Picture of the Day: The Greatest Medicine

"The Greatest Medicine of all is to 
teach people how not to need it"
Wholesome, nutritious food is the key to good health and prevention of chronic medical conditions, including diseases associated with obesity or being overweight.  Food is the greatest medicine.

Image Source:  Unknown.  Please contact me for credit - thank you.

Infographic: The Real Causes of Your Belly Fat

This excellent infographic entitled "What's Really Behind Your Belly Fat?" sets out 15 things that either cause belly fat and/or prevent you from losing it.

Many of the reasons mentioned are important for everyone struggling with stubborn belly fat, but may provide especially valuable clues to those individuals who are slender or in a normal weight range and yet can't seem to lose the extra weight around their tummy.

Some highlights include:

Wrong Eating for Your Body Type
Incorrect Exercise for Your Body Type
Incorrect Exercise Pattern
Over-Training
Low Potassium Foods
Poor and Inadequate Sleep
Environmental Hormone Mimickers
Dieting over Cravings or Hunger
Wrong Protein Consumption
Poor Enzyme Consumption
Hidden Fluid Retainers
Gland Inhibitors
Hidden Sugars
High Stress Equals High Cortisol
Eating for Calorie Reduction and Not Health

Infographic Source:  Dr. Klinton Kranski, DC, ACN




Picture of the Day: Fighting Belly Fat

Fighting Belly Fat

Don't stress out about losing belly fat!  The stress alone will add unwanted inches and pounds to your waistline.  Its a well known fact that belly fat cannot be targeted with spot exercises or specific foods.  That said, a diet consisting of primarily healthy, whole foods is the foundation to successful overall weight loss.  As you lose weight, the fat will begin to come off all over your body, including your belly.  To aid this process, a regular exercise routine is essential.  Experts agree that cardiovascular exercise, combined with strength training, is the best approach.  The added benefit of regular exercise is that it helps with managing stress.

Related:  How to Fight Belly Fat Part I (Infographic)

Image Source:  Unknown - please contact me for credit






Picture of the Day: Food Choices and Consequences

Food Choices and the Consequences - the Choice is Yours!

When it comes to your health and your figure or physique, its all about your food choices!  Consistently choosing natural, whole plant-based foods over junk, processed and fast foods goes a long way toward having a healthy and beautiful body!

Image Source:  Unknown - please contact me for credit




Picture of the Day: Attention to Food and Health

Attention to Food and Health

"People are fed by the Food Industry, which pays no attention to health,
and are treated by the Health Industry, which pays no attention to food."
~ Wendell Berry
Image Source:  RawforBeauty

Infographic: How to Lose Belly Fat Part I

How to Lose Belly Fat - Part I [Infographic] from Super Skinny Me
This infographic entitled "How to Lose Belly Fat" is by Super Skinny Me and is, by far, the best infographic which addresses various factors that are instrumental in both belly fat loss and gain.  Highlights include:

Stress which promotes abdominal fat storage by producing cortisol

Age (particularly in post-menopausal women) affects fat distribution, increases cortisol and belly fat

Smoking has been linked to deeper belly fat because nicotine inhibits fat loss from the belly

Alcohol is high in sugar and empty calories but binge drinking has been specifically associated with belly fat gain.  Alcohol also keeps the liver busy processing toxins instead of fat

Carbohydrates that are refined or highly processed are high in calories and low in fiber, preventing weight loss and contributing to overall weight gain, including belly fat

Trans and Saturated Fat increase total body and belly fat

Junk Food (which includes Processed and Fast Food) is high in refined carbs, saturated and trans fats and, of course, calories - these foods are major contributors to the overweight and obesity epidemic in the United States

Sugar stimulates fat to be deposited primarily in the belly by causing blood sugar spikes and higher insulin levels

Crash and Fad Diets trigger starvation mode and slow down metabolism, causing more efficient storage of fat and reducing or preventing fat burning

Exercise (particularly cardio and strength training) and general physical activity promote overall weight loss, including belly fat

Related:
The Real Causes of Your Belly Fat
Carbs and Your Diet
Fats:  The Good, Bad and Ugly
Fat Burners
Garcinia Cambogia vs. Green Coffee Bean Extract
10 Tips for Guaranteed Weight Loss

Infographic source and further information at:  Super Skinny Me








Picture of the Day: Barnyard Friends

Barnyard Friends


Image Source: Unknown - please contact me for credit - thank you!



Meat and Weight Gain the the EPIC-PANACEA Study

In the EPIC-PANACEA Study, total meat (red and processed meat and poultry) consumption was positively associated with weight gain in both men and women, in normal weight and overweight subjects, and in smokers and non-smokers alike.  This association is thought to be due to the high energy density (i.e., calories) and high fat content found in meat (i.e., animal flesh).

Interestingly, the link between eating meat and weight gain persisted even after controlling for calories.  In other words, consuming the same number of calories from a higher meat content diet results in more weight gain than consuming the equivalent number of calories from a lower meat content diet.  Watch Dr. Michael Greger's video below.

PANACEA (Physical Activity, Nutrition, Alcohol, Cessation of of smoking, Eating out of home And obesity) uses data collected from EPIC.  PANACEA's general objective is to identify and describe what factors determine weight, weight changes and obesity.

The EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) Project was established as a large international collaboration to study the causes of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and other diseases of major public importance.  It also seeks to investigate the relationship between diet, nutritional status, environmental and lifestyle factors and the incidence of cancer and other chronic diseases.  It is the largest study of diet and health ever undertaken, with over 520,000 participants in 10 countries.


References:
The EPIC Project

Related:
The Truth About Eating Animals (Infographic)

Picture of the Day: Abs are Made in the Kitchen

Abs are Made in the Kitchen, Not the Gym!



Want to lose that belly fat?  Focus on your food choices!  Leading nutritionists and fitness experts agree that a healthy diet is the basis for successful weight loss and maintenance.  

 Image Source:  Unknown - please contact me for credit




Picture of the Day: Fast Food - The Original!

Fast Food - The Original!

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the original fast foods!  Just grab, wash and eat!  

Image Source:  Unknown - please contact me for credit

Infographic: Fats - Good, Bad and Ugly

Fats play a key role in both optimal health and weight loss.  Nowadays, there is so much conflicting information out there about which fats are good and which are bad - its enough to make your head spin!

This infographic entitled "Fats - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" illustrates six types of fat, and why each type is considered healthy or unhealthy, and lists typical foods in which each type of fat is found.  Here are some highlights:

The Bad and the Ugly:

Trans Fats increase total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol), while lowering HDL (good cholesterol) and are found in most fast foods and many junk foods.  If a food label contains the words hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated or shortening, it contains trans fats.

Saturated Fats increase total cholesterol and LDL and may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.  Saturated fats are typically found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, milk, cheese, butter and other dairy and animal products, as well as in palm and coconut oil.

The Good:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are unsaturated fats that lower blood pressure and triglycerides, fight inflammation and control blood clotting.  Excellent plant-based sources include flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and walnuts.

Monounsaturated Fats (MUFAs) raise HDL and lower LDL.  They are typically found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive, canola and peanut oils.

The Not-So Bad and Not-So Good Either:

Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs) can help lower total cholesterol and are found in nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and many oils, including corn, safflower, grapeseed, wheat germ, walnut, cottonseed, soybean, sesame, sunflower and vegetable oil.  Recent research suggests that consuming too many omega-6 (in relation to omega-3) can be harmful to the heart.  Currently the recommended ratio is 2:1 to 4:1 (omega-6s to omega-3s) but the ratio for of the standard American diet (SAD) is around 10:1.  Therefore, it is recommended that PUFAs be consumed in moderation.

It should also be noted that some nutrition experts, like Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., say that any oil, even olive oil, can increase the risk for heart disease and should be avoided - view the four-minute video.

Related:
Fat Facts
The Benefits of Vegetable Oil

Infographic Source:  Unknown - please contact me for credit - thank you!








Picture of the Day: Bed and Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast
... Precious ...



Image Source:  SuperFreeGift.com



Picture of the Day: The Best Doctors





“The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.”


-- Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990”     

Image Source: Unknown - please contact me for credit














Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritarian™ Pyramid

Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Nutritarian™ Food Pyramid illustrates and summarizes the plant-based diet that he explains in detail in his best-selling book, Eat to Live:  The Amazing Nutrient Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss.

At the foundation are raw and cooked vegetables (excluding potatoes), followed by:

Fruits
Beans and Legumes
Seeds, Nuts and Avocados
Whole Grains and Potatoes

At the top are sweets, meat and dairy products which, if eaten at all, should be consumed rarely and in very limited quantities.  When considering including any animal products in your diet, it is important to first read Dr. Fuhrman's entire book, but particularly Chapter 4, "The Dark Side of Animal Protein".  Other excellent resources on this topic include:

Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death - a video in which Dr. Michael Greger offers practical advice on what to eat to prevent, treat and even reverse many of the top 15 killers in the United States

Animal Protein (Meat and Dairy) Cause Cancer - a video in which Dr. Collin Campbell discusses why a pure, healthful vegan (whole food plant-based) diet is optimal to good health and how animal protein causes cancer and other chronic diseases

More detailed information on Dr. Fuhrman's Pyramid can be found HERE.

Related:
The Vegan Food Pyramid
Vegetarian & Vegan Food Diet Pyramid
Raw Food Pyramid
The New American Plate for Weight Loss










Google Maps Confirm Veganism is on the Rise

This map was made using Google's Trends application and shows a fast growing interest in veganism.  At the center of veganism is the whole-food, plant-based diet.  Vegans do not consume (or use) any animal products.
Over the past 5 years, Americans have been eating less meat.  The downtrend accelerated in 2008, with the average American now eating 12.2% less meat than in 2007.  And, the USDA expects a continued decline in meat consumption.

10 Healthy Green Foods for St. Patrick's Day Infographic

Holidays are always filled with family, friends, food and drink.

Around St. Patrick's Day, we see a lot of green colored food:  sheet cake, muffins, pastries, doughnuts, milkshakes, popcorn beer and other foods and beverages that usually contain loads of simple carbohydrates, fat and synthetic food dye, FD&C Green No. 3.

This infographic entitled "10 Healthy Green Foods for St. Patrick's Day" suggests whole food options that are naturally green, healthy and easy on your waistline if you are on a diet:

Apples (Granny Smith are delicious with organic almond nut butter)

Avocados (nutritious and filling, they work well in many appetizers, salads and main dishes)

Grapes (a healthier alternative to green popcorn, cotton candy and sugary breakfast items and desserts)

Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, red and green leaf lettuce salads)

Kiwi Fruit

Celery sticks with natural, organic nut butters make great snacks and munchies

Asparagus makes an excellent and nutritious side dish

Fresh Mint leaves make spectacular bright green garnish for both food and beverages, like tea

Raw, organic Pistachios and Pumpkin Seeds to nibble on are healthier than salty, roasted nuts or chips

Infographic Source:  Sarah M. Chaplin















Picture of the Day: These Boots Were Made for Walkin'

These boots were made for walkin'
Little Piglet in Red Rain Boots!



Image Source:  27.media.tumblr.com

Infographic: Carbs and Your Diet

Carbohydrates are the main energy source for our bodies.  Is important to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy carbs.  Consuming too many "bad" carbs and not enough "good" carbs causes weight gain, impedes weight loss and can put one at risk for various illnesses and diseases.

This infographic entitled "Good Carbs, Bad Carbs and the Ugly Truth About Your Diet" is a very simple, yet informative, illustration of healthy and unhealthy carbohydrates, the Glycemic Index (GI) and the Glycemic Load (GL).  In summary:

Bad Carbohydrates are refined and processed and are absorbed by the digestive system quickly, which causes blood sugar level to spike.  This, in turn, causes the body to store excessive sugar as fat.  Processed, junk and fast foods (like soda, cereals and white bread) are typically loaded with bad carbs.

Good Carbohydrates are unrefined and unprocessed and contain dietary fiber.  They are absorbed by the digestive system gradually and do not cause blood sugar level spikes.  Whole grains, legumes, beans, lentils and many fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of good carbs.

Related:  Good vs. Bad Carbs

Infographic Source:  Low Carb Foods


Picture of the Day: Love is ...

Love is a Four-Legged Word ...



Infographic: Good vs. Bad Carbs

People are confused about carbohydrates.  This is partly due to popular high-protein - low-carb diets, many of which have demonized carbs.

Throughout this blog, whenever the subject of carbs comes up, I try to emphasize the the fact that carbs are not created equal.

There are the simple carbohydrates that are bad for your health, cause weight gain and prevent weight loss.  People who eat a standard American diet (SAD) typically consume excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates.

And, then there are the complex carbohydrates that are good for your health and play a key role in successful weight loss.  People who eat a whole food, plant-based diet rich in fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, raw nuts and seeds, unrefined grains typically and avoid processed, junk and fast food, typically consume a good amount of healthy complex carbs, while avoiding the unhealthy, fat-causing simple carbs.

This infographic entitled "Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs" explains the difference between healthy and unhealthy carbs.  It also illustrates how the Glycemic Index (GI)  measures how a particular food raises blood sugar levels.  Finally, it lists some common foods and their ranking on the GI scale to help you to make healthier food choices.

In summary, complex (good) carbohydrates:
  • Are high in fiber and nutrients
  • rank low on the Glycemic Index (low GI is good!)
  • help you to feel full with fewer calories
  • naturally stimulate your metabolism
Related:  Carbs and Your Diet

Infographic Source:  Low Carb Foods





Picture of the Day: Save Water

Nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes to
raising animals for food.
SAVE WATER.  GO VEGAN.


Image Source:  Unknown - please contact me for credit ~ thank you!




Infographic: How Farms Contribute to Superbugs

Individuals eating a plant-based diet should be aware that, when considering food safety and E. coli outbreaks, vegetables and fruits can be as potentially dangerous to eat as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or dairy.

Its not that the fruit or vegetable itself is dangerous.  But, any fruit, vegetable or plant can become infected with E. coli - a bacteria found in the intestines of farmed and other animals and their waste.

