We believe that education is the key to understanding and living a healthy life-style. This section includes pointers to articles which we find relevant to healthy living. If you find articles that are of interest, please send them to Wayne.
Nutritional Supplements Comparison
Know the quality of the supplements you take. Nutritional Supplements are one of the four legs of this program (please see the Live It! tab for a description of these four legs). We use Lyle MacWilliam’s Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements for the best nutritional supplements on the market. Lyle MacWilliam is an educator and microbiologist. As a Member of the Canadian Parliament, he worked with the Canadian Ministry of Health to create standards for judging nutritional supplements. Mr. MacWilliam then took this investigation one step further and tested 1500 nutritional supplements available in North America. Judging against the Gold Standard that he helped create for the Ministry of Health, Mr. MacWilliam found a handful of products that met the nutritional guidelines. Of that group, four companies were willing to submit to independent tests to verify the quality of those products. Please send Wayne e-mail if you are interested in more information.
CAUTION: Be sure to choose only one of the listed lines, some companies may have additional lines that are not of as high of rating in the Nutritional Comparison Guide.
NOTE: Vitamin A can be included either as straight Vitamin A or as Beta Carotene, which the body then converts to Vitamin A. Extremely high levels of straight Vitamin A can be toxic, so be careful of how much you consume. With normal dosages of Vitamin A, there are no problems.
Children need exercise and good nutrition as much, if not more, than adults. Look at the activity level of children in school these days. Physical Education has been cut in many schools, along with children not getting out to play in their yards and playgrounds when they are out of school. Look at what children eat. How processed is the food and how nutritious is it? Do they have artificial sweeteners. If they take supplements, what is the quality of those supplements? Do their supplements contain iron? For excellent advice, we often turn to Dr. Christine Wood’s Kids Eat Great website. Dr. Wood is a California pediatrician who became concerned about what children are eating. Additional information on Children’s Health is also available.
CAUTION: Be careful with children’s supplements that contain iron. Iron is important, but it should only be in low doses. Children can overdose on iron, so do not leave supplements with iron out in easy reach. The problem is that most children’s supplements are sweet and there is a potential that a child might treat the supplements as candy and ingest too much iron, thus causing iron poisoning. Please check with your health care provider before starting any supplement regiment. See if any of the products from the company are in the pharmaceutical section of the Physician’s Desk Reference instead of just the Supplement section (held to higher standard).
Researchers have been looking at the USDA Food Pyramid carefully. Is there a correlation between the Food Pyramid and the increase in obesity and Type 2 Diabetes? As a side note, Type 2 Diabetes used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes because it used to be so rare among children. One of the better food pyramids and description of what is important, can be found at the Harvard University School of Medicine website.
We all need the right amount of sleep. It is vital to our health and longevity.
There are many types of sweeteners from which to choose. Sweeteners like sugar have been used to preserve foods. We have gotten used to the sweetness of many of our foods and almost think that food without sweeteners do not taste “quite right.”
The original sweetness was derived from fruits of various types. Fruit has fructose as a natural sweetener. Since the body knows how to deal with un-altered sweeteners, these give a nice flavor to the fruit without causing the body to have bad reactions. With world exploration, cane sugar was discovered. Also sugar from sugar beets was also another source of sweeteners. These two sources were used for centuries as the main sweetener in foods. Later it was discovered that fructose could be extracted from corn. In the extraction process, it was discovered that the sweetness could be concentrated to make a substance that was far sweeter than standard fructose or cane or beet sugar. Eventually high fructose corn syrup became the sweetener of choice and it was added to many foods which never had sweeteners before. The added sweeteners in common foods started leading to obesity and other medical problems, including adult-onset diabetes (because of the earlier onsets of this type of diabetes, it has since been renamed Type II Diabetes).
Since that type, researchers have been searching for alternative sweeteners, both natural and artificial. One of the earliest artificial sweeteners was saccharine (the main ingredient of Sweet ‘N Low). Eventually, there started to be some controversy about this product and it was eventually banned. Then, with an accidental discovery, aspartame was developed. Harvard University has posted a fascinating history of aspartame and the studies that were done so that it could be approved. There is growing concern about all artificial sweeteners, as expressed in an MSN article. Aspartame is methyl ester of phenylalanine. Methyl is a derivative of wood alcohol, which can be easily turned into formaldehyde. Please search for the side-effects of each sweetener and then use the results of these searches wisely.