Sunday, July 26, 2015

Proposed Dietary Guidelines

Congressional Republicans are pushing back against proposed dietary guidelines that urge Americans to consider the environment when deciding what foods to eat. Article from Yahoo!

House and Senate spending bills approved by subcommittees in each chamber say the guidelines must focus only on nutrition and diet. That's a clear effort to thwart a recommendation by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that eating a diet higher in vegetables and other plant-based foods is better for the environment than eating a diet based on foods from animals.

This advice from a government advisory panel of independent doctors and nutrition experts has raised the ire of the meat industry. The dietary guidelines come out every five years, and the government advice informs everything from school lunches and food package labels to advice from your doctor.

The departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services are expected to issue a final version by year's end based on the advisory committee's February recommendations. While the guidelines always have been subject to intense lobbying by food industries, this year's version has set off unprecedented political debate, fueled by Republicans' claims the Obama administration has gone too far in telling people what to eat.

The advisory panel also suggested a tax on sugary drinks and snacks as one way people could be coaxed into eating better. That idea angered beverage companies and conservatives in Congress. Two spending bills in the House set a new threshold for the science that can be used in setting the guidelines, saying the government only can make recommendations based on the strongest science.

The guidelines panel had used three grades to determine the strength of the science supporting its recommendations:

Grade 1 is strong, Grade 2 is moderate and Grade 3 is limited.

The advisory committee sent a letter to lawmakers Tuesday strongly opposing the legislation. "I don't think public policy should be driven by the economic interests or the lobbyists," panel chairman Barbara Millen said in an interview. "It needs to be driven by science, and good science." Millen said "strong" recommendations are unlikely to change over the years and are much harder to come by with limited research dollars.

The recommendation that a more plant-based diet is better for the environment is based on science rated moderate in the report. The moderate threshold means there's a strong body of scientific evidence to support the recommendation, but it's not as conclusive, Millen said. "Research evolves and we expect it to change," she said. "That doesn't negate the importance of a large body of consistent data that may have limitations of a certain kind."

A spokesman for Rep. Robert Aderholt, the author of one of the House bills, says the language in the legislation was intended to be a threshold, not to benefit one group over another. Aderholt, R-Ala., also has pushed back against healthier school lunch rules, and his bill tries to delay federal menu labeling requirements.

The bill has frustrated groups such as the American Cancer Society, which says the legislation could strip the dietary guidelines of a recommendation that reducing consumption of red meat and processed meats can lower the risk of colon cancer. The cancer society's own guidelines have long urged people to take the same step. "We wouldn't make that recommendation in our own guidelines if we didn't feel that the evidence was convincing," said Gregg Haifley of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Different medical organizations use a variety of definitions for when there's enough evidence to back public health guidelines. However they label it, the common idea is that the preponderance of evidence to date supports the recommendation.

Based on the Grade 1 parameters, the guidelines also may be prevented from making recommendations on physical activity, including advising increased exercise based on its benefits for heart health and other disease prevention. It could also prevent the panel's recommendations on package labeling and health and wellness in the workplace.

A Senate bill overseeing spending for the Health and Human Services Department is more vague, saying the guidelines must be "based only on a preponderance of nutritional and scientific evidence and not extraneous information." The advisory committee should have made "recommendations based on sound nutritional science and not issues they don't have the authority or expertise to consider," said Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, the panel's Republican chairman, after it approved the legislation Tuesday.

MyAchingKnees comment:  Good Lord, just want we need!  More government oversight on food and nutrition.  If they want to do something good, then make GMP labeling and truth in labeling laws to better inform the consumers.  But the bottom line is that consumers just have to take charge of their own health, make it important enough to get educated and know what you are putting in your system.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

8 Foods That Should Have Warning Labels

One of the four legs of optimal health is to simply Eat Well - avoiding the consumption of bad foods and maximize the consumption of good foods. Eat This, Not That! is a great place to start one's education on what are bad foods and what are not. But just because a food is not bad, does not make it a good for you as much of today's good supply lacks the nutrients our bodies need. The trick is not to get over whelmed, nor spend every waking moment analyzing what you are eating. Just use some reasonable care.

