Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for the ‘ Carbs ’ Category

9 Jan

The Tuesday 10

The Top 10 Tips for: fighting the free radicals that destroy the body

10. Take the world’s most potent antioxidant supplement.

9. Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke (and stop smoking!).

8. Don’t eat deep-fried anything. Fried is not your friend.

7. Drink alcohol in moderation.

prettywiney

6. Meditate, journal or pray for a few minutes every day. This helps your body regulate its stress hormones better, which keeps everything running smoothly, including your immune system and the body’s inflammatory response.

5. Exercise several times a week. This stimulates feel-good hormones, the immune system, and the metabolism. Exercise also helps reduce hormonal stress, inflammation, stress to your liver, and yes…oxidation.

4. Eat clean: Try to eat organic meat and dairy products. Wash produce thoroughly.

3. Consume good fats with reckless abandon. (Things like grass-fed meat, wild fish, DHA-enhanced eggs, nuts, avocados, Smart Butter, and olive oil.)

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2. Eat foods containing antioxidants every day: vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts…yum!

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1. And the number one way to reduce inflammation and oxidation (and thereby prevent or reduce most health problems and diseases)? Lay off the sugar! Just say no to processed, refined, empty calories from things like soda, white bread, white pasta, sugary cereals, pastries and other starchy snacks. Yes, these foods are pretty…pretty evil.

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2 Jan

Negative Calorie Soft Drink

The crafty folks at Coke have invented yet another canned liquid. We’re a little disappointed that it doesn’t come in lime, vanilla, cherry, cherry vanilla, cherry lime vanilla, or even blue. Oh, well.

The soft drink, Enviga, does play into the new craze for “healthy” soda alternatives full of energizing ingredients and enough caffeine to deplete the Costa Rican coffee fields for the next decade. Calorie Lab has a hilarious and thought-provoking analysis of this new drink. (That sounds a lot like a natural enhancement drug. Ahem.)

Calorie Lab is right: if Coke really cares about our health by offering a supposedly negative calorie beverage, why continue to sell regular old Coke in all its candy-machine varieties at all?

Here’s why: by offering (snicker) Enviga, Coke is admitting they’re aware of the terrible health consequences of drinking Coke. They’re worried and they’re scrambling to offer an alternative for all the customers they know they’re going to lose in 2007. Sugar is going to be the health issue this year. In fact, you can check out Mark’s excellent article on sugar over at model/volleyball pro Gabrielle Reece’s site. Here’s the clickativity.

We’ll be the first to say it: sugar is the new trans fat.

envigathis

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22 Dec

Did You Know?

WORKER BEES’ DAILY BITES

Did you know?

Gut bugs don’t just make you gain weight – bacteria cause ulcers, too.

Ulcers cause inflammation elsewhere in the body – enough to cause atherosclerosis!

In terms of blood sugar impact, yams (sweet potatoes) typically have half the sugar of regular potatoes.

Now there’s some health knowledge to whip out at tonight’s festivities!

Be sure to check out these fun and informative bites, and have a great weekend, Apples.

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22 Dec

Smart People Eat Sulfur

SMART FUEL

This week’s Smart Fuel is a collection of foods that are sulfur-rich. Such foods are excellent for inflammation-related complaints ranging from arthritis to skin rashes. (Sulfur is necessary to help repair and rebuild tissues, bones and cartilage.) These foods are especially great to eat in winter, when both skin and joints can take a beating from changes in air temperate and moisture.

Eggs

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Asparagus

asparagus

Onions

onion

Garlic (fresh only – not chopped, powdered or peeled cloves)

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Psst…Another excellent anti-inflammatory food is fresh pineapple. This fibrous fruit contains bromelain (in fact, it’s the only food on earth that does). Bromelain is an enzyme that digests certain proteins. It’s great for helping skin look younger, and it’s also an anti-inflammatory.

Pineapple ranks around 50 on the glycemic index, so it’s not a fruit you should consume too frequently. But, as an alternative to desserts, this is a healthy treat to enjoy during the holidays, when fresh pineapples are often on sale.

pineapple

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21 Dec

Clickativity Scene

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

1) Gosh, thanks, Labelman!

The FDA has created an interactive online tool to help people better understand the Nutrition Facts Label. Visitors to the site learn to “Make Your Calories Count” with the help of Labelman. Yes.

The program helps explain percentages, serving sizes and caloric information.

The Nutrition Facts Label has been criticized virtually since its introduction. The label is perhaps misleading to some because it is based upon a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet, which is much more than many people, especially women, need to consume. Additionally, nutritional percentages are somewhat misleading. A candy bar may “only” have 20% of one’s daily recommended saturated fat intake, but that doesn’t make a candy bar healthy. The big problem with this percentage standard is that the actual product may be ridiculously high in fat, sodium or sugar, but appear to be “low” compared to the total daily limit. For example, a soda may contain about one-eighth of the recommended daily sugar for a 2,000-calorie-consumer. But soda is nothing more than sugar water and is therefore one of the worst things you can put in your body.

Cynics in the health industry point out that this “percentage” comparison standard, which does not actually reflect the individual merit of the product, almost encourages unhealthy eating habits.

We’re not sure how helpful a guy named Labelman could be, but we want to know why the standards are what they are, anyway. Who says 160 grams of carbohydrates a day is desirable? Is saturated fat really so terrible if it’s properly balanced with health fatty acids like Omega-3? And how about serving sizes – who really only drinks 8 ounces of something or eats 7 chips? Discuss, Apples.

2) Seven Ways, Same Result

The New England Journal of Medicine released a study today that says newer tests are not appreciably better at predicting heart attacks than standard tests. Now, if you run a Google search for this story, you’ll find that they are all suspiciously alike – even newspapers in India are running the same lines. What that means? A press release or a statement from NEJM, most likely. (Yes, this happens all the time.)

The study of some 3,900 people found that testing for CRP, homocysteine and other substances (considered the new rock stars in heart disease treatment) aren’t much better at predicting heart problems than a good old cholesterol or blood pressure test.

This study reveals some interesting things. Let’s read between the lines. It doesn’t necessarily mean that CRP or homocysteine tests are bad; it simply means that obvious factors are enough to determine risk. Guess what those obvious factors are? Even the conservative NEJM discusses them:

However, the standard risk factors — high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history, advanced age, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and diabetes — proved to be just as accurate when it came to predicting heart disease.

Testing cholesterol is still a great way to go, not because cholesterol is bad (like mainstream medicine would have you believe) but because it is indicative of inflammation. Many of the other easy-to-see risk factors are entirely preventable through lifestyle choices. In a roundabout way, this long-term study reflects what we already ought to know: an expensive test can show what’s already written all over one’s face.

Here’s the money quote:

“This really supports the value of focusing on risk-factor reduction, not looking for a magic blood test,” said Dr. Richard Stein, director of preventive cardiology at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

Clickativity!

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