The ability to grow food and have fresh produce on hand is something that many people are embracing. Thanks to the use of pesticides and various other chemicals to enhance the preservation and size, many prefer to grow their own. However, in many situations, it is not feasible for people to grow their own foods, so they turn to a farmer’s markets to help. One such market is the Table Farmers Market in Monroe, WA.
A recent article found in the Monroe Monitor showed that people are embracing this style of shopping more than ever before. This year, they have extended their offerings to include things like gluten-free bakery goods and much more. Opening day was June 22nd and the results were uncanny. The sea of people gathering to purchase fresh produce and baked goods was remarkable. It shows how much Americans want to get healthy and buy fresh, homegrown and baked products.
Is America making a switch toward health? Really focusing on what one puts in their mouth is a monumental feat. Switching from store-bought produce to farm fresh is a big difference. The use of pesticides and other chemicals is what concerns most people. The use of fresh produce was overlooked for many years in light of processed convenience foods. It could be that the public has had enough and that the farm to table movement is here to stay. If any other farmer’s market is like this one, it is an indication that people are becoming more concerned about their health.
Medical and health experts are cracking down on sugar levels in food at your local grocery store and at the restaurants you frequent, and they have good reason to do so.
New studies have shown that sugar is the main culprit of much of the obesity epidemic we are seeing today in men, women and children. In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, fat was the target of most health critics. The goal was to get rid of fat at all costs. One of those costs was increasing the sugar levels in foods that didn’t even require sugar for taste in the first place. If you saw a box of crackers that said low fat or low calorie, you could be almost sure that the sugar levels would be higher than the regular version of that food item.
Food labels are being revised
Now, there has been a shift with nutrition experts and their target at what is the leading cause of obesity and heart disease in America. With sugar at the forefront of this obesity problem, nutritionists and dietary experts are calling on the United States government to change food labels to more accurately show how much sugar is in each food you buy at the store.
Soon, you will be seeing updated food labels that not only show the total amounts of sugar in each food item but the added sugars as well. Experts are hoping that this deters buyers from purchasing items that have extremely high amounts of sugar in them.
People like to see green spaces where they live and work, and generally speaking, this is not necessarily for health reasons. Rather, it simply looks more appealing to glance out your window and see trees and plants than it does to see concrete blocks and sidewalks only.
But a new body of research has been tying greenery and spaces that include a lot of flowers and trees to better physical and mental health overall. Could this be more than a pleasing aesthetic?
It is possible that these correlations are not offering necessary evidence that having plants in your home is better for you, but some evidence does point in this direction. For example, plants do you take in the carbon dioxide that humans breathe out, and they also release oxygen that we need to bring in. In addition, several studies have shown that nearby plants can help absorb pollutants in the air, such as formaldehyde.
There are certainly a few downsides to having specific plants nearby, however. For example, many people have negative and allergic responses to certain plants. For example, number of individuals are allergic to pine.
If, however, you’re not allergic to any specific types of plants, consider adding more greenery into your home environment. You can do this in a number of ways, but one of the most useful and pleasing ways is to start an herb garden in your kitchen window. You might also consider simply putting more planted flowers around your house or plants, such as ferns.
The Food and Drug Administration recently finalized new requirements for nutrition labels effective 2018. The changes are intended to provide consumers with a simpler nutrition breakdown as well as a more accurate portrayal of portion sizes, added sugars and calorie count. These revisions have been met with mixed reactions, especially from the sugar industry. So the question is, how bad is sugar for you, really?
Sugar is a simple combination of the molecules fructose and glucose. When sugar is digested in the intestine, it is broken down into its parts. Glucose can be digested by any of the body’s cells, whereas fructose is metabolized almost exclusively by the liver. Surprisingly enough, the sugar added to processed food – such as high fructose corn syrup – is composed of the same two molecules, just in slightly different concentrations. The same is true for so-called “natural” sweeteners. So what is the issue?
The majority of experts agree that there is no real difference between table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. The issue with added sugar has more to do with quantity than with composition. One bottle of Pepsi contains approximately the same amount of sugar as three apples, and none of the fiber. The way foods containing added sugar are packaged allows for rapid sugar consumption not typically found in food items with naturally occurring sugar.
Sugar in moderation is not a problem for the majority of people, but ingesting excessive sugar can seriously impact health. Weight gain is the most common problem associated with sugar, likely due to fructose. The liver is nearly entirely responsible for metabolizing fructose, and the liver is known for converting fructose to fat. A more detailed account of how sugar impacts the body can be found here.
Overweight and obesity are both serious problems in the United States today, and they are becoming increasingly bigger problems in other countries of the world as well. But a recent study has shown that despite many efforts from the government and private organizations to reduce overweight and obesity levels in the United States, obesity has risen in women. As a side note, levels have seemed to stay the same for men in the United States.
These recent findings have shown that first of all, both overweight and obesity levels are way too high to begin with in the United States. 40 percent of American women and 35 percent of American men are obese. In addition, a whopping 17 percent of children and youths are considered obese.
In recent years, however, one study has looked particularly at adult trends. The parameters of the study go from 2005 to 2014. The data was taken from 2800 women and 2600 men. During this nine year period, statistics show that obesity has increased in women by 5%. But the level of obesity in men has stayed the same. For children and teens, the recent study has shown that a small increase can be seen, but mostly, things have stayed the same.
If you are overweight or obese, nutrition and fitness experts recommend a healthy diet full of dietary fiber, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and plenty of water. You should be getting at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise 5 to 6 times per week.
