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

Mark's Daily Apple

28 Nov

New Nutrition Labeling System Still Has Flaws

catNew nutrition labels are in the works for a 2008 unveiling. There are some terrific improvements over the current labels. A particular problem I’ve long had with the existing labels is that the numbers are based upon the assumption that you’re following a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet. That’s too much for many women, not enough for many men, and irrelevant for many growing kids. And yet nearly every food and food product in America is measured and judged as if we were all virtually identical and weighing in at 150 pounds. Who actually takes time to adjust the nutritional values for their particular weight, BMI, and body fat percentage? Moreover, how many Americans are even aware that when they see “15% fat” on a label, the food carrying this label is not 15% fat? It seems, in fact, to be the perfect recipe for ambiguity – and obesity. If I wanted to obscure accurate nutrition information – because why would we ever want to present what’s inside on the outside – I’d come up with some imaginary standard and convoluted comparisons, too.

Keep reading…

27 Nov

How Safe Is Our Food?

eggBig Agra has gotten us into an interesting (and sickening) predicament. In light of a solid year of squeamish food poisoning issues, there are clearly some chinks in the armor of food safety. But is it really the government’s role to step in and regulate food safety further? Unfortunately, regulation tends to harm the good guys – raw almonds today, organic spinach yesterday, dairy for far too long now – and effectively underwrite large corporate agricultural interests. And yet. And yet. Currently, testing outfits that monitor food safety so our beef, lettuce, eggs and chicken are ostensibly edible are paid for by the very agricultural interests they test. In other words, it’s a recipe for corruption. While labs may be impartial, the results they gather when testing at-risk foods (such as meat and imported goods) are given over to the company and it’s on the company to report anything to the FDA. That is, the labs don’t have a way to send results directly to a presumably – and I realize the generosity of this idea – impartial guardian of public health. If one lab doesn’t “find” the “right” results, it’s fairly easy for the food company to find another, more affable laboratory. Still, I’m not sure that introducing increased FDA regulation or oversight is the solution here. But since I can’t even keep up with all the burgers that have been recalled since the summer, I feel compelled to ask you:

Keep reading…

27 Nov

Guest Post: Conquer Restless Nights with This Simple Sleep Cure

insomniaA 3-Step Cure for Poor Sleep
By Nick at Health Hackers
I always had a creeping feeling that this modern life I live has negative side effects on my sleep, but I was shocked to learn the extent of it. I never really worried about it too much – that was until something terrible started happening.

I Started Losing My Memory.

I slowly began realizing that I could not concentrate as well as I used to. My short-term memory seemed impaired and I could not control my emotions as much as I used to.

Keep reading…

26 Nov

Dental Decay Before Birth?

sippyThough Americans have access to some of the finest dental care on the planet, American babies are showing increasing rates of dental decay. There are a number of causes. First, the tremendous popularity of bottled water has played a part in higher cavity rates (bottled water is typically not fluoridated). Ironically, tap water is healthier than the pricey bottled options. Second, the prevalent reliance on juices, sweet drinks and milk for children – all high in sweeteners such as sugar and high fructose corn syrup – has contributed to the decay problem. And, finally, studies indicate that dental decay likely begins before children even have their teeth. Infants’ mouths and gums should be wiped clean and gently stimulated with a washcloth several times daily, even before their first tooth breaks. Interestingly, decay can begin in the womb. It turns out that a mother’s dental care regimen has a direct impact upon the developing dentition of her unborn baby. So, if the mother isn’t flossing, rinsing, and brushing consistently, or is following a diet that encourages bacterial growth (e.g. one high in grains and sugars), this can create early dental problems in the child. Though baby teeth are “disposable”, poor prevention and early decay impacts the strength, straightness, and health of the permanent teeth. Moreover, early gum problems can set the stage for systemic illness down the road.

Keep reading…

21 Nov

23andMe

433px Benzopyrene DNA adduct 1JDGPicture this. The year is 2051 and the large biotech company, Probiogenic Solutions, has made huge advances in human genetic research. Backed by internet superpower Google, they have decided to bring their technology to the masses. “Genetics just got personal” is their motto.

It has been decades since Watson and Crick discovered that the human blueprint, at its core, lies in the ever-spiraling structure of the double helix. Since that day in 1953, nearly one hundred years prior, the mysteries uncovered in the tiny strands of DNA speak to the nature of life itself.

Now Probiogenic Solutions wants you to have the information locked up within your cells. The information that can shed light on who you are, where you are from, and what you are made of is at your (and in your) fingertips. Probiogenic Solutions is your modern soothsayer.

Just a sample of your saliva is all it takes.

Keep reading…

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple