The evidence is stacking up, and its not too sweet! Be sure to read all your ingredient labels. They add sugar to practically everything, As always, your best bet is to be Plantcentric (eat clean, unprocessed plant-based food with no added oil or sugar).
Posts tagged ‘sugar’
It’s been labeled the sweetest poison, toxic, and harmful and recently in ‘Hungry For Change’… a drug. Unfortunately it does seem a little extreme to label a food as a drug but when you look at how sugar (especially the highly refined and processed kinds) are metabolized by your body then you can begin to understand why.
Sugar when taken in excessive amounts can lead to cravings and addictions, quite similar to those with alcohol and tobacco, yet we have no problem labeling them as drugs. As Jason Vale says from the ‘Hungry For Change’ film, “it’s illegal to give a child cigarettes and alcohol, and so it should be, but it’s not illegal to give them white refined sugar or refined fats.”
We’re allowing ourselves and our children to become addicted to this substance causing soaring rates of obesity, one of the leading causes of preventable death. Here are some tips on how you and your children, can kick sugar cravings for good.
10 Simple Tips For Kicking Sugar Cravings
Check them out at: http://www.hungryforchange.tv/article/sugar-is-a-drug
While we are all trying to enjoy the change of seasons and soak up the beauty of fall, one question persists among the masses. Should I get the flu shot?
My team and I are constantly asked this question and while we can’t give a blanket statement for the general public, I wanted to take the opportunity in today’s blog to provide you with more information about the flu vaccine so you can make the best decision for you and your family with the help of your local medical doctor.
As a Functional Medicine physician I approach the flu, like all imbalances in the body, which is to say I don’t assume the human body is subject to illness when the proper diet and lifestyle precautions are taken. When a patient is sick, some detective work is necessary to find out what missing pieces are interfering with the efficacy of their immune system.
My goal is to help every single one of you strengthen the integrity of your immune system so there is less risk of a virus affecting you, leaving you vulnerable to its aftermath of feeling sick and miserable.
See, when the immune system is compromised it has less ability to fight off the flu, or really any of the myriad viruses, bacteria or toxins we are perpetually faced with every minute of every day.
That is why my #1 priority is to help you support your immune system! In a previous year’s discussion of the flu, I provided information about the steps I wanted you to take to balance your system and achieve a robust immunity.
You can review my suggestions for preventing the flu and enjoying excellent immunity here: Prevent the Flu. Personally, I always start with food because it is the best medicine.
Functional Medicine is not a one-size-fits-all approach- it is patient-centered and honors each of our individual medical needs.Why does the pharmaceutical industry proclaim that everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated? For starters, Itake a look at how flu vaccines work.
Each year health officials inoculate this year’s virus into chickens. Then, they take the created viral strains to use as the antigen-the agent which elicits an immune reaction in the human body so you create your own antibodies against the flu. Antibodies are the body’s way of fighting an illness.
It takes about two weeks after you are vaccinated for your body to create these antibodies. We assume scientists match the vaccine to the exact flu strain going around. It’s an educated guess essentially and the efficacy of the vaccine lies in our ability to match the two correctly.
You can still get the flu if you have been vaccinated if the strain you caught doesn’t match that which was in your vaccine. And you can still get the flu even if the strains were properly matched but your immune system was not intact!
This grey area is why a lot of controversy exists about whether or not the flu vaccine is effective. To learn more about this, go to The CDC’s “Flu View” for weekly updated surveillances on the flu: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/.
What’s In It?
- Egg proteins: Including avian contaminant viruses
- Formaldehyde: Known carcinogen
- Thimerosal: Mercury-based preservative (only in multi-dose vials)
- Other heavy metals such as aluminum: Known neurotoxin
- Sugar: The essence of all inflammatory disease
- Triton X100: A detergent
- Other additives known to cause allergic reactions
The biggest controversy about the ingredients in the shot surrounds the use of the preservative thimerosal. Thimerosal contains mercury. Exposure to mercury leads to systemic health problems running the gamut from neurological dysfunction (memory loss, confusion, inability to concentrate) to depression, renal failure, skin troubles and gastrointestinal disturbances.
Pregnant women and infants are often advised to opt for the single dose mercury-free vaccines as once mercury is in the body it can enter the fetus via the placenta. Studies have also reported that children can become symptomatic from mercury toxicity from as little exposure as 10 mcg/kg/day.
Many vaccines contain up to 25 mcg of mercury per dose so this is one area where I will state how important it is to look for a mercury-free vaccines. Here are some options to ask your doctor about:
Types of Vaccines Available:
- Single-dose vaccines such as Fluzone: Contains a purified, inert virus that is incapable of causing infection and tends to be free of mercury.
