Low-Sugar Fruits

Summer’s fresh fruit offers a way for you to increase your consumption of antioxidants.  But if you are watching your weight, certain fruits are better than others.  High-Sugar fruits, such as pineapple, mangoes, bananas, dried fruits, figs, and grapes have similar effects on blood sugar as breads, pastas, and other high carbohydrate foods.

Low sugar high fiber fruits are most often the ones with the most antioxidant punch,
prohibiting disease fighting benefits as well has weight loss help.  Feel free to eat these low sugar fruits (of course in moderation):  Avocado-yes it is a fruit.  Avocado’s high fiber count makes it a good choice even if you’re trying to lose weight.  The healthy fat and fiber content helps you feel full, which is a great tool for weight management.  Berries are low in sugar and have very few calories.  They are great for brain health.  They also lower type 2 diabetes risk.  Organic berries are best since they are exposed to a heavy amount of pesticides. Cherries don’t spike blood sugar. They are a  support for cancer prevention, health health and are great for gout.  Lemons and limes are filled with Vitamin C.  They have unique chemicals that help to fight inflammation and with liver detoxification.

Finally, be sure to visit local farmers’ markets to get fruit that has not traveled a long distance to get to your refrigerator.  Fruits that are shipped long distances lose many of their nutrients.



The Real Truth About Vitamins

Another Hatchet Job from Consumer Reports

August 7, 2012

conrepTheir latest issue,“10 Surprising Dangers of Vitamins & Supplements,” is just more fear-mongering. Action Alert!

Consumer Reports (CR) claims to be a trustworthy, unbiased source of information. But where nutritional supplements are concerned, they either think that scare-mongering sells, or they have a deep bias, or both. The lead article in their September issue identifies ten supposed “hazards” of supplements—among them that “supplements are not risk-free.”

Does Consumer Reports think its readers are clueless? No consumer product is completely risk-free. It is possible to kill yourself by drinking too much water. But there is a great deal of safety data about supplements because so many of us take them. A recent study sponsored by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics found that 165 million Americans, or about 53 percent of the population, take some sort of nutritional supplement on a daily basis, and the safety record is remarkably good.

CR claims that supplements are unsafe—an assumption they base on the supplement Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS). In fact the AERS prove the exact opposite, showing the extremely low number of supplement AERs—especially when compared to AERs from drugs.

Consider an old drug that most people consider innocuous, like aspirin. Did you know that between 2004 and 2012, there were 87,600 adverse events submitted to the FDA for aspirin or products containing aspirin? Everything from gastrointestinal hemorrhages, neurological impairment, respiratory problems, cardiac arrhythmias, and even suicidal behaviors have been reported. The risk of internal bleeding has been particularly well documented.

Aspirin adverse events are just a tiny part of the drug toxicity problem. Between 2000 and 2010, the government received 3,720,946 adverse event reports for drugs and therapeutic biologic products.

CR says one can overdose on vitamins and supplements. Of course. Just as one can overdose on food, and especially on prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, which are far more dangerous than food or supplements. Every year there are about 56,000 emergency room visits and 26,000 hospitalizations from acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdoses alone, with 458 deaths annually. Yet no national consumer magazine bothers to inform consumers of its dangers.

You may recall our coverage of Consumer Reports Health’s 2010 article on twelve “dangerous supplements.” At that time we discussed their shocking lack of impartiality and fairness. This new article is just “same old, same old,” but we wonder how many people understand their deep bias in this area.

CR starts from the position that any risk at all is too great, because when “healthy consumers use supplements, there’s rarely, if ever, a powerful life-saving effect.” Please note the weasel words: “powerful” and “life-saving.” Does this mean supplements have to stop a heart attack to be worthwhile? Besides, many thousands of integrative physicians strongly disagree, as do the consumers whose stomachs, brains, prostates, and other vital organs now work thanks to supplements.

The CR article says that no supplements have been proven to cure diseases. Since there are tens of thousands of university research articles demonstrating the usefulness of supplements for health, CR must be applying some other litmus test. What they presumably mean is that no supplement has been taken through the FDA approval process at an average cost of $1 billion, which would enable it to make disease claims.

As a general rule, supplement companies cannot afford this process because their products are natural and therefore cannot legally be patented. But contrary to what CR implies, a few have indeed been taken through the FDA process. A synthetic form of fish oil, for example, has been approved. Because it is FDA-approved, it can be used in Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans Administration programs. Not surprisingly, it also costs as much as ten times what natural high quality fish oils cost. Is this what CR wants—to have all supplements be synthetic and cost multiples more?

FDA approval turns a supplement into a drug. What happens if a supplement manufacturer says that their product cures disease without FDA approval? According to the law, making any such a claim would also immediately turn the supplement into a drug! So of course only drugs cure disease. That is how the word “drug” is legally defined.

