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Archive for the ‘Word of Caution’ Category

Did I just hear right? Indeed I did. I caught a moment of the news and the anchor was covering a new study touting these results – and later, after a quick online search, I learned that this anchor wasn’t alone – many were covering the “4 cup a day, keep diabetes away” story.

Here’s what I’ve got to say, could 4 cups of Joe a day ever be healthy, or even help prevent diabetes?:

1) If one exchanged plain coffee for caffeinated sodas – this would be a nutritional upgrade that could help prevent diabetes.
2) If, however, one decided to have cream and sugar or even fat-free milk and artificial sugar or a no-sugar added powder or a non-dairy creamer with partially hydrogenated oil in their coffee…then they would lose in terms of diabetes risk
3) If one was drinking 8 cups of coffee a day or 6 cups and 2 Red Bulls, and traded down to 4 cups a day, then I could see how this nutrition upgrade could help prevent diabetes.
4) If one was drinking 16-24 ounces daily of juice, “vitamin” waters, and sugar-based teas, and exchanged these for 4 cups of coffee one could see reduction in their risk of diabetes as well as likely their waist circumference and body fat.
5) If one was eating “energy” bars with greater than 10 grams of sugar, less than 5 grams of protein, and which contained artificial ingredients daily or several times daily, and exchanged it for a cup of coffee and an apple with some peanut butter, then perhaps the coffee could help to reduce diabetes risk.
6) If, however, one consumed 4 cups of coffee in lieu of eating nutrient balanced eating occasions during the day and then “backloaded” with calories at night, then one surely did not help prevent the onset of diabetes and moreover, the stress and irritation to the system would more likely increase risk for other chronic diseases or symptoms in the future
7) If one added spices to coffee like cinnamon, clove, and cardamom then one would likely feel the benefit of digestive aids as well as hormonal ones that could help protect the body against diabetes and other diseases.
8) If one has a high risk of diabetes due to obesity, family history, or other medical factors and decides to ONLY increase consumption of coffee to prevent diabetes then one likely misses out on whole host of other well-documented nutrition and lifestyle behaviors that can help prevent diabetes while also improving overall long term health.
9) If one consumed only organic coffee – so that no additional chemicals enter our system – then one will help reduce the toxic burden in the body which could be linked to a lower risk of obesity and disease, including diabetes.
10) If when consuming coffee, one doesn’t get any jitters and it allows one to function daily as well as get in routine exercise and go to sleep at a reasonable hour (before midnight) with 6-8 hours of sleep then the coffee consumption might not be an issue.
11) If, however, one has one 24-hour day where coffee wasn’t available and one can’t function; one scours the cupboards for sugar to get a “lift” or to identify replacement sources of caffeine. Then one’s body is telling them that it is likely addicted to caffeine and should consider reducing or eliminating intake.

Net, net, only you can answer the “if’s” for yourself. But I will provide one final If / Then scenario that applies to us all: IF you believe the topline of a study presented on the news and change your diet to meet the reported results without finding out more about what the study results were based on, as well as whether it fits your particular health profile, Then you have no one but yourself to blame if the outcome isn’t as the tv reporter presented.

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In a never-ending cycle of “we say it’s good today, then we say it’s bad tomorrow” the recent raising of the vitamin D daily recs, while acknowledging the need to increase levels in Americans, confuses consumers with a concern about whether to supplement and what levels are actually best. The following review on the matter in Natural Foods Merchandiser is extremely helpful to read… http://newhope360.com/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d-intake-levels-officially-rise?cid=nl_iu

Furthermore, I will add that those who say they aren’t sure we need to supplement Vitamin D likely haven’t looked at the food portions necessary to reach daily levels (8 glasses of milk, anyone?) or that most foods have Vitamin D2 vs Vitamin D3, which is the optimal source for humans.

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When it comes to genetically engineered foods, there’s so much that we don’t know and I’m not interested in being part of a further human experiment. What we DO KNOW is scary (and has caused food companies in other countries to ban these foods) – digestive issues, allergies, infertility and more unfavorable health impacts. In the Huffington Post, I recently compared GMOs to 2nd and 3rd-hand smoke – and think how long it took us to reach a tipping point against the effects of others’ smoking on us. Food (as opposed to geneticall engineered food) for thought, eh?

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Thanks to MD Anderson for this great, informative post. Net, net, ladies if you notice changes – get checked out.

10 Cancer Signs Women Shouldn’t Ignore

If you’re relatively young and healthy, gynecologic cancers probably aren’t on your radar. But they should be.

This year, more than 80,000 women in the United States will get a gynecologic cancer, such as endometrial (a.k.a. uterine), ovarian or cervical cancer. In general, gynecologic cancers occur more frequently in women after menopause, although they can occur in younger women. While all women should be aware of these symptoms, women in their 40s and older should pay particular attention to their bodies. It’s crucial to know what symptoms to look for, says the American Cancer Society.

“Here are 10 warning signs you shouldn’t ignore,” says Karen Lu, M.D., professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center:.