Anyway, I continuously look for articles on exposing bad foods, deceptive labeling practices and the like, to post them on this site with my commentary.

San Francisco moved to create warning ads for sugars sodas this week, while New York City is considering a label on high salt meals. But a slew of other foods deserve warning labels, too.

Summer is a season full of excitement, adventure—and warning signs. Don’t Feed the Animals. No Lifeguard on Duty. Must Be This Tall to Ride the Tilt-a-Whirl. But one summer attraction that doesn’t come with a warning label—and should—is your picnic basket.

Two municipalities made big moves to change that this week. In San Francisco, supervisors voted in favor of warning ads for sugary sodas—concerned that those drinks lead to diabetes and obesity—while New York City’s Health Department will propose that all chains add “a salt-shaker-like symbol” in menus, to indicate when dishes have more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, which is the recommended daily limit.

These new rules represent a solid first step toward keeping consumers informed about what they’re eating, and what the implications of eating them may be. But there remain a number of substances being added to our food that probably should carry warning labels, but don’t. The editors of the new Eat This, Not That! magazine identified some of the most worrisome foodstuffs in America (many of them are banned in Europe, Canada and other parts of the globe). Look for these on the label of your food—and consider yourself warned.


Found in: More than 6,000 grocery items, including diet sodas, yogurts, and tabletop sweeteners

Brands That Have it: Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke, Uncle Ben’s Sweet and Sour Light, Wrigleys Orbit gum, Equal

What It Is: A near-zero-calorie artificial sweetener made by combining two amino acids with methanol, aspartame is most commonly used in diet soda, and is 180 times sweeter than sugar.

What You Need to Know: Over the past 30 years, the FDA has received thousands of consumer complaints due mostly to neurological symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and, in rare cases, epileptic seizures. Many studies have shown aspartame to be completely harmless, while others indicate that the additive might be responsible for a range of cancers. Until we know for sure, Eat This, Not That! recommends avoiding the additive.


Found in: Thousands of highly processed foods such as cereals, beverages, and cookies

Brands That Have it: Oreo cookies, Golden Grahams, Gatorade, the list goes on. But some companies are removing them altogether, like Nestlé.

What It Is: This blanket-term denotes any of hundreds of allowable chemicals such as butyl alcohol and phenylacetaldehyde dimethyl acetal. The exact chemicals used in flavoring are the proprietary information of food processors, used to imitate specific fruits, butter, spices, and so on.

What You Need to Know: The FDA has approved every item on the list of allowable chemicals, but because flavorings can hide behind a blanket term, there is no way for consumers to pinpoint the cause of a reaction they might have had.


Found in: Nearly everything: ice cream, chips, cereal, bread, ketchup, canned fruits, yogurt, and two-thirds of all sweetened beverages

Brands That Have it: Wonder Bread Whole Grain Wheat, among thousands more.

What It Is: You already know about this corn-derived sweetener, and yet maddeningly, there’s still no warning label, and it hides in “wholesome” foods like bread, sauces and cereals. HFCS still represents more than 40 percent of all caloric sweeteners in the supermarket. Despite consumer outrage, its use is prevalent if slowing—albeit at a snail’s pace—as food marketers begin to favor pure sugar or other sweeteners.

What You Need to Know: Since 1980, the US obesity rate has risen proportionately to the increase in HFCS, and Americans are now consuming at least 200 calories of the sweetener each day. Research published by The Endocrine Society found that adults who consumed high levels of high fructose corn syrup for just two weeks had increased levels of bad cholesterol, raising their risk of heart disease.


Found in: Margarine, pastries, frozen foods, cakes, cookies, crackers, soups, and nondairy creamers

Brand That Has it: Steak ‘N Shake Sausage Gravy and Biscuits (at 8 grams, that’s four days’ worth!)

What It Is: Food processors like this fat because of its low cost and long shelf life. It’s a manufactured fat created by forcing hydrogen gas into vegetable fats under extremely high pressure, an unintended effect of which is the creation of trans-fatty acids.

