How to stop mindless snacking

Image

We’ve all been guilty of reaching for the potato chips or snacking on chocolate without even thinking about it. The occasional indulgence is okay, but if you’re going to break your diet, make sure it’s for the right reasons and you’re really going to enjoy it! 

Mindless eating adds up, and those extra calories can start to sabotage your weight loss efforts before you know it. So save those treats for a celebration with your friends! Next time you find yourself about to eat without thinking, HALT and take a second to consider the following…

H = Hungry

Before you start eating, ask yourself if you are actually hungry. If you are, ask yourself if those potato chips will really be the best thing to fill you up. The types of processed, high-fat foods that we tend to snack on mindlessly (chips, chocolate, biscuits) tend to have a very high caloric density and low nutritional value, which means you’ll be consuming a large amount of calories before you actually feel full. By contrast, foods with a low caloric density (like fresh fruits and vegetables) will fill you up on fewer calories, as well as giving you nutritional support.

Unknown

So if you are actually hungry, look for something that will satisfy you with fewer calories. Having a small serve of oatmeal and yogurt will fill you up faster than half a bag of potato chips- and you’ll feel much better at the end of it! Foods that are high in protein and fibre are a good choice. Try some carrot sticks with peanut butter, apple slices with cottage cheese, or whole-wheat crackers with hummus. There are plenty of healthy choices that will keep your hunger at bay far more successfully than those salty, sugary treats.

A = Anxious or Angry

Anxiety or anger are also common triggers for people to reach for snacks. When you feel worked up or tense, it’s almost an impulse to grab something to munch on as a distraction. But what you’ve probably noticed after a session of stress-induced eating is that you didn’t even really notice or enjoy the taste. Why waste all those calories when you’re not even going to get the pleasure from them you might normally?

If you think you might be about to eat due to strong emotions like stress, anxiety or anger, take ten minutes to calm down and then decide if you still feel like eating. Go for a walk around the block, do some relaxation exercises, or take a few minutes just to chill and listen to your favourite music. Nine times out of ten, if you wait a few minutes the impulse will pass. 

Unknown-1

L = Lonely

Comfort food is another problem for many dieters. Food is pleasurable, and eating can release serotonin in the brain, so it can be a physically comforting experience that people can be drawn to as a distraction from being sad or lonely. Often the thought process is something along the lines of ‘I’ve had a bad day, so I deserve to eat this ice cream.’ You do deserve comfort and happiness- but rationally, eating fattening foods might not be the best way to achieve that. Often, it will just perpetuate a cycle of guilt and anger at yourself for breaking your diet- which in turn, can drive you to seek more comfort in food.

If you’re eating as a reward for getting through a hard day, or to make yourself feel better when you’re in a low mood, or to distract yourself from feeling lonely, it might be more useful to look for other ways to confront the real problem. Often, simple things like calling a friend or a family member can be a big help. Do something that makes you feel good- like taking a bath, watching your favourite TV show, or even treating yourself to a massage or a manicure. Look for other ways to find comfort and social support, and you can start to feel better without sacrificing your diet.

boredom-eating

T = Tired

Tiredness is easy to confuse with hunger. Getting enough sleep helps to regulate your appetite through the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which control how hungry you feel. So if you are sleep deprived, your hormone levels are altered so that your appetite increases. Your body might also be prompting you to eat to get more energy to keep you awake. 

In the long term, you can prevent this by trying to improve your sleeping patterns to ensure you are getting adequate rest. When you do feel like eating and you think it might be due to tiredness, take a time-out to do some relaxation exercises, meditation, or take a short nap.

Gluten Free? Gluten Sensitive? A trend? A way of life?

gluten-free

Double Click to open files below:

NFCA_CeliacDisease_vs_NonCeliacGlutenSensitivity

what is celiac disease – 11-22-2013

Going gluten-free seems to be the newest dietary trend that many people are following, even if it is not mandatory for one’s health. This trend was brought on by an increased number of cases of celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity, also referred to as gluten intolerance. Both diagnoses come with the recommendation of avoiding gluten-containing foods (wheat, rye, barley), however both are different in the way the body is affected.

Celiac disease, also known as gluten sensitive enteropathy, is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestine causing it to become inflamed when gluten is digested. The immune system then generates an abnormal response to gluten and attacks its own intestinal tissue.  This leads to the wasting away of the villi that line the small intestine, malabsorption of nutrients and thus malnutrition. Symptoms may include Anemia, osteopenia, lactase deficiency, diarrhea, constipation, delayed growth, and weight loss due to malabsorption of nutrients. Other symptoms that may present are arthritis, dermatitis, infertility, muscle weakness, and constant fatigue. A series of tests and evaluations are performed including an examination of one’s family history as genetic predisposition is common, blood tests, and the final confirmation of an intestinal biopsy. Once confirmed a strict adherence to a gluten free diet is necessary.

images
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is often interchanged with gluten intolerance. There are cases where symptoms are less severe, which may be considered gluten sensitivity, whereas severe cases would be labelled as gluten intolerance due to the intensity and length of time symptoms last. Gluten sensitivity differs from celiac disease in that the body views gluten as an invader causing a direct response in the form of inflammation inside and outside of the digestive tract, and with this disorder one’s own tissue (lining of small intestine) is not attacked, as we see with celiac disease. Once gluten is removed from the body, the inflammation goes away unlike the symptoms associated with celiac disease. Symptoms include bloating, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhoea due to the inflammation of the digestive tract. Headaches, lethargy, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity, muscle weakness/disturbances and joint pain may present as well. Tests performed for a diagnosis of celiac disease are usually done with the findings not showing the indicators necessary, leading to a trial gluten-free diet. With the diet, symptoms will disappear, and a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity will be given.

