Friday, December 27, 2013

What Are The Guidelines For Sugar Consumption?

The American Heart Association has proposed specific guidelines for sugar consumption.  Most women should consume no more than 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons) of added sugar a day;  most men no more than 37.5 grams (about 9 teaspoons) a day.  This translates to no more than 100 calories of added sugar for women and no more than 150 calories for men.

Think about this. That is precious little sugar and it is so easy to exceed these limits. Most Americans do exceed them, frequently by alot.  For example a 16 ounce bottle of soda has about 44 grams (11 teaspoons) of added sugar. How many sodas do you drink a day? Even foods like yogurt and baked beans may be loaded with extra sugar, beyond the sugar naturally in them.

If you are serious about reducing your sugar intake you need to act like a detective and examine the labels on the foods that you eat.  Here are a some examples of added sugar in beverages and foods.

Beverages (8 oz)                                                 Added Sugar (G)
Cola                                                                                   22
Tea, instant, sugar sweetened                                            21
Cranberry juice cocktail                                                    20
Soy milk, chocolate                                                          10

Candies, caramel, 2.5 oz package                                    36
Milk chocolate candy bar                                                 19
Vanilla pudding 4 oz                                                        19
Canned baked beans 1 cup                                               15
Glazed doughnut 1.4 oz                                                   14

If it feels to you as though you are in sugar trouble no matter what, you are not alone. If you are really serious about wanting to improve your health, lose weight or just plain feel better you must pay attention to the sugar trail. In the next blog we will discuss common sense actions that will give you a jump start toward defeating the sugar siren.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sugar The Siren "Killing Us Softly With Its Song" Part 2

We all love sugar.  It is yummy and  tastes so good, but it is not good for us. Sugar is a major health risk.  Somehow sugar has stayed out of the limelight while the blame for obesity, high blood cholesterol, high triglycerides, heart attacks and strokes has been laid primarily on too much saturated fat in our diets.  As a result fat makes up a smaller portion of the American diet than it did a generation ago but the numbers of obese Americans continues to grow. As does the incidence of diabetes.

Sugar is responsible for two health problems. The first is obesity. Sugar is a source of easy calories.  There are four calories to every gram of carbohydrate and sugar is a carbohydrate. The sugar calories found in every bite of sweets, pastry, white bread, snack foods and in every sip of soda add up quickly.  Take in more calories than are necessary to sustain all of your body's functions and the excess are converted to fat. More calories means more fat.

The other health problem caused by sugar is a bit more complicated. Sucrose or table sugar is a disaccharide comprised of equal parts of glucose and fructose. Glucose is the fuel that makes the body run. Fructose is the kind of sugar that is found naturally in fruit. Glucose is metabolized by all of the cells in the body. Fructose, on the other hand only metabolized primarily by the liver.

Possibly you have heard or read of the health problems caused by ingesting too much high fructose corn syrup {HFCS} HFCS is also a disaccharide mixture of glucose and fructose.  The impact on health of sucrose and HFCS is similar. If you eat too much fructose your liver metabolizes the fructose and produces fats called triglycerides. Some of this fat stays in the liver and over a period of time your liver may become dysfunctional. Most of the trigycerides are pushed into your circulation. Over time your tissues become more resistant to insulin. Eventually a condition known as the metabolic syndrome can develop.  It is characterized by obesity, high blood pressure and other metabolic changes.  It can also lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.

The American Heart Association has issues warning about limiting the amount of sugar in the diet.  The rational for that warning is that sugar provides calories with no nutritional benefit. We call this kind of calories empty calories. According to numerous experts this warning is necessary, but it misses the most important point. Excessive sugar in not just empty calories.  It is toxic.  Sugar by itself is a poison when consumed at high doses.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How Much Fish Oil Do you Need? Part 3

We have discussed the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids and the importance of maintaining a healthy ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids.  Omega-6 fatty acids are found in almost all snack foods, baked goods, cereals, eggs nuts, poultry and most vegetable oils such as palm, canola, soy, sunflower and corn oil. This list includes so many of the foods that we eat daily.  You can understand why most of us are have such high levels of Omega-6l fatty acids and why our society is plagued by heart disease and inflammatory conditions.

