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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Why you should include beets in your diet

Beets are often ignored by shoppers, even if they are available all year round. Perhaps you're one of those who pass by the beet section looking for other veggies. Understanding the benefits of beets might make you reconsider and give them a chance.
Preparing Beets
Whole fresh organic beets offer two vegetables in one. The leaves are edible and tasty if steamed and topped with some butter, lemon or lime and your favorite spices. Those greens are similar to spinach in taste and texture and quite nutritious. Simply separate the beets from the leaves and store them until there are enough to steam. The separated beets can last for days in the fridge.
There are several ways to consume the red beets. The outer skins should be peeled regardless of how you prepare them. Then they can be grated raw and sprinkled on salads. Or chop them up into quarters, steam them and prepare as you would any vegetable.

Raw beets offer the most complete nutrients. And juicing beets with a slow masticating juicer is highly recommended. Juicing a few beets with lots of carrots and an apple or two is the tastiest way to go. And this adds more nutrients intact with important enzymes.
Eight Health Benefits of Beets
(1) Beet juice is alkaline and helps stave off acidosis, a harbinger of all diseases.
(2) Beet juice helps stimulate liver cells and cleanse and protect bile ducts. It also helps relieve the kidneys of stress to help cure gout. It also helps relieve constipation.
(3) Beets help cleanse the blood and create more red blood cells. They are useful for treating and curing anemia. Heavy daily beet consumption has even been used to treat leukemia and other cancers. With normal consumption, one can benefit from beets' anti-carcinogenic properties.
(4) Red beets and their leaves are a high source of folate, which is the natural base of folic acid. Folate helps build tissue and red blood cells. Folic acid from folate is more beneficial for pregnant women than folic acid synthetically derived. It is healthier long term to depend on folate rather than to use folic acid supplements. Unfortunately, the two terms are misused interchangeably.
(5) Beets contain lots of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which help prevent or even cure macular degeneration and other age related eye issues.
(6) Beets are a high source of phytonutrients called betalains. Beet betalains provide strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
(7) Beets help lower blood pressure, maintain blood vessel elasticity, and even help eliminate varicose veins.
(8) Beets are high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, niacin, calcium, iron, and biotin.
It's easy to incorporate beets into your diet. Beets are delicious and versatile. From juicing for a cleansing morning tonic to roasting them for a soup or salad, and even baking with them.

12 Fish You Should Never, Ever Eat

Yes fish, no fish, red fish…OK fish?
Our oceans have become so depleted of wild fish stocks, and so polluted with industrial contaminants, that trying to figure out the fish that are both safe and sustainable can make your head spin. "Good fish" lists can change year after year, because stocks rebound or get depleted every few years, but there are some fish that, no matter what, you can always decline.
The nonprofit Food & Water Watch looked at all the varieties of fish out there, how they were harvested, how certain species are farmed, and levels of toxic contaminants like mercury or PCBs in the fish, as well as how heavily local fishermen relied upon fisheries for their economic survival. These are the 12 fish, they determined, that all of us should avoid, no matter what.

1. Imported catfish
Why it's bad: Nearly 90% of the catfish imported to the US comes from Vietnam, where use of antibiotics that are banned in the US is widespread. Furthermore, the two varieties of Vietnamese catfish sold in the US, Swai and Basa, aren't technically considered catfish by the federal government and therefore aren't held to the same inspection rules that other imported catfish are.
Eat this instead: Stick with domestic, farm-raised catfish, advises Marianne Cufone, director of the Fish Program at Food & Water Watch. It's responsibly farmed and plentiful, making it one of the best fish you can eat. Or, try Asian carp, an invasive species with a similar taste to catfish that's out-competing wild catfish and endangering the Great Lakes ecosystem.

2. Caviar
Why it's bad: Caviar from beluga and wild-caught sturgeon are susceptible to overfishing, according to the Food and Water Watch report, but the species are also being threatened by an increase in dam building that pollutes the water in which they live. All forms of caviar come from fish that take a long time to mature, which means that it takes a while for populations to rebound.
Eat this instead: If you really love caviar, opt for fish eggs from American Lake Sturgeon or American Hackleback/Shovelnose Sturgeon caviar from the Mississippi River system.

3. Atlantic cod
Why it's bad: This one was difficult to add to the "dirty dozen list," says Cufone, because it is so vital to the economic health of New England fishermen. "However, chronic mismanagement by the National Marine Fisheries Service and low stock status made it very difficult to recommend," she says. Atlantic cod stocks collapsed in the mid-1990s and are in such disarray that the species is now listed as one step above endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.
Eat this instead: The good news, if you love fish 'n' chips (which is nearly always made with cod), is that Pacific cod stocks are still strong and are one of Food and Water Watch’s best fish picks. Even better, we have a feel-good-fish recipe that the whole family will love.

4. American eel
Why it's bad: Also called yellow or silver eel, this fish, which frequently winds up in sushi dishes, made its way onto the list because it's highly contaminated with PCBs and mercury. The fisheries are also suffering from some pollution and overharvesting.
Eat this instead: If you like the taste of eel, opt for Atlantic- or Pacific-caught squid instead.

