Recent Health Information
It's to our benefit to pay attention to the latest health and nutrition information provided by non-biased organizations and institutions.
Forget about "studies" done by big-business (chemical, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage "researchers"). Who ever heard of a big-business "research study" that failed to show the products they were touting were as nourishing as mother's milk?
Only consume those foods and beverages that independent
studies have shown to be healthy; that experts have advocated on TV, the internet, and in print; and that your own research has shown are best for you.
Guard your health the way gold is guarded at Fort Knox. Good
health is something youngsters take for granted; middle-aged
people become increasing aware of; and seniors prize above
A comprehensive, one-page summary of our current eating habits was published in TIME (Mar. 21, 2016) and titled Nutrition - The dark side of the way Americans eat by Alice Park.
Ms. Park's article reviews what dietary experts have been telling us for the past few years:
Based on a "representative sample of more than 9,000 Americans, they found that nearly 60% of their calories come from so-called ultra-processed foods like soft drinks, snacks, cakes, pizza and frozen meals.
"These foods tend to be higher than whole foods in salt and fat, but they also contain added flavors, colors, emulsifiers, hydrogenated oils and other things not found in the average kitchen. They're also high in sugar, too.
"The bottom line, says nutrition expert Carlos Monteiro, the study's lead author: 'Eat more minimally processed foods, and more fresh dishes and meals that you prepare yourself'."
Important that you STOP using Teflon-coated and other non-stick pots and pans NOW! Today (Jan. 27, 2016) Dr. Mercola, op. cit., blogged "How Chemical Defense Attorney Blew the Lid Off POFA and Teflon Dangers.
"For the past 15 years Rob Bilott---an environmental attorney and partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister---has waged a legal battle against DuPont," the maker of Teflon. And Bilott won!
Dr. Mercola noted that he, also, "started warning people about the potential hazards of Teflon over 15 years ago" and that, "As I result," he "was legally threatened by DuPont many times." DuPont is the maker of Teflon.
Problem is Teflon and other non-stick cookware contain
perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). "To make a long story short,"
PFOA causes more damage to our bodies than you could imagine. DuPont, of course, denied this---as the tobacco industry once denied that cigarettes caused cancer, and as the Grocery Manufacturers Association(GMA) denied that sugar, and products containing sugar and all sugar substitutes, are unhealthy.
But, modern science has now proven that PFOA is poison!
Dr. Mercola suggests we use only cast-iron cookware and ceramic cookware because they are safer than Teflon-coated and all non-stick cookware, safer than aluminum cookware, safer than copper cookware, and even safer than stainless steel cookware.
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Which diet is the "best" one to follow? Many authorities believe the "Mediterranean Diet" is the "gold standard" of diet plans. It is not really a diet per se, but is primarily what people in those countries (Spain, France, Italy, and Greece) bordering the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and Middle East countries, usually eat.
It stresses eating primarily fresh vegetables; legumes (a class of vegetables including peas, dry beans, chickpeas [garbanzos], and lentils); fresh fruit; nuts (walnuts, pecans and macadamia nuts are considered the most nutritious nuts); whole grain bread, cereal without added sugar, pasta; fish (wild-caught, not farm-raised fish); chicken (but never fried, and, ideally, free-range chickens as opposed to what is referred to as "factory farmed" chickens); limiting your consumption of fresh red meat (pork, ham [cured pork], and beef) to just a few times a week; completely eliminating your consumption of processed meat (hot dogs, lunch meat [cold cuts], sausages and bacon); and having no more than two goblets of wine per day.
Current (2016) USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) guidelines fail to mention two important aspects
of healthy eating: (1) that we should eat less red meat, and (2) that we should not drink any kind of soda pop.
Why is this?
One of the top experts on health and nutrition, Dr. Walter Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, and Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.C. Chan School of Public Health, said this about the new USDA guidelines---and he said it poignantly: "Clearly these Guidelines bear the hoof prints of the Cattleman's Association and the sticky fingerprints of Big Soda. They fail to represent the best available scientific evidence and are a disservice to the American public." Bravo, Prof. Willett!
This disservice to US consumers is done strictly for economic and political reasons---identical to the reasons the US government, for several decades, erroneously advised us to eat more helpings of grain products every day than helpings of fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. That was very bad advice from a government that was supposed to be looking out for our health!
aspartame - Today, June 29, 2013, Dr. Joseph Mercola, op. cit., issued a warning about the chemical sweetener "aspartame," which may be the single most dangerous chemical in the beverages we drink. Those concerned about what they and their families drink may want to do some research on the dangers and health problems resulting from using beverages containing the artificial sweetener "aspartame."
splenda - Today, Dec. 18, 2013, Dr. Joseph Mercola, op. cit., issued a warning, based on documented studies, about the health danger of using that sweetener.
Good news about our DECREASE in drinking soda pop:
TIME (April 11, 2016) reports "Annual per capita
consumption of soda pop in the U.S. fell to a 30-year low in 2015, according to new industrial data, with sales dropping for the 11th straight year. Even diet-
soda sales were flat, as concerns grow about the health impact of artificial sweeteners."
The yellow dye formerly used in Kraft Macaroni & Cheese sold in the US---but illegal to use in Kraft Macaroni & Cheese sold in Israel and several European countries---is being replaced with healthier herbs and spices instead of yellow dye.
However, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 (dyes) are still being used in Kraft macaroni & cheese dinners being sold in the U.S. as of Feb., 2015.
Yellow 5 is banned in several European countries which have issued warnings about the possible side effects of this dye.
Yellow 6 is a coloring agent that the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency Board has requested be banned in the European Union (a group of about 20 European nations).
April 19, 2015 - Charlie Rose, on CBS This Morning, had a guest who explained that finally, Kraft Foods was bowing to public pressure and removing the artificial dyes from its Macaroni &
Cheese dinner. It must be noted, however, that all boxed dinners---manufactured by Kraft and all other companies---are still "processed foods" and not as healthy for us as food "made from scratch" in our own kitchens!
April 23, 2015 - Dr. Oz, op. cit., on his TV program, noted
that Kraft Foods was eliminating artificial dyes from their Macaroni & Cheese dinner, effective Jan., 2016.
TIME (June 8, 2015) reported that fast food chains Taco Bell
and Pizza Hut "will discontinue the use of artificial flavors and colors, including Yellow No. 6 and Blue No. 1, in favor of natural options."
One of the world's largest producers of "processed foods," Campbell Soup, is now seeking to promote "healthy eating" according to an article entitled Thinking Outside The Can by
Eliza Gray in the Feb. 2, 2015 edition of TIME.
She notes Americans are becoming aware of the importance of "eating healthier," and that "Tonight, 58% of the main dishes eaten at home in the U.S. will be homemade..." Ms. Gray points out there is a "boom for fresh foods. In 2014, sales for fresh produce and meat grew by 5% over the year before...
while processed food sales were down 1.1% That trend toward
vegetables will only continue."
Jan., 2016 - Campbell's soup is the FIRST major food company to disclose genetically modified ingredients in their products, which include Campbell's soups, Pepperidge Farm, Prego, V8 and other products they own. THANK YOU, Campbell's, for being the first major food company to do the right thing for American consumers re honest product labeling!
Dr. Joseph Mercola, op. cit., reported on Nov. 19, 2013
residents of Washington State voted (Nov. 5, 2013) on a law to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) foods." This law failed to pass by a close vote of 49% for and 51% against due to the fact that an enormous amount of money (22 million dollars to be exact) was spent by the largest soft drink bottlers and processed food companies in the US to prevent consumers from knowing what is actually in the "stuff" they are putting in their shopping carts.
Who does not want you to know what ingredients are in the foods you eat? Consider this: On Jan. 18, 2014 Dr. Joseph Mercola, op. cit., reported that "General Mills donated more
than $1.1 million to the 'No on Prop. 37' campaign to defeat California's Proposition 37, which would have required GM (genetically modified) foods to be labeled as such, and prevented GM foods from being labeled as 'natural'."
A Jan., 2015 Consumer Reports alert tells us to "BEWARE OF: The most misleading label of all, the 'natural' label. It does NOT mean a food is organic or has no GMOs. You should simply ignore 'natural' claims. Instead, look for the 'organic' seal. It means at least 95 percent of the ingredients are certified organic---and produced without genetically modified ingredients."
More of the same anti-labeling tactics of big business: Dr. Mercola, op. cit., also reported that "Monsanto (chemical company) is not going to let GM (genetically modified foods) labeling happen without a fight. Last year the company donated nearly $5 million to the anti-labeling campaign in Washington State, and in 2012 they donated more than $7 million to help defeat California Proposition 37" (to label food).
Still more: The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 19, 2013) reported
that "Big U.S. meat packers are appealing to Congress...to stave off new federal labeling rules that require more information about the origins of beef, pork and other meats." Their rationale is that these rules "would impose unnecessary cost on the industry," the Journal noted.
In the 19th century many food-processing companies were
operating in such unsanitary conditions as to cause President Teddy Roosevelt, and Congress, to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act, and the Meat Inspection Act, in 1906.
Now, big U.S. meat packers don't want us to know which countries the meat they sell us comes from. If they had their way we would never know anything about the meat we purchase, such as where the animals were born, raised, what they were fed, or how they were slaughtered, stored, or shipped to the US markets where we purchase our food.
