Monday, November 26, 2007

Stand up occasionally at work to lose fat….

Today's post: Monday, 11-26-2007

Most of us today do a lot of work sitting down. We talk on the phone at our desks. We do work or gather information on our computer at our desk. We sit at meetings.

Even if we get decent exercise most days otherwise, most of us are fatter than we’d like to be because of this.

One of the health related emails I get recently had information that simply standing up occasionally at your desk each morning & each afternoon everyday you are at work or using your computer at home, can actually add to the amount of exercise & activity you get each week.

Even if this is as little as 10 calories total each day, over a year that could easily make you a pound less fat at the end of that year.

The concept that particularly appealed to me is that by standing when you are waiting to leave a voicemail or for software to load or when talking to someone you want to speak with energetically, you will still be effective.

You will also be getting more exercise with positive health benefits BUT DO IT WITHOUT any ADDED TIME TAKEN from your busy schedule.

It may take some getting used to. But I did it enough this morning to make a difference. My plan is to just keep doing it as I remember until I get in the habit of it.

I think of this as the exercise program that literally needs no added time from my schedule to do.

Of course, I still plan to do my scheduled exercises too. But when I thought about it I really liked the idea I can improve my circulation & health plus lose a bit of excess fat with no extra time needed at all.

Personal note:

I’ve done at least one post each week since I began this blog. Next week I’ll not be able to do that.

But check on Friday, 12-14 because by then I will have another post or two for you.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

3 new ways to longevity – some you can eat….

Today's post: Tuesday, 11-20-2007

You may have read that eating a high nutrition but low calorie diet seems to produce much longer, healthier lives in both people & other animals even one celled ones.
Some people are trying that. But there are ways you can produce much the same effects without such severe calorie restriction.

The researchers found that this eating pattern triggered a genetic effect. These eating conditions turn on a family of genes called sirtuins (“silent information regulator proteins”). Sirtuins apparently produce cellular messagers that turn off or turn down the aging process at the cellular level.

Here’s two ways to help get that effect. The second one is more fun & forgiving than the first.

1. The first way to get some of this effect is to eat right for health. Without deprivation, you can eat many kinds of nonstarchy vegetables each day in salads, in main dishes, as stand alone dishes, as snacks, like cauliflower florets or radishes, or in omelets. That increases your intake of fiber & many kinds of micronutrients. If you can get them, organic vegetables are better for you.

This is one of the secrets to being less fat without feeling hungry. And, it simply makes you less hungry for the higher calorie foods you eat.

Eating many high nutrition whole fruits but not quite as many, like kiwifruit, blueberries, strawberries, & whole apples helps you to eat enough to not be hungry but not take in too many calories -- not as well as vegetables but much better than sugary or fatty foods. And, many of them taste good.

Then add health OK, high quality protein foods & health OK fats like extra virgin olive oil, nuts, & avocados. But don’t overdo the quantity.

Sharply limit or virtually eliminate sweets, baked goods, foods with refined grains, & soft drinks—both diet & regular.

This kind of eating won’t produce this anti-aging effect by itself. But it may help either turn it on some or at least not turn it off by doing the opposite. You will definitely be less fat than eating otherwise would make you.

2. Consuming a natural compound called resveratrol also has been found to trigger the anti-aging effect of sirtuins as well as calorie restriction.
One way to get it is to simply add foods & drinks high in it to what you already eat & drink. Plums, red & purple grapes, blueberries, cranberries, & concord grape juice and red wines are high in resveratrol. Recently I found out that a kind of red wine I’ve not yet tried made from muscadine grapes is quite high in resveratrol. And, virtually all red wines are good sources for it.

The good news is that this means that even drinks & foods like red wine & plum jam, sugary cranberry relish, strawberry jam, & blueberry jam may actually be good for you because of the resveratrol in them. Of course, this is ONLY true if they are made only with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup & if you eat them in moderation. But even so, these are much healthier alternatives than other treats in part because of the resveratrol & other micronutrients they contain.

The other good news is that you can get the amount of resveratrol that looks to definitely trigger the anti-aging effect by taking supplements. Resveratrol in the trans form that does the job is now available as a supplement. Longevinex is the brand that has actually been studied as producing this anti-aging effect. But other brands may also work.

The effects of resveratrol are astonishingly powerful. They include greater energy, strength, & endurance for example. Older athletes, older exercisers, & people who like sex may really like this set of effects.

And resveratrol is also enormously protective of your health, from cutting inflammation levels that tend to produce heart disease, other vascular disease, & arthritis, to apparently sharply reducing all kinds of cancers & other degenerative diseases.

3. Lastly, taking the supplement CoQ10 tends to prevent your mitochondria, the energy producing part of your cells, from turning off as the amount your body provides drops as you get older.

And, I read of a report recently that taking the supplement Ubiquinol directly which CoQ10 metabolizes into in your body had similar effects to resveratrol in sharply slowing the rate of aging. To be sure it was rodents that were in this study not people. But the effects were striking. Those eating normally aged normally. Those also fed CoQ10 aged more slowly. And, those also fed Ubiquinol hardly aged at all in the same time period.

Since taking 100 to 200 mg a day in people increases energy level, effectively lowers high blood pressure, & tends to strengthen the heart and even may help prevent cancer, my very strong suspicion is that adding 50 mg twice a day of Ubiquinol which ensures a robust level of CoQ10 in the blood will also have this anti-aging effect in people.

There are many other supplements which may slow aging in various ways. DHEA is one as are DMAE & Carnosine which help prevent glycation of your cells from oxidation or eating too much sugar.

But resveratrol & Ubiquinol look to be in a class by themselves as to how powerful they are.

This information is new to me. But I now take both of them based on the research reports I’ve read.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Two good ways to relieve & reduce stress ….

Today's post: Wednesday, 11-14-2007

Most advice on relieving stress is too hard to use or doesn’t work well. So very few people get into doing those enough or well enough to actually get any stress relief.

The good news is that anything effective you do manage to do to lower your physical stress level has multiple health benefits such as making senility & heart attacks much less likely. It also improves your quality of life & makes you feel better. Dr Fred Luskin, in his book on stress, says it even helps you think better, be more creative, & solve problems better. That can come in very handy at work & in the rest of your life.

We will soon have a website that will sell one of the most effective stress relievers now known. We’ll announce it here when it’s up & running.

For now, here are two ideas you can use right now.

First is a stress reliever that’s fast, sixty seconds or less, that virtually everyone can do. This post has two versions.

Second, many people today with real estate loans with rising rates & tighter credit have money problems. The second part of this post is by one of the most effective & knowledgeable people in business on what actually works well to eliminate debt.

It does take a bit of time to do; but it works. Even better, once you begin making progress on the methods he outlines, your stress level will drop even before your debt problem is solved completely.

First. Here’s the immediate stress reliever info.:

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, the Internet’s most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit

“What's Stress Got to Do With It? By Dr. Jonny Bowden

What do allergies, asthma, hypertension, acne, insomnia, and obesity have in common?

They're just a few of the conditions that can be made worse by stress. Stress can trigger symptoms, increase their severity or frequency, and lengthen the time you suffer with them. Stress can also compromise recovery. No good holistic or "natural" approach to healing would ignore stress as a critical component of illness.

Specific emotional states like depression, for example, have been linked to "hard core" conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Conventional medicine continues to obsess over cholesterol as a "risk factor" for heart disease, meanwhile ignoring the very real - and much more serious - risks from trauma, divorce, anger, loneliness, grief, and abusive relationships.

Natural medicine worthy of the name can never ignore the role of stress - nor of attitude and emotions - in healing the body. Managing stress is as important to healing and health as anything you can take in pill form, from the most potent pharmaceutical drug to the gentlest herb.

Nearly all classic stress-management techniques - from yoga to meditation - center on deep breathing. Try the following technique to get started on your own personal stress-busting routine:

• Sit quietly in a comfortable position, hands resting on knees, palms up.
• Try to quiet your mind. It helps to think of a comforting phrase like "let go."
• Close your eyes and inhale deeply, concentrating on your breath.
• Hold for just a second. Then exhale deeply, saying your chosen phrase quietly in your mind.
• Repeat for 10 deep breaths, concentrating only on your breath and your phrase.