What You Need to Know: Trans fat has been shown to contribute to heart disease more so than saturated fat. Progressive jurisdictions such as New York City, California, and Boston have approved legislation to phase trans fat out of restaurants, and pressure from watchdog groups might eventually lead to a full ban on the dangerous oil. Yet it’s still out there. A loophole in the FDA’s labeling requirements allows processors to add as much as 0.49 gram per serving and still claim zero in their nutrition facts.


Found in: Fruit cocktail, candy, chocolate cake, cereal, beverages, pastries, maraschino cherries, and fruit snacks

Brands That Have it: Yoplait Light Fat Free Strawberry, for one

What It Is: These include dyes that are cherry red and orange red, respectively. Red #40 is the most widely used food dye in America.

What You Need to Know: The FDA has proposed a ban on Red #3 in the past, but so far the agency has been unsuccessful in implementing it. After the dye was inextricably linked to thyroid tumors in rat studies, the FDA managed to have the liquid form of the dye removed from external drugs and cosmetics. Put down that Yoplait and instead buy these all-natural 9 Best Yogurts for Weight Loss.


Found in: Baked goods, frozen meals, and tub margarine

Brand That Has it: Jif Creamy Peanut Butter

What It Is: This is an extremely hard, waxlike fat made by forcing as much hydrogen as possible onto the carbon backbone of fat molecules. To obtain a manageable consistency, food manufacturers often blend the hard fat with unhydrogenated liquid fats.

What You Need to Know: In theory, fully hydrogenated oils, as opposed to partially hydrogenated oils, should contain zero trans fat. But the process of hydrogenation isn’t completely perfect, which means that trans fat will inevitably occur in small amounts.


Found in: Peanut butter, ice cream, margarine, baked goods, and whipped topping

Brands that Have it: Dove Unconditional Chocolate Ice Cream, Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

What It Is: These occur naturally in foods and constitute about 1 percent of normal fats. They’re added to foods to bind liquids with fats.

What You Need to Know: Aside from being a source of fat, the glycerides themselves pose no serious health threats. But the fat is reason enough to want a label. And speaking of dangerous fat hiding right before your eyes, click here to discover the shocking truth about How Tilapia Is Worse Than Bacon!


Found in: Beer, crackers, cereals, butter, and foods with added fats

Brand That Has it: Trix cereal, which also has Red #40 and artificial flavors

What It Is: Petroleum-derived antioxidants used to preserve fats and oils, these are often added to “preserve freshness.”

What You Need to Know: Of the two, BHA is considered the more dangerous. Studies have shown it to cause cancer in the forestomachs of rats, mice, and hamsters. The Department of Health and Human Services classifies the preservative as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Warning label? Yes please.

Article from Yahoo!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Vitamins Under Fire - What you Need to Know About Nutritional Supplements

Even if a supplement manufacturer follows what is known as food grade Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), they are only required to have about 20% of what they say on the label actually in the tablet.

Unless you take supplements from a nutritional company that follows pharmaceutical grade GMP, you really have no assurance that what is on the label is in the tablet. Companies that voluntarily produce their products in a pharmaceutical grade fashion are required to have 100% of what is on the label in the tablet.

Many companies put a label on their bottles saying "they follow GMP", but the question do you follow food grade GMP or pharmaceutical grade GMP? So comparing labels from a food grade supplement to a supplement made under pharmaceutical GMP is comparing apples and oranges.

The video below titled "Vitamins on Trial" is by Jordan Kemper, a nutritional expert, who simplifies many difficult to understand facts about nutritional supplementation.

This video also address the lack of nutrients in our foods and the amount of food you would have to eat in order to get the optimal amount of nutrients. For example: The optimal amount of Vitamin E is 400 IU a day which would require you to consume over 28 lbs of spinach.

At the 18 minute mark, the video instructs you in a short test you can perform in your home with your supplements to see what anti-oxidant protection your OTC supplement provides. This is simply dissolving one of your supplements in a small bowl of water and placing a cut up apple into the water. If you are taking one of 40% or so of supplements that don't dissolve - then good luck. If your supplement dissolves see how long it takes the apple to oxidize.

At the 21 minute mark you will see the explanation on why we call the RDA a tired, old, and minimal recommendation. So go ahead and watch this exceptional video.

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