Fitness & Wellness

Should You Be Worried About Hormones In Food

Should You Be Worried About Hormones In Food

Farming is no longer a mom and pop industry where many different farmers contributed to the food supply. It’s now a multi-million dollar industry with factory farms that produce a large percentage of the food that’s available. There are new techniques to get more marketable food at the lowest possible cost and reap more money per acre from land crops. One of these techniques is to give farm animals hormones and antibiotics. That causes some people to be worried about hormones in food. They may be right to be concerned.

Cows get a dose of the hormone Recombinant bovine growth hormone—rBGH—to boost the production of milk.

What is rBGH? It’s a hormone created in the lab to help increase the production of milk. It does the job, but it also transfers to the milk. Is there a consequence those who drink the milk? It stimulates the production of IGF-1—-insulin-like growth factor—in the milk and to the body of those who consume the milk products from cows given this hormone. That hormone not only acts like HGF–human growth factor—on the body, too much of it can increase the risk for prostate, breast and other types of cancer. According to most studies, however, there’s so little increase in the amount of IGF-1 that the difference is insignificant.

There are consequences for using rBGH.

Even though the FDA and food industry insist there is no need to worry about the potential for physical harm to the body of people consuming dairy products from cows given rBGH, there are consequences. The cows have a higher incidence of mastitis, which are infections of the udder. In turn, farmers then give them antibiotics to clear up the infection. At some farms, whether it a dairy or other type of farm, animals are regularly treated with antibiotics. It keeps them healthier in crowded, stressful conditions and helps them grow faster. Even though there’s a waiting period for the antibiotic to leave the animal’s body before it can be taken to market, it can increase the potential for antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Other hormones in animal products and genetic modifications.

Besides rBGH, which promotes milk production, there are other hormones given to animals to boost growth. Progesterone, testosterone and estrogen are added. Natural steroid hormones and synthetic ones are given to boost growth and shorten the growth cycle. It does increase both meat and milk production, but at what cost to the public? There’s no clear answer whether people can absorb those hormones by eating meat, eggs or drinking milk from cows given the hormones and whether they actually affect the body if absorption is possible.

  • Some scientists believe that the hormones in food may account for the earlier age for onset of puberty. It’s averaging seven months earlier since farmers started giving farm animals hormones on a regular basis.
  • A study in the 2009 issue of Medical Hypotheses stated there was a potential for delayed effects in children whose mother’s drank milk high in rBGH. Another study said it could cause low sperm count in male children when they become adults.
  • If you’re concerned about hormones in animal products, error on the side of safety. Use products labeled organic, hormone and antibiotic free.
  • There are some smaller studies that show increased blood levels of IG-1 boosts the risk for several diseases, including diabetes.

Why Grains Are Unhealthy

Why Grains Are Unhealthy

In the world of nutrition, there’s a lot of controversy in almost every area. One of those is whether grains are unhealthy or whether they need to be part of your daily diet. Grains are the seed from plants in the cereal family. They contain three parts; bran, germ and endosperm if they’re whole grain. If they’re processed or refined, only the endosperm, the part containing mostly starchy carbs and some protein, is used. The germ, which is the most nutritious part of the grain, and the bran, containing antioxidants, minerals and fiber, are removed.

Refined grains and flour can be detrimental to your health.

One of the most prevalent causes of preventable death is obesity. There are many factors that have driven obesity to the top of the list, even surpassing smoking. Processed foods, high sugar content and foods made with refined flours are a few. While whole grains are heart healthy, processed grains have nothing to offer but calories. Grain in this form digests quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels. They have none of the beneficial effects of whole grains, just the calories and potential for metabolic diseases.

Paleo diets eliminate all grains.

Paleo diets eliminate grains because they claim man has only been cultivating them for 10,000 years and not long enough to change our bodies so we can digest them properly. However, recent findings of starch granules on the teeth of a skull and stone tools used to grind show that man may have been eating grains for as long as 100,000 years, which is more than adequate time for our bodies to evolve. Even if man has been eating grains for a long time, going grain free has its benefits. Some are better digestion, improved digestive microbes, reduction of inflammation, weight loss and improved cholesterol

There are other reasons to avoid or reduce the intake of even whole grains.

