Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Both wine and chocolate are in the news!
Glug, Glug? Yeah, Yeah
Yet another alcohol study. This one is all over the news: drinking decreases brain size. To be clear, for each level of consumption, the scientists found a .25 percent shrink. (That’s a fourth of one percent, not twenty-five percent…whew!). The levels were defined as the following number of drinks per person per week: 0 drinks, 1-7 drinks, 8-14 drinks, and 14 or more drinks weekly. In other words, the heaviest drinkers of all lost just over a percentage point in brain size.
We’re not big on alcohol around these parts, but this is one of those relative nutrition topics Mark takes with a grain of salt. Like chocolate and coffee, wine is one of those “marginally nutritious” issues that is endlessly debatable and ultimately not a huge factor in health, in the sense that there is probably some benefit to be gained from reasonable consumption thanks to the antioxidants, but don’t expect any miracles. It’s important to put these sensational stories in perspective: a lot of alcohol is bad, a little, on balance, is probably good; but ultimately, water, exercise and a daily salad is more significant anyway!
New England Journal of Medicineyness Reports
There’s a big ruckus over the bill in Congress that is seeking to limit pharmaceutical drug advertising during prime time television (enough with the puppies and flowers already). This is an excellent read for those who are interested. It’s freedom of speech versus direct-to-consumer drug advertising. Oh, the Skittles. What do you think?
Web it out:
It’s not just Cracker Jack’s that include a free prize!
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Have we got a great round-up for you today, Apples! There’s so much good stuff we can’t stand it.
Let’s get to it:
Diabetes: Better Off with Lifestyle Changes
Despite a spate of new drug therapies for type 2, evidence still conclusively shows that lifestyle changes are the most effective method for preventing and treating diabetes. What’s really alarming is the fact that diabetes has doubled in the last decade! Drugs can treat the condition, but the underlying problems aren’t going away until we make serious lifestyle changes. Exercise, elimination of sugars and processed foods from the diet, and reducing stress are all vital factors in staving this epidemic.
“Best Oxymoron Award” Goes to…
The FDA wants to put suicide warnings on antidepressants. These drugs are risky, but especially for children and teens. Let’s put this in perspective. Can you imagine if the FDA needed to put obesity warnings on weight loss medications? Or cancer warnings on nicotine patches? Or heart attack warnings on statins? Doesn’t anyone think it’s odd that we even need a suicide warning, of all things, on drugs that make you…anti-depressed?
We Stand Corrected
Sara here. We’ve been recommending regular tuna over albacore based on the misunderstanding that regular tuna was higher in Omega-3’s. We were totally wrong on that, and we appreciate Slashfood for letting us know. Whew.
Smart Shoppers: Check Out the Organic Report Card
Hey, this is a great site that rates all the organic farms (marks are given in cows, not A’s, B’s and C’s). We stumbled onto it after finding out that Horizon may not be as cud-chewer friendly as we believed (either that, or a small news outfit is trying to get some press). Fitsugar holds the keys to the castle on this debate, so mosey on over to check it out.
Was this a useful post, or what? (Please don’t say “or what”. But do share your thoughts in the forum.) Until tomorrow, Apples!
It’s time for another Rotten Apple Award, kids. The Impulsive Buy blog – which puts the “ew” in product review – covers everything from the new mint flavored Tylenol to McDonald’s new cinnamon bites, or bits, or buns, or something. The Rotten Apple is not being bestowed upon Impulsive Buy, however – it’s Mickey D that deserves all the glory on this one.
We try not to pick on McDonald’s too much. After all, there’s the Cheesecake Factory, where you can gain a pound by eating a single slice of cake. And to its credit, McDonald’s does make nutrition and calorie information available, something which the Cheesecake Factory evidently has a lot of trouble doing. But I feel McDonald’s is being blatantly disingenuous when there’s all this talk about premium chicken, premium coffee, and premium salads going on yet surreptitiously the G.A. (that’s Golden Arches) still pushes new sugary, fattening products with more speed and consistency than their employee turnover rate.
Isn’t it rather hypocritical to advertise those happy mommy-n-me commercials featuring salads, apple slices and sweet smiles, or to make a big public announcements about eliminating trans fat from french fries, while simultaneously introducing this 460-calorie dessert of glorified sugar biscuits? I know McDonald’s isn’t trying to position itself as Mecca for health nuts, but they’ve also done heavy (elephantine, really) marketing in the last few years to play up their healthier options and apparent concern for people’s hearts and waistlines.
Now that’s just rotten.
Like red wine and grass-fed steak, good-quality chocolate is one of those decadent treats that miraculously manages to be healthy (within reason, of course). Leave it to the food producers of America to mess up a good thing.
I just happened upon a terrific food processing news blog run by one Dean Best. He reports that Guittard, a fine chocolate maker, is trying to get consumers inspired to fight new regs that would allow milk substitutes and cheap vegetable oils in chocolate. The reason? African cocoa production is down, so rather than let profits suffer for a few quarters, food producers would rather give you a lesser product.
You see this all the time – toilet paper is famous for getting thinner and lower in quality as the prices continue to rise. There are hundreds of examples, but in general, sleazy companies desperate to keep profits up will either pass on the expense to the customer or reduce the product’s quality – or both – rather than finding other ways to cut costs. “Sleazy” might seem like a strong word, but it’s deserved.
Here’s an idea: make a product that’s so good, you can’t help but succeed. (Or, just keep blaming the marketing department.)
You loyal readers know I almost never mention my own supplement company, Primal Nutrition. For one thing, I believe the products speak for themselves. For another, the purpose of this blog is to provide an insightful, enjoyable health community, whether you’ve ever been a customer or not. But this time, I do have to say something about this entire issue of short-changing the consumer, because I’ve proven a company can be an ethical exception to the rule of sleaze. There’s just no excuse – period – for short-changing customers. In ten years, I’ve never raised prices on my signature product, the Damage Control Master Formula, despite major production cost increases. I regularly update the formula based on new research, and over the years, I’ve continuously increased the quality and value. I make less money, but the funny thing is, by putting customers first, Primal has continued to flourish – more than ever.
Don’t be messin’ with my chocolate!
I don’t know whether to laugh or cringe at the bizarre-but-true existence of the Heart Attack Grill. Call it vulgar, call it wasteful, call it offensive – but someone’s eating there. A lot of someones. And I guarantee you they’re not healthy.
The Heart Attack Grill: the restaurant that so prides itself on inducing heart problems, the burgers have names such as “Double Bypass”. Of course, as John Stossel points out, no idiotic unhealthy venture would be complete without scantily-clad “nurse” waitresses. (Because if you’re going to infuriate the health experts, you might as well offend the better-smelling half of the population, too. The bizarre American intersection of fast food meat and female objectification – didn’t these guys learn anything in college? Did they go to college?). Everyone knows I’m no big fan of the food police. Also, I fully admit to a love affair with salad rivaled only by Popeye. But, considering the fact that millions of people every year are tragically affected by easily-prevented heart attacks (and the fact that a half-million die), this kind of gloating stupidity concerns me, if only because these men may be reproducing.
© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple