Are You Taking a Weight Loss Supplement?

Runner crossing a metal bridge at sunrise during morning traininIn a quest to stay or get slimmer, many people will take a weight loss supplement.

Do you really know what you are taking? What if I told you that one of the substances could me a close cousin to amphetamines?

Take a look at the ingredient list of a weight loss supplement like Jet Fuel t300, a weight loss supplement easily found on Amazon or in places like the Vitamin Shop. If you read the ingredients list you will see lots of really big words. Two of the words you may see are Acacia Rigidula.

More than a year ago, the FDA concluded that products labeled as having Acacia Rigidula, a perennial shrub found in south Texas and Mexico, instead contained a synthetic chemical cousin to amphetamines called BMPEA.

Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and lead author on this study states, “Acacia Rigidula is code in the industry for a potent synthetic stimulant, they are using the name as a cover.”

BMPEA has not been studied in humans, however, in dogs and cats it has been shown to raise blood pressure and heart rates. The World Anti Doping Agency classifies it as a doping agent due to its close relation to amphetamines.

Amphetamine use has been shown to trigger stroke, heart attack or even death according to Dr. Cohen.

While the American government has not taken formal action yet, Britain and Canada have both spoken out about the product, with the Canadian government recalling products like Jet Fuel Superburn.

If you have any questions about supplements you are taking please feel free to contact us and we will work with you to look at all the ingredients.

Mediterranean Diet and Aging

VegetablesHave you heard of the Mediterranean diet?

If not, please allow me to give a quick synopsis.

The Mediterranean diet consists of eating mostly fruits, vegetable, poultry, whole grains and select fats. If you picture the typical food pyramid, red meats and sweets are at the top, meaning you should limit those. The base of the pyramid is fruits, veggies, whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. The base of the pyramid represents what you should eat the most.

Red wine is also allowed in small amounts, 5oz for women and 10oz for men, per day.

A common misconception in the Mediterranean diet is that bread is not allowed. That is not true. Whole grain bread eaten either plain or dipped in olive oil is definitely included.

Now how does this link to aging?

In a study that followed 4,600 women, women who stuck more closely to a Mediterranean diet were found to have longer telomeres. Telomeres are a biomarker of aging found at the end of each chromosome in the body. Think plastic tip on shoelaces.

The longer the telomere, the longer the longevity. Shorter telomeres are associated with chronic age related diseases and early death.

Are the researchers on to something? Only time will tell, however, there is no doubt that a healthier diet will leave you feeling better.

Another Nail in the Soda Coffin

20 oz soda sugar content
20 oz soda sugar content

As anyone that has come into my office in the last few years will attest, I am a nut for making sure you are drinking enough water.

Water to your body, is like oil to your car engine. It makes everything run much more smoothly.

With that said, the opposite of water in terms of health benefits is soda. Soda is evil! Empty calories that wreak havoc with your body.

Diet soda you say? Take a look at the chemicals they put in diet soda to make it taste even remotely drinkable. UGH!

In the most recent version of JAMA Internal Medicine lead author Quanhe Yang states “A higher percentage of calories from added sugar is associated with significantly increased risk of CVD mortality.” CVD is short for Cardiovascular Disease.

The researchers analyzed national health and diet surveys between 1988 and 2010 of more than 30,000 Americans with an average age of 44. They found the fatal heart risk became elevated once added sugar intake surpassed 15 per cent of total calories.

15%!!! That’s not a lot of sugar, when you consider how pervasive sugar is in prepared foods and especially soda.

Ever wonder how much sugar is really in something? Take the number of grams of sugar on a package and divide by four to get the number of teaspoons.

Let’s look at a couple of popular products and see what the sugar content really looks like.

  • Average Soda…20 oz. bottle…65 grams…thats 16 teaspoons of sugar!
  • A small slice of pie with a small bit of ice cream…39 grams…almost 10 teaspoons of sugar
  • BBQ Sauce…13 grams… over 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip cookie (and let’s be honest does anyone eat just one?)…18 grams…4.5 teaspoons of sugar

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams a day or six teaspoons of sugar for women (five per cent of a 2,000-calorie a day diet) and 38 grams or nine teaspoons a day for men (7.5 per cent of daily calories).

As a chiropractor, I see a variety of different things that damage peoples spines. Excess weight due to high sugar intake is at the very top of the list. Please be more diligent in looking at labels.

If you need any help with this, please feel free to call or email us. We are here to help!

 

 

Fitness Apps

As the entire world seems to be going mobile, if you are looking to lose weight, get in better shape or keep track of your diet; do not despair. There is an app for that!

As new apps are constantly being introduced I would like to cover a few of the most popular ones when it comes to your health. Best part of all? These apps are all free!

 Jillian Michaels Fitness Motivation

If any of you have ever seen The Biggest Loser, you know that Jillian Michaels is a popular trainer with a great track record of getting people motivated to work out. Her app has easy to use videos that include stretching, calisthenics and free weights. There is also a section for running and tracking calories.

My Fitness Pal Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker

One of the cool things about this app is that it is Canadian Based. Not sure how many calories are in that Tim Horton breakfast sandwich? This app has an extensive database that you can search. This app works best when you use it as a food diary, exercise tracker and diet coach. It currently boasts a database of over 425,000 food. If you are looking to lose weight, this app will flag how many calories you have remaining in order to meet your daily goal.

7 Minute Workout by Bytesize

This app offers a high intensity workout anytime, anywhere for free! This app will have you moving with 12 30 second long exercises with 10 second breaks between them. The only requirements are you, a wall and a chair. Perfect for anyone traveling that wants to stay in shape.

 Map My Fitness

Congrats that you are out running, walking or hiking. Ever wonder how far you went? This fitness app uses your phones GPS and maps out all of your fitness activities. It can calculate distance, pace, speed, duration, elevation and more.

Sit Up Straight and Drink More Water App

OK so I haven’t created this app yet, however, I should! Poor posture is one of the underlying biggest reasons people end up in pain. Sitting too long slouched over your laptop is no way to treat your spine. And don’t even get me started with text neck! A perfect break from sitting? Walk to the water cooler and do one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself…drink water!

With all of the information available today, there really is no excuse for not working out and watching your diet. As smartphone technology gets better and better, the only thing holding you back is you.

Take some action today, and get the ball rolling!!

Fast Food Posting Calories

McDonalds

Admit it, you have eaten at a fast food restaurant in the last year or so. Were you proud of it? Probably not, however, when the kids are starving and you are driving right by, it happens.

In 2008 the state of New York passed a law that stating that chain restaurants must post calorie counts on their menus and in 2011 the US passed a law stating that any restaurant with more than 20 locations must post calorie counts on their menu.

The case that New York made for this law was two fold. The first was that people are fatter not skinnier. It is estimated that over 35% of adults are obese with related costs upwards of $147 billion. The second case was that the nutrition information  was not readily available and people were unaware.

Imagine peoples surprise when they saw the Big Mac was 550 calories and the 12oz milk shake was 530!!!

See there is the problem.  Everyone knows that the Big Mac is caloric dense…does everyone know that the milkshake is as bad?  Most I asked didn’t.

Like the Blueberry muffins from Starbucks…that will cost you 370 calories including 14 grams of fat with 6 of them being saturated. While we are at it, throw in 320mg of sodium a whopping 14% of the daily allowance, from one muffin!!!

Combine that muffin with a Grande Spice Pumpkin Latte and you now have a “meal” that has 750 calories 27 grams of fat with 14 grams of saturated fat. All from coffee and a muffin.

Last example…let’s say you are going to Wendys and you decide you will get a salad in order to eat “healthy”.  Have you ever looked into one of those salads?  How does an apple pecan grilled chicken salad sound…pretty healthy no?

Try this on for size…570 calories with 27 grams of fat including 8 grams of saturated fat.  Oh, by the way, don’t even think about not getting the grilled chicken…the fried chicken option adds 150 calories and 11.5 grams of fat!

Most medical professionals agree that somewhere around 2500 calories is good for men and 2000 calories is good for women.  When you are using up 750 of those calories on a cup of coffee and a muffin, you need to be super careful on how you go about eating the rest of your day.

Hopefully posting these calorie counts will help people make smarter decisions when it comes to these foods.

While it is very rare that I hear people say we need more government in their life, this is a perfect case where Government is doing a great job.

Are you Taking Heartburn Medication?

Have you ever heard of a proton pump inhibitor?  No, it is not from Star Trek!!!

Proton pump inhibitors are commonly prescribed medications that suppress acid in the stomach.  Many people know this as heartburn or reflux.  Taking these medications appears to be associated with fractures in postmenopausal women and bacterial infections in many patients.

113.4 million prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors are filled each year, making this class of drugs, at $13.9 billion in sales, the third highest seller in the United States.  $13.9 BILLION!!!! for hearburn medications!  We are all in the wrong line of work.

