Friday, April 28, 2006

Are Diet Drinks Bad For Me?

“Are diet drinks such as diet coke and such really that bad for me?”

For many of us who try to watch the amount of sugar we consume, diet drinks are an excellent alternative to the calorie dense drinks which fill the convience store shelves. However, diet drinks like anything else these days, does come with some negatives as well.

Diet sodas contain phosphorus, and a high phosphorus intake. beverages that contain phosphorus adds to the problem of good calcium balance, and this can be a problem for those prone to osteoporosis. As well, diet sodas often contain caffeine, which is de-hydrating and adds to the challenge of replacing lost fluids.

However, the phosphorous issue is mostly a concern in colas, not clear drinks - as the colas contain the highest levels of phosphorous. just make sure you take a calcium supp. As well it should be noted that red meat is also high in phosphorous.

And the caffeine is a non-issue in people who normally consume caffeine -- it doesn't have as much of an effect in those who regularly consume it.

In the end, for many of us, diet drinks are a great addition to a diet. However, just because there are little to no calories to count, doesn’t mean you can drink as much as you want. Everything in moderation is key.

Do You Know What They do to Your Milk?

Going to the grocery store and picking up that gallon jug of pure white cow’s milk might seem innocent and simple enough, but there is more going on in the jug of milk than you ever knew! From the poisonous plastic your milk is packed in, to the way the milk is processed, you would be amazed at what happens to that simple white liquid as it makes it way from the cow to your refrigerator. It’s a scary journey.

In the old days, when grandma and grandpa lived on the farm, the milk they drank was far different from the chemical concoction we call milk today. In those days, cows roamed free on the farm, eating natural grasses, and drinking pure, clean water. The milk was collected once or twice a day, by hand. Some of the cream was skimmed off the top for butter (again made by hand), and the rest was consumed as whole, raw milk. It was generally consumed by the family and perhaps offered for sale to the neighbors.

Today, we have huge mechanized dairy factories where cows are methodically fed chemical-laced food, injected with anti-biotics and hormones and milked by machines. The milk is loaded into huge diesel trailers and trucked to large milk factories where the milk from thousands of cows is mixed, processed, packaged, and trucked again to a store near you.

What impact does this have on your health? Well, actually quite a lot. The milk we are told to consume today is not-nearly as nutritious as milk in the past. All those chemicals and toxins floating in the milk “soup” we find in our supermarkets today, is not the pure milk our ancestor drink.

Packaging is also another problem. In the past, milk was taken from the cow, immediately placed in clean glass bottles (bottles washed by hand by grandma using natural soaps) and refrigerated immediately in a dark refrigerator. Today, milk is collected into huge vats with wide variations in temperature, pumped into tanker trucks, driven for sometimes hours to the processing plant, and then finally separated and packaged.

The type of packaging is important as well. Just recently, scientists are discovering that plastic containers (or plastic milk jugs) are actually harmful to the milk and to the people who consume the milk stored in plastic! Not only do poisonous chemicals leach from the plastic into the milk, but plastic milk containers allow light to pass through. Light is a natural enemy of milk! The exposure to light can actually oxidize the milk in the jug. And the light damage is not only caused by sunlight, but also by the fluorescent lighting used in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

Exposure to light causes the milk to taste bad and causes a degradation of the vitamins in the milk. In fact, exposure to as little of five to fifteen minutes of sunlight can degrade the quality of the milk. And paper cartons are not immune to this light-induced oxidation. If the light is intense enough, oxidation can even occur in paper milk cartons.

We’ll explore the problems with our modern dairy practices in future articles. But for now, milk doesn’t necessarily do a body good.

Don't Let The Night Time Snack Attack Ruin Your Nutritional Diet

Staying healthy is vitally important to living longer and enjoying life with loads of energy. Although many advertisements would have you believe that you need various vitamin supplements and mineral replacement shakes in order to stay healthy, the truth is a well balanced diet goes a long way towards keeping you fit and full of energy. This unfortunately does mean an end to any late night snacking which wrecks havoc with any diet. Of course making a pledge to stop snacking and actually doing it are 2 different things.

For many people snacking on junk food has actually become a pleasurable pastime that they readily engage in as a way to seek an outlet for a bored mind and to achieve a mild amount of pleasure in the form of eating a snack. There are some simple tips that can be used in order to curb your midnight hunger pains and cut down on the late night refrigerator raids.

The first rule of thumb is to never skip any meals but especially never skip dinner. The mere act of not eating dinner automatically sets your body up in a situation where it will be craving some form of a snack before allowing you to fall asleep at night. It has been proven that skipping meals has a detrimental effect on any weight loss program. Also it has been suggested that consuming some sweets in the form of a small dessert with dinner will help prevent any sweet tooth attacks making taking place later at night because your appetitive will have been satisfied earlier in the evening.

Many consumers watch television as a favorite means of relaxing and relieving the daily buildup of stress. However, those same consumers know that snacking while watching television is a formidable combination that is difficult to break. As a result many people find themselves eating too much junk food and missing out on the really nutritious meals that your body needs to sustain its energy reserves. Don’t forget about the TV commercials which all to easily attempt to sway you into eating some form of junk food that will only prevent you from achieving the health and fitness factor you desire.

As mentioned earlier, boredom is one of the main contributors to why many people start to snack. One good way to combat this is to stay busy. More then likely there are plenty of household chores that need to be finished or some homework you can help your children out with. You could even spend some time exercising on an elliptical machine or treadmill if you owned such an exercise machine. Don’t dismiss doing some fun projects either, as an item that can’t help curb your snack cravings. The reality is that staying busy will accelerate and motivate you to lose weight in a very healthy way.

