Archive for the ‘Health and Lifestyles’ Category
The truth is, there are no magic formulas, no fail-proof tricks, no cunning ways of trapping Mr. or Miss Right. There are however some essential facts that you should always bear in mind along the way. Dating tips are just that — tips, not one-size-fits-all guarantees. Different tacks will work for different people. It depends on the situation, who we are, where we are in our lives, etc. However, there are some threads of advice that are fairly universal and can benefit anyone who practices them:
Top 10 Dating Tips
- Get prepared for dating. If you really want to succeed in the dating game, be ready to commit to dating. Half-heartedness won’t work. In fact, it won’t even get you half-way. If you really want to date, put some effort into it. Do some research and think about what you want out of dating. Prepare yourself for the inevitable rejection we all face at some point in dating and commit not to give up.
- Get your act together. Begin a regime of looking your best. Join a gym, read health magazines, get fit and start a diet. Get your hair cut or styled and begin a new regime of good grooming or beauty treatment. Though it will not find you a date in itself, you will feel a million times more confident about yourself, and others can sense that.
- Go shopping and treat yourself to new clothes and even a whole new look. Get your image right, one that you can manage and live with, but one that flatters you. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, but amplify and accentuate your positives. Throw out those tired jeans, old sweaters or cardigans and spruce yourself up. Your date will appreciate that you demonstrated some effort.
- Think about what you want to gain from dating and what timeframes you expect. Do you see yourself married within 2 years? If you do, then approach dating accordingly. If you are more laid back and don’t take dating too seriously then ask yourself some honest questions about why you are dating and what you hope to achieve. If it is purely sex then ask yourself if you are about to be honest with those you hope to date.
- Surround yourself with people who will support your dating aims. By following the first four tips you will feel better and be more focused. Don’t sabotage this by sitting around with friends who are negative about love and relationships (often the married ones). Start attending social functions frequented by singles. Sitting alongside couples at dinner parties in suburbia is not necessarily where you need to be right now.
- Choose those you have a good chance of dating. Be realistic. In other words, your dating is based on the whole package you present as well as just your personality. If you are looking for a glamour girl or boy and want to date someone trendy and gorgeous, great! Just know that others will expect you to be the same.
- Join clubs, societies, sports events, drama groups — anything that might help you meet like-minded potential partners. You will not meet people by staying indoors and playing video games – many have tried and failed at this approach.
- Take time off from dating occasionally if it’s not going well or causing dating fatigue. Recharging your batteries and keeping confidence and optimism levels high is an absolute must. We all hit rough patches, but don’t let your search for love become a death march. Date in phases if necessary.
- Enjoy dating for what it is, dating. It is meeting people and socializing and spending time in the company of stimulating individuals who may or may not play a bigger part in your life down the road. The fact is, most people have something interesting to offer. While you may not be out on the dating scene looking for new friends, you may well find one or two fabulous people along the way.
- Never make yourself too available. People like mystery and enigma and the thrill of the chase when dating. As part of keeping up the mystery, do not sleep with your dates early on. The longer a person is made to chase and fall for you within reason, the more likely that love may blossom. (And yes, this goes for both men AND women!) If the chemistry peaks too early, your emotions may never have time to catch up and the relationship will eventually wither away.
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However, people should ideally wash their hands using soap and water before preparing food.
With this year’s fears of the swine flu, sales of hand sanitizers rose from $69 million a year ago to $118 million in 2009, ABC News reports. This gives you an idea of just how wildly popular these disinfectants have become.
And they do have some positive points. First off, hand washing has been proven time and again to be one of the best ways to prevent illness and infections.
But soap and water are not always available when you need to give your hands a quick cleansing.
Further, if you wash your hands too frequently you can actually extract many of the protective oils in your skin, which can cause your skin to crack and bleed. It is important to realize that your skin is actually your primary defense against bacteria — not the soap.
It is rare for a germ on your skin to cause a problem — it is typically only an issue when you transfer germs to your nose, mouth or an open wound like cracked skin. So obsessive-compulsive washing will likely increase your risk of getting sick by providing an entryway for potentially dangerous pathogens.
If your immune system is strong, it should be able to fight off the virus even if it does enter your body, but washing your hands provides that extra barrier of protection.
This is where hand sanitizers can be a great middle ground, allowing you to quickly disinfect your hands — even if you don’t have access to a sink — and, if you choose a natural, gentle variety, without damaging your skin.
