The Future of Food: To GMO or Not To GMO?

An organic diet has never been more in style than it is right now, with millions of consumers willing to shell out extra dollars for organic foods. Most of us have a vague idea that organic is better because it’s more natural and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and pesticides.

But what does “natural” even mean? The line is harder to draw than we may think.

How different is food from GM crops as compared to food from non-GM crops?

Humans have been “genetically modifying” plants and animals for thousands of years. Five hundred years ago, say a farmer noticed some corn was a little sweeter. To replicate that flavor, the farmer might select those seeds for the next crop. That new trait came about by random genetic mutation, and establishing a noticeably sweeter flavor using selective breeding would take years, if not decades.

Some GM foods, like BT crops, are engineered to contain a form of pesticide, which means they don’t need to be sprayed with chemical pesticides. Eating food that produces a pesticide sounds scary, but as the video notes, pesticide doesn’t always mean it is inedible or harmful to humans. Many substances harm insects or animals, but not humans—coffee is one example.

Much of the backlash against GMOs is less about genetic engineering and more about the business practices of the corporations that control our food supply. GMO crops have been a money-maker for herbicide companies—and as crops have been modified to be herbicide-resistant, herbicide use increases. For companies making GMO seeds and associated herbicides, that’s a lot of power over something as critical as how we feed ourselves.

GMOs are part of the larger genetic engineering debate, which is only going to intensify. New techniques are getting easier, cheaper, and more precise by the year. Tech can do damage or be a force for good; the real trick is weighing risk and benefit impartially and making choices that steer us in the right direction.

Singularity Hub

4 Reasons you’re NOT Losing Weight on a Vegan diet

Interestingly this is not merely a notion; an Oxford University study of 40,000 adults found that those who ate a diet high in meat, had the highest Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) with vegans the lowest and vegetarians in the middle.

However, in reality, my clinical practice experience does not coincide with these research findings and in fact, those who have cut out all foods originating from animal products did not lose weight and worse still often gained weight!

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that might be sabotaging your good intentions and weight loss efforts.

1. You’re not eating enough protein
Protein is the one food group that is should be the focus of a new vegan diet with getting adequate protein the main aim. Adequate protein is also an essential as part of a weight loss program.

2. You’re eating too much
Switching to a plant-based diet inevitably focuses your choices on healthy whole grains such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, and whole grain bread as well as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and the ubiquitous avocado.

3. You’re not sticking to three meals a day
By switching to a vegan diet, you find yourself focusing on your food choices more than ever; after all, you need to ensure a well-balanced diet despite eliminating a number of food groups.

4. You’re treating yourself inadvertently
Great, but more often than not, these are little more than junk food disguised under the healthy vegan banner. Take vegetable chips for example; these are very high in oil and salt and any nutrients that vegetables started out with have long been eliminated during the cooking and processing trail.

Coconut milk, delicious, creamy and sweet is laden with calories and highly processed, so less nutritive. Vegan ready meals will contain ‘filler’ ingredients such as refined flour providing little nutrient value.

Avoid processed foods in the specialty aisles and instead go back to real food, in other words, if you need a snack, choose fruits and nuts or high percent cocoa solids chocolate or perhaps some crudites and a hummus or avocado dip.

Daily Mail

6 Brilliant Home Remedies for a Throat Infection

A pesky throat infection is hard to handle. The irritation and itchiness can make it difficult for you to concentrate on your daily chores. Not to forget, the terrible pain that may accompany in severe conditions. A lot of kitchen ingredients are known for their powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help fight infections. They can also help in boosting your immunity and making you stronger from within.

What causes a throat infection?

It could be tonsillitis, cold or a strep throat. It is usually one of the first effects of cold, flu or congestion. A throat infection is basically caused by some virus or bacteria. It may be an effect of some other ailment that you are suffering with or may be attacked by the pollutants or irritants in the air or some kind of allergies.

Symptoms of a throat infection

Look out for the following symptoms if you feel you are suffering from a throat infection. Here’s how you can tell:

1. Swelling of the tonsils
2. Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
3. Throat pain and inflammation
4. Pain in your ears

These are the most common symptoms which may be accompanied by other side effects like fever, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, watery eyes, runny nose or a cough. Here are six brilliant home remedies to soothe your throat infection.

1. Gargle with salt water
2. Turmeric milk
3. Herbal tea
4. Honey
5. Apple cider vinegar
6. Suck on garlic

If you are suffering from a throat infection, it is best to stay away from dairy products like cheese and yogurt and even fermented foods.

NDTV

5 Common Foods that Help Deworm Naturally

It’s good to deworm at intervals to keep the body in great shape and avoid worm infestation, a common health hazard that could be fatal.

Worms can be found in the digestive tracts and all around the system amongst other parasites that can cause the body harm when left unattended to.

Apart from consciously deworming from time to time, there are foods that do this naturally and without side effects (or the fear of passing out actual worms which a lot of people think happens but doesn’t usually anymore!)

1. Water and Lime/Lemon
Drink a mix of water and lime or lemon once in a while to help flush out worms in the gut. Try taking this every day for a week to get rid of worms.This is good enough to be taken every day as it benefits the overall body and its immune system. Ensure to drink this on an empty stomach.

2. Blended Carrots
Carrots are loaded with Beta Carotene and Vitamin A that help clean the digestive tract. Blend carrots often and drink to cleanse the intestine and flush out intestinal worms. You can eat carrots often or blend drinking both the juice and pulp on an empty stomach to get rid of threadworms. Do this straight for a week on an empty stomach to get rid of worms.

3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil helps flush out unwanted bits from the body! Drink about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil every day for a week to get rid of tapeworms. It’s raved to get rid of up to 90% intestinal parasites in less than one day! Make sure to use natural coconut oil.

4. Ginger
Ginger has fast become a medicinal food and works well to clean the guts. Eating a small piece of ginger first thing in the morning for a week straight before eating food works to get rid of worms and other parasites in the body. It’s used to deworm naturally.

5. Garlic
Garlic works exceptionally well to clean out the guts and intestinal parasites and it’s used to deworm naturally. Eat about three cloves of garlic on an empty stomach first thing in the morning to clean the digestive tract. Garlic can also be crushed and placed inside shoes/directly under the feet to keep worms at bay!

Pulse

Home Remedies To Ease Stress, Relieve Anxiety

Stress is something that just about everyone knows well and experiences often. It’s that feeling of pressure, typically a result of too much to do and too little time to do it in. In a busy life, stress is almost unavoidable.

Anxiety is a tense feeling that often accompanies stress. It’s typically directed toward the future — toward something that may happen soon. Some Anxiety can motivate you or help yo respond to danger. However, if you have ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities and makes it hard to enjoy life, then anxiety can be a problem.

Lifestyle and home remedies:

Keep physically active. Develop a routine so that you’re physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It may improve your mood and help you stay healthy. Start out slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activities.


Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. These substances can cause or worsen anxiety. If you can’t quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.


Quit smoking and cut back or quit drinking caffeinated beverages. Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.


Discuss your concerns. Talking with a trusted friend helps relieve stress and may provide a more positive perspective on your situation. This may lead to the healthy plan of action.


Use stress management and relaxation techniques. Visualization techniques, meditation, and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.


Learn to relax. Your goal is to lower your heart rate and blood pressure while also reducing muscle tension.


Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested. If you aren’t sleeping well, see your doctor.


Eat healthily. Healthy eating — such as focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish — may be linked to reduced anxiety, but more research is needed.

South Florida Reporter

Why can’t I lose weight? Here’s Why!

Losing weight isn’t easy and dieters often fail multiple times before getting it right.

The reasons are multifaceted. Many assume that exercise will solve the weight-loss dilemma — it won’t — or that fat will make you fat. Wrong again.

Here are five reasons your diet may be doomed:

1. Counting calories, but not eating real food
Calories from refined carbohydrates and sugar cause you to eat more, without feeling satisfied. Calories from healthy fats, fiber rich sources, and protein, however are metabolized differently and more likely to lead to effective weight loss.

2. Starting the day with carbohydrates
Cereal, toast with jam, or a big glass of OJ are breakfast staples, but studies show that starting the day with protein, instead of sugary carbohydrates leads to reduced hunger and cravings later in the day.

3. Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is glorious, and the benefits of getting enough of it are numerous. Studies show clear associations between a lack of sleep with overeating, weight gain, and obesity. If you’re struggling with your weight loss efforts, getting at least 8 hours a sleep a night may make all the difference.

4. Eating when not hungry
We often eat because we are bored, stressed, tired, thirsty, or simply because our favorite show is on. Instead, we should view food as fuel, not entertainment.

5.Hanging with the wrong crowd
One study found that individuals that had successfully lost weight were frequently met with challenges with friends, family and co-workers who undermined weight-loss efforts. In response, they would regain the weight.

A recent study found that Americans might be less likely to attempt weight loss due to simply giving up after many attempts or increasing “fat acceptance” in the United States. A recent study found that people had a hard time sticking to a diet when eating out or simply eating with friends.

Today

Ketogenic Diet: 10 Things you Need to Know!

The ketogenic diet has been quietly developing a cult following online. Maybe you’ve heard about it, or maybe you haven’t. The main thing you need to know about “keto,” the popular nickname for the diet, is that it’s high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb. Many people who have tried the diet say the results are unbelievable. It’s known to help with more than just weight loss, too, and has been credited to helping with diabetes, Lyme disease, epilepsy, and anxiety.

If you’re interested in trying the diet, here’s what you need to know first.

1. SAY GOODBYE TO CARBS. ‘Cause you can’t have ’em! Technically speaking, you will have carbs — about 20 grams (of net carbs) per day. The source of these carbs will be vegetables, probably. But the point of this diet is to get your body to stop running on carbs. So prepare to trade in pizza, bread, pasta, and even quinoa for salads, olive oil, avocado, and meat. BUT, before you say, “hell no, I won’t go,” know that you can have some of your favorites, like bacon, ranch dressing, and even butter.

2. FAT IS YOUR FRIEND. Fat is your new fuel. You’re going to need lots of it: roughly 90 grams per day, depending on your body and weight loss goal. Finding sources of good fat isn’t too difficult, though — just reach for some almonds, macadamia nuts, and avocado.

3. IT’S GOING TO SUCK AT FIRST. Think about it: Your body has to adjust to starchy carbs going MIA. You’ll probably experience something that people refer to as “keto flu.” Basically, when your body is going through the transition into ketosis, you’ll feel some flu-like symptoms—mostly headaches. But don’t worry, it won’t last too long.

4. BUT THERE’S BACON! Bacon will get you through. Of course, having bacon every day isn’t a healthy choice, but having it at brunch will make you feel like you’re still a human while your friends scarf down waffles, home fries, and toast.

5. YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT HALF-ASS THIS. If you think you can just eat keto-friendly foods and that will be all it takes, you’re in for a real surprise. The truth is, you have to weigh everything you eat so that you can calculate everything you eat and keep track of your macronutrients. You’re going to have daily goals of how much fat, protein, and carbs you should eat, and if you don’t reach them, you won’t see any results.

6. YOU’RE GOING TO BECOME OBSESSED WITH READING LABELS. As part of the diet, you’ll have to check for net carbs (total carbs minus dietary fiber) on food labels constantly. It’s not really a bad thing, but get ready to be the person who says “there’s way too many carbs in that!”

7. YOUR SOCIAL LIFE MIGHT TAKE A HIT. Going out to eat isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are absolutely keto options on almost every menu, but you’re always going to be wondering, “what kind of oil was this cooked in?” Or “were these chicken wings breaded?” And nights out drinking with your friends? Be careful.

8. SOME PEOPLE MIGHT NOT UNDERSTAND. It’s hard to explain keto to others. If you want to fully emerge yourself in the diet, you need to a lot about it. And trying to regurgitate all of that info to someone who isn’t on keto can be difficult. People will ask you why you want to deprive yourself of carbs, but you just have to keep your mind set on your goals.

9. YOUR STOMACH WILL THANK YOU. I don’t just mean your abs — which will feel slim and less bloated. If you have stomach issues, like bloating, IBS, or just chronic food comas, you’ll feel so much better on keto. You won’t eat just to eat, you’ll eat to reach your daily intake goals. For a lot of people on keto, they say they don’t even feel hungry.

10. YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN … THE INTERNET. If you feel like none of your friends understand the diet, don’t worry about that. Not only can you google all of your burning keto questions, but you can find communities online of other people who are doing the diet. You can share recipes and success stories, struggles, and setbacks. You’re never alone.

Delish

Consumers Opposed to GM don’t Understand Plant Breeding

RED DEER — Consumer concern about the safety of genetically modified food stems from lack of understanding about plant breeding regardless of type, says an American corn breeder and professor at Cornell University.

Margaret Smith said people have been modifying crops through domestication, selection and cross breeding for about 200 years, and genetic modification is only the newest tool available to achieve it.

She referred to a 2001 U.S. survey in which more than 60 percent of respondents said they had never eaten a traditionally crossbred fruit or vegetable, and more than 64 percent thought they had never eaten a GM fruit or vegetable.

As for GM content, there are few examples of fresh produce on the market today beyond some varieties of sweet corn, although a non-browning apple and potatoes engineered to resist black spot and late blight are pending.

She said 83 percent of the world’s soybeans, 29 percent of maize and 24 percent of canola are GM varieties.

About 60 percent of supermarket foods have ingredients from a GM variety, said Smith, although those ingredients are chemically identical to those that are non-GM.

The safety of GM food has always been a major consumer concern, said Smith, noting that studies to date have produced no credible evidence that existing GM food is harmful.

Smith also said consumers are concerned that the rights to GM crops belong to few.

In the United States, the 96 existing approvals of crops with GM traits are mostly held by Monsanto, Aventis, Syngenta, Dow and DuPont. Various planned mergers, involving Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina and Dow and Dupont, if approved, would leave four main players in the field, Smith said.

The Western Producer

3 Health and Wellness Trends You Need to Watch in 2017

For 2017, there are three emerging trends to keep at the top of your watch list. These trends are likely to create a more successful wellness program that you and your employees will be excited to participate in.

Emerging Trend #1 – Wearables
Wearable fitness tracking devices have made huge strides in recent years. Gone are the clunky versions of the past that featured a limited level of functionality. Today’s fitness trackers feature a sleek design that easily aligns with the user’s daily wardrobe. More closely resembling a watch or a bracelet than a health monitor, the stylish appearance of these modern trackers has contributed to their increase in popularity.

Emerging Trend #2 – Social Challenges and Gamification
Thanks to the improvements in wearables, social challenges are also growing in popularity. While companies have been aware of the benefits of healthy competition in the workplace for years, particularly when it comes to encouraging active participation in wellness programs, companies have been hesitant to include social challenges due to the burden of managing such challenges.

Emerging Trend #3 – Advanced Analytics
Advanced analytics takes the descriptive statistics of the past, such as the mean, median and mode, and add a new layer by comparing and analyzing claims, biometric, and health risk assessment data. This in-depth reporting allows companies to better identify health risks and tailor their wellness program to decrease the occurrence of costly risk factors; ultimately resulting in companies decreasing healthcare expenses. By using advanced analytics, companies can also better measure the success of their wellness program and make adjustments to best suit the overall health of the company.

Keep an eye on these three emerging trends in the wellness industry and try to incorporate them into your wellness program to ensure that you see the best results.

Corporate Wellness Magazine

7 Natural Remedies for Skin Tags

Skin tags are non-cancerous tumors that appear as bits of flesh or dark colored bumps, usually around neck or chest area. Many people develop skin tags in the middle age and there is a belief appear due to genetics or weight gain.

They are triggered by a growth factor-triggered by insulin. If you have them, this is an addiction that you’re consuming too much sugar or you did at some point in your past. Thus, to prevent their growth, you need to monitor diet.

How to get rid of skin tags:

1. Bicarbonate of soda and Castor Oil. Max some bicarbonate of soda with castor oil and apply on the affected are at night.

2. Tea Tree Oil. This is an excellent remedy for various skin issues such as acne, cold sores, and chicken pox.

3. Garlic. Apply some fresh garlic juice on the skin tag at night and cover with a bandage or plaster. Garlic juice can burn the skin so you should not use it daily, but every third day until the skin tags falls off.

4. Banana Peel. Tape a banana peel to the skin tag leave it overnight. Repeat this procedure for several weeks till the tag falls off.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar. Clean the affected area with warm water and dry it. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place it on the skin tag.

6. Ginger. Rub a slice of ginger on the affected area and it the tag should be gone within two weeks.

7. Pineapple Juice. Apply fresh pineapple juice twice a day until the tags fall off.

Skin tag usually benign, however, if you’re not sure, consult a doctor before trying out these natural remedies.

Evewoman