[Ed. Note: Dr. Jonny Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition, and health. He's a board certified nutritionist with a master's degree in psychology, and the author of the best-selling book, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.”

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Our comment on the first method.: His method takes less than a minute & will work to some degree. I find it not quite powerful enough to take my mind off more severe stresses though.

Here’s one I found recently online & modified to make it easier to use that I believe I found on the health eletter from the Bottom Line reports people.
I find I often have to focus my mind more than just saying a phase to shut down thinking about what’s stressing me. This second method also is easy enough to do, particularly when you have practiced it a few times, that you can do it even when you are pretty stressed.

I find it works much better for higher levels of stress than just the single phrase since it takes my mind off the stress better & I relax more. It’s also a bit more active & less boring which makes it easier to do.

It’s a seven step process. To memorize the steps is about as easy as counting to 6 & then adding the last step which is how all the first 6 steps end.

Believe it or not, the best way to memorize something to make it easy to do & reliable to remember afterwards is to memorize the last step, then the last two, etc. Then once you start, the more you get into it the better you know it. This is a secret that professional musicians & animal trainers use.

First here are all 7 steps:

Close your eyes & breathe as smoothly & slowly as you can without straining at all to do so.

Then repeat these 7 sentences to yourself in order.

1. My arms & legs feel heavy. I am at peace.

2. My arms & legs feel warm. I am at peace.

3. My belly is warm. I am at peace.

4. My forehead feels cool. I am at peace.

5. My heart is beating smoothly & regularly. I am at peace.

6. My breathing is smooth & slow. I am at peace.

The seventh step is simply to then end by repeating, “I am at peace.“

This method is surprisingly powerful for something so quick.
The underlying suggestion of "I am at peace" repeated seven times plus the tiny bit of concentration needed to remember & say the first 6 steps in order plus the slight but definite slowing of your breathing are what make it work so well.

If it appeals to you at all, take the time to memorize it NOW. Or make an appointment with yourself on when you’ll come back to this post & do it.

I’ve re-arranged the original I read to make it easier to remember.

Take a piece of paper or use your keyboard. At the BOTTOM of the page, write the
6th step.

Then just above that write the fifth step. Then read them back in order. Say them or think them.

Then write the fourth step & read back steps 4, 5, & 6. For memorizing if you aren’t trying to relieve your stress as you go, you can skip the I am at Peace part since you probably already remember each step ends with that & it’s the seventh & last step.

Then keep going until you have all 6 on your list.

Then open a different file or turn the paper over & repeat them from memory. Cheating the first time through is OK if you initially block on what comes next. But this method works so well, you likely won’t need to!

Next, look at the list.

The first two are about how your arms feel.
The second one & third one are about how a body part feels warm.
And, the first 4 are about how a bodypart feels.
The last two are about the smoothness of your heart & breathing.

That also makes it easier to remember.

The next step is to close your eyes & try it.

After every one of the 6 steps you just memorized, say mentally, “I am at peace.”
Then do that one more time as the last step.

I find it works best if I breathe in slowly & smoothly during the first part & then breathe out when I say “I am at peace.”

Also note that the heart statement # 5. says “My heart is beating smoothly & regularly.”

Unlike your breathing which you can force to slow down a bit usually, your heart may be beating fast if you are stressed when you begin & the rate is not under your direct, short term control. So the fifth step simply says “My heart is beating smoothly & regularly.” That way, even if it’s still beating pretty fast, the statement will be true.

Second. Would having less debts &/or fewer or lower payments reduce your stress level a lot?

Here’s another article from Early to Rise:

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, the Internet’s most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit

“2 Steps You Can Take Today to Get Out of Debt Fast By Michael Masterson

Do you spend more than you make? I used to.

When I started working as an editor at a Washington, D.C.-based newsletter publishing company, my salary was $14,000. My wife was earning less than that. Our two salaries barely covered our basic living expenses. On top of that, I was attending graduate school and we were paying off student loans. Then our first son was born. For the first six months of his life, he slept in an open drawer in our bedroom.

Meanwhile, I was spending money I didn’t have on things I couldn’t afford. Struggling to pay for my education and brand-new family, I overspent because it seemed to provide some happiness, some relief.

But the thrill of buying stuff soon waned. Each new object brought less relief. Eventually, I realized that I was getting 80 percent of my pleasure from experiences that didn’t cost much money. But recognizing that you don’t need junk food and kicking the habit are two distinct things.

Here’s how I got myself out of debt:

First, I got rid of all my credit cards. I figured that what I couldn’t buy with cash was either worthless or worth saving for. Although the fear of going without credit was great, I never experienced any anxiety after I trashed the cards. It seemed like a drastic decision before I made it, but after half an hour I never gave it another thought.

The second thing I did to get out of debt was to start saving. I had made myself a promise that I would save a percentage of my take-home pay, but I never did it. The breakthrough came when I was talking to a friend about how the IRS manages to collect a big chunk of our income through the evil genius of withholding. I recognized I had to do the same thing to myself. The only way I was going to save money was through force.

The solution was available in a new-at-the-time savings-bank program, one that withdrew a set amount of money from my primary account every month and put it in another one. That program allowed me to gradually increase my saving from 10 percent of my income to 25 percent and pay down my debt in a few years.

If you are spending more than you are making, get rid of your credit cards. And to get used to spending less, remind yourself repeatedly that most of the junk you buy (a) becomes unused after a few months and (b) doesn’t provide you with much value anyway. Remember that the best things in life - the picnics you have with your family, the walks you take by yourself, the time you spend with your friends - are free, or nearly so.

Create a separate bank account that you’ll use to pay down your debt, or have your debts automatically deducted from the one account you have. You might even consider a debt consolidator. (But watch out. Most of them are crooked.)

Increase the amount of your take-home that goes into debt payments every month. You might start, for example, with 10 percent and then increase that by 5 percent a month. Six months from now, you could be living on half of what you spend now - and I’ll bet you will be feeling a lot better about yourself. You’ll have less stress, more energy, more confidence, and the beginnings of a lifelong habit of wealth building.

There are so many ways to save money. You can spend less on just about anything without giving up either the pleasure you take in buying or the quality you get from your purchases.

Instead of buying new clothes that will be out of style in a year, buy vintage clothing that looks great and distinguishes you.
Instead of signing a lease for an expensive car, buy something old but still good that has a personality.

Instead of going out to lunch every day, eat some fish or other protein at your desk. This is one of the things I did. By eating a can of tuna every day instead of going to lunch with my co-workers, I saved almost $2,500 in a single year. Plus, I went from staff editor to publisher by applying that extra lunch-hour time to improving the business.

Instead of plodding along in your same old job, make the decision to earn more money. I did that by making myself a more valuable employee. Until then, I was doing my job and leaving when my job was done. To prepare for my raise, I started working extra hours - even though I didn’t have many. I used those extra hours to help my fellow workers do their jobs (which they appreciated) and launch a few new products. I didn’t know anything about marketing at that time, but those two activities turned me into the go-to guy at the office.

Several months later, I walked into my boss’s office and told him everything that was wrong with the business. "You are not telling me something I don’t know," he said. "If you let me run this business I will fix all these problems," I promised.

He liked my moxie - and he had no one else to turn to - so he let me take over. With my added responsibilities, he gave me a raise. Every six months, I asked for more money, and I got it. In three years, I had nearly doubled my salary.

In addition to working extra hard at my primary job, I earned a second income by teaching a class of undergraduates early in the morning. It wasn’t a ton of money, but it helped pay off those debts.

I was working 14 hours a day, spending two hours with my family, and getting it done. It wasn’t easy but it was a lot of fun. What I discovered was that working hard when you are motivated is a lot more fun than hardly working when you don’t like your job. That was a lesson that made a big difference in my life. If you are in debt and have too little income, it’s a lesson you should teach yourself.

Work more. Save more. Spend less. Waste less. You’ll be out of debt and on your way to building real wealth in no time.

If you want to read more about wealth building, I recommend Automatic Wealth (because it’s my book).”

He also recommends some good books on buying stocks & investing in real estate.

(You can see the rest of his list in the 11-9-2007 issue of Early to Rise.)

But, he is writing to people that already read the Early to Rise email every day. Its daily articles on investing & making money are often both better & more current than the books he suggests.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

How to fight high blood pressure in cold weather ….

Today's post: Thursday, 11-8-2007

I recently read a report that if your blood pressure is at all too high it tends to go up about eight percent during the cold weather in the winter.

That’s enough to cause problems potentially. An almost OK 129 over 79 in summer weather that becomes 8 % higher in winter is: 139 over 85, which is much less OK.

A higher blood pressure of 150 over 95 that may be safe to treat with nondrug methods only, particularly if you use effective methods, might easily become 162 over 103 in the winter with this eight percent increase.

With blood pressure that high, almost all doctors prescribe drugs as it will begin to damage you fast enough you need to bring down your blood pressure right now.

The good news is that the report listed why this might be so. And, you can reverse many of these causes.

If you get a reading of higher than 160 over 100, you would be well advised to get the drugs first.

1. When you are outside your surface blood vessels tighten to preserve warmth.

So, try to be outside less if you can when it’s really cold. Dress a bit more warmly than you might have otherwise. (Adding a hat or a hat that covers your ears does a surprisingly good job if you haven’t yet tried it.) Last, do your best to keep moving when you are outside. That keeps you warmer & keeps your internal blood vessels more open.

2. Cold medicines & pain killers increase blood pressure. Many people don’t know that. And, taking pain killers may slow your immune system so you stay sick longer. Many people don’t know that either.

So, try not to take any cold medicines & pain killers. If you do take them, do so as short a time as you can manage. Drink LOTS of water instead. Doctors say that but they hardly ever do a good job of how powerful it really is. You do still feel sick & yucky. But if you do drink about twice as much water as normal, you remain a lot more functional and you recover much faster. It also helps prevent complications & worse.

Also, get a bit more rest & pace yourself.

3. People get depressed more in dark weather. Then they eat more bad foods & exercise less.

So, if it’s not too cold or dangerous out, take a 10 or 15 minute walk at about Noon. It doesn’t LOOK like there’s much light. (Your eyes adjust to the light level.) But light meter readings and actual experience prove there is enough light then to prevent light deprivation depression (SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.) Spending about 30 to 45 minutes each morning in your bathroom or kitchen also works if you have installed very bright full spectrum light bulbs. You also get some exercise.

You can also eat fish that is safe to eat & is quite high in omega 3 oils or take lots of omega 3 supplements and get regular exercise several times a week. Those two things are effective depression lifters.

Last, even if you are depressed, make sure to keep exercising & when you need food for stress break eat health enhancing foods that are tasty or high in fat instead of sugary foods with bad fats.

Walnuts, pecans, almonds, avocados, & guacamole on veggies you like can work. So can tasty soups & chili that you like that are made with health OK ingredients like lentils, pinto bean, & extra virgin olive oil & very little if any salt. Fresh fruit you like also works. The fiber & micronutrients prevent the sugars in them from doing much harm. And, fruit like sour cherries, blueberries, strawberries, black berries, & kiwi fruit can be very enjoyable.

4. Many people only get enough exercise when they can be outside. And, in cold, dark, & windy weather they stay inside more. (The staying inside more might be a good idea. But the lack of exercise is NOT.)

So, find at home exercises that fit your schedule & do them. Or, make sure to go to the gym for half an hour of actual exercise when you are there at least twice a week.

5. People eat more fat gain inducing foods during the holidays.

So, make absolutely sure to keep up regular exercise; eat right for virtually EVERY meal that isn’t a holiday feast; eat the health OK foods like salad with just a bit of dressing, vegetable dishes, & fresh fruit first (you automatically eat a bit less of the other stuff); focus more on good conversations with the people than the food because enjoying that lifts your need to reward yourself with just the food & also makes the fat gain foods you do eat less bad for you; & cut back just a little on the really fattening stuff. It’s OK to love those foods. Just eat one of some of them instead of two of all of them.