Did you know that a normal man or woman in America will consume an approximately 3400 mg of sodium every day? The FDA recommends only 2300 mg of sodium per day for an average adult American, which means that we are all eating too much salt.
What’s the problem with eating too much salt on a regular basis? Too much sodium in your diet can be a major risk for several dangerous health complications. These health complications mainly include heart disease and stroke. The reason heart disease and stroke are major risks for those who consume too much salt is that high sodium levels in your body will increase your blood pressure.
But where is all this salt coming from? You may feel like you don’t use a lot of table salt on your dishes when you sit down at the dinner table. This may be true that you aren’t pouring salt all over your food, but sodium is actually hiding in many of the foods you eat, and you likely don’t even know it.
For example, one medium order of Arby’s curly french fries contains 1250 mg of sodium. A regular bagel sandwich from Einstein Bros. contains 1410 mg. Even a tablespoon of Heinz ketchup has 160 mg of sodium in it.
In this way, if you want to reduce your intake of sodium, you need to start reading labels more closely. In addition, look for reduced sodium items, and nix the table salt altogether if you can. Using various other spices will add needed flavor without the cost to your health.
If you are at a healthy weight, it may come as a surprise to you that nearly one in three American adults are now considered to be in the obese category. Being obese is extremely dangerous to your health as it increases your risk of having type II diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, being overweight or obese may have ramifications for your bones and even your stress levels and overall mood.
How a Mediterranean Diet Can Help
You have likely heard about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, but do you really know what is included in a diet like this? When you think of the Mediterranean, you might think of Italy, pasta and lots of delicious French bread on the French Riviera. But this is not what encapsulates the Mediterranean diet.
Researchers who have been studying this type of diet have found that it cannot only help you lose weight, but it can improve your heart health overall because it contains high amounts of healthy fats, little animal protein and lots of fruits and vegetables. The truth is, people who live in the Mediterranean eat fish more than any other type of protein, and even then, they don’t consume huge quantities of fish and other seafood.
In addition, they’re eating lots of healthy fat in the form of olive and grape seed oil. The amount of carbs they eat is actually low compared to what most people think. So if you’re looking for a way to drop weight and make your heart healthier, consider a traditional Mediterranean diet to help yourself achieve these goals.
You already know that many men and women in America are overweight or obese, and there are a number of products and services being sold on television and the Internet to help with this epidemic of overweight and obesity. But do any of them really work?
One recent story of a woman who lost almost 100 pounds says that you can lose weight on your own without the help of gadgets and gizmos being sold on the Internet. She managed to do this amazing feat by just making weight loss fun.
Kacey Lauchnor of Herriman, Utah Lost Almost 100 Pounds
Kacey Lauchnor grew up in a family who did not eat healthily on a regular basis. She laughingly says that any vegetables they ate were covered with cheese for fried. As she went off to college, her unhealthy eating habits continued, and even after she was married, she seemed to be becoming increasingly bigger as the years went on. Her husband had the same problem, and her journey to help herself and her husband lose a significant amount of weight began when her husband was denied health insurance because of his weight.
Together, they embarked on a diet and fitness plan that was actually fun for them. They joined several different fitness classes at their local community center and learned how to eat better at home as well.
In the end, Kacey’s husband managed to lose 85 pounds, and she lost nearly 100 pounds. If you are looking for a way to lose weight, take a page out of Kacey’s book, and make it fun!
For years, people have been told to eat less salt. The hugely popular paleo diet, which is based on consuming what our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic times, recommends limiting salt based on evidence of low salt intake during the Paleolithic era. A low salt intake has been touted to help lower blood pressure and help people live a longer life.
Recent evidence suggests that a low-salt diet might actually be harmful to one’s health, causing serious health consequences, according to Medical News Today. A new study in the Lancet found that low sodium intake may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Compared with people who had an average sodium intake, the rates of these issues were higher among those who had a low sodium intake, in spite of whether or not participants had high blood pressure. The researchers defined low salt intake as less than 3,000 milligrams a day. This is higher than the current sodium intake recommendations in the United States.
As a result of this study, the researchers recommend that only individuals who have high blood pressure reduce salt intake. They advise against universal limitations on salt. In addition, the researchers believe that the current salt intake recommendations may be too low. Lowering sodium intake should only be targeted towards those individuals that also have hypertension and have a current diet that is high in sodium.
Do potatoes contribute to the risk for high blood pressure? Researchers seem to think they do. According to the New York Times, a large study conducted by the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital looked at whether or not eating potatoes more than four times a week would increase the risk of hypertension. This study followed over 187,000 men and women over 25 years and found that even after controlling for smoking, body mass index and physical activity, the participants that ate potatoes four times or more per week had a 17 percent increased likelihood of developing hypertension compared to those that ate potatoes only once a month. The risk was the same regardless of whether the potatoes were baked, fried or mashed. Interestingly enough, the consumption of potato crisps were not link with an increased risk of blood pressure in either women or men.
Potatoes have a high glycemic index. Therefore, it is believed that potatoes cause a fast rise in blood glucose levels. This is associated with inflammation and blood vessel problems. These problems may increase the overall risk for high blood pressure. The researchers recommend swapping one serving of potatoes a day with a vegetable that has a low glycemic index, such as sweet corn or peas. Rather than just focusing on one food, researchers suggest additional studies to determine the overall role that diet plays in the regulation of blood pressure.