Are you a mindful eater? If so, what do you look for when choosing food products? Do you think all the information you're looking for can be found on the food label? While focusing on the grams of protein, carbs or sugar and sodium will help in our quest to stay healthy and slim, there are other issues and food-industry secrets of which you may be unaware. Read on to learn more about five hidden facts the food industry doesn't want you to know. Hint: They're not all on the label.
1. Only a Handful of Big Companies Own your Food: With hundreds of different products flooding the supermarket aisles, you may think you have a wide choice. But the truth is that you are just choosing among products probably made by the same parent company--maybe even in the same factory. According to a report on food monopolies by Food & Water Watch, Kellogg Co., General Mills, PepsiCo and Post Foods control almost 80 percent of cereal sales, making it hard for you and me to find a box of cereal that isn't owned by one of the big players in the food manufacturing industry.
Buying from independent and locally owned businesses helps keep money closer to the community. And what about quality? According to Michigan State University professor and food-system expert Philip Howard, as stated via email for Forbes, "It's very common that when an organic food brand is acquired, that the new parent corporation reduces its commitment to organic ingredients and seeks out cheaper substitutes."
2. Food-Label Health Claims Can Be Deceptive: How many times have you chosen one product over another because the package reads "natural" or "whole grain"? It should be healthier, right? While a loaf of bread or crackers may be whole wheat, the overall benefit may be less if it's also loaded with salt, sugar or trans fats. According to New York University professor of nutrition Marion Nestle as stated for U.S. News, these claims are calorie distracters. "They make people forget about the calories," she says. Don't be misled by pretty pictures of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Read the labels carefully. If you're concerned about the sodium, trans fat or sugar content, make sure to read nutrition-facts panel. Also, because ingredients are listed in order of quantity, a good trick is to make sure the first ingredient on the list is actually whole wheat or whatever ingredient the product is advertising as their selling point.
3. Fat-Free and Low-Fat Might Be Less Healthy: When a product is labeled "fat-free" or "low-fat," it doesn't necessarily mean that it's healthier. When food companies create a reduced-fat version of certain foods, they typically add in extra sugar or sodium to please palates, so make sure you peruse the nutrition-facts label before hitting the register. Also, healthy fats can help keep us from feeling hungry, and they've been shown to improve risk factors for hunger, and they've been shown to improve risk factors for heart disease.
Healthy fats also improve our body's blood sugar levels and the absorption of some nutrients. Plus, they just taste better. To eat a healthier diet, buy natural versions of food with no added sugar and with at least some healthy fats.
4. Some Popular Food Companies Learned Marketing Strategy as Big Tobacco: If you think food companies are like well-oiled propaganda machines, you're probably right. After all, they learned from the best. Just eight years ago, the Altria Group (the company once known as Philip Morris) still owned Kraft Foods. And they are using many of the same tactics, such as lobbying politicians and sponsoring favorable research to establish an image of their products as nutritious.
In order to make informed decisions about the food you choose to eat, you need to be aware that we are selecting our diets in a marketing environment full of confusing nutritional advice. Take responsibility for your own food choices by educating yourself on the food and the companies you're buying from.
5. Big-Box Retailers Are More Harmful Than You Think: Grocery conglomerates are the biggest buyers and sellers of grocery products, and as such, they have an enormous impact on our economy and our communities. According to Progressive Grocer, in 2011, chain supermarkets were responsible for 95 percent of total sales. Studies have shown that many big-box and national chain stores actually pay employees less in wages and benefits.
On the other hand, according to the Indie Impact Studies Series by Civic Economics, which compare the impact independently owned business have on the economy to that of larger, chain businesses, found that independents provide substantially greater benefits to their local economies, creating better places to live. Chain stores and restaurants extract locally generated revenues from the community with each bank transaction, independents actually create a virtuous cycle of local spending.
The more money that stays within the community means more jobs, more investment in commercial and residential districts, extra tax revenues for local governments and enhanced support for local nonprofits. Take the power back by shopping at locally owned stores and farmer's markets.
Cancer cells can be defeated by our body but requires some degree of immunity to do so. Recent research has revealed a compound called TIC10, which triggers a protein, this protein called TRAIL (tumour-necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) suppresses tumor development and prevents it form spreading. These 10 foods will help fight cancer cell build up.
1. Turmeric: Rich in curcumin, which is a very powerful antioxidant. It works well as an antioxidant and even suppresses inflammation.
2. Sea Vegetables: Nore, Hijaiki, Wakame, Arame and Kombu are several sea vegetables that are rich in magnesium, calcium and iodine. It's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds can be effective in lowering colon cancer risk.
3. Resveratrol: It is a phenolic compound that contributes to the antioxidant property of grapes. It is an antimutagen that inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 (CoX-2) which has shown to reduce cancerous growth.
4. Chorella and Spirulina: South Korean research indicated that carotenoids from chorella are effective in preventing cancer. Spirulina , is rich in Vitamin B, E and K and has significant immunity boosting properties.
5. Green Tea: It contains epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG), a catechin that blocks tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF).
6. Cruciferous Vegetables: Arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and turnips are rich in Vitamin C, E, K and folate. These can prevent DNA damage and induce cell death in carcinogens.
7. Tomatoes: Is a rich source of carotenoids, particularly lycopene. Raw tomato juice consumed for a month has proven to reduce 30% of TNF production.
8. Mushrooms: Contains compounds such as schizophyllan, active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), maitake D-fraction and Coriolus versicolor that together prevent any mutagen or radiation induced activity.
9. Garlic: Contains allicin, which is a powerful antioxidant. Fresh garlic is the best bet as other processed variants like the oil and powder contain fractured amounts of allicin.
10. Hemp Oil: Promotes melatonin supply and full body healing. It is also a rich source of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 acids.
