Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Grocery Chain Stuns Industry

Found this on BevNet:

Although Raley’s introduction of new supplier guidelines, in which dozens of additives and preservatives will be banned from its stores, could be viewed as expected considering Americans’ continuing tilt toward healthier consumption, it is nevertheless a stunning move in which one of the country’s largest conventional grocers appears to be repositioning itself as a natural-focused retailer.

Headquartered in West Sacramento, Calif., Raley’s owns and operates 132 stores in California and Nevada, including those under the Bel Air Market, Nob Hill Food and Food Source banners. With an estimated $3.2 billion in sales for the fiscal year ending on June 28, the grocery chain is ranked number 42 in Supermarket News’s list of the “Top 75 North American Food Retailers and Wholesalers for 2014.”

Placing it squarely at the forefront of natural food trends and greater demand for traceable goods, Raley’s has curated a list of 83 ingredients that will no longer be acceptable for inclusion in products sold in its stores. The list is similar to that of Whole Foods’ “Unacceptable Ingredients for Food,” which includes 78 ingredients commonly used by food and beverage producers, including artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup and sucralose, as well as a number of preservatives, such as sodium benzoate. Also listed are potassium bromate (often used as a leavening agent), azodicarbonamide and brominated vegetable oil (BVO), each of which has been the subject of recent controversy regarding potentially harmful food additives.

There are, however, a few significant differences between the two lists. Unlike Whole Foods, Raley’s will no longer stock food products that are made with genetically modified organisms (GMO). While Whole Foods last year issued an edict declaring “full GMO transparency” in its stores by 2018, the natural grocer will continue carry products made with GMOs. And though Whole Foods is well-known for its policy of selling meat, poultry and fish that are raised without the use of antibiotics, Raley’s explicitly names antibiotics as being banned for use in any products that it sells.

Raley’s has also prohibited the use of bST, rbST bGH, rbGH, each a widely used bovine growth hormone that is injected into dairy cows to boost milk production, from supplier products.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Health Hazards of Sitting


Vitamin E Critical in So Many Ways

Amid conflicting reports about the need for vitamin E and how much is enough, a new analysis published today suggests that adequate levels of this essential micronutrient are especially critical for the very young, the elderly, and women who are or may become pregnant.

A lifelong proper intake of vitamin E is also important, researchers said, but often complicated by the fact that this nutrient is one of the most difficult to obtain through diet alone. It has been estimated that only a tiny fraction of Americans consume enough dietary vitamin E to meet the estimated average requirement.

Some of the best dietary sources of vitamin E -- nuts, seeds, spinach, wheat germ and sunflower oil -- don't generally make the highlight list of an average American diet. One study found that people who are highly motivated to eat a proper diet consume almost enough vitamin E, but broader surveys show that 90 percent of men and 96 percent of women don't consume the amount currently recommended, 15 milligrams per day for adults.

Findings from the Advances in Nutrition study:

  • Inadequate vitamin E is associated with increased infection, anemia, stunting of growth and poor outcomes during pregnancy for both the infant and mother.
  • Overt deficiency, especially in children, can cause neurological disorders, muscle deterioration, and even cardiomyopathy.
  • Critically important to the early development of the nervous system in embryos, in part because it protects the function of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, which is important for brain health. The most sensitive organs include the head, eye and brain.
  • Vitamin E supplements seem to benefit slowing progression in those with Alzheimer's disease.
  • Elderly with a lifelong dietary pattern that resulted in higher levels of vitamins B,C, D and E had larger brain size and higher cognitive function.
  • The most compelling evidence about vitamin E is about a 1000-day window that begins at conception. It is critical to neurologic and brain development that can only happen during that period. It's not something you can make up for later.

More protein, lower BP

Adults who consume a high-protein diet may be at a lower risk for developing high blood pressure (HBP), according to a study in the American Journal of Hypertension. Participants consuming the highest amount of protein (an average of 100 g protein/day) had a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to the lowest intake level.

Important Infection Prevention Tip

The homes of many children infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) may be environments in which MRSA strains live on common household surfaces, according to an article published in JAMA Pediatrics.

That was the case for almost half of the children with MRSA infections in a recent study, in which researchers found MRSA most commonly on bed linens (18%), television remote controls (16%), and bathroom hand towels (15%).

S aureus had colonized in 6 (23%) of 26 dogs tested and 1 (7%) of 14 cats tested; 1 of the 6 colonized dogs had had a skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) during the past 6 months. In comparison, 4 dogs out of 33 noncolonized pets had had an SSTI in the past 6 months.

