Eating too quickly can Increase Risk of Diabetes

Eating too quickly can Increase Risk of Diabetes

In a day and age when most people are strapped for time, they tend to do everything with a sense of hurry. More people are beginning to eat while on the go. This means eating quickly without taking the time to enjoy the food. When people eat on the move, they tend to gobble the food down and swallow it without chewing it thoroughly. A new study is now showing that eating too quickly can increase the risk for diabetes.

Eating too quickly can Increase Risk of DiabetesThe research was conducted in Lithuania and presented at the International Congress of Endocrinology in Florence, Italy. The study compared 234 people with type 2 diabetes and 468 individuals without the condition. It was discovered that those who quickly shove food down their throats were more than twice as likely to have diabetes as those who chew their food longer.

The study also showed that the participants with diabetes were more likely to have a higher body mass index.

The head of the study, Lina Radzeviciene, said that diabetes is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. She also added that modified risk factors must be identified to help cut down the chances of developing the disease for those at risk.

It is also important to add that while an association was found between diabetes and eating in haste, this does not equate to a cause and effect relationship.

Previous studies published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association also suggested a link between diabetes and speed eating.

Humans have teeth for a reason. Every spoonful of food you put in your mouth should be grinded and chewed until it is mush. Food that has not been broken down into smaller bits can place unnecessary burden on your digestive tracks. Taking your time while eating will also make your meals more enjoyable.

Food Industry to Change Fast With New Health America

fast foodOne aspect of the health care bill taking immediate effect is that chain restaurants will now be required to display nutrition information. What we are witnessing could well make a seismic shift in the changing of the food landscape of America.

The Associated Press Reports:

More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs.

The new law, which applies to any restaurant with 20 or more locations, directs the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labeling, superseding a growing number of state and city laws. President Barack Obama signed the health care legislation Tuesday.

The idea is to make sure that customers process the calorie information as they are ordering. Many restaurants currently post nutritional information in a hallway, on a hamburger wrapper or on their Web site. The new law will make calories immediately available for most items.

This rule will also apply to vending machines carrying convenience foods.

So how will this change be manifested to the American food system?

Americans’ appetite for cheap and processed foods and factory-farmed meat impacts everything from carbon emissions to water quality to pesticide and farms’ use of antibiotics.

The Oscar-nominated documentary “Food, Inc.” had a huge effect on informing people about the problems in the industrial food system. Oprah brought author and food expert Michael Pollan on her show to discuss the documentary, which she called “thought-provoking” and “eye-opening”. Michael Pollan also made appearances on The Daily Show and told Jon Stewart in January that he thought the passage of health care reform would have a large impact on changing the way people eat, because health insurers would have a financial motive to keep people away from eating unhealthy foods that will cause long-term health problems.

Michelle Obama has also become a public spokeswoman of increasing access to real food, gardening and fighting childhood obesity with her Let’s Move campaign. Last week she spoke to the Grocery Manufacturers Association about completely reassessing the ‘junk’ food which they sell:

“We need you not to just tweak around the edges but entirely rethink the products you are offering, the information that you provide about these products, and how you market those products to our children.”

Drinks Not Food May Cause Weight Gain Faster

Sweet DrinksPeople trying to prevent weight gain may be surprised to discover that what they drink may be a bigger factor in weight gain than food. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that weight loss is more associated with a reduction in liquid calorie consumption; and the liquid calorie intake had a bigger impact on weight gain than solid foods.

The results of the study, as published in the April 1 edition of the American Journal of clinical nutrition, found that although food and liquid drinks had an influence on weight gains, a reduction in liquid calorie intake was found to have a more significant influence on weight loss, than simply eating less. The study most noticed that in drinks containing sugar, a reduction of one serving resulted in a weight loss of 0.5 kg in six months and 0.7 kg in 18 months. The study was conducted on 810 adults aged 25-79, in an 18 month randomized, controlled behavioral intervention. The consumption by test subjects was measured by conducting unannounced interviews during various hours by telephone. Test beverages were divided in several categories, including soft drinks, fruit drinks, fruit punch, diet drinks with artificial sweeteners, whole and skim milk, coffee and tea sweetened with both sugar and artificial sweeteners, and alcoholic beverages.