If you truly must snack then plan ahead since this mere act will set a limit on the amount of snacks you consume and it will allow you to use prudent judgment as you won’t be thinking about food on an empty stomach.

Healing Foods

Natural foods, like vegetables and fruits, which we eat every day have a healing power besides their great taste. It is recommended by doctors and specialists that we eat five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day, but how many of us actually do this? Although it sounds too much, once you make the decision it is easy to do.

You can start with the breakfast and add some fresh or dried fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas, etc. to your morning cereal. Then a midday snack like an apple or orange and a vegetable meal or a sandwich with lettuce or tomato for lunch. You've had three servings already. You can replace your afternoon coffee with a healthy fruit smoothie and for dinner, you can start with a salad and two vegetable courses instead of one entrée and one meat course. You have to slowly change all your eating habits towards the healthier one.

It is not just a tale that carrot is good for your eyes. It will really help improve your eyesight, if you get into the habit of eating some beta carotene rich carrot sticks instead of a candy bar. The more fresh and natural are the vegetables and fruits the healthier they are. Visit your local farms stand and choose the best looking, freshest cucumbers, tomatoes, apples or whatever catches your eye. They have a lot of vitamins that are good for you and they taste good as well. Also it is a great and interesting experience to pick a carrot out of the ground, wash it off and eat it. You should take your family to your local farm and experience this with your kids. While you are there get some of every fruit and vegetable you can find. Besides the great health benefits you will be getting from these healing foods, you will also be supporting the local farmers and natural foods.

The first step to a healthier lifestyle is changing your eating habits; you must start eating healthy healing foods instead of junk food which has no healing effect at all, on the contrary, is very harmful for your body. The choice you will make today, between healthy foods and junk foods will determine the future condition of your body. Just by eating natural vegetables and fruits, you will not have to see your doctor as much as those who do not and you will live a longer and healthier life than those who do not eat enough vegetables and fruits.

These fruits and vegetables we eat every day carry some special fighters which are known as antioxidants and they are essential for cleaning out our systems. You will start to feel much better and also to look better. Another thing you should add to your diet is bran which is also helpful for cleaning the system. Whole grains are great for your body to help cleanse itself and nuts lower your blood fat which lowers your cholesterol consequently. Low cholesterol is vital for lowering the risk of heart attacks.

In general, by starting to eat more healthily you will have a stronger immune system and the chances of you getting sick will significantly decrease.

Breakfast: A Dying American Pastime?

According to a recent ABC News poll, Americans are showing a strong tendency of ignoring Mom's advice by consistently skipping breakfast. In fact, almost half of the population between the ages of 18 and 54 skip breakfast on a regular basis.

Skipping breakfast has been shown to guarantee lower performance at the workplace and in the classroom, ensuring tired brains, sluggish bodies and cranky moods. There is a center in the brain that registers when the body is missing nutrients. By mid-morning, many breakfast-cutters may indulge in a pick-me-up like coffee or a candy bar, but this is hardly enough to truly sustain the body until lunch time. Besides, we're the most prone to making unhealthy meal choices and eating larger-than-life portions when we're super-hungry. Let's keep it real. What would a growling stomach choose: a Big Mac with fries or a Caesar salad?

Are You a Breakfast Bum?

If breakfast were a class, how often do you cut? Many of us that don't eat breakfast happen to have very valid reasons as to why (or so we think). Here's our response.

"I'm trying to lose weight"

Skipping meals does not help you to lose weight. As a matter of fact, it appears to make weight control more difficult for reasons stated above. Also, research shows people that eat breakfast regularly tend to be leaner than people who skip. Let's put it this way: to help the body to conserve energy as it goes without food, the body's metabolism slows while we sleep. Feeding your body in the morning gives your metabolism the jump start it needs—giving you more energy and allowing your body to burn more calories throughout the day.

"I'm not hungry in the morning"

Don't get it twisted: breakfast doesn't have to be a full spread, four course meal. A hard boiled egg (yolk removed) with some hummus or just a small cup of good cereal with some soy milk will do the trick. "I don't have time. I need my sleep" Let's put this in perspective: the 10-15 minutes it takes to prepare and consume a humble breakfast would give you much more mileage than that extra 10-15 minutes under the covers.

"No time-the kids make it impossible"

Stuffing your kids' mouths with Pop Tarts or Dunkin Donuts is not instilling good breakfast habits in your children. Studies show that children perform better in school when they've eaten a healthy breakfast. We know it gets hectic, but breakfast should be a priority and don't forget to partake yourself. Children who see their parents eat breakfast are more likely to follow suit. Besides, quality time with the family seems to be dwindling these days. How about you and the kids sitting down for cereal using this time to discuss plans for the upcoming day? Heck, you can even use paper bowls and plates!

"Breakfast makes me more hungry"

We guarantee you that a protein-rich, Zone balanced breakfast will do no such thing. Breakfasts consisting of simple carbs such as white bread, bagels, refined grains such as corn and white rice and sugary kids' cereals puts your blood sugar on the high end of the Richter scale. By that we mean they have a high glycemic index, which means they are broken down into sugars in the body quickly. When your blood sugar comes down from the high, you're ready to eat every and any thing that isn't moving. Cereal selection is very important. Remember that you are counting on it for your day's foundation.

If you have used two or more of these excuses for not eating breakfast, then you should definitely reevaluate your relationship with the first meal of the day and find a way to make breakfast a part of your daily routine.

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