Millions of well-intentioned American parents, unbeknownst to them, are over-fortifying their kids with too many nutrients. That’s according to a report published earlier this year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
EWG, an American-based health and research organization, analyzed the nutrition facts labels for 1,550 breakfast cereals and found that 114 cereals were fortified by the manufacturer with 30 percent or more of the adult Daily Value of vitamin A, zinc, and/or niacin. They also looked at 1,000 snack bars and found that 27 common brands were fortified with 50 percent or more of the Daily Value of at least one of those nutrients.
Among the most fortified cereals were:
- General Mills’ Total line
- Wheaties Fuel
- Kellogg’s Product 19
- Smart Start
- All-Bran Complete
- Cocoa Krispies
The most fortified snack bars included
Food Awards: Best & Worst Breakfast Cereals
When foods are fortified, vitamins and minerals that aren’t originally in a food are added by the manufacturer. Classic examples include adding vitamin D to milk, iron to flour, fiber to cereal, and iodine to salt. Since 1998, folic acid has been added to breads, cereals, and other products that use enriched flour in an effort to reduce Spina Bifida and other serious birth defects. The idea of fortification was developed almost 100 years ago to treat common nutrition-deficiency diseases.
But it is possible to consume too many fortified foods, especially by children, because the Daily Values are set for the needs of adults not kids. Furthermore, the Daily Value standards were set in 1968 and so some are higher than levels currently deemed to be safe. (more…)
Show of hands, how many of you start the day by turning on your coffee maker? Now while I can’t actually see any of you holding your hands up, I think it’s pretty safe to assume most of you are. Making that first cup of coffee is natural, but what if instead of coffee when you turned on your coffee maker, you got your daily servings of vitamins and minerals?
That’s the idea scientists at Nestle have come up with. The serving of vitamins and minerals would be formulated to your daily needs; to be sure you didn’t get too much or too little of the good things your body needs to function.
It may sound too much like science fiction to be true, but Shape Magazine reported that Nestle’s Institute of Health Sciences is working on the project, which has the code name “Iron Man.”
Weighing 386 pounds, Jesus Segura wasn’t happy with his weight, but he had been heavy all of his life. After high school he remembers gaining even more weight when he stopped playing sports, but continued to eat like an athlete. Thanks to a friend and a painfully honest conversation, Jesus realized that he had to make a significant lifestyle change before he left his wife and children all alone.
Now, 156 pounds thinner, Jesus is using his new-found energy level to inspire others and tackle one of his deepest fears, public speaking.
I would skip meals, specifically breakfast. Then I would overeat at lunch and dinner.
We hear this from people all the time, and it breaks our heart. Skipping meals is never a good idea. Bodies need to be fueled by a steady stream of healthy calories and nutrients all day long. In addition, Jesus became depressed, which led to drinking, and even more overeating.
The thought of leaving my kids fatherless at a young age made me think long and hard about my lifestyle.
On their way to a concert, Jesus’ best friend and former roommate expressed concern over Jesus’ significant weight gain telling him that he was destined for a heart attack. Though it stung, Jesus knew his friend was simply trying to help, and his words struck a nerve. Jesus started a walking regimen the next day.
By Team Best Life
For every day of good health you enjoy, you can thank your immune system. Adequate sleep (7 to 8 hours per night), regular exercise, and well-managed stress all contribute to boosting your immune system. In addition, what you eat has a direct effect on how well your body defends itself from microbes and other disease-causing foreigners. And the best foods have plenty of these nutrients.
What it does: Once converted from beta-carotene in the body, vitamin A helps develop defensive T-cells that protect you from foreign bacteria and viruses.
Where to find it: Beta-carotene-rich foods (look for orange), such as cantaloupe, carrots, winter squash, and sweet potatoes. Also, leafy greens like collard, kale, mustard, and spinach.
What it does: It stimulates the production of immune cells such as neutrophils, which attack bacteria and viruses while protecting these cells from free radical damage.
Where to find it: Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, sweet red pepper, tomato. (more…)
Early in my career, someone told me that I could spot a missed comma from a mile away. And she’s right! I love long form text and a red pen and fixing all of those little mistakes. Most of my editing these days doesn’t involve ink of any kind, but my job is still necessary. The ironic part is that as I’m writing this post, I’m scared to death I’m going to miss something and be called out for it. Murphy’s Law, I guess.
As the editor of a health and fitness site for almost seven years, I make a lot of the same corrections repeatedly. These repeat offenders make me crazy. I respect spelling and can’t usually find any good excuse for misspelling a word, especially one that is published. Within your own industry though, I can’t think of many excuses for misspelled words that are going to fly.
With that, I share the dirty dozen, 12 of the most commonly misspelled words in health and fitness. Each of these letter combinations gets abused on a frequent basis, and I think it’s time we all agreed to put it to a stop.
Click here to embed this graphic
10 Foodie Reads for Kids: Official Reading & Eating List
The Dos and Don’ts of Gym Etiquette
24 Low-Calorie Snacks Under 200 Calories
Humans do not make their own vitamins, and they must get them from food or a supplement. Almost 80 percent of Americans do not eat at least five helpings of fruits and vegetables a day, the recommended minimum amount believed to provide sufficient essential nutrients. Even people who eat five daily servings of fruits and vegetables may not get enough of certain vitamins for optimum health. That is why it is prudent to take at least one multivitamin pill each day, as well as fish oil supplements to provide omega-3 fatty acids.
