetarian” or “meatless” and then overeat that food. They often wind up taking in too much junk food. Be aware that the word “vegetarian” is not synonymous with “healthy” or “low calorie.”

9. “Subbing diet soda and diet foods is a smart way to lose.”
Chugging cans of diet soda and eating prepackaged diet foods may seem like a no-brainer way to trick your body into pound-shedding mode because they have few or no calories—but it’s not going to give you lasting results.

Diet soda may increase your risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms that includes high levels of belly fat, blood sugar, and cholesterol. People who consumed just one diet soda daily had a 34% higher risk of the syndrome than those who abstained, according to a University of Minnesota study of nearly 10,000 adults ages 45 to 64.

10. “Weight gain and belly fat are unavoidable after 40.”
Let’s be honest here: You’re not going to wake up on your 40th birthday with a gut and 10 extra pounds on your frame. It does get harder to lose weight as we age, but you can put some healthy habits into practice now to maintain your weight—or even lose—as the years pass by.

The years leading up to menopause, known as perimenopause, are prime time for weight gain: On average, women put on a pound a year, mostly around the waist, according to the Mayo Clinic. Out-of-whack hormones and a slowing metabolism are a couple of the weight gain culprits. But reaching menopause doesn’t have to mean getting plumper. Studies show that the more you work out, the slimmer you’ll be, even during this transition time. Keep your diet in check and you’ll boost your results.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Calcium Deficiencies linked to Joint Problems?

On Calcium deficiency. Joint and Health discussions almost always seem to crop up, the office water cooler,....across your property fence with the neighbor,...can't seem to get away from it. But their are a lot of mis-perceptions about nutrients and in particular, nutrients for joint health. Calcium is seemingly one of the nutrients that people misjudge. “Do I need to take Calcium?" "Don't I get enough from the foods I eat?" "Is Calcium deficiency part of my joint pain problem?” The short answers are: "Yes,...No,...and, Maybe."

As far as I can tell, and even with a list of 385 published studies on Calcium supplementation, Calcium or lack of it does not necessarily cause or reduce specific joint but Calcium’s effects on bone strength is indisputable. And using effect reasoning one would think that strong bones, especially at or near the joints and where connective tissue are located, would be necessary for the joints to work and articulate properly.

I have really never though about it until now. I take pharmaceutical grade Calcium supplements. I have had my daughter on them since she was 11 years old when I found out then that girls can have a calcium deficiency that affects overall growth as young as 9 or 10 years old.

So Calcium deficiencies and their well defined link to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are not just a supplement necessary for older people.

By the way, Calcium should be be taken with the correct amounts of other nutrients in order to effect synergism between all the nutrients. Daily, I take: 1,070 mg of Calcium; 2,200 mgs of Vitamin D3; 120 micrograms of Vitamin K; 700 mg of Magnesium; 4.32 micrograms of Boron and 4 mgs of Silicon.....just from my supplements.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

DMSO – Good for Inflammation or Sore Joints?

Is DMSO good for sore joints? That was the question I received from William who wrote “My friend told me to rub DMSO on my knees and elbows to help with the soreness and pain after grappling sessions. What do you think? Another guy told me that he would never use it.”

DMSO, or dimethyl sulfoxide, is derived from wood pulp and is used as an industrial solvent. It has been used for medical purposes for almost half a century. I have used DMSO on my back and my elbows as well as DMSO is a topical analgesic. I also use it on horses when I combine the DMSO with other products as the DMSO acts as a delivery agent, penetrating the skin and taking the other substances with it. Hence if you do use it you should be sure the area is clean and free of residue like soap and stuff.

You found out that people either hate it or like it. I just think it has it’s uses, but you have to be careful. I would apply it wearing a good set of gloves. Once the DMSO is on the skin, you’ll receive a garlic like taste in your mouth within minutes. I have used DMSO in a paste/cream form as well as a roll on product.

The jury is still out on the long term effects of DMSO on humans, and while there is some studies on DMSO being used to cure some actual injuries or illnesses, probably due to it’s fantastic anti-oxidant properties, for joint pain and arthritic conditions it, at best, relieves symptoms. You still be faced with the causes of your joint pain, which can be greatly influenced by lack of nutrients as well as types of exercise or stress you place on them. Please also look into providing your body with the proper nutrients in order to provide protection against the effects of oxidative stress.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nutritional Supplement Comparisons received this question through the website: “I remember reading months ago that you were talking about a comparison guide for vitamins and supplements. Can you mention this source again? Lori M.”

You must be talking about the “Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements” by Lyle MacWilliam. There are two different editions in current use, 3rd edition and 4th edition (the picture above is the 4th edition). In 1998, author, educator and biochemist, Lyle MacWilliam, began a search for a vitamin and mineral supplement for his family. A year later, the first Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements was produced, and again this guide is only on multi-vitamin, multi-mineral products and not separate single products.

The basis for the comparison was a “blended standard” based on 18 criteria:

1. Completeness

2. Potency

3. Mineral Forms

4. Bioactivity of Vitamin E

5. Gamma Tocopherol

6. Antioxidant Support

7. Bone Health

8. Heart Health

9. Liver Health (detoxification)

10. Metabolic Health (glucose control)

11. Ocular Health

12. Methylation Support

13. Lipotropic Factors

14. Inflammation Control

15. Glycation Control

16. Bioflavonoid Profile

17. Phenolic Compounds Profile

18. Potential Toxicities

You can read in detail how the factors analyzed for each criteria at this page here:

From these 18 criteria, a Final Product Rating, based on a five-star scale, is determined. A five-star rating highlights those products whose characteristics for optimal nutrition are clearly superior to the majority of products on the market and that approach or meet the pooled recommendations of the Blended Standard. Conversely, a one-star rating or less represents products possessing few, if any, of the characteristics for optimal nutrition reflected in the Blended Standard. Lyle MacWilliam believes that this five-star scale, divisible in half-star increments, provides an intuitive means by which the consumer can compare products, based on product content.

In the 4th edition of the NutriSearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, the rating schema in our comparison covers over 1600 nutritional products available in Canada and the United States. The guide is available through this web site, through the NutriSearch website, or through directly through

Note: The 3rd Edition, uses a numerical score from 0.0 to 100.0. The highest rated product received a score of 96.1 and you would be surprised at what and how many well known and commonly available products receive dismal scores, some under 15.0!

The concerned consumer would be well advised to procure a copy of this resource and see what the score the products they are using attained. Another source would be the Physicians Desk Reference. I would not take anything,....anything that is not manufactured under pharmaceutical grade standards. Let the buyer beware.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

What do You Say to a Supplement Heritic?

More on Nurse Jill the Supplement Heritic. I received the following comment and question: "I just loved your article on the Nurse Jill who refused to believe that supplements can help her with her health. I have a whole city full of relatives who are sick all the time and just cannot connect the dots between their being sick and their lifestyle,...what they eat, lack of supplements, no physical exercise. I can understand the lack of time or inclination to work out or even walk in the evenings, but jeez they are dying at a much faster rate than me! What do you say to people who won't even consider taking vitamins. My Brother-in-Law won't even try to Glucosamine I bought for him and he had to give up golf because his knees hurt so much. Lisa."

Lisa, I think talking to relatives (and that would include best friends) is different than just talking to occasional friends as the former implies more freedom to say what you want. Second of all, I don't try to talk anyone into taking nutritional supplements or to change their lifestyles. I have learned that even small change is just too uncomfortable for some (maybe most?) people.

However, I do talk to people when they open the door. For instance, how many times have you talked to someone and they complain about their health or lack or energy or being sick all the time? Happens alot of me,...maybe because of my age group,...but anyway I'll say something like "I know how you feel,...I used to feel like that quite a bit, until I found the amazing health benefits of pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements,...and combining that with other healthy choices,...well, it has changed my life."

You will be able to tell who is interested, or what I like to say is: those whose want for a better life is stronger than their dislike of change.