Unfortunately celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are becoming increasingly prevalent. Thus it is important to know how each diagnosis affects the body, and the reasons for being put on a gluten free diet. With more research being done, there may soon be more answers as to why more cases continue to emerge.

url

Celiac and Gluten-Free Fast Facts:

  • Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.
  • An estimated 1 in 133 Americans, or about 1% of the population, has celiac disease.
  • Celiac disease can affect men and women across all ages and races.
  • It is estimated that 83% of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.
  • 6-10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed. (Source: Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center)
  • 5-22% of celiac patients have an immediate family member (1st degree relative) who also has celiac.
  • Celiac disease can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.
  • Burden of disease over four-year period per patient:
  • Females: $4,019
  • Males:  $14,191
    (Source: Long et al, 2010)
  • There are NO pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease.
  • 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac today
  • A positive attitude, 100% of the time, helps celiacs create a gluten-free lifestyle for themselves and their affected family members.
  • The celiac disease diagnosis rate may reach 50-60% by 2019, thanks to efforts to raise public awareness of celiac disease. (Source: Datamonitor Group, 2009)
  • Gluten-free sales reached more than $2.6 billion by the end of 2010 and are now expected to exceed more than $5 billion by 2015. (Source: Packaged Facts, 2011)

url-1

Calcium – the hows and whats!

A client of mine came to me with an issue she faced and asked for my advice.
I told her off my experience and with this also referred her on her GP and/or specialist.
I told her
“I was oesteopenic, genetic from my mothers side of the family where osteoporosis runs throughout the generations in both males and females.
With commitment and focus I have managed to increase my bone density to normal levels
1) Resistance exercise – weight bearing exercises
2) Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements
3) Eating well – not only food rich in calcium but an over all healthy nutritious food program.
The suggestions I had is to do a lot of what I did:
If this does not work I suggested she goes to see her specialist and/or her GP again and see if medication such as Fosomax might be appropriate.
a) Check your Vitamin D effective levels calcium absorption is compromised.
b) Very IMPORTANT – weight bearing exercises 3 times a week (optimal)
c) Not only to rely on supplements only:
Sunshine/light is very important.
15 minutes a day in the sun with your skin bear and your eyes without sunglasses is very important.
c) Eat food rich in calcium
  • Green vegetables like broccoli, curly kale, and bok choy
  • Some fruits such as oranges, apricots and dried figs
  • Canned fish with soft, edible bones (the calcium is in the bones) such as sardines, pilchards and salmon
  • Fish eaten not from cans great just you can’t eat the bones..sardines are fabulous!
  • Nuts, especially Brazil nuts and almonds
  • Sesame seeds, tchina
  • carobs
  • dairy products – natural yogurt, milk, cottage cheese
VERY IMPORTANT – You must be aware that Caffeine (coffee, tea, diet coke) and salt can increase calcium loss from the body and should not be taken in excessive amounts. Alcohol should also be taken in moderation as it detracts from bone health and is associated with falls and fractures.
DRINK only 2 cups of coffee a day MAXIMUM and I mean 250 ml cups (single shot)
Some leafy produce, like spinach and rhubarb, contain ‘oxalates’, which prevent the calcium present in these vegetables from being absorbed. However, they do not interfere with calcium absorption from other calcium-containing foods eaten at the same time. The same is true of ‘phytates’ in dried beans, cereal husks and seeds (thus you should always soak your seeds, grains and beans before you eat them)
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE FROM YOUR GP OR/AND SPECIALIST. THE ABOVE IS FROM MY EXPERIENCE ONLY
A great website is:

http://www.osteopathy.org.au/ 

Calcium

What can high-calcium foods do for you?

  • Maintain healthy, strong bones
  • Support proper functioning of nerves and muscles
  • Help your blood clot

What events can indicate a need for more high-calcium foods?

  • Frequent bone fractures
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Tingling or numbness in your hands and feet
  • Bone deformities and growth retardation in children

Excellent sources of calcium include spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, and tofu.

Foods rich in calcium
Yogurt
Tofu
Sesame Seeds
Sardines
Milk – Goat
Milk
Collard Greens
Spinach4
Cheese
Turnip Greens

What is calcium?

One of the most abundant minerals in the human body, calcium accounts for approximately 1.5% of total body weight. Bones and teeth house 99% of the calcium in the body, while the remaining 1% is distributed in other areas.

In recent years, consumers have been bombarded with public health messages encouraging the consumption of foods rich in calcium. These messages are aimed at preventing osteoporosis, a disease characterized by brittle and porous bones that now affects more than 20 million individuals in the United States. A calcium-deficient diet is one of the causative factors of osteoporosis.

Our food ranking system—based on nutrient density—shows spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, and collard greens to be excellent sources of calcium. Our ranking system looks not only at the amount of calcium in food, but also at the caloric content of food and how many calories of a food are necessary to provide the desired amount of calcium. Dairy foods—which are often listed as excellent sources of calcium—turn out to be very good sources of calcium in our ranking system (just one step below turnip greens, and mustard greens) because of their lower nutrient density.

How it Functions

Calcium is best known for its role in maintaining the strength and density of bones. In a process known as bone mineralization, calcium and phosphorus join to form calcium phosphate. Calcium phosphate is a major component of the mineral complex (called hydroxyapatite) that gives structure and strength to bones.

Calcium also plays a role in many physiological activities not related to bones including blood clotting, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, regulation of enzyme activity, and cell membrane function. Because these physiological activities are essential to life, the body utilizes complex regulatory systems to tightly control the amount of calcium in the blood so that calcium is available for these activities. As a result, when dietary intake of calcium is too low to maintain normal blood levels of calcium, the body will draw on calcium stores in the bones to maintain normal blood concentrations, which, after many years, can lead to osteoporosis.

Deficiency Symptoms

Insufficient calcium intake, poor calcium absorption, and/or excessive calcium losses through the urine and feces can cause calcium deficiency. In children, calcium deficiency can cause improper bone mineralization, which leads to rickets, a condition characterized by bone deformities and growth retardation. In adults, calcium deficiency may result in osteomalacia, or softening of the bone. Calcium deficiency, along with other contributing factors, can also result in osteoporosis.

Low levels of calcium in the blood (especially one particular form of calcium, called free ionized calcium) may cause a condition called tetany, in which nerve activity becomes excessive. Symptoms of tetany include muscle pain and spasms, as well as tingling and/or numbness in the hands and feet.