On the other hand the sources of Omega-3 fatty acids is limited. The best source is fatty fish.  High on the list are anchovies, bluefish, carp, catfish, halibut, herring, lake trout, mackerel, pompano, salmon, striped sea bass, white tuna and whitefish.  Krill is also high in Omega-3 fatty acids.

There are some vegetable sources of the Omega-3 ALA. The most popular of these is flaxseed  The ALA  in flaxseed is converted in the body to the Omega-3 EHA; however, the process of conversion is inefficient and only 7 to 15% of the ALA  can be converted.

The problem is very clear and very simple.  Omega-6s are almost ubiquitous and we get  way too much in our daily life. There are few sources of Omega-3s and most of us do not eat two to three serving of fish a week. The answer is to take fish oil supplements.

When taking supplements or when eating fish we need to be aware of the possibility of ingesting too much mercury.  It is a contaminant in some fish especially bottom feeders. The same potential problem exists in fish oil supplements.  We recommend that you research carefully before buying.

There is no universal agreement on the amount of EHA and EPA to take. Most authorities recommend that you do not exceed 3 grams a day because higher doses increase the risk of bleeding. Remember that Omega-3 fatty acids reduce blood clotting. You should also consult your physician if you are on an aspirin regime or if you are taking other blood thinners. The other heath precaution that you should take is to decrease your intake of Omega-6 fatty acids.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Can Omega- 3 Fatty Acids Cause Prostate Cancer?

Before I discuss how much Omega-3 fatty acids you should take and what precautions you should take, I want to discuss a very important question.  Can fish oil in any form be a causative factor in the development of prostate cancer.  The news media recently have warned men to cut back on using fish oil because some doctors reported a higher risk of developing prostate cancer in men who had higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood plasma. This study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute July 2013. The investigators looked at blood samples from a large group of men and observed that those with the highest levels of Omega--3 fatty acids were more likely to develop prostate cancer than those with the lowest levels.

This is an example of drawing faulty conclusions from a study that was not properly designed to reach a meaningful conclusion. The information was drawn from a retrospective cohort design that was initially intended to study something completely different. A proper study design would have been to observe two identical groups of men. These men would need to be matched by age, eating habits, exercise habits, smoking and drinking habits and family history of no prostate cancer.  Once the groups were matched, one group would be instructed to take fish oil supplements and the other to not take these supplements. The groups would then be followed for at least ten years in order to determine whether there was a significant difference between the groups in the incidence of prostate cancer. This was not done.

A simpler way to determine whether there is a risk in having a higher level of omega-3s is to look at large populations. For example Japanese men until recently have lived in fish loving culture and have the highest levels of EPA and DHA. They also have some of the lowest rates of prostate cancer of any culture studied.

The famous American Will Rogers once said "Believe nothing that you read and only half of what you see." This study is a perfect example. I will continue taking my fish oil supplements daily.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How Much Fish Oil Do You Need? Part 2

We have pointed out that omega 3 fatty acids are essential and that the body can produce only limited amounts. We have also pointed out that the imbalance in the ratio between omega 6 fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids is a major health concern. This imbalance may be partly responsible for the high incidence of heart disease, strokes cancer and other inflammatory diseases in western societies.

Many claims have been made for the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids. Some have stood up to careful examination, others have not.  For example omega 3 fatty acids have a number of potentially heart-healthy effects including reducing triglyceride levels, raising good cholesterol cholesterol (HDL) levels, reducing levels of homocysteine, reducing blood pressure, slowing the progression of atherosclerosis thereby preventing heart attacks and reducing the risk of sudden death due to cardiac irregularities.

These statements agree with a large study of generally healthy older adults (average age 74).  In this study those with the highest levels of omega-3s had a decreased risk of dying. In fact those with the highest levels were 27% less likely to die during the course of the study than those in the lowest 20%. They were also 40% less likely to have a heart attack.

