Worker Bees’ Daily Bites
1. Ririan Rocks
We love how the posts over at Ririan make life so much easier and more productive. Check out the essential tips for good sleep – and we’ll add one to the list…
Spend 5 or 10 minutes before bed doing one of the following:
- Journaling (write your thoughts, your to-do list, your worries, whatever!)
- Prayer or meditation (concentrate on the positive – focus on appreciation)
- Light a candle, take 10 deep breaths, and decide to get a great night’s sleep. You’ll be amazed at how the decision to rack out will really work! (Work up to 20, 30 or more deep breaths before going to sleep.)
2. Allergic? Pour It On
We’ve been noticing a particular allergy hypothesis begining to take hold in the scientific community. Well, actually, Mark has been noticing and pointed it out. Scientists are finding that, in some cases, increased exposure to an allergen seems to be the best way to cure the allergy. Of course, this is not a “do it yourself” experiment; so far, studies have been strictly controlled in labs. The latest study could make a big difference for children’s food allergies. Check it out by jumpin’ on this clickativity.
The Fuming Fuji is outraged at the marketing of toxic food, especially when it’s aimed at the small fry. This week, the Fuming Fuji has decided to have a serious problem with children’s restaurant menus.
But, Fuming Fuji, you ask, kids are so picky – restaurants have to offer what kids will eat, right?
The Fuming Fuji says no!
The claim: Many restaurants offer children’s menus full of deep-fried garbage, with hopes for junior’s imminent obesity.
The comeback: Come on, Fuji! Kids aren’t going to eat chicken parmesan. Food has to be fun for them. Besides, the kids’ menu is cheaper. I don’t want to pay for filet mignon for someone who can’t even spell it.
The conclusion: Fuming Fuji says you should not eat chicken parmesan, either. Yes, food should be fun. So should hospitals, but they are not, especially when you are there for a triple bypass. Fuming Fuji says no price is too high for your child’s health. Also, children learn French spelling quite easily. What restaurant doesn’t offer sides like a small salad, fruit, or steamed veggies? No restaurant you should be in. Kids like these foods and they are healthier than fried cholesterol tenders. Oh, excuse me, fried chicken tenders.
The catchphrase: Tiny tots are not trash compactors.
Disclaimer: Mark Sisson and the Worker Bees do not necessarily endorse the views of the Fuming Fuji. He’s an angry, angry little apple.
WORKER BEES’ DAILY BITES
1) Mistletoe Won’t Cure Anything…But It Still Breaks the Ice
The holiday version of snake oil?
2) Baby Einstein or Go Fish?
Fish oil is superior to both olive oil and annoying videos when it comes to raising smart kids.
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.
Garlic (fresh only – not chopped, powdered or peeled cloves)
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.
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.
© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple