Category Archives: Pumped up: Food Additives and Obesity

Pumped up: Food Additives and Obesity

Hormones and antibiotics are just two of the additives fed to the animals we eat. Along with the hundreds in other foods, we get more than our healthy share.
2.Growth hormones
3.High fructose corn syrup
5.Monosodium glutamate
6.Other additives

Homemade Body Washes: No Toxins Allowed!

It’s not easy living in the 21st century.

Souls from the 19th century—before the industrial revolution—may beg to differ, but it seems we have traded a not insignificant part of our mental and physical health for comfort.

Every time I slather sunscreen on limbs, I consider that the litany of chemicals may be more dangerous than the sun’s rays. When I eat kale, I wonder how many pesticides coat the leaves (especially when eating in a restaurant). Toothpaste, shampoo, cosmetics…the list of troublesome toxins in these common products which are linked to health problems is long and disturbing.

Though going 100% “green” is impossible, do make an effort. One article I came across at gives recipes for homemade body washes, with luscious ingredients including honey and coconut oil.  Some are already in your cupboards and others such as castile oil can be ordered online.

Karen Reed writes in 5 Homemade Body Washes Proven Effective For Acne Control :

“With homemade body washes, you will also know exactly what you’ve added to them. One of the biggest issues with store bought body washes is that you have no idea about some of the toxins added. The manufacturers will add “parfum” or “fragrance” to the ingredients list, but these can have hundreds of chemicals to create them. Because they’re “trade secrets” the companies get away with not releasing a full list of the toxins, chemicals, and ingredients used.”

Pesticides: Reduce Your Exposure

Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is one way to combat obesity. Unfortunately, pesticides that they come coated with are another battle. The New York Times Well column recently addressed the best ways to reduce if not eliminate exposure.
Some of the suggestions:
—Washing with tap water reduces surface chemicals but not those inside
—Scrubbing with a brush
—A commercial vegetable wash may not be as effective as plain water
—Be aware of the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen, a group of particularly doused produce items which includes strawberries, peaches, nectarines, grapes, apples and celery
—Go for the Clean Fifteen, those grown and shipped with little need for pesticides. Avocados, corn, pineapple and cabbage top the list.
—Buy organic.

Book Stores and Beaches Do Mix

Thanks to all who attended my pseudo-TED (Truly Enlightening Discourse) talk in Santa Monica on Saturday at Barnes & Noble on 3rd Street Promenade.I know it wasn’t easy given that the awesome SoCal beach was just two blocks away. There are still a few signed copies of Globesity: 10 Things You Didn’t Know Were Making You Fat available at the store (call 310 260 9110 to reserve or order). Hannah, thanks for the deck work. Frank, thanks for the lovely event set-up.

FYI: TED’s mission statement:

“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other…”

Community of curious souls. I’d be honored to be part of that.

Another Strike Against HFCS

The advent of high fructose corn syrup in our diets correlates with soaring obesity rates. Some but not all data point to insulin resistance caused by inflammatory factors in fat tissue.

A new study in Nutrition and Diabetes tested this theory. For 10 months, mice were fed either a regular diet, a high-fat diet or a regular diet with 8% HFCS (such as a diet with soft drinks).

Results? The HFCS chow caused more severe adipose inflammation and insulin resistance than the other two. When ghrelin (the hunger hormone) was removed from the mice, the inflammation decreased.

HFCS appears to affect metabolism in ways that can contribute to obesity.