Thursday, April 15, 2010

Read Product Labels

More importantly though 'Understanding' product labels, because I don't believe reading them is always the problem. The only bright side to this otherwise shady fad-diet craze that seems to be so popular in this country is that people are indeed becoming more aware of food labels, the problem is by "aware" I mean aware of their existence but not of any real understanding.

It's kind of like the engine compartment of that car you may be driving... you're aware that under the hood is an engine, but there is no real understanding of the basics.

I am constantly amazed of peoples' in ability to locate even the common food ingredient "no nos" like sugar or understand the importance of location for those like salt.

Take Glaceau's Vitamin Water... if you look at the ingredients you will notice the first three listed read as follows; "Vapor Distilled, Deionized, and/or Reverse Osmosis Water, Crystalline Fructose, Cane Sugar". What bothers me is that the marketing departments of these company's think that the average person is so unaware, so caught up in this fad-diet "lose weight quick" with little or no effort craze, and so easily distracted by such simple words like "vitamin" that we wouldn't notice that 2 of the first 3 ingredients are sugar; "Crystalline Fructose, Cane Sugar"! But what bothers me even more is that the average person is exactly that; unaware, so caught up in this fad-diet "lose weight quick" with little or no effort craze, and so easily distracted by such simple words like "vitamin" that they take the bait hook line and sinker.

Just to clear things up overly processed refined simple sugars are never good, so if you see them listed twice within the first three ingredients be wary; especially if the product is marketed as a healthy drink.

Another big thing to look for is the location of salt in the ingredients, and if you're eating process food (organic or no) than there is no doubt salt is in the ingredients and the majority of the time it's in the form of a simple salt (sodium minus any healthy trace minerals). It is important to choose the products that list it near or at the bottom of the list, it can be the difference of 100+ milligrams of sodium.

I want nothing more than to believe that people are not as gullible and easily misguided as these food manufactures would like us to believe; prove me right!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why is dieting so hard?

Adult and childhood obesity have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and it tops the list as one of the leading causes of many health related life threatening conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer, so it's no wonder dieting has become a billion dollar industry. From a marketing standpoint "diets" are a lose win situation; you lose the battle and the manufacturers of these fad diet foods drinks and supplements win... Your money!

It's this frustrating devastating and in many cases life threatening losing battle that has inherently raised the universal question, why are diets so hard?

I have never had this sort of weight problem so I can't speak from the experience of a formally obese individual, but I can answer this question using the invaluable knowledge I've gained through my own health related trials and tribulations over these many years.

So why then are diets so hard? Because most people see the word "diet" as a verb instead of a noun. Diet, as a verb, consists of unattractive rules and seemingly unachievable benchmarks; especially when one has an overall unhealthy diet (noun). If you look up the definition of diet (as a verb) you will find such phrases as "watch what you eat", "cut back", "fast" and "starve yourself"; all of which paint a nice rosy picture... On the other hand diet, as a noun, simply means your overall nutritional intake and consists of the foods and drinks you consume on a daily basis.

I have said this before and I stand by it with everything I believe in, if you maintain a healthy diet (truly healthy) then your body will maintain a healthy weight; exercise is of course part of the equation. And by healthy diet I mean one that consists of mainly fresh organic fruits and vegetables and natural whole grains and legumes with any beef being grass-fed, poultry and eggs being free-grazed, and fish wild caught. You MUST reduce the amount of processed foods to no more than 10% of your diet, and those that are MUST be organic; the less ingredients the better.

Now at first glance this may seem a bit "Eat those vegetables or you're not getting any dessert" rather than "I'm an adult and I can eat what I want", but the truth is my wife and I have been eating this way for some time now we eat better tasting more creative and much healthier meals than we ever did before; and this is with a soy and diary allergy. You would be amazed at the diverse menu you have to choose from when you make the shift from that processed out-of-the-box boring and extremely unhealthy diet you have now to home-made meals using the freshest healthiest ingredients available.

A healthy weight starts with a healthy diet and the possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Coconut Oil... Don't fear this saturated fat

Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap for many years because of the association between saturated fats and heart disease, and although heart disease has become a major health issue in this country and the increased consumption of saturated fats over the years (due to the unhealthy processed foods diet that has become an American staple) has indeed reached beyond unhealthy levels, it's the "man-made" fats (Trans Fats) that deserve the blame.

Shining the spotlight on trans fats

Trans fats are unsaturated fats like vegetable fats (otherwise healthy) with a hydrogen atom added to them, hence the term "Partially Hydrogenated". But should we blame the poor chemists that happened upon this dreadful artery clogging cholesterol raising toxic discovery, or the very deep pockets of the food industry (processed foods and fast foods) that actively supports this relatively cheap way to greatly prolong shelf life?

Or how about the very very deep pockets of the American Soybean Association or the Corn Products Company who have the financial backing to influence organizations like the FDA and CSPI for no other reason than to sustain what has become a billion dollar industry (Soy and Corn oils and additives in processed foods)?

Coconut Oil-- The Truth

The truth is nearly two thirds of the saturated fats in virgin coconut oil are medium chain fatty acids which are easily absorbed into the bloodstream and immediately available to the body. Not only does coconut oil not raise bad cholesterol (LDL), but recent research shows that it may indeed strongly increase HDL (Good Cholesterol) .

"The traditional Pacific Islander diet included large quantities of coconut, and those who still follow this diet have a low incidence of heart disease or overweight. When a Western-style diet including vegetable oils replaces their traditional diet, all of the fat-related diseases common in the United States begin to appear. "

Myths and Nutrition: Learn about Coconut's amazing nutritional benefits

The point I'm trying to make is, other than the fact that coconuts are an amazingly nutritious food, is that it is extremely important to know who is behind (funding) the research when it comes to any ingredient found in non-organic processed foods!

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Who's your primary care physician?

If you're like most Americans than your primary care physician is most likely one of the many listed doctors that happens to be "in-network" as well as has a practice somewhere within reasonable driving distance from your home. Or maybe if you're a little pickier than that, than you possibly go with some doctor you feel comfortable with, regardless of whether or not they participate in your insurance network or the location of their practice for that matter, but either way most likely it's a medical doctor.

And if that sounds like you, then you should know the following...

In the second half of 09 Pfizer gave doctors $35 million to basically push their product, and that's only one account of this common practice by any of the countless pharmaceutical companies out there.

Oh but it's not just the medical community that these drug companies have in their pockets, how about a government that pushed the notion of a "Swine Flu pandemic" like it was the apocalypse, hoping to get every American (young and old) to get vaccinated. They were so sure that now Millions of H1N1 vaccine doses may be tossed, that's millions in taxpayers' dollars wasted because less than half the amount of doses bought have been administered. It's so disturbing and suspect that a "Group of outside experts" will examine if the swine flu was a pandemic after all.

These are the same pharmaceutical companies that create countless drugs every year only to find out the hard way (at the patients expense) that these drugs do more damage than good. There are many examples of this, too many to list, but the latest goes something like this... Heart failure risk linked to prostate drug.

It doesn't appear there is any end in sight either, not when the federal government continues to spend millions on backing more drugs, and whether some study loosely proves they will work, Cholesterol drug safe for healthy people, or it's a bust, Blood pressure drugs no help for diabetes, one thing remains a constant and that is the government spending billions of dollars. Since it's taxpayers' money, we get poorer and the drug company's get richer.

So I guess the correct answer to "Who's your primary care physician?" is one of the many pharmaceutical reps out there working for any of the countless drug companies; because let's face it they appear to be calling the shots.

Don't leave your health in the hands of a drug company! Take control and find a less dangerous more effective path... the natural path.

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