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June 2014

Try Bilberries In Your Diet For Long Term Eye Protection

Try Bilberries In Your Diet For Long Term Eye Protection

Submitted by: Steve P Smith

Like other anti-oxidants, plant flavonoids (or bioflavonoids) are important protectors against the cellular damage and associated degenerative diseases caused by free radicals. Flavonoids are also the compounds which give fruits and vegetables their colour, and the juice and skin of the bilberry, like that of cranberries and elderberries, is particularly rich in a type known as anthocyanidins, which impart their distinctive blue pigment.

Recently hailed by nutritionists as a “superfood”, European bilberries are close European relations of the American blueberry and it is the distinctive blue anthocyanoside pigment which is held responsible for its beneficial effects.

The body’s connective tissue, or collagen, depends heavily on this type of flavonoid, which is also particularly important in improving blood circulation, strengthening capillary walls, and in facilitating the action of vitamin C throughout the body.

The pigment is also believed to act as an anti-bacterial agent, which is particularly effective in countering intestinal problems, but it is from its effect on the circulation that most of the benefits of bilberries are derived.

Most famously, bilberries in the form of jam were used by British Royal Air Force pilots during the Second World War as a means of improving night vision. And this effect was generally accepted during the 1960s and 1970s. More modern research, however, is inclined to reject the evidence as inconclusive, and does not accept the claims of nutritional therapists that bilberry may also help alleviate everyday shortsightedness or myopia. It has been suggested, however, that anthocyanasides may help with the production of essential enzymes within the eye, which by increasing the output of energy may improve the general functioning of the organ.

Bilberry’s beneficial effects on the capillaries are also held to improve the circulation of the blood within the eyes. The central area of the eye’s retina, the macula, is made up of the light sensitive cells, the health of which is essential to good vision. Behind these cells is a dense mass of tiny capillaries which supply them with oxygenated blood and essential nutrients. The maintenance of the strength of these capillary walls is essential, and serious problems with vision may arise if any weakening through disease or oxidative degeneration leads to any leakage of blood into the retina itself.

Diabetics are known to be particularly prone to these kind of eye problems; and as well as possibly helping prevent the diabetic retinopathy which may follow on this capillary damage within the eyes, bilberries are also credited with lowering the high blood sugar which may have contributed to the problem in the first place.

Bilberries’ anti-oxidant effect within the eyes is also a factor in combatting cataracts and age related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness in older adults.

Bilberry supplements are readily available and often found in combination with lutein and zeaxanthin, anti-oxidant carotenoids which are also thought to have powerful beneficial effects within the eyes, and particularly in combatting the progressive loss of vision caused by AMD.

Needless to say opinions are strongly divided as to the effectiveness of these preparations. The general opinion of the medical and opthalmic professions may be summarised as “case not proven”, at best, but nutritional therapists and alternative practitioners swear by them. Of course the attitude of the opthalmic profession is not surprising given its record of hostility to the work of such as Dr. Bates in seeking alternatives to artificial methods of correction (ie spectacles), and in its persistent rejection of the compelling evidence in favour of more natural methods.

And indeed there is an almost reflex tendency in orthodox medicine which seems determined to meet anything which sits outside the conventional “wisdom” with scepticism if not outright hostility. Of course we should welcome rigorous scientific enquiry and an insistence on the proper testing of evidence as a safeguard against the more extravagant claims of those interested only in selling products of dubious value. But anecdotal evidence as well as direct personal experience suggests that modern science doesn’t always get it right.

And when it comes to a food like bilberries there’s really no barrier to setting personal experience against the abstract research. We’re talking about an entirely natural food stuff, with a long history of human use, which can be obtained very inexpensively, and which can do no harm in any quantities conceivably likely to be ingested. If the claims made for bilberries as a super food and anti-oxidant are even partly true the question must be: why wouldn’t you try it?

So although I normally I hate puns, this was one I couldn’t resist. In the case of adding bilberries to your diet, the best approach may be, quite literally, to try it and see.

About the Author: Steve Smith is a freelance copywriter specialising in direct marketing and with a particular interest in health products. Find out more at

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3 Tips For Aerobic Exercises

3 Tips For Aerobic Exercises

Submitted by: Kya Grace

Aerobic exercises are the best way to increase the amount of oxygen level in our body and they help us to feel refreshed, rejuvenated and energetic. These exercises are basically low in intensity and easier to do and so they are much preferred by people of all generations. They have many benefits tied to them like improving the cardio vascular health, weight loss, burning of extra calories. There are many options available with the intention of improving body’s oxygen level and all these fall under the category of aerobic exercises.