In view of the fact that omega-3 fatty acids have a variety of other probable health benefits investigators have looked at specific diseases with mixed results. The list is large and includes arthritis and other inflammatory disease, cancer, age related cognitive decline, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, cystic fibrosis and osteoporosis. It is extremely difficult to design and get relevant information from complicated studies such as these and the results have been inconclusive. It is also not clear whether the investigators took into consideration the levels of omega-6 fatty acids and the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. We have pointed out the importance of this ratio.

In conclusion there is no doubt that omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in maintaining optimal health. Next we will discuss sources of omega-3s and optimal amounts to take.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

How Much Fish Oil Do You Need?

Fish oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. They are essential fatty acids and belong to a family of nutrients that can also be obtained from other marine sources such as algae, krill and calamari.  EPA and DHA are polyunsaturated fats (good fats) as contrasted to saturated fats that increase the risk of heart disease.  The body can manufacture only limited amounts of EPA and DHA therefore it is necessary to supplement your body's production with nutrients from your diet..

Omega-3 fatty acids have a number of potentially healthy effects such as reducing triglyceride levels, raising levels of HDL (good cholesterol), Possibly "thinning the blood", slowing the progression of atherosclerosis and decreasing inflammation in the body.

Omega-3 fatty acids need to be differentiated from omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential fatty acids. They are found in almost all of the processed foods that we eat especially foods that have have had oils from sunflowers, corn, soybean and cottonseed.  Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential for healthy body functioning, but the problem with the typical western diet is that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is unhealthy.

Why is this a problem? The reason is that omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. Omega-6 fatty acids are inflammatory. Historically  before the onset of mass produced processed foods the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio that our ancestors lived with was about 4:1. Going back even further in time our ancestors who were hunter gatherers had a ratio of about 1:1. Even today the Inuits who eat a diet high in seafood have a ratio of 1:4 and the healthy mediterranean diet has a ratio of about 3:1.

Many of us who eat a typical American diet have a ratio of 16:1 or even higher. This imbalance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids is one of the reasons for the high incidence of heart disease, auto-immune disease and cancer in our western civilization. In subsequent blogs we will discuss the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and give our recommendations.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is a Fast Heart Rate Healthy or Unhealthy?

How fast is your resting heart rate? The answer may not be as simple as it sounds. Why? Because there is so much variation from person to person and over the course of the day it varies for the same person. Your heart rate may be slow in the morning and faster in the afternoon.

In general a slower heart rate is better than a faster rate. Recently a study followed a large number of middle aged and older men who agreed to be subjects. It was discovered. that an elevated resting heart rate in healthy subjects is not only a marker of poor general fitness but it is also an independent risk factor that may be a better predictor of premature death than elevated blood pressure or high cholesterol.

The important take away fact is that even though there is general agreement on the fact that an elevated resting heart rate is not a good thing, there is no consensus on what an optimal heart rate is and where increased health risks begin.

If you check your own pulse when you are at rest and your heart rate is greater than 100 you should be concerned. How do you slow it down without taking medications? Consult with a physician. With his consent start a gradually progressive exercise program. We present such a program in our book Live Longer Live Healthier. Within a few months you will notice differences in your appearance, in your energy level and probably observe that your resting heart rate is beginning to slow down.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Should You Have The Shingles Vaccine?

Shingles is an acute illness characterized by the outbreak of an extremely painful rash located on one side of the body.  The outbreak can involve the eye and threaten vision. The proper name for shingles is herpes zoster.  The zoster virus is the cause of chicken pox a self limited illness that usually occurs in younger people.  After the initial outbreak the virus remains latent in nerve cells.  Years after the initial outbreak the virus can activate and cause the classical symptoms of shingles. These outbreaks are more common in those over 60 and those with weak immune systems.

A preventative vaccine for shingles is available. A new review showed that the shot reduces the risk of developing shingles by about 50% and reduces the severity of an outbreak if one occurs. The FDA has approved the vaccine for people ages 50 and older.

The vaccine is not perfect, but given the severity of shingles we strongly recommend it's use if you are 50 or older.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Should You Exercise? Part 3

Are you concerned that you are losing your mental edge as you grow older? Are you forgetting names, places and things? Along with aging goes some degree of forgetfulness, but you are not powerless if you want to maintain your mental edge. There are nutritional guidelines that we will discuss in another blog. Certain foods enhance memory. There is also exercise.

Many studies have shown that physical exercise helps older people stay sharp and helps to retain mental abilities. Aerobic exercise produces beneficial changes in brain cells. Researchers using brain scans have documented that people age 55 to 79 who stay fit physically actually slow the age-related decline in brain density. This is another reason why we say that exercise is the world's best medicine.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Should You Exercise? Part 2

"If exercise could be packaged into a pill, it would be the single most prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation."
 – Robert N. Butler

Exercise is a cornerstone of the TriEnergeteics program.  Not painful, burning exercise, but easy, progessive exercise that strengthens your muscles and your heart.  Our exercise routines are designed specifically to give you all of the benefits and none of the pain.  These exercises will make you look better and feel younger.  And best of all the exercises are fun to do.

If you don't exercise regularly, because you haven't wanted to or you haven't been motivated enough, you're not alone.  Most Americans don't get enough exercise even though the surgeon general of the United States as well as many other authorities have spoken for the need to exercise.  Exercise can and should be fun.  If you are not enjoying your exercise and not feeling better because of it you are probably not exercising properly and may be hurting yourself.

Take a different view of exercise. Picture yourself enjoying moving your body in ways that make you feel good and light and energetic. Picture the changes in your body as your tummy begins to tighten and the love handles begin to trim. This is the vision that we present with the TriEnergetics program.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Should You Exercise part 1

What if we were to tell you that we could write a prescription that would make you feel better, curb your appetite, help you lose weight, reduce stress and anxiety, help you sleep better, improve your self-image, increase your confidence, increase your sex drive, decrese your risk of having a heart attack or developing cancer, and slow down every aspect of the aging process?

You might say too good to be true. We understnd this kind of skepticism because we hear it all the time. The truth is that such a magic prescription does exist. This prescription will do more for you than any fad diet, herbal remedy, or any other single health aid to improve your overall sense of wellness. This magic prescription is exercise.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Is There A Cure For The Common Cold? Part III

In the two previous blogs we discussed the lack of substantiating data for taking Airborne or Echinacea as a proven treatment for the common cold. Now one of us would like to discuss the value of vitamin C. This gained popularity in the 1970s based upon the claims of Linus Pauling. Since then numerous studies have failed to confirm any benefit in reducing the severity or duration of cold symptoms. So where does that leave us. Based upon the two previous blogs you would probably conclude that I would not recommend taking vitamin C to alleviate cold symptoms. Not so.

When I was a first year resident at the University of California San Francisco I was having a horrible year adjusting to the damp climate of San Francisco after spending three years in the Air Force in San Antonio. I was having one respiratory infection after another and was besides myself. At that time in the 1960s one of the professors had a nobel laureate for a patient. His name was Linus Pauling.  I had the opportunity to talk to him.  He was a delightful gentleman. He told me that he took vitamin C regularly and if he was feeling like he was coming down with a cold he increased the amount that he took.

I decided there and then that if it was good enough for a nobel laureate it was certainly good enough for me. I began taking vitamin C a gram or two a day depending on how I felt. I had no more respiratory infections that year. Since then I infrquently have a cold.

Where does that leave us? My positive experience with vitamin C was not based on a carefully designed study. The results of a single person can not be expected to be transferable to others so I will let each of you decide for yourself whether or not you should supplement with vitamin C.

I would appreciate your comments on this subject.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Is There A Cure For The Common Cold? Part II

In the previous blog we discussed the evidence for and against using Airborne. Our decision was for you to save your money. The reason is that their is no sound evidence that Airborne is effective in fighting a cold or in boosting your immunity. The problem in sorting out the facts from the fiction is that it is easy to make a claim but extremely difficult and expensive to prove it .

What about Echinacea. There is some lab research that suggests that this herbal compound can stimulate the immune system and have antiviral effects. Human studies have had inconsistent results. In fact two large studies in 2010 and 3022 found that echinacea was no better than a placebo at preventing or reducing the severity of a cold. The placebo effect can never be overlooked in medicine. A significant % of subjects will respond to a placebo if they believe that it has medicinal benefits.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Cure For The Common Cold?

