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Department Of Health

The Truth About Health Food Buzzwords: All Natural, Organic, Real Fruit Juice, and Whole Grain

Marketers have responded to the recent pushes to eat better and lead healthier lives with buzzwords that make their products sound healthy. Words and phrases like “all natural,” “organic,” “made with real fruit juice,” and “made with whole grain” dominate the packages in the aisles of your local grocery store. Be careful though, these words may not mean what you think they do and they certainly aren’t the only factor you should consider when you’re filling your pantry.
All Natural
This one is probably the most misleading health food buzzword out there because “natural” likely doesn’t mean what you think it means. In fact, according to the FDA, it doesn’t mean anything at all – the FDA does not define or regulate the term on food products. The USDA loosely defines what natural means for meat products as not having artificial preservatives (which doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any preservatives – salt is found naturally in the earth after all), coloring ingredients, and it should be minimally processed. Here’s the problem: meat from animals treated with strange hormones while they were alive can still technically be considered natural. Also, the enforcement of companies who make “all natural” claims isn’t very stringent, so it’s largely up to the producer to define what natural is. My recommendation: ignore any advertisement that says “all natural” and investigate the product on your own by taking a look at the ingredients list.
Food labeled as organic is much more stringently regulated than food labeled as all natural; and the “Certified USDA Organic” seal can only be used after a company undergoes an approval process and frequent inspections by USDA inspectors. There’s a lot to the definition of what is and is not organic, but basically produce cannot be grown with synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, etc. and the pest control process cannot use certain chemicals. Meat must be fed with organic feed, have access to the great outdoors, and they cannot be given growth hormones or antibiotics. Again, that’s a very brief definition, but organic food is more what you think of when you think of food being made naturally. If this is important to you, then you should spend the extra money on organic foods and visit Farmer’s Markets, but realize that organic is not synonymous with healthy. You can make organic cookies or other organic foods that we would usually consider to be “junk food,” and although it may have been made naturally, it is not necessarily good for you.
Made with Real Fruit Juice
This one actually means what it sounds like, but it’s usually not as healthy as it sounds. I have yet to find a label that says “made with real fruit juice” without having added sugar on the ingredients list. Here’s the other problem with this label: when you’re only getting the fruit juice, you tend to lose all the other nutritional benefits of fruit. Take an apple as an example. An apple with the peel has about 5 grams of fiber (depending on the size of the apple), but if you only have a little apple fruit juice, you’re not getting any fiber. You’re better off with real fruit, not real fruit juice.
Made with Whole Grain
I’m a big proponent of eating whole grains, but that doesn’t mean everything with whole grains is healthy. Look for labels that say 100% whole grain – you should still check for sugar, fat and sodium content, but 100% whole grain is a good start. If the label doesn’t say anything about what percentage of the product is whole grain, check to see how many grams of whole grain the label says a product is made with (which should be posted) and compare that to the number of grams of carbohydrates on the nutritional label. Finally, you can check the ingredients list to see if the first ingredient listed says something about whole grains (note: an ingredient’s list is always listed from the most abundant ingredient to the least abundant ingredient).
The Bottom Line
Always check the nutritional label and ingredient’s list. Marketers can’t try to deceive you here – they’re required by law to post this information and that is well regulated.…

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Health News

MSG by Any Other Name Is Still Poison

MSG, or MonoSodium Glutamate, is a substance that, when added to foods, “tricks” your taste buds into thinking that the food actually tastes better than it is. It also creates a form of addiction to the food product. Ever hear the saying, betcha can’t eat just one? Well, it’s because they add a substance that actually makes you crave more of their product!

Not only is MSG used by food manufacturers to trick us into thinking a food is very good when they are using inferior ingredients, it has been linked to numerous neurological disorders. To illustrate this, look at the increasing rates of people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Could it be that it is related to the increased use of processed foods?

If you take the time to do the research, I’m convinced that you will say, as I have…”NO MSG FOR ME!!”

However, it’s not as easy as it may seem to avoid foods which contain MSG because the corporations the produce food products don’t use the term MSG in their labeling because they know that MSG on the label is a red flag to many health conscious Americans.

have used some of the “synonyms” for MSG to disguise it. Have you ever read a food label and seen any of the following?

Glutamic Acid

Hydrolyzed protein

Autolyzed protein

Textured protein

Yeast extract

Autolyzed yeast extract

Protein isolate

Soy sauce

Modified food starch

Modified corn starch

Calcium caseinate

Sodlium caseinate




Natural flavor

Monopotassium glutamate



Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Hydrolyzed plant protein

Textured protein

Yeast food

Yeast nutrient

Torula yeast

What about “natural flavor”?? I see this ALL the time on food products and it’s MSG!! Think about it. If the “natural flavor” comes from one of the ingredients (which is where I would expect the natural flavor), then they shouldn’t have to list it separately.

The sad truth is that it is difficult to find a food product that DOESN’T contain MSG.

But there is good news! We live in the 21st century where fresh food is readily available. You can get fresh fruits and vegetables almost any time of the year at your local grocery store.

It’s time to get back to away from processed, convenience foods and start eating more REAL foods with an emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Sure, it takes a little more effort to prepare these foods than merely popping them in the microwave, but I hope you believe as I do that your family’s good health is worth the effort.

NOTE: To find out more about MSG, please visit Jack Samuels’ website, truth in labeling dot org, or simply watch some of his videos on YouTube. I am not affiliated with Jack Samuels’, but find his message very compelling.…

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General Articles

Why Cardio Exercises Are Essential to Maintaining Optimal Physical and Mental Health

Why Cardio Exercises Are Essential to Maintaining Optimal Physical and Mental Health

Why would you want to include cardio exercises in your daily routine? Are you tired after walking up the stair to your house? Are you short of breath when you are walking around a store? When you leave work at the end of the day do you go home and get into your normal routine and tell yourself tomorrow I will start walking? Or maybe next week I will schedule time “for me,” then never really do? With daily exercising you will be stronger and feel better about yourself.

You hear it every time you go to the doctor, a good 15-30 minute of cardio exercises three to five times a week will help you stay healthy. They aren’t making that all up.

Your heart and lungs really need at least a 15-minute high-energy workout to keep them strong and working well.

We all see the people walking everyday at the same time on our way to work, or home. Or see all the people working out in the window of the gym as we drive by and think, if only I had the time and energy I am so tired and have so much to do. You would not feel as tired and would have more drive to get everything done you need to do if you take the time to work out for a short time a few days a week.

There are many benefits to cardio exercises, you have more vitality, need less sleep, your heart, and lungs are healthier making the rest of your body healthier. You will be happier when you look in the mirror and will want to look in the mirror more. You will want to go out and do new fun things with your family and friends because you finally have the fortitude to do it and be active with them, not following behind.

What exactly are cardio exercises you might ask? It is a high-energy movement that must maintain for 15 minutes or more. It is not a constant change in pace from slow to quick, and back to slow repeated again and again. This will help make your heart work faster and your breathing will deepen to sustain the amount of oxygen and blood your body needs during that duration of time.

What types of exercise might this include? Well there is a wide array from working outside, to a machine in your house, or a class at a gym. You can walk a trail at a park, ride a bike, rollerblade, etc. Or you can get a machine for your home if you prefer such as a balance ball, or elliptical. If you prefer to have an instructor you could take a high-intensity dance class or an aerobics class. These are only a few of many options out there to start your cardio exercises.

At first it may be hard to make it in 15-minutes, and you may have to push yourself to get there. This helps give you the confidence and pride that you can do anything you want especially when it comes to your health. The hardest part is getting started but once you have it becomes a regular part of your everyday routine and you won’t know what to do if you have to miss a day.

Exercising a few times a week is going to take some adjusting to get used to it, but you will be healthier and happier if you include short cardio exercises. This will improve your heart and lungs making you feel, look better, and take pride in yourself.…

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Good Health

Vegetarianism and Diabetes – How Are They Connected?

Discovering that you have diabetes can be quite shocking. The truth is you don’t have to be. Managing it would be all you have to do. Having diabetes means that changing your diet will be one of the greatest challenges you will have to overcome. People with diabetes have become rigorous with their diet, completely eliminating foods such as animal products and sugar. They have now turned to vegetable lovers. The question now is, are they going down the right path?
Diabetes is the failure of the body to produce or use insulin. Insulin is responsible for moving the glucose to the bloodstream so the cells can use it as a source of energy. However, if insulin is lacking due to either low production levels by the pancreas or the cells not making use of them properly, the blood stream can be filled up with blood sugar. This causes a lot of problems for the person; to avoid being in these situations concentrating on your diet would be a nice start.
Vegetarianism has many types. You could either be the strict vegan or the one that allows the occasional consumption of meat. No matter which plan you take, being a vegan definitely is a good way to reduce blood sugar in the body.
As long as you change your diet to a vegetarian program, you’ll be fine because a vegan plan has fewer calories than that of the normal diet. Losing weight is important for diabetics because this can make the cells fully utilize insulin. This makes them process sugar more efficiently.
By sticking to a vegetarian diet lowers cholesterol and fats in the body. Aside from controlling your diabetes you could also reduce risk from other illnesses such as cardiovascular and kidney diseases.
Wrapping up, there are many advantages to changing from a normal diet to a vegan one. Reducing insulin resistance is one of the goals of a diabetic and he can achieve this easily by sticking to the program. Research also proved that overall health have improved because of vegetarianism.…

