Nutrition and Lifestyle

Here we are in the middle of winter in the northern part of the country, and obviously it's not a great time to be finding locally-grown (or even California-grown) tasty tomatoes. Anyone who loves the flavor of red ripe tomatoes knows well that you're not going to find them in your local supermarket this time of year (Sure, you can get tomatoes shipped from the southern hemisphere, or those grown in greenhouses, but somehow the taste just isn't the same as those grown in New Jersey in July or August (or even in your backyard). And let's be honest, the chances that you'll get a great-tasting tomato at your local supermarket is pretty low at any time of year! That's at least partly because tomato breeders have concentrated on "shippability", breeding fruit that can withstand the rigors...

Your dog loves rawhides - that's a fact. But someone may have told you to stay away from them. Why? Take a look at the Good, the Bad, and the Debunked about your pet's favorite chew bone. 

You might think that the obesity epidemic has fueled a horde of weight-loss diets, but really the concept of a quick, relatively painless food prescription has been around well before the uptick in adiposity became a public health focus (think the Atkins diet from back in the '70s). Of course, some weight loss diets are supported by scientific research, but then many are not. And we must admit that in no other area of public health has pure creativity played such a seminal role.

So what characterizes a fad diet? I like Wikipedia's succinct definition: "A fad diet... is a diet that makes promises of weight loss or other health advantages such as longer life without backing by solid science, and in many cases [is] characterized...

Being the serious healthcare professional that I am, I view no task as too large or rigorous when it comes to ensuring the public’s safety. That's why I readily accepted the grueling assignment of investigating the “‘8 Wellness Trends for 2017- and Beyond’ as identified by the Global Wellness Summit.”  

If we weren’t a non-profit, I would sacrifice for the greater public good and tackle this one on the front lines by going to fabulous saunas. After all, assessing and reviewing primary sources is always my mantra when rendering comprehensive and thorough “expert” opinions. But, alas, voluntarily subjecting myself to luxurious spa services around the world—though clearly vital— is apparently not “cost effective” or...

Whole Foods lies to you. The company's entire business model -- which is predicated upon the idea that organic, non-GMO food is somehow healthier and tastier than regular food -- is a gigantic "alternative fact." And it's a profitable one at that, since organic food commands a high premium over conventional food.

That's what makes the latest news about Whole Foods so infuriating. Food Safety News reports that the company has shut down all three of its regional kitchens because the FDA "discovered a long list of 'serious violations,'" some of which resulted in surfaces being contaminated with Listeria.

Of all the different...

Here we go again. Considering that there are literally thousands of chemicals out there to pick on, one wonders why we keep seeing scaremongers return again and again to the old ones. Case in point: acrylamide. Back in 2002, some Swedish scientists discovered that acrylamide is present in many foods, and the scare began.

              Credit: Shutterstock.comcredit: shutterstock.com

The main industrial use for acrylamide is as a precursor to polyacrylamide, a chemical used to clarify water, e.g. waste water. It has been known for a while that workers exposed to acrylamide in industrial settings (not eating the stuff, just working with it) have demonstrated some...

If feeling older than you look appeals to you, take a seat while you read this: A recent study found that women who sit longer than 10 hours a day, combined with low physical activity, have cells that are biologically older — eight years older to be exact — than their actual age. 

The study looked at the lifestyles of 1,500 women, between the ages of 64 and 90, who are part of a Women's Health Inititative (WHI) — a national study on chronic disease and postmenopausal women. Researchers found that women who sat for more than ten hours per day, and exercised less than 40 minutes daily, had shorter telomeres — the caps at the ends of DNA strands which protect chromosomes. Shorter...

In a new position statement, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) have replaced the word “obesity” with “Adiposity-Based Chronic Disease” (ABCD).  

While that sounds like a clunky switch, the authors have laid out why a simple notion should be replaced with what they call a "complications-centric" approach to the diagnosis and treatment of excess body fat (adiposity). It's more complex than something like BMI, they note.

It may be time to consider a new approach. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects more than one-third (36.5%)...

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who eat bugs knowingly and those who eat bugs unknowingly. Oh yes, you eat bugs. Even vegans eat bugs.

While farmers and food processors want our grub to be pure, it is impossible to eliminate every single contaminant in the food supply. Crops are covered with insects, and little can be done to prevent a leg here or an antenna there from making its way into the final product.

The FDA is fully aware of this and even has a handbook that describes the allowable level of food "defects." Peanut butter, for example, can have up to 30 insect fragments per 3.5 ounces.

Wine, too, is not immune to this nuisance. Brown...

Food and nutrition companies always capitalize on whatever fad diets are currently in fashion to shamelessly promote their products. Science is of secondary concern, if it's a concern at all. For instance, Centrum Silver is running an advertisement that brags about its (utterly worthless) multivitamins being gluten- and GMO-free.

Nestlé wants in on the action, too. This company is playing a TV commercial for ProNourish, a nutritional drink. As one might expect, the company eagerly and unscientifically boasts about the product's lack of...