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

Archive for the ‘ Nutrition ’ Category

11 Jan

Got News?

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

You’ll want to click out today’s most interesting news, Apples:

1) We Promise, This Is the Last Dairy Discussion

…for a while, anyway. This is merely to highlight the general conclusion that can be had from all the various dairy-makes-you-skinny debates: dairy obviously does not make you skinny enough. If dairy were the wonder tonic Big Moo would have you believe, wouldn’t we all have noticed by now?

Some of the studies are inconclusive, like this one just out (yet another one!). Some of the studies are total quackery questionable because they’ve been funded by Big Moo. Most of them, actually. Some of the studies make it seem like low-fat dairy is better. A recent one makes a case for regular old fattening dairy. Mark happens to think dairy is the ultimate Blunder Tonic.

While there’s no definitive dairy answer, how about some common sense? If you exercise, eat a lot of vegetables, and stay away from things like sugar and French fries, it just might not matter if your beverage of choice is soy milk, cow’s milk or hemp milk (yep, and it’s tasty). Folks who are unhealthy might benefit marginally from foods like dairy, but at the end of the day, no food is the magic answer to your waistline concerns or health goals.

Except, possibly, for spinach.

bigmoo

2) We Can’t Wait for All the Clever Headlines!

You just know the mainstream media is going to have a cliched-headline carnival with hemp milk. Oh, well, maybe they don’t get out much.

Thanks to Slashfood for the heads up on this yummy, high-protein unmilk. It’s available in chocolate, vanilla and regular (what will that taste like?).

Slash says: “Some of the benefits of Hemp milk are: it is high in protein and is a good source of balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and has lots of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, thiamin, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and iron. It is the only product made from seeds that contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a controversial substance that may help fight cancer, treat problems with inflammation, and auto-immune diseases.”

hemp

3) When Will Law Makers Actually Give Two Figs?

Mark says sugar is the new trans fat, and others are sayin’ the same, too. Check out this handy little corn syrup summary. Then drop a line to these spineless saps and tell them you’re sick of Americans being sick. And say something to your senator, too. They don’t listen to Bees but they listen to you.

Because when a website actually brags about the fact that – yes – corn syrup is only as bad as sugar, you have to do something, Apples…

payday

It’s a payday for someone, all right.

4) Tsk, Tsk

Parents seem to eat more fat than other adults, especially fat from kiddie-foods like pizza, chips, candy and snacks. Be honest, now – if you’re a parent, maybe you’ve snatched some of the French fries from the Happy Meal.

The important thing to remember is that these little bites add up to serious health problems. They seem harmless, but because most “family fare” is loaded with sugar, trans fat and chemical additives, moms and dads are subject to a free radical minefield (and a lot of extra calories).

And besides, kids shouldn’t be eating this stuff, either! They may seem thin and healthy now, but the long-term consequences of Cheetos and Powerade are visible everywhere you look. Kids turn into adults, and we adults don’t seem to be batting any health home runs these days. Start your kids on good habits young, and you’ll benefit, too (and hey, it’s one less thing for the teenagers to tell you you’re doing wrong).

Here are some easy switches that don’t require you to turn into Martha Stewart:

- Once a week, get the kids to wash and chop up veggies like carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli or jicama. Place fist-sized portions in zippered baggies until there are enough for each family member to grab one bag a day for the whole week. Presto, veggies consumed.

- Buy beef, salmon or turkey jerky instead of regular snack bags like chips, pretzels or other salty, sugary, empty junk. Trail mix (the kind that doesn’t have candy in it) and nuts are a great idea, too.

- This does take a little work, but it’s worth it. Buy a huge jug of 100% real juice. Dilute by half with water. Pour into as many rinsed-out beverage containers as you like. That beats soda and sugary drinks! You can do the same with caffeine-free tea (sweeten with a sugar substitute or a little honey if your kids aren’t used to the taste).

- For healthy, easy dinners that are way faster than the pizza guy, keep the freezer stocked with two things: ready-to-go protein like shrimp or chicken tenderloins, and a big assortment of frozen veggies.

20 minutes before you want to eat, drop a bag of your protein of choice into a big, hot pan. 10 minutes later, add a bag or two of the frozen veggies. Once it’s all cooked and piping hot, drizzle with any number of yummy toppings: slivered almonds, parmesan, spices and seasonings, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or a little yogurt. Everyone will be happy, it’s cheaper than a decent pizza, and it’s healthy. Easy!

stirfry

Around the Web:

Things so random and disturbing, you just might want to click. Somehow, it’s satisfying. We know. It’s okay.

- Junior Apple Annie B. wrote in to tell us about the dark secrets of the restaurant industry. During her starving student days, Annie worked for a major chain restaurant. She says:

“We were always totally grossed out by the chips and how people would wolf them down. If only they knew. When the chips arrived to us, they were in these big packages. You wouldn’t recognize them as chips – they were so covered in white lard or whatever the fat concoction was, it was like little edges sticking out of a block of glue. Disgusting! Then we’d have to shove the chunks into the oven to make them all fresh and toasty and get the fat to melt and ‘crisp’ the chips. I’ve never looked at chips the same way since.”

