Sugar – It’s a Sticky Situation

Sugar.

Parents don’t want to give it to their kids. Adults don’t’ like it because it turns, quite quickly, to fat. But clever packaging and the misconceptions natural sugar and no added sugar tend to only raise more questions. Is all sugar created the same? Can you learn to navigate the sticky sweet sugar labels? What’s the difference in added, natural, modified, and fake?

According to a recently published article on cnet.com, “The US Office of Disease Prevention and the World Health Organization say you should get no more than 10% of your daily calories from added sugar each day — and even better is limiting added sugar to 25 grams (or six teaspoons) in total.” So if the first step includes knowing we should limit our sugar intake, the next step moves us into the tricky task of decoding, you guessed it, sugar itself.

Added sugar.

Just like it sounds, added sugar is, as you’d assume, added…by either you or a manufacturer. The various added sugars can be derived from several sources including coconut sugar, can sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar.

Natural sugar.

Certain foods like, for example, fruit, is a whole food and the sugar included is in its natural form. An apple doesn’t have added sugar and, again, as you’d assume, offers the added benefits of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. While a fruit’s natural sugar, fructose, does affect your body and can raise both blood sugar and insulin hormones, it’s bound to fiber…something that aids your body in slowing down how fast you’re absorbing the naturally occurring sugar.

“Natural sugar, like the sugar found in whole food like fruits, is definitely part of a healthy diet for most people,” explains Jayne Williams, a certified nutritional consultant and clinical nutrition graduate student. “While fruits do contain low levels of fructose, which is a sugar, the overall nutritional value of a piece of whole fruit with all the vitamins, fiber and nutrients is well worth including in a healthy diet.”

Fructose should not, however, be confused with the often-added ingredient high fructose corn syrup. This chemical-made sugar is often a used as a sweetener in many processed foods.

Modified natural sugar.

The honey you add to your oatmeal and the agave you put in your smoothies are natural, but they’re sugar all the same. “Modified natural sugars are those that start from a natural source but need slight ‘modern intervention’ to make it to your table. Coconut sugar, raw honey and organic pure maple syrup all have some additional minerals and vitamins,” says Williams, “but are still sugar and can affect your blood sugar levels more than natural-occurring sugars in whole foods.”

Processed sugar.

Often called fake sugar, processed sugar has been stripped of any nutrition or health benefits. The modification process renders fake sugar difficult for your liver to process as it contains high levels of fructose. White sugar, cane sugar, and agave nectar, even if it’s labeled as low-glycemic, fall into the processed sugar category.

The take-away.

Stick to whole, unprocessed foods and stay away from processed foods and high fructose corn syrup. Watch for tricky food labels and packaging…just because you’re indulging in a smoothie or seemingly healthy prepared food doesn’t mean added sugar isn’t hiding inside. If you do add sugar, like honey, try to keep it at 6 teaspoons (or under) a day.

When you may not have access to quality whole foods, you can still achieve the necessary nutrition via NutriFusion’s quality supplements. Our ingredients are plant based and never include added sugar, just real food from nature to you. We use first-grade, fresh and high-quality fruits and vegetables to create nutrient dense powder full of natural vitamins and minerals.

Inspired by Good sugar vs. bad sugar, what’s the difference? by Mercey Livingston

Meat Consumption and the Link to Type 2 Diabetes

Meat.

It’s an industry that’s worked overtime to convince you to consume what they’re selling. Think “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” and “Pork. The Other White Meat.” But study after study slams the salaciousness they’re selling.

Meat’s link to disease.

A recent Diabetes and Metabolism meta-analysis reported on the findings of almost 30 articles focused on the link between meat consumption and the risk for type 2 diabetes. The results were frightening: consuming red meat, processed meat, fish, and poultry can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.

 

 

People who consumed the:

  • most total meat saw a 33% increased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • most processed meat saw a 25% increased risk for type 2 diabetes
  • most red meat 22% increased risk for type 2 diabetes

 

 

The deck is stacked against you.

Further analyses explored how adding meat to your diet increases risk. For example, adding 100 grams (a piece of meat approximately the size of a deck of cards) per day of total meat increases risk by 36%. Adding 100 grams of red meat increases risk by 31%. If you go one step further and add an additional 50 grams per day of processed meat, you increase your risk for diabetes by a generous 46%.

Why so high?

The authors attribute the associated risk to a list of diet “no-nos’”: saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, heme iron, and animal protein from meat. Serum levels of proteins and iron, plus increased weight associated with meat consumption, may also contribute to the risk.

Keep risk low.

A diet rich in fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables both lowers the risk for type 2 diabetes and gives your body a necessary boost. Consuming natural, nitrate-rich foods can reduce blood pressure and improve overall circulatory health. Choose vegetables with naturally high nitrate content, rather than those with nitrate manufacturers have added during processing.

We can help.

At NutriFusion, we use first-grade, fresh and high-quality fruits and vegetables to create a nutrient dense powder full of natural vitamins and minerals. High quality food and beverage processors are adding the nutrient dense powder to their products to provide the nutrition bodies need.

We believe in a farm-to-table approach. But, even when you don’t have access to quality fruits and vegetables, you can achieve the necessary nutrition via our quality supplements. Our ingredients are plant based and never include synthetics, just real food from nature to you.

Inspired by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine www.pcrm.org

Junk Food May be the Culprit Behind Food Allergies

The European Society has noted for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition that kids these days have a higher incidence of food allergies. Scientists believe that this is due to the high junk food content of their diet, which is referred to as AGEs or Advanced Glycation End products.

Statistics on Food Allergies in Kids

Steadily, food allergies have been rising in numbers over the past few decades, worldwide. In fact, in some countries, food allergies in children rose by 10 percent, which is an alarming number and places our kids’ health in danger. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1997 and 2011, the incidence of food allergies in kids in the US rose by a whopping 50 percent. In the United Kingdom, a 500 percent increase in hospital admissions for food allergies has been noted since 1990.

What’s the Driving Force Behind These Food Allergies?

Due to the uptick in food allergy cases, scientists are in hot pursuit of the culprit. Lots of theories have floated which all boils down to early exposure to bacteria and certain foods.

According to Dr. Roberto Berni Canani, a professor at the University of Naples said that “As of yet, existing hypothesis and models of food allergies do not adequately explain the dramatic increase observed in the last few years—so dietary AGEs may be the missing link.” In layman’s terms, these words mean that the spike in food allergies is connected to the increased prevalence of processed food consumption.

It has been reported that the general American population gets half their calories from processed foods that contain AGEs. AGEs are lipids or proteins that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, chronic kidney disease, atherosclerosis, and diabetes that are chiefly found in some barbecues or roasted meats, microwaved foods, processed foods, and sugars.

Linking AGE products

To test the link between AGEs and food allergies, a study was conducted on children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. As much as 61 pieces of data were collected and divided into groups of kids who have no allergy as the control, kids with respiratory allergies and kids with food allergies. The results of the study showed a strong connection between food allergies and AGE consumption.

The study positively supports the link between AGEs being a driving factor on the increasing incidence rates of food allergies. However, further research is needed to cement the proof. But with the strong link shown by the test, it is hoped that government agencies can provide health preventive interventions that will restrict junk food consumption. Especially knowing that these junk foods are highly palatable and enjoyable for kids, the sense of urgency to this work is nonetheless emphasized as it will dramatically impact our kids quality of life.

Inspired by www.yahoo.com/lifestyle

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George Prior’s Month Long Journey With 10 Cokes a Day

In many first world countries, soda addiction has never been stronger even with various health practitioners spelling doom for those who don’t eliminate it from their diet. Admittedly, what makes soda addictive is its high sugar content and that sugar rush one feels each time they pop a can with its amazing fizz and bubbles.

Sometimes, just hearing it from our doctors is not enough to make people change their habits drastically. But, luckily for us, there is a man who was brave enough to go on an adventure with drinking 10 regular cokes a day. And what’s even more amazing is that he documented the adventure with before and after photos of his month-long journey and by all the gods that we hold dear, the transformation is very obvious and may literally help you quit your soda addiction.

Before the 10 Cokes a Day

George Prior is the brave man who went on a month-long 10 cokes a day challenge. He is in his 50s, lives in LA and is a health-conscious guy. Before the challenge, he had a full physical checkup before the journey and everything was in proper order including normal weight, insulin levels, and blood pressure (BP). He also only had 9% body fat. His diet consisted of lots of water, vegetables, berries, and lean meats. He is into the paleo diet.