Think this doesn’t work? If you take these steps it does. The year I did a good job on them all, I didn’t gain an ounce.

6. Since your blood pressure may go up in the winter, this is a great time to begin doing the things that lower blood pressure without drugs.

Our upcoming website & eBook on these methods will be out soon. We’ll announce it here as soon as it’s ready.

But if you know some of these methods already, be sure to do them all this time of year.

Here are some quick ones: Limit your alcohol to two drinks a day instead of way more. Cut WAY back on salt at every meal that’s not a holiday celebration. Try to stop eating ALL commercial snacks & baked goods when you aren’t at a holiday celebration. Eat whole, unprocessed foods fresh or frozen that you thaw out instead of packaged foods if you can possibly manage it. Take 400 to 600 mg a day of magnesium. Eat lots of vegetables. And, eat significantly more high potassium foods like avocado, banana, kiwifruit, oranges, berries, & orange juice. Be sure to get regular exercise several times a week. Reach out to people more & socialize more. And be good to the people around you.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Much better farmed salmon is available ….

Today's post: Friday, 11-2-2007

In a previous post, I listed many of the reasons to totally avoid farmed salmon.

Earlier this week, I found a source of farmed salmon that is close to doing it right; & it’s called Loch Duart salmon. Enough so it might be OK to eat occasionally after you buy & cook it or order it in one of the upscale restaurants that now sell it

Loch Duart salmon is not cheap. (Though it isn’t horribly expensive either.) And, since it comes from Scotland, it’s not a local supplier to people in the United States & Canada.

But, they do most of the things right that the majority of farmed salmon producers do wrong.

They use no hormones or antibiotics. And, instead of using grain feed that lowers the beneficial omega 3 oils & increases the omega 6 oils most people already get too much of, they use fish meal made from sustainably harvested fish. They also treat their salmon much more humanely than other fish farms. As a result, they only need 1.1 pounds of the fish feed they use to grow a pound of salmon. So they may have the most sustainably grown farmed salmon available.

In addition, they divide their farm roughly into thirds & then have each third in turn return to its natural state for a year.

As a result, they are dramatically better for you than other farmed salmon. Particularly in the restaurants that serve them, they are a MUCH better choice than other farmed salmon.

And, I like the idea of buying from businesses like Loch Duart that are making a well thought out effort to provide health OK foods.

They are likely safe to eat once or twice a month. But for eating at home more often, canned or fresh Alaska or other wild caught salmon is probably still a better choice.

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Part Two:

If you have time for other info on foods to eat & avoid, you may be interested in this article that adds some other foods to the list of those many have thought were good for you that may not be.

This article also has a source for fresh wild caught salmon. <<<<<

"This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise's Total Health Breakthroughs , offering alternative solutions for mind, body and soul. For a complimentary subscription,
visit "

Flush Out the Health Food Imposters By Dr. Jonny Bowden

The reputation of foods seems to go up and down as often as the stock market. Nutrition gurus have reversed themselves so many times it makes my head spin. Take margarine. Everyone thought this was a healthy food when it first came out. But by now most people know that it is loaded with trans-fats and far worse for you than the butter it replaced.

Consider other foods we used to shun but now embrace as good for us: certain fats, coconut oil, whole eggs and even coffee come to mind. But what about foods everyone thinks of as healthy?

Could some of these be health-food imposters?

Canola oil. Here's health imposter number one. It's a highly processed oil that needs to be chemically deodorized, which frequently creates trans-fats. In addition, the omega-3's in it are easily made rancid by heating. Canola oil's presence in the marketplace is a triumph of marketing rather than science. Use pressed organic canola oil only, if you use it at all.