So, how do vegetables and fruits get infected?  The short-answer is cross-contamination.

This infographic entitled "How Farms Contribute to Superbugs" illustrates in a simple, straight-forward manner how antibiotics used on factory farms hurt every one's (animal and human) health.

Just as importantly, it also illustrates some of the ways livestock agriculture causes crops and produce contamination:
  • Low doses of antibiotics are put into animal feed and water to spur growth and ward off illness
  • Antibiotic-resistant bacteria develop in the guts of the animals
  • Bacteria from the animals' guts get onto meat during slaughtering and processing
  • Animal waste contaminated with bacteria migrates off farms:
  • Flies and farmers carry it away
  • Exhaust from barns blow it into the air
  • Manure-based fertilizer taints crops
  • Humans handle and eat the meat and contaminated produce, breathe the air and get antibiotic-resistant bacteria on their skin or in their bodies that cause serious, hard-to-treat infections
Related:  

Further Reading:

Infographic Source:  Redbook








Magnesium, Health and Diet

Did you know that for every molecule of sugar you consume, it takes 54 molecules of magnesium for your body to process it?

According to Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle :

"The typical American diet, which is rich in fat, sugar, salt, synthetic vitamin D, phosphates, protein, and supplemented calcium, not only is deficient in magnesium but actually increases the need for magnesium in the body."
A poor diet plays a key role in magnesium depletion but is not the only cause.  Other causes include soft water, certain prescriptions and over the counter medications, alcoholism and substance abuse, mental and physical stress, aging and certain diseases.

A deficiency in magnesium has been linked to a long list of diseases and chronic health conditions including heart disease, hypertension, asthma, diabetes, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, strokes, kidney stones, obesity and eating disorders.

What You Can Do:

Avoid eating processed, junk and fast food, particularly foods that are high in sugar like soft drinks, commercially prepared fruit juice and alcohol, as well as foods that have been refined like bread, pasta, pastries and snacks made from white flour.

Instead eat a whole-food, organic plant-based diet which typically includes a variety foods that have high levels of naturally occurring magnesium.  Whenever possible, choose foods that are organic - i.e., grown in well-mineralized soils that have not been treated with NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) fertilizers:

  • Whole wheat grain
  • Wheat germ and bran
  • Spinach and other leafy greens
  • Kelp and other sea vegetables
  • Artichokes
  • Sweet Potato
  • Squash
  • Avocado
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Cantaloupe
  • Tomato
  • Flax seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Almonds
  • Pine nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Dried Herbs
  • Nutritional Yeast

Further reading:
Magnificent Magnesium - The Neglected Mineral We Cannot Live Without
Deficiency of This Vital Mineral May Result in a Shorter Life
Causes of a Lack of Magnesium








Picture of the Day: To the Moon!

FOR ALL THE ANIMALS !!
I love you
to the
moon 
and back



Image Source:  Unknown - please contact me for credit - thank you!

Infographic: How Happy is the Meal You're Paying For?

For those of us who are parents, we know how impressionable young children can be.  Even as we go to great lengths to teach them the importance of eating healthy, wholesome food, corporate food giants like McDonald's, undermine our best efforts by marketing fast food meals to our children.

This infographic entitled "How Happy is the Meal You're Paying For?" traces the origins of the Happy Meal, provides some troubling statistics on childhood obesity, and explains how McDonald's (the world's largest distributor of toys!) uses toys as marketing incentives to target and encourage children to choose specific menu items.

It also gives some details concerning the San Francisco Healthy Food Ordinance, which banned toy giveaways with children's meals, unless those meals met certain nutritional standards.  Not surprisingly, the Happy Meal failed to meet those standards so McDonald's got around it by charging a mere 10 cents for the toys.

The infographic points out that in the face of criticism and public pressure, McDonald's has committed to changing the nutritional content of the Happy Meal.  Lowering the fat and sodium content and adding a fruit cup may make the meal healthier.  But, it will still be fast food. And, so long as the toys will continue to be a part of the marketing to children campaign, kids will continue to choose those meals.

Related:
The Long-Term Effects of that Fast Food Meal
The Unhappy Meal

Read More:
CBS News: Sad News:  Happy Meal ban won't stop kid obesity


Infographic Source:  FrugalDad



Abuse of Antibiotics in Our Food and the FDA - Infographic

Unsafe levels of antibiotics in our meat and dairy?  Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our meat and poultry?  You betcha!

According to various reports, about 80% of the antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals and put in their feed for the purpose of preventing disease brought about by administering massive doses of growth hormones, steroids and other drugs to these animals, feeding them the wrong foods, and keeping them in crowded, unsanitary and otherwise deplorable living conditions.

Why should we be worried?

Credible reports say that the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals (and consequent consumption by humans of those antibiotic residues as well as antibiotic resistant bacteria routinely found on retail meat) has led to the increasing and alarming emergence of "superbugs" that have a greater resistance to antibiotics.

The fallout from consuming antibiotics in our food:  we are at a dangerous risk of getting a disease that will not be treatable with drugs.  This is already happening in hospitals across the U.S.!  (Related:  "Nightmare Bacteria" in Your Diet)

How real is this threat?

In a letter to Congressional leaders, a broad coalition of prominent medical and public health groups has stated:

"Overuse and misuse of important antibiotics in food animals must end, in order to protect human health."

The Director General of the World Health Organization recently said:

"Things as common as strep throat or a child's scratched knee could once again kill ... A post-antibiotic ear means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it."

What has the FDA done to protect us and avert an impending health crisis?

This infographic entitled "How the FDA Has Failed to Protect You Against Antibiotic Abuse" examines the FDA's failure to address antibiotic use in livestock over the course of the past 35 years.  It also illustrates the progress that has been made in Europe at the same time.

Things We Can Do:

As more people become aware of the real dangers lurking in our meat and dairy, they are becoming more proactive and taking matters of their health into their own hands:  namely, significantly reducing consumption of meat, poultry and dairy products, or eliminating them altogether from their diet by adopting a plant-based diet.

Related:  Drugs in Milk and Meat (Infographic)

References:
NRDC: Saving Antibiotics:  What You Need to Know About Antibiotics Abuse on Farms
Americans Under Threat from Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs
Consumer's Union:  Antibiotic Resistance

Infographic Source:  Natural Resources Defense Council







Picture of the Day: Don't Let Them Tame You!

You were wild once.  Don't let them tame you.
~ Isadora Duncan ~

Image Source: Unknown - please contact me for credit ~ thank you!

All creatures on the planet were created to be free.  The enslaved farm, lab, circus animal was the same desire to be free that every human does!  When you choose to adopt a plant-based diet, you are not only doing your health a world of good, you are doing a world of good to the other creatures who have the same right to be here as we do!

Why No Oil (Even Olive Oil) in Your Diet

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. MD of the Cleveland Clinic and author of the book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure has shown that coronary heart disease can be reversed 100% of the time, using a plant-based diet.

Many people eating a plant-based diet assume that vegetable, nut and seed oils are a healthier alternative to butter or margarine and are, therefore, okay to consume.

 However, Dr. Esselstyn says that any oil, even olive oil, increases the risks for heart disease and should be avoided.

In this four minute video, Dr. Esselstyn briefly explains some of the data (from long-term studies) behind the "no oil" recommendation and what a heart-healthy diet should look like:

Foods to be Included:
  • Grains
  • Legumes, Lentils
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit

Foods to be Avoided:
  • Oil
  • Fish
  • Fowl
  • Meat
  • Dairy

Infographic: America's Fast Food Obsession

This infographic entitled "America's Fast Food Obsession" illustrates how the fast food industry expanded into an empire of tens of thousands of franchises and outlets around the world selling billions of burgers.

The infographic includes a timeline showing when various well-known franchises (Dairy Queen, KFC, Taco Bell, McDonald's, etc.) were established and highlights some key events in the expansion of these corporate giants.

Statistics and other facts are also given.  For example:

Sales Figures

The sales figures of McDonald's and Yum! Brands in 1976, 2002, 2005 and 2008.  McDonald's went from selling "only" $3 Billion in 1976 to a whopping $23.5 Billion in 2008.  Here its interesting to note the rate of escalation from 2002 onwards!

Pricing

The prices of McDonald's hamburger, fries and Big Mac then and now (adjusted for inflation).  Seems that a hamburger is cheaper now!

The average markup for soft drinks (1200%) and for fries (500%) ... Wow!

Average Daily Calorie Intakes

The average American takes in 3.760 calories a day, while only burning 1,850 per day!  (That just might explain the obesity epidemic in the United States.)

Calorie Breakdown of a Few Typical Fast Food Meals

McDonald's = 2,270 calories
Big Mac = 540
Large Fries = 570
Large Chocolate Shake:  1,160

Burger King = 2,200 calories
Whopper:  760
Large Fries:  500
Large Chocolate Shake:  960

Dairy Queen = 2,300 calories
1/2 Pound Classic Burger with Cheese:  840
Large Fries:  500
Large Blizzard:  1000+

Taco Bell = 1,020 calories
Big Chicken Burrito:  460
Potato Nuggets:  280
Large Pepsi:  280

KFC = 1,040 calories
3 Pieces of Chicken:  600
Potato Wedges:  260
Coleslaw:  180

Caloric Intake Timeline 1971 to 2000

The carb increase for men and women and the increase in the prevalence of obesity in the United States (from 14.5% to 30.9%)

Who Loves Fast Food?

