American Versus European Food and Drink Standards

Some of us may not look at the labels very well when buying food and drink products, except for the brands we want to get. Usually, we would just get them from the grocery shelves and freezers, and stuff them to our carts. But, if we look closely and compare them, especially the U.S. and EU products, we would be able to distinguish each one’s standards.

It’s sad that some pesticides, such as Dacthal, are banned in Europe and classified as a carcinogen is allowed to be used on many of items we eat regularly in the US.

On Food

The U.S. and Europe differ in many food product standards and regulations. One of which is the food additives wherein there are more European restrictions because they only allow not harmful additives to it. America on the other hand allow additives until proven harmful. Many artificial ingredients such as petrochemical-based food coloring, BVOs, and RGBHs that are banned in Europe are still used in the U.S as a result. Another is that FDA (U.S. food policy) discloses 8 common allergens namely eggs, fish, shellfish, soybeans, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, and wheat, while EU FIC (European food policy) requires listing 14 allergens directly in the ingredients section of the food labels and restaurants. When it comes to food labeling, FDA changed twice while the European changed it recently focusing on mandatory information, allergens, and nutritional information listings.

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Healthspan Is More Important Than Lifespan

According to statistics, the lifespan of this generation’s general population has increased, and the health status has also improved mainly because of the new drugs and medical innovations. These are both amazing news, but what do we really mean when we say lifespan and healthspan? Is there a difference between the two and is one more important than the other?

Lifespan And Healthspan

Lifespan is the number of years in life; how long we live, whereas healthspan is the quality of life; how well we live, in simple terms. Beyond this, it’s more complex than just long life and poor health or short life and rich in health because we want to live longer and better.

When we talk further about lifespan, it’s how long we can delay the onset of life-threatening diseases. In healthspan, we dive deeper into how long we can preserve cognitive functions, maintain physical form and motor functions, and sustain our purpose and social functions. Now that we get the framework of this topic, evolution tells us how we can live longer and better, that’s by meeting our biological needs such as food and sleep sustenance, survival instincts such as stress responses and reproduction. As millennials, centuries, and decades pass, thanks to civilization and technology, we hacked our way into resolving our acute problems, such as war, famine, trauma, lethal infections, and brutality. Chronic problems, on the other hand, were left such as heart diseases, lower back pain, type-2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

Once we acquire these problems, it’s harder for us to achieve longevity, meaning long and better life. One way of making sure we achieve longevity is by improving our physical capabilities. Regular exercises and intense training, diet and fasting, supplementation, meditation, sleep, and hygiene are some of the hacks we can do to increase our life and health spans.

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Were They Wrong About Sunscreen Too?

Margarine, Cigarettes, Anti-Bacterial Soap and now potentially sunscreen? These items were supposedly healthy at one point; now deemed as not only unhealthy but potentially harmful. More is not necessarily better. Here are some articles that discuss information about sunscreen, cancer and sun exposure.

Sunscreens And What The Skin Can Produce

Supplements have been selling like smartphones for many decades. Though, because of recent studies, some of them have been getting backlash. One that stands the test of time is Vitamin D, manufactured by skin primarily through sunlight, probably due to countless benefits it brings including prevention of certain diseases such as osteoporosis, heart attack, stroke, depression, cancer, diabetes, obesity, cognitive impairment, autoimmune conditions, and more. Many of us are still not getting enough of this since most jobs are indoors and when we go out, we wear sunscreens, which in turn blocks the sun’s rays. So, we just take vitamin D supplements to compensate for not getting it from the outside. But what’s mind-boggling about this is a couple of recent studies showed that vitamin D supplementation has no benefit on us, even with larger doses, it doesn’t do much with heart disease, cancer or stroke.

There are researchers who argued that people with high vitamin D levels are so healthy not because of the vitamin itself but because of their exposure to the sun. They said that exposure to the sun for at least 30 minutes lets the skin produce nitric oxide, which lowers blood pressure and dilates blood vessels, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. Sunscreen may be a big culprit when it comes to producing nitric oxide which can help us prevent certain diseases.