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General Articles

Choosing Underactive Thyroid Natural Medicine Or Traditional Treatment For Underactive Thyroid

Choosing Underactive Thyroid Natural Medicine Or Traditional Treatment For Underactive Thyroid

Underactive thyroid natural medicines have grown in popularity over the last decade or so. Treatment for underactive thyroid symptoms that where once frowned upon are being welcomed by sufferers as a viable alternative to more traditional chemically orientated remedies.

Knowledge really is king, and the emergence of the internet as a reference tool has seen sufferers of thyroid gland problems grab all the available information and turn it to their advantage. No longer do they have to take the word of their doctors, mothers or the few sufferers they knew in their community, but they can reach out to the millions of fellow sufferers and discover what works and what doesn’t work for them.

Discovering these alternative treatments have been used for successfully for many years, in many cultures, makes them a more attractive proposition. Little or no side effects, cost and peer recommendation has left a whole generation with a ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ attitude and taking them more seriously as an alternative

Natural supplements, made solely from what mother nature has to offer, are amongst the most used alternative medicines and probably the ones that have really stood the test of time. Such longevity does not boil down to cost, as if something is cheap but doesn’t work people would not buy it again, but it stems from the supplements overall effectiveness when compared to the chemical equivalent.

It’s true to say that you should not take such medical decisions lightly or alone. Seek the guidance and advice of your medical practitioner, but go fore armed with the information on underactive thyroid natural medicines. If you do need treatment for underactive thyroid problems and the health advice given permits use of such products, then they do make an attractive, chemical free alternative and one you can find more about by clicking the link to my site below.…

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Health Articles

Can’t Stand the Farm Stand: Tips for Grown-Ups Who Hate Veggies

“Eat your spinach and then you can leave the table,” Mom insisted. But sitting at a dining room table for eternity still sounded better than consuming that mushy, bland green pile in front of you.

Many people remember having an aversion to vegetables as a child – broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts. And while most of us grew out of it, some adults never learned to appreciate garden-fresh foods. And knowing what we do about the health benefits of vegetables, a distaste for them can be a real problem.

It’s hard for most of us to believe, but some grown-ups can’t even get excited about fruit – sweet, juicy fruit – not an apple nor a strawberry or a mango ever crosses their lips.

So how does this aversion to fresh produce happen for adults? Some people argue it was the era in which they grew up, and the methods of “convenience cooking” in which their mothers engaged. Eating healthfully-prepared vegetables simply wasn’t something they experienced at home. In her memoir Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting and Live Large, author Kim Brittingham recounts the dinners her mother made when she was growing up in the American suburbs of the 1970s and 80s, often lacking in vegetable matter completely. “Like frozen corn dogs with tater tots. Hot dogs with canned chili-and-beans spooned on top and then, oddly enough, separate canned baked beans served on the side. Spaghetti and meatballs.”When vegetables were served at the dinner table, they were frequently canned vegetables, “heavily salted, sopping soft and slightly metallic-tasting,” writes Brittingham. Many parents from past decades knew only one way to prepare veggies: to cook the hell out of them. Overcooked vegetables are not only lacking in nutrients, but they just don’t taste that good.

The distaste some have for fresh produce has also been blamed on the high sugar content in today’s packaged foods, and the easy availability of sugary junk foods. Not just kids, but adults accustomed to such super-sweet foods often find natural, unsweetened foods comparably bland — even the sweetest seasonal fruits. Such was the case for Brittingham, who wrote in Read My Hips, “I told my mother (apples) were tasteless, and she argued that they were sweet and that I liked sweet things. But to my over-sugared tongue — coated with many seasons’ worth of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and oily cheap chocolate wrapped in foil and molded like bunnies and Santas and little footballs; a tongue painted thick with creamy white filling, melted fudgsicle juice, the dust of hundreds of Chips Ahoy — all fruit tasted like tap water.”

So what can you do if you’re a grown-up who never outgrew her aversion to fresh fruits and vegetables, but you sincerely want to cultivate healthy eating habits?

You might try recreating for yourself Kim Brittingham’s breakthrough as related in Read My Hips. A culinary friend introduced Brittingham to acorn squash, which she described as “something sweet — the perfect buffer between a lifelong diet of candy bars, snack cakes and ice cream and this new world of fresh produce. It turned out to be just the right thing to lure me a little bit closer to the veggie wagon.” Brittingham also enjoyed a sense of creativity, ownership and mastery in learning how to wash, slice and steam the vegetable herself.