Occasionally, I be talking to someone about nutritional products and they will say, "Those are expensive", and I'll reply "Compared to what", and let them answer. If they don't answer then I'll say "Compared to a meal in a restaurant? If you eat out once a month less than you do now, then these are easily affordable." Sometimes I'll just say "Expensive compared to Doctor's bills? What do you think your health is worth anyway?" I take less than $100 of products a month. If I could only afford half that, then I would spending $50 a month on supplements.

Sometimes I tell people that I have not been sick in over six years. They say "You must be lucky",...I reply.."Lucky to have enough common sense to take the highst quality supplements available, eat as well as I can, and get some physical exercise.....yeah, I guess you can call me lucky."

And invariably, you will have people who just don't get it and I'll usually close the discussion with something like "Keep doing what your doing if it is working for you." And those people are the epitome of the saying "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.".....or you have a better chance of being eaten by Donkey's then getting healthier by doing nothing.

Good luck to you on your relatives. Even if you can get them to make minor changes in their unhealthy lives they will be better off for it.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Does Coffee or High Amounts of Caffeine Affect Joint Pain?

E-mail from Angela: "Hey like your site. I too believe that there is much we can do nutritionally to better our overall health and keep doctor visits to a minimum. I am addicted to Starbucks, but one of my friends told me that my existing knee pain would get worse the more caffeine I drink. Is this true?"

Angela, most believe that Caffeine in moderate amounts is not harmful and may even be beneficial to you. The Caffeine jolt you and I are so fond of of, kinda perks up the bodies nervous system and can provide temporary relief from general fatigue. Excessive caffeine, however, has been blamed for many health issues, including joint pain.

Too much caffeine can cause sleeplessness (insomnia), stomach distresses, and, rapid (and sometimes) irregular heartbeat. Some think that muscle tremors can be caused by excessive caffeine and supposedly muscle tremors can put stress on the joints and can cause pain.

Caffeine is also thought to possibly weaken bone massive and therefore cause joint pain.

Aside from not being able to sleep, some people report restless leg syndrome from drinking caffeine. And hold on to your hats,.... this is worse when you drink coffee or other caffeine products just a few hours before bed time. How Bat Guano, Batman, you think?

However, I am an avid coffee drinker. I'm sure that one of my cups is the equivalent to several of yours in caffeine content. A double red eye (coffee with two shots of expresso) from Starbucks is my normal drink when I am on the road and can't make my own. My knee pain from years of over use in the military and other endeavors is greatly diminished to the point where I only rarely even get a twinge. I believe this is from the pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine and nutritional supplements I take daily. Based on the amount of coffee-caffeine I consume, I would think that if caffeine is bad for joints then I would know about it.

However, everyone is different. There is a study from Science Daily, March 30, 2009 showing that caffeine may help one in exercise or other physical activities.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Eating Right - 15 Biggest Food Myths

We have been saying that the "Chair of Health" has four legs: Eating Good, low glycemic foods and avoiding bad foods; taking high quality pharmaceutical grade supplements; getting some moderate physical activity; and, avoiding toxins and toxic environments.

You are not going to get even close to the nutrients your body needs with today's foods. If you add in today's hectic lifestyle, it makes it even harder. Without the proper nutrients your body's immune system has no chance to fight off the ravages of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes inflammation which can result in many forms. For some, like me it was increased knee joint pain and back problems. Others could be heart disease, diabetes type II and a host of other degenerative diseases.

Anyway, back to eating right and avoiding bad foods,.....this article was recently published on Yahoo! and contains some decent information concerning food myths.

15 Biggest Nutrition Myths
By David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding
May 20, 2011

The supermarket is rife with less-than-accurate reporting, and not just in the checkout-lane newspaper racks. Walk the aisles scanning food labels and you'll see the fallout from millions of lobbying and advertising dollars spent to posit faulty claims about health and nutrition. You'll find row upon endless row of foods that promise—explicitly or not—to improve your life, flatten your belly, and make you a happier person. The fact is, many of these foods do just the opposite. Learn how to separate fact from fiction and you might finally shed the habits that are silently sabotaging your chances of losing weight. But I must warn you: The truth can hurt.