Outdoor activities: For those who love outdoors and nature, there are many outdoor activities like jogging, cycling, swimming which fulfill the requirements of being taken as an aerobic exercise. One can start with walking which is the simplest form of aerobic exercise. To start with, make it a habit to walk to your nearby places instead of using vehicles. You can then switch over to jogging. To know whether you have been jogging at the right speed, check whether you are able to talk with your friend in a normal way without demanding gulps of oxygen. If so, it means you are doing it at the proper speed. When your body feels refreshed after a routine of walking and jogging, follow it up with either running or cycling or swimming depending on your area of interest.

Intensive workouts: There are many fitness programs designed by experts who concentrate mainly on aerobic exercises. These bootcamp workouts are popular because they are fun filled, challenging and cost effective. They are an efficient way to burn calories and improve the oxygen level in a short period of time. Mostly they are well designed with gradual increase in intensity and regular intervals of rest. Care should be taken that proper warm up exercises are practiced before starting the workout and also there should be regular intervals of rest sandwiched between the exercises to avoid injuries and to achieve great results

Dance and Martial Arts: They are gaining popularity among the younger generation. Dance forms like hip hop, freestyle, jazz and martial arts like karate kung fu, taichi and taek won do top the charts among the favourites among the high schoolers. They are a stylish version of aerobic exercises. You enjoy the twin benefits learning the art and gaining the benefits of the aerobic exercises. They also have gradual increase in their intensity levels. Continuous performance of steps in a dance form or a sequence of moves in a martial art for about 10 minutes bestows you with benefits equivalent to that gained by jogging for an hour.

Whatever may be the way of approach you choose to gain the benefits of aerobic exercises, do have a check on the diet to tap out more good results from your exercise. Select the early morning hours for your outdoor activites. Be sure that the aerobic studio has large windows and keeps the room well aerated because you should not sweat out and feed your body with polluted air. Warm up before the exercises. Give yourself regular intervals of rest and above all, stick to the schedule. Enjoy yourself. Have a fruitful and happy period of exercising.

About the Author: If you would like to join a Boot Camp in Alexandria or join Boot Camps, visit Boot Camp in Sydney.

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Nevada Firm Recalls Raw Pork Nuggets Due To Misbranding



Mr. Wok Foods, an establishment in Las Vegas, Nevada is recalling approximately 14,760 pounds of raw pork nugget due to undeclared allergen and misbranding, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced. According to the agency, the product contains wheat which was not declared on the labels. The FSIS has declared this a Class II Recall of Low Health Risk.

The product subject to recall includes:

  • 10 lb. cases of “Battered, deep fried pork nugget” with packaging dates between JAN 25 2014 and JUN 25 2014

The raw pork nuggets were produced on various dates from 25 January 2014 through 25 June 2014 and bears “EST. 20783” inside the USDA mark of inspection on the labels.

All products subject to recall were distributed for use in restaurants, hotels, and institutions in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The FSIS says the problem was discovered during a food safety assessment by FSIS personnel. Following investigation it was determined that the flour used in the pork products contained wheat. The agency went on to say that a change in the flour supplier led to mislabeling in the raw pork product.

Neither the FSIS nor Mr. Wok Foods have received reports of adverse reactions resulting from consuming the recalled food products.

The FSIS says that consumers with concerns about a reaction should contact a health care provider.

Consumers with questions about the recall are advised to contact Spencer Chung, Owner, at 702-740-5824.

“For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).


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Article Reference

FSIS Press Release


"Nevada Firm Recalls Raw Pork Nuggets Due To Misbranding " copyright © 2014 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.



Why Pyridoxine May Be The Most Vital Of All The B Complex Vitamins

Why Pyridoxine May Be The Most Vital Of All The B Complex Vitamins

Submitted by: Steve P Smith

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, has been known to medical science since the 1930s, and like the other B complex vitamins performs numerous functions which are essential for human health. A regular supply must be ensured from the diet because the vitamin can be neither synthesised nor stored in the body.

