June 30, 2014

It's Official: Organic Milk Is Better For You

[better than non-organic milk, that is]

By Leah Zerbe from Rodalenews.com

If you've been on the fence as to whether or not organic milk is worth the extra cost, this should help you decide: Organic milk has more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than the nonorganic milk, according to the findings of a new study published in PLoS One that looked at the nutritional makeup of nearly 400 organic and nonorganic milk samples collected over an 18-month period from across the United States. 
But that's not the entire story. Not only did the nonorganic milk contain lower levels of the good fat, but it also harbored higher levels of inflammation- and disease-promoting omega-6 fats; the healthy omega-6 to omega-3 ratio was not as favorable as in the organic milk. While we do need some omega-6s in our diets, Americans tend to drastically overeat this type of fat. (It's the fat found in many junk foods and fried foods.)
Eating too many omega-6s and not balancing them with omega-3s creates the unhealthy consequence that they then interfere with proper blood clotting, deregulate blood pressure, disrupt reproductive functions, and cause widespread inflammation. The imbalance also interferes with the body's already limited ability to convert alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to the more potent DHA and EPA polyunsaturated fatty acids that our brains need. Too many omega-6s can even interfere with our cells' ability to function normally.
The good news for organic milk lovers? Averaged over a 12-month period, organic milk contained 62% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids compared to nonorganic milk. Organic milk also contained 25% fewer omega-6s. (That's a good thing.) In fact, the major omega-3 ALA in milk, specifically organic milk, is so favorable that switching to whole, organic milk products could do wonders in balancing out-of-whack fatty acid levels in the body, the researchers note. (Organic milk had 14 times more ALA than fish does. However, fish does have important unique omegas like DHA and EPA, so that's not a reason to totally ditch it.)
The difference in quality isn't rocket science, either. Cows that eat a poorer diet produce milk with less-favorable fat profiles than those eating a more natural grass-and-legume-based diet. In organic systems, cows are required to eat 30% of their diet from pasture grasses and legumes at least 120 days of the year. There's no rule like that in conventional dairy farming, which often has cows living on mixed grains. "Over the last 20 years or so, conventional dairies have increasingly cut down on the amount of pasture feeding that dairy cows get, and have increased the amount of diet that comes from high-energy concentrates which consist of corn and soybeans," Dr. Davis explains. "These are very unnatural sources of food for cows." 
One caveat? If you want to enjoy the health benefits of milk that can help get your omega-6 to omega-3 ratios in order, you'll need to choose whole milk. "If you get organic skim milk, you might not be getting the advantages we're talking about in terms of fatty acids," Dr. Davis notes. 
There are other benefits to choosing organic milk. The cows are not injected with genetically engineered growth hormones, and their feed isn't laced with antibiotics, GMOs, or chemical pesticides. 

Follow these tips to get the healthiest milk:

Find a better brand. To find an organic dairy brand, search the Cornucopia Institute's organic dairy scorecard. The organization promotes family-scale sustainable farms and continually updates its scorecard, ranking organic brands on the market: http://www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html.

Beware of milk replacers. Don't like milk? Be careful with milk replacement products, too. Some soy and coconut milk products contain carrageenan, a thickening agent that is linked to digestive tract damage in some studies.  

June 9, 2014

Short and Sweet

It wouldn't be this way if more people used chiropractors: Back Pain Biggest Source of Global Disability:  Nearly a tenth -- 9.4 percent -- of the world's population has lower back pain, with the prevalence highest in Western Europe, followed by North Africa and the Middle East, and the lowest in the Caribbean and Latin America, a study found. The figure includes children. http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/Health-News/lower-back-pain-chronic-pain-work-related-handicaps-disability/2014/03/25/id/561600#ixzz2x0FVGnpX  

‘Cutting yourself some slack’ could help people live longer: Researchers say that being able to forgive yourself for mistakes is the key to staying healthy, and that constant stress over small things like traffic should be a warning sign.


Infants 'unable to use toy building blocks' due to iPad addiction: The Association of Teachers and Lecturers warn that rising numbers of children are unable to perform simple tasks such as using building blocks because of overexposure to iPads. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10767878/Infants-unable-to-use-toy-building-blocks-due-to-iPad-addiction.html

Scientists say sugar at levels considered safe is harmful: The study shows "that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic impacts on mammalian health," the researchers said in the study, published in the journal Nature Communications. "Many researchers have already made calls for reevaluation of these safe levels of consumption." http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sn-sugar-20130813,0,982020.story

How the craze for running ever longer distances can damage the heart: 

Elderly athletes with a lifelong history of endurance training and competing are prone to heart rhythm disturbances, known as arrhythmias. 
This is due to molecular changes in the heart's pacemaker from the exercise training, according to scientists from the University of Manchester. 
But Professor Boyett stressed that although endurance exercise training can have harmful effects on the heart, 'it is more than outweighed by the beneficial effects'. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2627279/How-craze-running-longer-distances-DAMAGE-heart.html#ixzz31erDpLmX 