Is there a cure for the common cold? If and when one is developed there will be a flood of riches  and endless gratitude from the millions of sufferers. In spite of all of the claims to the contrary so far nothing has worked. Some of the remedies are single nutrients or herbs. Others have a mind boggling list of ingredients.

Airborne falls into this category. It contains vitamins A, C and E, minerals, echinacea, ginger and a bunch of other herbs. The manufacturer made strong statements about the ability of this mixture of ingredients to shorten the duration and to lessen the symptoms of the common cold. These claims continued until the Federal Trade Commission in 2008 accused the company of making unproven claims and levied a fine of $30 million dollars.

The bottom line is forget about Airborne and other similar formulas. They are a waste of money. My pharmacology text when I was in medical school summarized treating the common cold like this. "Buy a four poster bed. Throw your hat onto one of the posts. Get a bottle of whiskey and drink until you see two hats. Then go to sleep."

I doubt that we have progressed much farther in curing the common cold.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Sress The Dragon Within

"It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near one."
–J.R. Tolkien

Stress in our fat paced society, stress is everywhere. It's the deadly dragon within you, breathing fire into your body, tearing you apart. It is as pervasive as oxygen or water. E-mail, cell phones, traffic, bills, children, bosses: the onslaught never ends. Stress causes illness and has been implicated as one of the most important factors responsible for a whole host of diseases.

The important question to ask is not whether you have stress in your life. We all do. How do you handle that stress? Do you have effective coping mechanisms? If you have any doubts about your own coping mechanism, you owe it to yourself to look at our website and to read our book. We guarantee that you will find effective techniques to handle the stresses in your life.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Do You Know How To Breathe?

This may seem like a foolish question because obviously everyone who is alive know how to breathe.  It is so simple. Breathe in. Breathe out.

The problem is that 95% of all Americans are breathing wrong. You might think how can I breathe wrong. I'm still here and I am inhaling and exhaling. Yes you do that, but you are probably not breathing properly. Poor breathing is on important factor that can set you up for developing disease.

Poor breathing robs your body of necessary oxygen. Poor breathing triggers the catecholamine stress cascade and causes your muscles to tighten into knots of tension that increases your blood pressure and increases your risks of stroke and heart attack.

Right now as you read this blog hunched up in your chair you are probably breathing poorly. I bet that before you started reading this blog that you were not aware of your breath at all.

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Monday, September 30, 2013

How Do I Eat For Dynamic Energy?

The power of eating well  can not be overemphasized. How and what you eat has a greater impact on your body than anything else you can do. Even more important than exercise is the fuel, the nutrients, and the vitamins that you take in.

The problem with eating is that people are confused. Americans are bombarded with so much information every day that the message gets lost with the words. Add to that the fact that the food and diet industries have been dishing out misinformation for years. Its no wonder people are confused.

We have created the TriEnergetics nutritional plan to sift through the half-truths and give you an easy-to-understand, simple to follow plan for eating for optimal health. This plan is based on the best nutritional science and has been tested and proven to be effective in our seminars.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

How Much Copper Do you Need?

Copper is a trace metal essential needed for energy production, wound healing, nervous system health and other body functions. It is highly unusual to have a problem with too much copper in your system, but having too little copper can exacerbate arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, depressed immunity and neurological problems.

There is even some evidence that copper supplementation may slow Alzheimer's disease. The bottom line is that some copper should be in your diet. There are many foods such as nuts, seeds whole grains and legumes that are rich in copper. Other than that you should take a multivitamin that supplies no more than 100% of the RDA for copper.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Coffee Good or Bad

Coffee is the world's most popular beverage. Is it good or bad for your health? In the past coffee was blamed for many illnesses including high blood pressure, bone loss, fibrocystic breasts and pancreatic cancer. In fact I lost two friends within a few years with pancreatic cancer. They were both physicians and both consumed many cups of coffee a day. For that reason I markedly decreased my coffee consumption.

Early research linking coffee to health problems has been pretty much refuted by newer and better studies. Now we are at the other end of the spectrum where claims are made that coffee is actually healthful. How can it be?