The Results after a Month of 10 Cans of Coke a Day

George’s before and after photos would be the glaring evidence to the fatty effects of soda, which we all have anticipated. But more than that here are the other effects that George felt:

  • Sleep troubles – studies show that people who frequently drink soda sleep for 5 hours or less, which is below the recommended sleep times for the body to recuperate. Suga and caffeine are to be blamed for this.
  • Fatigue – or low energy is felt throughout the day due to sugar spikes. The crash after a sugar high leaves you worse than before you drank the soda.
  • Headaches – it is believed that the combination of sugar and caffeine may trigger headaches plus the phosphoric acid, acidity, aspartame, and artificial colors contained in the soda.
  • Increase in body fat – remember, George’s body fat started at 9% and increased to a whopping 64%. The rapidity of fat gain is linked to both heart disease and diabetes.
  • Loss of Appetite – he also experienced and discovered that his overall appetite for healthy and regular foods lessened. He also noticed that his taste buds craved sugar-filled foods.
  • BP Levels Increased – his baseline BP reading was pegged at 129/77 and after the testing, it shot up to 143/96. There is a lot of literature that has reported the linked between increased levels of insulin with increased BP levels.
  • Gained Weight – obviously, George gained a total of 23-pounds within the period of one-month even with sticking to his usual healthy Paleo diet. In fact, in a study conducted by Harvard, just by drinking one can of soda a day led to a 5-pound weight gain within a year.

Inspired by www.health.com

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Infant Autism Risk Can be Greatly Reduced with Prenatal Vitamins

Studies show that taking prenatal vitamins may help decrease the chances of infants developing autism even in families with higher risks. Folate, also known as folic acid, used as a dietary supplement has shown to significantly lower risks of developing ASD, also known as an autism spectrum disorder.

Autism Risk in the Family

Families have a higher risk of having another child with autism if they already have a child that is on the spectrum. Because of their genetics and heredity, they are 14 times more at risk to develop ASD. In JAMA Psychiatry, on February 27, new research was published that showed how even in high-risk families, prenatal vitamins are just as sufficient. Based off these studies, prenatal vitamins lower the risk of developing autism by 50% for these younger siblings.

Rebecca J. Schmidt, Ph.D. first author of the study and assistant professor in the department of public health sciences and the MIND Institute, UC Davis School of Medicine, informed Healthline that “Evidence is building for an important role of gestational exposures, including nutrition, in relation to autism. Research from imaging and other studies of the brain show that processes affected in autism occur during pregnancy. Studies have repeatedly shown that taking folic acid supplements was associated with protection from autism in the general population.”

Results of the Study on Prenatal Vitamins

Her studies showed how 241 families with ASD were affected by prenatal vitamins and supplements. They wanted to see if they were affected the same as other families and to see if they also received the same benefits from these supplements. The results showed that 96% of mothers said they took prenatal supplements, but the only ⅓ of supposed mothers took them in the recommended time, which was before pregnancy.

The study also showed that children were less likely to develop severe autism symptoms if the mothers took prenatal vitamins in the first month of their pregnancy. These children also received higher cognitive scores.

The results that came from these studies could profoundly impact public health. It is essential to spread the prevention of ASD for future generations. These findings can guide future expecting mothers with nutritional advice and inform them of health implications that come with supplements.

What the Study Could Mean

Vice-chair of the department of pediatrics at University of Missouri Health Care and part of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, Dr. Kristin Sohl, stated: “This is a small study that needs to be replicated in a larger sample before true risk reduction calculations and public health policy decisions can be made.”

Although Folic supplements have its pros, studies from Johns Hopkins University have revealed some cons. In 2016, researchers from the university released that mothers with high levels of vitamin b-12 and folic acid supplement had an 18% increase in chances of autism. But, only in extreme cases do prenatal supplements have a role in causing autism.

In the study, the women had excess levels of the vitamins and supplements; this was not the recommended intake by the World Health Organization. Even researchers from the survey agreed that prenatal vitamins were still essential and beneficial to mothers. Sohl adds on “Because many pregnancies are unplanned and because neural tube defects can develop in the first 28 days of fetal development, all women of child-bearing age are recommended to take increased folic acid.”

