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.
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.”
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…
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!
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.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites
Hi, Apples! Here’s the daily roundup:
1) Now that’s just rude!
Dr. Joe Mercola informs us that many of his fellow physicians ignore their patients’ obesity and sleep troubles, especially older patients. He provides a list of great resources to help with sleep, too. Check it out!
Fun fact: wearing socks to bed seems to help sleep.
Yum fact: Eat a bit of protein with a bit of fruit before bed. Protein helps produce L-tryptophan, which stimulates serotonin and melatonin production, and fruit helps L-tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier.
2) Muscle Matters
Slashfood highlights the trouble with relying too blindly on the BMI for weight management. It’s especially important to check out if you have little ones at home.
3) At least it’s healthier than a candy bar…
We’re really not sure about this one. Click for a good laugh – humor is healthy!
4) Now that’s tenacity!
The world’s smallest baby – only 1.5 pounds at birth.
5) Could go either way…This is the sort of decision that has potential to be misused by food manufacturers. For instance, many junk foods like so-called “milk and cereal bars” claim to be healthy because, among other things, they contain “real” as opposed to fake milk. Similarly, many sodas which are full of empty sugars claim health benefits because of a little added vitamin C. We’re watchin’ you, FDA. Don’t tell the Fuming Fuji about this one.
6) A preventable epidemic
While a pill is better than a shot (and we all knew this was coming), diabetes is often totally preventable through a healthy diet and regular exercise. Check out this article Mark wrote over at Gabrielle Reece’s health site to learn more about sugar.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
A lot of good stuff is buzzing about in the health world today, Apples. Here’s the best of the batch:
1) But my crumpet won’t be the same!
A new study finds that adding milk or cream to your tea diminishes the nutritional value. (The nutritional value of tea is off the charts: “tea exerts antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and vasodilating effects, ‘thereby rendering protection against cardiovascular diseases’ the researchers said.”)
Guess what? The study examined 16 whole people. And only women. Who were post-menopausal. In other words, hardly conclusive, yet it made a splash all over the media. (Science Daily got pretty darn dramatic: “Research published online in the European Heart Journal has found that the protective effect that tea has on the cardiovascular system is totally wiped out by adding milk.” And then bemoaned the plight of the British, who enjoy a bit of milk in their tea.)
Despite drinking gallons of tea, the Brits do have high rates of heart disease (although, if you recall from our news item last week, they’ve managed to slash their national heart disease rate by almost 40% in just a few years). While this study may turn out to be accurate, it pays to take a look at just how reasonable major new health claims actually are. In this case, a milk protein called casein may blunt the antioxidants in tea (known as catechins). Or maybe not: while it’s a good theory, it needs more testing.
The moral of the story? Being really dramatic about relatively small news is fun for the media (sorry guys and gals), so always consider the source and expect significant results.
We spend about 2 trillion dollars a year on health care. That’s not including food, or diets, or diet books, or exercise machines, or gym memberships. That’s just health care. TWO. TRILLION. DOLLARS.
By comparison, we spend about 9 billion on nutritional supplements.
2 trillion dollars is also more money than the entire national GDP of every single country in the world except the US, Japan, Germany, the UK, and France. That means our health care tab alone is more than the national economic value of 179 whole nations. Whew.
Now, with 17% of our national funds going to health care, what do we have to show for it?
When it comes to obesity, life expectancy, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, drug reactions, and preventable death, that old adage “We’re #1″ is, unfortunately, all too true.
The news is both sobering and encouraging. Here we are, the richest nation on earth, suffering ill health at rates far beyond most other industrialized nations. The good news (yes, there is good news!) is that nearly every major health problem we face can be prevented in most cases through lifestyle changes. All of the above listed health conditions and diseases are almost entirely preventable with a better diet, a little exercise, and a little TLC. We could spend money on health care until the cows come home, but the fact remains: an ounce of prevention…
Yet another excellent piece on the interesting link between migraines, depression, and anxiety in women. Women tend to suffer far more from these health issues than do men. Scientists postulate a few possible reasons: hormonal differences, social and cultural pressures related to gender, and the fact that women tend to attend to the health of their children or mates before addressing their own health problems. There’s no clear-cut answer, and men don’t have an easy time, either: men are prone to heart attacks earlier in life, higher blood pressure, and also tend to ignore serious health issues such as ED, cancer and depression because of the social stigma.
However, whether you’re a pretty pink or a big blue, you can do a lot to ease things like depression, anxiety, and even headaches by getting sufficient Omega-3 fats. Studies overwhelmingly point to the brain and heart benefits of these vital fats.
Get good fats in your body by cutting out trans-fat (found in margarine, processed foods and fried fare), eating more fish, olive oil, nuts and avocados, and taking a fish oil supplement.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites
Howdy, pals! Here’s the latest from the world of health:
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.
In fact, wait…yes, it is definitely time for a Sherlock Award! Congratulations, Journal of Pediatrics!
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!
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).
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?
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
You’re still here? Hey, cut out early and go get some sun! Stretch those legs, Apples. We advocate slacking off once in a while – it’s good for beating stress, which makes you more productive and healthy, anyway. But first, the Friday wrap-up…
1) It’s a Good Thing It’s not 1776…
…or we’d be in a really sorry state of affairs. Britain is kicking our big, flabby behind when it comes to fighting heart disease. The Brits have cut back on smoking, reduced heart attacks, and are about to meet their health goal three years ahead of schedule. That’s right, ahead of schedule – when was the last time our government managed to meet, let alone beat, its own goal deadline?
Our New Year’s Resolution? Show the darn world who has real heart. (And statin-schmatin. We can do it the right way – cut out garbage food, get exercise at least three times a week, and stop smoking.)
Also, let’s set a decent goal. Uncle Sam is big on baby steps when it comes to public health, but we think it’s time to take massive, alpha-dog action. We all know “baby steps” usually amounts to a lot of crawling around and burping and not much stepping. The UK planned to cut heart disease by 40% by 2010, and they’re already at 36%. It’s barely 2007.
Do we even have a number goal? It’s bad enough that we get teased for lacking “culture”. But now we’re going to let them win the “better looking and healthier heart” award, too? If you love your country, better put away the smokes, move those lazy buns, and lay off the junk food. This is America, for cryin’ out loud! We don’t do baby steps here!
2) Celebrities Are Not Health Experts
Our beloved pals over at That’s Fit always cut through the gloss. Check out this clickativity and remember: if it sounds too good to be true, and if there isn’t science to back it up, and most importantly, if Madonna thinks it’s going to save your life, you might want to get a second opinion.
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