LeBron James has credited Dr. Eric Thomas, Motivation Speaker, for giving him inspiration in winning the NBA Championship! His messages are so powerful and delivered with such passion, its hard not to be inspired.
Check out one of his videos by clicking the link below. Enjoy
One of the things I love to do every year is visit The Natural Products Expo, I go to both shows every year (west coast and east coast) to see the types of natural products food companies are creating and meet the founders behind them. Every year I see more and more Non-GMO products being created which is a great sign of the times, but there’s something really tricky and important you need to know about these products.
There’s a lot of confusion and debate about what non-GMO and organic labels really mean.
The labels are very different! It’s crucial to understand the difference if you want to pick out the healthiest and safest food for you and your family. Every time we decide to buy a product, we are supporting so much more than our bodies. We are shaping the landscape of the entire food system – everything from the environment, land, air, water to the farmers themselves. And this is why I want you to know the truth about the “Non-GMO” label and what it really means.
What exactly does the “Non-GMO Project” label mean?
The “Non-GMO Project” label only verifies that a product doesn’t contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients (or technically less than 0.9% GMOs). While that is good, it’s not the whole story about what the product contains, how it was produced, and where it came from.
But when I have a choice, I always choose organic food because of these reasons…
10 reasons why “Organic” beats “Non-GMO” every time:
1. Certified organic foods are also non-GMO. USDA organic regulations prohibit any genetically modified (GMO) ingredients in a certified organic product. I avoid GMOs at all costs, and going organic is one of the easiest ways to do it. NOTE: The USDA Organic label certifies that 95%-100% of the ingredients are organic, so there is a slight chance that (up to 5%) of non-organic ingredients are in the product – however they are not supposed to be GMO. There are still some tricky loopholes, so that’s why you need to look for “100% certified organic” or a “Non-GMO Project” verified label to ensure it’s GMO-free.
3. The most widely-used herbicide on the planet – Glyphosate (Roundup) – is prohibited on organic crops. Non-GMO crops such as wheat can be pre-harvested with glyphosate. This herbicide is a toxin that can accumulate in your body the more you are exposed to it. It has been linked to kidney disease, breast cancer, and some birth defects. According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at MIT, glyphosate is largely responsible for the escalating incidence of autoimmune and other neurological disorders that we are experiencing. There are many non-GMO products on the market that contain wheat and seem healthy – but they could be laced with glyphosate. For instance, whole-wheat breads and non-GMO cereals that aren’t organic (like Grape Nuts) may contain glyphosate residues.
4. Organic ingredients aren’t processed with toxic hexane. Most conventional oils (canola, soybean, corn) are extracted with the neurotoxin hexane, and some residue has been shown to remain in these oils. Hexane is also used in the processing of many soy ingredients like soy protein and textured vegetable protein, and testing done by The Cornucopia Institute has found residues in some of these ingredients. Almost all research focuses on the industrial use and inhalation of hexane:“No epidemiology or case report studies examining health effects in humans or chronic laboratory studies evaluating potential health effects in animals following oral exposure to n-hexane are available”. Why isn’t anyone studying how “safe” it is to have this neurotoxin in our food? Industrial exposure has been linked to brain tumors and nerve damage. The FDA does not set a maximum residue level for hexane, and no one knows for sure how much residue is being consumed by the American public. There’s nothing prohibiting these ingredients in non-GMO products, but hexane-processed ingredients are banned from products with the USDA Organic seal.
5. Organic crops are prohibited from being fertilized with sewage sludge. Conventional non-GMO crops can be treated with “biosolids”, which is literally the treated waste that’s flushed down the toilet, and waste from hospitals and industry. This waste can be contaminated with such things as heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, pathogens, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and dioxins – it’s basically a toxic chemical soup! It’s been shown that some of these contaminants are absorbed into (or remain as residue on) the crops that we eat. These residues have proven deadly to cattle that have grazed on crops fertilized with biosolids, and it certainly isn’t something we should be eating.
6. Organic meat isn’t produced with growth-promoting drugs, like ractopamine. Packaged non-GMO foods may contain meat that has been raised on growth-promoting steroids and drugs. Residues of some of these drugs have been found in meat and it’s been shown that eating products with traces of ractopamine can lead to an unacceptable level of risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system.
7. Organic animals aren’t fattened up with growth-promoting antibiotics. The overuse of growth-promoting antibiotics is creating superbugs that could threaten the entire human population. Antibiotics have been used for years, not just to fight infection, but to fatten up farm animals. This use is polluting our environment, water and food supply. Studies show that antibiotics have the same consequences for us, and can fatten us up too. This is because antibiotics kill off healthy bacteria in the gut – beneficial bugs called probiotics that influence how we absorb nutrients, burn off calories, and stay lean. Scientists have found that lean people have more of the good, anti-obesity bacteria in their guts, compared to people who are overweight. Growth-promoting antibiotics are only being used to increase industry profits and the best way to stop these practices is to refuse to buy products made with them.
8. The non-GMO label claim is unregulated. Essentially anyone can say that their product is non-GMO, because the FDA has not set any standards to regulate the use of this claim on a label. This is not to be confused with the Non-GMO Project label, as they have a process for verifying whether products are non-GMO, and I feel that their label can be trusted (just as Whole Foods will only label products as non-GMO if they carry the Non-GMO Project verification label or are certified organic). However, some food manufacturers have been caught red-handed with unverified claims on their packages that say they are “non-GMO” when they really aren’t. As no independent 3rd party testing is required to verify their claims, there is some corruption going on. For instance, when Consumer Reports tested Xochitl tortilla chips with a non-GMO claim on the bag, they found GMO corn in them. Since most of these non-verified products have not been 3rd party tested and there are no government regulations, it’s not a reliable label claim.
There’s another big reason to eat organic… It can help you stay thin!
9.Organic foods prohibit many of the chemicals known as “obesogens” that trigger our bodies to store fat. Antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, and synthetic preservatives are just a few of the chemicals that researchers have defined as obesogens. The theory that obesogens in our food and environment could be making us fat has been gathering steam ever since researcher Paula Baillie-Hamilton published an article in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2002, presenting strong evidence that chemical exposure caused weight gain in experimental animals. As reported in the New York Times piece, “Warnings From A Flabby Mouse”, exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals can cause weight gain. This is important because many of the synthetic pesticides that can be found on non-GMO conventional crops are endocrine disruptors. Also – the sewage sludge fertilizing some of these crops has been shown to contain endocrine disruptors. Minimizing your exposure to obesogens by choosing an organic diet may be the boost you need to lose weight and keep it off.
The only difference between these mice: The one at the top was exposed at birth to a tiny amount of an endocrine-disrupting chemical – these chemicals can be found in synthetic pesticides sprayed on non-GMO and conventional crops.
10. By choosing organic food you’ll automatically avoid most of the “Sickening 15” ingredients that I talk about in my new book, The Food Babe Way. Chemicals like synthetic preservatives, synthetic pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics are not used in organic food. These are the chemicals that can make you tired, wreck havoc on your skin, make you feel fat and miserable, even though you’ve been dieting and exercising like crazy. Even worse – they may put you at risk for scary, life-shortening diseases like cancer.
I’m not saying that all organic products are perfect. Some of them contain suspect chemicals too.
While it’s best to choose organic unprocessed food whenever you have the opportunity, it’s still very important to read ingredient lists on organic packaged products. Some organic and non-GMO products contain unnecessary additives and non-organic additives that can be detrimental to your health and waistline. Look for (and avoid) these ingredients in organic and non-GMO foods:
Hidden MSG – Although monosodium glutamate is prohibited in organic food, they can use other forms of free glutamic acid – such as Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Textured Protein. These chemicals are excitotoxins and can greatly influence how much you eat. For a full list of these hidden MSG additives, check out my new book – The Food Babe Way.
Carrageenan – It’s alarming that this is permitted in organic food. According to research conducted by The Cornucopia Institute, animal studies show that “food-grade carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors”. Food grade “undegraded” carrageenan is contaminated with “degraded” carrageenan (the kind that’s not considered “food grade”). The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Research Council of the United States have both determined that degraded carrageenan is a carcinogen.
Unhealthy Oils – Non-GMO canola oil is used in some products, but canola oil consumption is linked to vitamin E deficiency and a shortened life span in animal studies. Likewise, I often see sunflower and safflower oils on the label, which are very high in omega-6 fatty acids, and not the healthiest oil to use.