Grains contain an enzyme inhibitor. It’s natural and help propagate the seeds. Birds and animals eat grains and those that aren’t crushed, avoid digestion by inhibiting the enzymes required. They’re then passed through in the animal’s stool, where they eventually grow into a plant. Grains can cause digestive problems. They also contain phytic acid, which prevents mineral absorption in the small intestines.

  • You can make grains easier to digest by soaking, fermenting and sprouting them. In fact, sprouted grain bread containing no processed flour is extremely good for you.
  • High intake of grains may promote tooth decay.
  • The grains grown today is far less rich in nutrients than grain from ancient times. In fact, most of the grain today comes from a strain created via genetic manipulation and cross-breeding in the 1960s. It costs less to raise and yields more volume.
  • If you want to keep grain in your diet for its health benefits, make it grain products from whole grains, ancient grains or sprouted, soaked or fermented whole grains are the healthiest to have in your diet.

What Will Eating Too Much Sugar Do?

What Will Eating Too Much Sugar Do?

If you’re like me and many of my clients in Brentwood, One of the hardest things to give up when starting to eat healthier was eating sugar. Sugary foods have always been a special treat in my home and one that’s been associated with holidays and rewards. When you go into any store, at the checkout there’s always candy near the checkout. Who can resist putting those delicious looking pastries in your cart when you see them so prominently displayed in the bakery area? Even stopping for a soft drink means overloading with sugar. However, there’s no doubt about it, eating too much sugar is one of the worse things you can do for your health.

There’s a theory that man has a built in desire for sugar.

Some anthropologists hypothesize that the love of sugar is built into man. Fruits and some vegetables that are ripe and perfect for eating are sweet. Sugary tasting plants that were sweet were safe to eat in early times. Times have changed and in an effort to appeal to that primal desire for sugar, it’s now in almost every processed food. There are even altered types of sugars that have a dramatic negative effect on overall health.

While eating whole foods and natural foods is promoted, sugary foods aren’t on that list.

Even if it’s natural, like honey, sugar causes health issues. In the animal world, humans, domesticated animals and bears are the only ones that get cavities. Why? It’s because of sugar. Domesticated animals eat processed foods that contain sugar, just as humans do. Wild bears are drawn to the natural sweetness of honey. While it’s directly from the hive, it also promotes tooth decay. Not only does sugar cause dental problems, sugar, of any type, contributes to obesity, increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes, damages the immune system and accelerates aging.

There are several types of sugar, so just reading the label may be deceiving.

You may have heard of high fructose corn syrup—HFCS, dextrose, sucrose, beet sugar, cane sugar, maltose, fructose, dextrose and cane sugar, but there are many, many other words used for sugar content, well over fifty of them. When manufacturers put sugar on the label, they often break them down to several types of sugar, so it doesn’t appear at the top of the list of ingredients. That trickery could mean even if you’re careful, you might be getting more sugar than you’d ever expect.

  • One of the most promoted types of sugar, HFCS, is found in almost every processed food. It reacts differently in your body and actually increases your appetite, which may account for the increased rise in obesity. It increases the potential for dementia, heart disease and damage to the stomach lining.
  • Fat was once thought to be the villain in heart disease, but the major study pointing to fat was paid for by the sugar industry and flawed. It turns out that except for trans fats, sugar is the prime culprit.
  • Sugar activates the same brain areas as cocaine. Many scientists think it may be as addictive as that drug. It interferes with our sense of taste, making normally sweet foods taste less sweet.
  • If your blood pressure is high, cutting out salt helps, but so does cutting out extra sugar. Some studies show sugar may be a worse offender than salt to make the numbers rise.

