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

Mark's Daily Apple

16 Apr

The Trouble with Cured Meats

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Oh, that term: “cured meat”. What is being cured, exactly? (Other than curing meat of any health benefit?) Read on and learn, Apples.

Herbaceous!

A few months ago, Mark recommended herbs as a vegetable you might want to reconsider (these naturally medicinal veggies are excellent in salads or cooked with vegetables and meats). Herbs are vegetables? Yes, they are! Mom’s Organic House tells you why you ought to give herbs a chance. If you are interested in organic living, be sure to subscribe to Mom’s RSS feed…if you’re a web hipster, that is. We love that this blog is so big on being responsible. Your health is yours!

What’s your favorite way to herb out? We’d love to hear about your favorite herbs and how you use them in recipes.

herbs

This is LollyKnit’s Flickr Photo

Best Explanation of Fructose Ever

That pretty much sums it up. Here’s the clickativity.

sugar 1

This is dhammza’s Flickr Photo

Cured Meats and Lung Disease

Remember the big nitrites scare? New evidence confirms the danger of cured meats like sausage, hot dogs, chip meats, bacon and ham. Worst of all: bacon bits! A few of us Bees are vegetarians or “fishatarians”, while Mark firmly espouses responsible meat-eating (keeps things interesting around here).

Whatever your particular persuasion, cured meats don’t belong in anyone’s diet. (We know, we know, bacon is yummy.) Cured meats aren’t fresh, they usually aren’t very lean, and they’re full of all kinds of chemicals, salt, sugar, and dyes. If you want to get protein the carnivorous way, please remember that you’ll do yourself and the environment major favors by choosing organic, grass-fed and free-range products. This is your body, sugar snap! The cure for cured meats: statistics like these.

bacon

This is Gailf548′s Flickr Photo

Big, Bad Pharma

Bad Science’s Ben Goldacre examines the Big Pharma study-skewing controversy. In a nutshell: yes, they skew; but so does everybody. (Wait, is that supposed to make us feel good?) The article is excellent, so if you care about the future of drugs in medicine, or just really have a problem with Big Pharma, be sure to read it. In particular, we want to highlight the excellent idea for removing publication bias (the biggest problem, bar none, with the whole pharmacological picnic). Goldacre suggests that all trials, no matter the perceived utility, be reported in a public database of some sort. In other words, trials should be recorded from the start, not simply because they’re deemed worth publishing in hindsight. It’s one of those “uh, duh!” ideas that is so smart, so obvious, and so sensible, we are left to conclude that absence of said database = world has gone mad. (Check out Mark’s article on Big Pharma.)

16 Apr

Have a Blissed-Out Monday

Take this moment to make the rest of your Monday nothin’ but bliss. You’re just 3 steps away – how easy could it get?

1. Resolve to let the little stuff slide.

Be a duck and just let the little irritations slip right off. People can be grumpy on Mondays, and we never get as much done as we would prefer. Shrug it.

2. Call someone you love.

Whether it’s that pal whose crazy ideas make you feel better about your own goofs, your understanding Aunt Susan, or your significant other, take 10 minutes out of this hectic day to have a friendly conversation. No multi-tasking, either! Give this person your complete focus for ten whole minutes. You will both feel great. That rapidly filling email inbox will not melt your computer if you ignore it for a bit.

3. Eat something!

Between 2 and 4 p.m. today, eat a complex carbohydrate snack such as a handful of nuts or a banana. This will boost your serotonin levels. Wash it down with a big glass of water to wake up and feel alert for the rest of the afternoon.

16 Apr

Are You Up for the Weekly Health Challenge?

Here’s your weekly health challenge:

We all have areas of our health where we would like to improve. For some of us, it’s wanting to lose weight or get fit, while for others, it’s feeling the need to manage stress better. Health concerns can accumulate and quickly turn into a snowball of worries. Soon you’re buried under an avalanche and the pizza delivery service is sounding really good.

This week, I’m going to challenge you to focus exclusively on the single most important health issue you need to work on. If you can tackle your most significant health concern, the rest is cake! (Wait, make that fresh fruit…or…well, you get the idea.)

Tell me what your biggest health issue is in the forum. (You can also comment in the blog forum by simply clicking on the Comments at the bottom of this post.) I promise you, the Bees and I will work with you. You might be surprised to find that other readers are working on the very same health issue. This week, Apples, stop the snowball!

13 Apr

Did You Know We Eat Petroleum?

Did you know that the federal government allows oil to be added to foods? Not the vegetable kind of oil, either – I’m talking about that oil. The oil that runs your car, lubricates machinery, and gets made into clothes and computers and cars and containers. The same oil that is made into makeup and lotion and shampoo and occasionally pet food.

Environmental concerns aside, why is anybody adding oil to foods? It’s known by its common name, mineral oil. Evidently, adding mineral oil is a very common practice in processed and prepared foods because – drum roll – mineral oil doesn’t go rancid like vegetable oil. The reason mineral oil doesn’t go rancid is because it’s not a food.

The disinformation rumor mill frequently buzzes with conspiracy theories about petroleum products causing cancer, behavior disorders, and all sorts of public health concerns. The debate centers on mineral oil used in skincare products and cosmetics. I’m neither a petroleum researcher nor a conspiracy theorist, but I don’t exactly warm to the thought of petroleum being in my food, either. I have no opinion either way about the health of using petroleum-based personal care products. But food? That ain’t right.

If you’re also not a fan of consuming the stuff that comes from a substance used to make bottles, mattresses and other household items that won’t decompose until you-know-where freezes over, then you’ll want to consider avoiding these items – or at least check the ingredients panel:

1. Candy

2. Packaged baked goods

3. Mints and breath sprays

4. Laxatives

5. Many snack foods such as chips and crackers

6. Any product with Olestra, which is an indigestible plastic similar to regular old mineral oil. (Remember anal leakage? This toxic ingredient didn’t go anywhere – the FDA simply let food makers drop the warning label. Nice.)

olestra

If you’re aware of further oil-in-food research or happen to have a handy resource available, please send it my way. (And here’s what the WHO says. And the FDA. And MS experts.)

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12 Apr

Web It Out

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Catch the latest clickativity, Apples!

“Cocaine” Found To Be Illegal

The FDA is calling for the energy drink Cocaine to be banned, saying it’s a drug. Offensive, sure. Drug? Nope. Your tax dollars at work!

cocaine

Frenemies: Stress and Cancer

A link between stress and prostate cancer has been identified.

And on that note: banish stress now. Want more? Identify your stress start point.

Nerd alert! Don’t miss these breaking stories:

Genetic Predisposition to Obesity Identified
Too Much Energy Can Be Dangerous

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