heart disease http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3419/all en-US 5 Ways to Keep Your Desk From Killing You http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-your-desk-from-killing-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-keep-your-desk-from-killing-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_sore_back_000036902880.jpg" alt="Man living longer despite his sedentary desk job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sitting at a desk all day might literally be killing you. A study in Diabetologia shows that sedentary time in adults can actually lead to <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22890825">increased chance of death</a>, even if you exercise regularly after work. Sitting at a desk all day at work can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Even worse, sitting still for six or more hours makes you 40% likelier to <a href="http://www.diygenius.com/your-desk-job-is-killing-you-the-truth-about-sitting-down-infographic/">die within 15 years</a> than someone who sits less than three.</p> <p>While everyone would love to leave their desk job and pursue something outside of the office, sometimes that's not feasible. And unless you quit office jobs altogether and go a different route, you're going to spend a lot of time sitting in a chair at a coffee shop crafting your master plan. So here's what to do:</p> <h2>1. Adjust Your Workspace</h2> <p>Evaluate your surroundings. Is your back hunched? Is your head straight when you look at your monitor? You might need to adjust your chair or move your monitor. Nerd Fitness recommends some great ways to <a href="https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2015/07/13/how-to-survive-sitting-all-day/">move your monitor</a> and chair around to get the right heights for your neck, back, and shoulders. You can also check out <a href="http://www.ergotron.com/tabid/305/language/en-us/default.aspx">Ergotron's online evaluation</a>. You enter in your height and the system generates exactly how high your chair and monitor should be. You might also need a new chair altogether, so talk to your HR department to see if there is one in storage.</p> <h2>2. Move Around</h2> <p>Experts recommend <a href="http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/sitting-at-your-desk-is-eating-your-muscles">five minutes of standing</a> for every 30 minutes of sitting. In fact, most say you should do something every 30 minutes to improve your concentration and your muscles. Instead of sending an email to a coworker, go talk to them. Go for a walk outside while contemplating your next steps. The <a href="https://www.focusboosterapp.com/">Focus Booster</a> app can give you reminders every 20 minutes to take a break! There is a small monthly fee, but there is a free (no credit card required!) trial you can do to see if it works for you.</p> <h2>3. Deskercise</h2> <p>I was so excited when I thought of the word &quot;deskercise,&quot; only to realize it wasn't original at all. Isometric squats are a good place to start: just place your feet firmly on the floor and push down like you are standing up without actually standing up. Also check out these 33 <a href="http://greatist.com/fitness/deskercise-33-ways-exercise-work">work exercise moves</a> from Greatist, and these <a href="http://www.fitbodyhq.com/fitness/12-great-stretches-for-tight-hip-flexors/">stretch techniques</a> from Fit Body HQ to loosen up.</p> <h2>4. Stand at Your Desk</h2> <p>...But don't stand all day. While standing is better than sitting, standing still is not the answer. Be sure to walk around and stretch your legs every once in awhile. While studies show that standing can increase blood flow, it can also cause <a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/11/03/yes-sitting-work-bad-but-standing-actually-better/7ceei6fb0B7QjgAH3FlOrK/story.html">joint or muscle pain</a>. In a June study conducted by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, respondents who worked at a sit/stand desk showed a <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Using+Sit-Stand+Workstations+to+Decrease+Sedentary+Time+in++Office+Workers%3A">happier mood</a> and increased energy. For more information, check out <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1137278994/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1137278994&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XZFO5AMJO4P25AGF">Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It</a>.</p> <h2>5. Exercise Daily Outside of the Office</h2> <p>Although exercising daily doesn't decrease your chances of premature death if you're sitting all day, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-reasons-youre-bad-at-exercising">don't stop exercising</a>! Make sure to walk, run, or do cardio at least 30 minutes every day on top of using the tips above. By doing all of these things, you'll combat most of the negative effects of sitting all day.</p> <p><em>What do you do at your desk to break up the day?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-your-desk-from-killing-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-get-more-exercise-without-working-out">6 Simple Ways to Get More Exercise Without Working Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-gym-memberships">5 Most Affordable Gym Memberships</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-why-you-should-take-a-walk">25 Reasons Why You Should Take a Walk</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Health and Beauty desk jobs diabetes exercise fitness heart disease living longer sedentary sitting Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:00:35 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1568891 at http://www.wisebread.com The Economics of Marriage and Health - Til Death Do Us Part http://www.wisebread.com/the-economics-of-marriage-and-health-til-death-do-us-part <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-economics-of-marriage-and-health-til-death-do-us-part" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/441303_wedding_cake_closeup.jpg" alt="Alternative wedding cake with married couple" title="Wedding Cake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A recent <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29529578/">study</a> has found that marital strife can be detrimental to your heart, more so for women than in men. And heart disease, as you may or may not know, is the number one killer of both sexes.</p> <p>Everyone who is married knows well enough that besides the tax advantage, for things to work, it takes a lot of effort. Factor in children and the challenges become even greater (for the record, so do the rewards). While many of us might be familiar with how the stress and strain of a bad marriage can profoundly affect our emotional state, it turns out that there are a number of physical consequences, as well. </p> <p>In fact, marital strife was found to increase the incidence of depression, particularly in women, as well as certain <a href="http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4756">key indicators</a> for heart disease and diabetes. The reason for the higher risk in women is believed to be directly linked to elevated levels of stress hormones that can result from domestic instability, of which men were found to be less affected.