5. Imported shrimp
Why it's bad: Imported shrimp actually holds the designation of being the dirtiest of the "dirty dozen," says Cufone, and it's hard to avoid, as 90% of shrimp sold in the U.S. is imported. "Imported farmed shrimp comes with a whole bevy of contaminants: antibiotics, residues from chemicals used to clean pens, filth like mouse hair, rat hair, and pieces of insects," Cufone says. "And I didn't even mention things like E. coli that have been detected in imported shrimp." Part of this has to do with the fact that less than 2% of ALL imported seafood (shrimp, crab, catfish, or others) gets inspected before its sold, which is why it's that much more important to buy domestic seafood. (Read more about The Not-So-Simple Life of Shrimp  and how to make the best choices for your dinner table.)
Eat this instead: Look for domestic shrimp. Seventy percent of domestic shrimp comes from the Gulf of Mexico, which relies heavily on shrimp for economic reasons. Pink shrimp from Oregon are another good choice; the fisheries there are certified under the stringent Marine Stewardship Council guidelines.

6. Atlantic flatfish
Why it's bad: This group of fish includes flounder, sole, and halibut that are caught off the Atlantic coast. They found their way onto the list because of heavy contamination and overfishing that dates back to the 1800s. According to Food & Water Watch, populations of these fish are as low as 1% of what's necessary to be considered sustainable for long-term fishing.
Eat this instead: Pacific halibut seems to be doing well, but the group also recommends replacing these fish with other mild-flavored white-fleshed fish, such as domestically farmed catfish or tilapia. (Tilapia tacos , anyone?)

7. Atlantic salmon (both wild-caught and farmed)
Why it's bad: It's actually illegal to capture wild Atlantic salmon because the fish stocks are so low, and they're low, in part, because of farmed salmon. Salmon farming is very polluting: Thousands of fish are crammed into pens, which leads to the growth of diseases and parasites that require antibiotics and pesticides. Often, the fish escape and compete with native fish for food, leading to declines in native populations. Adding to our salmon woes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is moving forward with approving genetically engineered salmon to be sold, unlabeled, to unsuspecting seafood lovers. That salmon would be farmed off the coast of Panama, and it’s unclear how it would be labeled. Currently, all fish labeled "Atlantic salmon" come from fish farms.
Eat this instead: Opt for wild Alaskan salmon now, and in the event that GE salmon is officially approved.

8. Imported king crab
Why it's bad: The biggest problem with imported crab is that most of it comes from Russia, where limits on fish harvests aren't strongly enforced. But this crab also suffers from something of an identity crisis, says Cufone: "Imported king crab is often misnamed Alaskan king crab, because most people think that’s name of the crab," she says, adding that she's often seen labels at supermarkets that say "Alaskan King Crab, Imported." Alaskan king crab is a completely separate animal, she says, and it's much more responsibly harvested than the imported stuff.
Eat this instead: When you shop for king crab, whatever the label says, ask whether it comes from Alaska or if it's imported. Approximately 70% of the king crab sold in the U.S. is imported, so it's important to make that distinction and go domestic.
9. Shark
Why it's bad: Problems associated with our eating too many sharks happen at all stages of the food chain, says Cufone. For one, these predatory fish are extremely high in mercury, which poses threats to humans. But ocean ecosystems suffer, too. "With fewer sharks around, the species they eat, like cownose rays and jellyfish, have increased in numbers," Cufone says. "And the rays are eating—and depleting—scallops and other fish." There are fewer of those fish in the oceans for us to eat, placing an economic strain on coastal communities that depend on those fisheries.
Eat this instead: Among the recommendations for shark alternatives are Pacific halibut and Atlantic mackerel.

10. Orange Roughy
Why it's bad: In addition to having high levels of mercury, orange roughy can take between 20 and 40 years to reach full maturity and reproduces late in life, which makes it difficult for populations to recover from overfishing. Orange roughy has such a reputation for being overharvested that some large restaurant chains, including Red Lobster, refuse to serve it. However, it still pops up in grocer freezers, sometimes mislabeled as "sustainably harvested." There are no fisheries of orange roughy that are considered well-managed or are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, so avoid any that you see.
Eat this instead: Opt for yellow snapper or domestic catfish to get the same texture as orange roughy in your recipes.

11. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
Why it's bad: A recent analysis by The New York Times found that Atlantic bluefin tuna has the highest levels of mercury of any type of tuna. To top it off, bluefin tuna are severely overharvested, to the point of reaching near-extinction levels, and are considered "critically endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Rather than trying to navigate the ever-changing recommendations for which tuna is best, consider giving it up altogether and switching to a healthy, flavorful alternative, such as Alaska wild-caught salmon.
Eat this instead: If you really can't give up tuna, opt for American or Canadian (but not imported!) albacore tuna, which is caught while it's young and doesn't contain as high levels of mercury.

12. Chilean Sea Bass
Why it's bad: Most Chilean sea bass sold in the US comes from fishermen who have captured them illegally, although the US Department of State says that illegal harvesting of the fish has declined in recent years. Nevertheless, fish stocks are in such bad shape that the nonprofit Greenpeace estimates that, unless people stop eating this fish, the entire species could be commercially extinct within five years. Food & Water Watch's guide notes that these fish are high in mercury, as well.
Eat this instead: These fish are very popular and considered a delicacy, but you can get the same texture and feel with US hook-and-line–caught haddock.

15 BREAKFAST MISTAKES THAT CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN

We know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what we don't know about the morning meal could inadvertently be packing on the pounds! We consulted with health expert Dr. Lisa Davis, Vice President of Scientific and Clinical Affairs at Medifast, to expose 15 of the biggest breakfast no-nos.


THINK BEFORE YOUR FIRST BITE.

When coworkers bring in treats, the office can become a calorie trap. Davis' advice? "Stop, get centered, take a deep breath, and focus on your health goals," she says. Which is better: the taste of a muffin or the feeling of reaching your goals?

DON'T BE FOOLED BY JUICE.
You may think that gulping down a glass of OJ is a great way to start your day, but many store-bought varieties are packed with sugar. "A healthy serving of orange juice is about as much as you could squeeze out of one orange," Davis says. "A better idea may be to have a glass of water and eat the orange itself: Whole fruit offers you all the vitamins and minerals of the juice, along with tummy-filling fiber that can help tame hunger pangs until lunch."

FILL UP...THE HEALTHY WAY
Davis says pancakes and waffles are a no-no for breakfast, especially when accompanied by sugary syrup. "Instead, try a whole-grain cereal or toast, and try to get some protein in the form of low-fat or fat-free yogurt, lean meat, or egg whites," she says. "You'll feel fuller for longer."

YOU GIVE IN TO TEMPTATION
Breakfast pastries are delicious, but when you're faced with treats first thing in the morning, try your best to resist. "Sugary cereals, toaster pastries, bagels, and cinnamon rolls are tempting, but they're likely to cause a spike in blood sugar, followed by a low-energy crash and hunger, which can cause a snack attack by mid-morning," Davis says.

DON'T RULE OUT COFFEE
You don't have to give up your morning cup of Joe, even if you're vying for a healthier diet. "Unless you have sensitivity to caffeine or a medical condition that makes it unwise to consume it, coffee can be a delicious and natural way to boost your mood and your brain function," Davis says. "If you need more than a cup or two to get going in the morning, you may be sleep-deprived. Coffee is not a substitute for actual zz's."

GO EASY ON COFFEE ADD-ONS
"It's what you add to coffee that can add pounds and inches," Davis says. "Sugar, flavored syrups, whipped cream, and half-and-half can turn a simple cup of coffee into a real calorie-bomb, and if you have one or more each day, those calories will add up. Subtract a little of the sugar and fat gradually and work toward enjoying your morning brew as close to ‘naked' as you can make it."

BE READY WHEN HUNGER STRIKES
If you're often in a rush to get to work and skip breakfast, stock up on healthy snacks. "The key to healthy eating is planning ahead," Davis says. "It makes sense to keep nutritious, non-sugary pick-me-ups in your desk drawer or in the office fridge."

STICK TO ONE SERVING
A serving each of low-fat protein, whole fruit or vegetables, and whole-grain bread or cereal is a great way to get your body and mind prepared for the demands of your day. However, you need to make sure that the number of calories you take in at breakfast works within your overall daily calorie target." Not sure what one serving looks like? Use these tricks to make it easy to stay on track.

DON'T DISCOUNT VENDING MACHINES
"Although they're high in fat and calories, a handful of peanuts from the vending machine will at least give you some protein and fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer than a doughnut will," Davissays. "If you can, skip out to a convenience store and grab a nonfat sugar-free yogurt, a string cheese stick, whole fruit, or a small protein bar."

BE READY TO FACE A BUFFET
You can still enjoy a satisfying meal without stuffing yourself silly at the weekend brunch buffet. Just avoid items like muffins, fruit juice cocktails, and sweets. "Start with eggs, lean meat (try Canadian bacon instead of regular), salmon, fresh veggies, and fruit," Davis says.

REMEMBER THIS MANTRA
"There's an old saying that goes, ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper,'" Davis says. Keep this quote in mind throughout the day, and you'll be on your way to healthy weight loss in no time!

DON'T RELY ON BREAKFAST BARS

Granola and breakfast bars often serve as quick on-the-go meals, but many of them have as many calories as dessert! "Most commercial granola bars are basically oatmeal cookies in disguise, with a lot more sugar than you need," Davis says. "A little natural peanut butter on a folded slice of whole-grain bread is better. Make a couple of these mini sandwiches in advance and keep one in your fridge at home, and one at work."

BEWARE OF BRUNCH COCKTAILS
Whether you're noshing on breakfast or brunch, remember your first meal of the day should nourish you, not knock you out (and add excess calories)! "Go easy on the alcohol," Davis says. "That ounce of vodka in your Bloody Mary adds about 100 calories."

MAKE BREAKFAST MANDATORY
Even if you wake up feeling full from the previous night's dinner, try to munch on a little something in the a.m. "Heavy meals late in the evening are likely to overwhelm your digestive system and can even interfere with a restful sleep," Davis says. "But if you indulge once in a while, keep in mind that even if you feel full the next morning, you haven't had any nourishment since you went to bed. Skipping meals can cause your metabolism to slow down, so if you can, try a slice of plain, whole-grain toast and hot tea, or some apple slices with plain, non-fat yogurt."

ADD A GLASS OF H2O
It's always beneficial to include a big glass of water as part of your breakfast. "[Water will] hydrate you and help you feel full and satisfied," Davis says.

6 Deceitful Foods That Can Cause Weight Gain

Now that you’re officially over your hangover and ready to go forward with a new year’s resolution, it’s time to get serious. Getting rid of that spare tire formed out of a regimen of holiday cookies and spiked eggnog takes some will power. Even though many people will sign up for new gym memberships in 2014, not everyone will drop the pounds they want to lose. There has been a long-time debate about what matters most in the process of weight loss: diet or exercise?
Different nutritionists, personal trainers and doctors all have conflicting opinions. One thing is for sure: eating healthy is a key element for looking and feeling good, but looks can be deceiving nowadays. Many dieters believe they’re being mindful of their calorie intake when they scarf down certain foods, but they could just be contributing to the problem. Here are six deceitful foods that can cause weight gain.

6. Starchy Vegetables

Though they are considered high-quality carbs because of vitamin and fiber content, starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn need to be eaten in moderation if you’re watching your figure. Starch is important for parts of your body, as long as you don’t eat it excessively. It can raise your blood sugar levels and the veggies have a lot more calories than non-starchy ones. So leafy greens like spinach and lettuce as well as portions of carrots and mushrooms would be a better bet to keep off the pounds while giving you loads of potassium and calcium.

5. Bagels

You might want to think twice the next time you get your morning bagel before work. On average, they pack up to 60 grams of carbohydrates and 350 calories, the equivalent of about 4 pieces of bread. Top that with some butter, cream cheese, or some bacon, and you’re just adding fat. The other issue with bagels is that they don’t really offer any redeeming nutritional value. They lack vitamins, fiber, and minerals. There are some lower-calorie options like whole wheat and whole grain bagels — but if a person is trying to shed pounds, they may want to avoid them altogether. Bagels can easily overload you with too many carbs, causing your body to store them as fat.

4. Fruit Juice

Having a slow metabolism makes weight loss almost impossible, and sugar is something that only contributes to it. One way to help you avoid this is to cut down on sweet drinks. But while beverages like sodas and special lattes are scrutinized for this, consuming fruit juices too can cause you to exceed your body’s glucose levels. When that happens, your liver stores it as fat. As a result, drinking juices in moderation can only help people control their weight. Some doctors actually say that juices are just as bad as soda because of the sugar content. It’s an important issue to discuss because these drinks are not just known for causing weight gain, they are also connected to many other health problems.

3. Salad Dressings

Sure, salad has nutritious vegetables that help you to stay healthy and keep your diet on the right track, but when you top them with large amounts of high-calorie dressings, you could sabotage your hard work at the gym. They can quickly ruin your day because they pack an upwards of 200 calories and 20 grams of fat per serving. It’s essential to read the labels and see just exactly what you’re ingesting. In some cases, even the “light” dressings can be counterproductive because they’re higher in sodium and sugar as a way to compensate for lowered calories. It’s also important to pay attention to the serving size, which is usually around two tablespoons — a direction that most people ignore while dousing their salads with dressings.

2. Frozen Yogurt

It’s a great summertime treat for most people, and when having a nice helping of frozen yogurt on a hot day, you may not feel any guilt. But it can be really high in sugar and calories. Add in some toppings like nuts and syrup and you got yourself a dessert. Some frozen yogurts actually contain almost the same number calories as ice cream, and when you eat the fat-free flavors, they just compensate with more sugar to match the calories.

1. Cereals

This may seem like common sense, but you could even be putting on pounds from eating your favorite breakfast cereals. Downing a big bowl of Frosted Flakes or Cap’n Crunch can be a bad start to your stay, especially if you don’t pay attention to the portion size. These foods are high in calories and are loaded with sugar. Even the “healthy” cereals with dried fruit sometimes have a high count. Combine that with milk, some sliced nuts or pecans, and that number grows higher. Even cereals that are considered “healthy” by a lot of people like granola can pack a large amount of calories. So beware!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Why You Need Oil of Oregano for Cold and Flu Season

Oil of oregano could win an award for one of the most effective natural preventives and treatments for the common cold and flu. (By the way, this oregano is not the same species as the one you put in your pasta sauce.).
One reason oil of oregano is considered an essential oil hero is the presence of carvacrol, among the most bioactive components of this herb. This kryptonite of oregano has demonstrated its anti-crime potential in a number of ways; that is, it has antibacterial, antivirus, antifungus, antitumor, anti-inflammation, and antiparasitic properties.
Oil of oregano, which is made from the leaves and flowers of the herb, also contains some other potent compounds that can be helpful when you want to prevent or treat a cold or flu. Here are four reasons why this herb is so potent:
  • Thymol: a natural antiseptic that can enhance immune system function and promote healing
  • Beta-caryophyllin: known for its anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Naringin: enhances the antioxidants in oregano oil, which in turn can improve its ability to fight cold and flu viruses
  • Rosmarinic acid: an antioxidant that also is a natural antihistamine
To enjoy the health benefits of oregano, it’s essential that you chose an oil produced from wild oregano (Origanum vulgare), which is native to the Mediterranean, or from Thymus capitatus, a variety found in Spain. More than 40 other oregano species are available, so be sure to read the label and buy from reputable manufacturers only. 
How Powerful is Oil of Oregano?
For those who want to see what the scientists say, there’s a study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology in which researchers exposed a mouse norovirus (a human norovirus surrogate) to oregano oil and carvacrol. Both treatments were effective against the virus, but carvacrol was better, inactivating the virus within one hour of exposure.
If you want to help prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses on your hands and household surfaces, then you may want to use liquid soap that contains oregano essential oil or add the oil to an all-natural brand you are using now. An investigative team looked at the use of liquid detergent solution with added oil of oregano (0.5%) and found that it was as effective as a commercial antimicrobial soap, but without the harmful ingredients such as triclosan and chloroxylenol (and since the FDA recently banned many antibacterial chemicals why not make a safer homemade alternative?).
Use Oil of Oregano for Colds and Flu
Since the taste of oil of oregano can be strong (which is a good thing!), I recommend diluting several drops of the oil in orange juice, olive oil, or coconut oil. However, according to Theresa Ramsey, NMD, if you place a few drops under your tongue and keep them there for several minutes, the strong taste will be minimal and the results will be faster and stronger (because it gets absorbed faster). If you prefer not to taste anything, then you can purchase oil of oregano capsules at natural product stores.
Before adding oil of oregano to your health regimen, talk with your doctor or health practitioner. The general dosing for oil of oregano for adults is 2 to 3 drops three to four times daily once you have a cold or flu. For preventive or maintenance purposes, take 2 to 3 drops twice a day. If you choose to take supplements, use 100 to 150 mg capsules in place of the 3 to 4 doses daily. To treat a sore throat, you can add 5 to 6 drops of oregano oil to a glass of water and gargle several times a day (I like to place the drops directly in my throat so I’m sure it is doing its magic!).  

