Friday, October 29, 2010

Surprisingly easy way to lose 12 pounds by next year....

Today's Post: Friday, 10-29-2010

There are a number of ways to lose fat that even though some people will find them harder than others are actually quite easy in and of themselves.

Switching to these ways initially can be a bit harder for some people. But once that’s done, continuing them is almost ridiculously easy.

Not drinking soft drinks is one of these things since both regular and diet soft drinks two main effects are making the people who drink them fat & sending money to the soft drink companies.

But people who drink 2 or 3 or 4 soft drinks a day and have for many years who drink other things instead and simply stop drinking soft drinks entirely can lose even more fat and weight in a year than 12 pounds. In fact, one source suggests that they will lose from 30 to 60 pounds from doing this.

But what if there was an additional way that was just a touch more challenging to do initially, that would help you lose 2 pounds in the next 12 months.

I’ve actually already recommended this method as a way to find time to exercise that will work for many people.

And, I knew that many studies have found that people who use this method are less fat than people who don’t.

But what is new today, is some information on how fast it apparently works.

Most people today average watching TV from 2.5 to over 5 hours a day.

There are a number of ways to cut back TV watching to 2 hours a day or 14 hours a week.

Here’s the news, if you cut back from average levels of TV watching to 14 hours a week or less, I just found out that there is a study showing you will virtually automatically burn an extra 120 calories a day – every week for a total of 840 calories a week AND 3600 calories a month.

But there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat. That means that once you do this TV cut back and sustain it, a year from now you have a good chance of being 12 pounds less fat!

But it gets better. The soft drinks and packaged snacks and the like that tend to make and keep you fat are most heavily advertised on TV. That means that it will be MUCH easier for you to stop eating and drinking these things.

So you may well lose more than the 12 pounds!

Besides missing all those adds for fattening junk foods and soft drinks, there are two reasons you will burn more calories.

1. Watching TV burns less calories than sleeping! Virtually no matter what you do in the time you no longer watch TV will burn more calories. And, if you go from 28 hours a week of TV watching a week to something like 12, you mulitply that additional calories per hour times 16 hours a week!

2. Doing moderate physical activities like walking, gardening, light housework, playing ping pong at a less than expert level, slow dancing, or tai chi all burn calories, help you stay healthy, and be less fat.

And, vigorous exercise such as interval cardio and strength training, burns more calories per hour, burns calories up to several hours a day after you do them, AND adds more muscle to you so the food you eat powers your exercising and your added muscle instead of your fat.

If you do some of each every week, moderate physical activities, interval cardio, and strength training, it will help you lose fat without as much food restriction which makes that part easier to do and keep doing, it ensures the weight you lose is virtually all fat. You will also lose more inches and look better sooner!

And with 16 hours a week you no longer are sitting in front of your TV, doing half an hour to an hour a day of such exercises can become MUCH more doable. You may even find time for an hour a day of exercise. With 16 hours freed up, you’ll even have 9 hours left over!

But the exciting part of the information I got today is that even people who don’t get that serious about doing more exercise will burn that many more calories when they cut back on their TV watching!

Just watching less TV is that effective!

I get an email several times a month from, YOU Docs Daily by Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD with health articles. Each issue has links to several articles, I’ve seen 3 per issue.

Here is the link to their article on cutting back on TV watching.: .

They also include the idea of using some of the time you do watch TV to do moderate exercise by watching it from a stationary bicycle or treadmill.

And, they have some ideas on how to cut back on your TV watching.

Here are some more from me.

Many people spend a lot of time watching TV news and weather. I find I enjoy that myself. But unless they are interviewing someone I’ll otherwise not get to see or are discussing breaking news or something you’d like to see but otherwise would not, the times they run these items are often NOT convenient or you have to stay up late and lose sleep to see them.

And, they are SLOW! Between the time used on commercials and stories you have no interest in and the fact that you can read more about news you ARE interested in – in just 10 minutes – than they could cover in half an hour, they are really slow. Ninety per cent of the time or more you can get more stories of interest to you from reading the articles of interest from a newspaper or a well done news site such as the one Yahoo now has. And, you can read these articles at time of YOUR choosing and in far less time than watching them on TV. For weather, this is also true. And, the website for the Weather Channel is just one of the online sources that will give you instant access to your local weather conditions right now AND the forecast for weather likely to happen next. The Weather Channel even has the forecast for the next 10 days that is often quite accurate.

The other thing you can do is to rate all the TV shows that you have been watching from must see to usually like to see to OK but not great to kind of yucky but you are too lazy to turn off the TV. Then eliminate everything but the must see shows and either the bottom half of the usually like to see or just watch those half the time instead of every time.

You can also pre-record the shows you do plan to watch. That way you can set up to watch them when it’s convenient for you and time spent on hobbies you like, time with people you care about, exercise, and sleep can take priority in your schedule. In addition, you can zip through commercials that are not of interest or that you’ve already seen and see your show in 40 minutes instead of an hour.

It’s also been found that if you have a TV in your bedroom and put it elsewhere in your home or give it away or send it to the recyclers, you will watch less TV AND both your sleep and your sex life will improve!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Exercise is a key to good health and permanent fat loss....

Today's Post: Thursday, 10-28-2010

The health benefits of regular exercise are almost unbelievably valuable and large in number.

Here’s just a few of the big ones.

1. Vigorous exercise on several days a week every week prevents heart disease. It causes your blood to have less of the small particle LDL that is one of the biggest causes of heart disease. As a result, and a way you can see this effect is that your HDL goes up and your triglycerides go down or even better, both things happen.

It’s also just been discovered that every year you keep doing regular, vigorous exercise this effect increases!

2. Vigorous exercise also slows aging & literally cuts your risk of dying from all causes. So people who do regular, vigorous exercise look younger because they actually are younger physically since they have aged less. And, they not only live longer, they have many more years of life with good health.

This has been found in study after study of people who get regular vigorous exercise.

Recently, we found out one of the several reasons why this happens. When your cells divide, if they do it error free you keep living and age little. If there are errors in this process, you may get cancer or cells that don’t work or cells that stop making new copies. That, it seems, is the underlying cause of aging. And, your cells have error free copy protectors at the ends of your DNA similar to shoe lace caps called telomeres. When your telomeres are long enough, the copying is error free. If your telomeres get short, errors begin to happen.

It’s been recently found that regular, vigorous exercise is one of the most effective things you can do to keep your telomeres long.

There’s even more to exercise slowing aging. Exercise causes your body to make growth hormones so needed repair s all over your body happen right away instead of becoming a permanent problem.

3. Exercise also helps you think better AND to keep your thinking and memory skills and the core of what makes you, you that’s in your brain intact as you get older.

Exercise, particularly vigorous exercises, grows new brain cells and increases and maintains robust blood circulation to your brain cells. This prevents brain shrinkage, and helps prevent both vascular dementia AND Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, regular exercise helps you recover from stress and be less impaired by stress as it happens so you stay more capable when you are stressed. This effect may be a key way exercise keeps your telomeres long. That’s because severe stress tends to shorten your telomeres. If you exercise , the same stress causes far less damage to every part of you.

3. Exercise lowers chronic inflammation. This seems almost counter to common perception since your muscles can feel tired and sore when you exercise them really well. Apparently that triggers the repair process so well when it happens that your chronic inflammation goes down as a result.

Lowering chronic inflammation is a very big benefit. It’s been shown to prevent both heart disease AND almost all cancers.

4. Exercise makes you feel better.

People who exercise virtually always have better self esteem than people who don’t. This seems to be particularly true for people who do strength training. They know they can do certain things physically and can successfully persist to achieve goals even when it is difficult.

Vigorous exercise relieves stress since you have to stop over-thinking about your problems if only for a few seconds to do the vigorous exercise. In that way, it provides you a mini-break from the stress. But it does even more to make you feel better because it gives your brain a lot better oxygen supply and more energy from the powerful increase in your circulation you get from doing such vigorous exercises.

Few things can turn down stress and depression in a few days. Vigorous exercise does it routinely in a few seconds! That’s FAST!

It’s not saying much to report the studies showing that regular exercise relieve depression as much as effective anti-depressant drugs do since they aren’t very effective. But the studies do find that to be the case. And, exercise even moderately slow walking, begins to work in days. Unlike the few week wait with the drugs before you see if it’s going to work at all, with less vigorous exercise it always helps at least some and begins to help within a few days.

Lastly, if you also eat better and do the right exercises and keep doing both long enough, you can lose enough fat that you keep off you WILL look better.

5. For all of these reasons and others both men and women find that doing regular exercise, particularly vigorous exercise, improves your sex life.

Many men know it works for them. That virtually every study done on it shows that it works as well or better for women is far less well known!

6. Interval cardio and strength training lower blood sugar readings if they are high and tend to turn off insulin resistance or prevent it from happening. So they both prevent and can help reverse or improve type 2 diabetes.

One study found that just 60 seconds of very vigorous exercise done a few times a week lowered the HBA1C blood sugar reading in the people who did this that the researchers tested for just one example of this.

7. Doing regular interval cardio and strength training are also two keys to losing fat and keeping it off.

People who eat enough protein and do regular interval cardio and strength training and keep doing them lose almost all fat and only fat when they lose weight.

People who just take in fewer calories tend to lose muscle and bone besides the fat. So losing weight is far less good for them and they lose far less fat. Then when they eat a bit better, most of the weight and the fat all come back. Worse, sometimes only the fat comes back. That can make them fatter than when they started.

But there is even more good news for people wanting permanent fat loss – lots more.

If you routinely have parts of your interval cardio and strength training that are quite vigorous you not only burn calories while you are exercising, you burn more calories for up to several HOURS afterwards.

And, since you add some weight to your muscles as your muscles get stronger from the exercise, when you eat you not only have the exercise burn calories, the added muscle does too. That has profoundly positive effects on permanent fat loss. Your food powers your exercise and your added muscle and stops feeding or making fat!

So, without cutting back that much in your food and drinks that you eat and drink, you have less fat left over to feed fat deposits. And, because you have to cut back on the calories you take in that much less, it becomes dramatically more doable to lose fat long enough to lose most or all of your excess fat; AND it becomes a sustainable lifestyle so you are enabled to KEEP OFF the fat you lose.

Nor is this just good sounding theory. In the studies done on people who lose a lot of weight and fat and keep it off, virtually all those people do regular exercise and keep doing it. And they’ve exercised since they began to lose fat successfully.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lots of good for you plant foods....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 10-26-2010

A few days ago one of my health emails that I get had a list of many high fiber plant foods many of which have other health benefits.

And writer on foods that are good or bad for your health, Michael Pollan’s summary rule is “Eat Food. Mostly plants. Not too much.”

And our posts often stress what NOT to eat, so I thought I’d do a post on good for you plant foods.

The ones that are high fiber help you feel full without eating too many calories. And virtually all of them have multiple health benefits, particularly if you get organic ones. Some of them have so many or such powerful health benefits they are considered superfoods. (I put a ! after those on this list.) By eating a variety of these every day and every week, you can get healthier and stay healthy.

In fact, eating MORE such foods is a key to losing excess fat or not gaining it and keeping it off once you lose it. You don’t get hungry and have less room for foods that have more calories. Once you eat these foods, much of your not eating more of other foods is on automatic pilot. To some extent you don’t even have to work at it to eat less of the more calorie dense foods.

That really helps with the “Not too much” part of things!

Here’s a partial list of good for you plant foods:


Apples (Best if organic and eaten with the skins.)

Applesauce with no sugar added



Avocados! (Health OK fat plus multiple vitamins plus fiber plus good taste.
Eaten as guacamole, they are very tasty!)


Barley +

Beans!& Lentils!
(Very inexpensive sources of plant proteins and high in fiber.)


Blueberries! (Brain protective and even may restore some lost brain function.)

Broccoli! (Raw florets are the best at preventing cancers.) Also good cooked for a filling green vegetable that will help keep you trim or help you lose fat.

Brussels sprouts!



Cauliflower! (Raw florets are the best at preventing cancers.)



Cocoa, unsweetened with no fats added either



Green Beans



Oatmeal – rolled or steel cut oats – NOT quick or instant +


Nectarines (Only organic is best.)



Peaches Only organic is best.)





Raisins (Best if eaten with less sugary foods at the same time but high in fiber.)


Squashes! (Acorn, Butternut, and Spaghetti are all good.)


Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes! (Good for you and your heart eaten raw. Even more nutritious and cancer preventing when eaten cooked with some extra virgin olive oil.)


Wheat Germ!+

Wild Rice +



*Some people are allergic to tree nuts. But for everyone else, they are a superfood.

Also note, only raw or dry roasted nuts with no oils or salt added are health supporting and good for you. When nuts are salted it’s too easy to eat too many nuts and too much salt. And, most of the time the oils added are NOT good for you. Some are even partially hydrogenated omega 6 oils!)

+ Barley, Oats, Wheat Germ, and Wild Rice are grains. For best fat loss results eat them in moderate amounts only and not every day. They are a bit high glycemic. (Applesauce with no sugar, Bananas, Raisins, Sweet potatoes, and Yams on this list are not grains but are similarly a bit on the high glycemic side and should also be eaten in moderation only.)

If most of what you eat is from this list or the many similar foods I didn’t remember or get to, virtually every study I’ve ever seen says you will be far healthier in every way.

The many ways of eating that are known to produce good health results otherwise differ but all have in common that they virtually ALL include these foods.

Nuts are so filling unless you eat them until you are a bit overfull they have been found NOT to cause weight gain. (They have nutrients, good taste, crunch, protein, health OK fats or oils, AND fiber.)

And, with the exception of the foods listed to eat moderately, eating MORE of these foods is often better for you than eating less. Most of them are low glycemic foods. Eating MORE of them will make you LESS fat.

Many of them help prevent cancer. Eating berries and nuts increase your heart protective HDL levels. Virtually all of them are high in fiber, vitamin C, and
potassium. Garlic, Onions, and Ginger, well used help add massive amounts of flavor and each of the three has health benefits when you eat them.

Keep trying new ones and develop a list of foods from this list that you find you like and eat those often.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Why have food stamps just be for food....

Today's Post: Monday, 10-25-2010

A few days ago a local columnist did a column speaking against the idea of having food stamps NOT be usable to buy soft drinks.

His take was that this was telling the people getting food stamps what to do in a demeaning way.

So, for that reason making it so food stamps cannot be used to by soft drinks was a bad idea.

I think this misses the point in two ways and is a surprisingly bad idea.

1. Getting food stamps is a hassle at best and is itself demeaning. But it’s not as bad as having no food. Having the people who sign people up for food stamps be courteous and compassionate and easy to work with would make sense to minimize such feelings while applying. But having a way to help these people earn the money they really need would help most.

Making food stamps work for nonfood items for people who are short on money right now misses the point I think. Pretending that they have more money instead of food stamps won’t boost their self-esteem.

2. The idea for food stamps is to help these people get food for themselves and their children. If they can be used for soft drinks, the people getting them will get less of the food that is the purpose of providing them with food stamps. Oops!

But the key point is one that the columnist clearly doesn’t know.

Drinking both regular and diet soft drinks makes people fat in ways that tend to produce fatness to the level of obesity and cause type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Just today, it was in the health news that obesity in children was found to create hardening of the arteries and cause heart disease due to this blood vessel damage.

People with lower incomes already tend to eat foods that do this. Those that drink soft drinks regularly are even more likely to get these diseases and become obese. They may well be two or three times as likely to do so in fact.

Having their food stamps that are issued in hopes of helping them out instead help giving them type 2 diabetes and heart disease by enabling them to buy soft drinks is NOT doing them any favors. It’s actually harmful to them physically.

But it gets even worse than that. By helping the women and older girls who get food stamps get more soft drinks and become fatter, other recent studies show they are much LESS likely to get jobs at all or get jobs that pay decently.

So, having food stamps buy soft drinks will help cause them to be actively discriminated against in the workplace.

Unfortunately, that will make them feel demeaned far more than not being able to use their food stamps to buy soft drinks!

Last but far from least, many of these people are young and single. If they are enabled to get fatter by drinking more soft drinks, the fat they’ll gain will make them less attractive and cause them to feel demeaned in that way.

That is true even more for boys than girls and it’s true for both boys and girls.

In short, because of what soft drinks do to the people who drink them often and because soft drinks are not food, people who get food stamps should not be able to buy soft drinks with them.

And, if you care about them being physically hurt and feeling pushed around and demeaned, that too is a reason NOT to have them allowed to buy soft drinks with the food stamps they receive.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

How to do the harder parts of fat loss and more easily....

Today's Post: Friday, 10-22-2010

To do the key but challenging parts of managing the lifestyle upgrade actions to lose fat and keep it off:

1. Do something first that you choose to do that you really like to do or think of as fun.

Recent research shows that your ability to do challenging things right after doing so goes way up. Further, doing the challenging things then not only gets done better, it apparently takes less effort and psychic energy to do it!

What apparently happens is that at some basic level you feel rewarded and in control.

That boosts your psychic energy and ability to do things -- even challenging ones. And, you approach doing the things from your own choices rather than as something imposed on you. You take action on the challenging things then in a self-directed way.

Even better, you still have the energy and psychic energy to do more. Somehow you don’t run down your energy reserves or psychic battery.

This can be a simple as just remembering something funny that happened recently to taking 20 minutes to watch a DVD of your favorite comic or reading an exciting novel for 15 minutes – or even thinking about how much you’ll enjoy doing that when you get home from work for 30 seconds.

2. Think of something you like, control, direct, chose, or want to do about the lifestyle upgrade action.

This piggy-backs on the extra energy from the first step and also helps you feel in control which helps you do the challenging thing, do it well, and do it without using loads of extra mental energy to do it.

3. If the challenging action is only moderately difficult, just do it.

It will be easier still the next time.

One of the wisest men of many years ago was a man called Millard Bennett. He said in the context of learning new things that feel challenging at the start, “Remember, what you persist in doing becomes easier to do. Not that the nature of the thing becomes easier. But your power to do it increases.”

4. But if it’s more challenging than that, remember WHY you want to be fat free and WHY you want to stop being fat. Remember why you chose this action to help you do that. Then think about the parts of the action you control and what your goal is to get done by doing it. If there is any part of doing it you are skilled in already or even like to do, remember that.

5. If you feel at that point it will still take some extra will power to do, other recent research found that if you purposely clench or tighten a muscle just before you begin, your ability to do it goes WAY up.

Tony Robbins uses this in what he calls a physical anchor for desirable feelings. He teaches to use a specific action to focus your mind on a feeling you want to generate on command.

This is a perfect application of that. I’m right handed. So, I’ll likely use clenching my right fist. But if I clenched or tightened my right calf instead – something not visible if I was in public – the research recently done shows that would also work to boost my will power.

Use the clench your fist -- or other body part -- anchor and GO! Begin your lifestyle upgrade action.

This last one seems a bit simple minded. But it apparently has very real effects. It connects doing the challenging action to your very real ability to make things happen physically it seems.

Here’s a quote from the TIME article today from the researcher who did the research on doing something fun first.:
"When people perceived the initial task to be fun, they just kept going," Laran says. "For someone who makes hard choices for the day and sees these as fun, at the end of the day, instead of being depleted and not going to the gym, they would actually go and workout even more than they would otherwise.”
He also said the self-directed aspect he found suggests that for weight and fat loss programs having people choose the style and actions that they found to the best fit would enable success much more than a mandatory choice someone else decided they should use.
To be fair, the underlying realities such as NOT eating or drinking things containing high fructose corn syrup that we posted on yesterday – or getting regular exercise each week -- do not change for people wanting to lose fat.

But if you choose your own preferred method of dealing with them and use the strategies in this post, you CAN succeed a dealing with them and doing them consistently.

And THAT leads to fat loss and permanent fat loss.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup is much worse for you than I thought....

Today's Post: Thursday, 10-21-2010

I’ve already posted that because of the way some of it is made about 30 % of all the foods and drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup also contain mercury.

This includes many brand name products. I found one I’d actually eaten on the list in the article I initially read.

So, avoiding it all is a good idea for that reason alone.

Also, the average American eats or drinks about ten times too much sugar, a bit over 7 Tablespoons a day. Even if high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contains just a bit more fructose than sugar when you multiply that by ten times or more and do so 7 times every week, if fructose will make you fat and harm your health simply never eating or drinking HFCS and always reading labels to do so is protective.

And, I have read that that much fructose does make you fat and harm your health.

So always avoiding HFCS is a good idea. Also, because it also is in so many things that are fattening or which harm your health from their other ingredients, if you always avoid HFCS, it’s an effective way to lose fat painlessly and protect your health.

But it seems I far understated the case!

Today, I got an email from Natural Health Dossier.

Their email first warns those who already know to avoid HFCS but have not yet heard it may soon be called corn sugar to avoid HFCS by that name also when it appears as it well might.

Than they quote Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. as saying about HFCS, "It is the major driver of the obesity epidemic."

They then quote Dr Weill as saying this.: "HFCS contains 14-percent fructose. That's much more than regular corn syrup. It has disruptive effects on metabolism, because the body doesn't utilize fructose well. Humans have never before consumed it in such quantity."

Their article then continues with this.:

“A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms this. It showed that U.S. consumption of HFCS skyrocketed by over 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990.
The study estimated that we consume over 300 of our daily calories from HFCS.
And the corn industry's own statistics confirm this. They say the number of people drinking sodas loaded with HFCS shot up by 135 percent between 1980 and 2000.”

They then again quote Dr Weill.:

"HFCS promotes weight gain. It doesn't trigger the process by which the body tells us it is full. What's more, HFCS elevates triglycerides."

But we now know that elevating triglycerides is a sure way to produce heart disease. Oops! That means always avoiding HFCS will help you prevent getting or worsening heart disease.

THAT is a block-buster thing to know that I had NOT yet heard of.

They then quote a study done by Rutgers University in 2007. That study found that HFCS is more addictive than sucrose.

Then they added another blockbuster I did not yet know.

“Scientists at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland studied the effect of fructose on children with a predisposition for diabetes and 24 healthy kids. Sixteen had diabetic parents; eight did not.

“….by the end of the study all the kids had higher triglycerides. Their insulin sensitivity was significantly decreased. The purpose of the study was to show the effects of HFCS on kids with diabetes. Instead it showed that the sweetener affects everyone.

Their research showed it increased blood levels of triglycerides by 110 percent in the children of diabetics. But HFCS also increased triglycerides in kids with healthy parents by over 50 percent. “

We’ve already seen the previous evidence about boosting the heart harmful triglycerides. But the blockbuster here is that ingesting HFCS worsened insulin resistance. Oops again! That means that ingesting HFCS is a direct cause of type 2 diabetes as well as obesity and heart disease.

“Further studies revealed fructose decreases signals from three critical hormones. These hormones are insulin, ghrelin, and leptin. And they control blood sugar levels, appetite, and fat storage. They tell you how much you need to eat and when to stop eating. They also tell your liver whether to burn or store glucose.

Over-eating is one consequence of your body losing touch with these signals. Insulin resistance is another. The study concluded that fructose "leads to obesity and diabetes." “

“The University of Toronto also investigated HFCS. They fed it to Syrian golden hamsters - which have a fat metabolism much like ours. In just weeks, the hamsters suffered raised triglycerides and became insulin resistant.”

We’ve posted separately that for different reasons both diet soft drinks and regular soft drinks make you fat. And, for that reason a superb and relatively painless way to be less fat is to never or very close to never drink any kind of soft drink.

They then suggest always reading labels and to pass on eating or drinking anything that contains any HFCS at all.

They then quote Dr Weill again as saying this:

"Giving up products containing HFCS will benefit your health and help control your weight."

They then listed a long list of products where many of them now contain HFCS:

Ice cream
Salad dressings

I’ve also seen it in candies
and peanut butter
and commercial baked goods
and chocolate syrup
and premade coffee drinks.

HFCS is also in most syrups -- other than real molasses and pure maple syrup.

So if a food or drink has a label always read it. Mercifully you can now find many brands of these foods that have sugar instead or which have neither sugar OR HFCS. (Ice cream usually has sugar—or HFCS. But many breads and peanut butters do not have either sugar OR HFCS.)

The article closes by saying that eating real foods from desirable sources is a sure way to avoid HFCS and to be in better health otherwise.

“…. pick fresh, low-glycemic veggies and fruits.

Opt for natural, grass-fed meats... free-range poultry... cage-free eggs... and coldwater wild fish.

Natural foods like organic yogurt and unsalted nuts like walnuts and almonds are also safe bets.”

(Unsalted raw nuts that have also NOT had any oils added to them or in dry roasted form work great as a food or snack with surprising extra health benefits. But they only work for people who have no allergy to nuts.)

Cooked beans and lentils, garlic, onions, and spices also work well.

As I’ve posted before, water, tea, black coffee or coffee with only 1% lowfat milk, water that’s only been carbonated, unsweetened cocoa, and red wine in moderation or even some dark beer are all dramatically less fattening and better for you than all soft drinks.

So the bottom line is avoid ALL soft drinks and HFCS.

You’ll be dramatically healthier we now know -- and far less fat.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New ways to prevent cancers including breast cancer....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 10-19-2010

Recently from late last week to yesterday I ran across reminders that October is breast cancer awareness month.

There ARE ways that effectively help prevent cancers. Some of them have also been separately found to prevent breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer.

But I’ve posted on them before and was reluctant to just do another for breast cancer awareness month when I had no new information. That changed earlier this morning.

1. This morning, Dr Al Sears sent an email that gave me some essential new information to add.

For some while, he has been writing about how the telomeres, or DNA protecting ends -- inside our cells that act something like plastic shoe lace caps -- are related to aging. When they are long enough, the DNA makes perfect copies. But when the telomeres shorten too much and unravel enough you get either imperfect copies or even none at all. This is almost certainly the underlying cause of aging.

The good news is that we now know some things that help your telomeres stay long and some that shorten them. Like so many aspects of protecting your health, if you do the protective things and mostly avoid the harmful things, you can get some real leverage on protecting your health. And, in this case you also slow aging or even reverse it slightly.

But this morning, Dr Sears, came in with a blockbuster!

He found several studies showing that short telomeres tend to increase cancers and long telomeres tend to prevent cancers. (Apparently some of the imperfect DNA copies with short telomeres become cancers.)

That means three things. In addition to the list of things that are known separately to prevent cancer, we now may know why some of those things work to prevent cancers AND we now know a very powerful set of MORE things to do that both slow aging AND prevent cancers.

Here are some quotes from his email today.

“A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that longer telomeres can dramatically reduce your risk of cancer.”

“A Virginia study found that breast cancer cells had shorter telomeres than normal cells.”

“A research team at Harvard discovered that having short telomeres nearly doubled the risk for bladder cancer.”

“According to Japanese researchers, cancers of the mouth begin in cells with short telomeres.”

A”….new Italian study….measured overall cancer risk. These doctors found that people with the longest telomeres were the least likely to develop cancer. In fact, they were more than 10 times less likely to develop cancer than people with short telomeres.

And people with short telomeres are twice as likely to die from cancer.”

This clearly means that you can cut your risk of all cancers rather dramatically by doing what you can to keep your telomeres longer.

Here are some of the methods to keep your telomeres long and prevent them from being shortened that Dr Sears listed.:

“Exercise is one of the best ways to slow the aging of your cells to a crawl and reduce your risk of cancer. One reason was discovered by researchers in Germany. They found that intensive exercise keeps your cardiovascular system from aging by preventing shortening of telomeres.
Another comes from a study done at the University of California in San Francisco. It found that vigorous exertion protects you from high stress by protecting your telomeres.”

We’ve already posted on separate studies showing that regular vigorous exercise slows aging substantially, cuts the death rate from all causes other than accidents etc, and dramatically improves biomarkers of heart health. These two studies now show why this is so. Exercise both keeps your telomeres long directly and keeps stress from shortening them! These findings also helps explain why exercisers get fewer cancers and women who exercise get fewer breast cancers.

“ Cold-water, high-fat fish like mackerel, wild salmon, lake trout and herring are good sources of omega-3, which can lengthen your telomeres.”

“Besides exercise and eating the right foods, did you know that supplements also offer protection for your telomeres?

For example, according to the National Institutes of Health, women who simply take a multivitamin have 5 percent longer telomeres than those who don’t.

And….vitamins C and E and resveratrol – also appear to slow the shortening of telomeres.”

“One vitamin is actually linked with lengthening your telomeres, and you don’t even need a pill to get it. It’s vitamin D.15 Just 10 minutes in the sun gets you 10,000 units.”

You can also take 2,000 to 10,000 iu a day of vitamin D3. And, the very large number of health benefits found from doing so include preventing many cancers.

Dr Sears also wrote that : “Obesity and smoking will shorten your telomeres.”

Many smokers don’t yet know that smoking causes something like 30% of all cancers – not just lung cancer --- and has been shown to speed up aging. Now we know one of the several reasons why this is so. (Not smoking and avoiding virtually all second hand smoke is a key way to prevent all cancers that we have already posted about.)

Obesity also has been found more often in people who get cancer and breast cancer. We just saw that the kind of regular and vigorous exercise obese people tend NOT to get prevents cancer.

And, obese people tend to NOT eat the nonstarchy vegetables and fresh fruit that contain the natural forms of many of the vitamins that keep your telomeres long.

2. In the book Anti Cancer, that we’ve reviewed before, the author shows that in addition to getting enough omega 3 oils, NOT ingesting the massive overdose of omega 6 oils that most people get is a critical way to prevent inflammation. The studies he found showed that such inflammation not only causes heart disease, it also sharply increases the rate of most cancers.

Foods to avoid that do this include refined grain foods, whole grain foods in more than moderate amounts, virtually all the oils high in omega 6 including corn, soy, safflower, and canola. And, it includes the fats from animals fed grain instead of their natural foods. To avoid those, eat meats and poultry that are only grass fed or pasture fed, eat far less grain fed meat and poultry and when you do, remove as close to all the fat as you can manage. Similarly, use nonfat and very lowfat dairy and limit cheese unless it comes from cows fed only grass.

Most of the commercial treats and snacks obese people eat are loaded with these sources of omega 6 oils. So eating none of these or WAY, WAY less of them not only can help people stop being obese, it’s a key way to prevent cancers.

3. A truly impressive list of plant foods also have dramatically effective preventive powers in preventing cancers and in preventing the aggressive and deadly form of cancers.

Many of the cruciferous vegetables only do this well in their raw state. Broccoli and cauliflower are two of these.

The Anti Cancer book also rates Brussels sprouts, onions, and garlic as very powerful cancer preventers.

The carotene lycopene in tomatoes also helps prevent cancer. But oddly enough, it is something like ten times as bioavailable when you eat tomatoes that have been cooked and/or pureed with extra virgin olive oil.

Blueberries and other berries also have cancer-preventing effects as do most citrus fruits.

4. Lastly, two other supplements also help prevent cancers besides the vitamins and resveratrol that seem to help keep your telomeres long.

a) CoQ10, particularly the much more bioavailable form of it, ubiquinol, very likely also helps keep your telomeres long. But taking it also seems to prevent cancers from developing new blood supplies while at the same time NOT preventing normal cells from doing so.

It also helps you protect your heart and keep your natural energy as you get older.

b) Curcumin or the Turmeric spice that contains it apparently works with vitamin D3 to help prevent both Alzheimer’s disease AND most cancers. So taking that daily or eating curried foods that contain turmeric several times a week or both looks to be unusually protective.

In addition, consuming it with black pepper has been reported to make the cancer preventing effects as much as 200 times stronger. The theory is that this combination makes the curcumin more bioavailable to your body.

The bad news is when you add all the parts of the things you can do to prevent cancer, the list is truly imposing.

But, the good news is three-fold.

You may well already be doing many of them.

Virtually all of them have multiple health benefits in addition to preventing cancers.

And, you can start with just adding one new thing from this list. You do NOT have to do it all in one pass!

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Monday, October 18, 2010

My personal, monthly, progress report on my fatloss....

Today's Post: Monday, 10-18-2010

Last month, despite being unable to do the Kettlebell exercises I’d like with my left hand or doing full weight on the dumbbell exercises AND making no new cutbacks on my food or drink intake, I’d lost another one & a half pounds since August the month before that.

Last month, I also lost a quarter inch off my waist.

This is a bad news/good news report.

Here’s the bad news first.

Since last month I gained back both the one & a half pounds on the scale AND the quarter inch off my waist.

NOT the news I’d hoped to see. In fact, this is the first time since I began my current efforts that I went backwards. The worst before was just no progress one time.

Of course, I know the main reasons why it happened.

1. Since last time I went to not one but TWO birthday parties where I allowed myself extra food, cake, and extra alcoholic drinks.

2. Instead of gradually getting better, just when I thought it was and tried to stay at a low medium level on my way back to my normal weights, I re-injured my left arm. So, I not only was I not doing the amount of upper body strength training I wanted, my ability to do so has been delayed again!

However there is some good news.

1. I did make a bit of progress on my strength training leg exercises.

2. And, the book by Tom Venuto that I’ve been reading suggests that I might make more progress on my efforts to lose fat and inches off my waist if I cut back more on my calories. (Tom Venuto may be THE best expert on fatloss methods now.) He found that enough calorie restriction in people who exercise right reliably lowers the percentage of body fat enough to remove enough belly fat to let your abdominal muscles show up. Cutting back calories too much still stops fat loss. But his information suggests that not losing belly fat means you need to cut calories more or increase your exercise more or both.

3. I also found a couple of local sports medicine doctors with experience helping athletes recover from muscle and tendon injuries that I can see for advice.

4. Lastly, I got my health indicating blood tests done for the first time since the time well before I lost the weight I just lost.

My total cholesterol was 182, about normal for me. My HDL was 96, about normal for me. My triglycerides were 46, still under 50, also normal for me. But, the LDL was the one I wanted to see most. I’d been allowing myself a bit more cheese than normal and wanted to see if that had increased my LDL from the 96 to 106 range I’d been getting. Wow! Was I surprised! My fat loss efforts since I began them several months ago instead had cut back my LDL all the way to 76!

That’s not only good news for me, that’s good news for everyone. Since my LDL started at 130 and would have been over 160 then had I not already been doing some things right, to me this shows – from the actual evidence as shown by these tests – that you can get to such desirable levels with NO need to use statin drugs. And, that goes double if you add a bit of successful fat loss to the mix.

Here’s my action plan based on the good news and bad new this time.

1. I’ve still lost a pound more than my initial goal and two of the six inches I needed to lose off my waist. So, I’m going to continue everything that got that job done. I KNOW better than to quit everything just because of a temporary set back.

2. I had a plan already to cut back my remaining sugar intake in half but was waiting to do it a certain way that I couldn’t yet do. Now that I know I’ll go in reverse a bit without cutting back now and that cutting back now might start removing more inches off my waist, I’m going to simply stop eating half of the small amount of dark chocolate I’ve been eating instead of waiting for a way to eat the same amount of chocolate with just half the sugar.

And, instead of thinking about cutting my sugar intake on my oatmeal my remaining 3 days every two weeks in half using agave syrup as I discussed in my last post last Friday, I’ll be doing that also.

3. I’m going to see my regular doctor for his advice on my left arm and to see if he has any referrals for more info. Then, I’ll probably see one of the sport’s medicine doctors too.

(I want to be sure I’ve not injured my left arm in a way that needs surgical correction before I assume that it will just get better if I wait long enough. And, I want to start taking action to blast the obstacle out of the way!

Since I could literally feel the muscle growth effects of my new kettlebell program, I not only want to resume it with both arms, I want to work to increase it!

I know that will help add muscle to several parts of me and help me lose inches off my waist by having what I still eat feed that muscle instead of my belly fat.)

My goal for next time is to lose back the pound and a half I gained and another half pound for a total of 2 pounds and at least lose back the quarter inch I gained back on my waist.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

The many ways to cut back on sugar....

Today's Post: Friday, 10-15-2010

The average American adult today has two characteristics.

1. They are on the borderline between being a bit too fat and obese, definitely too fat.

2. According to a study reported by the American Heart Association, they take in by eating or drinking 22 teaspoons of sugar a day.

(In case that doesn’t sound like much since teaspoons are pretty small but 3 teaspoons equals a tablespoon. That means the average American takes in a bit over SEVEN TABLESPOONS of sugar a day. That’s 50 Tablespoons of sugar a week!)

Unfortunately, there is some evidence that the high sugar intake is one of the primary causes of how fat Americans are.

AND, sugar DOES taste good. I’ve always liked it myself.

But this is quite a national and individual health problem!

Here’s why.

It’s been clear for quite awhile that taking in that much sugar makes people fat and helps many people get type 2 diabetes who would have escaped it otherwise.