I came across this and thought it would be helpful!!
ASTHMA: RED ONIONS
Eating onions eases bronchial tubes' constriction.
A potent anti-inflammatory.
BLADDER INFECTIONS: CRANBERRIES
Cranberries prevent bacteria from adhering to walls of bladder.
BLOOD PRESSURE: CELERY
Celery contains phthalides which help lower blood pressure.
BLOOD SUGAR: BROCCOLI
Chromium in broccoli helps regulate insulin and blood sugar.
Pineapple prevent bone fracture and osteoporosis.
BREAST CANCER: CABBAGE
Helps maintain healthy estrogen levels.
CLOGGED ARTERIES: AVOCADOS
Mono-unsaturated fat in avocados lower cholesterol.
COUGH: MULLEIN TEA
Loosens trapped mucus and soothes sore throats.
Cayenne pepper relieves headaches by depleting a neurotransmitter that helps send pain signals.
INSOMNIA: CHAMOMILE TEA
Relaxes the mind and body.
Ginger relieves nausea and morning sickness.
Cabbage contains ample fiber which helps both types of ulcers.
To lose weight, you have to burn off more calories than you take in. This can be done through proper diet and regular exercise. But for those who are struggling to lose weight, they resort to the next best thing: diet pills.
Diet pills are made from either synthetic or natural ingredients. They serve a variety of purposes such as appetite suppressant, upping the metabolic rate or even triggering fat loss. While some of these diet pills are helpful in rev-starting a person's weight loss potentials, others do more harm than good. And in today's post, we are listing down all the dangerous diet pill brands and ingredients that you have to avoid:
Ephedra comes in different names such as Ma huang, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine. This drug contains chemicals derived from ephedra or species of ephedra, Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine affect the nervous system, causing elevated blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm and increased heart rate. Using this drug regularly may lead to cardiovascular ailments including heart attack, stroke, and death. This diet pill ingredient is so dangerous that it's banned in the U.S. However, ephedra is still available from retailers outside the U.S.
Synephrine is a chemical derived from bitter orange. It's a common ingredient in all-natural diet pills. But despite its all-natural origin, this chemical causes the same effects as ephedra. It can raise the blood pressure, causing headaches, nausea, and increased heart rate. It can also cause fainting, insomnia, and jitters. Long-term effects of synephrine include heart disease, strokes and heart attack.
Sibutramine is a potent stimulant that increases the risk of heart diseases. Its side effects include jitters, palpitations, raised blood pressure and insomnia. It can also cause nausea, shortness of breath, and headaches. Long-term effects of this chemical include heart attacks, arrhythmias or strokes.
Because sibutramine is an extremely powerful and dangerous stimulant, it was removed from the market in 2010. However, various diet pills are formulated with this chemical to boost their efficacy. As such, always read the label of the diet pill and watch out for sibutramine. Meridia, which is a diet pill brand, contains sibutramine.
Phentermine is a type of stimulant that can help dieters lose several pounds faster. It works by speeding up the metabolic rte while suppressing the appetite. Sounds like a good deal, right? Wrong! What diet pill companies won't tell you is that this chemical is derived from amphetamine. Amphetamine is a mood-altering prescription medication. It's used to treat children with ADD or adults with narcolepsy.
Initially, phentermine was developed to cure obesity. But thousands of people died from adverse health effects after taking the drug. Long-term effects of phentermine include liver disease, palpitations, irregular heartbeat and heart attack.
Fenproporex or Fen-Phen is a diet pill with chemicals derived from amphetamine too. Just like phentermine-based diet pills, Fenproporex diet pills can cause a wide range of heart diseases such as arrhythmias and heart valve issues. The FDA banned this diet pill in 2010, but some diet pills outside the U.S. are formulated with this dangerous chemical.
Phenolphthalein is a laxative used as a colon cleanser. It was also a popular diet pill ingredient until 1999 when the FDA banned the chemical. In a statement, the FDA banned Phenolphthalein because it was "not generally recognized as safe and effective." But this did not stop some diet pill makers from adding Phenolphthalein in their products.
1. It's wiser to choose tender baby spinach leaves. The larger the leaves, the more mature they are and more likely too be tough or stringy. Also, spinach leaves that are placed under direct light in the stores have been found to contain more nutrients than those stored in darkness.
2. Cooking spinach actually increases its health benefits. Just half a cup of cooked spinach will give you three times as much nutrition as one cup of raw spinach. That's because the body cannot completely break down the nutrients in raw spinach for its use.
3. As an exception to the advice above, research studies show that taking spinach in juice form is actually the healthiest way to consume it. Blend spinach with other vegetables or fruits to create a delicious glass of juice, or try a green smoothie.
4. There's a compound in spinach called oxalic acid, which blocks the absorption of calcium and iron. An easy way to solve this problem is to pair spinach with a food high in vitamin C. Mandarin oranges and cantaloupes spring to mind here. Another way to reduce the power of oxalic acid is to boil the spinach leaves for at least two minutes.
5. Freezing spinach diminishes its health benefits. The way to get the best from the leaf is to buy it fresh and eat it the same day.
6. Do place spinach on your "organic shopping" list, because the leaf tends to be sprayed heavily with pesticides and don't come off with normal washing.
7. Everyone talks about the benefits of spinach in nourishing the eyes and building bones. What few know is that it's also very good for digestion. Spinach eases constipation and protects the mucus lining of the stomach, so that you stay free of ulcers. It also flushes out toxins from the colon.
8. Another lesser known benefit of spinach is its role in skin care. The bounty of vitamins and minerals in spinach can bring you quick relief from dry, itchy skin and lavish you with a radiant complexion. Regular consumption of fresh, organic spinach juice has been shown to improve skin health dramatically.