Oil of oregano can be given to children, although the strong taste makes convincing them a challenge. Fortunately there are oregano oil supplements specially formulated for youngsters (including natural mint oil to mask the taste of the oregano), and they should be dosed as recommended by the manufacturer. You can also add a couple of drops of the liquid to the bottom of their feet and then cover with socks to trap the vapors. We call this “pizza feet” in our house.
You also can add a few drops of the oil in a diffuser or vaporizer to help clear up a stuffy nose and sinuses. Breathe in the pleasant aroma for a few minutes several times a day.
Finally, you should limit your use of oregano oil to only 7 to 10 days. Oil of oregano is not recommended for infants, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding or anyone who has high blood pressure or heart disease.

Why a Big Mac is one of the WORST Things You Can Eat

Would you still eat a Big Mac if you knew how much your body suffers in the hour after you eat it?
According to Fast Food Menu Price –40 minutes after the Big Mac is eaten, you have lost control of the blood sugar, which makes you want more fast food due to the body’s insulin response lowering glucose levels. Finally, the infographic explains that it can take up to three days to fully digest the sandwich.
  
It continues: “It takes approximately 51 days to digest trans fat. The Big Mac contains 1.5g trans fat. Different studies have proved that trans fats can be linked to heart diseases, obese, cancer and diabetes.”
  

A list of Toxic Ingredients

Did you know that Your Big Mac consists of over 80 ingredients?
100% pure USDA inspected beef, no fillers, no extenders, Prepared with grill seasoning (salt, black pepper),Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar, soybean oil and/or canola oil, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, dough conditioners (may contain one or more of the following: sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated monoglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide), calcium propionate and/or sodium propionate (preservatives), soy lecithin, sesame seed,Milk, water, milkfat, cheese culture, sodium citrate, salt, citric acid, sorbic acid (preservative), sodium phosphate, color added, lactic acid, acetic acid, enzymes, soy lecithin (added for slice separation),Soybean oil, pickle relish [diced pickles, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, salt, calcium chloride, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate (preservative), spice extractives, polysorbate 80], distilled vinegar, water, egg yolks, high fructose corn syrup, onion powder, mustard seed, salt, spices, propylene glycol alginate, sodium benzoate (preservative), mustard bran, sugar, garlic powder, vegetable protein (hydrolyzed corn, soy and wheat), caramel color, extractives of paprika, soy lecithin, turmeric (color), calcium disodium EDTA (protect flavor),lettuce,Cucumbers, water, distilled vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, alum, potassium sorbate (preservative), natural flavors (plant source), polysorbate 80, extractives of turmeric (color),Chopped onions,…
  
Here are just a few dangerous ingredients :
Loaded with sugar: While McDonalds marketing materials say the Big Mac contains only 9 grams of sugar, independent testing has measured up to 27 grams of sugar, mostly in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup(HFCS) in the bun and Special sauce.
Propylene Glycol – Otherwise used in Anti Freeze, engine coolants and shampoos….
According to the safety data sheets of industrial chemical manufacturers, chemicals such as Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol will cause serious health conditions, including liver and heart damage and damage to the central nervous system if sufficient is absorbed by the body.
Industrial caramel coloring is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures. The chemical reactions create 4-methylimidazole, which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats. This is why California recently required foods containing caramel color to be labeled as potential cancer-causing agents.
Polysorbate 80 acts as an emulsifier in food. An emulsifier binds ingredients together to prevent them from separating.
According to the Material Safety and Data Sheet (MSDS) on ScienceLab.com,  Polysorbate 80:
 May cause adverse reproductive effects based on animal test data. No human data found. May cause cancer based on animal test data. No human data found. May affect genetic material (mutagenic). Ingestion of very large doses may cause abdominal spasms and diarrhea. Animal studies have shown it to cause cardiac changes, changes in behavior (altered sleep time) and weight loss (upon repeated or prolonged ingestion). However, no similar human data has been reported.

20 Nutrition Facts That Should Be Common Sense (But Aren’t)

Here are 20 nutrition facts that should be common sense (but clearly aren’t).

1. Artificial Trans Fats Are Not Suitable For Human Consumption

Trans fats are nasty.