Energy bars. Many "energy bars" are loaded with sugar. Some have trans-fats. And most have a ton of chemicals. Read the label carefully. Healthy choices should have at least 10 grams of protein, no hydrogenated oils and no more than a couple of grams of sugar. The Atkins Advantage bars meet those criteria, as do a very few others. There are good bars that have more than three grams of sugar, but those are specialty whole-foods bars like LaraBars, which are made from nothing but real fruit and nuts. They're fine, unless you're watching your carbs. The other high-sugar bars tend to be only marginally better than candy. If it tastes "too good to be true" it probably is.

Cereal. Many cereals today say, "made from whole grains." So what? The fact that something started life as a whole grain doesn't mean much if it was processed to death. And glycemic index figures from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that whole grains can raise blood sugar almost as high as processed ones can. Many "whole grain" cereals have been processed to the point that they have less than 2 grams of fiber per serving, which makes them fiber lightweights. Whole grain cereals with less than 5 grams of fiber per serving are probably no better than the cereals they replaced.

Salmon. Farm-raised salmon is another problem. Nutritionists have long urged everyone to eat salmon. It is high in omega 3's and it's a wonderful source of protein and vitamins. The problem is, we now get most of our salmon from factory farms, not the open seas. They're kept in pens, fed antibiotics, artificially colored and often contain far less omega 3's than their wild cousins. And according to a study in the journal Science , farm-raised salmon contains significantly higher concentrations of PCBs, dioxin and other cancer-causing contaminants than salmon caught in the wild. Make sure you choose wild Alaskan salmon over the factory-farmed kind. If you can't get it in the supermarket, try a company like Vital Source. They will ship the highest quality wild salmon and other fish directly to your door.

Soy. Soy's not the worst thing in the world for you. But it's been way oversold as a health food. The healthy kind of soy is traditionally fermented, like miso and tempeh, or minimally processed, like edamame. Fermented soy may have real health benefits. But manufacturers slap "soy" on the label of every kind of snack food from chips and nuts to cookies and ice cream hoping that people will believe it's a healthy food. It doesn't become healthy just because it has soy on the label.

Frozen yogurt. The only resemblance frozen yogurt has to real yogurt is that they're both white. Yes, it can be a delicious desert, but you shouldn't fool yourself that there's anything whatsoever that makes it more healthy than ice cream. In fact, the non-fat kind is filled with aspartame, which has been linked to cancer, according to the journal Environmental Health Perspectives . Why not just eat the real thing -- ice cream? Just get the highest quality you can find and eat it less often.

The takeaway point is to consider not just what you're eating but the quality of it -- where it comes from and how it's made or grown. The healthiest foods are the ones that are minimally processed and closest to the state in which they were found in nature. If you could hunt it, fish for it, pluck it or gather it, it's probably not a health food imposter.

[Ed. note : Dr. Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He's a board certified nutrition specialist with a Master's degree in psychology. Dr. Bowden is also a life coach, motivational speaker, former personal trainer and author of the award-winning book, Living the Low Carb Life .

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Our comments.

I’ve known for quite a while that it’s undesirable to cook with oils high in omega 6 oils. (They tend to break down into somewhat dangerous compounds I’ve read when you cook with them.) And, it’s not a lot better to cook with oils high in ALA, the plant based omega 3 oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is a much better choice. If you don’t overheat it, the omega 9 oils it’s mostly made of break down less And, even though Canola does have ALA omega 3 oils, it’s a very poor choice as it has too many omega 6 oils to compete with the little bit of omega 3 oils.

A much better choice for added plant based omega 3, ALA, is to eat walnuts if you aren’t allergic to tree nuts. Walnuts are proven to benefit your heart. And, they have fiber, magnesium, & other nutrients. Plus, if they are of better quality, they taste good unheated. Even better, eating walnuts & other nuts has been found to increase longevity. This may be partly because they are a superb & tasty substitute for totally unhealthy snacks you might otherwise eat.

Lastly, I’ve read separately that modest consumption of traditional soy foods that are fermented or tofu is MUCH better for you than soy flour & other forms of soy that have some health negative effects. Many of the energy bars Dr Bowden mentions have this undesirable kind of soy added to them. And, that’s yet another reason to pass on most brands of them.

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