Toxicity Symptoms

Excessive intakes of calcium (more than 3,000 mg per day) may result in elevated blood calcium levels, a condition known as hypercalcemia. If blood levels of phosphorus are low at the same time as calcium levels are high, hypercalcemia can lead to soft tissue calcification. This condition involves the unwanted accumulation of calcium in cells other than bone. Given some of these known risks associated with high intake of calcium, in 2010 the National Academy of Sciences established revised Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for calcium as follows:

  • 0-6 months: 1000 mg
  • 6-12 months: 1500 mg
  • 1-3 years: 2500 mg
  • 4-8 years: 2500 mg
  • 9-13 years: 3000 mg
  • 14-18 years: 3000 mg
  • 19-30 years: 2500 mg
  • 31-50 years: 2500 mg
  • 51+ years: 2000 mg
  • Pregnant and lactating women (younger than 18 years): 3000 mg
  • Pregnant and lactating women (older than 18 years): 2500 mg

Impact of Cooking, Storage and Processing

The amount of calcium in foods is not adversely impacted by cooking or long-term storage.

Factors that Affect Function

Hypochlorhydria, a condition characterized by insufficient secretion of stomach acid, affects many people and is especially common in the elderly. Lack of stomach acid impairs the absorption of calcium and may lead to poor calcium status.

Adequate intake of vitamin D is necessary for the absorption and utilization of calcium. As a result, vitamin D deficiency, or impaired conversion of the inactive to the active form of vitamin D (which takes place in the liver and kidneys), may also lead to a poor calcium status.

Nutrient Interactions

The following nutrients impact the absorption, utilization and/or excretion of calcium:

  • Vitamin D accelerates the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract.
  • High consumption of potassium reduces the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • High intakes of sodium, caffeine, or protein cause an increase in the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • Certain types of dietary fiber like the fiber found in wheat and oat bran, may interfere with calcium absorption by decreasing transit time (the amount of time it takes for digested foods to move through the intestines), limiting the amount of time during digestion for calcium to be absorbed. Dietary fiber also stimulates the proliferation of “friendly” bacteria in the gut, which bind calcium and make it less available for absorption.
  • Phytic acid, found in whole grains, nuts, and legumes, can bind to calcium to form and insoluble complex, thereby decreasing the absorption of calcium.
  • Oxalic acid, found in spinach, beets, celery, pecans, peanuts, tea and cocoa, can bind to calcium and form an insoluble complex that is excreted in the feces. While research studies confirm the ability of phytic acid and oxalic acid in foods to lower availability of calcium, the decrease in available calcium is relatively small.

Calcium impacts the absorption of the following nutrients:

  • Calcium in food and supplements decreases the absorption of heme and nonheme iron.
  • Magnesium and calcium compete with each other for intestinal absorption. Consequently, calcium supplements should not be taken at the same time as magnesium supplements.

Health Conditions

What health conditions require special emphasis on calcium?

Calcium may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of the following health conditions:

  • Cataracts
  • Colon cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension and preeclampsia
  • Premenstrual syndrome

Food Sources

Excellent sources of calcium include spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens and tofu.

Very good sources of calcium include blackstrap molasses, Swiss chard, yogurt, kale, mozzarella cheese, cow’s milk, and goat’s milk. Basil, thyme, dill seed, oregano, and cinnamon are also very good sources of calcium.

Good sources of calcium include romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, sesame seeds, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, garlic, Brussel sprouts, oranges, asparagus, leeks and crimini mushrooms. Rosemary, cumin seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, scallops, and kelp (a sea vegetable) are also good sources of calcium.

Introduction to Nutrient Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the World’s Healthiest Foods that are either an excellent, very good, or good source of calcium. Next to each food name, you’ll find the serving size we used to calculate the food’s nutrient composition, the calories contained in the serving, the amount of calcium contained in one serving size of the food, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling.”

World’s Healthiest Foods ranked as quality sources of
calcium
Food Serving
Size
Cals Amount
(mg)
DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World’s
Healthiest
Foods Rating
Basil 2 tsp 7.0 59.16 5.9 15.1 very good
Turnip Greens 1 cup cooked 28.8 197.28 19.7 12.3 excellent
Thyme 2 tsp 7.7 52.92 5.3 12.3 very good
Oregano 2 tsp 9.5 57.49 5.7 10.8 very good
Spinach 1 cup cooked 41.4 244.80 24.5 10.6 excellent
Collard Greens 1 cup cooked 49.4 266.00 26.6 9.7 excellent
Dill 2 tsp 12.8 63.67 6.4 8.9 very good
Mustard Greens 1 cup cooked 21.0 103.60 10.4 8.9 excellent
Tofu 4 oz-wt 86.2 396.89 39.7 8.3 excellent
Cinnamon 2 tsp 12.8 52.10 5.2 7.3 very good
Sea Vegetables 0.25 cup 8.6 33.60 3.4 7.0 good
Rosemary 2 tsp 7.9 30.72 3.1 7.0 good
Blackstrap Molasses 2 tsp 32.1 117.56 11.8 6.6 very good
Cheese 1 oz-wt 72.0 221.69 22.2 5.5 very good
Yogurt 1 cup 154.3 448.35 44.8 5.2 very good
Swiss Chard 1 cup cooked 35.0 101.50 10.2 5.2 very good
Kale 1 cup cooked 36.4 93.60 9.4 4.6 very good
Celery 1 cup 16.2 40.40 4.0 4.5 good
Cumin 1 tsp 15.8 39.10 3.9 4.5 good
Milk 1 cup 122.0 292.80 29.3 4.3 very good
Cloves 2 tsp 13.6 27.13 2.7 3.6 good
Milk – Goat 1 cup 168.4 326.96 32.7 3.5 very good
Romaine Lettuce 2 cups 16.0 31.02 3.1 3.5 good
Sardines 3.20 oz-wt 188.7 346.54 34.7 3.3 good
Sesame Seeds 0.25 cup 206.3 351.00 35.1 3.1 good
Coriander 2 tsp 17.8 29.20 2.9 3.0 good
Cabbage 1 cup raw 17.5 28.00 2.8 2.9 good
Fennel 1 cup raw 27.0 42.63 4.3 2.8 good
Broccoli 1 cup raw 30.9 42.77 4.3 2.5 good
Garlic 1 oz-wt 26.8 32.58 3.3 2.2 good
Asparagus 1 cup raw 26.8 32.16 3.2 2.2 good
Green Beans 1 cup raw 31.0 37.00 3.7 2.1 good
Scallops 4 oz-wt 127.0 130.41 13.0 1.8 good
Brussels Sprouts 1 cup raw 37.8 36.96 3.7 1.8 good
Leeks 1 cup raw 54.3 52.51 5.3 1.7 good
Oranges 1 each 61.6 52.40 5.2 1.5 good
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