And, being that much too fat tends to ruin your sex life and trigger high blood pressure or make it worse.

Unfortunately that’s not all. A recent study found that taking in this much sugar and/or similar amounts of refined grain foods also lowers HDL and increases triglycerides. Oops !! We have learned that that means that ingesting too much sugar or eating lots of refined grains or both is a definite cause of heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks.

So, there you have it.

Sugar tastes good but is dramatically worse for you when you take in so much than most people even BEGIN to imagine.

What if you like sweet things and sugar and foods sweetened with it and refuse to give up sugar and such foods entirely but you’d also like to avoid these horrible problems?

If so, you have company. That describes me too!

But, I’ve found that cutting back enough to get massive leverage on how much sugar you eat and drink to prevent these problems is actually doable!

First, artificial sweeteners (and I suspect natural sweeteners with virtually no calories too) are NOT a solution! They cause your body to crave the real sugar effect their taste promised but did not deliver. In practice that means they almost always cause people to eat more real sugar than they otherwise would have.

Here are some ways to cut back on sugar I’ve found to work.

Some may work well for you and some may not. But the more you use, the better your health will be and the less excess fat you’ll wear.

1. Cut back the frequency!

The number of sugary things a day it takes to AVERAGE over 7 tablespoons full of sugar is quite a bit.

There was a book called, French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano that came out in 2007. It seems the French also eat sweet treats. But the French people eating in the traditional way who didn’t get fat did two things right.

They tended not to drink any soft drinks. AND, instead of eating three or four treats a day, they ate one or two a WEEK.

If you can cut back that much on how often you eat sugar, it will make a dramatic difference.

You don’t need to do it in one pass though that’s the best solution if you can do it.

Here’s what I did and am doing to cut back in steps.

Early in my life, I began eating oatmeal every morning with about 3 and a half Tablespoons of brown sugar each time.

Before I found out how bad that much sugar was for me, I decided it was likely too much. So I stopped adding sugar all seven days a week and only added fruit four days a week. I still had the sugar 3 days a week.

Then as I began to hear how bad sugar was, I cut back to having just 1 or 2 Tablespoons of sugar on the 3 days I still had it. I also added lots of cinnamon on two of those days for both the added taste and the effect the cinnamon has on the sugar NOT spiking my blood sugar from the sugar I still was eating. And, for taste also, on one of the days I had sugar and cinnamon I also added a good bit of powdered ginger for a gingerbread sweet taste.

More recently, about 10 months ago when I decided to lose the 15 pounds I’ve since lost, I decided to have a boiled egg and some cooked lentils on half my breakfasts every other day instead of having oatmeal at all. This cut my sugar intake in half. Now instead of eating sugar with my oatmeal six times every two weeks, I only eat sugar with my oatmeal three times every two weeks.

My next step will be to cut the amount of sugar each time in half without cutting back how sweet the food tastes. My hope is that this strategy will give me the same taste and NOT trigger the sugar craving I’d get from using a no calorie, no sugar sweetener. Since agave nectar tastes three times as sweet as sugar but has a bit less of an effect on your blood sugar than the same amount of sugar, if I use a fourth of the amount of sugar I’ve been using, I’ll get a three fourths of the sweet taste. And, unlike stevia and artificial sweeteners that have an off taste as an undertone agave nectar avoids this problem. Then if I still use a quarter as much of real sugar which has a quarter of the sweet taste, the three quarters of sweet taste from the agave plus the quarter from the real sugar will give me the sweet taste I’m used to. But I’ll eat half as many calories or a bit less and get half as much boost to my blood sugar or a bit less.

However you do it, if you cut back from lots of sugar every day to a good bit less sugar on only some days each month, it will take pounds of fat off your body and improve your health and health protection.

2. Drink no soft drinks at all.

Something like half the sugar many people ingest comes from regular soft drinks. But what they may not realize is that the total sugar each week is so high. And, they also likely don’t know that all those calories do NOT make them less hungry. In fact, when their blood sugar crashes later, they get hungrier – and for sugary foods! So not drinking regular soft drinks at all cuts back more than half the sugar in one pass.

Diet soft drinks have virtually no calories but have something like triple the appetite increasing drug effects of regular soft drinks. So, no longer drinking any of those will enable most people to cut back their sugar intake by over half too.

As I’ve posted before, virtually every aspect of why people drink soft drinks can be gotten from drinks that have no sugar and many even have health BENEFITS!

And, it’s worth it to eliminate soft drinks. One study found that people were reliably 15 pounds heavier with excess fat for every single soft drink they averaged a day. That means that someone who keeps drinking 4 a day as so many people do, will eventually have 60 pounds of extra fat they could have easily avoided. Yikes!

3. Always read labels and if you see ANY high fructose corn syrup, which soon may be listed as “corn sugar,” do NOT buy or eat the food.

This helps you cut back on sugar and the effects of ingesting sugar and protects your health in another way as well.

a) Since so many foods that do not need sweetening or that do but you can do without most of the time contain high fructose corn syrup still, you’ll eat versions without any sugar or with real sugar or pass entirely. That will help you eat less sugar in two of the three cases.

b) High fructose corn syrup IS more fattening than sugar if you eat 7 Tablespoons a day of it as so many people do. The email I got this morning from Dr Al Sears had studies proving just that listed. Here’s one reason I think that happens. To be sure the most common kind of high fructose corn syrup only has about 5% more fructose than regular sugar. But when you eat or drink something like eleven times too much, that 5% that looks harmless turns into an excess of 55% of fructose.
And, separate studies of free fructose NOT included inside fruit and its fiber have found it to be more fattening and health harmful than regular sugar.

c) But there’s more. Because of the way about 30% of high fructose corn syrup is made, it carries with it a measurable amount of mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxin that you do NOT want to ingest if you want to keep healthy nerves and all your brain function! And, it’s even more critical NOT to feed it to your kids!

4. Use enjoyable and rewarding foods that have no added sugar.

Berries, nuts, and unsweetened cocoa all work.

Really good savory foods work too.

5. As we posted earlier this week, it also helps to have ways that make you feel better or relieve stress that do NOT involve eating anything, let alone eating or drinking something with sugar in it.
These are all strategies that work.

Add any you find that weren’t here and use these strategies to the best of your ability. You’ll find you CAN cut way back on sugar.

When you do, you’ll like the results!

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

21 effective fat loss tips, part 2....

Today's Post: Thursday, 10-14-2010

An email mentioned that there is a Weight Loss Tips Magazine. I look forward to seeing a copy and how to help my readers get it. With that name, there should be worthwhile articles in every issue.

When I went online looking for it. I didn’t find it, at least not on the first page,

But I did find several lists of tips that have been tested to work.

I decided to do a post with 21 of them.

These came from people who lost over 10 % of their bodyweight and kept it off, from people who were once very fat who lost over half their bodyweight, from my own successful experience, and from information I’ve read by successful fat loss and weight loss coaches.

Last time on Tuesday, 10-12-2010, I listed 14 tips and ran out of time. So I decided to do the rest of the tips today.

But I found I have more than 21 good tips since I have more than 7 still to go.

In fact, I have 12 more left. So there will be 26 total!

15. Always eat a health supporting, health OK breakfast.

In one group of people who lost fat and weight and kept it off at least 5 years which means likely they kept it off permanently, always eating breakfast was on strategy most of them had in common.

Another study found that people who always ate breakfast both ate MORE calories AND were LESS fat than people who never ate breakfast. It’s almost as if the breakfast calories and their ability to turn off your hunger are a free pass that still enables you to lose fat!

Yet another study found that people who always ate breakfast had better health than people who did not. People who ate health OK breakfasts had the best health. But even people who ate breakfasts with less healthy choices were still in better health than people who never ate breakfast at all.

Also, there are several groups of people who will find always eating breakfast even more helpful.

It’s helpful for men to do. But one study found that it was almost a make or break, critical strategy for women. Women who never ate breakfast had much more problems succeeding at fat loss and weight loss than people who did not.

Some people find they are extremely hungry when they get home at the end of the day and have real trouble holding down how much they eat. Doctors found that these people were setting this up for themselves by never eating breakfast. And, if the people they were helping lose weight, began eating breakfast every day even if at first they weren’t hungry for it and their breakfast was small, they got back their ability to control how much they ate in the evening and their weight loss re-started.

Unfortunately, many work places don’t yet realize that providing their staff with fattening sweet treats most mornings makes their staff fat and boost the medical care costs they will pay out later. If you work in a place like that and never eat breakfast, guess what? Too often to get good fat loss and weight loss results, you’ll be so hungry at that time of the morning you’ll wind up eating more of these fattening treats than you can and still lose the fat you want to get rid of.

(I also find that when such treats come in a box with a label, close to nothing in them is safe for my health to eat. Refined grain, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and hydrogenated oils, high omega 6 oils are what most of these things are made out of. So, since I know that and don’t want to harm myself AND I’ve eaten a good breakfast and am NOT starving hungry, I find it easy to pass on the fattening treat foods.)

16. Having a fat loss buddy where you each are really into it and can support each other has really helped some people. If your mom or your daughter or your husband or wife does it with you, it can help you both succeed. It has done exactly that for many of the people who lost the most in fact.