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New Studies on Sugar and Smoking: Do We Really Need More Evidence?

We just can’t get enough of our favorite sugary treats, can we? We even admire artificial sweeteners saying they’re much better than regular sugars. How about smoking, how many sticks or packs do we consume per day? Haven’t we noticed that we age faster bit by bit by every puff of smoke we exhale and inhale? There are so many questions that we most probably already know the answers to. Still, we are in denial and still choose to continue our bad habits. Here are a few new studies that can shed some light of what we currently know about these topics.

Sugar Substitutes NOT Better Than Real Sugar

The truth really hits hard and bitter; sweeteners are not healthier than our regular sugars. There’s no science backing the claims of companies making our favorite sweeteners, that these are much better to consume than real sugars, though they’re not worse either.

A European research team did a study to 14,000 people regarding intake of sweeteners and its effect on BMI, eating behavior, oral health, cancer, kidney and heart diseases, mood swings, and other conditions. It was concluded that there’s no evidence of health benefits seen in consuming artificial sweeteners.

This new study just debunks the marketing ads of sugar substitute companies, making more people believe that their sweeteners are a healthier option than the conventional sugars. Though, at this point, doors haven’t closed for newer studies and research about the topic.

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A Review of the Hypervolt Massage Vibration Device

I regularly go to the gym and engage in heavy workout circuits most of the time. I feel great and more alive whenever I get to sweat and pump my muscles. There’s just this thing that sometimes get in the way of building the body form I want – muscle soreness. My solution is to get a massage as often as possible. It may cost me bucks but at least I’m relieved afterwards. Until, thank goodness, I stumbled upon Hypervolt.

What Is Hypervolt?

The Hypervolt looks a bit like a futuristic gun, don’t you think? Beyond its modern design, though, are the astounding features in this portable vibration massage tool. It uses a powerful high-torque motor which can deliver up to 3200 percussions per minute and allows you to choose among three speed settings to get the right amount of pressure and stimulation. It includes a Quiet Glide technology, so when you turn it on, the vibrating sound it produces is not as loud as the other products, which is a good thing. It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to three (3) hours of use per charge.

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Keto Criticisms: The Pros and Cons of the Keto Diet

Many of you have heard of “keto diet” and it seems like a lot of people joined and are joining this bandwagon, but what is this anyway? Ketogenic “keto” diet is a body fat-burning process while under a strict low-carb and high-fat diet. This, in turn, will make you lose weight faster and perform better as others claim. The science behind it is that instead of your body using glucose (produced by carbs), it uses ketones (produced by fats) as an alternative energy source. Ketones are made if you consume very few carbs, moderate amounts of protein and high fat. Most people are okay to do a keto diet, though it has been noted that those who take medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and breastfeeding women should consult their physicians first before doing this.

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Keto Foods

There are so many choices on what to eat, mostly meats, fats and oils, though some of them requires that you consume them minimally than others. It’s a battle between eating the healthier (only a little tasty) fats and the not-that-healthy (but tastier) ones. Also, there are a bunch of carbohydrates (sweets and starches) that you should avoid if you want to be strict on your diet. It’s important for you to know what foods to eat and what fats to include on your meals. Below are food guidelines to an effective keto diet.

The BEST keto foods to consume include:

  • Protein such as grass-fed beef, fatty fish (salmon, tuna), pork, turkey, dark meat (liver), chicken (thigh, with skin, legs), eggs
  • Oils and fats such as avocado oil, olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, butter, heavy cream
  • Greens such as avocado, leafy greens (spinach, arugula), celery, asparagus, cauliflower, bok choy, lettuce, cucumber, green peppers, mushrooms, zucchinis
  • Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds
  • Dairy products such as cheddar cheese, blue cheese, feta cheese
  • Practice moderation in using sweeteners
  • Condiments and sauces such as guacamole, lemon butter sauce, mayonnaise (no added sugar)
  • Drinks such as water, almond milk, bone broth, plain tea
  • Herbs and spices such as salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, paprika, cayenne
  • Supplements such as fiber, multivitamins, MCT oil

The keto foods to consume AT A MINIMUM include:

  • Low fat proteins such as skinless chicken, shrimp, bacon
  • Oils such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil
  • Vegetables such as leeks, spaghetti squash, eggplant
  • Unsweetened nut butters (almond and peanut butters), cashews, pistachios
  • Full-fat cottage cheese, full-fat plain Greek yogurt, full-fat ricotta cheese
  • Stevia, Erythritol, Xylitol
  • Raw garlic, tomato sauce (no added sugar), balsamic vinegar
  • Black coffee, unsweetened carbonated water, zero-calorie drinks
  • Ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder

The foods to AVOID include:

  • Flour-based products, breads, rice, pastas, candies, chocolate bars
  • Cold cuts with added sugar, meat marinated in sugary sauces, fish and chicken nuggets
  • Margarine and artificial trans fat
  • Potatoes, corn, raisins
  • Trail mixes with dried fruit, sweetened nut and seed butters
  • Milk, sweetened non-fat yogurt, ice cream
  • Agave, honey, maple syrup, white and brown sugars
  • Barbecue sauce, ketchup, honey mustard
  • Soda, fruit juice, lemonade, beer

This is a sample of the keto menu:

  • For breakfast: scrambled eggs in butter on lettuce topped with avocado and bulletproof coffee (black coffee with butter and coconut oil)
  • For morning snacks: almonds
  • For lunch: spinach salad with grilled salmon
  • For afternoon snacks: celery strips dipped in guacamole
  • For dinner: pork chop with cauliflower mash and red cabbage slaw

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Hip Thrusts Are For Men Too

Aside from strengthening their hips and glutes, some women want to show off their big, rounded, attractive butt. Those bottoms are to die for and some, if not most men, drool whenever they see them. But what about men? Do we still need to include hip thrusts in our workout routine even if we already have squats and deadlifts which are great for our glutes? Apparently, we do, and not just because some women find men more attractive if they have well-formed butts, of course.

The Stigma

Whenever we look up hip thrusts and butt workouts on the Internet, a majority of the articles about it pertain to women, as its major market. That means men are almost ashamed of doing hip thrusts because it’s kind of a feminine thing to do. Oftentimes, this stigma can actually make men weaker in terms of utilizing the gluteus maximus, the biggest muscle in the body. Little do we know that hip thrusts can correct certain conditions such as weak glutes, unbalanced hip-to-knee rhythm, poor movement mechanics and joint health. Sitting all day at work or even at home has become an epidemic that we cannot instantly change. This lack of “butt movement” and disinterest in lower body strength has led us to have our butts or glutes being inactive or weak, which is not supposed to be the case. Remember that stronger glutes are equal to better posture, more power, performance capacity, and confidence.

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Hiking Prescription, Parkinson’s Disease Prevention, Grip Strength on Heart Health, Old Age, and Workouts

Many of us might lose hope when it comes to treating or managing our illnesses or conditions, especially if it’s chronic. We get convoluted by so many drugs that most doctors prescribe. But what if there’s a way, something more natural, for us to manage our condition by not only relying on medications?

Hiking Prescription in Scotland

Doctors in Scotland took the advantage of giving “nature prescriptions” as part of addressing the health issues of their patients. The health authorities from Shetland, an island filled with raw and awesome nature in Scotland, took the liberty of letting medical professionals prescribe outdoor activities, such as hiking, walking, cycling, and swimming, alongside traditional health care. These activities have been shown to be an effective healthy supplement for those with high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety, depression and other chronic illnesses.

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