MYTH #1: High fructose corn syrup is worse than table sugar
Whether or not added sugar is bad for you has never been in dispute. The less sugar you eat, the better. But whether HFCS is worse than plain ol' table sugar has long been a contentious issue. Here’s what you need to know: Both HFCS and table sugar, or sucrose, are built with roughly a 50-50 blend of two sugars, fructose, and glucose. That means in all likelihood that your body can’t tell one from the other—they’re both just sugar. HFCS’s real sin is that it’s supercheap, and as a result, it’s added to everything from cereal to ketchup to salad dressing. Plus it may be affecting your health in ways not yet fully understood by the scientific community. Is it a good idea to minimize the HFCS in your diet? Absolutely. It’s best to cut out all unnecessary sugars. But HFCS’s role as nutritional enemy #1 has been exaggerated.

MYTH #2: Sea salt is a healthier version of regular salt
Everyday table salt comes from a mine and contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon. Sea salt comes from evaporated seawater, and it also contains roughly 2,300 milligrams of sodium. That makes them, well, roughly identical. Advocates point to the fact that sea salt also contains other compounds like magnesium and iron, but in truth, these minerals exist in trace amounts. To obtain a meaningful dose, you’d have to take in extremely high and potentially dangerous levels of sodium. What’s more, traditional table salt is regularly fortified with iodine, which plays an important role in regulating the hormones in your body. Sea salt, on the other hand, gives you virtually zero iodine. The bottom line is this: If switching from table salt to sea salt causes you to consume even one extra granule, then you’ve just completely snuffed out whatever elusive health boon you hope to receive. Plus you’ve wasted a few bucks.

MYTH #3: Energy drinks are less harmful than soda
Energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Full Throttle attempt to boost your energy with a cache of B vitamins, herbal extracts, and amino acids. But what your body’s going to remember most (especially around your waistline) is the sugar in these concoctions; a 16-ounce can delivers as much as 280 calories of pure sugar, which is about 80 calories more than you’d find in a 16-ounce cup of Pepsi. What’s more, a University of Maryland study found energy drinks to be 11 percent more corrosive to your teeth than regular soda. So here’s the secret that energy drink companies don’t want you to know: The only proven, significant energy boost comes from caffeine. If you want an energy boost, save yourself the sugar spike and drink a cup of coffee.

MYTH #4: Diet soda is harmless
The obesity-research community is becoming increasingly aware that the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda—aspartame and sucralose, for instance—lead to hard-to-control food urges later in the day. One Purdue study discovered that rats took in more calories if they'd been fed artificial sweeteners prior to mealtime, and a University of Texas study found that people who consume just three diet sodas per week were more than 40 percent more likely to be obese. Try weaning yourself off by switching to carbonated water and flavoring with lemon, cucumber, and fresh herbs.

MYTH #5: Low-fat foods are better for you
As it applies to food marketing, the term “low fat” is synonymous with “loaded with salt and cheap carbohydrates.” For instance, look at Smucker’s Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. To replace the fat it skimmed out, Smucker’s added a fast-digesting carbohydrate called maltodextrin. That’s not going to help you lose weight. A 2008 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that over a 2-year span, people on low-carb diets lost 62 percent more body weight than those trying to cut fat. (Plus, the fat in peanut butter is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat—you’d be better off eating more of it, not less!)

MYTH #6: “Trans-fat free” foods are actually trans-fat free
The FDA’s guidelines allow companies to claim 0 grams of trans fat—even broadcast it on the front of their packages—as long as the food in question contains no more than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. But here’s the deal: Due to an inextricable link to heart disease, the World Health Organization advises people to keep trans fat intake as low as possible, maxing out at about 1 gram per 2,000 calories consumed. If your cupboard’s full of foods with almost half a gram per serving, you might be blowing past that number every single day. The American Journal of Health Promotion recently published an article urging the FDA to rethink its lax regulations, but until that happens, you should avoid all foods with “partially hydrogenated oil” (meaning, trans fats) on their ingredients statements.