17. Throw out and do not restock harmful or fattening or trigger foods.

If someone else in your home insists on having them, at least only stock the amount they eat themselves, tempt them with good tasting better foods to see if there are any they like, and eat right yourself anyway. Many successful people use my method of knowing what these things are made of and how harmful they are to do this.

But, if it’s just you, be SURE to do this one. Since these foods aren’t that great for other people to eat healthwise, Jillian Michaels suggests dumping them right into the trash. But if you can’t or don’t want to do that, at least give them to a place that feeds people who otherwise would have nothing to eat.

If what you have easy access to at home is only the foods and drinks that will help you lose fat, it becomes MUCH easier to do. And, you start buying only the good stuff by habit which makes keeping off the fat you lose easier.

18. Know what your most important to you reasons are to lose the fat. And, when you review those reasons, congratulate yourself for the things you are doing to do it or decide what things to try next and try them! My two biggest reasons are to protect my health and to look the way I WANT to look. You may have reasons more important to you. Know what they are and take action!

19. This next one is one of the two ways to double your chances of success at fatloss!

How’s that for a tip?!

Weigh and measure yourself regularly and write down the results and keep doing it!

I find it works best for me to do this once a month, I do it just before breakfast on a weekend day so I don’t have to rush and have time for it. I measure my chest, waist, and hips, and weigh myself just before breakfast. Then I weigh myself just after breakfast. And, I write each one down in my log book. I also add the before breakfast weight to the after breakfast weight and divide by two to get the weight that I think comes closest to what I likely usually or really weigh and consider that my real weight.

Some people find they do better weighing themselves once a week.

But even more important than how often you do it is that you do it every time, write down and save the results every time, and keep doing it.

The people who do have double the success rate of people who don’t.

20. Think of your fat loss strategies as a permanent lifestyle upgrade. Do NOT think of it as, or call it, a “diet” or a temporary deprivation strategy. This helps ensure you don’t overdo cutting back how much you eat until your body halts you in your tracks by deciding you are in a famine and destroying your ability to continue. Even more important, it helps you to keep off the fat you lose and keep the benefits of it – permanently!

21. Similarly, commit yourself to permanent lifestyle upgrades in eating right and exercising.

(In addition to losing the fat you want to lose, you’ll get massive health protection; and many of you will find you can stop taking medicines for chronic conditions you no longer have!)

22. Limit drinks with calories even those OK for your health to drink.

Limit your intake of real fruit juice to one a day. (Because of their fiber content and low glycemic rating, this is NOT true of real vegetable juice. In fact adding one or two a day can help you lose fat!)

Limit your alcoholic drinks. This both gets the best health results and prevents you from feeding excess fat with excess alcohol. I’ve found I am less fat and weigh less when I do just this. If you are a man, limit your number of drinks to 2 or less almost every day and make sure to drink 10 or less most weeks and to average 10 or less. If you are a woman, limit your number of drinks to 2 or less almost every day and make sure to drink 6 or less most weeks and to average 6 or less. (I’ve found this only happens for me when I keep a log and write down what I drink each day and have a target amount most days for what I will allow myself to drink.)

23. When presented with a treat food that’s fattening, particularly those you run into often, make an every time habit of thinking about the consequences of eating it and how much if you decide to have some, BEFORE you decide.

Ask yourself questions like,

Is this made with ingredients that will harm my health? All too often it won’t be. I find this one personally VERY helpful.

Will eating this help me achieve my fat loss goal? Of course the answer to that is usually not.

Is this one of my all time favorite foods or just a junky treat I can do without?

(This one also has helped me a lot! Saving my treat times for those I really like helps me to pass on 90% of the treats I could eat. Why waste my limited indulgences on stuff I don’t like that much to begin with?)

If I eat this, will it be the first time this month or the fifth time this week?

If it’s the first or maybe the second time this month, it may be OK. If not, mentally yell STOP! & do NOT eat it.

This one is critical no matter what.

One of the fat loss experts with the best ever track record of getting results for his clients, Tom Venuto, actually says you can eat your favorite treat foods as long as you keep the frequency down low enough that your total calories you eat and drink each month are under the control limits you set.

It can be quite liberating a few times a year to do this in fact. The key is doing it only a few times a year instead of a few times a day!

This tip is almost as good or even better for some people as getting hypnosis treatment. If you know what foods benefit your health and which ones harm it and always use this tip, you can succeed as well as someone who got effective hypnotic treatment. This has actually been verified both by a recent study and by fat loss expert Tom Venuto in his work with his clients.

24. Find a nonfattening or even better and nonfood way to do things like celebrate, make yourself feel better or reward yourself, and to relieve stress.

In fact, find about seven such things that work for you. Then when tempted to use food for such things, almost always use the nonfood ones.

25. Develop a list of foods and recipes and keep learning more of foods and drinks you really like and even consider treat foods that actually are good for you or don’t fatten you.

A small piece of dark chocolate or a larger piece less often if you eat it when you are NOT eating dairy foods or drinking milk, actually increases your blood flow and helps you to keep your blood pressure down and is protective for your heart and health in other ways. Drinking unsweetened cocoa with LOTS of cocoa doesn’t have many calories at all and has these same effects.

Raw, plain walnuts, pecans, and almonds that have neither been salted or covered in oil are actually a superfood if you aren’t allergic to them. And they are so filling that you tend to eat enough less of other things they tend not to be fattening either.

Any kind of berry you like works really well. Strawberries and raspberries taste really good. Some people like blackberries. Organic wild blueberries are a superfood but are a little on the astringent side. Try any of these with 2% fat lowfat yogurt for a different treat. I find adding that or 1 % lowfat milk to blueberries makes them a treat food.

I’ve also found that applesauce made with no sugar plus 2% fat lowfat yogurt plus lots of cinnamon makes a nice cold treat when the applesauce has also been in the refrigerator. I just mix them well and enjoy.

Develop your own list and this will also help you avoid fattening treats.

26. Read articles on fat loss, weight loss, good for you and protective foods, and articles on the many ways exercise benefits your health often.

When you do this, think about how you can use the info or feel virtuous and in the know if you are already using the information.

Of course, reading this blog is one way to do that!

(By the way, the second way to double your success rate at fat loss is to be in an ongoing fatloss support group of some kind. I’m working on an online one that I am working hard to have it be the best of its kind.)

In the meantime, reading that kind of information often and this blog often is one way to get that support.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

21 effective fat loss tips....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 10-12-2010

An email mentioned that there is a Weight Loss Tips Magazine. I look forward to seeing a copy and how to help my readers get it. With that name, there should be worthwhile articles in every issue.

When I went online looking for it. I didn’t find it, at least not on the first page,

But I did find several lists of tips that have been tested to work.

I decided to do a post with 21 of them.

These came from people who lost over 10 % of their bodyweight and kept it off, from people who were once very fat who lost over half their bodyweight, from my own successful experience, and from information I’ve read by successful fat loss and weight loss coaches.

1. Almost always use portion control at every meal.

Consumer Reports found this one most reliably was done more often by people who were never fat and people who successfully lost fat than it was by people who tried to lose weight and fat with no success.

I find that it’s most important to do with your most frequent meals and with food and drink that is higher glycemic or higher fat.

Drinks, even health supporting ones tend to add calories more than they cut hunger. And, fats and oils, even health supporting ones have a good bit of calories.

If you eat a definite amount but not more than that 95% of the time or more, for total food intake and for drinks and fats, it IS far easier to control your total food intake and calories.

2. Get to know and learn to like many kinds of health supporting foods and drinks that are neither harmful nor fattening.

I’ve found that lists of foods like Super Foods that are super nutritious and lists of foods that prevent cancer and foods that prevent heart disease or have other health benefits are a great source for ideas.

By now, most to all of what I eat and drink every day I found on such lists initially.

3. Learn what foods and drinks are actually quite harmful whether they are popular or not and NEVER eat or drink them. Learn how to find those ingredients on labels. And, ALWAYS read labels!

Why waste your calorie intake on such stuff or pay your hard-earned money to make yourself sick or to reward the companies that provide it?

Similarly, learn what foods and drinks are fattening but OK occasionally and AVOID having them more than a few times a week. Often a few times a year or a month is better for you and can even be done while continuing to lose fat!

4. Eat virtually no refined grain foods; and be very moderate in eating 100 % whole grain foods.

These foods are very high glycemic; people did NOT evolve to eat them at all often; and the refined grains provide very little nutrition or fiber.

5. Drink no regular or diet soft drinks. We now know that both kinds are fattening and tend to make you MORE hungry.

6. Eat virtually no fast food. Over 90% of it is made out of foods or components you are better off NOT eating -- both for health and for fat loss.

7. Eat at least five servings of fruit or vegetables each day. They provide lots of nutrition and health protection.

Nonstarchy vegetables protect and support your health AND have virtually no calories and a lot of fiber. Four or more servings of those a day has been known to produce near effortless fat loss as you tend also to eat less of more fattening foods that have more calories.

(Important note. If you’ve not been eating them, it’s easier to do and give your system time to get used to the extra fiber if you add just one a week or every two weeks instead of going from zero to five in one week!)

8. Work to always avoid eating fats and oils that harm your health, see #3 above. And, be moderate in eating health OK fats and oils but do eat them.

You needn’t stop eating any fats and oil and will lose more fat if you do eat some of health OK ones every day.

But they DO have enough calories, be SURE to keep your total intake moderate or a bit less.