Public Health Recommendations

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences issued revised Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendation levels for calcium. These revised recommendation levels were determined to be necessary in light of the simultaneously revised recommendation levels for vitamin D. (Vitamin D and calcium work together in their support of our health, and it makes sense to coordinate nutrient recommendations for these two nutrients.) The 2010 revised recommendations for calcium included revised calcium Adequate Intake (AI) levels for infants as follows:

  • 0-6 months: 200 mg
  • 6-12 months: 260 mg

For children and adults, Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) levels were established in 2010 as follows:

  • 1-3 years: 700 mg
  • 4-8 years: 1000 mg
  • 9-13 years: 1300 mg
  • 14-18 years: 1300 mg
  • 19-30 years: 1000 mg
  • 31-50 years: 1000 mg
  • 51-70 years (male): 1000 mg
  • 51-70 years (female): 1200 mg
  • 70+ years: 1200mg
  • Pregnant and lactating women (younger than 18 years): 1300 mg
  • Pregnant and lactating women (older than 18 years): 1000 mgIn 2010 the National Academy of Sciences established revised Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for calcium as follows:
    • 0-6 months: 1000 mg
    • 6-12 months: 1500 mg
    • 1-3 years: 2500 mg
    • 4-8 years: 2500 mg
    • 9-13 years: 3000 mg
    • 14-18 years: 3000 mg
    • 19-30 years: 2500 mg
    • 31-50 years: 2500 mg
    • 51+ years: 2000 mg
    • Pregnant and lactating women (younger than 18 years): 3000 mg
    • Pregnant and lactating women (older than 18 years): 2500 mg

    For more details on this, see the Toxicity Symptoms section above.

    References

    • Bell L, et al. Cholesterol-lowering effects of calcium carbonate in patients with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia. Arch Intern Med 1992;152:2441-2444. 1992.
    • Bostick RM, et al. Effect of calcium supplementation on serum cholesterol and blood pressure. Arch Fam Med 2000; 9:31-39. 2000.
    • Buckley LM, et al. Calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation prevents bone loss in the spine secondary to low-dose corticosteroids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Intern Med 1996; 125:961-968. 1996.
    • Cappuccio FP, et al. Epidemiologic association between dietary calcium intake and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of published data. Am J Epidemiol 1995;142:935-945. 1995.
    • Cook JD, Dassenko SA, Whittaker P. Calcium supplementation: effect on iron absorption. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:106-11. 1991.
    • Garland CF, Garland FC, Gorham ED. Calcium and vitamin D: Their potential roles in colon and breast cancer prevention. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1999;889:107-19. 1999.
    • Groff JL, Gropper SS, Hunt SM. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. West Publishing Company, New York, 1995. 1995.
    • Hallberg L. Does calcium interfere with iron absorption. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;63:3-4. 1998.
    • Lee SJ, Kanis JA. An association between osteoporosis and premenstrual symptoms and postmenopausal symptoms. Bone and Mineral 1994;24:127-134. 1994.
    • Lininger SW, et al. A-Z guide to drug-herb-vitamin interactions. Prima Health, Rocklin, CA, 2000. 2000.
    • Miller JZ, et al. Calcium absorption from calcium carbonate and a new form of calcium (CCM) in healthy male and female adolescents. Am J Clin Nutr 1988;48:1291-4. 1988.
    • Minihane AM, et al. Effect of calcium supplementation on daily nonheme-iron absorption and long-term iron status. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68:96-102. 1998.
    • Sakhaee K, Bhuket T, et al. Meta-analysis of calcium bioavailability: A comparison of calcium citrate with calcium carbonate. American Journal of Therapeutics 1999;6:313-321. 1999.
    • Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, Tian J. Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Premestrual syndrome study group. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179(2): 444-52. 1998.
    • Weaver CM, Proulx WR, Heaney R. Choices for achieving adequate dietary calcium with a vegetarian diet. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70(suppl):543S-8S. 1999.
    • Wu K, Willet WC, Fuchs CS et al. Calcium intake and risk of colon cancer in women and men. J Natl Cancer Inst 2002 Mar 20;94(6):437-46. 2002.

Precision Nutrition – Lean Eating 5 day Course Free

Today I have a gift for all Precision Nutrition readers, a sneak peek at something
we’ve been working on for some time now, something new and
exceptionally cool . . .

A 5-day video course: Precision Nutrition for Fat Loss.

And the best part? It’s TOTALLY FREE.

If I do say so myself, this course is probably better than 90% of the
seminars I’ve ever attended on the subjects of exercise and nutrition
(and probably better than a few I’ve given myself, too).

To check out the free course, just click the link below.

For Women

www.precisionnutrition.com/cmd.php?pageid=1475646&u=w

For men

www.precisionnutrition.com/cmd.php?pageid=1475646&u=m

Why we created the course
————————-

We wanted to create a definitive resource for fat loss, a place where
you could learn everything you need to know to start losing fat
immediately. I think we’ve done that, but you can decide for yourself.

I see a LOT of nonsense being published about fat loss these days,
both on the web and in the mainstream media.

And at PN, we’re in a unique position to set the record straight about
what it REALLY takes — because in our Lean Eating Coaching Program,
we’ve essentially conducted the world’s largest fat loss research
project.

For the last 3 years, we’ve kept enormous amounts of data on thousands
of clients, tracking nearly every measurable statistic available, from
body composition to psychometric markers.

And from that data, we can draw some clear conclusions: to lose fat
rapidly — but also PERMANENTLY — clients need to adopt a very
specific approach to fat loss.

Well, in this free fat loss course, I share that approach with you.
And most importantly, I show you exactly how to do it, right away.

What I cover in the course
————————–

* The 5 things you need to know about nutrition — the same things
we’ve taught our clients to help them collectively lose over 100,000
pounds of fat.