On the other hand, if it’s true that supplements do not cure diseases, why is the pharmaceutical industry continually conducting clinical trails on natural ingredients like resveratrol, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and pyridoxamine?

Drug companies want to turn these supplements into drugs that will meet FDA’s “one-drug-cures-one-disease” standard. This is not good medicine, and it certainly isn’t the way supplements work. They often require co-factors (for example, calcium must be taken with vitamin K2 as well as vitamin D in order to get into the bones). Nor are they a one-size-fits-all proposition. By the way, neither are drugs. The fact that drugs tested on middle-aged people are given to children and old people is a scandal.

Proper dosage is also vital. Too low a dose may mean no effect at all, a major flaw in many studies. Just look at the US government’s Institute of Medicine’s recommendation for vitamin D dosage—it’s far too low, and completely ignores the available scientific research.

CR cherry-picks flawed and biased studies to support its theory that popular supplements such as calcium, omega-3s, and antioxidants do not prevent cancer and heart problems. The article is also littered with anecdotal, unscientific “evidence,” such as reporters going to an “Hispanic store” to pick “some herbs” or random samples of dietary supplements—without citing which nutritional supplements they were, how they were chosen, and how they were taken.

CR states that some supplements really contain prescription drugs. What they fail to point out is these products are already illegal and FDA has full authority to remove them from the market.

CR even features a whole section warning of the danger of choking when taking dietary supplements. Well, yes. People do choke on food and they do choke on prescription pills and over-the-counter medications. By the way, your risk of choking increases if you are taking drugs, especially if they affect your brain or your swallowing reflex or your saliva, which many do.

Action Alert! Please write to Consumer Reports immediately and address their inaccurate, biased, and unbalanced reporting. Give them the facts—and tell them that what you really need to be protected from are FDA-approved drugs and vaccines!

Take Action!

Is Your Heartburn Medication Making You Sick?

You’ve just enjoyed a big meal and are relaxing in front of the TV when it happens. A burning sensation begins to build in the upper abdomen, and makes your chest feel like it’s on fire. You may have a sour taste in your mouth, feel heaviness in your chest or cough immediately after a meal. You’re suffering from heartburn. It’s a digestive problem that occurs when stomach and pancreatic acid come into contact with the lining of the esophagus, causing irritation. If you have heartburn once a month, it’s considered mild. If you have it once a week, it is considered moderate. Severe heartburn is when your heartburn occurs daily. If you complain to your doctor about having heartburn, he or she will most likely prescribe an antacid.

Antacids are big business. In fact, they are among the most widely prescribed drugs In the United States. Antacids are drugs that treat the symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, stomach upset, gas, reflux or ulcers. They work by neutralizing stomach acid or preventing the production of stomach acid. While antacids may provide temporary relief of uncomfortable symptoms, long term use of antacids is not a healthy solution. In fact, long term use of antacids can cause a great deal more harm than good.

Are you feeling depressed? Are you losing your memory? Do you suffer from Osteopenia or Osteoporosis? Are you constipated? If you take antacids like Alka-Seltzer, Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Pepto-Bismol or gastric ulcer medications like Tagamet, and Zantac, they may be causing these problems. Antacids have many disadvantages. They upset the body chemistry causing anemia and bone problems. They suppress the activity of stomach acid which is required to digest food. This undigested food remains in your stomach and may cause food allergies, fatigue, gas and other colon problems. They may contribute to kidney stones. Maalox and Mylanta may cause diarrhea and lower blood pressure, leading to fainting. Rolaids can cause osteoporosis, and should be avoided by women after menopause. Pepto-Bismol may cause ringing in the ears or interfere with blood clotting. Tagamet decreases the levels of good estrogen and increases the level of bad estrogen which may lead to cancer and fibroids.

In spite of treatment with antacids, heartburn recurs again and again. Remedies that block the production of acid within an hour or two of meal may only make digestive problems worse in the long run. It is actually the underproduction of stomach acid that causes the problem.

More natural ways for reducing the incidence of heartburn would be to eat several small meals a day. Avoid lying down immediately after eating. Eat slowly and chew well. Limit hot temperature foods, caffeine (chocolate, tea, coffee), soda, alcohol, garlic, onions (scallions, leeks), citrus fruits/juices, tomatoes, aspirin and spicy foods. Pure Encapsulations’ Heartburn Essentials is a wonderful alternative that has no side effects and is safe for your long term health. It regulates stomach acid secretion, enhances digestion (with its digestive enzymes) and soothes the digestive tract (to prevent esophagus irritation). Order it online at HeleneKaplanHealth.com. Questions? Contact me through my website or call me at 516-538-6799.
***This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any disease.