If you’re new to supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals, this essential supplement pack will get you started on the right foot. No hype, nothing you don’t need.
The Essential Supplements Pack from Puritan’s Pride was hand-selected by our Mary Hartley, RD. One winner will receive one bottle each of the following vitamins and supplements, valued at $71.95:
- Omega-3 Adult Gummy with Vitamin D3, 75 gummies
- Sunvite Chewable Vitamin D3, 180 tablets
- High Potency Calcium, 250 coated caplets
- High Potency Timed Release Ultra Woman Daily Multi, 90 coated caplets
- Omega-3 Fish Oil, 100 softgels
TO WIN THIS PRIZE PACK:
1. Tweet This on Twitter!
2. Share This Facebook Post!
We’ll draw one winner on Friday, September 13 to receive the essential supplements pack from Puritan’s Pride. (more…)
Vitamins and supplements have long been tied to health benefits and disease prevention, but a new study from Consumer Reports would suggests otherwise, saying there’s a dark side to natural supplements we may not realize. The study highlights supplement-related incidents including adverse reactions, misleading advertising, and even an increase in diseases that some pills claim to treat.
Some of the most worrisome news is that not only are some supplements not all-natural as they claim to be, but they could also be laced with prescription drugs. These prescriptions can interfere with other drugs and cause kidney failure, a stroke, or even death.
Most supplements recalled had the same ingredients as prescriptions marketed for weight loss, bodybuilding, and sexual enhancement. Consumers wanting a natural alternative to Viagra, for example, may be buying an herbal remedy that’s spiked with the same active ingredient used in Viagra – sildenafil.
This problem recently showed up in the 2012 Olympic games when bodybuilder Hysen Palaku was barred from competing after testing positive for steroids. The Albanian said he only took herbal supplements and was unaware they contained a drug.
These days, a walk down the vitamin aisle is enough to give you a headache – luckily, there’s a vitamin for that. The same goes for children’s multivitamins, as there are many brands vying for attention on the shelf. If parents choose to implement a multivitamin in their child’s diet, Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN has five tips to make the multivitamin options a little less confusing. As always, a talk with your child’s pediatrician is advised before starting any new regimen.
1) Get a supplement that says multivitamin and mineral to get the best key nutrients. Our Mary Hartley, RD suggested, “Don’t forget about minerals! Look at the zinc and iron content. For instance, Flintstones Complete has 12 mg of zinc whereas Centrum Junior Complete has only 3 mg.”
2) Remember to look at what else is in the product, like artificial ingredients, sweeteners, preservatives, and animal products, and pick the healthiest one. (more…)
By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America
Skin is the body’s largest organ working in partnership with the liver, kidneys, and colon to remove waste and toxins from your system. Wrinkles, blemishes, clogged pores, acne, and poor skin color or tone are all the result of the body’s elimination process not functioning properly.
If you are struggling with dull, blemished skin and looking to achieve a dewy, youthful glow you are closer than you think. Take a few steps into your kitchen and get to work!
Yes, what you eat absolutely affects what your skin looks like. You can certainly go out and spend hundreds of dollars on potions and lotions, but if you aren’t nourishing your skin from the inside out you are fighting a losing battle (and wasting a ton of money in the process).
Let’s get cooking. Here is a recipe for amazing skin rejuvenation that is jam packed with essential skin-beautiful ingredients. I recommend adding this to your weekly meal plan and as spring blooms you will have the youthful glow you are looking for.
For optimal beautiful skin health focus on these four nutrients (and the foods they are found in): (more…)
By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
The best way to beat cancer naturally is to adopt a lifestyle to prevent it. Healthy, nutrient-rich food is an essential part of any anti-cancer plan. Here are my picks for the top 5 vitamins that help protect against cancer. Stay posted next week for the Top 5 Minerals that Help Protect Against Cancer.
1. Beta carotene
This precursor of Vitamin A is found in most orange and green vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables. An amazing nutrient, it has been shown in research to protect the lungs against toxins that are linked to lung cancer.
Another study found that ex-smokers who ate green and yellow vegetables high in beta carotene daily decreased their risk of stomach and lung cancer.
2. Vitamin B6
This B-Vitamin is essential to maintain a healthy immune system and helps protect the respiratory tract from pollution and infection. In studies it has helped protect against cervical cancer. Vitamin B-6 is primarily found in carrots, apples, organ meats, bananas, leafy green vegetables, and sweet potatoes.
The supplement aisle of any supermarket or natural grocery store can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of products on the shelf, all claiming different benefits. Some are labeled with a letter of the alphabet, others are named after a tree root, and some seem like they belong on the spice aisle.
With an industry so big and so confusing, it’s alarming that there are still no strict regulations for these over the counter products. This has been an on going health frustration, leading doctors and legislators to speak out.
In 1994, President Clinton signed the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA). This placed dietary supplements as a subcategory of food. Therefore supplements can go to market without submitting proof of safety or efficacy to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 17 years later, this law remains despite the stories of harm and the urging of physicians for change.