* Exactly what foods to eat to lose fat — at every meal

* How to make delicious meals with a few simple ingredients

* The best types of exercise for fat loss — don’t waste your time on
anything else

* Exactly how much time you need to exercise — no guesswork here, we
share the real data with you

* Supplements for fat loss: the two different approaches you can take

* Which four supplements we use with our clients when fat loss is the
goal

* The one crucial reason why people fail at fat loss, and the two
simple things you can do to make sure you succeed

Last word
———

At PN, we’re out to change the way people think about fat loss — to
drown out the noise and the theories and share what we know REALLY
WORKS. And this course is the next step.

In it, I present some ideas that can be hard for people to accept. I
know, because for the last year I’ve been teaching this material to
fitness professionals around the world, and I see their reactions.
Mostly, it’s a mix of excitement and anxiety.

Why? Because as you’ll see in the course, not only CAN fat loss be
much simpler than the experts think — it HAS to be much simpler.
Otherwise, it doesn’t work.

To get the most out of the course, I encourage you to come in with an
open mind and consider that what I teach in the lessons might just be
true.

Because, well, it is.

This is how the 2% who succeed at fat loss actually do it. This is how
to lose fat without overhauling your life.

***

To read more about the free 5-day video fat loss course, and to take
it, click the links below:

For Women

www.precisionnutrition.com/cmd.php?pageid=1475646&u=w

For Men

www.precisionnutrition.com/cmd.php?pageid=1475646&u=m

From all of us at PN, enjoy the courses — and here’s hoping they’ll
help you get in the best shape of your life.

-JB

John M. Berardi, PhD, CSCS
Chief Science Officer

ANY ONE FOR COFFEE!!!

All About Coffee – Precision Nutrition

by Brian St. Pierre, May 24th, 2012.

Summary: Coffee is among the most consumed — and controversial — beverages in the world. While coffee should be treated with care and avoided altogether by those who metabolize it poorly, it also provides health benefits to many people. Read on to find out what they are – and how to drink coffee responsibly.

Coffee is the second most popular drink in the world, trailing only water and, debatably, tea.

Caffeine, a key component of coffee, is a controversial compound. With 90% of North American adults consuming caffeine daily, it is the world’s most consumed psychoactive drug – and coffee is the delivery method of choice.

Perhaps that’s why, in the fitness world, we’ve traditionally viewed coffee with some suspicion.

But is coffee really bad for us? Should we give up our beloved cuppa joe? If it’s bad, why does it feel so good?

Coffee’s origins

The coffee plant originated in East Africa — according to legend, a goat herder tried coffee cherries after he noticed his goats acting much more energetic after nibbling on the coffee bushes.

The earliest evidence of coffee drinking occurred in the 15th century in Yemen.  From Yemen, coffee quickly spread to Egypt and North Africa, and by the 16th century it was being enjoyed by the rest of the Middle East, Persia, and Turkey and soon thereafter Italy and the rest of Europe.

Fast forward to today. Coffee is ubiquitous in our culture.  Everywhere you look, there’s a coffee shop on the corner. What effect might our cultural love of coffee have on our health?

Short answer: Well, we’re not completely sure.

Coffee’s risks

Research on coffee’s safety is mixed, for several reasons:

  • Metabolism matters. People vary genetically in how well they can process caffeine and coffee.
  • Coffee interacts with many hormones and neurotransmitters in the body, such as cortisol, acetylcholine, and insulin. These relationships are complex, and often depend on timing, amount, and people’s individual makeup.
  • As a crop, coffee is less like corn or soy, and more like cacao or wine grapes: It’s typically grown and processed in smaller batches by smaller-scale farmers and producers. Variations in soil and climate, as well as later roasting and brewing technique, will change the taste and chemical makeup. It’s hard to standardize the exact chemical compounds in coffee from batch to batch.

So it’s hard to say definitively that coffee is “good” or “bad”; “healthy” or “unhealthy”. Let’s explore this in more depth.

What about my metabolism?

One reason that evidence on the health effects of coffee is so mixed is that people clear caffeine at different rates. Caffeine is broken down and cleared by the liver, and our genetic makeup shapes how quickly and effectively we can do this.

  • On one hand, “slow” metabolizers of caffeine don’t process caffeine effectively. These are people who are adversely affected by caffeine, get the jitters, and are wired for up to nine hours after consumption.
  • Others just get a boost in energy and alertness for a couple of hours; they are considered “fast” metabolizers of caffeine.

Research in the emerging field of nutrigenomics shows that about half of us have the gene variant that makes us “slow” metabolizers, while the other half enjoy the gene variant that allows them to get away with quad-espressos.

Thus, whether coffee is better or worse for you depends on how well and quickly you metabolize caffeine.

If you are a slow metabolizer of caffeine and coffee, steer clear (or at least, reduce your consumption). In your case, coffee can do more harm than good, and this may explain why high coffee consumption has been associated with:

  • higher risk of miscarriage
  • disrupted sleep
  • worse PMS symptoms
  • increased blood pressure, even in people without hypertension
  • non-fatal myocardial infarction (aka a heart attack)

On the plus side, low caffeine consumption still seems relatively safe for most folks, so a few daily cups of tea or squares of dark chocolate shouldn’t harm you (and in fact, may greatly boost your wellbeing!).

And fortunately, not everyone is adversely affected. For those lucky enough to be fast metabolizers, there is good news – and lots of it. Fast metabolizers don’t show the same association between coffee and disease — if you’re a fast metabolizer, coffee might even improve your health!

If you’d like to know more about how well you metabolize caffeine, you can take a quick and easy genetic test through agencies such as  23andme.com or existencegenetics.com.

What about cortisol?

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It increases blood pressure, spikes blood sugar and prepares the body for “fight or flight” mode.

Coffee and caffeine tend to transiently increase cortisol levels; however, this depends on several factors, including when you drink coffee, how often you drink it, and whether you have high blood pressure.

Cortisol is normally high in the morning, so if you drink some coffee at 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., you should be fine, as cortisol is naturally elevated at that time of day anyway.  However, your body may not appreciate coffee as much in the afternoon or evening, when cortisol normally drops. At that point, consider tea or something decaffeinated.

Again, there’s individual variation: Habitual consumers of coffee seem to be less affected by the cortisol bump, while those with hypertension seem to be more affected.

If cortisol levels are a problem for you, keep your coffee intake to first thing in the morning, and otherwise consume more tea. (Not only does tea have less caffeine, it also has other beneficial, calming compounds such as L-theanine.