</p> <p>When you really think about it, it makes sense. Studies have shown that <a href="http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50558">depression</a> and <a href="http://healthytheory.com/anger-is-bad-for-your-heart">anger</a> can negatively impact our health, and since our emotional state can be influenced by our interactions with the people around us, it goes without saying that it is beneficial to nurture healthy relationships with our colleagues, friends, family, and, of course, our spouse.</p> <p>And, in addition to the health connection, there are some important economic consequences to consider, as well. Medical expense ranks second only to credit card debt as a reason to file for personal bankruptcy in this country, and the enormous costs could very well contribute to your emotional, and thus physical, decline. </p> <p>Then there is the issue of divorce, which can not only exact a huge emotional toll, but it can be expensive and can ruin a person financially. In fact, it is not unheard of for people to <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Staying-married-to-save-brn-14879315.html">suck it up</a> and stay married for monetary reasons alone. Whether or not this is a good thing is subject to interpretation..</p> <p>With all of this in mind, maybe it&rsquo;s not a bad idea to make the time and effort to maintain a healthy relationship with our significant other, because our families, and by extension, our health, are more important than we are often willing to acknowledge.</p> <p>And while I don&rsquo;t profess to be an expert on relationships (if I were, I&rsquo;d have my own talk show), there are few things that I&rsquo;ve found help to keep things running on the home front, and maybe they might work for you:</p> <p><strong>1. Communicate</strong>. Let your spouse know if there&rsquo;s a problem or something is wrong, because keeping it to yourself will never address the problem and could very well lead to simmering resentment. On the flip side, tell them when they do something you like, so they&rsquo;ll know to do it again.</p> <p><strong>2. Share in a life</strong>. This is especially true with kids. Try to embrace shared interests rather than solely indulging in individual ones. While each person&rsquo;s needs are important, at some point couples begin to lead completely disparate lives. Sharing in life experiences can create bonds (an memories) that will last a lifetime.</p> <p><strong>3. Eat meals together</strong>. As a couple or with your kids, make time to eat as a family. Life is hectic, but it&rsquo;s important to sit down to at least one meal (the more the better) together and eat as a family. And whatever you do, enjoy it.</p> <p><strong>4. Celebrate the little things</strong>. Taking notice of the effort your spouse makes, no matter how small, will always be welcomed. Compliments are always appreciated, and don&rsquo;t avoid telling them that you love them. These are easy things that take little effort and crop up constantly throughout the day.</p> <p><strong>5. Make compromises and sacrifices</strong>, especially when they are not too painful. Even though they may seem trivial, missing a football game on TV or forsaking girl&rsquo;s night out to be together will make a statement to your spouse on how you value your time together.</p> <p><strong>6. Say you&rsquo;re sorry</strong>. Acknowledge when you&rsquo;re wrong, even if it&rsquo;s not completely your fault. Shelving your pride will allow you to meet your spouse on a middle ground where a healthier interaction can take place.</p> <p>While each couple does things differently, there are certain universal qualities that make relationships strong, so take the time to let your spouse know that you are there for them, and that you want them there for you.</p> <p>A healthy family life will bring positive consequences to all other areas in your life. And you never know, it might even save you some money.</p> <p>If you have any more thoughts on domestic bliss, please share them with our Wisebread readers. It&rsquo;s a rough world out there, and good advice is always welcome. <br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fred-lee">Fred Lee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-economics-of-marriage-and-health-til-death-do-us-part">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-financial-stability-after-divorce">How to Build Financial Stability After Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-taking-a-loan-for-your-wedding-is-a-bad-idea">3 Reasons Taking a Loan For Your Wedding Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/realistic-budgeting-the-marriage-saver">Realistic Budgeting: The Marriage Saver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-love-not-money-sort-of">Make Love, Not Money (Sort Of)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle divorce heart disease marriage Mon, 20 Apr 2009 14:01:55 +0000 Fred Lee 3066 at http://www.wisebread.com Do plastic baby bottles cause diabetes and heart disease? http://www.wisebread.com/do-baby-bottles-cause-diabetes-and-heart-disease <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-baby-bottles-cause-diabetes-and-heart-disease" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nipple.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Me, I&#39;ve been a big proponent of doing away with <a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">plastics</a> for a while now. I&#39;d like to feel vindicated, but today&#39;s issue of USA Today just sort of made me sad. Check out the slide show <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-09-14-bisphenol-danger_N.htm">here</a>.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-09-16-bpa-heart_N.htm">study was released today</a> that some scientists believe implicates bisphenol A in the formation of diabetes and heart disease in humans. Results are preliminary, and more studies need to be done. And, of course, the FDA still says that plastics are more or less safe. </p> <p>&quot;Some scientists say the study — released today to coincide with a Food and Drug Administration meeting— shows that bisphenol A, or BPA, is too dangerous to allow in consumer products, especially those used by babies and pregnant women.&quot; USA Today</p> <p>&quot;Higher BPA exposure, reflected in higher urinary<sup> </sup>concentrations of BPA, may be associated with avoidable morbidity<sup> </sup>in the community-dwelling adult population. &quot; <a href="http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/300.11.1303">JAMA</a></p> <p>&quot;Two weeks ago, the National Toxicology Program said it has &quot;some concern&quot; that BPA alters development of the brain and prostate gland in children and babies, both before and after birth.&quot; <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-09-14-bisphenol-danger_N.htm">USA Today</a> </p> <p>A number of stores are <a href="http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1428831/walmart_toys_r_us_to_remove_products_with_bpa/index.html">removing products</a> that contain bisphenol A from their shelves - Toys R Us and Walmart have both been pulling toys and plastic baby bottles since early summer.</p> <p>The plastic industry is, of course, fighting every attempt to reduce or change the way we use plastic in our everyday lives. From <a href="http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/378828_bags12.html">fighting the plastic bag fees</a> that are being instituted in my fair city of Seattle and <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23596727/">elsewhere</a>, the American Chemistry Council is <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/new-bisphenol-study-has-limited/story.aspx?guid=%7BC461568B-7EB6-4598-A98A-668C147D7DCD%7D&amp;dist=hppr">doing their darndest</a> to keep a lid on this possibly dangerous substance. To be fair, the Canadian plastics industry is <a href="http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2008/16/c3392.html">no better</a>.</p> <p>Of course, I see the value of having plastics in our lives. I certainly wouldn&#39;t want to ride my motorcycle wearing a helmet made of tree bark and sheepskin. And it IS difficult to know if studies like this one are truly causal: it&#39;s possible that high levels of bisphenol A in humans with diabetes and heart attacks are linked, but it doesn&#39;t necessarily mean that the relationship is causal. Perhaps people with heart disease and diabetes eat more prepared (unhealthy) food from plastic packaging, hence the higher levels of the chemicals in their blood.</p> <p>I don&#39;t like fear-mongering, but I&#39;m also aware of an industry&#39;s deep-seated need to <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/19/AR2005061900691.html">fight scientific evidence</a>.</p> <p>In any case, I have been limiting my exposure to products containing bisphenol A as much as I possibly can, and will continue to do so.</p> <p><a href="http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/06/02/16/bisphenol-a_why_makers_of_toys_medical_equipment__amp_more_dont_want_you_to_worry_about_bispheno.htm">Six Wise</a> has some good tips on how to avoid BPA in your life (following list is taken from Six Wise).</p> <p>If you want to avoid products with BPA, keep in mind the following:</p> <ul> <li>Plastic that contains BPA carries the #7 recycling symbol.</li> <li>Most clear plastic baby bottles and child cups are made of BPA-containing plastic.</li> <li>Dental sealant may leach BPA; this is being debated. You may want to avoid dental sealants on your children&#39;s baby teeth.</li> </ul> <p>You can minimize your BPA exposure by:</p> <ul> <li>Replacing plastic food and drink containers and utensils with glass, ceramic or metal varieties.</li> <li>Purchasing glass baby bottles.</li> <li>Using baby bottles and sippy cups made of polyethylene plastic (#1, #2, #4 recycling symbols) or polypropylene (#5) (these are usually colored, not clear, and should still not be heated).</li> <li>Not using canned foods or foods wrapped in plastic.</li> <li>Not letting children put plastic toys in their mouths. </li> <li>Being careful with BPA-containing plastics, if you choose to use them. This means not exposing them to heat (microwave, dishwasher) or harsh detergents (bleach, etc.) and not letting food or beverages sit in the containers for too long.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-baby-bottles-cause-diabetes-and-heart-disease">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-plastic-killing-us-the-true-cost-of-convenience">Is Plastic Killing Us? The True Cost of Convenience</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-your-desk-from-killing-you">5 Ways to Keep Your Desk From Killing You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close">Is Green Tea All It&#039;s Cracked Up to Be? It&#039;s close.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Health and Beauty baby bottles bisphenol A BPA cancer cells diabetes heart disease human DNA plastic poison Tue, 16 Sep 2008 22:48:52 +0000 Andrea Karim 2433 at http://www.wisebread.com Exercise (and alcohol) good for your brain http://www.wisebread.com/exercise-and-alcohol-good-for-your-brain <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/exercise-and-alcohol-good-for-your-brain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/booze-with-glasses_1.jpg" alt="Booze with glasses" title="Booze with glasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="211" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a bit of a follow-up to my article on how <a href="/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a>, I wanted to link to this New York Times article: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/sports/playmagazine/0819play-brain.html?ex=1345176000&amp;en=50ec7d1aef2de5e6&amp;ei=5090&amp;partner=rssuserland&amp;emc=rss">Lobes of Steel</a>.</p> <p>The article describes a study showing that exercise helps human brains build more neurons (a process called neurogenesis). It also reports on some mouse studies that indicate that the exercise actually improves intelligence, at least in mice.</p> <p>It also goes on to list some other things that induce neurogenesis including not only exercise but also marijuana, alcohol (in moderation), sociability, and chocolate.</p> <p>Bad for neurogenesis are saturated fat, sugar, and stress.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercise-and-alcohol-good-for-your-brain">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-meat-the-personal-health-argument">The Cost of Meat—The Personal Health Argument</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Commentary alcohol beer booze Health health issues heart heart disease wine Sun, 19 Aug 2007 18:26:27 +0000 Philip Brewer 1020 at http://www.wisebread.com Alcohol is good for your heart http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/booze-with-glasses_0.jpg" alt="Booze with glasses" title="Booze with glasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="211" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After quitting smoking, having one or two drinks a day is the best single thing you can do for your cardiovascular health. It&#39;s better than losing weight, better than getting more exercise, and better than lowering your cholesterol.</p> <p>As the evidence mounted over the past few years, I&#39;ve grown more and more grumpy with the medical community&#39;s hesitance to support moderate alcohol consumption. After doing some research, though, I guess I understand. </p> <p>The benefits to alcohol consumption are absolutely clear. Drinking five to six drinks a week reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death by <a href="http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/men/9908/30/heart.men/">79 percent</a>. It cuts heart attack risk, both in <a href="http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2006/10/23/hscout535667.html">men who exercise and eat right</a> and in <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&amp;res=9504E6D61F31F930A15750C0A9629C8B63">men with hypertension</a>. It also <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol.html">protects against type-2 diabetes and gallstones</a>. In middle-aged women, moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with a <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol.html">17% reduction in death from all causes</a>.</p> <p>But it&#39;s that &quot;all causes&quot; thing that turns the medical community into cowards on this issue. Death and injury rates due to things like accidents, suicide, and liver disease start increasing even at moderate levels of drinking (one to two drinks a day) and spike up very quickly with higher alcohol consumption.</p> <p>Although there are probably some additional benefits from the antioxidents found in red wine and some beers, most of the benefit seems to come from the alcohol itself, which both <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol.html">raises HDL cholesterol and reduces dangerous blood clots</a>, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, which goes on to talk about other good things associated with moderate alcohol consumption:</p> <blockquote><p>The social and psychological benefits of alcohol can&#39;t be ignored. A drink before a meal can improve digestion or offer a soothing respite at the end of a stressful day; the occasional drink with friends can be a social tonic. These physical and psychic effects may contribute to health and wellbeing.</p> </blockquote> <p>I can see why health experts don&#39;t want to give people the idea that having a couple of drinks is a substitute for a healthy lifesetyle, nor find themselves acting as enablers for an alcoholic in denial. But even after looking at those downsides, I wish they&#39;d be a bit more willing to recommend light-to-moderate drinking for its health benefits. It would save lives. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercise-and-alcohol-good-for-your-brain">Exercise (and alcohol) good for your brain</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking">The 9 Hidden Costs of Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Lifestyle alcohol beer booze Health health issues heart heart disease wine Sun, 12 Aug 2007 00:35:58 +0000 Philip Brewer 982 at http://www.wisebread.com The Cost of Meat—The Personal Health Argument http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-meat-the-personal-health-argument <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-cost-of-meat-the-personal-health-argument" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/health.jpg" alt="health forms" title="health forms" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>This continues from &quot;<a href="/the-cost-of-meat-too-high-to-pay">The Cost of Meat—Too High To Pay</a>.&quot; The Personal Health Argument attempts to show that there is few, if any, benefit from eating meat. This will cover heart disease, cancer, and calcium intake.<span> </span></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal">While the meat/dairy industry would have us believe we need both in every meal to have a balanced diet, many studies have shown a high correlation between meat/dairy consumption and major health problems, including heart disease and cancer.<span> </span>Significant decrease in health problems have been associated with moving to a plant-based diet.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The following information is taken from John Robbins&#39; <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1573247022?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1573247022"><em>The Food Revolution</em></a>.<span> </span>The references I list here are not as detailed as his endnotes (page numbers, dates, etc.), but should be sufficient information to find through a quick search on the web.<span> </span>If any information does not have a source listed, it did not have a source cited in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1573247022?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1573247022"><em>The Food Revolution</em></a>.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><u>Heart Disease</u></strong></p> <ul> <li>A high blood cholesterol level is the single greatest risk factor for heart disease. —&quot;Atherosclerotic Risk Factors: Are There Ten or Is There Only One?&quot; <em>American Journal of Cardiology</em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The single most important factor in raising blood cholesterol levels is the consumption of saturated fat.<span> </span></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Meat contributes an extraordinarily significant percentage of the saturated fat in the American diet. —&quot;Where&#39;s the Ground Beef Labeling?&quot; <em>Nutrition Action</em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The primary dietary sources of cholesterol are eggs, shellfish, chicken, beef, fish, pork, cheese, butter, and milk.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Chicken has about as much cholesterol as beef.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Eating the standard American diet that&#39;s based on meat and dairy products, with plenty of white flour and white sugar, one-third of the women and one-half of the men in the U.S. population die of heart disease.<span> </span>Meanwhile, vegetarians and vegans not only have far less heart disease, but also have lower rates of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, gallstones, kidney disease, obesity, and colon disease. —<em><a href="%3ca%20href=%22http:/www.amazon.com/gp/product/0763732419?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0763732419%22%3eThe%20Dietitian&#39;s%20Guide%20to%20Vegetarian%20Diets:%20Issues%20and%20Applications%3c/a%3e%3cimg%20src=%22http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=w">The Dietitian&#39;s Guide to Vegetarian Diets: Issues and Applications</a></em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Vegetarians have the lowest rates of coronary heart disease of any group in the country. —William Castelli, M.D., Framingham Health Study</li> </ul> <ul> <li>In regions where meat is scarce, cardiovascular disease is unknown. —&quot;The Irradiation Controversy&quot; <em>Time </em>Magazine</li> </ul> <ul> <li>No plant food contains any cholesterol.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>People with high blood pressure are seven times more likely to suffer a stroke, four times more likely to have a heart attack, and five times more likely to die of congestive heart failure than people with normal blood pressure.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Incidence of high blood pressure in meat eaters compared to vegetarians: Nearly triple —&quot;Low Blood Pressure in Vegetarians…&quot; <em>American Journal of Clinical Nutrition</em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Patients with high blood pressure who achieve substantial improvement by switching to a vegetarian diet: 30-75 percent —&quot;A Vegan Regimen with Reduced Medication in the Treatment of Hypertension&quot; <em>British Medical Journal</em></li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><u>Cancer</u></strong></p> <ul> <li>In 1996 the American Cancer Society released guidelines calling for a reduction in meat intake to lower the risk of cancer.<span> </span></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The primary route through which many environmental carcinogens enter the human body is through food, and specifically through animal products.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Dioxin is a carcinogen.<span> </span></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The EPA says that up to 95% of human dioxin exposure comes from red meat, fish, and dairy products. —&quot;FDA Launches Study on Dioxin…&quot; <em>Food Chemical News</em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>A low-fat plant-based diet would not only lower the heart attack rate about 85%, but would lower the cancer rate 60 percent. —William Castelli, M.D., Director, Framingham Health Study</li> </ul> <p><em>Prostate Cancer</em> <ul> <li>Just as data indicate a strong connection between consumption of animal fat, high blood pressure, and stroke, so too does the evidence suggest stunning correlations between dairy consumption and prostate cancer.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Total fat consumption was directly related to risk of advanced prostate cancer. This association was due primarily to animal fat, but not vegetable fat. Red meat represented the food group with the strongest positive association with advanced cancer. —<a href="http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/85/19/1571">&quot;A Prospective Study of Dietary Fat and Risk of Prostate Cancer&quot; <em>Journal of the National Cancer Institute</em></a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Most common cancer among American men: Prostate cancer</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Rick of prostate cancer for men who consume high amounts of dairy products: 70% increase. —&quot;Dairy Products Linked to Prostate Cancer&quot; Associated Press</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>Colon Cancer</em> </p> <ul> <li>Of all forms of cancer, colon cancer may be the most strongly linked to diet.