Of the 50 children, 20 (40%) had either a colonizing or infecting strain type that was concordant with an environmental strain recovered from a household surface. Surfaces most commonly contaminated with a concordant strain were:

  • children's bed linens (8 of 41, 20%)
  • television remote controls (8 of 40, 20%)
  • bathroom light switches (7 of 41, 17%)
  • bathroom hand towel (5 of 31, 16%)
  • bathroom sink (6 of 41, 15%).

Interestingly, surfaces commonly perceived to be contaminated (such as toilet seats and door handles) were not major reservoirs of MRSA.

Steve: Make sure whomever cleans around your dwelling cleans these surfaces!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

USDA Approves New GMO Seed


Chiropractic eases leg pain

People with leg pain related to back problems had more short-term relief if they received chiropractic care along with exercise and advice, rather than exercise and advice alone. The combination resulted in advantages in pain reduction, disability, global improvement, satisfaction, medication use and general physical health status after 12 weeks, as reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Off the Drugs, Onto to the Cupcakes


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Alzheimer's Prevention for 30 somethings

Oh do we love to read this! This is how it is supposed to work!!


What's a big reason why being overweight is harmful?

Overeating increases the immune response. This increased immune response causes the body to generate excessive inflammation, which may lead to a number of chronic diseases. It is therefore important to keep a balance. Too little and too much nutrition may both upset the immune defense system and increase the risk of disease.

Storage of energy causes an inflammatory reaction. The explanation lies in the close connection between the body's immune system, energy conversion and the way in which we store energy. Humans are not made to eat so much. We are intended to toil for our food.

Overeating causes stress to the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the cells' powerhouses, converting fatty acids to energy. When the cells receive excessive energy, the system starts to falter. Long-term stress on the mitochondria causes low-grade chronic inflammation over many years. When damaged mitochondria accumulate, the immune response is activated. This immune response is what causes the inflammation.

How to stop sweating the small stuff


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pessimism not all bad


Better blood sugar breakfast

Blood sugar surges -- after-meal glucose "spikes" -- can be life threatening for the 29 million Americans with diabetes. Diabetic blood sugar spikes have been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, kidney failure, and retinal damage. Now a new study, published in Diabetologia, suggests a novel way to suppress these deadly post-meal glucose surges: the consumption of whey protein concentrate, found in the watery portion of milk separated from cheese curds, before breakfast. According to the study, consumption of whey protein before meals may even keep diabetics' need for insulin treatment at bay.

The researchers found that glucose levels were reduced by 28 percent after the whey pre-load over the 180-minute post-meal period, with a uniform reduction during early and late phases. With whey pre-load, insulin and GLP-1 responses also were significantly higher (105 and 141 percent, respectively), producing a 96 percent increase in early insulin response.

Bonnie: This has to do with whey being a protein. Protein normalizes blood sugar, which is why we have always suggested eating a protein with carbohydrates.

Infant feeding practices

A recent study in Pediatrics found:

An association between longer duration of breast-feeding and later introduction of foods and beverages other than breast milk, and lower rates of ear, nose, throat, and sinus infections.

An association between longer breast-feeding and increased consumption of water, fruit, and vegetables, and decreased consumption of fruit juice and sugar-sweetened beverages at age six years.

Blood Type Matters for Memory Loss

People with blood type AB may be more likely to develop memory loss in later years than people with other blood types, according to a study published in the September 10, 2014 issue of Neurology.

AB is the least common blood type, found in about 4 percent of the U.S. population. The study found that people with AB blood were 82 percent more likely to develop the thinking and memory problems that can lead to dementia than people with other blood types.

The study was part of a larger study of more than 30,000 people followed for an average of 3.4 years. In those who had no memory or thinking problems at the beginning, the study identified 495 participants who developed thinking and memory problems, or cognitive impairment, during the study. They were compared to 587 people with no cognitive problems. People with AB blood type made up 6 percent of the group who developed cognitive impairment, which is higher than the 4 percent found in the population.

Researchers also looked at blood levels of factor VIII, a protein that helps blood to clot. High levels of factor VIII are related to higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. People in this study with higher levels of factor VIII were 24 percent more likely to develop thinking and memory problems than people with lower levels of the protein. People with AB blood had a higher average level of factor VIII than people with other blood types.

Combat prolonged sitting with short walks

In recent years, the evidence that long hours sitting at a desk or on a couch is bad for one's health has mounted. But new research suggests a quick five-minute walk every hour can reverse the ill-effects of a person's hunched posture and sedentary nine-to-five routine.

The experiment looked at sitting's ill effects -- specifically at the consequences for blood flow, or arterial function. Participants who sat for three hours showed declining arterial function, as expected. But those who walked for five minutes once each hour were able to mostly mitigate that decline. The study included only healthy, non-obese men, ages 20 to 35.

American adults sit for approximately eight hours a day. The impairment in endothelial function is significant after just one hour of sitting.

The study will be published in the next issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.