However, you need to be very careful about the variety of hand sanitizer you choose, as many of the most popular varieties can be toxic to your health.
Why it’s Wise to Avoid Most Popular Hand Sanitizers
Almost half of all hand cleansers sold in the United States contain antibacterial compounds. These antibacterial compounds are not only a contributing factor to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but triclosan, the active ingredient in most antibacterial products, has been shown to kill human cells.
Those that contain alcohol as the active ingredient, instead of triclosan, are a better option, as germs don’t become resistant to alcohol. However, many commercial varieties of alcohol-based hand sanitizers contain other harmful ingredients .
In fact, the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database rates Purell hand sanitizer a “high hazard,” with a score of seven out of 10 (with 10 being the most toxic). They point out that ingredients used in this product are linked to:
- Developmental/reproductive toxicity
- Allergies and immunotoxicity
- Endocrine disruption
- Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
- Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
- Biochemical or cellular level changes
Are There Safer Hand Sanitizer Options?
Yes, but you’ll need to become an avid label reader to find them. Look for natural, organic varieties that do not contain triclosan or other harmful ingredients, and instead contain safe plant-based ingredients such as rice bran extract, aloe vera, chamomile and tea tree oil.
Again, hand washing with plain soap and water is an ideal way to keep germs off your hands, but a safe hand sanitizer is a great back-up plan for those times when you can’t get to a sink.
What is Your BEST Line of Defense Against the Flu?
Your first line of defense against all disease-causing agents, such as pathogenic bacteria and viruses, is a strong immune system.
You can support your immune system by:
- Optimizing your vitamin D levels
- Getting a good night’s sleep
- Minimizing stress in your life
- Exercising regularly and effectively
- Avoiding sugar and grains, and instead eating plenty of raw foods
- Taking a high-quality probiotic (good bacteria)
There’s no need to walk around sporting rubber gloves and a disinfectant spray if you follow the advice above, and it is by far your most effective way to stay healthy.
When you follow the Take Control of Your Health program you are less likely to get sick in the first place.
So while it is certainly prudent to wash your hands and use safe hand sanitizers when you can’t, make sure you are using this strategy in the proper way … as a support — not a replacement — for a healthy lifestyle.
About the writer:Dr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site, Mercola.com. You can learn the hazardous side effects of OTC Remedies by getting a FREE copy of his latest special report The Dangers of Over the Counter Remedies by going to his to his Report Page.Become an AUTHOR: Would you like to write a book, and get it published independently? Have you written a manuscript? Get your books self-published with Agora Publishing Consortium.
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by Dr. Mercola
“They just didn’t have the time to do that properly. They mean well and they are not doing anything to mislead people in any direct way. The reality is no one knows. I’m not pretending to know. I don’t think they should pretend to know,” he said.
“What bothers me is pretty much every doctor in the country is jumping on the bandwagon and saying, ‘This vaccine is completely safe’ — even for the pregnant woman and the unborn baby,” said Bob Sears, of Orange County, Calif. “But they can’t give you a single study that backs up that statement.”
Scientists working to understand the genetic makeup of the H1N1 virus that causes the disease have linked it to a virus behind a 1998 swine flu outbreak at an industrial hog farm in Sampson County, North Carolina’s leading hog producer. A virus related to the current outbreak was first identified a decade ago at a farm in the eastern North Carolina County.
The 1998 North Carolina outbreak began with pregnant sows developing high fevers. A state microbiologist who tested nasal samples taken from the animals was surprised to encounter a virus he didn’t recognize — and his alarm grew when he found that some of the sick animals had been immunized for ordinary swine flu.
The H1N1 virus behind the current flu outbreak contains genetic material from birds, humans and pigs, though it’s called “swine flu” because it’s a type of virus that typically infects hogs.
If nothing else, the latest swine flu outbreak should spur governments to begin building a safer, more sustainable agricultural structure. And they must reach across national lines to do so, since neither agribusiness nor viruses are held back by borders.
You’ve likely seen the images in the news, and perhaps even personally — long lines of people, including children and pregnant women, waiting to be the latest guinea pig to receive the swine flu vaccine.
If you read only the headlines, you’re left with the impression that the biggest tragedy is not enough vaccine to go around, and may even shake your head that “high-risk” groups like children and people with asthma are being turned away.
