Vitamin D-A Wonder Nutrient

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PLOS Journal recently published studies from Creighton University of Omaha suggesting that certain levels of Vitamin D correlate with a “markedly lower” risk of breast cancer. It is capable of lowering a person’s risk of different forms of cancer and research now confirms that people with high enough levels of this vitamin in their blood have a significantly lower risk of breast cancer. Low blood levels of Vitamin D have also been associated with a raised risk of bladder cancer.

Before purchasing any over the counter supplement, call the company asking for medical proof in writing that “their” Vitamin D and other vitamin/mineral supplements have been tested for absorbability. Few companies have that proof.

Honey Fraud

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In our most recent Food and Nutrition Magazine, “honey fraud” was alluded to which I’d like to share!

There’s a number of ways fraudulent honey can occur:

#1) Bees are fed syrup instead of foraging nectar from flowers
#2) Falsified country of origin documents or
#3) Dilution of honey by blending it with a sweet syrup such as high fructose corn syrup, or saccharose syrup, aka beet sugar.

Most adulterated honey isn’t going to hurt you but consumers are being cheated as good honey will cost ~ $2 per pound and the diluted honey cost $0.12 a pound.

The True Source Certified Label is an independent third party certification program in the USA that allows participants to show their sourcing practices comply with US and international trade laws.

Integrating Food as Lifestyle Medicine

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Nutrition clients are acutely aware that obesity, mood disorders, various cancers, Type 2 diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, types of cancers, etc. may be preventable and treatable via a myriad of lifestyle approaches.

The flagship medical organization, American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) defined the founding 2004 movement of “Lifestyle Medicine” as the therapeutic use of evidence-based life style interventions to treat and prevent lifestyle related diseases in a clinical setting. It empowers individuals with the knowledge and life skills to make effective behavior changes that address the underlying causes of disease”.

Primary features of ACLM’s Standards of Life Style Medicine as outlined in Today’s Dietitian (December 2017) by author, Vicki Shanta are as follows:

* to promote behavior changes that allow the body to heal itself;
* to focus on evidence-based optimal nutrition, stress management, and fitness prescriptions;
* to have patients be active partners in their care;
* to treat underlying lifestyle causes of disease’
* to have provider educate, guide, and support patients to make behavior changes;
* to use medications as an adjunct to therapeutic changes;
* to realize that the patient’s home and community environment are assessed as contributing factors.

Working together to incorporate environmental, behavioral, fitness/stress reduction factors along with tailored meal and safe supplemental plans will enhance, enrich and empower our 2018 (and beyond) “individualized” Lifestyle Medicine movement!

Telomere length marker of overall health

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Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, 2009 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Shaklee Scientific Board Advisor, discovered an enzyme that lengthens and protects chromosomes. Telomeres are caps on the end of each chromosome that protect against deterioration. Over time, our telomeres gradually become shorter. Telomere length is thought to be a marker of overall health.

The better our telomeres are preserved, the less chance we have of getting serious diseases (Alzheimer’s, etc.).

What to Do to stop erosion of telomeres:

1) A statistical analysis using specific food based supplements projects that an 80 year old Shaklee user would have the same telomere length as a 41 year old.

2) The worse the stress and the longer we feel it, the more telomeres wore down.

3) Varied exercise proves better telomere results! A study published in Preventive Medicine found that people’s telomeres (the parts of the DNA that get shorter as we age) were significantly longer in those who exercised compared with sedentary people.

Sodium Concern with Kid’s diets

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A recent study in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that “children’s and adolescent’s sodium intakes are incredibly high- almost 90% of children aged 6-18 in US consume diets that contain far more than current recommended intakes”.

The average intake in this age range was 3,255 mgs per day. The highest intake was among adolescents aged 14-18 at 3,565 mgs per day. To put this in perspective, 1 teaspoon of salt = 2300 mgs of sodium. The recommendation is an intake of 1500 mgs of sodium per day for an adult since it could result in a decrease of 25.6% in blood pressure. Easily, a single kid’s fast food meal could exceed that 1500 mgs amount.

Another study found that a “1,000 boost in sodium intake was associated with a 28% increase in childhood obesity and is partially linked to higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages” as per the article in Today’s Dietitian.

The CDC found that one on six children (ages 8-17) already have above normal blood pressure.

Seventy seven % of sodium intake comes from processed and prepared foods written in Facts: Salt of the Earth.

Start looking closely at labels for ingredients but also sodium and portion sizes. Less is best!

Healthy Food Trends in 2017

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Registered Dietitians continue to recommend that we eat more food from the earth.

Parade section of the January 1st newspaper listed popular foods that we we’ll consume more of in the new year:

1) Chick Peas, lentils and dry peas will continue to add fiber to our salads, soups, etc. with the added benefit in assisting to lower cholesterol and weight.