If you know someone who needs to know this truth – please share this post with them! It’s so important that we keep spreading the word about what these labels really mean. The more we know, the better we all are!
Whole-food, plant-based nutrition: pretty self-explanatory, right? But aren’t some green-light foods better than others? For example, you can apparently live extended periods eating practically nothing but potatoes. That would, by definition, be a whole-food, plant-based diet — but not a very healthy one. All plant foods are not created equal.
The more I’ve researched over the years, the more I’ve come to realize that healthy foods are not necessary interchangeable. Some foods and food groups have special nutrients not found in abundance elsewhere. For example, sulforaphane, the amazing liver-enzyme detox-boosting compound is derived nearly exclusively from cruciferous vegetables. You could eat tons of other kinds of greens and vegetables on a given day and get no appreciable sulforaphane if you didn’t eat something cruciferous.
It’s the same with flaxseeds and the anticancer lignan compounds. Flax may average 100 times more lignans than other foods. And mushrooms aren’t even plants at all; they belong to an entirely different biological classification and may contain nutrients (like ergothioneine) not made anywhere in the plant kingdom. So technically, maybe I should be referring to a whole-food, plant- and fungus-based diet, but that just sounds kind of gross.
So as the list of foods I tried to fit into my daily diet grew, I decided to make a checklist, Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. Here are six of them:
By beans, I mean legumes, which comprise all the different kinds of beans, including soybeans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils. While eating a bowl of pea soup or dipping carrots into hummus may not seem like eating beans, it is. You should try to get three servings a day. A serving is defined as a quarter cup of hummus or bean dip; a half cup of cooked beans, split peas, lentils, tofu, or tempeh; or a full cup of fresh peas or sprouted lentils. Though peanuts are technically legumes, nutritionally, I’ve grouped them into the Nuts category.
A serving of berries is a half cup of fresh or frozen, or a quarter cup of dried. While biologically speaking, avocados, bananas, and even watermelons are technically berries, I’m using the colloquial term for any small edible fruit, which is why I include kumquats and grapes (and raisins) in this category, as well as fruits that are typically thought of as berries but aren’t technically, such as blackberries, cherries, mulberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
3. Cruciferous vegetables
Common cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, collards, and kale. I recommend at least one serving a day (typically a half cup) and at least two additional servings of greens a day, cruciferous or otherwise.
Everyone should try to incorporate 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds into his or her daily diet, in addition to a serving of nuts or other seeds. A quarter cup of nuts is considered a serving, or 2 tablespoons of nut or seed butters, including peanut butter. (Chestnuts and coconuts don’t nutritionally count as nuts.)
I also recommend ¼ teaspoon a day of the spice turmeric, along with any other (salt-free) herbs and spices you may enjoy.
6. Whole grains
A serving of whole grains can be considered a half cup of hot cereal such as oatmeal, cooked grain such as rice (including the “pseudograins” amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa), cooked pasta, or corn kernels; a cup of ready-to-eat (cold) cereal; one tortilla or slice of bread; half a bagel or English muffin; or 3 cups of popped popcorn.
How to Make the Checklist Work for You
I used the checklist initially as a tool to get me into a routine. Whenever I was sitting down to a meal, I would ask myself, Could I add greens to this? Could I add beans to that? (I always have an open can of beans in the fridge.) Can I sprinkle on some flax or pumpkin seeds, or maybe some dried fruit? The checklist just got me into the habit of thinking, How can I make this meal even healthier?
I also found the checklist helped with grocery shopping. Although I always keep bags of frozen berries and greens in the freezer, if I’m at the store and want to buy fresh produce for the week, it helps me figure out how much kale or blueberries I need.
The checklist also helps me picture what a meal might look like. Glancing at my plate, I can imagine one quarter of it filled with grains, one quarter with legumes, and a half plate filled with vegetables, along with maybe a side salad and fruit for dessert. I prefer one-bowl meals, in which everything’s mixed together, but the checklist still helps me to visualize. Instead of a big bowl of spaghetti with some veggies and lentils on top, I think of a big bowl of vegetables with some pasta and lentils mixed in. Instead of a big plate of brown rice with some stir-fried vegetables on top, I picture a meal that’s mostly veggies — and, oh, look! There’s some rice and beans in there too.