- Nasal spray such as FluMist: Contains a small amount of a weakened live virus which might make this form slightly more effective but also poses a higher risk for side effects and complications. These are mercury-free. Not for pregnant women or children 6-24 months.
- Some pre-filled syringes such as Afluria are mercury-free.
- Multi-dose vaccines tend to contain the most mercury.
If mercury is such a problem, then why are we even using it? Mercury is part of the preservative necessary when using multi-dose vaccines. The single-dose vaccine doesn’t require the preservative which is why this vaccine is preferred. It is also the least cost-effective for manufacturers to produce so until this changes. YOU, the consumer, need to advocate for yourself.
How Safe is the Flu Vaccine?
While the CDC reports that safety is always being monitored to ensure risk from the vaccine is negligible, certain serious complications have been reported:
- Allergic reactions (anaphylactic)
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome (can be fatal)
- Neurological disorders
Always contact your local physician if you suspect any serious complications post injection.
While not everyone necessarily needs to get vaccinated, especially if you are generally healthy and follow my advice about boosting your immune system with a whole foods diet and an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, there are still some people that might want to consider it.
The CDC recommends the following people for receiving the flu vaccine: Health-care workers with direct patient contact, pregnant women, caregivers of children younger than 6 months, and children and adults under age 24.
Ideal Candidates for the Vaccine:
- Immuno-compromised patients
- Heart disease patients
- Morbidly obese
Why Do We Get Sick?
Why do we get the flu in the first place? Why is the integrity of our immune system compromised? What changes can we make in order to prevent illness from taking hold rather than suffer its nasty consequences?
Why confuse ourselves about the pros and cons of a vaccine’s worth, safety, and availability when we have so much in our medicinal arsenal to fight the flu’s onset?
Preventing the flu depends on improving the quality of our lifestyles to include more pleasure and relaxation, increasing access to fresh, nutrient-dense food, and limiting sugary and industrial junk food in our lives.
Taking care of the way we eat, keeping fit, getting enough sleep and taking a few nutritional supplements including a multivitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D can prevent most from ever getting sick in the first place. In fact I have never had the flu even though, as a doctor, I am in contact with it on a regular basis.
The influenza virus can be very uncomfortable and cause a major disruption in our busy lives. It is important to remember that most healthy people will suffer a mere 3-5 days.
While the fever/chills, sore throat, headache, and fatigue are definitely not fun, they usually come and go without much major harm caused to the body.
In fact, most deaths are only associated with the flu via contraction of pneumonia and its influence on existing medical conditions. The flu’s mortality rate itself is much less common-in fact, more people die each year from malnutrition than from the flu!
So do yourself a favor and pay attention to your vitamin D status, optimize your diet by focusing on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, eat lean and clean protein and healthy anti-inflammatory fats from fish, nuts, and seeds, and healthy olive, grape seed, and coconut oils.
Stay well hydrated, practice common sense hygiene, and create time to rest and restore your energy. And of course get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer this season!
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy flu-season.
Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, MD
Bet you think of this little video the next time you see the other polar bear commercial. Laura
Video satire skewers Coke’s polar bears
Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY
8:36PM EST October 9. 2012 – This is the video that Coca-Cola doesn’t want you to see.
Its famous Polar Bears are skewered — as is the whole soft-drink industry — in an anti-sugary-drink video to be released Wednesday. Behind it: Alex Bogusky, the culturally influential ad legend whose former agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, has created ads for such hot-button clients as Burger King, Domino’s and, yes, Coca-Cola.
Bogusky left the agency world in disgust two years ago. Now, he’s back in a new role: taking on the cola industry along with advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest. The move comes at a time big makers of sugary drinks are being challenged by legislators and consumers from New York to California. It’s all about winning the viral PR war.
The video’s goal: to show the ill effects of drinking too many sugary beverages. The papa bear in the animated video, The Real Bears, not only suffers from erectile dysfunction, but also contracts type 2 diabetes, which forces him to have a “grizzly” leg amputation. The video ends with the polar bear family pouring their cola into the ocean.
“You know the American diet has gone the wrong way when it’s considered normal to drink massive amounts of liquid candy,” Bogusky says. “This is a cultural wake-up call.”
But executives at Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association say the video is bunk and its statistics wrong.
“This is irresponsible and grandstanding and will not help anyone understand energy balance,” says Coca-Cola spokeswoman Susan Stribling. “It also distorts the facts while we and our industry partners are working with government and civil society on real solutions.”