2) Turmeric, a relative of ginger, can be used in stir fry, eggs, soups, etc. and may provide anti-inflammatory properties as well as possibly preventing/treating Alzheimer’s disease.

3) Sorghum is known for being a gluten free cereal grain and has been growing in Africa for thousands of years. The southern part of the USA uses it to make a thick golden sweetened syrup and in salads. You’ll see more of its flour being used in baked goods or it can be popped like popcorn.

4) Sauerkraut is a favorite of mine! Because it is fermented it contains active cultures which can play a role in GI health. New flavored varieties will be appearing but be sure to look at their ingredients before purchasing them!

5) Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable sold in powdered form. Since it may add energy, one can try 1 teaspoon ( or less) in a smoothie, plain yogurt, waffle/pancake mixes or cooked cereals.

6) Beets have made their debut this past year as seen in beet chips, restaurant beet salads, etc. Medical advantages for beets and/or their greens provide medical advantages for normalizing blood pressure, adding folate to one’s diet, and lowering sugar content in recipes.

Wishing you a new year full of healthy and exciting foods!

Sensible Snacks

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Snacking has become a way of life so it must be nutrient-dense to not add empty calories to our meal plan or waist line.

In order to be a conscientious “snack shopper” choose high protein and/or high fiber foods.

* Purchase snacks in advance so you don’t have to stop when hungry to quickly scan the store’s inventory.
* Pack your pre-measured snacks in baggies or containers to avoid overconsumption.
*Incorporate a fruit and/or vegetable with at least two of the daily snacks.
*Select only seasonal produce grown in the USA
*Learn with the assistance of a dietitian to read food labels. Sugar may be addressed using ~50 different names.

Americans love to snack! Be sure to choose wholesome “back to nature” foods!

Essential Fatty Acid Market Widens for All Ages

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“Though the essential fatty acid (EFA) industry experienced its share of setbacks due to negative attention from the media regarding omega 3 fatty acids, future usage is on the upswing”, as per Karen Morse, MPH

She continues…”Studies published in 2016 continue to support the need for omega 3 supplementation. A study published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive biology found that omega 3 supplementation was associated with a 58% decrease in the likelihood for early preterm delivery and a 17% decrease in preterm birth. Another published study this year out of Penn State found that omega 3 fatty acids could lower the risk of breast cancer in post menopausal obese women. A third study out of the University of Pennsylvania found that supplementation with omega 3s reduced aggression when given to children who had a history of violence”.

Be careful when choosing a brand of omega 3 supplements. Plenty of companies claim their products work. Ask first to see proof of its safety and effectiveness through the company’s “own” published scientific papers and molecular distillation process on that exact product before purchasing EFA.

Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

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According to Dr. Mercola, “fast foods along with other convenience meals may compromise health”.

His article continues to state “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected data on nearly 8,900 Americans of all age groups between 2003 and 2010 as part of a nationwide survey oh health and nutrition. Participants reported everything they’d eaten in the past 24 hours and provided a urine sample”.

While other studies have investigated exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals from processed food this is the largest study at exposure from fast food meals. Fast food was broadly defined as food from restaurants without table service and those with take our or drive through services ( Starbucks, McDonalds, sandwich shops, etc.) as reported by Time magazine.

The new report published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that people who ate more fast food had higher levels of two substances that occur when phthalates ( which make plastic more flexible) break down in body, DEHP and DINP. DEHP can damage reproductive system, lungs, liver, kidney, etc. DINP may increase insulin resistance.

Personal care products are another major source of phthalates. Pregnant women and young children are at particular high risk when it comes to theses chemicals as noted by CNN”.

Bottom line:

1) Cook from scratch!
2) Purchase as much items in glass as possible (water glasses, baby bottles, food, etc.)
3) Search for environmentally safe and conscientious companies making food, supplements, cleaning and laundry items, fragrance free toiletries, etc.

New Organic High Protein Almond Milk

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Arriving in this week’s “Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics” was their endorsement of Orgain’s Organic Protein Almond Milk. And I paraphrase…

Typically this type of milk provides less than 1 gram of protein per serving. Orgain’s
almond milk packs an impressive 10 grams of plant based protein ( from brown rice, pea protein, and almonds) per serving and less serving than some of the other brands. Consuming more protein can help people feel full longer, aiding in healthy weight loss and maintenance of blood sugar levels. Quality protein may also boost muscle and tissue repair.

Orgain’s Organic Protein Almond Milk is US Department of Agriculture certifies organic, non-GMO, soy free, gluten free and bee friendly. The almonds used are grown on organic dry farms with no run off and planted alongside of organic olive and citrus groves to ensure diversification to help to protect bees and the environment.

For more information, visit