According to this Infographic:

54% of fast food consumers have an annual household income of under $49,000

Low household income families have a 50% obesity rate

Related:  
The Long-Term Effects of That Fast Food Meal
The Unhappy Meal
Deconstructing Fast Food

Infographic Source:  Unknown - please contact me for credit.  Illustration & Design by Ellie Koning.








Picture of the Day: Its Our Day!

Its Our Day!
Happy International Women's Day!
(March 8)

http://youngwomenmisbehavin.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/womenday.gif?w=388&h=278
Image Source:  Unknown - Please contact me for credit ~ thank you!



Picture of the Day: Packaging Redesigned

How Fast Food Packing Should Be Designed!
by Peg Pongpaet


food_packaging
Image Source:  Pek Pongpaet

"Nightmare Bacteria" and Your Diet


Recently, an article entitled "'Nightmare bacteria,"  appeared on the Reuters website. The article states that:

Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria
"Nightmare bacteria" that have become increasingly resistant to even the strongest antibiotics infected patients in 4 percent of U.S. hospitals in the first half of 2012 and in 18 percent of specialty hospitals ... "

The article further states that:
"The CDC is trying to make health care facilities more aware of the resistant germs, since their spread can be controlled with proper precautions and better practices ... "
When I read articles such as these, I have to wonder:  has the bacteria somehow grown stronger or have we simply grown weaker?

While I am no scientist, I am aware (like most of you) of one well-known fact:  if antibiotics are used too often, they become less and less effective.  In other words, repeated and improper use of antibiotics is known to be the primary cause of the increase in the number of drug-resistant bacteria.

If you rarely use antibiotics, you may think you are safe.  But, did you know that antibiotics may be present in your food? (Related: Drugs in Milk and Meat)

If you regularly eat meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products, you are likely ingesting tiny amounts of antibiotics and other drugs in every meal.  This is because the animals in the factory farms are given massive doses of growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics.  These drugs are often present in their tissues and organs at the time of slaughter and end up on your plate.  While there are specified "acceptable" limits of drug residues in that can be "legally" present in food, these are sometimes exceeded - perhaps more often than we think!

Even when the legal limits are not exceeded, it would seem that ingesting even tiny amounts of antibiotics on a regular basis over a period of time (i.e., decades or a life-time) would increase an individual's chances of having a drug-resistant infection.

The drug residues present in the animal products that we eat every single day is yet another prudent reason to avoid eating meat and dairy altogether and switch to a healthy, whole-food, organic plant-based diet.

Related:
Real Food - Its Harder to Find Than You Think!
How the FDA Has Failed to Protect Your From Antibiotic Abuse
What is in Your Hot Dog?
The Food Industry's Most Evil Ingredients
The Truth About Food Additives


Mission Critical:  Preventing Antibiotic Resistance
Battle of the Bugs:  Fighting Antibiotic Use
Antibiotics:   Misuse puts you and others at risk


Infographic: How Fiber Works


I constantly talk about how very important dietary fiber is to good health and how essential it is to successful weight and belly fat loss and natural detoxification.

So, I when I found this fabulous infographic entitled "How Fiber Works", I couldn't wait to share it!

In a very easy to understand and straightforward manner, this infographic illustrates and explains:

-  The basic difference between soluble and insoluble fiber

-  How, once soluble fiber is ingested and absorbs water, it turns into a gel-like substance which entraps food, sugar, cholesterol and fats in the stomach, slows their absorption into the body and carries them out through the digestive tract

- How insoluble fiber and psyllium moves through the system largely intact and helps to promote regularity

Examples of specific foods that contain soluble and insoluble fiber are also given:

Soluble Fiber is found in oats and oat bran, dried beans and peas, barley, flax seed, oranges, apples, carrots and psyllium husk.

Insoluble Fiber is found in whole-wheat products, wheat oat, corn bran, flax seed, green beans, cauliflower, potato skins, fruit skins and root vegetable skins.

I hope that this helps to explain how dietary fiber plays such a key role in weight loss, detox and optimal health and why so many leading scientists and nutritionists recommend a whole food, plant-based diet.  Meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products do not contain any dietary fiber and have a tendency to remain (and "rot") in the colon.  

Infographic Source:  National Fiber Council

Related:  Fiber and Weight Loss





Infographic: Long Term Weight Gain Foods

This infographic entitled "Long Term Weight Gain Foods" illustrates nine foods or food groups that cause us to be overweight or obese.

The top three are french fries, potato chips and sugary drinks (sodas and soft drinks).  Be aware that diet and low-calorie sodas promote weight gain just as much as their non-diet counterparts.

Next comes red and processed meats, other potato sides, and sweets and desserts.  Notice that the picture of the meats includes chicken.  Poultry has been marketed as being a healthier and weight loss friendly alternative to red meat.  This is simply not true, as I will explained in another post.