There is a really, really dark and disturbing side to food production. There are specific resources and legions of behind-the-scenes bizarreness you wouldn’t believe…except, behold. It puts the Bees into a real fuss – maybe we all know this stuff exists deep down, but…ewww. Is this really necessary? Apples? This is why we like fresh food.

11 Jan

5 Is the New 10

5 Tips to Feel Great Today:

1 – Eat something green at every meal. And by green we mean a vegetable. Limeade and green apple Jolly Ranchers do not count. Veggies fight cancer, help you lose weight, boost your brain, and just generally mean business.

salad

2 – Eat something red, like a tomato. Tomatoes contain lycopene. This is great for your eyes, which are fresh now but often get blurry by day’s end, right? We humans may be endlessly fascinated by the latest office memo (sure), but fortunately, our eyes seem to know when to call it quits. Give them a little lycopene and lutein love, would ya? (Psst…cooked tomatoes are actually richer in lycopene than fresh tomatoes.)

tomatoesstacked

3 – Jam out to some really sappy music you loved in high school. Not that anyone here ever does that, but we hear it’s great for stimulating endorphins and other feel-good brain compounds.

sapdance

4 – Call a friend. See a movie. Take a walk around the block. Anything that gives you a little respite from a long work week. Remember that caring for your emotional health is a major part of beating stress and staying fit!

5 – Get some good fatty acids in that body! Pick from Smart Butter (yum!), avocados, nuts, fish, grass-fed meat, olive oil, or organic peanut butter.

ohnuts
10 Jan

The Buckler Brief

NUTRIENT: Beta Glucans

WHAT IT DOES: For immune system support, beta glucans, a polyssacharide (sugar molecule) offer much potential. Similar to other immune-stimulating nutrients like echinacea and goldenseal, beta glucans, which are derived from yeast, barley, and oats, appear to boost white blood cell count and macrophage activation. Macrophages are literally irritated into action by beta glucan sugars! These processes are key components of healthy immune system activity.

STUDIES SHOW: Beta glucans appear to have immune stimulating properties. Several studies have shown that beta glucans may be able to activate macrophages, help to inhibit tumors, and reduce infection. Beta glucans are generally used for immune system support, although it has been theorized that beta glucans may also serve a role in cancer inhibition because of their stimulatory affects. Beta glucans are thought to work by stimulating white blood cell activity. In laboratory studies, beta glucans have also been shown to stimulate monocyte cytokines, compounds that fight cancer cells in tumors.

However, the most established evidence supports beta glucans’ use as an immune-boosting nutrient.

WHY WE LIKE IT:
Beta glucans can be found here. We love them because of the promising immune-stimulating properties. Beta glucans may help reduce or fight infections in the body and improve the general strength of the immune system. Overall immune system health is vital to resisting serious health problems, and beta glucans offer tremendous potential for supporting the immune system.

barley
9 Jan

Spice Things Up

Heat in the hopper is a cancer stopper.

littlepep

Clickativity!

8 Jan

Le Buzz

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites
Howdy, pals! Here’s the latest from the world of health:

1) Uh-oh, it’s back…

We have no comment, but if you’re interested in the stem-cell debate, here’s today’s best summary of the flare-up. Here’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s take.

2) This is what we call a no-brainer…

In fact, wait…yes, it is definitely time for a Sherlock Award! Congratulations, Journal of Pediatrics!

SherlockAward

3) At least it doesn’t have thimerosal

We’re sort of hesitant to come right out against the flu shot. There are definitely folks who can benefit from the flu shot (e.g. tiny tots and seniors). And now that it doesn’t contain brain-bashing mercury, maybe it’s not so bad.

Still, we think it’s generally a good idea to find safer, more natural ways to boost your immunity during flu season that won’t make you sick (while a flu shot doesn’t give you the flu, it will give you a little bout of the sniffles for a few days). Really nutritious foods like veggies and good fats, plus a powerful antioxidant multi, can do a lot to ward off the flu. Also, exercise and quality sleep are key immune boosters.

Our only other beef with the flu shot is that it doesn’t always fight the right flu. If you’re traveling or in an area with multiple strains, you basically got a little cold for nothing, cuz you’re gettin’ the flu.

To be fair, here’s our favorite blogging doctor’s pro-flu-shot stance. Since tens of thousands of people still die from the flu (and not bird flu, people), he/she could be right, after all…discuss, Apples!

4) Random but right-on

Just one more story on the increasing trend to boost brain health as you age. It’s important! We recommend eating fish like wild salmon to boost your brain health, since we can’t (hey, we’re bees).

5) It’s gonna be huge this year!

What’s going on in your state? What do you do about health care? Do you think federal dollars should go towards helping people make better nutrition or exercise choices in addition to regular health care (or instead of)?

There will be a lot of debate about this issue in 2007. What’s your take, Apples? For starters, we’d like to see more real, accurate, up-to-date nutrition information. We’d also like for Uncle Sam to stop being a big pansy and stand up to food manufacturers and their sniveling little lobbyists. We’re also not fans of Labelman (snicker). What kind of inflamed, flabby, uninspiring nutrition superhero is this? This is the best our tax dollars can afford?

labelman

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