9. Except for once a year occasions such as hosting a Super Bowl party, do NOT eat in front of the TV.

The distraction of the TV often keeps people munching past when they should have stopped eating and turns off portion control.

10. Cut back your low priority TV watching until you watch 10 to 14 hours a week of TV or less.

Because you burn fewer calories watching TV than you do sleeping and the foods and drinks that are best totally avoided are advertised abundantly on TV, virtually every study of it finds that people who watch more are quite reliably fatter, often much fatter, than people who do not.

11. If you can fit it in any way, get in several walks each week even if they are only 10 to 20 minutes long. Or, do a comparable cardio workout while watching some of the TV you still watch. Or, do Tai Chi most days of the week. It provides both such moderate exercise AND slashes your stress levels.

(Extra tip for the next three tips. Doing these exercise sessions first thing in the morning and at home makes it much more likely you will continue doing them. When the demands of the day begin, you’ll already have done your exercises. And eliminating travel time to exercise makes it much easier to fit into a busy schedule.)

12. Get vigorous exercise at least four times a week either doing interval cardio on in your strength training.

Such exercise best makes you more fit and controls blood sugar. And, you also burn calories for up to a few hours AFTER you stop exercising!

To do it safely increase your intensity slowly and start at a level you find relatively easy. But you can start at a VERY low level and become very fit if you simply stay with it and keep improving each month.

13. Get at least 3 sessions on an every other day schedule of interval cardio.

Even alternating moderate intensity with easier exercise has been found to give you the benefits of vigorous exercise. And, if you build up to more gradually and avoid over-doing it, building up to more IS better.

14. Do at least two sessions a week of strength training on an every other day schedule.

Some strength training is vigorous and when you have more muscle, you burn more calories every hour of the day. Doing strength training helps ensure the weight you lose is fat and enables you to eat more and still lose weight.

(You can also do shorter sessions of strength training, even 10 minutes a day, by doing upper body exercises three days a week alternately with leg exercises three other days a week.)

Good news and bad news. I’m out of time today. But I find I have more than 21 good tips since I have more than 7 still to go.

I’ll do those next time which should be on Thursday, 10-14.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Be SURE to get your flu shot this year!....

Today's Post: Monday, 10-11-2010

HealthDay News ran a story on Thursday, 10-7-2010, last week that I somehow missed. Mercifully Yahoo news decided to feature it today. So, I got to see it after all.

The article was titled: “Many Americans Plan to Skip Flu Shot This Year.”

Although the flu vaccine protects people from getting it AND helps prevent the spread of the flu, many Americans said they & their children won't be getting a shot this time.

Despite the attention surrounding last year's outbreak of H1N1 flu, 43 % of Americans say they will not be getting the flu vaccine this fall, according to a survey from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases…

Another survey from the same group found a third of American mothers who said they have no plans to get a flu shot for their children.

This may be a VERY bad idea indeed!

Flu puts people in the hospital often and even kills people. Every year millions of people get the flu; and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and thousands of people die.

So, in general even if the flu shot is less than a 100 % effective, it’s both important for your quality of life and your safety to get yourself and everyone in your family and household to get the flu shot.

A mild case can make you feel awful and be less productive at work and a medium case can cost you a week at work -- which for some means that much income lost. If all the flu shot did was to increase your odds of missing THOSE things, which it DEFINITELY does, it would be well worth it.

But it also can prevent you from paying up LOTS of money in medical costs or even save your life.

Every single year that’s so including this year.

But this year, there are two new reasons to make sure that even if you miss some years, it isn’t this year!

1. They lost some of the people last year who got bad cases of the H1N1 flu. And, many people, including me, did not get the extra H1N1 flu shot.

It WILL be back this year. And, this year, the regular flu shot has the H1N1 flu protection in it. And, even if you got the H1N1 flu shot last time, by getting the flu shot with it this time, your protection will be better.

2. With so many people this year NOT getting flu shots and so many families NOT getting them for their kids, you are as much as four times as likely to be exposed to the flu this year and NEED the protection of the flu shot.

HealthDay news quoted Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as saying this:

“"There is plenty of vaccine available," he said. "This year we think that the three strains of influenza in the flu vaccine are going to be excellent matches with the flu that's circulating."

He also said that this year's shot contains vaccine against the H1N1 flu that caused the major outbreak last year.

They also quoted flu expert, an associate professor of medicine at New York University, Dr. Marc Siegel, as saying that many people who choose not to get a flu shot are falling prey to myths about the vaccine. "It's all because of this nonsense that's been circulating that somehow the flu shot is dangerous," he said.

"The fear of the vaccine outweighs the fear of the disease and that's a huge mistake, because the disease is more dangerous than the vaccine."

He also said that children should get the flu shot not only so they won't get the flu, but so they won’t spread it.: "Children don't have any immunity. They are super-spreaders of the flu," “

HealthDay closed by saying the most knowledgeable people, doctors, nearly all have gotten the flu shot already or plan too soon

And, “most doctors recommend flu shots to their families, friends and patients, the survey found.”

Of course, healthy people are less likely to get the flu or a serious case of it. And taking things like 2,000 iu a day or more of vitamin D3 and a daily probiotic supplement might help you avoid colds and the flu. So will going out less in public and washing your hands every time after you have and touching your nose or the corners of your eyes ONLY with a clean tissue and NOT directly with your fingers.

But as obnoxious as having the flu can be and as horrible as a bad case can be, this year because you are almost certainly going to be exposed to the flu, I very, very strongly urge you to get the flu shot AND do the list of things in the last paragraph!

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Friday, October 08, 2010

How to manage salt for taste and health....

Today's Post: Friday, 10-8-2010

I got an email yesterday that made several points about salt and sea salt.

1. The amount of Iodine in virtually every multivitamin plus mineral supplement is enough to supply your needs even if your food is a bit low on Iodine and you pass on buying pure white, iodized salt. (This is also another reason why everyone who cares about their health should take a every multivitamin plus mineral supplement.)

2. That doctor then said that that kind of salt, commonly available in almost all supermarkets also contained some sugar and aluminum. If so, that’s the first I’ve ever heard of such a thing. So I cannot vouch for this statement.

But as much too much of sugar as most people ingest, this would be a very bad idea if true.

The aluminum is little better and may be worse if it is in such salt. Taking in aluminum from any source is better avoided since it may be one of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

(I personally mostly avoid baked goods because of their sugar, salt, and refined grain content and still too often, their hydrogenated oils content. But I also realized that helps me avoid any baked goods from bakers who use double acting baking powder that contains salts of aluminum. When we still did some home baking, I got us the double acting baking powder that contained no aluminum for this reason.

I also use an original formula underarm deodorant from Tom’s of Maine instead of an aluminum based antiperspirant for this reason.)

So, despite not having any test results yet to back these two statements up, they do motivate me to avoid such salt.

3. There is some evidence that sea salt, such as Celtic Sea salt, with it’s blend of minerals besides sodium salt, may boost blood pressure less when used than the refined, white grocery store salt with only sodium. In addition, some of those trace minerals in the sea salt may not be in your multi or even your food yet be beneficial for your health.

4. Sea salt costs more than grocery store salt with only sodium. Since there is very strong evidence most people will be healthier if they limit salt, that’s actually a good idea. It helps to motivate you to use it sparingly.

(The DASH II diet that adds many fresh vegetables and fruit with mostly potassium AND restricts salt to 1500 mg a day which means eating very, very few packaged dessert or snack foods and very little bread or canned foods, strongly lowers blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure.

And, in people who have normal, average blood pressure, they have their blood pressure go down to the level now thought to be ideal for good health!

Most people who eat this diet find that they also lose fat weight without any extra effort or hunger. Losing 15 to 25 pounds is actually not rare in fact.)

5. Ways to help your food taste good without using tons of salt as many people still do include:

a) Don’t add it while cooking or add it in quarter teaspoon sizes instead of full teaspoon sizes. Then, taste your food before salting it. Depending on how much salt your body needs and the kind of food and the other spices in it, you may find it needs no more salt to taste good. And, if it does, you still get WAY less salt by adding only what your taste actually needs and not all that extra.

b) Make creative use of spices such as red pepper, horse radish, chili powder, paprika, turmeric and curry spice mixes, black pepper, spices like cinnamon and herbs like basil, and sage, etc.

Use garlic, either garlic powder or minced raw garlic. And, use chopped raw or cooked onion.

Then balance any excess sharpness with some extra virgin olive oil in which the flavors also will blend and will improve the taste.

c) When you do use salt, use sea salt. Because it costs a bit more, you’ll use it less. And, there are some possible reasons it may be better for you as we’ve just seen.

d) When you do use salted butter or most kinds of cheese, realize that it comes with salt and salty flavors. So, in some foods, adding some will add the salt for you into the flavor, so you need none or far less in addition. (Again, the thing to do is to taste the food first before you decide to add salt or not.)

6. Instead of salty snacks, eat fresh fruit or small amounts of cheese or raw or dry roasted nuts. Raw veggies such as radishes, celery sticks, carrot sticks, or broccoli florets, or cauliflower also both work well and have tremendous health benefits.