Vitamin B6 has probably attracted most attention from medical researchers and nutritional therapists as a means of reducing blood homocysteine levels, because an excess build up of this compound is well established as an indicator of an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. One European research project, for example, reported in 1997 that the risk was more than doubled in subjects who showed levels of blood homocysteine in the top 20% of the range revealed by the tests.

Vitamin B6 is known to operate together with vitamins B12 and folic acid to break down homcysteine into the harmless, and in fact beneficial, amino acids, methionine and cysteine; and the effect is potentially very significant. Some research in fact suggests that moderate supplementation with B6 may consequently reduce disease risk by as much as a third. But as important as this function of pyridoxine is, it’s just one of the many health benefits it can offer; benefits which have led some practitioners to conclude that B6 may be the most vital of all the B complex vitamins.

On a general level, vitamin B6 is vital for the body’s production of prostaglandins, hormone type compounds which are responsible for the proper operation of so many of the body’s vital functions, including the blood supply and respiratory system, that imbalances are suspected to be a major cause of ill-health. Pyridoxine is also essential for the functioning of at least 100 enzymes governing such biochemical reactions as the manufacture of necessary proteins, genetic matter and amino acids; and the digestion of dietary carbohydrates and fats.

More specifically, good intakes of pyridoxine have been strongly linked to a robust immune system, particularly in older adults; whereas deficiencies appear to be directly correlated with a reduction the number of the body’s T cells, the most vital for immune system function.

There is also evidence to suggest that vitamin B6 may help stabilise blood sugar and reduce the tissue and particularly eye damage which commonly follows the blood sugar problems associated with diabetes.

Vitamin B6 is also particularly associated with women’s health, and is important in maintaining the correct balance of oestrogen and other female hormones. This relationship with the sex hormones has led to pyridoxine being used by some therapists as treatment for the depression that often accompanies the contraceptive pill. And more general depression is just one of the neurological disorders, along with epilepsy and impaired cognitive function for which B6 is claimed to be beneficial.

Vitamin B6 has been used for the relief of morning sickness in pregnancy since the 1940s, and is also believed to help alleviate pregnancy related high blood pressure. Vitamin B6 has also been used with some success in the relief of pre-menstrual tension and with the yeast growth, candidiasis.

On the face of it, given its wide availability in common foods, the Western world should never see deficiencies of vitamin B6. But like the other B complex vitamins, it is all too easily removed from the body by the normal process of excretion. Intensive exercise, sweating, and the taking in of excessive fluids may therefore increase the body’s requirement. The body’s need for B6 also appears to be greater in proportion as it is comprised of lean, particularly muscle, tissue and more is required the more protein foods are consumed.

So even orthodox opnion therefore acknowledges the probable benefit of supplementing with B6 at a level sufficient to ensure an intake of at least 2 mg per day. Some practitioners, however, recommend a normal target of 50 mg a day because of the wide ranging benefits attributed to the action of pyridoxine. But even higher doses of 100 mg may be recommended when attempting to tackle specific conditions. This kind of intake is in fact the suggested safe maximum suggested by the US Food and Nutrition Board, limits which are always set at very conservative levels; and the only toxicities observed from vitamin B6 intake have been in consequence of amounts very far in excess of this dosage.

But when taking B vitamins it needs always to be remembered that they are so closely dependent on each other that no single one of them can discharge its functions effectively in the absence of an adequate supply of each of the others. It is for this reason that the B complex vitamins are commonly found together in foods, and why any additional B vitamins should only be taken in the form of a supplement including the entire complex. Importantly as well, like all vitamins, those of the B complex operate best when in the presence of good quantities of all the nutrients required by the body. Most authorities therefore recommend that they be taken in conjunction with comprehensive multi-vitamin and mineral supplements, magnesium being particularly important in maximising the effect of vitamin B6.

About the Author: Steve Smith is a freelance copywriter specialising in direct marketing and with a particular interest in health products. Find out more at

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Diabetes Drink - 3 Sugar Free Drink Solutions

Diabetes Drink - 3 Sugar Free Drink Solutions

Submitted by: Carol Ann Bentley

Don't you just hate it when you ask for a sugar free drink in a pub or restaurant and all they've got to offer is diet cola or water?

Or you're offered a pure fruit juice - "Well, that's sugar free - isn't it?" No it isn't - the sugar that occurs naturally in fruit juice is very high and that will play havoc with your blood sugar levels. But here are a few drinks you might like to try...