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Risk of colon cancer for women who eat red meat daily compared to those who eat it less than once a month: 250 percent greater. —Caldwell Esselstyn, Beyond Surgery </li> </ul> <ul> <li>Risk of colon cancer or people who eat red meat once a week compared to those who abstain: 38 percent greater —&quot;Dietary Risk Factors for Colon Cancer in a Low-Risk Population&quot; <em>American Journal of Epidemiology</em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Risk of colon cancer for people who eat poultry once a week compared to those who abstain: 55 percent greater —&quot;Dietary Risk Factors for Colon Cancer in a Low-Risk Population&quot; <em>American Journal of Epidemiology</em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Risk of colon cancer for people who eat poultry four times a week compared to those who abstain: 200-300 percent greater —&quot;Dietary Risk Factors for Colon Cancer in a Low-Risk Population&quot; <em>American Journal of Epidemiology</em></li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><u>Calcium and Bones</u></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The ubiquitous &quot;milk moustache&quot; ads have made us believe we need milk to get enough calcium.<span> </span>The milk industry is trying to imply that calcium intake from milk will lower the risk of osteoporosis and high blood pressure, that it helps women have stronger bones and help bone growth in among growing children.<span> </span>These are misleading claims, because many studies have linked the intake of animal protein to bone loss (animal protein is present in dairy), and showing a worse calcium balance with increased dairy consumption. These studies have shown that the more animal protein we eat, the more calcium we lose. </p> <ul> <li>In an effort to prove their claims that milk helps prevent bone loss, the National Dairy Council funded a study where post-menopausal women drank three additional 8-ounce glasses of skim milk compared to the control group of post-menopausal women.<span> </span>The results, published in the <em>American Journal of Clinical Nutrition</em>, found that women who drank the extra milk actually lost more calcium from their bones than the control group of women who did not drink it. —&quot;The Effect of Milk Supplements on Calcium Metabolism…&quot; <em>American Journal of Clinical Nutrition</em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>January 2001, the <em>American Journal of Clinical Nutrition</em> published a study that reported a dramatic correlation between the ratio of animal to vegetable protein in the diets of elderly women and their rate of bone loss.<span> </span>Even after adjusting for age, weight, estrogen use, tobacco use, exercise, calcium intake, and total protein intake, the women who had high ratio of animal to vegetable protein had 3x the rate of bone loss as the women with low ratio of animal to vegetable protein.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Studies have also shown elderly people with the highest dairy product consumption actually had double the risk of hip fracture compared to those with the lowest consumption. —&quot;Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Hip Fractures in the Elderly&quot; <em>American Dietetic Association </em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Countries with the highest consumption of dairy products: Finland, Sweden, United States, England —McDougall, John <em>McDougall&#39;s Medicine</em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis: Finland, Sweden, U.S., England —McDougall, John <em>McDougall&#39;s Medicine</em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Amount of calcium loss in women after eating a hamburger: 28 milligrams —Connie Weaver, Ph.D., of Purdue University, at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine&#39;s Summit on the Dietary Guidelines 2000</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Amount of calcium loss in woman after drinking a cup of coffee: 2 milligrams —Connie Weaver, Ph.D., of Purdue University, at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine&#39;s Summit on the Dietary Guidelines 2000</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The milk industry argue that milk is the best way to get calcium, because of its bio-availability (how much calcium is absorbed by our digestive system), and that it would be difficult to meet our daily calcium needs without milk.<span> </span></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Studies have shown vegans get an average of 627mg/day (amount in one glass of milk is 300mg).<span> </span>—&quot;A Comparative Evaluation of Vegan, Vegetarian, and Omnivore Diets&quot; <em>Journal of Plant Foods; </em>&quot;Nutrient Intakes and Eating Behavior Scores of Vegetarian and Nonvegetarian Women&quot;<em> Journal of the American Dietetic Association </em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The level of calcium that the federal government has set as the daily requirement has been set controversially high, primarily due to the political pressure of the dairy industry.<span> </span>90% of all Americans don&#39;t reach it.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-meat-the-personal-health-argument">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercise-and-alcohol-good-for-your-brain">Exercise (and alcohol) good for your brain</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-meat-too-high-to-pay">The Cost of Meat—Too High To Pay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-meat-the-public-health-argument">The Cost of Meat—The Public Health Argument</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-meat-the-environment-argument">The Cost of Meat—The Environment Argument</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Commentary blood pressure calcium cancer dairy Health heart disease meat milk saturated fat Mon, 21 May 2007 20:55:39 +0000 Lynn Truong 665 at http://www.wisebread.com A whopping 6lb cheeseburger for free...if you can finish it. http://www.wisebread.com/a-whopping-6lb-cheeseburger-for-free-if-you-can-finish-it <p><img width="359" height="252" title="big burger" alt="big burger" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/burger4.jpg" /></p> <p>Actually, I'm being a little untruthful. The full weight of the burger is closer to NINE POUNDS. 6lbs is just the meat. You have to admit it, Americans do everything bigger...but is it better? Certainly not for your arteries, but then again, this is not a daily treat.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The monster burger, known as Ye Olde 96er (96 ounces of meat), is the brainchild of Denny's Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. And yes, they have the pictures to prove it. It is $23.95, or FREE is you finish it in under 3 hours. And from what I've heard, you'll need every second of those 3 hours.</p> <p><img width="356" height="245" title="big burger server" alt="big burger server" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/burger3.jpg" /></p> <p>If you can't do it, maybe chop it up into smaller servings. By my calculations, you can get 24 quarter-pounders from it. That's less than $1 a burger...bargain! Or, take the lilly-livered option and go with a 2-pound challenger or 3-pound baby boy. Pah...that's for little girls.</p> <p><strong>Could you do it? To date, almost no-one finished it. </strong><br /> My guess is the great eater Takeru Kobayashi has not yet paid them a visit. I suspect he could eat two for breakfast. But as far as average joes go, a 100lb woman is on record as being the only normal person to finish one. In January 2005 Kate Stelnick of Princeton, New Jersey, finished the whole burger in 2 hours and 54 minutes, 6 minutes shy of the deadline. Take a look at what she munched through....</p> <blockquote><p>1 96oz burger</p> <p>1 enormous bun</p> <p>12 slices of American cheese</p> <p>2 whole tomatoes</p> <p>1/2 a head of lettuce</p> <p>1 cup of peppers</p> <p>2 whole onions</p> <p>Lashings of ketchup, mayo and mustard.</p> </blockquote> <p><img width="436" height="282" title="giant on grill" alt="giant on grill" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/burger2.jpg" /></p> <p>For her trouble, the restaurant picked up the tab and also gave her discount certificates, a T-Shirt and other goodies. Considering very few people even come close to winning the bet, I suspect they don't need to replenish their t-shirt stock very often.</p> <p><strong>And then, there's the 15-POUND BURGER! </strong><br /> No pictures of this one, but it's definitely out there on record as the larget burger in the world. If you have the stomach for it, and a whole day set aside to eat a meal, here's what you can look forward to.</p> <blockquote><p>1 10.5 lb monster burger</p> <p>1 huge bun</p> <p>25 slices of American Cheese</p> <p>1 whole head of lettuce</p> <p>3 tomatoes</p> <p>2 onions</p> <p>1 1/2 cups each of mustard, ketchup, mayo, relish and banana peppers</p> </blockquote> <p>I've been told that antacids are not free with the meal. As is common practice these days, something tells me you'll have to sign a waiver promising not to sue the restaurant for all the obvious side-effects of eating such a meal. McDonalds, Burger King...you guys are small potatoes. And if you're up for the challenge of any one of the burgers from Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, here's a map and address/phone number. Good luck in your quest.</p> <p class="blockquote"><strong><u><font color="#000000">Denny</font><a target="_blank" href="http://web.archive.org/web/20031204204937/http://www.dennysbeerbarrelpub.com/OnlineUpdater/bridge.htm"><font color="#000000">'</font></a><font color="#000000">s Beer Barrel Pub </font> </u><font color="#000000"><br /> </font> </strong>1423 Dorey St, Clearfield, PA 16830<br /> Tel: (814) 765-7190 or (814) 765-1923<br /> Fax: (814) 765-1929</p> <p><img width="307" height="286" title="map" alt="map" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Picture_1_0.png" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-whopping-6lb-cheeseburger-for-free-if-you-can-finish-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-versus-localization">Trade versus localization</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-csa-experience-farm-fresh-veggies-all-summer-and-possibly-winter">My CSA Experience: Farm-Fresh Veggies All Summer (and Possibly Winter)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-lowdown-on-spending-less-for-your-food-but-getting-more">The Lowdown on Spending Less for Your Food but Getting More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Big food challenge eat local good eats heart disease large portions massive monster pub Fri, 18 May 2007 17:10:50 +0000 Paul Michael 659 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Green Tea All It's Cracked Up to Be? It's close. http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/green_tea.jpg" alt="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kankan/" title="Green tea by Kanko" width="250" height="188" /></p> <p>I&#39;ve been enjoying the snarky articles at Slate.com recently focusing on the commoditization of Eastern traditions, such as <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2162283/">yoga</a>. As someone who purchases but never uses yoga clothing, mats, and accessories, I can truly appreciate the hypocrisy in the American tendency to turn something that is supposed to be purifying and healthy into something that is really a money-making scheme.</p> <p>However, I have to take issue with Jacob Weisberg&#39;s recent article that more or less tries to <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2163503/nav/tap1/">dismiss the trend that is green tea</a>, mostly by linking to the myriad of products that use green tea as an ingredient. I&#39;m bothered by a few issues that he raises, mostly because, well, I really freaking love green tea.</p> <p>Now, I long ago discarded the notion that the East has much to teach us about metaphysical stuff. Don&#39;t get me wrong - I&#39;m an Asiaphile. But it&#39;s not because I find any deep and inherent wisdom in the cultures that make up &quot;the Orient&quot;. I like Asia because the land is stunning, the languages are fascinating, the history is long, and the men are handsome.</p> <p>That said, Easterners are as messed-up as as Westerners. Sure, there are some lovely traditions to be had all across Asia, both found in extinct rituals and current practices. But there are lovely traditions to be found in Portugal, too. Only we don&#39;t categorize the Portugese as particularly deep, whereas I think that Asians get put on a spiritual pedestal that isn&#39;t fair to anyone.</p> <p>Commercialism and greed are rampant everywhere in the world, and I don&#39;t think that someone who grew up in, say, Vietnam, has any more to teach the world than someone who grew up in Alabama. So my defense of tea-drinking isn&#39;t stemming from any illusion that the West is merely a commercial shell of a place with no soul, and Asia is the land of enlightenment or anything.</p> <p>There&#39;s no Ganesh on my bookshelf at home, get it?</p> <p>OK? Good. Now that that is out of the way. Green tea.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>It&#39;s an acquired taste...</strong></p> <p>Like coffee, beer, and avocados, your first impression of green tea might have been something like, &quot;Oh. That&#39;s, uh. Hm. Ick.&quot; When I first tasted green tea at the age of 12, I can&#39;t say that I was delighted with it, either. Our exchange student, who hailed from Tokyo, had brought packets of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matcha">matcha</a> with her for us to sample. To me, it was like drinking a ground-up version of the hay that we fed the horses in 4-H. Only bitter.</p> <p>It wasn&#39;t until I traveled to Japan for the first time that I started to really appreciate green tea, if not the long ceremonies surrounding it that caused me to experience some severe Charlie horses (I do appreciate the meditation and skill and patience involved in tea ceremonies, I simply can&#39;t sit on my knees for the length of one). After that trip, I developed a real love for green tea, of which there are many kinds. Also, I decided that green tea flavoring was the best. thing. ever.</p> <p>So, my feathers get ruffled when I read someone who wants to disparage green tea for no good reason, other than the fact that they are sick of hearing about it, and kind of want to make fun of a few products and their respective marketing campaigns. </p> <p>If Slate.com&#39;s Jacob Weisberg had written an article saying &quot;I&#39;m really sick of hearing about green tea&quot;, I&#39;d be fine, because that&#39;s honest. But alas, that was not his tactic. I understand the need to snark about some things, but the green tea attack feels forced and pointless. Also, there are some criticisms of the green tea fad that I just don&#39;t find legitimate.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Snark: Eastern Tradition Hijacked by the West</strong></p> <p class="blockquote">In the United States, &quot;Eastern&quot; tends to blur together Hinduism, Buddhism, and hucksterism. It inevitably involves something to buy and usually something to eat as well. Only this harmonic-entrepreneurial convergence can explain the invention of <a href="http://www.serendipitychocolates.com/detail_pages/greentea_truffle.htm" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">New Zen Green Tea Truffles</font></a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Bissingers-Green-Gummy-Pandas-Three/dp/B000BNLF3W" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Green Tea Gummy Pandas</font></a>, snacks that transform a foggy idea of virtue into morsels of vice. </p> <p>Now, I agree that the whole <em>East=Wisdom &amp; Peace</em> thing can be tedious. I throw up a little when I see Chinese character stepping stones in gardens. But I don&#39;t think we can apply this to green tea. </p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Truth: They Started It!</strong></p> <p>It&#39;s a fallacy, and kind of cocky, to assume that just because a trend is popular, it must have started in the West. Green tea is a very popular flavor throughout Asia, and has been for a long time. You can get green tea EVERYTHING in China, Japan, and Korea. Yogurt, Pocky, ice cream (the only ice cream I like, actually), mochi, chocolates, cookies, gum - the list goes on forever. (Also, there&#39;s lots of melon-flavored stuff, and I sincerely believe that honeydew-flavored yogurt is the closest thing to heaven that most people can ever hope to experience).</p> <p>The traditional Asian palette hasn&#39;t (yet) been tuned to super-sweet tastes, and green tea is a nice flavor in that it tones down the hyper-sugary taste of many desserts and treats. Desserts in East Asia tend to favor sweetened red beans, lightly sweet gelatin, and sometimes sweetened milk. But usually, dessert in Asia is fruit. </p> <p>Recap: the green-tea-in-everything trend didn&#39;t start in the US, but I&#39;m glad it being adopted here, because it&#39;s freaking delicious.</p> <p>Also, sure, &quot;Zen&quot; food might sound pretensious, unless you happen to understand the &quot;Zen&quot; that is a good piece of chocolate. &quot;Zen&quot; truffles are logical to anyone who finds <a href="http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/choco.html">bliss</a> (scroll down to &quot;Chocolate and The Nervous System&quot;) in cocoa.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Snark: Who Knows if It&#39;s Good for You? </strong></p> <p>Next, Weisberg attacks claims that green tea is really, really good for you.</p> <p class="blockquote">Under the Food and Drug Administration&#39;s policy of permitting &quot;qualified health claims&quot; for which there is <em>some </em>evidence—often based on industry-funded research—marketers can make all sorts of improbable boasts (see under <a href="http://www.pomwonderful.com/" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">pomegranate juice</font></a>). Even when it rejects such assertions, <a href="http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qhc-gtea.html" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">as it has for green tea and all cancers</font></a> as well as <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12718769/" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">heart disease</font></a>, the FDA seldom does anything to stop them. </p> <p>He has a point here, and the long-term benefits of green tea may not be well-established. In fact, I&#39;m sick and tired of studies that show <em>this</em> and studies that show <em>that</em>. Bran, beta carotene, vitamin C, chromium, soy - we&#39;re told to consume them like crazy to prevent cancer, and then told a few months later that they CAUSE cancer. </p> <p>Until we really buckle down and have some less biased studies, I wouldn&#39;t recommend that anyone drink lots of green tea, especially in the stead of actually exercising and eating well. I don&#39;t know if green tea can really prevent health problems or cancer or anything else.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Truth: It&#39;s Good for ME </strong></p> <p>But I do know this: I am a diabetic (Type 2, for those who need to know), and drinking green tea<strong><em> lowers my blood sugar</em></strong>. </p> <p>I know this because I have tested my blood sugar before and after drinking green tea, and it will drop my sugar by as much as 30 points. I&#39;m not saying that it works for everyone (it has the opposite affect on my sister, who has a bad blood sugar spike with any caffeine), but it works for some people, and shouldn&#39;t be discounted. Not that my experience alone is enough to validate the health benefits - but I think it should be studied, in the same way that cinnamon was.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Snark: Coprorations Blah Blah Blah Fat Americans</strong></p> <p>Weisberg follows up with the familiar &quot;Well, BIG BAD COMPANIES put green tea in stuff that isn&#39;t healthy, but you <em>think</em> it&#39;s healthy because it has green tea in it, but it&#39;s <em>not</em> healthy because it&#39;s Starbucks&quot; spiel. He even goes so far as to diss my local favorite green-tea joint <a href="http://www.kootsgreentea.com/">Koots</a> (Holla!), as a seller or less-than-healthy green-tea-infused items (green tea cheesecake - try it when you&#39;re in town).</p> <p class="blockquote">This follows on the success of Starbucks&#39; <a href="http://www.starbucks.com/retail/nutrition_beverage_detail.asp?selProducts=185&amp;strAction=GETDEFAULT&amp;x=21&amp;y=7" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino</font></a>, which also uses matcha, green tea in pulverized form. A &quot;venti&quot; has 560 calories if you hold the whipped cream. (The unappreciated business genius of Starbucks is not charging $4 for a latte but rather giving adults permission to drink milkshakes, on the pretext that they are merely tea or coffee.) This is exceeded by the 640 calories in the &quot;power&quot; version of the <a href="http://jambajuice.com/menuguide/matchagreenteablast.html" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Matcha Green Tea Blast</font></a> from Jamba Juice, a <a href="http://www.jambajuice.com/talk/franchiseinformation.html" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">franchise chain</font></a> chasing Howard Schultz&#39;s caffeinated footsteps. </p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Truth: It&#39;s Tasty, and No One is Lying About the Calories </strong></p> <p>You know, I don&#39;t think there&#39;s a single item at Starbucks that I enjoy that comes in at under 400 calories. And it is possible that people in line at Starbucks are saying to themselves &quot;Hm. The white chocolate mocha with raspberry... that sounds good. Oh, wait, green tea frappucino! That&#39;s GOT to be good for me!&quot;. But those people are dumb, and they&#39;d choose something terrible whether the green tea was there or not. </p> <p>[Also, I know a lot of women who have Starbucks for breakfast. Just a drink. 