Beware of "Natural" or "All Natural" labels on packages of food you see in markets because here is what Dr. Joseph Mercola, op. cit., says about such labels: "Natural" or "All Natural" is completely meaningless and has no bearing on whether or not the animal was raised according to organic principles. 'Natural' meat and poultry products can by law receive antibiotics, hormones, and genetically engineered grains, and can be raised in CAFOs." (Ed. note: CAFO is the abbreviation for "Confined Animal Feeding Operations," also
called by many "Factory Farming.")
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A current exercise myth is that just "exercising" will solve our over-weight problem. Big business, with the aid of celebrity advertising, would have us believe that we can eat and drink anything and everything---so long as we "move around" or "exercise." This is nonsense!
The truth of this deceptive advertising is that it is NOT a good idea to consume whatever products are advertised---and think that "exercise" alone will compensate for the excessive caloric content, and/or lack of nutrition, some widely-promoted "food" and "soft drinks" provide.
TIME (Aug. 24, 2015) quotes Dr. David Ludwig, director of the Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital and professor of pediatrics and nutrition at Harvard: "The notion that we can exercise away a bad diet absolutely unfounded...
and it's contraindicated by many research studies."
Common sense tells us that "exercise" (for most people) is beneficial for good health. However, it is obviously more to our good-health advantage to eat real food and drink health-
beverages---and also to exercise---than to consume whatever junk food and sugary soft drinks are touted by celebrities, and exercise. It is unlikely the fitness coaches of these celebrities would let their pupils get near the products they hawk.
Now, what constitutes exercise? In many peoples' minds
"exercise" is "working out" with special fitness equipment, running, swimming, tennis, golf, bowling, etc. For strong, healthy people this is great exercise.
But, for some older people strenuous exercise could be dangerous, or even fatal. Only your physician is qualified to advise you about which, if any, exercise is right for you.
"Exercise," for many people, can simply be getting off the couch and moving about, or performing such activities as housecleaning, walking the dog, gardening, shopping, visiting people or places---anything that keeps one active. For many whose work keeps them continually moving about, their work is exercise enough.
Dangerous news about how "fracking" (the short name for a process known as "hydraulic ") affects our fresh water supply:
"Fracking" is the term used to describe a method of extracting natural gas from underground shale deposits by injecting enormous amounts of water (laced with chemicals that are considered extremely toxic), under high pressure, beneath the ground.
On Jan. 18, 2014 Care2 (care2.com) the "largest online community for healthy and green living" reported disturbing information about 'The Halliburton Loop Hole'. Thanks to sweetheart deals made with then Vice-President Dick Cheney Big Oil & Gas are exempt from the Safe Drinking Water and the Clean Air Act. Yes, really."
Cheney was a chief executive at Halliburton (oil company) before becoming vice-president of the U.S. under President Bush II. Moral of this story is that if companies dump dangerous chemicals into our water supply the government can stop them from doing so, and level penalties.
BUT, companies using the "fracking" process---which can result in dangerous chemicals entering our water supply---are exempt from government intervention.
However, according to an editorial in the New York Times
(Nov. 2, 2009) "Thanks in part to two New Yorkers---Repre-
sentative Maurice Hinchey and Senator Charles Schumer---
Congress last week approved a bill that asks the E.P.A
(Environmental Protection Agency) to conduct a new study on the risks of hydraulic fracturing (fracking)." Let's see what happens.
Some nutritionists are now considering "intermittent fasting," which is self-explanatory, as a new technique for losing weight and improving one's health: There are two ways of practicing intermittent fasting, and each method has variations:
(1) Famed nutritionist Dr. Joseph Mercola, op. cit., advocates limiting your daily eating to within an eight-hour window. Dr. Mercola cautions intermittent fasting "is appropriate for most people, but there are certain individuals who should exercise
some extra caution. If you fall into any of the following five
categories, my recommendation would be to focus on improving your overall nutrition instead of implementing a fasting schedule. *Hypoglycemic *Diabetes *Severe chronic stress (adrenal fatigue) *Cortisol dysregulaltion *Pregnant
or nursing mothers."
(2) Dr. Michael Mosley, author of The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting suggests we "Eat normally for five days per week then fast for two..." On fasting days, he -
mends "cutting your food down to one-fourth of your normal daily caloric intake, or about 600 calories for men and about 500 for women, along with plenty of water and tea."
It is important to remember that "intermittent fasting" is NOT a substitute for "smart eating". You CANNOT eat "junk" food or fast food and expect to lose weight with the "intermit-
tent fasting" technique. You must still stop or reduce using
"processed" foods, sugar and sugar substitutes, soda pop of all kinds, simple ("bad") carbs, and regular dairy products.
Whether you decide to try "intermittent fasting" or not in order to lose weight and improve your health---your diet must still consist of "smart eating": fresh vegetables, legumes, fresh fruit, fresh poultry and fish, nuts, and seeds. Eat red meat sparingly and eliminate processed meat entirely. Eliminate
soda pop. Greatly reduce your use of sugar and all artificial sweeteners.
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