Producing them involves high pressure, heat and hydrogen gas in the presence of a metal catalyst.

This process turns liquid vegetable oils into a thick, toxic sludge that is solid at room temperature.

You have to wonder what was going through the head of the person who actually thought of putting this stuff in food and selling it to humans. It is baffling, really.

Of course, trans fats are more than just unappetising. Studies have shown that they are incredibly harmful as well, linked to a drastic increase in heart disease risk (1, 2).

2. You Don’t Need to Eat Every 2-3 Hours

You really don’t need to be constantly eating in order to lose weight.

Studies have actually looked at this and found that smaller, more frequent meals have no effect on fat burning or body weight (3, 4).

Eating every 2-3 hours is inconvenient and completely unnecessary for the majority of people. Just eat when you’re hungry and make sure to choose healthy and nutritious foods.

3. The Mainstream Media Should Never be Trusted For Nutrition Information

The mainstream media is part of the reason for all the nutrition confusion out there.

It seems like every week there is a new study making headlines, often contradicting another study that came out just a few months earlier.

These stories often get a lot of attention, but when you look past the headlines and read the actual studies, you find that they are taken way out of context.

In many cases, there are other higher quality studies that directly contradict the media frenzy (which rarely get mentioned).

4. Meat Does Not Rot in Your Colon

It is completely false that meat rots in the colon.

The human body is well equipped to digest and absorb all the important nutrients found in meat.

The protein gets broken down in the stomach by stomach acids, then the rest of it gets broken down in the small intestine by powerful digestive enzymes.

All the fats, proteins and nutrients are then moved past the digestive wall and into the body. There is simply nothing left to “rot” in the colon.

5. Eggs Are Among The Healthiest Foods You Can Eat

Eggs were unfairly demonized because the yolks are high in cholesterol.

However, studies show that cholesterol from eggs doesn’t raise blood cholesterol in the majority of people (5).

New studies that include hundreds of thousands of people show that eggs have no effect on heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals (6).

The truth is, eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods you can eat.

Almost all the nutrients are found in the yolk, and telling people to avoid the yolks (or eggs altogether) is one of the biggest mistakes in the history of nutrition.

6. Sugary Drinks Are The Most Fattening Aspect of The Modern Diet

Added sugar is a disaster, and getting it in liquid form is even worse.

The problem with liquid sugar, is that your brain doesn’t compensate for the calories by eating less of other foods (7).

In other words, these calories don’t get “registered” by the brain, making you eat more calories overall (8).

Of all the junk foods, sugar-sweetened beverages are the most fattening of all, and that is saying something.

7. Low-Fat Does Not Equal Healthy

The “low-fat” diet promoted by the mainstream nutrition guidelines is a miserable failure.

Numerous long-term studies show that it doesn’t work, neither for weight loss or disease prevention (9, 10, 11).

What’s more, it led to a plethora of processed “low-fat” foods to be brought to the market. Because foods taste bad without the fat, the food manufacturers added a whole bunch of sugar to them instead.

Foods that are naturally low-fat (like fruits and vegetables) are great, but processed foods with “low-fat” on the label are usually loaded with unhealthy ingredients.

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8. Fruit Juice is Not That Different From Sugary Soft Drinks

A lot of people believe that fruit juices are healthy.

It seems to make sense, because they come from fruit.

However, fruit juices contain just as much sugar as sugary soft drinks like coca cola (12)!

There is no fiber in them and no chewing resistance, making it very easy to consume massive amounts of sugar.

A single cup of orange juice contains just as much sugar as two whole oranges (13, 14).

If you’re trying to avoid sugar for health reasons, then you should avoid fruit juice as well. It is just as bad, and the small amounts of antioxidants do not make up for the large amounts of sugar.

9. Feeding Your Gut Bugs is Critical

Did you know that you are actually just 10 percent human?

The bacteria in the intestine, known as the gut flora, actually outnumber human cells 10 to 1!

In recent years, research has shown that the types and number of these bacteria can have profound implications for human health, affecting everything from body weight to brain function (15, 16).

Just like your body’s cells, the bacteria need to eat, and soluble fiber is their preferred fuel source (17, 18).

This may be the most important reason to include plenty of fiber in your diet, to feed the little guys in the intestine.

10. “Cholesterol” is Not The Enemy

What people generally refer to as “cholesterol” isn’t really cholesterol.

When people talk about the so-called “bad” and “good” cholesterol, they’re actually referring to the proteins that carry cholesterol around.

LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein and HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein.

The truth is, cholesterol is not the enemy. The main determinant of heart disease risk is the type of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol around, not cholesterol itself.

11. Weight Loss Supplements Almost Never Work

There are tons of different weight loss supplements on the market.

The problem is that they almost never work. They are claimed to lead to magical results, but fail when put to the test in actual studies.

Even the ones who do work, the effect is too small to really make a noticeable difference.

People who promote magic solutions like weight loss supplements are actually causing harm, because this distracts people from the things that actually matter.

The truth is that the only way to lose weight and keep it off, is to adopt a lifestyle change.

12. Health is About Way More Than How Much You Weigh

People focus way too much on just weight gain/loss. The truth is that health goes way beyond that.

Many obese people are metabolically healthy, while many normal weight people have the same metabolic problems associated with obesity (19, 20).

Focusing just on body weight is counterproductive. It is possible to improve health without causing weight loss, and vice versa.