MYTH #7: Foods labeled “natural” are healthier
The FDA makes no serious effort to control the use of the word "natural" on nutrition labels. Case in point: 7UP boasts that it’s made with “100% Natural Flavors” when, in fact, the soda is sweetened with a decidedly un-natural dose of high fructose corn syrup. “Corn” is natural, but “high fructose corn syrup” is produced using a centrifuge and a series of chemical reactions. Other "natural" abusers include Natural Cheetos, which are made with maltodextrin and disodium phosphate, and “natural advantage” Post Raisin Bran, which bathes its raisins in both sugar and corn syrup. The worst part is, you're likely paying a premium price for common junk food.

MYTH #8: Egg yolks raise your cholesterol
Egg yolks contain dietary cholesterol; this much is true. But research has proven that dietary cholesterol has almost nothing to do with serum cholesterol, the stuff in your blood. Wake Forest University researchers reviewed more than 30 egg studies and found no link between egg consumption and heart disease, and a study in Saint Louis found that eating eggs for breakfast could decrease your calorie intake for the remainder of the day.

MYTH #9: Eating junk food helps battle stress
You’ve been there: Stressed out and sprawled across your sofa with one arm elbow deep in a bag of cheese puffs. In the moment, it can be comforting, but a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that people who consumed the most highly processed foods were 58 percent more likely to be depressed than those who ate the least. Your move: Find a healthy stress snack. Peanut butter and Triscuits do the trick, or check out the next myth …

MYTH #10: Chocolate is bad for you
Cocoa is a plant-based food replete with flavonoids that increase blood flow and release feel-good endorphins. Plus, it contains a healthy kind of saturated fat called stearic acid, which research has shown can increase your good HDL cholesterol. But here’s the rub: When most people think of chocolate, their minds jump immediately to milk chocolate, which contains far more sugar than actual cocoa. Instead, look for dark chocolate, specifically those versions that tell you exactly how much cocoa they contain. A bar with 60% cocoa is good, but the more cocoa it contains, the greater the health effects.

Myth #11: Granola is good for you
Oats are good for you, and the same goes for oatmeal. But granola takes those good-for-you hunks of flattened oat, blankets them in sugar, and bakes them in oil to give them crunch. The amount of fat and sugar added to each oat is at the discretion of food processors, but you can bet your last cup of milk it’s going to far sweeter and more fatty than a bowl of regular cereal. Take this example: A single cup of Quaker Natural Granola, Nuts & Raisins has 420 calories, 30 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of fat. Switch to a humble cup of Kix and you drop down about 90 calories, 2.5 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of fat. Or better yet, find your favorite healthy cereal here: The 24 Best and Worst Cereals in America.

MYTH #12: Bananas are the best source of potassium
Your body uses potassium to keep your nerves and muscles firing efficiently, and an adequate intake can blunt sodium’s effect on blood pressure. One 2009 study found that a 2:1 ratio of potassium to sodium could halve your risk of heart disease, and since the average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, your goal should be 6,800 milligrams of daily potassium. You’re extremely unlikely to ever reach that mark—and never with bananas alone. One medium banana has 422 milligrams and 105 calories. Here are the sources that earn you roughly the same amount of potassium in fewer calories:

* Potato, half a medium spud, 80 calories
* Apricots, 5 whole fruit, 80 calories
* Cantaloupe, 1 cup cubes, 55 calories
* Broccoli, 1 full stalk, 50 calories
* Sun-dried tomatoes, a quarter cup, 35 calories

MYTH #13: Oranges are the best source of vitamin C
Far more than a simple immune booster, vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a host of important roles in your body. It strengthens skin by helping to build collagen, improves mood by increasing the flow of norepinephrine, and bolsters metabolic efficiency by helping transport fat cells into the body’s energy-burning mitochondria. But since your body can neither store nor create the wonder vitamin, you need to provide a constant supply. An orange is the most famous vitamin-C food, and although it’s a good source, it’s by no means the best. For 70 calories, one orange gives you about 70 micrograms of vitamin C. Here are five sources with just as much vitamin C and even fewer calories:

* Papaya, ¾ cup, 50 calories
* Brussel’s sprouts, 1 cup, 40 calories
* Strawberries, 7 large fruit, 40 calories
* Broccoli, ½ stalk, 25 calories
* Red Bell Pepper, ½ medium pepper, 20 calories

MYTH #14: Organic is always better
Often, but not in every case. Organic produce is almost nutritionally identical to its conventional counterpart. The issue is pesticide exposure—pesticides have been linked to an increased risk of obesity in some studies. But many conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are very low in pesticides. Take, for example, the conventional onion: It’s got the lowest pesticide load of 45 fruits and vegetables tested by the Environmental Working Group. Also in the safe-to-eat-conventional group are avocados, sweet corn, and pineapple. In general, fruits and vegetables with impermeable skins are safe to buy conventional, while produce like celery, peaches, apples, and blueberries are better purchased organic.

MYTH #15: Meat is bad for you
Pork, beef, and lamb are among the world’s best sources of complete protein, and a Danish study found that dieting with 25 percent of calories from protein can help you lose twice as much weight as dieting with 12 percent protein. Then there’s vitamin B12, which is prevalent only in animal-based foods. B12 is essential to your body’s ability to decode DNA and build red blood cells, and British researchers found that adequate intakes protect against age-related brain shrinkage. Now, if you’re worried that meat will increase your risk for heart disease, don’t be. A Harvard review last year looked at 20 studies and found that meat’s link to heart disease exists only with processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli cuts. Unprocessed meats, those that hadn’t been smoked, cured, or chemically preserved, presented absolutely zero risk.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nurse Jill - the Nutritional Supplement Heretic

I have been talking to a Nurse, we’ll call her Jill, who is experiencing joint pain and Fibromyalgia type symptoms, overall poor health and just general fatigue. It seems to us like Fibromyalgia is a catch all diagnosis for symptoms otherwise unspecified to any other disease or condition. Some of the symptoms include tender points particularly in joints or connective tissue endings; deeper pain that can be radiating or manifest itself as a burning feeling; it could be just general body aches and stiffness usually more so in the mornings; and other common symptoms include greater pain in cold or damp climates.

Okay, back to the Nurse Jill, would expect medical professionals to be better equipped, or mentally prepared, to deal in alternate treatments. However when it comes to Nutritional Medicine or an understanding of how providing your body with the nutrients and optimizers it needs to have the best immune system possible,.....well, medical professionals are often the worst at accepting this.

Hence our inter-action with Jill the Nurse who cannot fathom the fact that what you eat and the nutrients gleaned from your diet can have a vital effect on degenerative disease and conditions like Fibromyalgia. Jill stated “Nutritional supplements, and you are just talking vitamins here, are really unnecessary and are just a waste of money.”

I try not to be in the business of telling people they are wrong,...I think the saying is "love them as they are", but I was leaning forward to respond with something like “…actually I meant Nutritional supplements as in nutrients that you should be getting from food, however it is almost impossible to eat well enough to provide your body with the all the nutrients in their required high doses to ward off oxidative stress and the effects on degenerating disease.”....but I didn’t respond,......some people you just have to respect in their own ignorance.

Someone once said: “Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.” I would think that a reasonable approach would be to try something different,....something with a proven track record like the highest quality nutritional supplementation.

Anyway, we’ll now call people who don’t believe in Nutritional Supplementation, “Supplement Heretics”. Here’s what the dictionary say’s about Heretics:


[n. her-i-tik; adj. her-i-tik, huh-ret-ik]


1. a professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church.

2. Roman Catholic Church . a baptized Roman Catholic who willfully and persistently rejects any article of faith.

3. anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.

Hence a “Supplement Heretic” is someone who does not conform to massive amount of published accounts on how lack of nutrients increase the speed and severity of degenerative disease.

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