500 calories for breakfast isn&#39;t that bad. 3 meals a day x 500 calories + 200 calorie snack = 1700 calories a day. Now, if a 500 calorie drink is being consumed as a snack, then you&#39;ve got a problem, but I don&#39;t know many women who &quot;snack&quot; at Starbucks, and their frappucinos are a meal.]</p> <p>A trend is a trend, Weisberg! The next big push from Starbucks is going to be South American-influenced flavors. You got something against mangos and pretty Brazilian women in skimpy bikinis? Eh? Everyone loves a Brazilian!</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Snark: Down with White-tea! (Get it? White-tea? Whitey? Har!)</strong></p> <p>Next, in what I can only assume is an attempt at humor, Weisberg goes after the beauty industry for putting green tea in its products, and says this [emphasis mine]:</p> <p class="blockquote"><a href="http://www.origins.com/templates/products/mp.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CATEGORY5756" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Origins &quot;Perfect World&quot; products</font></a> are made with increasingly fashionable white tea, which is sort of baby green tea (think baby arugula). According to the company, white tea is &quot;among the most potent antioxidants, anti-agers, anti-stress, anti-smoke, anti-pollution antidotes.&quot; <em><strong>How is it that tea becomes more medically potent as it loses color and flavor?</strong></em> Next in this progression will be an invisible <em><strong>ghost tea with the regenerative properties of fetal stem cells</strong></em>. </p> <p>Ha! Stem cells! What a riot! It&#39;s funny AND it&#39;s topical! </p> <p>Well, it was topical a few months back, anyway.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Truth: A Lesson in Oxidation</strong></p> <p>First let&#39;s look at the beauty argument; beauty-wise, green tea is mostly good for tightening your skin. </p> <p>Bonus beauty tip: Steep a bag of green tea, and use the cooled water to water your houseplants. Take the tea bag (if you are using bagged tea) and swipe it around your face. It&#39;s like a tiny facelift. It doesn&#39;t last all day, but it&#39;s nice for a couple of hours. All caffeine is great for reducing puffiness, so you can dab a little aloe and green tea around your eyes to reduce puffy skin during allergy season. </p> <p>Next, there&#39;s Weisberg&#39;s unfortunate belief that white tea can&#39;t possibly be as good, medicinally, as green tea.</p> <p>Here&#39;s a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea">brief explanation</a> for those who, like Weisberg, think that young tea has LOST flavor, as opposed to NOT DEVELOPING THE FULL FLAVOR OF GREEN TEA:</p> <p class="blockquote">...[T]ypes of tea are distinguished by the processing they undergo. Leaves of <em>Camellia sinensis</em> soon begin to wilt and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxidation" title="Oxidation">oxidize</a> if not dried quickly after picking. The leaves turn progressively darker because <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorophyll" title="Chlorophyll">chlorophyll</a> breaks down and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannin" title="Tannin">tannins</a> are released.... The next step in processing is to stop the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxidation" title="Oxidation">oxidation</a> process at a predetermined stage by heating, which deactivates the enzymes responsible. In black tea this is done simultaneously with drying.... Young leaves (new growth buds) that have undergone no oxidation; the buds may be shielded from sunlight to prevent formation of chlorophyll. White tea is produced in lesser quantities than most other styles, and can be correspondingly more expensive than tea from the same plant processed by other methods. It is less well known in countries outside of China, though this is changing with increased western interest in organic or premium teas. </p> <p>Basically, the message is this: it&#39;s a leaf that grows until it is picked. After it is picked, it begins to oxidize unless it is dried. As it oxidizes, it gets darker. The darker it gets, the less beneficial stuff it has in it. It&#39;s still good for you, but not as good for you as it was when it was lighter and less oxidized. How difficult is that?</p> <p>Weisberg ends up by snarking some more about green tea-infused booze, which I think we can all agree simply isn&#39;t an argument worth making. It&#39;s alcohol. Ergo, it&#39;s good. </p> <p><strong>MY</strong> point is the green tea is da bomb, whether on your mug or in your mug. </p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Yeah, but it tastes... meh.</strong></p> <p>I know some of you are thinking this. I&#39;ve known a lot of people who claim that <em>they just can&#39;t get into green tea</em>. This is almost always because:</p> <ol> <li>They are buying crappy tea and</li> <li>They are burning the tea when they brew it</li> </ol> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Buying</strong></p> <p>If you want to enjoy a cup of green tea, you have a couple decisions to make. First, decide if you want to pay more for good tea. Yes, you can buy bagged tea, and yes, there are good bagged teas. But you might as well buy loose leaf tea. It&#39;s just better quality, and you have more choice over what you are getting. With ground-up, bagged tea, who knows what kind of leaf is in there?</p> <p>Tea bags are filled with ground up tea, either because ground up tea brews faster and the industry is worried that you won&#39;t wait more than 30 seconds for your tea, or because what you are drinking is the dust that is swept off of the floors in tea factories and farms around the world. Either way, you can guarantee higher quality tea if you buy it loose leaf.</p> <p>Don&#39;t go nuts. Go somewhere that sells the tea, like a Whole Foods or an Asian market, and buy a little bit. Not much. No more than $10 worth. Oh, and do your darndest to buy organic. </p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Brewing</strong></p> <p>White and green tea have more anti-oxidants, and for some reason, scald really easily. Scalded tea is really bitter, and one bad cup can be enough to put someone off of tea for a while.</p> <p>Although you can brew a tasty cup of Earl Grey with boiling water, you have to use cooler water to make a cup of white or green tea. In fact, in many tea houses in Asia, the water you use is close to tepid, just under steaming. Me, I just pour a cup of boiling water and then add about 1/5 cup of cold water, and that does the trick. I steep my tea for about three minutes the first time and about seven minutes on the second round (you can reuse the leaves).</p> <p>Enjoying green tea doesn&#39;t have to be a transcendental experience or a guilt-trip. It&#39;s just a tasty thing that might be good for you.</p> <p>Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kankan/">Kanko</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-drink-tea">10 Reasons to Drink Tea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-diet-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 5 Diet Moves Now or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-your-risk-of-diabetes">10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-unexpected-uses-for-avocados">6 Unexpected Uses for Avocados</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-that-help-you-fight-fat">5 Foods That Help You Fight Fat</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty antioxidants beauty diabetes green tea heart disease Oprah skin tea weight loss white tea Thu, 05 Apr 2007 18:22:35 +0000 Andrea Karim 460 at http://www.wisebread.com