Pepsi declined to comment. But ABA spokeswoman Karen Hanretty says, “CSPI is better at producing videos than they are doing math. People are drinking fewer calories from soda — and have been for a decade — so how can soda be to blame for rising obesity?”
Aside from political work that Bogusky has done for former vice president Al Gore, this is his first ad since leaving the agency business. It is bound to raise social-media eyebrows and is expected to go viral after it is posted at TheRealBears.org.
If anyone knows how to go viral, it’s Bogusky. In 2004, his agency created for client Burger King one of the first megaviral commercial videos about a so-called Subservient Chicken that would instantly perform one of 300 typed-in commands. Before that, Bogusky was widely known for the anti-tobacco Truth campaign that he helped create.
Now he’s teaming with an advocacy group to try to put the societal brakes on sugary-drink consumption.
“There’s a war going on between soft-drink companies and health advocates,” says Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “This is our attempt to reposition soft drinks from a source of happiness to a major cause of disease.”
You’ve got to see this, especially the classic ads for sugar and lard!
Fifty different brands of high fructose corn syrup containing foods were tested for mercury.
Did you know that ground turkey could boost your cholesterol? Learn about these nine surprising artery-clogging foods. Which one shocked you the most?
9 Surprising Foods That Do Increase Cholesterol
- Ground turkey. Even when ground turkey is labeled as 85% lean, it has 12.5 grams of fat in a 3-ounce portion, says Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, Georgia State University nutrition professor emerita. Her advice: Ground turkey breast can be a heart-healthy substitute for ground beef, but watch the portion size because it’s not without fat.”
- Added sugars (such as table sugar or high fructose corn syrup). One of the biggest surprises is that added sugars in processed and prepared foods are associated with decreased HDL levels. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in April 2010 found an association between added sugars and blood lipid levels and discovered adults averaged 21 teaspoons of added sugars daily. “Increased added sugars are associated with blood cholesterol levels and heart disease risk,” says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, author of Guide to Better Digestion. Everyone would benefit by reducing the amount of added sugars in the diet because they can also lead to obesityand type 2 diabetes, Bonci says. The AHA recommends getting no more than 100 calories from added sugars on a 2,000 calories-per-day diet.
- Mashed potatoes. “Most mashed potatoes, especially at restaurants, include hefty portions of butter, cream, whole milk, sour cream, and/or cream cheese, turning a perfectly healthy potato into a saturated fat bomb,” says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Marissa Moore, MBA, RD. Order a plain baked potato and top it with vegetables, salsa, or low-fat sour cream. Another option: Enjoy the natural sweetness of a vitamin A-rich plain baked sweet potato.
- Pizza. Just one slice of plain pizza has 10 grams of fat and 4.4 grams of saturated fat — and we all know that one slice without any pepperoni is not the usual order. Stick to one slice and top it with lots of high-fiber, filling vegetables.
- Whole-fat dairy products. “Dairy foods are nutrient-rich, loaded withcalcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals, but if your choice is full-fat, you could be getting a hefty dose of saturated fat,” says nutrition consultant and author Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD. For example, one cup of Fage Total Plain Classic Greek yogurt has 18g saturated fat, but if you choose their 0% variety, it has no fat. When you choose nonfat or low-fat, you get all the nutritional benefits without the extra calories or fat. If you love full-fat cheese, “portion control is the answer,” Ward says.
- Plant foods from the tropics. Coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter all sound healthy but they are the only plant foods that contain saturated fat, says Connie Diekman, Med, RD, Washington University nutrition director. “Read labels for these terms and enjoy them in small doses so they won’t sabotage your cholesterol level,” she says. Karmally calls pina coladas “heart attack in a glass — there are 602 calories and 20 grams saturated fat in a 12-ounce glass.” And Moore says, “Don’t forget about chocolate, when eaten in excess can lead to increased cholesterol levels.”
- Ghee (clarified butter). In India, ghee is associated with healthful eating and honoring your guests but it is very high in saturated fat, just like butter, says Karmally. “It is also high in palmitic acid which is artery clogging.” Use heart healthy olive oil or a trans fat-free margarine instead of ghee.
- Pie and pastries. “Flaky crusts, streusel topping, custard filling, cheese filled pastries — these all promise a hefty dose of saturated fat because they often include butter, shortening, cream, cream cheese, and/or whole milk,” Moore says. It is the butter or shortening that makes the crust so nice and flaky. Choose fruit pies and eat mostly filling and only a few bites of the crust for a lower-fat and calorie treat.