But there’s no need to be obsessive about the list. On hectic travel days when I’ve burned through my snacks and I’m trying to piece together some semblance of a healthy meal at the airport food court, sometimes I’m lucky if I even hit a quarter of my goals. If you eat poorly on one day, just try to eat better the next. My hope is that the checklist will serve you as a helpful reminder to try to eat a variety of the healthiest foods every day.
For people with prediabetes, lifestyle modification is considered “the cornerstone of diabetes prevention.” Diet-wise, this means individuals with prediabetes or diabetes should aim to reduce their intake of excess calories, saturated fat, and trans fat. Too many of us consume a diet with too many solid fats and added sugars. Thankfully the latest dietary guidelines aim to shift consumption towards more plant-based foods.
Lifestyle modification is now the foundation of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology guidelines, the European Diabetes Association guidelines, and the official standards of care for the American Diabetes Association. Dietary strategies include reducing intake of fat and increasing intake of fiber (meaning unrefined plant foods, including whole grains).
The recommendation to consume more whole grains is based on research showing that eating lots of whole grains is associated with reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. New research even suggests that whole grains may protect against prediabetes in the first place.
According to the American Diabetes Association’s official standards of care (which you can see in my video Lifestyle Medicine Is the Standard of Care for Prediabetes), dietary recommendations should focus on reducing saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat intake (meat, dairy, eggs and junk food). Recommendations should also focus on increasing omega 3’s, soluble fiber and phytosterols, all three of which can be found together in flax seeds; an efficient, but still uncommon, intervention for prediabetes. In one study, about two tablespoons of ground flax seed a day decreased insulin resistance (the hallmark of the disease).
If the standards of care for all the major diabetes groups say that lifestyle is the preferred treatment for prediabetes because it’s safe and highly effective, why don’t more doctors do it? Unfortunately, the opportunity to treat this disease naturally is often unrecognized. Only about one in three patients report ever being told about diet or exercise. Possible reasons for not counseling patients include lack of reimbursement, lack of resources, lack of time, and lack of skill.
It may be because doctors aren’t getting paid to do it. Why haven’t reimbursement policies been modified? One crucial reason may be a failure of leadership in the medical profession and medical education to recognize and respond to the changing nature of disease patterns.
“The inadequacy of clinical education is a consequence of the failure of health care and medical education to adapt to the great transformation of disease from acute to chronic. Chronic disease is now the principal cause of disability, consuming three quarters of our sickness-care system. Why has there been little academic response to the rising prevalence of chronic disease?”
How far behind the times is the medical profession? A report by the Institute of Medicine on medical training concluded that the fundamental approach to medical education “has not changed since 1910.”
I hope my work is helping to fill the gap that medical professionals are not getting during training about preventing and treating chronic disease. That’s actually how this all started. I would make trips to Countway at the beginning of every month in medical school to read all the new journal issues. I felt I had a duty to my patients to stay on top of the literature. But hey, since I’m doing so much work, might as well share it! So what started as an email newsletter morphed into a medical school speaking tour into a DVD series and then now all online for everyone.
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.
“Diabetes here I come.” Controversy quickly brewed this week after a Starbucks barista wrote those four words on a customer’s grande white mocha. But rather than put those words on a specialty coffee, let’s put them where they really belong. With 422 million adults worldwide living with diabetes, I’d like to see the blunt warning on packaging for the most diabetogenic foods exacerbating this global epidemic.
Red Meat: Diabetes here I come. An increase of more than half of a serving of red meat per day increases the risk for type 2 diabetes by 48 percent, according to one study. Decreasing red meat intake resulted in a decreased risk for diabetes. Many other studies show the same.
Eggs: Diabetes here I come. Another recent study found that consuming three or more eggs per week increases an American’s risk for type 2 diabetes by 39 percent. It’s just one of many studieslinking egg consumption to diabetes.
Dairy, Chicken, and Fish: Diabetes here I come. A study released earlier this month found that those who consumed the highest amount of animal protein increased their risk for type 2 diabetes by 13 percent. But participants who replaced 5 percent of their protein intake with vegetable protein decreased their risk for diabetes by 23 percent.
Diabetes here I come. It’s a message many don’t want to hear. But with about 1.5 million newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes cases and nearly 250,000 diabetes-related deaths in America each year, it’s an easier pill to swallow than the consequences of getting the disease.