What about pesticides?

Coffee plants are heavily sprayed with pesticides, which pose obvious health concerns. Fortunately, the plant’s structure offers some protection. While the outer “berry” does receive a lot of exposure, it’s the interior bean that is roasted and used for coffee, and its exposure is far less.  In addition, the roasting process destroys the majority of pesticide residues.

If you’re especially wary of pesticides, choose organically grown coffee. (Hey, it can’t hurt.) And while you’re at it, look for the Fair Trade label, which helps insure that family farmers are paid a fair wage for their crops.

What about my insulin sensitivity?

While a high dose of caffeine tends to decrease insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance acutely, it doesn’t seem to cause chronic problems. While those at risk of developing diabetes may want to be cautious, overall coffee consumption is actually associated with a 35% decreased risk of developing type II diabetes.

What about my kids?

There’s no clear guideline on when kids can safely consume coffee. Guidelines on caffeine consumption are based mostly on the size of the child, rather than their chronological ages.

Nevertheless, Health Canada recommends:

  • no more than 45 milligrams a day for kids aged 4 to 6;
  • 62.5 milligrams for kids age 7 to 9;
  • 85 milligrams for kids age 10 to 12; and
  • no more than 2.5 milligrams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight for adolescents 13 and up.

All this means that a 110 pound adolescent should not have more than 125 milligrams of caffeine a day — about one 6-8 oz cup of coffee.

Bear in mind, too, that kids may be getting plenty of caffeine from soft drinks, bottled tea, etc.

Coffee’s benefits

Caffeine & dehydration

For years, fitness enthusiasts worried that coffee would dehydrate them. However, a recent review of 10 studies found that consuming up to 550 mg of caffeine per day (or about five 8-oz cups) does not cause fluid-electrolyte imbalances in athletes or fitness enthusiasts.

In another review, researchers concluded that consuming caffeine-containing beverages as part of a normal lifestyle does not lead to fluid losses exceeding the volume of fluid consumed (intake and output were roughly equal), nor is it associated with poor hydration status.

Take-home: Don’t drink coffee as your only beverage, and drink enough water, and you’ll be fine.

Coffee & performance

Let’s be honest — that first morning coffee can transform us from beast to philosopher (or at least, slightly more awake and nicer beast). Coffee, and more specifically its caffeine content, provide many noted mental and physical performance benefits.

Caffeine reduces our rate of perceived exertion, so it doesn’t feel like we’re working as hard as we actually are. People who regularly drink coffee perform better on tests of reaction time, verbal memory, and visuo-spatial reasoning.

Another study found that women over the age of 80 performed significantly better on tests of cognitive function if they had regularly consumed coffee over the course of their lifetimes.

Take-home: A little bit of coffee/caffeine before important tasks requiring alertness and energy can be a good thing.

Coffee & Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a fatal and incurable brain disease that affects 1 percent to 2 percent of people over 65.  Amazingly, at least six studies have found that regular coffee drinkers are up to 80% less likely to develop Parkinson’s.

Researchers have identified a gene called GRIN2A that appeared to protect people who drank coffee from developing Parkinson’s.  GRIN2A is linked to glutamate, a compound that is suspected of killing the brain cells that die off in Parkinson’s patients.  Glutamate can be affected by another compound called adenosine, and coffee interferes with this process.

However: Only about 25% of the population has the gene variant of GRIN2A that boosts the protective effect of coffee.

Take-home: Coffee may lower Parkinson’s risk, but only in a small subset of people. 

Coffee & Alzheimer’s

Speaking of neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.  There is no cure for the disease, which gets progressively worse over time, and eventually leads to death.

What separates the research on Alzheimer’s from most of the other information covered in this article is that it derived from directly controlled trials versus simple observation.

Here, research indicates that people who drink about three cups of coffee a day show a marked reduction in cognitive impairment compared to non-drinkers.  Once you got up to four or more cups per day, though, the associated protection disappears.

This protection was not seen with tea or decaf coffee, so the benefit seems to be from the combination of the caffeine and some of coffee’s bioactive compounds.

In fact, new research from the University of South Florida found that this combination boosts blood levels of a critical growth factor called GCSF (granulocyte colony stimulating factor) that seems to prevent the formation of Alzheimer’s disease. People with Alzheimer’s disease have less  GCSF than the rest of the population. Increasing GCSF in mice improves their memory.

In the U of South Florida study, the researchers compared the effects of regular and decaf coffee to those of caffeine alone.  In both Alzheimer’s mice and normal mice, treatment with regular coffee dramatically increased blood levels of GCSF; neither caffeine alone nor decaf coffee provided this effect.

GCSF seems to improve memory performance in the Alzheimer’s mice in three ways:

  • It recruits stem cells from bone marrow to enter the brain and remove the harmful beta-amyloid protein that initiates the disease.
  • It creates new connections between brain cells.
  • It increases the birth of new neurons in the brain.

As the lead researcher, neuroscientist Dr. Chuanhai Cao, remarked: “Coffee is inexpensive, readily available, easily gets into the brain, appears to directly attack the disease process, and has few side-effects for most of us”.

According to the researchers, no other Alzheimer’s therapy being developed comes close to meeting all these criteria.

Take-home: Coffee seems to contain compounds that may reduce Alzheimer’s risk; and may also be part of a treatment protocol in the future.

Coffee, antioxidants & cancer

While dark chocolate and green tea gather a lot of acclaim for their antioxidant content, coffee actually outshines them both in this department.

In fact, the antioxidants in coffee may make up as much as 50-70% of the total antioxidant intake of the average American! (Which is not necessarily a good thing, because it means that there are a lot of vegetables not getting eaten…)

Despite some general worries about the health effects of coffee, coffee consumption is associated with an overall decreased risk of cancer.  In particular coffee consumption has been shown to be associated with a lower risk for oral, esophageal, pharyngeal, breast (in post-menopausal women), liver, colon, and aggressive prostate cancer.

When it comes to the prostate, researchers recently found that men who drank the most coffee (6 or more cups per day) were nearly 60% less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than non-coffee drinkers.  Other research has shown that people who regularly consume two or more cups per day may have a 25% decreased risk of colon cancer.

Again, the research is mixed in part because of the variation in response to coffee.