At the bottom are refined grains, packaged juices (commercial fruit juice) and butter.  Here it is important to note the distinction between refined and unrefined grains, aka carbohydrates.

Thanks to the popularity of certain high-protein diets, all carbohydrates have been lumped together and villainized.  Sadly, many people have been misled to believe that all carbs promote weight gain.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  While refined grains (simple carbs) do contribute to weight gain, unrefined grains (complex carbs) have been shown to play a key role in weight loss.

Related:
A Sip of Soda:  How Soft Drinks Impact Your Health (Infographic)
The Complete Guide to Calories

Infographic Source:  topoftheline99.com





Picture of the Day: More of These!

More of These ~ Less of These (Foods)

Want to lose weight and be healthy?  Skip the cheeseburgers, tacos, pizza, cookie and doughnuts ... and eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead ... remarkable things will then happen!!!



Image Source:  sevenzero.tumblr.com

Infographic: How Soft Drinks Impact Your Health


Are you still drinking soft drinks?  Do you need a few excellent reasons to stop drinking soda?

This infographic entitled "A Sip of Soda: How Soft Drinks Impact Your Health" explains the harmful health effects of various ingredients found in sodas - and gives nine very good reasons to stop drinking it.   Some highlights include:

Sodium benzoate found in sodas has been associated with asthma, eczema and urticaria (rash).

High levels of phosphoric acid in soda has been linked to osteoporosis, kidney stones and other renal problems.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained in most soft drinks has been associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome - a condition that is linked with an elevated risk of both heart disease and diabetes.

 The inner lining of soda cans contains BPA, a cancer causing chemical that is thought to wreak havoc on the endocrine system, causing premature puberty and reproductive abnormalities.

Acid and sugar in sodas are known to easily dissolve tooth enamel, leading to gum disease.

The sugar in soft drinks causes a spike in blood sugar and an insulin burst which, in turn, causes the liver to turn any sugar into fat.

It is estimated that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times:

  • 70% of cardiovascular disease is related to obesity
  • 42% of breast and colon cancer is diagnosed in obese individuals
  • 30% of gall bladder surgery is related to obesity.

Related:
What's Really in the Can (of Soda)?
The Food Industry's Most Evil Ingredients
The Truth About Food Additives


Infographic Source:  Term Life Insurance



Picture of the Day: Much Needed Shopping

Much Needed Shopping!

Awww ... lil' bunny doing some much needed shopping!  Wouldn't the world be such a nicer place if we all grocery shopped the way (veggies, veggies and more veggies!) this little guy does?

Image Source:  Imgur.com


Picture of the Day: I'm Not on a Diet!

I'm Not on a Diet!  I'm Eating Healthy


That's right!  If you eat a healthy, plant-based diet of whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, and avoid fast, junk, processed, convenience and other foods high in fat and refined carbohydrates ... you will not be on a "diet" to lose weight!  The weight will come off naturally and healthily!

Image Source:  The Little Red Journal



Infographic: The Long Term Effects of That Fast Food Meal

Let's face it.  We are addicted to fast food.  50 Million Americans eat it daily, while nearly half (44%) of all Americans eat it at least once a week.  The scientific evidence is indisputable:  fast food contributes to being overweight and obese, prevents weight loss and puts you at a higher risk for a myriad of diseases.

So, what about the occasional cheeseburger, beef and cheese burrito, sausage and egg croissant, or crispy fried chicken with bacon sandwich?   Many people who believe they are eating healthy also think that eating fast food once in a while is relatively harmless.  But, that is simply not the case.  According to mounting research and studies, many compounds in fast foods linger in the body for the long term, and contribute to aging and various health issues (not to mention weight issues).

This infographic, entitled "The Long Term Effects of That Fast Food Meal" illustrates some startling facts about what is actually commonly found in fast foods and how that affects our health.  Some highlights include:

Antibiotics, Hormones and Steroids

These drugs are given to farmed animals in very high doses and residues are routinely found in the meat, poultry and dairy products that we consume.  Government regulations specify "legal" residual levels of these drugs, but these are often exceeded and are not discovered through testing.  But, even when not exceeded, it is estimated that 80% of the antibiotics used in the United States are in our food.  The long-term consequences this poses to us include:

1.  Resistance to beneficial antibiotics
2.  Depletion of good bacteria in the gut
3.  Intestinal discomfort
4.  Obesity

Other Additives During Processing

HCAs (Heterocyclic Amines) which occur in meat cooked at high temperatures like hot dogs and rotisserie chicken are linked to colon, stomach and breast cancers.

TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone) is a chemical preservative and is a form of butane.  High doses (between 1 and 4 grams) of TBHQ can cause nausea, vomiting, delirium, tinnitus, disorientation, breathing difficulties and collapse.  Five grams of the stuff can kill you.  Its worth noting that 11 pounds of McNuggets contain about 1 gram of TBHQ.  It is also worth noting that TBHQ is not limited to use in fast foods, but is widely used in many processed and convenience foods that have a long shelf life, as well as in cosmetic and baby skincare products.

Sugar in fast food is not limited to that in sodas, shakes and and other sweet foods - it is, in fact, found in the most unexpected places.  For example, a Whopper not only contains 68% of your RDA of sodium, it also contains 11 grams of sugar - that is about 55% of the RDA for women and 31% of the RDA for men!  Over-consumption of sugar has been linked to weight gain and obesity, blood sugar inconsistencies, aging skin and wrinkles, cataracts, dementia and other medical conditions.

4-MI (4-methylimidazole) is a chemical used in colas to get the caramel color and is known to be a carcinogen.  While Coca-Cola and Pepsi contend that this ingredient is safe, they have nevertheless altered their formulas to reduce (not remove) the amount of 4-MI found in their products.

PUVOs (Polyunsaturated Vegetable Oils also known as Polyunsaturated Fats or PUFAs) are used to cook (fry, grill, etc.) fast food.   While the Omega-6 Fatty Acids found in PUVOs (PUFAs) are considered essential, when consumed in excess they are considered dangerous and have been linked to cancer, heart and autoimmune disease, lung, liver and reproductive damage, compromised immunity, digestive problems and, of course, weight gain.

Cholesterol and Heart Attacks, Strokes

Dietary cholesterol is found in high amounts in fast foods and builds up in the body over time.  One in six Americans have high cholesterol which is known to increase the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Meat and Colon Cancer

Meats (especially red and processed meats) in fast foods clog the colon and increase the risk for colon cancer.  Eating just 3.5 ounces of processed meat daily (i.e., just 1/4 pound of hamburger) increases colon cancer risk by 36%!

The recommendation:  avoid fast food, even the occasional meal!  If you must eat fast food, the infographic gives suggestions on specific foods to skip.

Infographic Source:  Kymberly Snyder



Related:  The Unhappy Meal
              Deconstructing Fast Food
              America's Fast Food Obsession




Picture of the Day: Holy Crap!

Holy Crap!  I'm Batman!



Image Source:  Unknown - Please contact me for credit ~ thank you!


Picture of the Day: Shocking ...

Says the Horse to the Cow, Pig, Chicken, Duck, Fish and other Farmed Animals:  

"Shocking, that anyone would want to eat me, I'm sure you all agree"

(But doesn't every animal, even the human kind, feel that way?  What makes a horse, dog or cat different from any other animal?)



Processed People: Documentary

 "We are processed people because we let them process us."



According to Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, FABM, IBCLC, a processed person is someone who has bought into the media hype and advertising about the way we have always eaten and conducted our lives.  We are processed straight through the system from birth.  We are taught to eat things that are not really food and are convinced that its okay to eat these things.  Dr. Gordon says:  eat real food, don't eat "food-like things", don't be fooled into eating processed food.  "We are processed people because we let them process us.


Picture of the Day: One Love

One Love
Including All the Beautiful Animals

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Image Source:  Evolve Campaigns!

Infographic: It's Summertime!

When I saw this infographic, entitled "Its Summertime", I had to laugh out loud, even if the message is no laughing matter.

The infographic illustrates an abundant amount of America's favorite food:  cheeseburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, sausages, fried chicken, pizza, chicken wings and nuggets, salami and cold cuts, nachos, french fries, onion rings, cookies, cakes, chips, pies, doughnuts, ice cream, brownies and soda - in other words, fast, junk, convenience, processed and fried food high in saturated fat, sugar and other refined carbohydrates, cholesterol, preservatives, additives, chemicals and calories.  Also, according to the infographic:
  • Summertime means food festivals, amusement parts, baseball games and eating contests
  • Americans love to celebrate the warm weather by getting together and enjoying food with friends
  • When the enjoyment of summer leads to eating just one too many favorite foods, you may experience stomach troubles
The infographic source is Pepto-Bismol - the pink liquid that is designed to relieve diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, indigestion and other stomach problems caused by overindulgence in the type of food and drink that is illustrated.  I guess you can't blame them for promoting all of the greasy, sugary, salty, highly-acidic food that causes or contributes to digestive problems - they need for you to eat this kind of food so they can profit from your misery!  Unfortunately, their products don't cure coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, joint pain or obesity.

Always consider the source of the information being given and the true intention behind the marketing!  Your health depends on it!

Infographic:  The Long Term Effects of That Fast Food Meal
Infographic:  America's Fast Food Obsession

Summertime American Eats infographic


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