Raise Your Quality Of Life

Raise Your Quality Of Life

Living longer is something everyone wants to do. However, living longer also comes with some pitfalls, such as living longer and being incapacitated or sick. Exercise can help you not only live longer, but also raise your quality of life for now and for those extended years. Living longer is good, but living longer and healthier is far better. Working out not only adds years to your life, it adds more life to those years.

You’ll prevent serious conditions when you workout.

Whether it’s high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or osteoporosis, you’ll have less risk of these serious conditions when you workout regularly. You don’t have to be a senior to feel the negative effects of these conditions. All of them require careful monitoring and medications. They also can limit some of your activity. Ironically, to combat all these conditions, you have to change your dietary habits and start working out. Why wait until you have to make those changes when you can do it now and enjoy a healthier life?

You’ll have a better attitude toward life when you exercise regularly.

Exercise burns off the hormones of stress. It makes you feel more confident and ready to tackle difficult situations and goals. Right there should be enough to make you want to drop and do a few pushups. Okay, so it doesn’t, you get the idea. You’ll not only have the physical endurance to do more, you’ll also have improved cognitive skills. No matter how old you are, exercise can help brain functioning and keeping the blues at bay.

The more you exercise, the more mobile you are.

Again, you might think of seniors when it comes to limited mobility, but that can occur at any age in varying degrees if you’re out of shape. For the senior, it might make the difference between living independently and going to a facility that provides help for everyday tasks. For the younger person, it could be as simple as enjoying hiking with the family or sitting at home waiting for them to return because you don’t have the energy for hiking.

  • You’ll heal faster when you workout regularly. Studies show that the older you are, the slower you heal. However, studies also show that people who workout regularly heal 25 percent faster.
  • You’ll feel better about yourself. One study found that people who started exercise programs had an improved self image, even before they saw results. When you see the great results, you’ll definitely feel better about yourself.
  • You’ll digest food better. Several studies show that exercise when you exercise regularly, it can reduce or eliminate heartburn, gas, constipation and stomach cramps. It improves the functioning of intestines and even helps improve beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
  • A program of healthy eating and regular exercise can boost your energy level. You’ll get more done and have energy to spare for fun things at the end of the day.

Look And Feel Better - Naked And Dressed

Look And Feel Better – Naked And Dressed

There are a lot of fashion tips to hide the effects of being overweight or out of shape. Unfortunately, as summer comes, it becomes harder and harder to hide the problems as clothing becomes thinner, less covering and more revealing. Getting into shape with regular exercise not only helps you look fantastic, it helps you feel good, too. You’ll find that even without clothing you’ll look and feel better, which is a big plus to your romantic life.

There’s more to working out than just how great you look.

Sure, everyone wants to look their best, but there are more benefits from a healthy lifestyle than just the obvious improvement in your appearance. You’ll have more energy when you workout regularly and eat healthy. It does more than just let you get more work done faster during the day, it makes you enjoy the day more. You’ll have energy to play with your children at the end of the day or go out with your best friends or spouse for a night of dancing.

You’ll get a brain boost, too.

Healthy eating can give your brain a boost. Exercise has the same effect. When you eat healthy, it provides the nutrients that the brain needs to function its best. Unfortunately, when you don’t eat healthy it has effects, too. High amounts of sugar increase inflammation and are harmful to the brain. In fact, studies show that it can impair brain functioning and cause depression. Exercise also improves cognitive functioning and memory. It increases circulation to send oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the brain.

Looking good naked is important for romance and so is a healthy lifestyle.

Working out and eating healthy not only make you look and feel great, it makes you more amorous. That’s right! Studies show that exercise can be the perfect preamble to great sex. It stimulates circulation to all parts of the body, which also includes your sex organs, to keep them healthy and ready for operation. It burns off the hormones of stress that can interfere with the mood and put you in a better, more receptive mood. For men, it boosts testosterone levels to add to the mix. It also lets you feel great about your body with far less self-consciousness.