How gaining weight makes us hungrier and hungrier: For most of the last century, our understanding of the cause of obesity has been based on immutable physical law. Specifically, it’s the first law of thermodynamics, which dictates that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. When it comes to body weight, this means that calorie intake minus calorie expenditure equals calories stored. Surrounded by tempting foods, we overeat, consuming more calories than we can burn off, and the excess is deposited as fat. The more calories we lock away in fat tissue, the fewer there are circulating in the bloodstream to satisfy the body’s requirements. If we look at it this way, it’s a distribution problem: We have an abundance of calories, but they’re in the wrong place. As a result, the body needs to increase its intake. We get hungrier because we’re getting fatter. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/opinion/sunday/always-hungry-heres-why.html?_r=0

June 3, 2014

The "O" Zone

The Eight Taxes On Your Health

I don’t want to make this too political, but I have learned something about health from our government’s policies. Every so often—about monthly, it seems nowadays—the government comes down with a new rule. These rules are supposed to be good for us. But, invariably these rules require additional time, effort, staff and cost to comply with. A few years ago we got the OSHA guidelines that require us to have MSDS sheets (a list of the chemicals in the workplace and the steps to take in case of poisoning, etc.) readily available on every chemical in our office. Now, that’s not a bad idea, but it does require monitoring and maintaining; I figure to the tune of about $200 a year. This additional cost of doing business is the by-product of the government’s reach into our lives. 
In actuality it is not a cost of doing business, but it is a cost of government intervention. I like to call it another “tax.” It drains the supply of available equity to use in life. It really isn’t a tax, but it is no different when it is all said and done, other than the fact that it is far more efficient than a tax. I could number many, many more such “taxes,” that are actually costs of being governed. Who pays for that? Ultimately, you do as the consumer. I can swallow a few of these taxes, and most are far more expensive than that particular OSHA regulation but, ultimately, I have to raise my fees to be able to stay in business, and you end up paying for these government “taxes.”
Now, I got thinking, how do we TAX our health? What do you take into your body—I will refer to those things as "taxes"—that reduces the equity you have to operate in life? If you are feeling fatigue, pain, stress, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, weight gain, or lack of enthusiasm about your life, you are being over-taxed. Consider where those taxes come from and how you can reduce the unneeded taxes on your health. We take in foods that sometimes are a big tax to our health, and sometimes we take in non-foods, like soda, that are very taxing to our health.
Here are the eight highest-cost taxes I see in people’s lives in today’s world:
Soda, Candy, Ice cream: Sugar, Corn Syrup and artificial sweeteners cause serious taxation in our bodies. They deliver little if any nutrient, but require massive resources to react to, process and cleanse them out of our systems. 
Alcohol, Cigarettes: These tax our livers, lungs and probably almost every other system in the body. While small amounts of alcohol can have some benefits, the net effect in society is massively negative. Modern tobacco products have no redeeming benefits as we use them. 
Air Pollution: Remedies are difficult, but the harm is hard to argue with. 
Pasteurized Dairy: This is difficult to digest, and causes so many problems in the body. Let’s get our calcium from the same sources as do the cows: green leafy vegetables. 
Refined whole grain products: White flour, etc. These cause massive inflammation in our bodies, and are very stressful to our digestive system. No fiber and a very high glycemic index, which stresses our sugar handling system, causing an increased release of insulin, which causes weight gain, inflammation and an increase in hunger and appetite. If you want to pay that tax, munch away. If you think the price is too high, reconsider.
Modern animal proteins: Too many chemicals, hormones and drugs get passed into our system for them to safely process. Even if the meat is healthy, we should keep it to a very modest level of consumption.
Stress: We are going to talk about stress, but what I mean by stress is unhealthy stress, or Dis-stress. Stress is a choice. If we don’t like the feel of the stress, all we have to do is to change our attitude about our circumstances. There are many approaches to that process, but the key is that it always works. Stress is a killer, plain and simple. It doesn’t matter what you know, it is what you don’t know that will help you out of stress: stress demands that you ask better questions, that you change your view of yourself and of others. It demands change. When you change in a healthy way, stress melts away like the frost of late spring in the morning sun. 
Structural misalignments: These are energy drainers. It is just like if your car had a bad misalignment. It would still run, but the operating costs just got a lot higher. Tires, tie rods, fuel, steering mechanisms, etc., will all wear out and be used up more quickly. Keep your spine in alignment! It removes one more burdensome tax on your health and thus on your quality of life. 

If you are TAXING your health, stop it. Rethink. Is it worth the cost to the rest of my life? What are you not able to do because of the taxes you are paying on your health and wellbeing? Is your health tax too high? You are the only person who can change it. Get started today. Make a decision to choose more wisely and to act more intelligently.