Coffee contains many natural chemicals such as polyphenols. These are potent antioxidants. Coffee also contains caffeine, a natural stimulant. Caffeine is psychoactive and stimulates the central nervous system. Thus it improves reaction time, alertness and helps you wake up in the morning. There have also been studies linking coffee consumption to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, to a lower incidence of colon cancer, to a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease and to a longer life expectancy.

The bottom line in all of this is that there is no health reason to deprive yourself of coffee, but please do not drink it because it might be good for you. It is too soon to jump to that assumption.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Exercise to Keep Your Brain Sharp

Physical exercise helps older people stay sharp, improving problem-solving skills and memory. Recently researchers at the University of Illinois using brain scans found that people who stay physically fit slow the age-related decline in brain density compared to sedentary people. In our book we provide an easy to follow and fun to do exercise program. This program will improve your appearance, your mood, your sex drive and your brain function.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Diets Don't Work

Obesity is rampant in America. The percentage of Americans who are obese has increased from 13% in 1962 to 36% in 2010. Obesity and the effect that this extra poundage has on health is estimated to cost our healthcare system about $117 billion dollars a year. This exceeds the costs associated smoking or excessive drinking. This expense is a primary reason for the ever upward spiral of health costs.

The diet industry feeds on obesity. A fortune is spent on commercials touting the amazing fat melting attributes of this or that diet program. What a waste! It has been shown over and over again that diets do not work. Yes it is possible to lose weight when you diet. What you are not told is that over 90% of people who diet will regain that weight rapidly unless they change their lifestyle.

This is the message we have for you in our book Live Longer Live Healthier. We tell you up front that diets do not work. Then we give you a carefully designed easy to follow program that will coax you into a healthier lifestyle. In the process you will lose a lot of weight and you will keep it off.

We guarantee it!

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Are you at your best?

If you do not look as good as you would like to look
If you do not feel as good as you would like to feel
If you do not have the energy that you would like to have
If your sex life is not what you would like it to be
If the stress in your life is getting you down
If you want to make a positive change

Look at our book Live Longer Live Healthier for solutions that might help you change your life. Find the path to the book on our website at

Get more information in our book Live Longer Live Healthier

or visit our website at

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Is It Safe To Eat BBQ Foods?

What a question to ask. Is it safe to eat BBQ foods. After all it is an American tradition to barbeque. How can it be unsafe?

It turns out that  grilling and cooking meats at high temperatures creates cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines.

When the fat from the meat drips on the coals the resulting smoke can coat the meat with other dangerous chemicals. What is the bottom line? You do not need to stop grilling, but you can reduce the risk choosing lean cuts and trimming excess fat. Marinate the meat before you grill it and use lower heat. Avoid charring the meat and reduce the cooking time by precooking in a microwave or oven and finishing on the grill.

Finally consider eating less meat and more vegetarian. This is not only a good way to reduce your cholesterol, but in addition when vegetables are grilled there is little if any formation of harmful compounds. The bottom line is that you can make grilling safer by following a few common sense guidelines.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Stress and Your Health

In our book Live Longer Live Healthier we discuss the many ways that stress can affect your health. A new report in a prestigious medical journal focused on 29 studies that studied the effects of and the risk of high blood pressure. The authors concluded that "job strain" was linked to a range of health problems including high blood pressure. Our advice is to get off the treadmill of life and make time to "smell the roses." It is never to late to change your lifestyle and improve your health.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Be Careful With Over The Counter Drugs

Every one who watches TV has heard ads for prescription medications. The ads touting the merits of the drug are always followed by a litany of possible side effects. Some of these are so severe that one wonders why anyone would consider taking the medication. believe me, the manufacturers would rather not list all of these potential side effects, but the FDA requires a balanced presentation listing the benefits as well as the risks.

This is not the case with over the counter meds because oversight is handled by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) not the FDA. The FTC does not require that information about potential side effects of a medication be routinely included in ads. As a result incorrect uses of OTC drugs sends thousands of people to the hospital every year.

Be careful and read the small print on all labels and package inserts. If you have ay doubt about possible side effects consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

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