Monday, January 31, 2005

Building a Healthier Home

Do you insist on organic food but then use toxic building materials in your home? Our health is influenced by the things we consume in our homes as much as the things we consume in our bodies. Americans spend the bulk of their time indoors, where levels of pollutants may be two to five times -- and occasionally more than 100 times -- higher than they are outdoors. Being conscious of the construction materials you use can prevent a wide range of toxins from entering your home. Not sure where to start? and can point you in the right direction. These websites contain valuable information about how to make your home more environmentally-friendly and provide links to resources that can be of help.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Red Wine May Ward Off Prostate Cancer

Evidence is mounting that proves that red wine consumption may reduce the risk of prostate cancer in middle-aged men. For the most recent study, men with and without the disease were interviewed about their lifetime alcohol consumption. While alcohol intake itself didn't correlate to incidents of prostate cancer, it appeared that each additional glass of red wine consumed per week resulted in a statistically significant 6 percent decrease in relative risk. Doctors conducting the study pointed to alcohol's ability to alter the balance of hormones and noted that red wine in particular contains chemical substances such as flavonoids, which may alter tumor cell growth.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Cancer Now Ranks as Top Killer

Cancer has surpassed heart disease to become the leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), 1,372,910 Americans this year will be diagnosed with cancer and the disease will claim the lives of an estimated 570,280. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, followed by breast cancer and colon cancer. Prostate cancer is the number two cause of cancer death in males.

The ACS reports that more widespread screening and the development of improved treatments have contributed to a decrease in the cancer death rate. Consequently, cancer's rise to become the leading cause of death is due to the increase in the number of people who are developing cancer in the course of their lives.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Sickeningly Sweet

Just how much added sugar does the average toddler consume? According to data culled from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average intake was 14 teaspoons a day for two and three year olds and about 17 teaspoons for those aged four and five. "Added sugar" is defined as sugar added to foods during processing or eaten separately in forms such as candy or syrup. The survey did not include natural types of sugars such as the fructose found in fruit. Soft drinks and high-fat desserts accounted for half of the added sugar in these children's diets.

To make matters worse, sugar seemed to crowd out more nutritious items from these children's plates. As a result, important nutrients were missing from some of their diets. For example, 70 percent of the four and five year olds who consumed the most added sugar in their diets were found to be deficient in calcium.

Friday, January 14, 2005

U.S. Government Revamps Dietary Guidelines

This week the U.S. Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed their revamped guidelines for how Americans should eat to attain optimum health. Most notable about this five-year revision is that the number of recommended servings of fruits and vegetables has nearly doubled -- up to nine daily servings from five. There are also stricter warnings to eat less salt, sugar and hydrogenated fats. And there's more distinction made between whole and processed grains, with individuals urged to eat at least 3 ounces of whole grains daily.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Walking May Ward Off Dementia

A recent study by the University of Virginia concluded that elderly men who are sedentary or walk less than a quarter of a mile per day are nearly twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease compared to men who walk more than two miles per day. "We now have evidence that regular walking is also associated with benefits that are related to cognitive function later in life,” said Robert D. Abbott, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics at the University of Virginia Health System and a co-author of the study. “If you’ve been active throughout your life it could have direct relationships with the same kind of healthy risk factors that are often associated with less obesity, diabetes and heart disease."

Friday, January 07, 2005

Metal Detector

With all of the reports about escalating mercury levels in our fish supply, its no wonder that people are increasingly confused about what seafood to eat., a site developed by the Turtle Island Restoration Network, has developed a calculator that lets you know the contamination level associated with the specific fish you consume. It's worth consulting this site before your next trip to the sushi bar.