  • You’ll feel more social and happy with the world when you workout. Not only does it burn off the hormones of stress, it stimulates the body to produce ones that make you feel good.
  • Exercise improves your posture, which gives you a more confident look. People treat others that are confident with more respect. That should make you feel good.
  • Those aches and pains often disappear after you workout for a while. It’s good for helping with back pain, pain from arthritis and preventing injuries that cause pain. That makes life better.
  • Not only will your body look thinner and more buff when you workout, your skin will also look better. You’ll look years younger than you are when you live a healthy lifestyle.

Find Your Confidence

Find Your Confidence

If you’re working out, you’re probably focusing on building strength, endurance or flexibility or maybe shedding weight. However, one huge benefit of getting into shape is also the confidence it builds. I see it all time here in Brentwood, CA. People start working out with a totally different focus and as they come closer and closer to their goals, they develop an air of confidence and have more presence and commanding appearance.

One reason working out builds confidence is that it improves your posture.

That’s right! Improved posture makes a huge difference in how confident you look. The most amazing part of the improved posture is that the more it improves, the more confident you look and actually feel. There’s an old phrase from self-help journals that’s “act as though.” That means that if you act as though you’re something, you fill in the blank, you become that thing. That’s certainly true for confidence. Part of the reason is that people treat you differently, so you react differently.

Reaching a goal builds confidence, too.

If you’ve attempted to get fit before and failed, you know how bad that can make you feel. However, for those that work through the tough days and see success or start to see success, it adds a whole new level of confidence. It makes you feel like you’re capable and able to achieve any goal you set. That’s actually true. You also get the skills in setting goals, breaking that goal down to smaller steps, identifying what it takes to achieve each step, set a timeline and checking off each step as you achieve them.

You’ll look better and that definitely makes you far more confident.

Getting a new, fitter appearance is all about boosting your confidence. It’s better than buying a new outfit, because it’s more than just what covers your body, it’s your actual body that looks great. Clothing will fit better if it was snug. If you lost weight, you might even have to buy some new clothing, giving you the confidence from the clothing and the confidence built from your new, far thinner body.

  • Working out is stress buster and stress can pull the stuffing out of you and leave you feeling like a frump. Burning off that stress gets you back to your old self that’s far more self-assured.
  • Working out makes you feel sexier and more attractive. That’s a huge boost for anyone in the romance department.
  • You’ll think clearer when you workout regularly. Studies show that regular exercise boosts cognitive thinking and helps memory, too.
  • You’ll develop mental toughness, so small setbacks won’t get you down. Mental toughness is the ability to keep going toward success, even after others have quit.

Is Organic Food Better

Is Organic Food Better

If you feel like you’re helping your family by purchasing organic food, but aren’t sure it’s hype or worth the extra money, you probably need some answers to help you make that decision. First, organic food is food using only grown differently if it’s fruit or vegetables and the animals are raised differently if it’s dairy, meat or eggs. There are no pesticides, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, ionizing radiation or genetically modified organism used on fruits and vegetables. Animals raised organically take no growth hormones or antibiotics. They’re often free range animals, grazing on grass or their natural source of food, rather than man-made feed.

Organic foods may have more nutrients.

In order for the land to be converted to organic, it takes three years to build up by natural means. Traditional farmers simply apply potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus, which can reduce trace minerals. Several studies show that today’s fruits and vegetables contain fewer nutrients each year. While there’s not as much study on the nutrient content of organic vegetables vs traditionally grown ones, but those that are available show that organic food has higher nutrient content, including vitamin C and phytochemicals.

If you eat traditionally grown, non-organic vegetables are you guzzling pesticides.

A great study every year is one run by the EWG—Environmental Working Group. They take samples of all fruits and vegetables and check for pesticides, even after washing them. Soaking them with baking soda and water helped. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the fruits and vegetables that contain the highest amount of pesticides. This year, it should be called the Dirty Baker’s Dozen, since it contains 13 foods. The Clean 15 is a list of the foods that have the lowest amount of pesticides and chemicals. You can use this list to save money. Choose organic when they’re on the Dirty Dozen list. You can buy traditionally grown food on the Clean 15.

Organic meat, dairy and eggs have benefits, too.