But then through all the fanfare come a few quiet, and sometimes not so quiet, voices of reason. Voices from doctors who are NOT recommending the swine flu vaccination for their patients because it is just too new and untested.
Voices from health care workers who say they will also refuse the swine flu vaccine because of potential side effects and questions about the vaccine’s efficacy.
And voices from mothers, fathers and pregnant women alike who have opted to not get the vaccine for themselves or their children because the risks appear to greatly outweigh any benefits.
And it is this growing group of voices that is now starting to give the latest propaganda techniques used to frighten you into accepting a swine flu vaccine, a real run for their money!
Why Are Doctors and Health Care Workers Refusing the Swine Flu Vaccine?
In May of this year researchers distributed 810 questionnaires to public hospital workers. Less than half of the nearly 400 workers who returned the questionnaires intended to accept H1N1 vaccination.
This is very telling, though not surprising considering the majority of health care workers also refuse the seasonal flu shot.
The most common reason given for refusal, and rightfully so, was potential side effects, followed by questions about the vaccine’s efficacy.
Even among a focus group of 85 people, very few said they would get vaccinated in the event of a pandemic. Again, many noted the risks involved in using newly developed vaccines that are rushed to market as a primary concern. Many also believed, correctly I might add, that they could protect themselves through their own behavior, including:
- Frequent handwashing
- Staying away from crowded places and sick people
- Eating well to maintain their immune system
“Increasing numbers of scientists and doctors are issuing harsh criticisms of the government’s plan to vaccinate virtually the entire U.S. population with a poorly tested vaccine that is not only ineffective against swine flu, but could cripple and even kill many more people than it helps.”
Fortunately, this site, and many others seeking to shed light on this deceptive manipulation of facts about the swine flu, are having a significant influence, and people are refusing to believe the government propaganda.
Vaccine safety advocates everywhere are beginning to make a serious dent. According to a recent Fox News poll, the majority of people in the U.S. now believe the swine flu vaccine may be deadlier than the actual virus.
Weighing the Risks versus the Benefits
Any time you opt for a medical procedure, including vaccination, you must decide whether the risks outweigh the benefits. There are always risks of any procedure, and in the case of the H1N1 vaccine, the risks are potentially steep.
Senior neurologists sent a confidential letter to the UK government warning that the swine flu vaccine has been linked to a deadly nerve disease known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). GBS attacks the lining of your nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breathe, and can be fatal.
German lung specialist Wolfgang Wodarg has also come out about even more potential health risks associated with the swine flu vaccine. According to Dr. Wodarg, the swine flu vaccine contains animal cancer cells, and there’s no data indicating whether or not this may cause an allergic reaction when injected.
It also raises questions about the risk of contracting cancer.
Likewise, Johannes Löwer, president of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, believes the side effects of the vaccine can be far worse than the actual swine flu virus, which typically causes only mild symptoms, requiring just a few days in bed.
Swine Flu Cases are being Greatly Exaggerated
Now that we’ve looked at the risks, so what are the benefits? When you consider how over-hyped the swine flu “pandemic” really is, not much.
It amazes me that despite all the evidence to the contrary, health officials and mass media are still saying the swine flu could kill some 90,000 Americans — if we don’t all get vaccinated.
There is simply NO evidence to support this outlandish projection. The evidence actually points to the exact opposite, that this season will have LESS deaths from flu than last year.
The data is very clear that it’s a milder than normal virus. Only a few percent of all cases with the designation “swine flu” are actually the H1N1 virus. In the Southern Hemisphere, people got over the wave of the flu just fine, before the vaccine even became available.
As of August 30, 2009, the CDC ceased testing and counting actual H1N1 virus infections. As of that date, any and all cases or deaths of people exhibiting “flu like symptoms” are automatically tallied as an “H1N1 case,” artificially driving up the perceived threat.
The CDC’s public explanation is that they are convinced a pandemic is underway and, therefore, accurate monitoring is unnecessary because it’s so widespread, world-wide.
However, as I’ll show you in just a moment, this is simply not true! Yes, the H1N1 virus has appeared world-wide, but it is not the CAUSE of most flu like illness and death. In fact, the H1N1 virus is a tiny player, causing very little trouble.
CBS News, after conducting a three-month investigation into the swine flu statistics, uncovered a number of very sobering facts that clearly show this swine flu pandemic for the cruel hoax it really is.
What did they find? CBS reported:
“The results reveal a pattern that surprised a number of health care professionals we consulted. The vast majority of cases were negative for H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, despite the fact that many states were specifically testing patients deemed to be most likely to have H1N1 flu, based on symptoms and risk factors, such as travel to Mexico.”
According to the CBS News study, when you come down with chills, fever, cough, runny nose, malaise and all those other “flu-like” symptoms, the illness is likely caused by influenza at most, 17 percent of the time, and as little as 3 percent! The other 83 to 97 percent of the time it’s caused by other viruses or bacteria.
So remember that not every illness that appears to be the flu actually is the flu. In fact, most of the time it’s not.
Curiously, the CDC still advises those who were told they had 2009 H1N1 (and therefore should be immune to getting it again) to get vaccinated unless they had lab confirmation.
Is the Real Source of the Swine Flu Related to Filthy Factory Farms?
It is interesting to note that scientists working to understand the genetic makeup of the H1N1 virus have linked it to a virus behind a 1998 swine flu outbreak at a massive industrial pig farm in North Carolina.
The Raleigh News & Observer cited Raul Rabadan, a Columbia University scientist who’s studying the new virus’s genetics, who said:
“This virus was found in pigs here in the United States. They were getting sick in 1998. It became a swine virus.
It spread among pregnant sows in Newton Grove, N.C., causing them to abort their litters. The virus then spread to pigs in Texas, Iowa and Minnesota — putting epidemiologists on alert about the new viral strain and the potential for a human outbreak.”
When North Carolina public health officials tested workers at the pig farm back in 1998, 10 percent of workers had developed antibodies to the virus, which means they had been infected but not become ill.
If it’s true that this latest hysteria over swine flu can, in fact, be traced back to a factory farm, it raises a whole new set of issues that are being completely ignored by both government officials and the media.
As the Humane Society of the United States pointed out:
“When thousands of pigs are overcrowded into cramped stalls and pens inside massive, unsanitary, warehouse-like sheds, it’s a veritable breeding ground for disease. As the former executive director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Animal Farm Production described, “Industrial farms are super-incubators for viruses.””
And the people working at those farms can easily become a bridge for the viruses to reach the general population.
So instead of waging a giant media campaign geared toward getting the entire U.S. population a swine flu vaccination, what public health officials and government should be doing is waging a war against agribusiness giants that are perpetuating this kind of unnatural and unhealthy form of food production.
About the writer:
by Dr. Joseph Mercola
Unless you live in some unbelievably remote location, the odds are high that you’re being bombarded with information-carrying radio waves that can wreak havoc on your body.
These radio waves have increased dramatically and exponentially over the last few years — especially from cell phones, but also from WiFi, WiMax, BlueTooth, and other wireless devices. For most people, the damage from this 24-7 exposure will take years or even decades to surface since there is a lag time of five to 20 years for the health effects to become clinically apparent.
For those unfortunate people in London, England, who were living directly below a major cell phone mast, the damage became apparent, sometime between the mast’s construction in 1994 and the beginning of the resident’s campaign to have the mast removed in 2002.
You may not realize that you are likely living closer to a cell phone tower than you think. Cell “sites” can look like antennas or huge towers, but they can also be quite camouflaged. They exist on many schools, churches, firehouses, cemeteries and even in national parks. If you’re wondering why a school or park would want a cell site on their grounds, it’s because the cell phone companies pay to have them there, with fees that can range upwards of $2,000 a month.
While there are already more than 175,000 cell towers in the United States (there is approximately 8,000 cell phone towers in Canada), this number is expected to increase by 48 percent to 260,000 by 2010, according to CTIA (the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry).
If you want to know just how close you are to a cell phone tower or antenna, simply type your location into AntennaSearch.com. It will tell you all of the towers (existing and future) and antennas that are within about ten kilometres of your address!
Why are Increasing Cell Phone Towers so Concerning?
What most people, including experts, fail to understand is that the danger from land-based portable phones, cell phones and WiFi routers is not from the magnetic radiation or the microwave carrier wave from which typical SAR ratings are given on phones. Unless you have massive exposures like you might expect in a microwave oven, these thermal effects are insignificant.
Nearly all the biological damage comes from the modulated signals that are carried ON the carrier microwave. These modulated information-carrying radio waves resonate in biological frequencies of a few to a few hundred cycles per second, and can stimulate your vibrational cellular receptors causing a whole cascade of pathological consequences that can culminate in fatigue, anxiety and ultimately cancers.
Again, this is a very serious concern because, unless you live in an isolated rural setting, you are probably being exposed to these radio-waves day-in and day-out — whether or not you even own or use a cell phone.
Numerous studies have linked exposure to information-carrying radio waves to health problems, but you may not realize that your symptoms are related to these radio frequencies because they could easily be attributed to other causes as well.
Aside from cancer and brain tumours, cells phones and other radio frequencies can cause:
– Alzheimer’s, senility and dementia
– Sleep disruptions and fatigue
– Altered memory function, poor concentration and spatial awareness
Can You Hear Me Now? The Truth the Cell Phone Industry Doesn’t Want You to Hear
One of the world’s undisputed experts in cell phone safety is Dr. George Carlo, and I had the privilege of spending two full days with him in October 2007.
I was so compelled with the information I heard that my next book, slated for release in 2009, will detail the reasons why I believe using cell phones is far more dangerous than smoking cigarettes ever was.
In the 1990s, Dr. Carlo was given a $28-million grant from the cell phone industry to put an end to the talk that cell phones were hazardous to your health. Unfortunately, what he found was not what he’d been paid to find. Instead, he discovered that they DO, in fact, cause damage.
The cell phone industry offered him a position for $1 million a year to silence him, but he refused, and started a non-profit institute called The Safe Wireless Initiative to inform the world of this danger instead. I highly recommend you check out his site as he has compiled excellent resources on interventions you can use to maximize your health and minimize your risks.
I also tried to spread the word about the dangers of cell phones via a Today Show interview I did last year. Well, they only aired four seconds of my 20-minute interview, completely censoring the supporting evidence that cell phones can cause damage.
Tips to Limit Your Damage from Information-Carrying Radio Waves
There quite simply is no safe biological threshold for exposure to information-carrying radio waves, and there is, quite honestly, little you can do to avoid them 100 percent.
But you can reduce your, and your family’s, exposure by taking the following commonsense precautions:
Limit the amount of time you spend on a cell phone or cordless phone.
Use a wired headset to limit your exposure to the cell phone — ideally, an air tube headset that conducts sound but prevents any radiation from traveling up the wire to your brain. Also make sure the wire is SHIELDED, which prevents the wire from acting as an antenna that could attract more information-carrying radio waves directly to your brain. Wireless BlueTooth headsets should be avoided.
Limit your exposure to WiFi routers. Find out where they are located in your work environment and stay away from them.
If you have any land-based (non-cellular) portable phones, do NOT use anything other than the 900 MHz phones as the Gigahertz phones stay on continuously, blasting you with information-carrying radio waves 24/7.
Use the speakerphone instead of putting the phone to your ear; this is probably one of the single most important steps you can take other than not using your cell phone.
Limit calls inside buildings.
Use the phone in open spaces as often as possible.
Limit use by children and preadolescents, or don’t let them use cell phones at all. Children’s developing nervous systems and thinner skulls are simply too vulnerable to cell phone damage.
About the writer:
Dr. Joseph Mercola, is a physician, health activist, and entrepreneur practicing near Chicago. He is the author of two New York Times best-sellers, The No-Grain Diet co-authored with Alison Rose Levy, and The Great Bird Flu Hoax, together with several other books. He is the founder and editor of Mercola.com.
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by Dr. Mercola
It was inevitable that food manufacturers and the edible oil industry would find a substitute for trans fats, now that consumer backlash is forcing the issue.
After all, we’re talking big business here. Over 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is spent on the processed stuff.
Now that the health dangers of trans fats have been clearly exposed, the food industry would do you a great favour by returning to the use of natural saturated fats for frying and in baked goods. But that would mean reversing their entirely unscientific, 50-year campaign to vilify saturated fats, and would bring an end to the enormously powerful edible oil industry.
Since that’s not about to happen, it’s time for a quick review of the bad news about trans fats, followed by an investigation into what seems to be a fast-growing substitute: interesterified fats.
Why Trans Fats are Being Replaced in Processed Foods
Trans fats cause a host of health problems. Among the most serious, trans fats:
- Raise your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels
- Are believed to contribute to auto-immune disease, cancer, heart disease, fertility problems, and bone degeneration
- Inhibit insulin receptors in your cell membranes and are the main cause of type 2 diabetes, characterized by high levels of insulin and glucose in your blood
The Trans Fat Replacement — Interesterified Fat
Interesterified fats have been an ingredient in foods in the U.S. since the 1950s. They were introduced in Europe even earlier — in the 1920s — and have been in widespread use there for the last 15 years as a substitute for partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats).