Some people are allergic to nuts. But raw or dry roasted nuts, if you can eat them, are superfoods for good nutrition. They are high in fiber. Their main oils are good for your heart, either the plant kind of omega 3 or monosaturated oils like olive oil. With their protein, fiber, and fat content, they are very satisfying to eat – so much so, you’ll eat enough less of other things in any kind of reasonable amount for a snack, nuts have been found NOT to be fattening. In fact their glycemic index is virtually zero. And, nuts have natural vitamin E in all its parts and many minerals that provide health benefits and to balance the sodium salt you do eat, such as magnesium.

(Do NOT however eat nuts coated with hydrogenated or omega 6 oils or roasted in them or salted. The added stuff is worse for you than the nuts are good for you. You can add extra virgin olive oil or salt them to taste yourself but only buy raw nuts or those that have been dry roasted only.)

7. Consider taking 200 to 800 mg a day of magnesium and eating a lot of foods high in Calcium in addition to eating many fresh vegetables and fruit with mostly potassium and eating very, very few packaged dessert or snack foods and very little bread or canned foods.

The magnesium and calcium and potassium you get this way help your body balance the sodium salt you do eat. And, by NOT eating the kinds of foods loaded with hidden sodium salt, you’ll eat far less of it.

(Note that calcium in food is good for you while it was recently found that calcium in supplements actually may help cause heart disease. The supplement calcium simply goes into your system too fast to be processed correctly it seems. Eating calcium rich foods along with 2,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 and doing weight bearing exercise builds bones better than taking calcium supplements anyway.)

8. Lastly, there is an extra for those of you who have high blood pressure.

A study was just in today’s health news that people take their high blood pressure drugs at bedtime get much better control and health benefits AND experience less side effects. (The side effect are either less or you sleep through them or both.) You do have to get the 24 hour blood pressure test or “ambulatory” test to be sure taking your meds at bedtime won’t cause too low levels in your blood pressure as a precaution. But the results look to be well worth it.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Drinking diet soft drinks is increasing type 2 diabetes....

Today's Post: Thursday, 10-7-2010

Today, the email I got from Al Sears, MD had this headline:

“The Zero-Calorie Hoax.”

He says that people drank over 43 billion cans and bottles of diet soft drinks last year.

I’ve already posted that diet soft drinks are such strong stimulating drugs for sugary foods, they almost always make the people drinking them as fat as they would be from drinking regular soft drinks despite having virtually no calorie content themselves.

I’d be willing to bet most of the people drinking those diet soft drinks don’t yet know that!

That’s a LOT of people buying an EMPTY promise!

But Dr Sears has even worse evidence than that. It seems that drinking diet soft drinks both causes type 2 diabetes and the precursor condition, metabolic syndrome that is both directly harmful and tends to lead to type 2 diabetes.

In the Diabetes Care journal for April, 2009, he found a study reported that found that people who drink diet soft drinks every day are 67 % more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Another study in the journal Circulation for 2008 found that people who drank the most diet soft drinks had a 34 & greater risk than those who drank the least.

And, another study, in the same journal, Circulation for 2007, found that people drinking more than one diet soft drink a day had a 56 % bigger chance of developing metabolic syndrome.

(Metabolic syndrome is a group of risks that give you a greater chance for diabetes, as well as coronary artery disease and stroke.

You get a fatter belly; your protective HDL goes down, your blood pressure goes up towards dangerous territory, and your blood sugar starts getting too high. And, if the last part keeps going and your blood sugar keeps getting farther past too high, they diagnose you as having type 2 diabetes.)

Here’s a drink that makes people fat and sick big time!

And, by and large, the poor people drinking diet soft drinks have no clue!


Have you been included too because you got used to regular soft drinks first or you want the fizz or caffeine or better taste from these drinks?

Here are some MUCH safer and less fattening ideas!

If you want or need caffeine and have been drinking a diet cola, instead drink coffee, tea, or green tea or take green tea extract or drink unsweetened cocoa. If you drink these drinks without sugar or artificial sugar or regular milk it’s even better for you.

Green tea, tea, and unsweetened cocoa all are dramatically better for you with no milk added. If they are a bit too hot to drink when you are ready, just add a bit of ice or cold water.

Many coffee drinks have tons of sugar and bad fats. (They also tend to be extra money and fattening.) But you can drink coffee black or add just a bit of 1% lowfat milk or just a bit of 1% lowfat milk and a teaspoon or more of powdered cinnamon. That last method even makes instant coffee pretty good. And, you can also get good tasting coffees from Starbucks and Peet’s. And Starbucks has a dark roast instant which is not bad. Coffee has more caffeine than tea, so you have to be a bit more careful not to overdo it until it keeps you awake the next night. That defeats the purpose a bit!

If you are just thirsty, chilled and filtered water is not bad and definitely does the job.

If you want the fizz, chilled club soda and Perrier water and the like work well.

If you like fruit flavor, there is a new drink out called “Hint” now becoming available some places which has a very nice, mild flavor – from REAL fruit and virtually no sweetness or sugar and no artificial sweeteners at all.

If you want to zap your taste buds with your drink, chilled Bloody Mary mix or the Virgin Mary drink with their blend of spices works very well. So does spicy V8 and Snap E Tom tomato juice. These use a bit of horse radish or hot peppers.

V8, tomato juice, and 100 % real cranberry juice have very little sugar and are OK in moderation too.

And, if you are exercising enough and not too fat, one glass a day of 100 % real juices can be OK. To some degree the real nutrition in them makes real juice less harmful to drink as long as you don’t overdo it. These include orange and apple and grape juices.

Or you can have a glass of one of the other healthier drinks and a piece or two of real fruit.

By adding a health OK or health protecting drink plus some real fruit which also contains water, you can quench your thirst quite well.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Dairy industry study saying saturated fat is not that bad is partly right & partly wrong....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 10-5-2010

Last Friday, 10-1-2010, had this headline:

“Give saturated fat a second chance: study.”

In a series of research articles published in the October issue of Lipids, researchers backed by the US dairy industry said that adding more omega 3 oils and cutting back on carbohydrates is more heart protective than cutting back heavily on any foods containing saturated fats.

So, far so good.

This is particularly sound advice if the carbohydrates are things that are high glycemic, read very fattening!, such as high fructose corn syrup which soon may be re-labeled as corn sugar, sugar, refined grains, white potatoes, white rice, etc. New research shows these foods do help cause heart disease in addition to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

And, adding more omega 3 from high omega 3, low mercury fish such as wild caught salmon, herring, and sardines and from purified fish oil supplements is even more protective against inflammation, heart disease, and cancer, if you also eliminate oils such as corn and soy and safflower and canola that are high in omega 6 oils and eliminate refined grain foods as they are also high in omega 6 oils. (Using extra virgin olive oil -- and eating nuts and avocados if you aren’t allergic -- makes this much easier and more health supporting to do.)

In fact, doing that set of things makes it unnecessary for most people to take statin drugs to lower high HSCRP inflammation readings. And, if people also get regular exercise that works even better.

The AFP story had this quote.:

"Although diets inordinately high in fat and saturated fat are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk in some individuals, assuming that saturated fat at any intake level is harmful is an over-simplification and not supported by scientific evidence," said Bruce German, a food science professor at the University of California.

That’s a very careful and accurate view, I think.

The dairy industry has argued for many years that heart health oriented dietary advice overly blames saturated fat as the major cause of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.

Meanwhile, the American Heart Association still advises that no more than seven percent of daily calories come from saturated fat, which are found in foods such as fatty beef, pork, cream, butter and other dairy products.

Here we have the main issue in these two contrasting views.

The truth is a combination of both views PLUS the difference between animals raised in a somewhat old-fashioned way eating their natural diet and animals penned up and fed only grain in industrial farms and where the grain has been grown using pesticides and herbicides.

If you eat beef or lamb or dairy products from animals fed only grass not sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, they have less fat, less saturated fat, and dramatically less omega 6 oils and bioconcentrated herbicides and pesticides than those penned up and fed grain.

Unfortunately for the dairy industry, the fats in their foods should be limited by eating their foods less often and choosing nonfat and very lowfat kinds whenever possible because they mostly raise grain fed animals.

The extra fat, saturated fat, and the omega 6 oils plus the bioconcentrated herbicides and pesticide in the dairy fat, make doing so still a very good idea. Such foods are not only unnaturally high in fat and saturated fat; but the omega 6 oils and pollutants help cause heart disease AND cancer.

BUT, the good news for the dairy industry is that if they raise cattle that eat only grass that has not been sprayed by herbicides and pesticides, they are actually correct, getting some saturated fat from that kind of dairy products when eating health OK foods otherwise is probably safe for most people to do without harming their hearts.

In moderation, and without all those pollutants, the saturated fat from such animals is dramatically less harmful for your heart. And, in fact eating just some of it helps increase your protective HDL.

As a result, I myself now drink nonfat & 1% lowfat milk and only buy 2% lowfat yogurt. Most of the butter and cheese I eat are from a source I believe to be grass fed. And, I eat more beans and wild caught salmon than cheese and far more extra virgin olive oil than butter.

To the maximum extent I can, I only eat beef and lamb from grass fed animals and most of the chicken I eat is skinless to cut back on the fat and saturated fat etc.

But, because the dairy industry IS correct when the dairy products are from grass fed cows, I am no longer as paranoid about eating butter and cheese as being harmful to my heart as I once was.

So, they are partly correct and partly wrong.

The real answer is it depends. And you now know what it depends upon.

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