I got so fed up of the standard cola offer, I decided to experiment with mixing the different sugar free drinks that are available and you might like to try these alternatives to 'just cola'.

1) The first experiment I tried was to mix a diet cola and diet tonic water in the same glass. Then I added ice and lemon. The mixture gives a slightly sharper taste and it makes a very long and refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day.

2) Then I tried splitting a pure orange fruit juice (you could also try pineapple or tomato juice) with a friend and added sparkling water to my half of the juice. You could also try mixing your juice with diet tonic water.

3) If you want to make a refreshing drink at home, this pineapple slushy will hit your dry spot:

Take 1 can sugar-free ginger ale, add 1/4 cup of unsweetened pineapple juice and ice cubes.
Place in a blender and blend until the ice-cubes are crushed and you get a slushy mixture.

Why not experiment with other unsweetened fruit juices? And, if you want a little bit more of a kick, you could add rum extract to give it more flavor.

If you have any more ideas or recipes for sugar-free drinks I would really love to hear about them.

About the Author: Carol Ann created to present information on diabetes from a diabetic's viewpoint. Discover more about diabetes; symptoms; living with it; other important health issues; recipes. Read inspiring stories from other diabetics; share your experience (or favorite recipes in a monthly prize draw). [© 2006 Carol Ann Bentley]

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Are Your Food Choices Clogging Your Arteries?

Are Your Food Choices Clogging Your Arteries?

Submitted by: Julie Wanner Rossetti

I often think about the quality of gasoline that we put in our automobiles. We always make sure the exact gasoline matches properly with our vehicle. After all, what would happen if you put leaded gas in an unleaded vehicle? Well, your vehicle would have some clog problems. You probably did not even have to ask your local gas station attendant for the answer. If you do not keep, your vehicle well maintained it could fall apart.

Recently, I noticed an SUV coated with so much dirt I really do not know how the driver could even see out the windows. I wonder when the last time this vehicle had a good shower! The outside of this vehicle looked so neglected; I pondered the thought that the engine could possibly have some challenges as well. Have you ever seen those vehicles that are barely running? I am just praying they make it across the busy intersection.

This holiday weekend I noticed there were a few vehicles that did not have enough fuel to make it to the next freeway exit. In other words, these vehicles were on empty. No fuel means you might as well forget about your travel plans. Was the driver just not paying any attention to the fuel gauge or was it broken? There is a red line on the gauge which is a “warning” to the driver they are almost on empty. Well, at least you can replace your vehicle if it falls apart or the engine explodes.

Lately in the news there has been a lot of talk about “fighting obesity” because of all of the trans-fatty acids. A trans-fatty acid is solid fat produced by heating liquid vegetable oils. This method of partial hydrogenation changes the unsaturated to saturated ones. Did you consume any trans fats today? They are on your food label under “nutrition Facts.” Maybe you just drove through a fast-food drive-thru and filled up with a fuel you have no idea what it contains. It tasted good while you ate in your vehicle. You may get a little heartburn later, but there is a pill for that too! In addition, you have been filling up on this kind of “food fuel” for years. You argue that it is not only fast but it saves you so much time.

I know you think your ‘low energy’ is from getting older. After all, everyone tells you that. Besides, you state that you do get a lot of variety of foods since you go to more than one fast-food drive thru. Could there be trans fats in this “food fuel?” Have you had a talk with your arteries? They cannot speak since sticky, gooey fat has clogged them. Would you be able to speak if hard fat was choking you? I think it is time people wake up and realize filling up on the wrong “food fuel” is going to cause an explosion of their arteries. This explosion is either a heart attack or stroke. You cannot just return your body back to the manufacturer and request a new one. Take care of the one you have by filling up on healthy “food fuel!”

About the Author: Julie Wanner Rossetti is the author of Diabetes Can Be Sweet ... Once You BURY It, and President of Diabetes Done Right, where she specializes as a diabetes consultant. Visit Diabetes Done Right

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Are Toxins And Allergens Causing An Autoimmune Epidemic?

Are Toxins And Allergens Causing An Autoimmune Epidemic?

Submitted by: Mark Hyman, M.D.

It's a condition that affects 24 million Americans – and its incidence has tripled in the last few decades.

It affects more women that breast cancer and heart disease combined.

And it just may be caused by the huge burden of environmental toxins that surround us.

What am I talking about?

It’s autoimmune disease.