These fats are oils that have been chemically altered. They are hydrogenated and then rearranged on a molecular level.
Although technically not the same as partially hydrogenated oils, the unnatural manipulation of lipid molecules in interesterified fats raises similar health concerns to those caused by trans fats.
The Process of Interesterification
The interesterification process hardens fat, similar to the hydrogenation process, but without producing oils that contain trans fats. The end product, like trans fat, is less likely to go rancid and is stable enough to use to fry foods.
There are three ways to modify natural fat:
- Hydrogenation (the process used in trans fat production)
Interesterification acts on compounds in oil known as esters. The process combines a natural vegetable oil with stearic acid and alkylinic catalysts. Either enzymes or chemicals are used to modify the molecular structure of the oil in order to make it perform like a fat. The end result is a fat rich in stearic acid.
Interesterification is similar to the process that creates trans fats. Like hydrogenation, which generates unnatural trans fats, interesterification also produces molecules that do not exist in nature.
The highly industrialized process of interesterification may result in a product that is trans-free, but that product will still contain chemical residues, hexanes, and other hazardous waste products full of free radicals that cause cell damage.
The Use of Interesterified Fat is Already Raising Health Concerns
Studies show that interesterified fat raises your blood glucose and depresses insulin production. These conditions are common precursors to diabetes, and can present an even more immediate danger if you already have the disease.
After only four weeks consuming these fats, study volunteers’ blood glucose levels rose sharply – by 20 percent. This is a much worse result than is seen with trans fats.
Insulin levels dropped 10 percent on the trans fat diet used in the studies, and twice that on the interesterified fat diet. Study results conclude interesterified fat affects the production of insulin by your pancreas, as opposed to the insulin receptors in your cell membranes.
Interesterified fat also reduces levels of good (HDL) cholesterol.
The Problem with All Processed Vegetable Oils
Natural vegetable oils that have been altered create problems for your body at the cellular level. These fats are no longer in their natural state, and your body doesn’t know how to handle them. Your system will try to make use of them and in the process, these fats end up in cell membranes and other locations where they can wreak havoc with your health.
If you are male, the danger of these man-made fats is an increased risk of heart disease. In men, these unnatural oils trigger an immune response as they enter your artery walls. As your body attacks this unknown intruder, your arteries become inflamed, leading to a dangerous build-up of plaque.
If you are a woman, your body will react somewhat differently. Processed vegetable oils don’t appear to trigger an immune response in the arteries of women. Rather, they get deeper into your body and into fatty tissues like those of the breast, increasing your cancer risk.
Finally, a problem with processed vegetable oils no matter what your gender is the accumulation of the toxic byproducts of the catalysts used to change the oils from their natural state. These catalysts are created from metals like aluminum and nickel. They build up in your nervous system, are difficult to eliminate, and can lead to neurological problems and other health concerns.
How to Recognize Interesterified Fats in Your Food
You’ll find interesterified fats in the same types of processed foods that use trans fats. Products such as:
- margarine and shortening
- fried foods like French fries and fried chicken
- processed foods like cereal and waffles
- salad dressings
Interesterified Fat Will Likely NOT Be on List of Ingredients
If you’re in the habit of reading product labels, you may or may not see the word “interesterified” fat among the list of ingredients, even if it’s in there.
The FDA has ruled that food manufacturers can use terms like high stearate or stearic rich fats in place of “interesterified.” To confuse things even further, if you see the terms fully hydrogenated vegetable oil, palm oil and/or palm kernel oil on labeling, the product may or may not contain interesterified fat.
And beware eating out, because while restaurants and their suppliers are touting removal of trans fats from the foods they serve, very little is being said about the fats that are replacing them.
The bottom line is that if a processed food label includes “vegetable oil” as an ingredient, you can be absolutely sure you’re about to consume either interesterified fats, or trans fats.
And if a processed food product is labeled “0% trans fats” or “no trans fats” but is made from vegetable oils, you can be certain it contains either interesterified fats or fully hydrogenated vegetable oils.
My Position on Interesterified Fats
Regular readers of my newsletter know that I’m a firm believer in eating foods in the most natural unprocessed state possible.