Parents should take the initiative to visit their doctors and consult about proper supplements and vitamins to take.

Inspired by www.healthline.com

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Toddler Nutrition Falls Short on Vitamins and Minerals

Toddler nutrition is key to proper development and growth. Children need nutrients like Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin C to name a few in order to grow healthy. While it is ideal for children to bank on their nutrition profile, studies show that many children suffer from nutrient deficiency.

Regan Bailey, associate professor at Purdue University noted that it is hard to track the food intake of toddlers considering that a third of their calorie intake comes from snacking. Unfortunately, the standard American diet did not help much as this particular diet provides too much of the bad things or too little of the good stuff to children. This has led him and his team to release the Feeding Infants and Toddler Study in 2016. With the help of other nutrition researchers, they studied the food intake of infants, toddlers, and children.

Infants Are Nutrient Deficient

The findings of their study suggest that infants who are less than 12 months old have a nutritionally adequate diet but 20% of them have a low intake of iron that is necessary for preventing anemia. Anemia causes low oxygen being delivered throughout the body by the blood and this may cause cognitive impairment. Once infants start eating table foods, the nutritional gaps start to be evident especially when children are fed with nutritionally-deficient food. And with many parents feeding their children with fast food items and processed snacks, many toddlers consume too much sugar, salt, and saturated fats. Moreover, they get too little fiber, Vitamin D and potassium from their diet.

Why Children Need To Bank On Their Nutrition

According to Bailey, children need to bank on vitamins and minerals so that the different functions in the body can be supported. It is important for children to consume the right foods and the only way to address nutrient deficiency is to encourage them to eat a myriad of foods. Instead of giving them cookies and other salty snacks, encouraging them to eat fruits and vegetables is great.

But more than encouraging them to eat healthily, one of the most important things to address this issue is to also encourage parents to eat healthily. The study noted that parents who have limited food preferences also influence their children when it comes to being finicky with food. By encouraging parents to eat healthily, it can help reinforce good eating habits among children.

The Future Of Toddler Nutrition And How Politics Play A Role

Researchers and policymakers also play a vital role in helping address nutrient deficiency among children. Creating strategies that will provide families with easier access to fruits, vegetables, and whole food ingredients is very crucial. In recent dates, policymakers in the United States created the 2014 Farm Bill that requires different health institutions to include information on toddler nutrition in future dietary guidelines. After all, the guidelines’ currently being used are very old and need updating. While this is a small change, it can add up over time thus creating a ripple of difference all over the world.

Inspired by www.purdue.edu

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Folate Deficiency is a Serious Problem

Folate is one of the B Vitamins found in green leafy vegetables such as peas, broccoli, and spinach. It is also sourced from bananas, mushroom, melons, and shellfish. It has been widely known that folate is an essential nutrient among pregnant women. And while it is recommended that pregnant women should bank on folate, it is also necessary for adults to take in folate. The Danish Health Authority noted that pregnant women and those who are trying to conceive should bank on this vitamin for the healthy development of babies. One of the most significant issues is folate deficiency is irreversible.

Folate Deficiency Is Irreversible

Associate Professor Ying Liu from the Center for Chromosome Stability in the University of Copenhagen noted that deficiency of folate could lead to devastating and irreversible consequences. Lack of this vitamin can affect the way the chromosomes maintain health. Once there is something wrong with the cell division, it can no longer be fixed thus irreversible. Many studies have noted that folate deficiency can lead to age-related dementia, mental illness, and deformation of the brain during fetal development. These brain development anomalies are called neural tube defects, and they include spina bifida and anencephaly to name a few.

Public Knowledge On Folate Deficiency Is Key

Professor Liu also noted that the general public needs to know the adequate level of folate that we need to consume. He said that once the public has such knowledge, it is easier to see if one has sufficient levels of folate in their blood for successful DNA replication. To tell whether an individual has adequate amounts of folate in his or her blood, blood samples may be taken.

Mapping The Genome

To detect folate deficiency, researchers are looking at the potential of using lymphocytes–a type of white blood cell–to determine the levels of folate. Researchers analyzed part of the genome called FRAXA that contains a genetic sequence CGG. This genetic sequence is associated with mitosis, cell division, and abnormalities in the chromosomes. The study noted that the entire X chromosome becomes unstable after depriving folate.

