Category Archives: fitness

Lower your risk of memory loss, commit to a healthy lifestyle

FoodFacts.com’s mission is to educate consumers about what’s really in the food products available on our grocery shelves. We take great care to inform our visitors about ingredients that may actually be harmful to our health and the real benefits of eating a healthful diet and committing to a healthy lifestyle.

Today we read about a new study out of UCLA that shows a clear and valuable benefit to adapting a healthy lifestyle and sticking with it. It appears that folks with healthy habits are at a reduced risk for memory loss than those whose habits aren’t as healthful.

UCLA researchers teamed up with the Gallup organization for a national poll of over 18,000 people. The survey asked participants questions about their memory as well as their lifestyle.  The researchers then reviewed the results to see if there was any link between healthy behaviors and memory throughout adult life.

Participants were asked five very simple questions:

• Do you smoke?
• Did you eat healthy all day yesterday?
• In the last seven days, on how many days did you have five or more servings of vegetables and fruits?
• In the last seven days, on how many days did you exercise for 30 minutes or more?
• Do you have any problems with your memory?

Of course, the memory question relied on the participant’s own perception of his or her cognitive abilities. The survey showed that healthy eating, not smoking and regular exercise were linked to better memory among the participants.

Those between the ages of 18 and 39 were less likely to report healthy behaviors than those older adults over 60 years of age. Those who reported the healthiest habits were the least likely to report problems with their memory. People who only engaged in one healthy behavior were 21 percent less likely to report memory problems, those who engaged in two were 45 percent less likely, and adults who engaged in more than three positive behaviors were far less likely to report memory problems. Seventy percent of the older adults engaged in at least one healthy behavior compared to only 61 percent of middle-aged adults and 58 percent of younger adults.

It was noted that young adults participating in the survey were the most likely to engage in unhealthy habits. 25% of middle-aged adults participating were smokers compared with only 12 percent of those over the age of 60. Younger adults also reported eating less fruits and vegetables than the older survey participants.

Memory issues were reported from 26 percent of the older adults and 22 percent of the middle-aged adults. The researchers said these figures were expected among adults of these age groups, however, they said they were surprised that 14 percent of young adults reported memory problems too.

Researchers noted that it’s possible that older adults are engaging in healthier behaviors because they are more likely to listen to their doctors’ advice. They also noted that this survey speaks to the need for further research to potentially aid and enhance cognitive function throughout a lifespan.

Fruits. Vegetables. Exercise. No smoking. FoodFacts.com can get on board with these healthy habits at every age. And as we age, we’d all like to envision ourselves as fully functioning, active older adults. Let’s commit to that healthy lifestyle every single day.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/261358.php

What’s really in Snapple Apple!

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Foodfacts.com looks into what’s really in Snapple “Apple.” Many consumers and bloggers recently took notice that “Snapple Apple” contains zero apples! Instead, this “apple” drink contains pear concentrate. Isn’t this false advertising? The Consumerist recently reached out to Snapple in regards to this matter to receive the following e-mail back:

snapple-logo1

“Thank you for contacting our Company regarding our ingredients in our products.

Our Company complies with all applicable labeling regulations promulgated in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory bodies. Product flavor components that form part of our “natural” or “natural and/or artificial flavors” ingredients are considered proprietary to our Company.
If you have a concern regarding the intake of this product, we suggest that you contact your health care provider. If you have known sensitivities to any substance listed in the ingredient statement, we advise discontinuing use of the product.

Thanks again for contacting us.

Sincerely,
Consumer Relations”

So why doesn’t Snapple Apple use actual apple juice in their “apple” drink? The Consumerist points out that a real apple apparently doesn’t provide the same “apple” taste some people expect. However, pears are somehow able to provide the “true apple flavor.”

Apples score very high at Food Facts! They provide plenty of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and lutein, (an antioxidant which promotes eye health in preventing macular degeneration, light sensitivity, and cataracts.) Snapple Apple is missing out.apple

Next time you’re looking for an apple juice or any type fruit juice, make sure to look for “100% pure” or “100% fruit juice” to get all the nutrients of the fruit or vegetable.

Food for Health – 5 Powerful Food Types To Boost Your Health

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Food for Health – 5 Powerful Food Types To Boost Your Health

Foodfacts.com is teaming up with our friends over at foodforyourhealing.com to give you 5 Powerful Food Types to boost your health! In the effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle, eating food for health is one of the most important nutrition choices. Choosing the right food for health involves both knowing what to look for when you are grocery shopping, as well as what your body needs. There are five important food types that should be taking into consideration. Let’s look at what these types of foods are and the benefits they offer your body.

1. Anti-anaemic Foods

The first food type is anti-anaemic foods. When eaten regularly these foods will help control or even prevent the onset of anaemia, a condition wherein there is a deficiency of iron, an essential component of haemoglobin in our blood. Haemoglobin is a protein molecule found in red blood cells that carries oxygen. We obtain most of our iron from our diet and therefore need to include these foods in our health meal plan. Some anti-anaemic foods to choose from include pistachios, mustard greens, curry powder, asparagus, green peppers, lentils and liver.

2. Anti-carcinogenic Foods

Anti-carcinogens are substances that can help reduce the risk of contracting cancer. With cancer rates being as high as they are, it’s not difficult to see why eating foods that contain anti-carcinogens is crucial to our overall health and well-being.

As a general rule of thumb when choosing anti-carcinogenic foods, look for those that are low in saturated fats and high in omega-3 fatty acids. A very popular example is salmon. Also look for foods that are high in fiber as these help to prevent colon cancer, as well as prevent hormonal aberrations that promote the development of prostate cancer in men. Plant proteins and foods with a higher calcium content fall into this category as well. In addition to salmon, some examples of anti-carcinogenic foods include mustard greens, garlic, olive oil, carrots, blueberries, and broccoli.

3. Antioxidant Foods

The third group of foods are known as antioxidant foods. Basically what antioxidants do is help to protect and strengthen our immune system. Everyone has heard of “free radicals” in the buzz about the benefits of antioxidants. Free radicals are molecules that are created when oxygen interacts with cells in our bodies, damaging them and resulting in molecules missing an electron. These highly unstable molecules aggressively seek out electrons from nearby tissue cells in the body, damaging their DNA and killing them. This leads to many ailments and health conditions, including atherosclerosis and cancer. Antioxidants help prevent free radicals from attaching to our cells by capturing and neutralizing them.

When trying to eat a diet high in antioxidant foods, you need to eat more fruits and vegetables, as these foods contain antioxidants in the highest quantities. Some foods that are high in antioxidants are blueberries, apricots, broccoli, mustard greens, green peppers, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes.

4. Diuretic Foods

Foods containing diuretics assist your body with fluid removal. This prevents bloating and water retention in your body, and can also help relieve symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome in women. Diuretic foods can also accelerate with the removal of toxins from our bodies via our excretory system. However, when eating natural diuretics it is best not to overdo it. If eaten in excess, they can result in the removal of nutrients from the body. Examples of these foods include celery, dandelions, parsley, melon, tea, asparagus, coffee and artichokes.

5. Laxative Foods

Lastly are healthy foods containing laxatives. Laxatives enhance our bodies’ ability to excrete stool and relieve and prevent constipation. Nearly everyone has heard of that old constipation remedy of eating prunes. However prunes are not the only type of natural laxative out there, and it’s important to know some of the other laxative food options in order to keep your bowels functioning efficiently. It may seem unimportant, but proper bowel function plays a major role in preventing a host of intestinal conditions. Some natural food laxatives include apples, bananas, broccoli, turmeric, ginger, cauliflower, tomatoes and avocados.

After going through all five of these critical food groups, it’s pretty easy to see the similarities between them. Eating good food for health therefore includes eating a whole lot more fruits and vegetables, and a whole lot less fatty meats. This is the only body you’re ever going to get, so it’s vital to take proper care of it!

Article provided by FoodForYourHealing.com

blog.foodfacts.com $50 Giveaway!

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Foodfacts.com is having a $50 Visa Card Giveaway! Here is how it works.

- Answer the question below in the comment box.

- Deadline for submissions is Monday April 18, 2011 at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

- Our staff will read all of your responses and select the Best 3 answers.

- We will then Post a poll on our Facebook page and the Person who recieves the Most Votes by Thursday April 21, 2011 at 12:00 p.m Eastern Standard Time, Will be the winner of a $50 Visa Gift Card!

- The poll for voting will be up shortly after the submissions close and can be seen here: http://www.facebook.com/FoodFacts

- Please make sure you give us your real Email so that we can contact you if you win!

Here is the question:

How has blog.foodfacts.com helped you or your family? If we haven’t helped you, what could we change or add to our site to benefit you more? We are always looking for ways to improve our site so please let us know!

Froot Loops Healthier in Australia & New Zealand

Some American food manufactures make healthier versions of their products in other countries because those countries have stricter food policies. An example of this is Kellogg’s Froot Loops, here is the American version’s nutrition information and here is the Australian & New Zealand version’s nutrition information.

Watch here as we point out the differences:

It’s really amazing to us that the U.S.A. can allow these processed and sugar laden foods with controversial ingredients but it appears that other westernized countries eat a healthier version of the product. And we wonder how our childhood obesity rates are out of control?

Do you eat in your sleep?

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For Leslie, it all started around menopause: the fatigue, the weight gain and the eating in the middle of the night. Sometimes she would have absolutely no memory of getting up to eat, but would find a mess in the kitchen. Other times, she would feel half-awake but out of control and compelled to get out of bed and find food.

I had a strong suspicion that Leslie had a parasomnia that we call sleep-related eating disorder. The key features are: 1. Nocturnal eating while asleep or half-asleep and therefore there is no or little recall of the events but there is evidence of eating or there are witnesses. 2. Bizarre and sometimes dangerous things are consumed. 3. Elaborate food preparation often takes place but in a careless, sloppy manner 4. There are often underlying eating disorders and/or a primary sleep disorder. As she continued her story, I became more convinced that indeed Leslie had this disorder.

At first, the episodes occurred perhaps once a week, then it was more frequent and now it was nearly every night. At first, the things that she was eating were pretty normal but rarely very healthy. Carbs, fat and the occasional protein.