Foods that have been altered by an industrial process do not metabolize in your body the same way natural foods do, and eating them is an invitation to serious health problems.
My firm position is that you shouldn’t knowingly put interesterified fats into your body. You can be virtually assured that no one knows at this time what the long-term health concerns of this product will be.
It took the mainstream medical community and food manufacturers 30 years to determine and admit that trans fats are dangerous to your health. It could take another 30 years for the truth to come out about interesterified fats — or any other substitute fat that does not exist in nature.
Options to Consider
Fortunately avoiding these fats is relatively easy as they are in virtually all the foods that trans fats are, so by avoiding trans fat you will also avoid interesterified fats.
If you’re like most Americans, your diet consists predominantly of processed food. And eating processed foods, especially those with a long shelf life, means you’re consuming interesterified fats, trans fats, or some other type of man-made ingredient that your body was not designed to metabolize.
- If you want to avoid dangerous fats of all kinds, your best bet is to eliminate processed foods from your diet.
- Use butter instead of margarines and vegetable oil spreads. Butter is a healthy whole food that has received an unwarranted bad rap.
- Use coconut oil for cooking. It is far superior to any other cooking oil and is loaded with health benefits.
- Following my nutrition plan will automatically reduce your modified fat intake, as it will teach you to focus on healthy whole foods instead of processed junk food.
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A large 10-year study found that half of all fatal heart disease cases, and a quarter of all non-fatal cases are linked to being overweight and having a high body mass index (BMI) or large waist.
Body mass index and waist circumference are well known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but the researchers said their work showed BMI and waist size could actually help predict your risk of dying from, or developing heart disease.Overweight people are defined as having a BMI of between 25 and 30, and obese people of 30 or more, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. Waist circumference measurements in men were defined as between 94 and 101.9 cm for overweight and more than 102 cm for obese. In women these measurements were 80-87.9 cm for overweight and more than 88 cm for obese.
Heart disease is one of the easiest diseases to prevent and avoid, but you simply must be proactive in order to do this. Many people don’t realize that the most common symptom of heart disease is actually sudden death — not chest pain or shortness of breath. Most of the time there are NO warning signs, so that’s why knowing, and monitoring, your risk factors is critical.
Having a high body mass index (BMI) or a large waist have long been linked to heart disease risk, and now this new study has found they may also predict your risk of dying from heart disease as well.
However, previous studies have found that while being overweight or obese can raise your heart disease risks, the place you carry your fat may be an even bigger factor.
Body mass index (BMI), which gauges weight in relation to height, is only a crude way to judge obesity-related heart disease risk. It does not measure where fat is on your body or how muscular you might be. Athletes and completely out-of-shape people can have similar BMI scores, for instance, and previous research has demonstrated that a potbelly is a better predictor of heart trouble than total weight.
Why is Belly Fat so Dangerous?
Your body has two types of fat: visceral and subcutaneous. Subcutaneous fat is found just under your skin, and is the type that causes dimpling and cellulite. Visceral fat, on the other hand, shows up in your abdomen and surrounds your vital organs including your liver, heart and muscles.
Visceral fat is the one that is linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke, among many other chronic diseases. And while it’s often referred to as “belly fat” because it can cause a “beer belly” or an apple-shaped body, you can have visceral fat even if you’re thin.
You may think that fat is simply an inert substance, however, fat cells are an active and intelligent part of your body, producing hormones that impact your brain, liver, immune system and even your ability to reproduce.
What’s more, the hormones your fat cells produce impact how much you eat and how much fat you burn.
One of these hormones is leptin, and leptin sends signals that reduce hunger, increase fat burning and reduce fat storage. That is, if your cells are communicating properly and can “hear” this message.
If you are eating a diet that is high in sugar and grains — this is the same type of diet that will also increase inflammation in your body — as the sugar gets metabolized in fat cells, fat releases surges in leptin. Over time, if your body is exposed to too much leptin, it will become resistant to the leptin (just as your body can become resistant to insulin).
And when you become leptin-resistant, your body can no longer hear the messages telling you to stop eating and burn fat — so you remain hungry, and store more fat.
Leptin-resistance also causes an increase in visceral fat, sending you on a vicious cycle of hunger, fat storage and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and more.
Another Important Heart Disease Risk Factor
Aside from carrying extra weight around your middle, one of the most important risk factors for heart disease is your cholesterol to HDL ratio.