The study demonstrates that deficiency in folate can lead to abnormalities in the chromosomes. Once there are abnormalities in the chromosome, the daughter cells can inherit the mutation following cell division. This is the reason why the lack of folate in the body can lead to many diseases such as infertility, cancer, and mental health disorders.

Future Direction

This study is remarkable because the researchers are closer to determining the pathway that associates folate deficiency to chromosomal damage. While the research is still in its initial stage, the proponents of the study noted that other parts of the genome contain CGG sequences that can be further studied. Thus, the next step of the researchers is to map the area of the human genome where folate deficiency can influence the most. By doing so, it will be easier for the researchers and even the general public to understand folate deficiency. It can also be used to develop a tool on possibly reversing or halting the damaging effects of folate deficiency.

Inspired by www.futurity.org

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Mom Finds Metal in Toddler Gummy Vitamins

Parents intend to give their children foods and supplements that they know will make their children grow stronger and healthier. However, there are absolute horror stories that we encounter now and then that will make us rethink about giving supplements to our children. Samantha Anderson has a story to tell…

Good Intentions Gone Bad

What seemingly was a good intention to provide vitamins to her child became a harrowing nightmare. The Kansas mom found out that there were metal shavings in her daughter’s intestine from consuming gummy vitamins from a well-known brand. She had been feeding her three-year-old daughter, Milani, with Zarbee’s Natural Vitamins gummies she bought at Target until she noticed that some metal pieces were sticking out at the bottom of the bottle.

Writing her story on Facebook, Samantha noted that there were metal flakes found at the bottom of the bottle of the chewable vitamins. Some of the flakes had also embedded in the surface of the gummies. To her horror, she does not know how many metal flakes were in the bottle and how many were unknowingly ingested by her daughter.

Sharp Metal Flakes Led To Hospitalization

To confirm her fears that they were indeed metal shavings, she and her husband used a magnet to test the multivitamins – and indeed they were. She also took her daughter to the emergency room for an X-ray. The X-ray result noted that there were metals found in her intestines. The sharp metal flakes were found in Milani ’s stomach which led to the girl’s emergency hospital admission so that doctors could carefully remove the metal shavings.

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As a mom, Samantha Anderson could not help but feel terrible. For her, she felt like she failed as a mom because she was the one who fed the gummies to her. However, she couldn’t be blamed for what happened to her daughter. The responsibility falls into the hands of Zarbee. Anderson already reported the incident to the Food and Drug Administration following the recommendation of her pediatrician. Currently, the FDA is investigating the complaint. The company has yet to make an official public statement to address the incident, but they have already released a comment on social media apologizing and wishing for her daughter to get well.

Lesson That Can Be Learned About Gummy Vitamins

While this might be an isolated case, it is essential to take note that it can happen to anyone. There is a lesson that can be learned from this story. As parents, it is crucial always to check the quality of the supplements that you are giving to your children. Scrutinizing each bottle may be time-consuming, but it is worth it. But aside from the parents, it is also crucial for the supplement manufacturers to continually check the quality of their finished products. Since this incident has already been reported, it is critical for the company to recall the bottles of gummies from Target. This may be an isolated case, but one can never be too sure.

Inspired by www.usatoday.com

Millennials Leading the Way for More Vegetable Consumption

Millennials are making their impact on society. When it comes to vegetable consumption, they are setting the trend to eat healthily. In the recent study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, they have found out that millennials prefer to eat more fruits and vegetables over meats and grains. The study analyzed food buying data per generation. Millennials, who are born between 1981 and mid-2000s, are the largest and most diverse generation. They have the highest purchasing behavior, which is why they influence the consumer and retail landscape. Many companies are designing their products with millennials in mind.

More Millennials Are Eating More Fresh Produce

According to the report, the consumption of fresh produce in the country grew at 1.3% between the years 2011 and 2016. It is also expected that the annual gains will continue to rise through 2021 and probably the years beyond. What influenced this trend is that the eating habits of different generations have evolved. The changes are altering the recommendations on what makes up a healthy diet. The current nutritional guideline dictates that people should dedicate half of their plate to fruits and vegetables. They should also include whole grains, dairy, and protein for each meal.

The Benefits of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Consuming more fruits and vegetables can help protect the body against different diseases – particularly the chronic ones. These include Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and some types of cancer. Moreover, fruits and vegetables are also jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that can help improve the physiological functions and capacity of people when it comes to fighting off different kinds of diseases.

How to Encourage More People to Eat Their Veggies?

The results of the study indicate that people are becoming more aware of the health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables. But aside from increasing awareness, the trend can be further improved if more people have access to fresh produce. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to convince people to consume more fruits and vegetables is to make them available in places where adults and children live, work, and learn.

The Role of the Agricultural Industry

Another solution is to develop products that are more exciting and fun to eat. For instance, the company Syngenta is currently developing ultra-firm watermelons called CrispFresh watermelons. This innovative variety does not only taste great, but it also makes the processing and shelf-life longer. And since the watermelon is crisp, it is now possible to make watermelon fries with it. The agricultural sector plays a vital role in innovating crops not only to produce higher yields but also to ensure that the product will last longer so that people who live in food deserts can access them at a lower price.

Future Direction

With the influential role of millennials, coupled with the dedication of the agricultural sector to increase their yield, it is likely that the trend will increase in the years to follow. This can eventually create a paradigm shift wherein people will consume more fruits and vegetables. By doing so, it also helps the economy as it reduces the cost of the government to fund for the provision of healthcare services on lifestyle diseases.

Packaged food brands are also taking another approach to help consumers get the natural benefits of fruits and vegetables in everyday products. They are using GrandFusion fruit and vegetable powders to enrich their bars, protein powders, and more with the natural vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. Download the R&D kit below to learn more!

Inspired by www.news-journal.net

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New Study: French Fries Are #1 Vegetable Consumed by Toddlers

Around 27% of young children do not eat a single serving of vegetables in a day. In the report released, Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study, food choices of children change, and if they don’t start eating healthy at an early age, this will result in nutrition gap. Once they reach two years old, they will already have developed their taste preferences. At this point, feeding toddlers vegetables and other healthy food become more challenging. The nutrition gap is the most concerning problem among children today.

Alarming Results Showed French Fries as the #1 Vegetable

The study involved 10,000 parents as well as caregivers of children below the age of four. The survey noted the eating habits of children. Unfortunately, most children consume french fries as the most common vegetable that they know. The study also indicated that many children consume more sweets and sodium and less iron, Vitamin D, and fiber. All of these are sourced from colorful fruits and vegetables – and not from french fries. The data confirms that there is more work to be done to improve the diet of children

How to Make Children Eat More Vegetables and Fruits

Having children eat vegetables can be difficult, but it is the responsibility of parents and caregivers to help their children develop good eating habits. Making your children eat healthily might take several tries but don’t lose your patience and still keep offering them healthy foods. There are also other strategies that you can try depending on the age of your children. For infants, you can puree or mash vegetables and fruits so that they can easily digest it. Toddlers and preschoolers, on the other hand, can be fed with mashed or chopped vegetables. You can also serve them finger foods or a platter of vegetables and fruits. Since they love fries, you can cut up carrots and sweet potatoes into thick julienne to resemble fries and cook them just like fries. You can also opt for fruits and healthy smoothies instead of candies.

Enhancing Food Policies

It is essential to take note that the responsibility of our children’s health does not only fall on the parents but also the government. To help the parents encourage children to eat healthy, corresponding food policies should also be implemented. Policies such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 include a comprehensive discussion and guideline for small children. But this may not be enough especially since food products high in sugar and preservatives are still commonplace in the market. Childhood obesity is still a rampant epidemic in the country that needs to be addressed through healthier food policies.

According to Dr. Wendy Johnson, Vice President of Nutrition from Nestle USA, proper nutrition is crucial during children’s early years and exposing them to a plethora of fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to jumpstart a healthy diet. But more than encouraging them to eat healthily, it is important that parents get the right support from the food industry and government.

Inspired by www.nestleusa.com

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The Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice has both anecdotal and scientific pieces of evidence to show that it can prevent infections and also reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Cranberries have essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which is why it is considered a superfood. The juice is not only a delicious thirst quencher, but it comes with a lot of health benefits. Check out the rest of this article to learn more about the many benefits of cranberry juice.