She was alarmed by the time that she made a baked potato in the middle of the night. “Do you know how long it takes to bake a potato! It scares me that the episodes last that long and also the reason I know that I baked it in the oven, rather than microwaving it, is because the oven was still on in the morning.”

Then the things that she was eating got a bit bizarre. For example, one time, her husband found her trying to eat a frozen veggie burger. But what brought her to the sleep center was the episode where she found an open, half-eaten can of cat food and she was not sure if she had really fed it to her cat.

As of yet, there is not a lot of research on this disorder. Prevalence rates are estimated to be approximately 4% of young adults which is not an insignificant number. The prevalence rates are even higher among people with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

Typically, people are in their 20s or 30s when they present with this complaint, but the fact that Leslie was in her early 50s and just going through menopause was a clue that she might have an underlying sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea, which often appears or becomes worse when women go through menopause because the loss of estrogen means the muscles in the throat are not as toned as they once were.

Accordingly, the diagnostic workup should include a thorough evaluation for another underlying eating or sleep disorder. An overnight sleep study is usually performed and the person is asked to keep a sleep diary for two to four weeks to document what he or she recalls and what evidence there is of their nocturnal eating.

This disorder should be distinguished from night-eating syndrome, which involves excessive eating between the evening meal and bedtime. This disorder is characterized by complete nocturnal awakenings and fully conscious eating in the middle of the night. No bizarre foods are consumed and the eating behavior/food preparation is not sloppier than usual. In this disorder, it is less likely that the patients have an underlying sleep disorder and more likely that they have longstanding issues with food and weight gain.

That brings us to some of the health consequences of sleep-related eating disorder and night-eating syndrome. People can gain a lot of weight and sometimes over a short period of time. They can develop type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol and it can be difficult to manage these disorders with the usual medications if people are consuming excessive, empty calories in the middle of the night. In sleep-related eating disorder, people can ingest toxic substances. They can also leave the stove on, thereby endangering themselves and their loved ones. Patients can have problems in their relationships because they are waking up their bed partners. Some patients even bring food back to bed, so even if it wouldn’t bother you if your spouse got up every night, few of us would want to wake up to find our spouse in the bed pulling apart a greasy chicken and throwing the carcass under the covers. Finally, patients are very psychologically disturbed by how out of control they feel.

There is not much research on what treatments might help these patients. Of course we treat the underlying eating or sleep disorder. If there is none or that approach does not resolves the symptoms, then we try medications such as topiramate or zonisamide, which are anti-convulsants. Other medications that have been given with some success are dopaminergic agents, benzodiazepines such as Clonazepam and opiates. With Leslie we lucked out; she did indeed have severe sleep apnea and when we treated it all her nocturnal eating stopped.

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs on Tuesdays on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/08/get-some-sleep-do-you-eat-in-your-sleep/

February is American Heart Month

American Heart Month has been around since 1963 the goal is to help raise awareness for America’s #1 killer…Heart disease. A good amount of having a healthy heart deals with nutrition and the good and bad foods Americans are consuming.

Here’s a video of 5 things you can do to have a healthier heart:

To add to that list…
-Control your portion size
-Plan ahead and create daily menus
-Allow yourself an occasional treat

And don’t forget exercise is extremely important in keeping your heart healthy.

Different Types of Sports Drinks: Are They Healthy?

Sports Drinks | Foodfacts.com

Sports Drinks | Foodfacts.com

Foodfacts.com has learned that the body sweats in order to maintain proper body heat, and in the process, electrolytes are lost. The kidneys also conserve fluid and electrolytes by cutting back on urine production during dehydration. Water is essential for proper bodily function. Loss of water fact, after 4%, the capacity for muscular work declines, after 5% heat exhaustion, 7% hallucination, and after 10% you experience circulatory collapse and heat stroke. Sports drinks aren’t the only way to consume electrolytes. Eating a normal diet will provide the body with more than enough electrolytes needed for exercising and physical activity. Continue reading

Nutrition Secrets For a Flat, Fat-Free Stomach

Nutrition Secrets | Foodfacts.com

Nutrition Secrets | Foodfacts.com

Foodfacts.com came across some interesting stomach-reducing nutrition tips that we we’re passing along.

Cut Calories:

Cutting calories is the key to maintaining a trim midsection. The only way to see a solid set of abs is in the absence of body fat. To achieve this goal a person must reduce calories. However, what I find is people go whole hog and drop caloric intake too much and too fast. When reducing calories make sure it is not too drastic. This slows your metabolism and allows you to store more stubborn fat. When you reduce calories and increase energy output the body will be forced to burn fat all over, not just in one area. I’m not saying to starve, simply drop the junk food and reduce calories by 10 to 15percent. That may mean cutting out the donuts. Continue reading

Helpful Foods When Exercising

Helpful Foods When Exercising | Foodfacts.com

Helpful Foods When Exercising | Foodfacts.com

Many of us may select fruit as a good food before or after working out because it’s quick, easy, and healthy too and we can take it with us. However, certain fruits may have more value to us than others, depending on our activities. Continue reading