Most of us know the most common autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type-1 diabetes, hypothyroidism, and psoriasis.

But there are actually more than 100 different autoimmune conditions, which can affect different bodily systems. These conditions occur when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues rather than a foreign molecule like bacteria.

Swimming in a Toxic Soup

Although autoimmune disease can have many causes, toxins may be the most important.

You can read more about this issue in Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s groundbreaking new book, The Autoimmune Epidemic.

Fueled by her own struggle with autoimmune disease, Donna identifies environmental toxins, which she terms “autogens” – foreign compounds that create an “auto” reaction against the self – as the true cause of autoimmunity.

In his foreword to Donna’s book, Dr. Douglas Kerr, M.D., Ph.D., a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, says that “there is no doubt that autoimmune diseases are on the rise and our increasing environmental exposure to toxins and chemicals is fueling the risk. The research is sound. The conclusions, unassailable.”

It’s no wonder.

We are exposed to astounding amounts of toxic chemicals.

A recent government survey (“National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals” issued in July 2005) found an average of 148 chemicals in our bodies.

Other research has found 287 industrial chemicals in the umbilical blood of infants, including pesticides, phthalates, dioxins, flame-retardants, Teflon, and toxic metals like mercury.

A Better Approach to Autoimmunity

This toxic chemical soup clearly has dire effects on our health. But conventional doctors don’t address this when treating autoimmunity.

Instead, they prescribe heavy-duty drugs like anti-inflammatories, steroids like prednisone, anti-cancer drugs like methotrexate, and new drugs like Enbrel and Remicade that block the effects of a powerful inflammatory molecule called TNF alpha.

These drugs may help in the short term – but they can have serious side effects and don’t address the root cause of autoimmunity.

I take a different approach with my patients. I tackle the underlying causes of autoimmune disease, such as allergens, poor diet, toxins, infections, and stress.

Then I add back the things the body needs to function optimally, like whole, clean food, nutrients, exercise, stress management, clean water and oxygen, community, connection, and meaning.

And the results are stunning.

One of my patients was just 42 but could barely function. She suffered from psoriasis and related arthritis. After eliminating gluten and other food allergens, removing heavy metals, and balancing her immune system, she has lost 30 pounds and is completely free of pain and psoriasis.

Another man suffered for years with the bloody diarrhea and pain of ulcerative colitis – until he removed the mercury and other toxins from his body.

And a recent patient with debilitating fatigue from multiple sclerosis got nearly complete relief of her symptoms after she had the mercury fillings removed from her teeth and went on a comprehensive detoxification program.

But this hasn’t just helped my patients. It’s helped my family, too.

I had chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that has autoimmune features. Once I addressed my mercury poisoning, my chronic fatigue and autoimmune problems improved.

My wife developed debilitating autoimmunity with joint pain and fatigue. Getting rid of the heavy metals in her body with an intensive detoxification program cured her, too.

You can do it, too!

If you or a loved one has an autoimmune condition, try these tips:

• Read The Autoimmune Epidemic to learn why we have this problem, and how to fix it

• Find a Functional Medicine doctor who can help you address autoimmunity

• Come see us for an appointment at the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts

• Get tested for mercury and other heavy metals

• Get tested for celiac disease (an autoimmune reaction to wheat and other gluten-containing grains), which causes over 60 autoimmune diseases

• Take immune-balancing nutrients and supplements, including vitamin D, essential fats (like EPA/DHA and GLA), and probiotics

• Practice deep relaxation daily through yoga, meditation, biofeedback, or anything that reverses the stress response

• Practice the precautionary principle, which says that we should avoid anything with the potential for harm. In the US, something has to be proven harmful before it is taken off the market. In Europe, something has to be proven safe before it is allowed on the market. This is also known as “better safe than sorry.”

• Learn how to boost your body’s own detoxification system.

Remember, by addressing the root causes of autoimmune disease, you can start feeling better and getting well – today.

About the Author: Mark Hyman, MD is a pioneer in functional medicine, practicing physician and best-selling author. A sneak preview of his book "The UltraSimple Diet" is available. See The UltraWellness Blog for more on Autoimmune Disease.

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Researchers Say They Can Prove How Much Weight You May Gain From Eating Fast Food





Robert De Vogli, the scientist who associated weight gain and eating Subway foods is back again. This time he and a team of research scientists are saying that not only is fast food very bad for your health, but that they've come up with a way to link how much weight people gain from eating fast food consumption.