Brittingham offers these tips for getting friendlier with fresh produce:

Find a “gateway” vegetable that tastes similar to a food you already like. Grilled mushrooms, for instance, can have a meaty, rich texture. Carrots are sweet and crispy. Oranges, refreshing and clean.

If you have a sweet tooth, experiment with sweet vegetables first, like varieties of squash. Your taste buds might be more receptive towards these foods than to veggies that are more subtle, bland, bitter or sharp.

Explore ways to flavor fruits and vegetables creatively. Once you’ve come to love certain produce with sauces and other toppings, you might feel more courageous about eating them bare or nearly-bare.

If you’re timid about raw vegetables, try buying a steamer instead. Steamers are simple to use – just fill the reservoir with water, throw your veggies into the steamer bowl, and turn the unit on. Steaming is one way to have your veggies cooked without boiling all the nutrients out of them.

If fresh fruit isn’t quite sweet enough for your sweet tooth, buy a food dehydrator and experiment with drying fruits. When dehydrated, the natural sugars in fruits are concentrated, and the resulting dried fruit is much sweeter and more candy-like than the raw fruit. For extreme sugar addicts trying to turn onto fruit, Brittingham recommends drying strawberries and watermelon soaked in lime juice.

If the green of veggies turns you off, remember that veggies come in other colors, too. Cozy up to red bell peppers, yellow zucchini or carrots instead.

If you’re eating more fruits and veggies as a way to lose weight, think again. Eating food from an obligatory stance often causes a rebound effect, akin to that child sitting at the dining room table, arms crossed in defiance. Choose fresh produce that you like. As Brittingham writes in Read My Hips, “I eat more fruits and vegetables now than I ever did as a child, and it’s not in the least bit motivated by a desire to lose weight. I eat some fruits and vegetables because they taste delicious. Often I choose them over junk food I find equally delicious, because I like the way I feel after I eat them. My insides feel cleaner. And I try to eat organic as much as possible.”

In short, we have all had some scary childhood veggie memories. But with a little persistence and experimentation, you can overcome the dining room traumas of yesteryear and live (healthier) once again.…

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Health Department

5 Quick Tips to Losing Pounds and Loving Life Through Raw and Natural Foods

Throughout life we come across many diets and healthy food eating habits that make you shed a few pounds. The unfortunate fact is that all of these diets depends on you staying on the diets your whole life which leads to malnutrition. I am mainly referring to various detox and exercise diets. In this article, I will give you a few tips on how to stay healthy, while improving your life longevity as well as making you feel better throughout your day. The importance to living a healthy and fulfilled life is achieved by learning the tricks of the trade about raw and natural foods.
Tip #1: Building your list of items
This diet consists of creating a healthy eating lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle consists of eating up to 80% healthy food, while leaving the 20% freedom of eating whatever you choose (i.e. eating a piece of chocolate cake). The 80% healthy food consists of a combination of superfoods, fruits, vegatables, algeas, and herbs. One more crucial item that n bring all of these foods together is buying a great juicer. **
Tip #2: Buying a Juicer
There are 3 types of juicers; Centrifugal, Cold-Press, and Manual.
Cold-Press juicers are the top of the line juicers when it comes to providing the most effective nutrition and juice yields per vegetable/fruit. The downside to Cold-Press juicers are that they run about $400+
Centrifugal juicers are less expensive than Cold-Press, but destroy many of the nutrients in the vegetables and fruit because of the excess heat and pressure. A good centrifugal juicer is around $100+
If all else fails, you can get a Manual juicer. These juicers take a ton of work to use and are not worth the trouble. They are less than $100, but take quite a while and physical labor to just get one glass of juice. On the upside, they do preserve the nutrients just as the cold-press juicers do.
Tip #3: Always shop organic
Many of the mainstream supermarkets claim to be organic, but I don’t trust any of these companies. Shop at your local farmers market, natural foods store, or organic food markets. If all else fails, before you go shopping at a mainstream market, ask the store owner where they get their food and if they know what pesticides go into their food. If they say they have no clue, its not worth it to you to risk your health with the “organic” food that they claim they carry. **
Tip #4: Love to cook organic not only with your family, but your friends too!
It may seem like a challenge to cook all these fruits and vegetables you have laying around the house. There are numerous ways to learn recipes and strategies to improve your cooking style with these natural and raw ingredients. **
Tip #5: Enjoy life
If you follow these simple tips, I guarantee that you will not only enjoy life more, but you will be filled with more energy, as well as lose some pounds of toxins along the way.…