It appears that the area where fat builds up is important. The fat in the abdominal cavity (belly fat) is associated with metabolic problems, while the fat under the skin is mostly a cosmetic problem (21).

Therefore, reducing belly fat should be a priority for health improvement, the fat under the skin and the number on the scale don’t matter as much.

13. Calories Count, But You Don’t Necessarily Need to Count Them

Calories are important, that is a fact.

Obesity is a matter of excess stored energy (calories) accumulating in the form of body fat.

However, this does not mean that people need to track or count calories, or monitor everything that enters their bodies.

Although calorie counting works for a lot of people, there are many things that people can do to lose weight, without ever having to count a single calorie.

For example, eating more protein has been shown to lead to automatic calorie restriction and significant weight loss. Without restricting calories (22, 23).

14. People With High Blood Sugar and/or Type 2 Diabetes Should Not be Eating a High-Carb Diet

For decades, people have been advised to eat a low-fat diet with carbs at 50-60 percent of calories.

Surprisingly, this advice was extended to include people with type 2 diabetes, which can not tolerate a lot of carbs.

People with type 2 diabetes are resistant to insulin and any carbs they eat will cause a big rise in blood sugar levels.

For this reason, they need to take blood sugar lowering drugs to bring their levels down.

If anyone benefits from a low-carb diet, it is diabetic patients. In one study, a low-carb diet for only 6 months allowed 95.2 percent of patients to reduce or eliminate their blood sugar medication (24).

Although the advice is changing (slowly), many “mainstream” organizations around the world are still telling diabetics to eat a high-carb diet.

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15. Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat, but Neither Does Carbohydrate

Fat has often been blamed for obesity, because fat contains more calories per gram than protein and carbs.

However, this doesn’t really have any practical meaning.

People who eat a diet that is high in fat (but low in carbs) actually end up eating fewer calories than people on low-fat, high-carb diets (25, 26).

This has conversely led many people to blame carbs for obesity, but this is a mistake as well. Plenty of populations have eaten high-carb diets but remained healthy.

As with everything in nutrition, this depends on the context.

Fat can be fattening, carbs can be fattening. It all depends on the rest of the stuff you are eating and your overall lifestyle.

16. Junk Food Can be Addictive

In the past 100 years or so, food has changed.

People are eating more processed food than ever, and the technologies used to engineer foods have become more elaborate.

These days, food engineers have found ways to make food so “rewarding” that the brain gets flooded with dopamine (27).

This is the same mechanism employed by drugs of abuse (28).

For this reason, some (but definitely not all) people can become addicted and completely lose control over their consumption (29).

Many studies have looked at this and found similarities between processed junk foods and drugs of abuse (30).

17. Health Claims on Packaging Should Never be Trusted

People are more health conscious than ever.

The food manufacturers are well aware of this, and have found ways to market the same old junk to the health conscious people as well.

They do this by adding misleading labels like “whole grain” or “low fat” on their foods.

You will now find all sorts of seriously unhealthy junk food with health claims on the label, such as “whole grain” fruit loops and cocoa puffs.

These labels are almost always misleading, and are used to trick people into thinking that they’re making the right choice for themselves (and their children).

If the packaging of a food tells you that it is healthy, then it probably isn’t.

18. Refined Vegetable Oils Should be Avoided

Vegetable oils, like soybean, corn and canola oils, are extracted from seeds using harsh processing methods.

These oils contain large amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids, which are biologically active and humans never consumed in large amounts during evolution (31).

Studies show that these oils can cause oxidative stress and make the LDL lipoproteins in the body become oxidized, potentially contributing to heart disease (32, 33, 34).

19. “Organic” or “Gluten-Free” Does Not Equal Healthy

There are many health trends in the world these days.

Organic food is popular, and going gluten-free is trendy.

However, just because something is organic or gluten-free, it doesn’t mean that it is healthy. For example, you can make all sorts of junk foods out of organic ingredients.

Foods that are naturally gluten-free are fine, but gluten-free processed foods are often made with seriously harmful ingredients that are even worse than their gluten-containing counterparts.

The truth is, organic sugar is still sugar and gluten-free junk food is still junk food.

20. Blaming New Health Problems on Old Foods Doesn’t Make Sense

Heart disease didn’t become a problem until about a hundred years ago.

The obesity epidemic started around 1980 and the type 2 diabetes epidemic followed soon after.

These are the biggest health problems in the world, and it seems pretty clear that diet has a lot to do with them.

For some very strange reason, the health authorities started blaming them on foods like red meat, eggs and butter.

But we’ve been eating these natural foods for thousands of years, while these health problems are relatively new.

Doesn’t it make more sense to suspect all the new stuff instead? Such as all the processed foods, added sugar, refined grains and vegetable oils?

Blaming new health problems on old foods simply doesn’t make sense.

Everybody farts. But here are 9 surprising facts about flatulence you may not know.

Whether you try to hide it or not, you fart. Everybody does.
But even though it's such a routine activity — the average person farts between 10 and 20 times per day — there's a lot about farting that you might not know.
As part of research into the microbiome — the rich community of bacteria that live throughout your body — scientists have learned all sorts of interesting things about the bacteria that produce gas inside your intestines. Here are nine crucial things to know about flatulence.

