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Do We Need to Fear Fruit Sugar?

There is little fear about the sugars in whole fruit!

Information from the Australian Health Survey reveals those with higher intakes of whole fruit were 12% less likely to be obese than those with lower intakes. Those with higher intakes of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and chocolate were 9% more likely to be obese. There is no need to fear fruit sugar, although chemically similar, the combination of other nutrients and the overall diet probably account for the difference.

PositiveTip: Eat more fruits as they are an excellent source of many wholesome and necessary nutrients.

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Compounding Health Choices

Diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol all affect your health, but especially when combined.

Swiss researchers looked at the health risks of poor diet, irregular exercise, smoking and high alcohol consumption among 16,700 Swiss men and women. Smokers were most likely to die prematurely, but people with all four risk factors were 2.5 times more likely to die. However, people free of all risk factors could increase their life expectancy by up to 10 years.

PositiveTip: Invest in your future by fostering healthy habits now. 

PressRelease  Journal Article

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Choose Whole Fruits Over Fruit Juices

Whole fruits are better at cutting risk of type-2 diabetes.

Researchers analyzed the eating habits of 187,000 Americans. They found eating whole fruits significantly reduced the risk of type-2 diabetes, while exclusive fruit juice consumption may slightly increase your risk. The fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals in fruit may all contribute to reduced risk. Commercial juicing often strips out these components, leaving sweet liquids that can elevate blood sugar and insulin levels. Blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples and pears were some of the best fruits.

PositiveTip: Swap out fruit juice for 3 daily servings of whole fruit.

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Whole Fruit Appears to Protect Against Diabetes

Fruit juices, instead of whole fruit, increased the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In a longitudinal observation study researchers found eating more fruit, especially apples, blueberries and grapes, lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. Each 3 additional servings of whole fruit reduced the diabetes risk by a significant 2%. However, the same amount of fruit juice actually raised the risk by 8%. Research is ongoing to determine the causes behind these findings.

PositiveTip: Eat more whole fruit, including apples, blueberries and grapes--especially if they are substitutes for unhealthy foods!

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Fruits and Vegetables Affordable

Very few Americans eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that fruits and vegetables are often more economical than packaged snacks and side dishes. By analyzing 20 popular snack and 19 side dish items, half of which were fruits and vegetables, they found the average cost per serving of fruit or vegetables was $0.34 and the unhealthy snacks cost $0.67. 

PositiveTip: Refuse to believe the popular myth that healthy fruits or vegetables are too expensive! Fruits and veggies are lower in calories and much more nutrient dense also.

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Fast Food Risks in Kids

Eating fruit at least 1-2 times per week protects against severe asthma.

Eating fast foods three or more times per week is associated with a 70% higher risk of severe eczema and a 39% higher risk of asthma in teens, according to a recent multi-center, multi-country study. Even consumption of fast foods 1-2 times per week significantly increases the risk of wheezing and asthma in children. Interestingly, eating fruit 1-2 times per week significantly reduced the occurrence of wheezing, severe asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema.

PositiveTip: Avoid fast foods and eat more fruit for a healthier family.

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Use Your Fork to Lower the Risk of Cancer

Choose to eat plenty of cancer fighting foods.

Have you ever wondered how you should eat to fight cancer? While no single food or component of food can guarantee you will not get cancer, evidence is strong that a diet composed of a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains may lower your risk for a good number of cancers. The American Institute of Cancer Research has a wonderful online resource with the most up-to-date evidence available.

PositiveTip: Educate yourself today on how you can eat to lower your risk of cancer.

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Recipe for Weight Loss

Pass the veggies and fruit, skip the desserts and red meat.

More than 400 postmenopausal women were randomly assigend to two groups: either a "lifestyle change" group, which included group meetings with professionals, or a health education control group. After 48 months of follow-up, 57% of the women in the lifestyle change group and 29% of the controls had maintained at least 5 pounds of weight loss. Multivariate analysis of both groups revealed that increasing fruit and vegetable counsumption and decreasing desserts, sugary beverages, and meat and cheese were associated with sucessful weight loss.

PositiveTip: Eat more veggies and fruit, and go light on desert and soda to lose weight. 

Diet Controls Genes for Heart Attacks

Heart disease kills more people than any other disease. Major causes of heart attacks include cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. You can also inherit defective genes from your father or mother that will increase your risk of having a heart attack. 

You can control what you eat but your genetic make up is beyond your control. This turns out NOT to be true. 

A large study screened a population of 8000 Europeans, Chinese, South Asians, Arabs, and Latin Americans for genetic defects on chromosome 9 in the p21 region. They looked for four specific defects in a single DNA building block (single nucleotide polymorphisms).

Up with Potassium, Down with Sodium

Sodium chloride and potassium chloride are both simple salts but they have profoundly different effects in the body. In the blood stream, sodium is high (135 mg/dl) and potassium is low (4 mg/dl) but the opposite is true inside cells where potassium is high and sodium is low.

Both sodium and potassium are diet essentials, but in the United States we get far more sodium than we need and barely enough potassium.This causes a significant increase in deaths from heart disease.

The U.S. Government just published a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine examining the ratio of sodium to potassium in the diet and the impact on several diseases and death, in more than 12,000 people who were followed for 15 years. During this time there were 2270 deaths.