Take-home: Coffee may lower your cancer risk, but don’t count on it as your only health strategy. And eat some vegetables already.

Coffee & cardiovascular health

Drinking unfiltered types of coffee can increase your levels of LDL (aka “bad”) cholesterol. But overall the data seems to indicate that coffee consumption may moderately reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular complications.

Take-home: Research is mixed on cardiovascular disease and coffee.

Coffee & overall mortality

A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that drinking two to three cups of coffee per day was associated with a 10% decreased risk of death for men at any age, and a 13% decreased risk of death for women at any age.

In general, coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart or respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, injuries, accidents or infections. (Which makes us wonder… what do they die of? Espresso steamer mishaps?)

Take-home: Coffee appears to generally lower overall premature mortality slightly.

Summary & recommendations

Coffee’s not for everyone. And it’s not a magic bullet. Still, it seems to have significant health benefits for those who can tolerate it. This includes:

  • better athletic and mental performance
  • possibly lower rates of some types of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and Type 2 diabetes
  • possibly some prevention of premature mortality and cardiovascular disease

Most of the research on coffee is epidemiological. This means studies look at associations rather than cause and effect. Simply because coffee is associated with particular risks and benefits doesn’t necessarily mean that coffee causes all of these risks or benefits.

Just as with all foods (and nutrients for that matter), dosage matters. While some studies have found large intakes (5-6 cups) to have significant benefits, other research suggests that drinking that much coffee is counter-productive.

In general, it appears that drinking some coffee is good, but more might not be better, especially if you are a slow metabolizer.  For those who are greatly affected by coffee and caffeine, avoid it altogether or cut down your consumption.

Want a quick and easy test of your coffee consumption? Ask yourself how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally a few hours after you drink some… as well as if you miss your daily dose.

Also, go black if possible. Pumping your coffee full of cream, sugar, and other exotic additives reduces any potential health benefits by adding unnecessary calories and artificial flavours and sweeteners. (And Frappucinos or chocolate covered coffee beans? C’mon.)

Taking all the data into consideration, it seems that your best bet is about 1-3 cups of coffee (8-24 oz) per day. This will maximize the benefits while minimizing the risk.

And keep this in mind…while there is positive data on coffee, these benefits don’t necessarily include things like energy drinks and caffeine pills.  There are many antioxidants and bioactive compounds in coffee that are interacting with its caffeine content to provide the benefits.  So, unfortunately, Red Bull doesn’t count.

References

John K. Francis. Coffea arabica L. RUBIACEAE. Factsheet of U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

Freedman N, et al.  Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality.  N Engl J Med 2012; 366:1891-1904

Hamza TH, et al.  Genome-wide gene-environment study identifies glutamate receptor gene GRIN2A as a Parkinson’s disease modifier gene via interaction with coffee.  PLoS Genet. 2011 Aug;7(8):e1002237.

Gavrieli A, et al.  Caffeinated coffee does not acutely affect energy intake, appetite, or inflammation but prevents serum cortisol concentrations from falling in healthy men.  J Nutr. 2011 Apr 1;141(4):703-7.

Cornelis MC, et al. Coffee, CYP1A2 Genotype, and Risk of Myocardial Infarction. JAMA. 2006;295(10):1135-1141

Wisborg K, et al. Maternal consumption of coffee during pregnancy and stillbirth and infant death in first year of life: prospective study. BMJ. 2003 326 (7386): 420.

Richelle M, et al. Comparison of the Antioxidant Activity of Commonly Consumed Polyphenolic Beverages (Coffee, Cocoa, and Tea) Prepared per Cup Serving. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2001, 49 (7), pp 3438–3442

Leitzmann WF, et al. A prospective study of coffee consumption and the risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in men.  JAMA. 1999 281:2106-12

Leitzmann MF, et al. Coffee intake is associated with lower risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in women. Gastroenterology. 2002 Dec;123(6):1823-30

Webster Ross G, et al. Association of Coffee and Caffeine Intake With the Risk of Parkinson Disease.  JAMA. May 24, 2000, 283:20

Hancock DB, et al. Smoking, Caffeine, and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs in Families With Parkinson Disease. Arch Neurol. 2007;64(4):576-580.

Klatsky AL, et al. Coffee, Cirrhosis, and Transaminase Enzymes. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1190-1195.

van Dam RM, Hu FB. Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review.  JAMA. 2005 Jul 6;294(1):97-104.

Tavani, A, et al. Coffee and tea intake and risk of oral, pharyngeal and esophageal cancer. Oral Oncol. 2003 39 (7): 695-700.

Ganmaa D, Willett WC, Li TY, et al. Coffee, tea, caffeine and risk of breast cancer: a 22-year follow-up. Int  J Cancer 2008 122 (9): 2071-6.

Inoue M, Yoshimi I, Sobue T, Tsugane S. Influence of Coffee Drinking on Subsequent Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Prospective Study in Japan. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 97 (4): 293-300

Nkondjock A. Coffee consumption and the risk of cancer: an overview. Cancer Lett. 2009 May 18;277(2):121-5.

Arab L. Epidemiologic evidence on coffee and cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(3):271-83.

Somoza V, et al. Activity-Guided Identification of a Chemopreventive Compound in Coffee Beverage Using in Vitro and in Vivo Techniques. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 51 (23), pp 6861–6869

American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, Houston, Dec. 6-8, 2009.

Jarvis MJ. Does caffeine intake enhance absolute levels of cognitive performance? Psychopharmacology. 2 December 2005, 110:1-2, 45-52.

Johnson-Kozlow M, et al. Coffee Consumption and Cognitive Function among Older Adults. Am J Epidemiol 2002; 156:842-850

Lopez-Garcia E, et al. The Relationship of Coffee Consumption with Mortality. Annals of Internal Medicine 2008 Jun 17;148(12):904-14.

Koizumi A, Mineharu Y, Wada Y, Iso H et al. Coffee, green tea, black tea and oolong tea consumption and risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease in Japanese men and women. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2011 65: 230-240.

Armstrong LE. Caffeine, body fluid-electrolyte balance, and exercise performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exer Metab. 2002 Jun;12(2):189-206.

Maughan RJ, Griffin J. Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a reviewJ Hum Nutr Diet. 2003 16(6):411–420.