Not only are you avoiding the potential for additional hormones in your system and extra antibiotics when you eat organic meat, you’re also boosting the benefits that come from the products, especially when it’s grass fed organic beef and dairy. Grassfed beef and dairy products contain more Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart. They also have a type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid. It lowers the risk of cancer and heart disease. There’s more natural antioxidants and vitamins in these products. Free range eggs have lower fat and bad cholesterol, more vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A.

  • Fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list include: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, sweet bell peppers and hot peppers. They’re in order from the worst to the least.
  • The Clean 15 include: avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, onions, sweet frozen peas, papayas, asparagus, mangos, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower and broccoli.
  • Organic farming is good for the planet. It replenishes the land, while providing humane treatment for animals.
  • For a real taste treat that has more nutrition, choose heirloom varieties that are organic. There’s nothing like the taste of an heirloom tomato that hybridizing has destroyed.

Is Dairy Good For You

Is Dairy Good For You

No matter what you read about dairy, there’s another article that negates it. One group says dairy is necessary for a healthy body, while another says it’s almost toxic. So, is dairy good or bad for you? Let’s start with the type of dairy you choose. Not all dairy is created equally. There are studies that show that dairy products from grass fed cows contain conjugated linoleic acid and more Omega-3 fatty acids. That’s good! Others go a step further, choosing raw milk over pasteurized, saying the pasteurization process destroys nutrients. On the other side of the coin, the USDA says the potential for diseases, including listeria, which has a thirty percent mortality rate, is far higher in raw milk. There’s also low-fat, no fat milk and proponents of no milk at all or completing your diet with milk. It’s confusing.

Can you tolerate milk?

There’s a large group of the population that simply can’t digest milk properly. They don’t have the enzyme lactose that aids in digesting milk sugar lactose. Signs of lactose intolerance include gas, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, cramping and even skin rashes and frequent colds. Theoretically, the colds can come from acid reflux it can cause. As people age, many tend to develop lactose intolerance.

Milk is high in nutrition.

Okay, so milk can make you gassy and sick, does it offer any benefits? It certainly does. It has 18 of the 22 essential nutrients. It’s higher than any food in the diet in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc and protein. It has folate, vitamins A, B-12, B-6, E, K, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, iron and selenium. It can help improve blood sugar levels and may be good for healthy bones and teeth. There are contradictory studies, such as the Nurses Health Study, that show it actually can increase the potential of fractures by as much as 50 percent. Also countries with the lowest milk consumption also have the lowest rate of osteoporosis.

Milk products may produce satiety.

It may be the fat or the protein in milk products that make you feel full. One study completed in 2013 showed that dairy products helped to make people feel full and eat less. Several studies show that drinking milk when young helped build strong bones and boosted dental health. It also helped reduce the amount of plaque in older adults.

  • Cows milk, particularly from grass fed cows, provides heart healthy benefits, more healthy fat and nutrients.
  • Some studies show that milk can cause eczema and other skin conditions like acne if the person drank low-fat or skim milk.
  • When choosing milk, choose organic milk, free from hormones and antibiotics.
  • While milk may not be as healthy for adults and more study is necessary, children benefit from the nutrition of milk for good health.

Foods That Help Boost Memory

Foods That Help Boost Memory

I help many clients in Brentwood, CA choose foods that help build muscle tissue, lose weight and create a healthy body, but today, I want to focus on the mind and the memory. These foods are normally part of a healthy diet, but you can increase them if you’re interested in their effect on the brain. Keeping your brain healthy is a top priority if you want to live a long and meaningful life. It’s more than just being able to answer all the questions on Cash Cab or Jeopardy, it’s enjoying every minute of learning and conversation through senior years.

Fatty fish, like salmon, contain Omega3 fatty acids.

Whether you eat trout, salmon or sardines, you’ll boost your omega-3 fatty acids. The brain needs fat. In fact, about 60 percent of the brain is fat and of that 60 percent, half of it is omega-3 fatty acid. The brain needs it as a building block. It has been shown to slow age related decline and prevent Alzheimer’s. Lack of this nutrient is also linked to aggression and depression. It boosts memory and mood, while preventing age related brain decline.

