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Healthy Eating

Tuesday
Apr122011

Supermarkets Soon Getting New Nutrition Labels For Raw Meats, But Loose Guidelines A Worry

A typical supermarket meat department. Photo from the Orange County Register.

Meat is a delicious part of most people’s diets, providing the body with a lot of high quality nutrients, like iron and protein.

The downside is that the high fat in some meats can be a real problem for anyone trying to lose weight or who has health issues, including: high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, or diabetes.

The connection between diabetes and saturated fats is less obvious and has only gained attention over the last few years. People with diabetes are told cut back on refined sugars, breads, and other carbohydrates, but a few years ago, the American Diabetes Association did a study, which also found that “certain types of fat from red meat may play a major role in the development of type 2 diabetes.”

To help people make healthier and more informed choices when buying meats, the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) made a decision – going into effect on January 1, 2012 – that will require major cuts of meat and poultry by large producers to have nutrition labels either on the products or signs nearby.

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Thursday
Dec022010

More Fruits and Vegetables in Kids Diets Means Lower Risk of Early Heart Disease, Say Experts

Photo courtesy of The Tehran Times Daily Newspaper.

We all know that adding more fruits and vegetables to our family’s diet is important, but it’s good to remember why. Besides improving our own health, we also teach our kids healthy eating habits that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Between lives that run at a frenzied pace and media marketing of high fat meals, in recent decades healthy eating has dropped dangerously low on people’s priority lists. And, there’s a price for this.

Around the world, and especially in America, people are getting heavier and heavier, developing more and more health problems, and teaching their children the same bad eating habits – consequences are children developing early risk factors for heart disease by the time they reach puberty.

Heart disease is when enough blood can’t circulate to the heart muscle, which slowly damages its ability to function.

In Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, a study was just published which said that children as early as nine years old were showing precursors to heart disease, including  obesity, elevated blood pressure, and high Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is the bad kind. Teen smoking was also considered a risk factor.

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Tuesday
Jun292010

American Worry Growing Over Organic Crops Contaminated With Genetically Engineered Seeds

Graphic courtesy of Oregon State University.

In an effort to eat as healthy as possible, many of us have turned to buying an increasing number of products labeled as organic, whether they’re meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, and so on. The question is: Are we always getting the quality of product that we’re expecting?

“Unsuspecting consumers by the tens of millions are being allowed to purchase and consume unlabeled genetically engineered foods, despite a finding by U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists that these food could pose serious risks,” according to the Center for Food Safety.

“New genetically engineered crops are being approved by federal agencies despite admissions that they will contaminate native and conventional crops and pose other significant new environmental threats,” adds the CFS.

In February, Consumer Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, released the results of a national telephone poll finding that, “A majority of respondents (58 percent) expressed some level of concern with contamination of organic food crops by genetic engineering.”

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Monday
May032010

Omega-3 Health Benefits: Knowing What’s In It Is More Important Than Who Makes It

With all the new omega-3 health reports coming out over the last couple of years, we’ve seen the phrase “omega-3” plastered on everything from cereals, cookies, milk, salmon, and almost anything else that either has some grain or fish oil in it.

Grilled Salmon. Stock photo.

Earlier this year, out of 6,012 respondents to a survey by ConsumerLab.com, 74 percent said they were users of “fish oil/omega-3 supplements.” ConsumerLab.com provides independent test results and information on health, wellness, and nutrition products to consumers and healthcare professionals.

So, some questions. What are omega-3s? Do they all do the same thing? And, are there any health risks associated with them?

An omega-3 is an unsaturated fatty acid found mostly in certain kinds of fish (salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, lake trout, and albacore tuna) and plants (flaxseed, butternuts, hempseeds, walnuts, soy beans, and canola oil).

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Friday
Feb122010

Curry Compound Kills Cancer Cells in University Research Lab Tests

Whether we realize it at the time or not, everything we eat has some sort of effect on our health - positive or negative, but never neutral.

Before synthetic modern medicines (and some of them work wonders), millenniums of people stayed in great health by the foods and medicines they derived from nature.

Turmeric has anticancer chemical. Photo by sallybernstein.com.

Well taking some lessons from the past, many researchers in highly respected institutions of medical science are starting to re-examine the properties of the foods and spices we get from nature. They’re finding some promising chemical compounds with properties capable of both contributing to the prevention and fighting of many serious conditions and diseases, such as cancer.

Most recently, a study was published in the British Journal of Cancer, found that certain molecules found in a curry spice have been shown to kill oesophageal (also spelled as esophageal) cancer cells in laboratory tests.

Scientists at the Cork Cancer Research Center, in Ireland, treated oesophageal cancer cells with curcumin, which is a chemical found in the curry spice turmeric. They found that the curcumin started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours.

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