These medications are used to treat inflammation of the esophagus, reflux, ulcers and several other conditions, but evidence suggests that 53-69% of proton pump inhibitor prescriptions are for inappropriate indications.

Postmenopausal women, aged 50-79, were followed over eight years with findings of increased risk of spine, forearm and wrist fractures.  There was also a huge increase, 74%, of contracting a nasty infection from Clostridium difficile.  According to the Mayo clinic, there has been a huge increase in C-diff cases in the last few years.

Any co-incidence, given how much of these meds people are taking now?

There used to be a commercial on TV for a heartburn medication in which a group of guys were sitting around a campfire.  Each one was telling the other what they could eat and as long as they took the medication there would be no heartburn.  One gentleman stated that he used to pour the chili right into the tortilla chip bag and as long as he took the super drug he would be fine.

Trust me when I tell you this, if you are poring chili right into the bag and eating it, the last thing you need to worry about is the side effects of heartburn meds!

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Summer Fun

Does anything say summer more than going to a game and having a hot dog or two or twenty!!

A cooked hot dog garnished with mustard.
Image via Wikipedia

There is a new trend at ball parks and arenas this year, buy a ticket and get all you can eat on select concessions.  Good idea? Sure.  Good for you?  Umm, no.

Typically when you get one of these all you can eat deals you get food like hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, soda, lemonade and ice cream.  Some ball parks have acquiesced and added salads.  In one NHL arena, the package includes all you can drink alcohol.  Not exactly a murders row of nutrition here.

Now why would a ball park do it?  At $5 or more for a dog, wouldn’t they lose money on this deal?  The answer appears to be a resounding no.  Teams are setting aside hard to sell sections and turning them into baseball with a buffet.  The result has been huge.  A double A baseball team, think two levels below the majors,  is 4th in the league in attendance and they sell all you can eat with 90% of their tickets.  Need more proof, the Arizona Diamondbacks increased ticket sales by 70% in left field when they included the all you can eat.

Now look, I recently wrote a post on a company that is producing a hamburger served between 2 grilled cheese sandwiches, you can read that article here.  In this post I asked if there was any social responsibility of the company in not making this pile of junk.

I will ask the same question here.  Are we setting people up to fail?  How many of us have been to a buffet and exercised restraint?

Just because you can eat 15 hot dogs, 6 plates of nachos, 3 ice creams and wash it all down with 14 sodas, should you?

If you would like to read an excellent Sports Illustrated article it is here

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Heart Attack on a Plate Anyone?

In a capitalistic society, do companies have any societal obligations or is it just a balance sheet driven world?  Let’s say a company is selling the absolute most un-healthy product you could imagine.  Is there any obligation to society to not produce this product?  What if you know you can sell millions of them and make your shareholders a boatload of money?

Can we have it both ways?  Can we be about capitalism and social obligations?

This post could go in a million different directions but I want to focus on an article that I saw in the Boston Herald today.  The article is on a company that we will call UnFriendly’s, UF for short.

UF has decided to produce a product called the Ultimate Grilled Cheese Burger Melt.  It is described as an Angus burger between two grill cheese sandwiches…what??  Here is the nutritional info for this monstrosity:

  • 1,500 Calories

    Concord MA chiropractor
    Eat a few of these grilled cheese burgers and your arteries will look like the one on the far right.
  • 97 grams of fat (38 saturated)
  • 2090 mg of sodium

Now the FDA has a guideline of what the average diet should look like:

  • 2,000 calories
  • 65 grams of fat (20 saturated)
  • 2,400 mg of sodium

As you can see, one of these grilled cheese/burger combos takes up almost all of the sodium for the day, 3/4 the calories and more than the recommended fat by almost 35 grams.  Now don’t forget this is only 1 burger…you still have the rest of the day to eat.  If you combine this with fries and one of their famous shakes, take a look at how this breaks down:

  • 2710 calories
  • 149 grams of fat (55 saturated)
  • 3880 mg of sodium

This blows the FDA guidelines out of the water, again, this is only 1 meal!!!

So, now that we have talked about the product, lets take a minute to discuss the choices.

Do we have a choice on whether or not to eat this?  Of course we do.

Should we have people telling us we can’t eat it?  Of course not.

Should we have people warning us that this is crap and making the companies publish the nutritional info?  No doubt.

The last question is this…should a company care about the people that it is producing this product for?  There is no doubt there is market demand for this…that is why they produced it.  Does that make it right?

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