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Thursday, September 28, 2017

All About Olive Oil

We have a farm in the foothills of California and produce an award winning extra virgin olive oil. People  often ask us what is extra virgin and why is it better. Here are the facts.

Extra virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olives using only the press. There is no extreme heat or the use of solvents. In addition the olives are pressed shortly after they are harvested. Our olives are hand picked. It takes all day to pick the crop. They are taken to the press that night and pressed the next morning.

Extra virgin olive oil has the lowest acidity and is the most flavorful. It is also the most expensive.

Virgin olive oil is the next grade down,. It does not qualify to be extra virgin usually because the acidity is too high or it does not pass the flavor test.

A product labeled 100% pure olive oil is the oil extracted from further pressing using heat and solvents. This is a lower quality oil and must be refined to remove impurities.

This description may not apply to olive oils imported into the United States. An import labeled extra virgin mosts likely is not extra virgin. In fact it may not even be pure olive oil. It may be olive oil diluted with cheaper grades of oil in order to make a less expensive product. This deception has been extensively reported in the American press.

Dirty Money

If you are a fan of crime movies you understand that the term dirty money refers to illicitly gained money that needs to be laundered. Well here is a different take on this subject. I am referring to all paper money that you handle.. Paper money harbors many types of bacteria. This can be a health problem that can lead to serious infections.  Remember your mother''s advice to wash your hands frequently. It is true in many ways.

The lead researcher in this study that analyzed the paper money advised people to routinely wash or disinfect their hands after handling paper money. Personally I think this is good advice on a subject that I had never considered  and I intend to follow it.

Mom;s advice was right on the money.

Can You Prevent Getting Alzheimer's

The question today is whether you can prevent developing Alzheimer's disease. The answer is a resounding no, but you can decrease the possibility of developing dementia. A recent study published in the JAMA correlated  risk factors for amyloid deposition in the brain with  the actual deposition of amyloid. The deposition of amyloid in the brain is responsible for Alzheimer's disease.

The risk factors were smoking,obesity, hypertension, diabetes and an elevated cholesterol. People who were obese at midlife were twice as likely to have elevated brain amyloid levels compared to those  who were of normal weight. Having two or more of the risk factors tripled the likelihood of developing brain amyloid deposition.

The findings can be summarized like this.. Alzheimer's dementia is a terrible disease. Some day there may be a treatment for it, but until then do everything you can to keep your brain healthy, and pay attention to these risk factors. For more information go to our blog at

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Here Is Another Reason To Exercise

There are many reasons to exercise, and there is no good reason not to exercise. However, here is a reason to exercise that you may not have thought of. Exercise now and continue to exercise in order to prevent the functional decline that occurs when you get older.

A large study done at Duke University documented the functional  in strength, endurance and balance that occurs from midlife on. To that list I would add mental. Your best weapon to fight the cognitive decline that many experience is exercise. Physical exercise for the body refreshes the brain and mental exercise strengthens it.

Remember the adage "Use it or lose it." This is as true now as it has been for years.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Can You "Cheat A Little" When You Diet?

Here is a question for you. When you go on a diet do you need to toe the line and never deviate? Remember we believe that diets don't work because over 90% of the people who go on a diet regain the weight unless they also change their lifestyle.

With that in mind our advice as stated in our books on health and wellness is that when you diet it is permissible to "cheat" 10 per cent of the time. We were criticized for this outrageous statement. The comments ranged from "what a stupid statement" to something like this. "Hey stupid either you diet or you don''t. There is no mister in between."

Now we are vindicated by an Australian study that shows that having "cheat days" helps you lose weight. This study published in the Journal of Obesity showed that dieters who took cheat days lost more weight than dieters who never deviated from their diet. Knowing this may help you the next time you decide to diet and have a yearning for a forbidden food.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How Much Exercise Do You Need

You might think that it would be easy to answer a simple question like this.  How much exercise do you need? Actually this is a very difficult question that requires careful thought and a clear definition of what your goals are. For those who are exercising to maintain flexibility and good health the answer will be completely different than for someone who is exercising to lose weight or to build more muscle. The tendency for most of us is to exercise more than we need to in order to achieve our goals.

I saw an interesting study recently that illustrates this point  Researchers at Duke University wanted to determine how much brisk walking was needed to improve blood sugar control in people who were pre diabetic. They divided 237 people into 4 groups. the first group reduced their caloric intake and briskly walked 71/2 miles a week. The second group did not control their caloric intake and briskly walked 71/2 mile a week. The third group briskly walked 11`1/2 miles a week. The fourth group jogged 111/2 miles a week.

After six months group1 had the biggest improvement in blood sugar control followed by those in  group three who did a high amount of moderate exercise. The group that jogged 111/2 miles a week did not do as well as the group that walked  71/2 miles a week. This showed that there was no additional benefit from the increased energy expenditure.

Consider this when you set your exercise goals. More is not necessarily better. For more information on healthy exercise go to

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Diets Do Not Work

For years we have been teaching that diets do not work. In the next series of posts I will begin by taking a look at some common diet myths. A diet myth is a bit of misinformation that is packaged to convince you to accept it as the gospel truth. Diet myths are propaganda carefully crafted by advertising campaigns. Even though they sound convincing they will send you down the wrong road.

Here is the first diet myth.

When you diet you lose weight. Yes you will lose weight when you diet because you are restricting calories. What you are not told is that the weight loss is only temporary if you don;t make lifestyle changes.

A staggering 98% of those who diet will gain the weight back. Exercise is the biggest factor in determining whether a dieter gains the weight back. Those who exercise in addition to changing their diet are far more likely to keep the weight off.