Anti-Aging

Free radicals are present everywhere, and once they get inside the body, they cause cellular degradation through oxidative stress resulting in aging. Studies show that oxidative stress is also linked to diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. Since cranberry juice contains a high oxidative value, it can fight off the harmful effects of free radicals. Studies show that the berries are more potent regarding antioxidative properties, but the juice works too.

Improved Heart Health

The many compounds in cranberry juice can improve heart health. Cranberries contain high amounts of polyphenols that can support healthy heart health. Studies show that cranberry juice can increase the antioxidants found in blood plasma. It also can lower bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein). Other studies suggest that the mean carotid-femoral artery pulse wave velocity can also be reduced among people who regularly consume cranberry juice.

Cranberry Juice Prevents Urinary Tract Infection

One of the most popular health benefits of cranberry juice is that it can treat urinary tract infection. In a study published in Frontiers in Microbiology, cranberry juice was shown to reduce the number of colonizing E. coli in the bladder. This bacterium is the common cause of most urinary tract infections. In another study in 2016, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine noted that cranberry juice could reduce harmful bacteria in urine cultures from boys who regularly consumed it compared to those who drank the placebo.

Supports Better Digestion

There is increasing evidence that cranberry juice can help promote better digestion. Cranberry juice contains high amounts of phytochemicals that can reduce inflammation within the gut. Moreover, cranberry juice is also known to inhibit the production of H. pylori that is the common cause of bacterial ulcers in the stomach.

Prevents Infections

Compounds found in cranberries can fight off viral and bacterial infection. Several studies noted that cranberry juice could inhibit the proliferation of seven harmful microbes including norovirus that causes food-borne diseases. However, further studies need to be conducted to confirm this claim.

Support Female Health

Women’s health can be complicated due to hormonal changes. Cranberry juice can be beneficial among women who are in their menopause stage. Menopause makes women at risk to heart problems and other diseases. A study in 2013 noted that consumption of cranberry juice on laboratory rats that have their ovaries and uterus removed reduced their total cholesterol level.

Cranberry juice presents a lot of benefits to the body, but it is essential to take note that it can interact with certain medications particularly warfarin. Having said this, it is crucial that you don’t take cranberry juice while taking warfarin as the effect will be too much thinning of the blood. Nothing in this article is intended to be medical advice, and you should consult your doctor about using cranberry juice with any of the things above.

Inspired by www.medicalnewstoday.com

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Say No To Sugar This Halloween For Your Health

We’ve talked about this before on our blog and we will continue to because sugar is slowly but surely, killing us. The video above is from the organization, Sugar is Killing Us, and they have made it their mission to educate more people on all problems with sugar. While Halloween is a fun holiday and candy is the focal point of trick or treating every year, we have to find a better way. You don’t have to completely eliminate all candy on Halloween, but you need to figure out a way to get rid of most of it. Below are a couple tips for helping you get the family on the same page this year and in the future.

1. Feed The Family a Healthy Meal Before Trick or Treating

An easy way to keep the kids and yourself from eating too much sugar and candy this Halloween is to serve up a healthy meal before trick or treating. The theory here is to get everyone full so they are not super hungry when the candy starts pouring in.

2. Consider Removing At Least 50% of Your Candy Haul

This could be hard and it may feel wasteful, but it’s best for everyone. Try taking 50% of your family’s candy and donating it to your dentist or an accepting organization. Dentists like to take candy donations for gift cards or service discounts to help encourage healthier eating.

Pro tip: If you are going to have a time getting the candy away from kids, consider buying it back with cash or toys…kids will typically fall for it :)

3. Provide Healthy Alternatives to Candy

This tip is definitely a challenge because as we know kids love their candy. Try engaging with non-food treats like toys, stickers, temporary tattoos, etc. You can also create some cool, healthy treats with fruits and vegetables that get your family excited.

Just Say No to Sugar This Halloween

Take the tips and use them to your advantage. Your family may not love you at first but they will thank you in the long haul. Sugar is toxic to our bodies and we have to do something to reverse the trends of chronic diseases. If anything, we hope this video and article at least makes you think about sugar more this Halloween. Have a great holiday!