Sugar sweetened beverages, especially soft drinks, were found to be significantly associated with weight at both the 6 and 18 month follow up periods. Although changes in the consumption of diet drinks and alcoholic beverages were inversely associated with weight loss the amounts were not statistically significant.

The conclusions of the studies were to encourage public health awareness programs to persuade people to reduce intakes of liquid calories, particularly from sugar sweetened beverages. It was also recommended that people significantly reduce the consumption of diet beverages containing aspartame and similar artificial sweeteners.

No doubt, drinking unsweetened bottled water instead of other types of beverages is better for one’s health in the long run.

Organic Antidepressants

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental disabilities afflicting mankind. The current scientific position tells us that the most likely cause of these conditions is a combination of both a genetic predisposition along with acute environmental stress (such as the consumption of harmful junk food, or the ordeals of a divorce). Whatever the actual reasons for a certain episode of melancholy, there are several known brain mechanisms that engage in the regulation of mood, stress, and motivation. I can assume most of us have heard of the infamous neurotransmitters Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine. Taking antidepressants (such as Prozac) affect the receptivity of our nerve cells to these molecules, and by doing so these drugs reprogram our brain to behave differently — hopefully, in a more healthy manner.

Recently, other mood-regulating neurotransmitters have been discovered. One of them is Orexin, a peptide which was traditionally mentioned in the field of hunger-regulation. It’s also important in maintaining a state of wakefulness, as can be evidenced by a drug called Modafinil that is used to increase brain levels of Orexin in order to treat people with narcolepsy.

IncenseLater this month, a group of researchers in Israel will pronounce the discovery of yet another mood-regulating neurotransmitter. It is called IA (Incensole acetate), and it activates an ion channel named TRPV3. Ion channels are specially-designed proteins that sit on the membrane (the outer layer) of nerve cells, and control the flow of electrically charged particles into and out of the cell — a process that determines whether a certain nerve cell is activated at a certain moment, or not. In other words, molecules (neurotransmitters) that can alter the function of TRPV3 channel change the patterns of our brain activity — and as just mentioned, cutting-edge research from Israel indicates that this pattern of change adjusts the levels of mood and stress.

More specifically, a group of scientists from The College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel, led by Prof. Ester Fride, conducted experiments with the Boswellia plant, which contains the IA molecules. They’ve discovered that this plant does indeed reduce anxiety, without all the pesky side effects of ordinary antidepressants, such as sexual dysfunction and weight gain.

It is interesting to note that the ancient Israelites burnt incense made of the Boswellia plant in the Temple in Jerusalem, since it created a relaxing atmosphere, suited for prayer and rituals. Perhaps as we revert back to ancient remedies, we’ll discover healthier – more organic – solutions to modern maladies.

Picture by Garnet’s Book of Shadows

Ambrosia Essence and other Organic Skin Care Options

Aloe veraSome days I wonder if I am all alone in my quest for a cleaner planet. Then I find a kindred spirit or read an article and know that the collective consciousness is moving in the right direction. There are many folks like myself who are becoming more aware of the dangers of chemicals in the food we eat as well as in many other household products.

I have not only been purchasing organic foods and reading all food labels but more recently I have started looking at the ingredients in household cleansers, cosmetics and skin care products. My search for healthier products led me to become a representative for One Group, a company that produces certified organic personal care products.

My personal favorite in terms of skincare is a product called Ambrosia Essence. Its expensive, but it is by far the best product I have found to help me with my rosacia. I still have some redness, but in comparison to what I have been living with for years this is heaven. I don’t know if this product would give the same results for other folks but it is working well for me.

If you are on the search for a more natural, or organic option for your personal care products the skin deep website it a great place to start. They have all kinds of products listed and each one has a safety rating. Take a look and see if you can’t find a cleaner, greener alternative to what you are currently using.

Written by Anita Kaiser

Miraculin – The Secret Natural Sweetener

Synsepalum Dolcificum, Miracle Fruit, Magic Berry, Flavor Berry — all these names refer to the same olive-sized fruit, indigenous to West Africa. This tiny fruit contains a unique chemical substance, known as Miraculin, which interacts with the taste buds on our tongue, and temporarily deactivates our sour and bitter tastebuds! In other words, after chewing this fruit, one could drink beer and experience a taste that resembles ice coffee much more than it resembles… well, beer.

Natural SweetenerIt was already known in the 70’s, but rumors have it that the FDA refused to approve it back then due to the Sugar Industry exerting considerable pressure to prevent the fruit from entering the market and damaging their profits.

Nevertheless, the fruit has gained growing popularity in Europe recently, and is used by some to avoid the harsh taste of many kinds of medicines.

In San Fransisco and New York some folks even arrange “flavor tripping” parties, in which the participants lick magic berries and go around tasting all kinds of everyday food in order to attain a mind-boggling experience.

When science finally succeeds at mass-producing Miraculin, it should radically change our culinary lifestyle.

Picture by The Banana Tree

Beyond RDA

Ein Hod StatueWe are all familiar with the RDA column on the side of our food packages. RDA means “Recommended Daily Allowance” and it is the daily amount of each nutritional element that the FDA recommends us to consume each and every day. Nowadays, RDA has changed its name to RDI (Reference Daily Intake).

But in recent years new research has dicovered that the RDI figures represent the very minimal amount of nutrients our body needs — if it is completely healty. However, almost no one is constantly in optimal health, and as we grow older, our body’s ability to absorb nutrients from within the digestive system decreases.

The outcome of these outdated RDI figures is that most of us don’t consume enough vitamins and minerals to keep our body fit and healthy. To be able to meet these minimal requirements, most of us would have to take supplements.

Therefore it is important to undertake regular blood checks to see if we have a good balance of nutrients in our bodies. Remember, having too much can also be dangerous, as especially is the case with minerals and certain vitamins (such as Vitamin A).

Last but not least, when we add vitamin supplements to our diet, it is important to pick those with a high bio-availability — i.e, those formulas that have been proven to be more easily digested and absorbed within the body.

Stay well and have a splendid weekend!

Mercury linked to increase in Autism

Mercury inside a test tubeMercury – that silvery liquid metal that is still found in many thermometers and heating thermostats, is now being linked to increases of autism in infants and children. Autism is a condition that is found in more boys than girls and now strikes an average of one in every 150 live births in America. Although other factors are also instrumental to causing this unfortunate condition, the increased presence of mercury in our environment is now being linked to causing autism, especially in areas where the presence of mercury is higher.

A study made by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center found that rates of autism in infants and young children increases in areas close to higher than normal quantities of mercury being found in either the atmosphere — as a result of industrial air pollution, in the water supply — due largely to dumping of industrial wastes into streams and reservoirs, and in the soil — due to leakage of metallic and chemical pollutants into the soil.

The research was conducted on a group of more than 1,000 Texas school children and found that higher rates of autism occurred in areas where mercury and other industrial pollutants were more prevalent. Some of the causes of this pollution include coal-dependant power plants, medical and chemical waste disposal sites, and the manufacture of concrete. All of these sources involve the used the mercury at one stage or another. The researchers found that for every 1,000 pounds of mercury released by either industrial causes or electrical power facilities, the rate of autism is increased by between 2.5% to 3.5%, depending on the distance from the facility and the source of the pollution. The percentages decrease at distances further away from the source of the pollution.

Of course other sources are also linked to mercury pollution and the resulting autism, including eating fish contaminated with mercury (such as mackerel, tuna, and sea bass) as well as the presence of mercury in smoke which may come from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Countries such China and India are heavy users of mercury as they are rising industrial countries and have less stringent anti-industrial pollution laws.

Solutions to reduce this growing danger include enacting stricter laws against industrial pollution, increasing testing of fish and sea food for mercury content, and reducing the presence of mercury in all medical equipment and products. While these steps may not eliminate the tragedy of autism, they will at least somewhat reduce the numbers.

Picture by Wikipedia

Somebody Stop that Cow!

As if auto and industrial emissions aren’t enough to pollute our air, it is now being found that cattle also makes its “contributions” to causing environmental pollution. In fact, one European country, Lithuania, has now passed a law that dairy farmers in that country are liable to pay fines for undue “emissions” of methane gas for both belching and flatulence of cattle. It appears that large numbers of dairy cattle, confined to feed lots on dairy farms, one of Lithuania’s most important agricultural industries, has reached the point that unacceptable levels of methane gas is being produced as a “by-product” of these dairy herds.