- Movie theater tub popcorn. Regal Cinema’s medium-sized popcorn has a whopping 60 grams of saturated fat and 1,200 calories. Why? Because it is popped in fats, then topped off with more fat, earning it a spot on foods that can wreck your cholesterol level. Shave the fat and calories by skipping the buttery topping and opt for a smaller portion.
Read the Label
Reading food labels can help you avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats. To limit trans fat, avoid fried foods, foods with vegetable shortening, margarine, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
When reading labels, keep these numbers in mind: Saturated fat should not exceed 7% of calories and trans fats less than 1%, according to the AHA. That’s less than 16 grams saturated fat and 2 grams trans fat on a 2,000-calorie diet.
The benefits of resistance training go far beyond sculpting a lean, toned body
We know: You don’t want bulging biceps or thunderous thigh muscles like Lance Armstrong. No woman does. But that doesn’t mean you should skip the weight room.
Lifting weights has some surprising perks that you can’t get from cardio alone. Research shows that just two strength-training sessions a week can help you burn more fat, sculpt lean muscles, feel more energized, and so much more. Here are eight reasons you should start lifting today.
1. You’ll burn more calories
Although cardio burns more calories than strength training during your 30-minute sweat session, lifting weights burns more overall. It all goes back to building muscle. It takes more energy (calories) for your body to maintain muscle cells than it does fat cells. So by lifting weights to add more muscle mass, you’ll boost your metabolism and turn your body into a more efficient fat-burning machine.
2. You’ll maintain muscle and feel better in your clothes
Research shows that between the ages of 30 and 70, women lose an average of 22 percent of their total muscle. What’s even more upsetting is that over time, the muscle void is often filled with fat. One pound of fat takes up 18 percent more space than one pound of muscle, so even if the number on the scale goes down, your pants size might go up. The best way to stay tightly packed? Keep strength training!
For best results, Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, author of Beat the Gym, recommends two to three total-body strength workouts per week for 30 minutes each session. Include three to four days of cardiovascular exercise, either on the same days or alternate days.
3. You’ll build stronger bones
Lifting weights can be your best defense against osteoporosis—a disease affecting 10 million Americans, 80 percent of which are women, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. “When you lift weights you engage muscles that pull on the tendons which, in turn, pull on the bones,” says Holland. “This added stress makes bones stronger.”
4. Your heart will be healthier
It may seem counterintuitive that weight lifting helps lower blood pressure, since blood pressure actually goes up during and immediately after your strength session. But research shows it’s a powerful way to protect your ticker in the long run. “As muscles contract, blood is pushed back up to the heart,” says Irv Rubenstein, PhD, exercise physiologist and founder of S.T.E.P.S., a fitness facility in Nashville, TN. “The heart then recirculates this oxygenated blood back to the muscles, which keeps the cardiovascular system in better working order.” Plus, maintaining lean muscle mass enables you to do more work overall, further enhancing this effect, Rubenstein says.
5. You’ll remember where you left the keys (and everything else)
Muscles strengthen both your body and your brain. According to a new study published in the May 2012 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a combination of mentally stimulating activities like using a computer and exercise (which included walking and other cardio as well as strength training and sports activities) helped protect brain functioning in older adults. The combination of computer use with moderate exercise decreases the risk of memory loss more than either one activity on its own.
6. You’ll be happier and less stressed
Move over, runner’s high! Weight training also has the power to induce pleasure by releasing endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical in your brain. Research shows that resistance training can help beat the blues. One Australian study found that people who did three strength workouts a week (chest presses, lat pull-downs, and biceps curls) reported an 18 percent drop in depression after 10 weeks. In addition, exercise reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, relieving feelings of anxiety and agitation.
7. You’ll reduce your risk of diabetes (or improve quality of life if you already have diabetes)
Lifting weights helps improve the way your body processes sugar, which can help prevent diabetes. And if you already have diabetes, research shows that extended periods of strength training improve blood sugar control as well as taking a diabetes drug. In fact, the combination of strength training and aerobic exercise may be even more beneficial than drugs.
8. You’ll improve balance
Ever try to put on one sock while standing on the other leg? Without strength training, this simple act can feel more like a circus trick over time. The reason: fast-twitch muscles fibers we use for strength training deteriorate with age. (Aerobic exercises use mostly slow-twitch fibers.) “The fast-twitch fibers assist in speed and power movements and contract quickly and with sufficient force to catch yourself when you lose your balance,” Rubenstein says. “Resistance training maintains the ability of these fibers to activate.”