Keep in mind that your total cholesterol level is just about worthless in determining your risk for heart disease, unless it is close to 300 or higher. And, perhaps more importantly, you need to be aware that cholesterol is not the CAUSE of heart disease.
If you become overly concerned with trying to lower your cholesterol level to some set number, you will be completely missing the real problem.
In fact, I have seen a number of people with levels over 250 who actually were at low heart disease risk due to their HDL levels. Conversely, I have seen even more who had cholesterol levels under 200 that were at a very high risk of heart disease based on the following additional tests:
- Your HDL/Cholesterol ratio
- Your Triglyceride/HDL ratios
HDL percentage is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol. That percentage should ideally be above 24 percent. Below 10 percent is a significant indicator of risk for heart disease.
You can also do the same thing with your triglycerides and HDL ratio. That percentage should be below 2.
How to Virtually Eliminate Your Heart Disease Risk
If you are at risk of heart disease, then simply applying the Take Control of Your Health program will virtually eliminate your risk — sometimes quite rapidly – because it helps to significantly reduce inflammation in your body. And, keeping your inflammation levels low is key if you want to reduce your risk of heart disease (as well as many other chronic diseases).
Among the key points to remember are:
- Reduce your intake of grains, including corn-based foods, and all sweets and potatoes, dramatically.
Any meal or snack high in unhealthy carbohydrates generates a rapid rise in blood glucose and then insulin to compensate for the rise in blood sugar. The insulin released from eating too many carbohydrates promotes fat and makes it more difficult for your body to lose fat, and excess weight, particularly around your belly, is one of the major contributors to heart disease.
- Exercise regularly.
Exercise not only lowers inflammation in your body, it is also one of the best weapons to fight visceral fat, which again is linked to heart disease.
Remember, you can be thin, underweight even, and still have dangerous visceral fat around your organs. If you are thin, but rarely exercise, this may be you. And if you have a beer belly or a lot of fat around your midsection, you can also bet on the fact that you’re holding onto visceral fat.
The good news is that exercise can drastically reduce any visceral fat, and quickly too, so check out my primary principles of exercise video to get started.
- Get your omega-3 fats!
High-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats such as those in krill oil help protect your heart from disease. Studies have shown that omega-3 works by preventing the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels.
Researchers recently found that people with the lowest average vitamin D levels had a 124 percent greater risk of dying from all causes and a 378 percent greater risk of dying from a heart problem!
Those are massively increased risks — risks that could have been avoided simply by optimizing vitamin D.
Further, researchers from Finland also showed that when compared with the participants with the highest vitamin D, those with the lowest levels had a 25 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease or stroke. And when only stroke was looked at, those with the lowest levels had twice the risk as those with the highest.
A previous study even found women who take vitamin D supplements lower their risk of death from heart disease by one-third.
It’s also been suggested that the more sunlight you get, the better your cardiovascular health will be, as there are a number of physiological mechanisms triggered by vitamin D production through sunlight exposure that act to fight heart disease, such as:
- An increase in your body’s natural anti-inflammatory cytokines
- The suppression of vascular calcification
- The inhibition of vascular smooth muscle growth
So please watch my one-hour, free vitamin D lecture to find out how to get your levels into the healthy, disease-fighting range.
- Optimize your iron levels.
Iron can be a very potent oxidative stress, so if you have excess iron levels you can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease.
Ideally, you should monitor your ferritin levels and make sure they are not much above 80 ng/ml. The simplest way to lower them if they are elevated is to donate your blood. If that is not possible you can have a therapeutic phlebotomy and that will effectively eliminate the excess iron from your body.
- Manage your stress levels with healthy emotional outlets.
One of the most common contributing factors to heart disease — and for that matter, cancer — is unresolved emotional stresses. Anger, stress, guilt, sadness — really any emotion that doesn’t make you feel good — can lead to heart attacks, obesity and strokes. Even the best diet in the world is not likely to overcome the damage created by lingering emotional stresses.
Further, when your body is under the stress response, your cortisol levels rise. And when your cortisol is chronically elevated, you’ll tend to gain weight around your midsection, which further increases your heart disease risk.
While you cannot eliminate stress entirely, you can work to provide your body with tools to compensate for the bioelectrical short-circuiting that can cause serious disruption in many of your body’s important systems. By using techniques such as Meridian Tapping, you can reprogram your body’s reactions to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life.
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