De Vogli presented his findings in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO) wherein he and colleagues assert that market deregulation has played a major role in the spread of fast food and rising body mass index (BMI).

De Vogli and his team looked at twenty-five countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); each of the sampled countries were highly affluent thus making them highly attractive for the establishment of fast food restaurants.

De Vogli et al analyzed data from 1998 - 2008; they collected information about per capita fast food transactions among the twenty-five OECD nations which included data about annual sales of food and refreshments. They accomplished this by capturing data about 28 fast food chains, independent outlets and convenience stores so as to provide their study with information about fast food transaction on the local and transnational level. 


Fast Food Transactions Are Associated With Increased Weight Gain

De Vogli from the University of California, Davis and colleagues from The University of Texas Health Science Center and Queen’s University Belfast found an association between weight gain and fast food transactions; more specifically during the 1998 - 2008 study period, the number of annual per capita fast food transactions increased from 26.61 to 32.76 while BMI rose from 25.8 to 26.4 k/m2 .

To increase the accuracy of their study, De Vogli and his colleagues factored in urbanization, population size, income, trade andfound that for every 1 unit increase in annual fast food transactions per capita, there was an 0.0329 kg/mincrease in BMI.

Essentially it appears that the more fast food people consumed, the heavier they became. Interestingly they found the countries with the greatest and lowest number of annual fast food transactions to be

  • Canada (16.6)
  • Australia (14.7)
  • Ireland (12.3)
  • New Zealand (10.1)
  • Belgium (2.1)
  • Italy (1.5)
  • the Netherlands (1.8)
  • Greece (1.9)

What's so noteworthy about the results is that De Vogli and his colleagues couldn't peg down the causes of the weight gain among fast food consumers. When they looked at total calories consumed and calories from animal fats, it did nothing to explain why BMI increased over the years. They weren't able to get much closer to an answer even after analyzing data on calories from sugar laden beverages.

Because of the lack of answers to explain why people are gaining weight from fast foods the researchers call for further research which will focus on investigating "the metabolic effects of long-term exposure to fast foods produced from the meat of animals fed on corn, kept in confinement and exposed to excessive fertilization."


Stricter Relugation Will Stop Epidemic Obesity...Or Will It?

The researchers do, however, attribute much of the problem to insufficient government regulation. In their conclusion the researchers assert that "government regulations hindering the spread of fast food consumption might help to mitigate the obesity epidemic." They base this conclusion on the observation that countries that enforce tougher market regulations experienced slower increases in BMI and fast food consumption.

It's a similar argument proposed by Frank Hu and colleagues at Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital who believe that globalization - and the fast food that comes with it - is contributing to the global obesity epidemic.

Sure, governments can and should intervene on behalf of the health and welfare of their citizens but I wouldn't put much stock in them going to the lengths that De Vogli and his colleagues are calling for. Yet, even with the regulations already in place, taxation on certain foods and drinks, people look for end ways around the very laws that are supposedly written to protect them.

We also need to be wary of putting too much faith in any human governmental institution, organization or association to help us with our problems.

We also should be aware that there are other studies that contradict de Vogli's conclusions. For example, researchers from the Department of Popular Medicine at Harvard Medical School examined possible associations between living in proximity to fast food restaurants and weight. The reasoning was that the closer people live to fast food restaurants, the more likely they would be to eat more of the fast food.

The Harvard team studied people over a much larger period of time (1971 - 2001) and found absolutely no association between increased BMI and living near fast food restaurants. This data contradicts the reasoning that the number of fast food transactions per year contibutes to weight gain.

When it comes down to it, people are accountable for their own actions. People choose to buy fast food. Any number of factors could explain it. Sometimes people eat fast food because it's the only food available at the moment, others eat fast foods because they like the taste, whereas other eat fast food because others are eating it. What we need to keep in mind is the fact that those who willingly forego nutritious foods for empty calorie ones are making a conscious preference for one over the other.

We may not like it but that's one of the facts of life. Yes, we must each be concerned about the welfare of another, but we must be careful not to cast blame on larger parties while absolving the masses of their own part in what happens.

Sadly enough, most people are going to do things that just aren't good for them, and whether or not they make the "right" decision is based on how much they really care about the gift of life they were given and how to use it to help others. It does help to remember that greed always leads to problems. Eating fast foods in moderation can go a long way toward curtailing the obesity epidemic.


Give credit to God in all things.

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Article References

Roberto De Vogli, R., Kouvonen, A.  Gimeno, D. The influence of market deregulation on fast food consumption and body mass index: a cross-national time series analysis. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2014;92:99-107A. doi:

Uh Oh! Eating Out Is Making The Whole World Fat

Can Living Near Fast Food Restaurants Cause You Gain Weight?

Are The People You Associate With Secretly Making You Fat?

Can We Blame The Obesity Epidemic On Globalization?


"Researchers Say They Can Prove How Much Weight You May Gain From Eating Fast Food" copyright © 2014 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.




Recipe: Apple Streusel

Recipe: Apple Streusel

Submitted by: Dr. Steven A. Schnur

Dr. Steven A. Schnur's new book, The Reality Diet, has recipes the entire family will enjoy--including the kids. Packed with yummy desserts (non-sugar), high-energy breakfasts, and easy-to-fix dinners, we know you'll enjoy them all, including this one for Apple Streusel.

Streusels, along with cobblers and crisps, are American classics. But like most things American, streusel has its roots in another country, in this case Germany—and Streusel is a German word meaning "sprinkling."

1/4 cup 2:90 granola

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon sugar substitute

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons light margarine, chilled and cut into pieces

Nonstick cooking spray

1 large unpeeled apple, cored and sliced

One container 2:90 vanilla yogurt with fiber (providing up to 90 calories)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, mix together the granola, brown sugar, sugar substitute, and cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the margarine into the granola until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Spray a small, round (5-inch-diameter) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Evenly arrange the apple slices in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the streusel topping and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve from the baking dish topped with the yogurt.

Serves 1

CALORIES 360; FIBER 6g; FAT 14g; PROTEIN 9g; CARB 53g; SODIUM 300mg

Want to know more about The Reality Diet?

The reality is that extreme diets that promise instant results just don’t work. For one thing, you lose muscle and water, but little fat, and may seriously jeopardize your health in the process. For another, restricting certain foods and food groups deprives your body of essential nutrients. In the end, the faster the pounds come off, the faster they pile back on.

After seeing many of his patients fail on these kinds of fad diets, and suffer health-threatening side effects, Dr. Steven A. Schnur, founder of the largest cardiology practice in South Florida, developed a new, breakthrough program. The Reality Diet is not low carb, low fat, or high protein. Instead it is rich in a wide variety of foods that are high in one key fat-fighting ingredient—fiber. Not only does fiber stop hunger, it also significantly lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other illnesses.

Flexible and forgiving, The Reality Diet is for real people living in the real world. With eight weeks of mouthwatering menus, more than 200 quick and easy recipes, tips for eating in restaurants and navigating holidays, as well as an effective exercise program, The Reality Diet is both a comprehensive weight-loss plan and a blueprint for lifelong health.

About the Author: Dr. Steven A. Schnur is a board-certified internist and cardiologist who has been in private practice for more than 15 years. He is committed to helping patients achieve lasting weight loss through a high fiber diet

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4 Survival Strategies To Handle Your Worst Food Cravings

4 Survival Strategies To Handle Your Worst Food Cravings

Submitted by: Tera Warner

We’ve all been through the tortures of cravings. Just thinking about that “forbidden” food can send a wave of urgency pulsing through us that can seem stronger than ourselves. If you’ve ever heard the expression:

“What you resist persists”

…then you know that resistance is futile, and the more you try to avoid what you’re craving, the more it impinges itself upon you.

For anyone trying to implement new lifestyle choices, handling cravings can feel like it requires either superhero strength or some kind of magic. Here are a few solutions that just might do the trick when cravings strike.

Before we even begin to address solutions for stubborn cravings, let’s start by addressing the fact that some foods are ADDICTIVE -- just flat out physiologically addictive. When you’re trying to remove these foods from your diet, it may require a bit more gusto to get through the process.

The most common addictive foods are:

Bread and Grain products (especially wheat)

If these are the foods you’re craving, understand that half the battle is going to be physiological. Take heart! The following suggestions and tips will help you to kick these habit forming foods, but it can be helpful to be aware of the extra challenge that may be involved in breaking free.

Let’s look at the most common cravings and some possible solutions for them!

1- “I’m craving SALT!”

There is nothing quite as irresistible as salt. Who came up with the idea? I’d like to know. It is beyond me that even though every sailor knows that if you drink sea water you’re as good as dead, we’ve decided somewhere along the way, that it would be a great idea to dehydrate sea water and sprinkle the end product all over our food.

I don’t believe salt has any place in a healthy diet, and for some of us, it’s down right addictive.

If you struggle with salt cravings, here are some recommendations:

Snack on celery sticks or succulent tomatoes, both of which are naturally very high in sodium. Try making yourself a satisfying delicious raw soup of blended tomatoes and celery.

Also, be sure that you’re getting enough minerals in your diet. Minerals are best provided in greens. Simply increasing the volume of greens in your diet may be enough to get rid of salty cravings. You can also easily and enjoyably increase your mineral intake by choosing to eat a broad selection of crunchy vegetables.

2 –“I’m craving SWEETS!”

If you’ve got a regular hankering for sugar, then chances are that you’re not getting enough calories in your daily diet. The best way to ensure you’re getting enough calories is to eat fruit. If you’re getting enough fresh fruit, there’s no reason you should be suffering from sugar cravings. Fresh fruits are the best way to meet your caloric needs.

Everyone is responsible for observing the reactions in their body, but as long as you’re getting sufficient greens, and avoiding an excess of fat in your diet, there is no reason to have any fear of fruit or fruit sugars. Nature wouldn’t have made them so gorgeous and tasty if they weren’t meant to be enjoyed.

3 - “I’m craving PROTEIN!”

If it’s protein you’re looking for then your best bet is definitely going to be found in crispy, fresh greens and sprouts. Since sprouts are up to 35% protein and greens like spinach are between 40 and 50% protein, increasing the quantity and quality of greens in your diet will more than adequately meet your ongoing protein needs.

Green smoothies are a recommended way of consuming sufficient greens. Just take your favorite fruit smoothie and add any of the following: kale, chard (take out the stalk part), spinach, lettuce, parsley, mint or celery.

Contrary to popular belief there is absolutely no problem mixing these leafy greens (or celery) with fruit.

4 - “I’m craving FAT!”

If you’re craving fat in the form of nuts, avocado, etc., then chances are that you’ve simply been eating too much of them.

One of the first things that happens to people who overeat fat is more cravings for fat. This can be true for anything to a certain degree, but holds especially true in the case of fats.
To help you kick the fat habit, be sure that you’re getting enough calories, and include more green smoothies in your diet.

Here are a few other reasons that you may be struggling with cravings and what to do about them:

Insufficient Calories and Under-eating

If you’ve been transitioning yourself to eat a more raw food diet, and find yourself running into regular cravings (every few days) then the culprit may simply be that you are not getting enough calories from your raw food diet.

If you have a tendency to under-eat on calories, then you do risk running into cravings for cooked foods simply because your body is looking to refuel from the most efficient source it can get. (Efficient in the sense of high concentration of calories per bite.)

To be sure you’re getting enough calories, try using a free online service such as

Are you thirsty?

While it’s true the raw food diet has a much higher quotient of water naturally occurring in its foods, when the cravings strike, grab a glass of water and you may be surprised to see you were actually just thirsty. This can be especially true in the early days of a new raw food regimen when the body is hard at work clearing out the remains of your previous eating habits.

Boredom Breeds Fridge Invasions

If you find yourself spending too much time staring into the fridge between meals, try getting more active and involved in something you love. Get out, get fit, and get productive. When you are actively engaged in life you will feel better and be less attracted to the foods that drain your energy or cause you to feel unwell!

Above all, remember that the spirit with which you enjoy your food affects EVERYTHING. If you do give in to cravings, well, do it with extreme gratitude and appreciation for every bite. Make it a celebration and leave guilt at the door. Making anything a “forbidden” food only increases our attraction to it. Continue to choose the foods that nourish you the most and you’ll be well on your way to greater health and energy.

About the Author: Want to use this article in your e-zine or website? You can, as long as you include the following juicy bits: Writer and online entrepreneur Tera Warner, is co-creator of “The Raw Divas.” She and her co-diva, Amy De Wolfe, have created the sassiest (and the ONLY) online raw food resource for WOMEN! Register today for their FREE 7 Day Diva Detox and watch the pounds and toxins melt away. Sign up for their free newsletter: Health In High Heels loaded with inspiration, recipes and support for women passionate about health and LIFE!

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