1. Abnormal vaginal bleeding
More than 90% of women who get endometrial cancer experience irregular bleeding. For post-menopausal women, any bleeding — including spotting — should be evaluated by a gynecologist. For pre-menopausal women, bleeding between periods, heavy bleeding, or bleeding during intercourse should be evaluated.

2. Unexplained weight loss
If you’ve lost weight by exercising and eating healthy, keep up the good work! But if you haven’t changed your diet or exercise habits and lose over 10 pounds, this could be a sign of cancer.

3. Being tired all the time
Most of us get run-down from juggling a busy week at work, running errands and taking care of our families. But ongoing fatigue that doesn’t get better with rest can be a sign of a bigger problem. If you’re constantly tired for more than two weeks, don’t assume your busy life is the only cause. (more…)

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AKA: Ask FDA to vote NO on Genetically Altered fish: “one (genetically altered) fish, two (genetically altered) fish, green fish is now a blue fish…”

Is genetically altered fish OK? FDA to decide

By Susan Heavey
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health officials are set to rule on whether a faster-growing, genetically engineered fish is safe to eat in a decision that could deliver the first altered animal food to consumers’ dinner plates.

The fish, made by Aqua Bounty Technologies Inc, is manipulated to grow twice as fast as traditional Atlantic salmon, something the company says could boost the nation’s fish sector and reduce pressure on the environment…
Click to read more.

AKA says a huge thank you to Susan and to Reuter’s for this story. That said, it makes me want to cry. As I sit here in beautiful Kununurra, Western Australia dining with five others on the barramundi that I caught earlier in the day (I must brag, its 15 pounds!), I think sadly “where is the US going with its food and food policy?” Why do we say we need more – when we eat too much already, and when the “more” not only can NOT guarantee the same nutritional benefits of a wild fish…but is almost unequivocally dangerous. Here in Australia yesterday we discussed how once you let GMO in at all – even for one crop, you can no longer guarantee that any animal, plant, or water source will be unaffected. Will our nursery rhyme soon be “one (genetically altered) fish, two (genetically altered fish), green fish is now a blue fish…” and what does that mean for our health?

What we know of pesticides and herbicides, the ones shown to have links to obesity, hormone disruption, attention disorders and more, is that the manner that many “kill” bugs or improve colors of plants and fruits is that, just like technology above they speed up the growth of the plant or they speed up the lifecycle of the pest so that it dies sooner. Where else in medicine do we encounter the rapid replication of cells…Cancer. What else does speeding up the growth of our cells mean…faster aging?

No matter what gets to you – faster aging, cancer prevention, prenatal health, inappropriate weight gain – if any of these get to you, you should be contacting the FDA to ensure a vote against GMO fish. I know I am..

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Seafood Safety Guide – Good Morning America Health

This spring, a confluence of events has exponentially increased my passion for saving our oceans, and those that inhabit them. I was invited to Monterey Bay Aquarium (if you’ve never been, run there asap!) (www.montereybayaquarium.org) for their annual media conference on Sustainable Seafood (Cooking Solutions). I learned so much about the innovative and intensive efforts that chefs, food companies, and farmers are doing to save and improve our waters. In April, I held a panel for the media on Fish Oil / Omega 3 supplementation as a means to explore what’s good (purity), what’s different (wild Alaskan salmon oil versus Peruvian anchovy and sardines), and how should we define “sustainable.” Did you know that 30 percent of fish caught today goes to making fish meal / fish oil – which largely goes to feeding farmed fish and livestock. In May, I attended an evening (more…)

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AKA regularly evaluates cosmetics and skincare products because we know that it’s not just what we eat / drink, but what we put on our skin and in our air that affects our health. I rely on tools like the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” database and my friend, eco-makeup artist guru, Christy Coleman www.christycoleman.com or what’s okay and NOT for us and our environment…oh yeah, and how to get camera-ready or out-on-the-town ready with win-win-win looks. Wanted to pass on this latest blog from www.healthychild.org – take action people!

Watch and share The Story of Cosmetics and tell Congress it’s time for SAFE cosmetics!

What are all those chemicals in your shampoo? your lipstick? your aftershave? And what do they have to do with asthma, breast cancer and learning disabilities?

Learn, share and help change this toxic mess: Watch The Story of Cosmetics, a film exposing the ugly truth about personal care products – brought to you by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff Project and Free Range Studios.

Let’s make a huge splash with this new video: if we all share it with our friends and community, we can reach millions of people and really inspire change!

This video is just in time to build momentum for groundbreaking safe cosmetics legislation – the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010! For the first time in 70 years, we have a real chance to pass a bill that would eliminate chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems from the products women, men and children put on their bodies every day.

We need all hands on deck: Urge your elected officials to co-sponsor common-sense safe cosmetics legislation that ensures everyone has access to safe products!

Thanks for watching and sharing The Story of Cosmetics and for asking Congress to get behind safe cosmetics legislation. Together, we’re going to make sure cosmetics are safe for everyone.

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