Eskelinen MH, et al. Midlife Coffee and Tea Drinking and the Risk of Late-Life Dementia: A Population-Based CAIDE Study. J Alzheimers Dis. January 2009. 16(1);85-91

Cao C, et al. Caffeine suppresses amyloid-beta levels in plasma and brain of Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice. J Alzheimers Dis. 2009;17(3):681-97.

Local Harvest – find local sources of food and grow your own

A directory of sustainable food in Australia

A national directory for finding food co-ops, swap meets, community gardens, farmers markets, box systems, organic retailers and more by simply entering your postcode.
Helping you to produce your own

DIY alternatives for food production and meeting essential needs, including resources for growing and making your own.
Local Harvest Challenge

Take up the Local Harvest Challenge, where for one week you attempt to reduce the ‘degrees of separation’ from your food. Based on the Household Action Challenge run in previous years.

There is a fantastic similar resource existing for the USA found at www.localharvest.org on which this project has been based.

http://www.localharvest.org.au/

Lakanto Sugar – or is it SUGAR

LAKANTO-S

To buy ring J-Top Trade Australia

02 93172500

Sweetener with 0 calenergy, made from 100% natural materials.

LAKANTO is a sweetener prepared from two naturally occuring ingredients: an extract of the sweet Luo Han Guo fruit, traditionally used in China, and erythritol, sweetening component found in foods such as wine and mushrooms.

Almost all LAKANTO ingested is absorbed in the small intestine, however it is not metabolized in a human body.  More than 90% is discharged as urine.

Consequently, LAKANTO is a delicious, calorie free sweetener which does not produce any energy in the body.

LAKANTO is a sweetener of naturally occurring materials prepared by an extract of “Luo Han Guo,” which is called god’s fruit in China, and “erythritol,” sweet-taste component contained in wine and mushrooms.

Almost all LAKANTO orally ingested is absorbed at the small intestine, but it is not metabolized in a human body but more than 90% are quickly discharged in urine.

Consequently, LAKANTO is a calorie free sweetener which does not produce any energy in the body.

Heat-resistant and not ruined by heat-cooking

Because LAKANTO provides excellent heat resistance, the taste is scarcely degraded by heating.
LAKANTO can be used in the same manner as sugar.

Good Taste like “Brown” Sugar

LAKANTO provides natural taste born from natural materials. It is a delicious sweetener strongly recommended to use every day in place of sugar.

Momordicae fructus Extract and Erythritol have No Effect on Blood Sugar Level and Insulin Secretion.

graph

If I can’t afford to buy organic vegetables and fruits, can I still be healthy?

Yes, if you can’t afford organic produce, you can still enjoy great health. If you can’t buy organic produce, I would still encourage you to buy non-organic fruits and vegetables and enjoy a full array of different types.

However, I’d also recommend taking some additional steps with the non-organic produce that you purchase. It would be important to wash your non-organic fruit and vegetables well, using a natural bristle brush to lightly scrub the surface, so that you can remove some of the pesticide residues that may be present.

You may also want to peel conventionally grown cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes, and apples. This peeling recommendation is due to two factors. First, the outermost surfaces of fruits and vegetables may be the most affected by pesticide spraying. Second, the above types of produce often have petroleum-based wax coatings that may work against your best health. (The situation with the peeling of non-organic produce is exactly opposite from the situation with organic fruits and vegetables. With organic produce, you almost always want to keep the peels and skins intact because they are among the most nutrient-rich parts of any food.)

Do you have a farmer’s market near you? If so, you may want to buy your produce there. Even if the produce you find there is not certified organic, chances are that it may contain less pesticide residues than produce available in larger grocery stores that do not focus on locally grown foods. Many small farmers don’t go through the process of organic certification but still grow their produce with minimal, if any, agricultural chemicals.

Another important article to read is in the link below

http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/consumer/article/-/10293370/toxic-food-imports

What we do not know can harm us.
As Fiona who sent me this article said..scary stuff!!

What is the Dirty Dozen?

In 2011, the Environmental Working Group released an updated report that identified foods in the conventional, non-organic food supply that contained the highest number of pesticide residues. The worst offenders, which were nicknamed the “Dirty Dozen,” included:

 

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines-imported
  • Grapes-imported
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries-domestic
  • Lettuce
  • Kale/collard green

  •  

The Truth About Dieting – from Australian Lifestyle and Fitness

We are all told that dieting was the way of the past and ‘healthy eating’ is the way of the future.  Why is dieting such a dirty word, when essentially all dieting means is changing your diet with the short term goal of losing weight?  Well I guess we have to thank the many dangerous dieting techniques available that have adversely affecting people’s health.  Below is a list of some of the favourite diets around at the moment:

  • 100-Mile diet
  • Atkins diet
  • Cabbage soup diet
  • Calorie restriction
  • The Cambridge diet
  • Detox diet
  • High protein diet
  • Liquitarian diet
  • Low-carbohydrate diet
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Organic food diet
  • Sugar Busters
  • Total Wellbeing diet

Some of the dieting processes mentioned above have been considered unhealthy long term, such as the liquidation diet or cabbage soup diet.  However others such as the Total Wellbeing Diet is based on a well balanced approach.  The key to dieting in a healthy manner is always a well balanced approach.  What you need to understand in dieting is that you will always lose weight when your calorie burn is greater than your calorie intake.  Given that fruit and vegetables have such low calorie values (compared to fats and carbohydrates) it only makes good sense to include them in any dieting technique.  Dieting with generous amounts of fruit and vegetables ensures you enhance your chance of successful healthy dieting. 

So dieting should not be seen as a dirty word if you take a well balanced approach rather than a lose weight at all costs one.  Here are some general dieting tips to keep in mind.

  • Sit instead of standing while eating.  Research has shown it will make you more conscious of what you are eating, at thus make you more aware of your dieting habits. 
  • Don’t eat in front of the refrigerator.  70% of people dieting have confessed to eating high calorie food whilst standing in front of the refrigerator. 
  • Use calorie counting to help dieting.  Dieting can often be very frustrating when you lose weight for 2 weeks and then put weight back on the next week.  Calorie counting is such and effective way to help dieting as it keeps you motivated and takes the guess work out of dieting.