1) You produce about 500 to 1,500 milliliters of gas per day, and expel it in 10 to 20 farts


This might be more than you'd expect, but it's been measured in controlled studies. The surprisingly hefty amount is the result of bacteria that live in your colon and feed on most of the food you eat, says Purna Kashyap — a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic who studies the gut microbiome.
"There are a lot of carbohydrates that we consume — mainly present in vegetables, grains, and fruits — that our bodies don't have the enzymes necessary to digest," he says. "These end up in large intestine, where microbes chew them apart and use them for energy, through the process of fermentation. As a byproduct, they produce gas."
A huge variety of foods contain these complex carbs that we can't fully digest: virtually all beans, most vegetables, and anything with whole grains. For most people, this leads to somewhere between 500 and 1,500 milliliters of gas daily — the equivalent of half a 2-liter bottle of soda, every single day.

2) 99 percent of the gas you produce does not smell

One of the reasons we produce so much more gas than we realize is that nearly all of it is odorless.
Hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane make up as much as 99 percent of the gas produced in our large intestines by volume. (They're supplemented by air you swallow — more on that below.) All of these gases are odorless, which is why much of the time, farts don't actually smell at all.
The potent stink, research has found, is largely due to the 1 percent or so of compounds with sulfur in them, such as hydrogen sulfide. (This sort of research itself is pretty amazing:One experiment involved two people judging the smelliness of farts of 16 participants who'd been fed pinto beans, collected with the aid of "gas-tight Mylar pantaloons.") 
Bacteria need to consume sulfur to produce sulfurous gases, and though not all foods with complex carbs contain sulfur, many do. They're mainly foods that you probably already associate with farting — things like beans, onions, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and dairy.

3) Gum and soda can make you fart more 

Apart from the gases produced by bacteria, a significant proportion of your flatulence is simply made up of inadvertently swallowed air. It doesn't smell — it's mostly nitrogen and oxygen — but it sounds and feels the same coming out.
Some of this swallowing goes on while you're asleep, but it can be increased by drinking carbonated beverages (after all, you're ingesting the carbonation) and by chewing gum.

4) Farting is the result of a healthy, complex ecosystem in your intestines 

Modern society views flatulence as a negative. This is unfortunate, because in most cases it's the byproduct of a beautiful thing — the intricate ecosystem of bacteria living in your intestines.
"It's a complex ecology, with various organisms coexisting and thriving," Kashyap says. "When a complex carbohydrate reaches your colon, some bacteria will break it down first, and then some of their byproducts will feed other bacteria. The whole community benefits from a single carbohydrate that you consume."
What's more, you also benefit. Scientists are still unraveling the role of the microbiome in digestion, but it's known that the same bacteria that produce gas also generate vitamins and fatty acids that help maintain our colon lining, and may support our immune systems.

5) There's a simple reason why you don't mind the smell of your own farts


As this AsapScience video explains, experiments have confirmed that we find the smell of our own farts less offensive than others'.
The reason: We become habituated to all smells over time. That's why you might notice a scent walking into a stranger's house, but seldom do for your own.
It's also why you become habituated to the characteristic mix of odors produced by the bacteria inside your own body, which differs slightly from everyone else's. As a result, your own farts just don't have the same impact on you — even though they're just as pungent for everyone else.

6) Yes, you can light a fart on fire

Because flatulence is partly composed of flammable gases like methane and hydrogen, it can be briefly set on fire.
We don't recommend it, because of the risk of injury, but if you have to see it, there areplenty of examples here.

7) No, you can't hold in a fart until it disappears 

This might seem obvious, but for whatever reason, people wonder about this question. At times, after holding in a fart for a while for social reasons, it can seem to disappear.
However, this isn't actually possible. It might seem to vanish because you stop being conscious of it, and it leaks out gradually, but the physics of flatulence are pretty straightforward. A fart is a bubble of gas, and there's ultimately nowhere for it to go besides out of your anus.

8) Beano cuts down on gas production by starving these bacteria

In case you're wondering, the over-the-counter product Beano — which claims to "prevent gas before it occurs" — actually works as advertised. Two different controlled trials have found that it significantly reduces gas production in the hours following a bean-filled meal.
The way it works is pretty simple: The pills contain an enzyme called alpha-galactosidasethat cuts complex carbohydrates into shorter, simpler carbs that are much easier to digest. As a result, they get broken down in your small intestine rather than making it all the way to the large intestine, where bacteria would ferment them, producing gas.
However, there's a drawback to habitually taking Beano to prevent gas.

9) Starving your fart-producing bacteria is not a good idea 

For most people, actively trying to limit your gas production isn't necessary, Kashyap says. The amount you produce is the result of both your balance of gut bacteria and diet, and unless you're experiencing other sorts of problems — such as painful bloating — it's not wise to mess with it.
"The knee-jerk reaction, for many people, is to stop eating things that produce gas," he says. "But these foods, which have complex carbohydrates, are nutrition for the bacteria in our gut. You don't want to starve them unless there's a good reason."
Additionally, he notes, many people who believe they suffer from excessive gas production actually just have trouble with the flow of that gas through their intestines, perhaps due to constipation. Or they might make the same amount of gas but emit it more frequently, in smaller doses. In either case, Kashyap says, "by changing your diet, you're not solving the problem and may in fact be harming yourself."
Of course, there are exceptions here: If you produce truly excessive amounts of gas or experience painful bloating, it could be a sign of a problem — such as lactose intolerance — and you may want to see a doctor.