In Case You Missed It (10/15/15)

Eating Organic Lowers Pesticide Levels in Children “’There’s evidence that diet is one route of exposure to pesticides, and you can reduce your exposure by choosing organic food,’ said the lead author, Asa Bradman, associate director of the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at the University of California, Berkeley. ‘But I would never say that conventional fruits and vegetables are unsafe. They’re all healthy.’” You know why she won’t say conventional fruits and vegetables are unsafe? Because chaos would ensue.  

The More We Learn on Nutrition, the More We Ignore “Most so-called energy bars, popular among the health conscious as pick-me-ups on a hike or in the office, contain as much sugar as a regular candy bar…Sugar is sugar, and the body handles them all the same when consumed in excess. ‘When the intake of sugars exceeds the body’s need for energy and its storage capacity, the sugars are converted to fat in the liver, circulate as triglycerides in blood, raise blood levels of the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, reduce blood levels of HDL cholesterol, and are deposited as body fat’…Herein lies the makings of the ‘metabolic syndrome,’ a glut of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease: above-normal levels of sugar and triglycerides in the blood, a depressed level of good HDL cholesterol, and a thick waist often as large or larger than the hips.” Type 2 diabetes is miserable yet preventable. Swap out those sugary energy/protein/granola bars for veggies with unsweetened nut butter. Unfortunately, Walmart didn’t get the memo. 

8 Trends to Emerge from Fashion Month I told you backpacks are trending!

Elephants: Large, Long-Living and Less Prone to Cancer  “The war on cancer was going on long before there were humans,” he said. “So let’s look at nature’s strategies.” Do you know what elephants, naked mole-rats, tortoises, and parrots and all have in common? Their diets consist primarily, if not exclusively, of raw plant foods. 

Are Fats Unhealthy? The Battle Over Dietary Guidelines The USDA has to stop basing its dietary guidelines on short-term studies of individuals consuming a primarily modern American diet with slight alterations. The typical American diet is unquestionably unhealthy. The battle between fats and carbs ignores equally important nutrients: vitamin and minerals. Instead of recommending the lesser of the two evils, the USDA should advise Americans replace some of the fats and the carbs in their diets with vitamin- and mineral-rich, not to mention fiber-rich, fruits and vegetables. 

Is your (sluggish) digestion undermining your health? “Even though there are very few independent studies involving digestive enzyme supplements, the results for most people who take them are generally very positive (particularly for those with known gluten or lactose sensitivity)—and side effects are basically non-existent.” Your Naturopathic Doctor can recommend a high quality enzyme supplement. 

These foods are better than pills when it comes to providing vitamins “Ideally, the body would gather everything it requires through whole foods such as these. Each whole food provides a combination of nutrients and elements that help us digest, absorb and use it to the fullest capacity…Taking a supplement is not a flawed approach if a child is truly deficient, but whole foods are generally a better choice.”

Ask Well: When Sitting Can Be Good for You Although "prolonged sitting is known to increase the risks for conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and premature death, the actual culprit behind the risks, scientists believe, is not the posture of sitting, but the immobility of your muscles when you are in that position...sitting itself is not bad; it’s sitting still."

Gene editing could make pig-to-human organ transplants a reality If pigs are closely related enough to humans that organ sharing is a near reality, shouldn’t we reconsider  pork consumption? I personally hope this development proves to be bad news for bacon. Pigs are more intelligent than dogs, after all.

White wines may be just as good for you as red (in some ways, at least) We no longer have to feel guilty about choosing Sauvignon Blanc over Syrah. Cheers to that!

Teaching the Truth About Climate Change “Misinformation about climate change is distressingly common in the United States — a 2014 Yale study found that 35 percent of Americans believe that global warming is caused mostly by natural phenomena rather than human activity, and 34 percent think there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether global warming is even happening. (In fact, an overwhelming majority of scientists agree that climate change is here and that it is caused by humans.) One way to stop the spread of this misinformation is to teach children about climate change…Children today stand to inherit a climate severely changed by the actions of previous generations. They need to understand how those changes came about, how to mitigate them and how to prevent more damage to the planet.”

Manhattan’s The Meatball Shop is debuting Vegan Balls at LES location “The Vegan Ball will make a limited-time debut at The Meatball Shop’s Lower East Side location October 12–16…After the 16th, look for the Vegan Ball as a special at Meatball Shops throughout the city.”

Safety Questions About a Birth Control Device Essure is an “alternative to procedures that tie or cut fallopian tubes…More than 5,000 women have reported harmful effects to the F.D.A….In addition to these complaints, a petition has been submitted to the F.D.A. by a Florida law firm claiming that the small company that developed the device committed fraud by manipulating data in the clinical trials that led to F.D.A. approval…The F.D.A. needs to look hard for ways to get that information and should consider suspending sales of Essure until better data is available.”

Anorexia May Be Habit, Not Willpower, Study Finds “Women who suffer from anorexia are often thought of as having an extraordinary degree of self-control, even if that discipline is used self-destructively. But a new study suggests that the extreme dieting characteristic of anorexia may instead be well-entrenched habit — behavior governed by brain processes that, once set in motion, are inflexible and slow to change.”

Can We End the Meditation Madness?  “Meditation isn’t snake oil. For some people, meditation might be the most efficient way to reduce stress and cultivate mindfulness. But it isn’t a panacea. If you don’t meditate, there’s no need to stress out about it. Meditation isn’t snake oil. For some people, meditation might be the most efficient way to reduce stress and cultivate mindfulness. But it isn’t a panacea. If you don’t meditate, there’s no need to stress out about it.” I agree that meditation is an option, not a requirement. However, if your current routine doesn’t seem to be reducing your stress and increasing your mindfulness, why not give meditation a try? Meditation may be the cure to all that ails you, but try not to judge others who prefer running and conditional thinking.