Nuclear Explosion poisons the atmosphereCattle, like other hoofed mammals including deer and antelope, are ruminants and have a four chambered stomach. After eating grass, grains and other cattle food, they must belch up the food and chew it thoroughly before finally swallowing it again. This process, know as “chewing the cud” enables the food to be finally digested. Doing so, it results in both the belching and the release of large quantities of gas due to the high fiber content of the cow’s feces.

So, far, Lithuania is the only country in Europe to have passed such a law, and its implications are being carefully monitored by dairy and beef farmers in other E. U. countries who also have large dairy herds, including Denmark, Germany, Holland, and Belgium.

Methane gas is also produced in large quantities at sewage disposal and recycling facilities, also as a by-product of decaying waste material. Although methane gas is being considered as a possible alternative fuel source since there appears to be plentiful supply, it has a very high global warming potential and contributes to what is now known as the “greenhouse effect”. The amount of methane gas present in the earth’s atmosphere is now more than 1,800 parts per billion, as compared to an estimated 750 parts per billion in the beginning of the 19th Century. Of course, the Earth’s population has grown considerably since then, resulting in much more garbage, sewage, and other decaying material that causes this gas to be formed. There is also considerably much more cattle in the world, which adds to the amount of methane gas eventually reaching the Earth’s atmosphere.

How dairy farmers in countries such as Lithuania plan to solve this problem is now under speculation, as trying to plug up the rear source of the gas obviously won’t work, as well as trying to put some kind of bib-like device on the cow’s mouth. It’ll be interesting to follow the development of this story in Europe. After all, the issue is much more than just “hot air”.

Pomegranates are truly the “fruit of the gods”

“Your shoots are an orchard of Pomegranates, with choice fruits, Henna and Nard plants”
: Song of Solomon: 4:13


The pomegranate, that ancient biblical fruit often seen on ancient mosaics, is truly a fruit to add to your list of natural health remedies. Pomegranates are mentioned in the bible under their biblical name “Rimon”. They were often displayed on ancient mosaic floors in temples, synagogues, and even private homes. The ancient Greeks and Romans also mention them as the “fruit of the gods” and even then their beneficial attributes were already well known.

Pomegranate fruit is usually pink or red in color, with hundreds of similar color seeds inside. They are usually found in warmer semi-tropical climates, and besides being common in the Mediterranean basin, they are also found in many Asian countries, including Iran, India, and China.

Pomegranates have many useful health benefits, whether eaten raw or drunk as a refreshing juice. The flowers of this amazing fruit, as well as its juice, contain a substance which appears to be helpful in treating Diabetes Mellitus. The seeds of the pomegranate are very high in fiber and it is recommended to eat them along with drinking the fruit’s juicy pulp. Two of the most beneficial properties of the fruit are in the prevention of both heart disease and some forms of cancer. Pomegranate juice contains high levels of Punicic Acid and Allegic Acid which help to reduce cholesterol levels as well as the condition known as Arterial Sclerosis; or hardening of the arteries. The two mentioned acids help prevent saturated fats from accumulating in the arteries which could lead to eventual heart attacks.

The fruit also helps prevent prostate cancer as well as cancer of the colon. Drinking at least 8 oz. of pomegranate juice daily may help prevent these cancers from developing and for this reason, many people drink pomegranate juice on a daily basis. This practice is especially evident in Russia and Eastern European countries, where it is accustomed to eat a lot of fatty foods. Pomegranates or pomegranate juice is recommended to patients who have undergone either colon or prostate surgery to help prevent cancers from reoccurring.

Pomegranates are also found to be beneficial in women who may have breast cancer or hormonal conditions that could lead to breast cancer. The fruit has also been found to be good for women reaching menopause, as enzymes in pomegranate juice appear to be a substitute of the estrogen hormone, often taken by elderly women to prevent heart attacks and osteoporosis.

Taking all of this into consideration, it’s no wonder that many people are now agreeing that a glass or two of pomegranate juice a day keeps the doctor at bay.

Picture by Gernot Katzer