Turmeric is a brain protector and caffeine boosts brain functioning.

The curcumin in turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s the part of turmeric that can actually can directly enter the brain and provide benefit to the cells. It helps new brain cells grow, improves mood, may benefit memory and may even help prevent and clear the amyloid plaques that begin with Alzheimer’s. The caffeine in coffee and green tea boost your alertness, improves concentration and boosts your mood. Green tea has other substances, such as L-theanine. It also can cross the blood-brain barrier to help the brain. It helps you relax while keeping you alert. The polyphenols and antioxidants in green tea help protect the brain and green tea also boosts memory.

There are a number of nutrients and foods that boost memory.

Eggs are high in choline, a true memory booster. They also have other B vitamins that help brain functioning and boost your mood. Tree nuts not only help cognitive functioning, they help prevent brain damage. One study showed that women who ate nuts frequently had a far better memory. If you’re choosing the best nut, walnuts have all the good nutrients, plus Omega-3 fatty acids. Fruits and vegetables like oranges and red peppers are sources of vitamin C that also protects the brain.

  • Eating dark chocolate can improve your memory. It’s the flavonoids in dark chocolate that protect the brain, while improving both memory and mood.
  • Grab a handful of pumpkin seeds. They contain nutrients necessary for a healthy brain, such as copper, magnesium, iron and zinc.
  • Food that has an anti-inflammatory effect, like broccoli, are also good for the brain. Inflammation is linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  • Put blueberries in a smoothie or on your breakfast cereal to get the anthocyanins that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It can improve memory and even delay short-term memory loss.

Where Do You Get Your Nutritional Advice

Where Do You Get Your Nutritional Advice

Finding the best place to get nutritional advice can be tricky. You might think that going to your doctor for the advice is the wisest. The truth is, unless you have a physical problem, and sometimes even if you do, doctors aren’t the most versed in nutrition. They’re trained to identify illnesses, identify ways to improve that condition and spot signs you need to improve your health. Most doctors have very little formal training in nutrition in their studies. There’s just so much they have to learn, it’s often put on the back burner for doctors who want to include it in their practice. Few take those additional hours of study.

Getting information on your own from books and the internet can be confusing.

Not only is searching for the best information from various internet sites and books time-consuming, with so many sites to search, it can become confusing. Some sites glowingly praise the benefits of eating the latest new superfoods, ignoring consistent healthy entirely. Books, contain so much information that putting it together in one plan can take forever and you’re often relegated to eating a diet the author put together that may or may not be suitable for you.

Find a program offers food that’s easy to access.

While there might or might not be great health benefits in a rare herb that’s grown in the deepest part of the rain forest, that doesn’t mean you’ll find it on your local grocery shelf…or even at your favorite health food store. Even if you do manage to track down some of the exotic foods, it doesn’t mean they’ll be affordable for everyday use. Getting a nutritional program that’s logical, with food that’s affordable and accessible can be hard.

One reason we’re so proud of our online program is that it takes all the guesswork out of eating healthy.

Not everyone’s body is the same, nor does everyone need the same type of nutritional help. There is no one size fits all when it comes to nutrition. While there are generalities about nutrition, each person is different. To make it even more difficult, not everyone can eat everything. There’s lactose intolerance, food allergies, gluten intolerance and foods that simply don’t agree with some people. That’s why finding a program where the menu is created specifically for your needs is important.

  • A nutritional program, like our, starts with learning more about you and your needs before any dietary recommendations are made.
  • To make things easier, rather than providing broad generalities, we give you a shopping list and menus to follow. There’s no calorie, carb or nutrition counting. It’s simple and ready to put in place.
  • When nutritional advice is easy to follow, you’ll be more likely to follow it. If you have to work too hard to eat healthy, the chances are you won’t.
  • Hiring a nutritionist on your own can be quite expensive. Following a nutritional plan that’s cost effective makes it more accessible for a larger portion of the population.