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FDA nears ban of trans fats in processed foods

A Ban Of Trans Fats Is Good For All

ban of trans fatsIn last month’s Boston/Washington Reuters article by Toni Clarke and Ros Krasny, I read that the FDA is finally closing in on the ban of trans fats, a very important issue.  They have actually proposed banning artificial trans fats in processed foods because of the risk of heart disease linked to their consumption.

Simply put, hydrogenation is a chemical process that converts liquid vegetable oils into solid or semi-solid fats.  Partially hydrogenated oils extend the shelf life of foods, and many processed foods rely on their taste and texture.

A Ban of Trans Fats Would Save Lives

By now, certainly, we’ve all heard that trans fats are dangerous and we need to buy products with labels that read “NO TRANS FATS”, and for very good reason.  These partially hydrogenated oils increase our bad cholesterol and may be responsible for approximately 7,000 deaths and 20,000 heart attacks, annually.  Rest assured, Smart for Life® products never have and never will have trans fats or any toxic ingredients.

According to experts, it may take about two years for a company to complete an ingredient switch-over from the time they are introduced to the alternative.  There is considerable research, recipe experimentation, and subsequent cost involved in any such project.  Thankfully, we never used these types of ingredients.

Even though it’s taken the FDA some time to get to this point, many companies have felt the pressure to move in the right direction over the past several years.  Since the FDA’s 2006 requirement to disclose these harmful fats on food labels, their presence in the marketplace has declined, significantly, but the task is far from complete.

Some specifics to be very cautious of include certain brands of the following processed foods:  pies, fish sticks, microwave popcorn, crackers and cinnamon rolls, to name a few.  Be sure that you read the actual labels, not just the name of the product or a descriptive tag line printed on the packaging.

Until The Ban of Trans Fats- Check Your Labels

Until an FDA ban of trans fats comes to fruition and these large companies are forced to eliminate these dangerous products from our grocery store shelves; don’t buy them, period!  We must be our own best advocate in our daily pursuit of healthy choices and lifestyle changes… stay informed, stay aware and treat ourselves and our families to the gift of delicious whole foods and healthy alternatives, such as Smart for Life®.

I’ll keep you posted on this ban of trans fats and in the mean time, to your health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

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If You Aren’t Feeding Your Kids Healthy, Whole Foods, Is Anyone?

It’s Time To Eat More Healthy, Whole Foods

I recently watched an amazingly eye-opening video, featuring Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution on healthy, whole foods.  Jamie’s a 34 year old, average citizen and chef from Essex, England, who has a not-so-average take on where we need to focus our attention, immediately.  Jamie’s message is simple and to the point: Teach our children about food.  It’s an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.  Our kids are going to live a shorter life span than us, by about ten years, if we don’t teach them how to shop for, prepare and eat real food.  The processed food and fast food that is the bulk of so many diets today is literally killing us.  Diet-related diseases are the biggest killers in the U.S. and two-thirds of our population is obese.  Those of us who are older are probably better off since these dangerous “pseudo foods” weren’t around or as prevalent when we were growing up, but think of the youth of today.  If we aren’t cooking in our homes, where are our kids going to learn about real food?  Jamie visited an elementary school classroom and showed them various fresh vegetables in their “whole state”.  Cauliflower, potato, beet, tomato, eggplant; the children could not identify any of them.

Healthy, Whole Foods Should Be The Standard In Daily Eating

healthy, whole foods kidsJamie’s been working on this revolution for seven years and believes the United States, as a leader, needs to take the wheel so the rest of the world will follow.  That’s why he came here and began in West Virginia, where obesity and related fatalities are so high.  He talked with families, teaching them how to teach others.  He has made himself available to the lunch ladies, convinced that the limited budgets can be creatively adjusted to provide healthy meals to the school-aged children.  Jamie is calling out for all of us to make the change for our own families and then spread the word, the recipes, and the information on healthy, whole foods that will change the health of our society, in general.

Being on the leading edge of change isn’t usually a comfortable place to be…but it’s the only place to be if you really want to make a difference.  Stepping out from the crowd is the way it’s always been done.  More so than ever before; it’s time to step up!

Jamie Oliver is one of a small army of concerned individuals who are carving out their own perfect way to make a difference.  As he so aptly points out in this video, if those of us who have valuable pieces of information to contribute, each get involved on a small grass roots level, the change will happen quickly.  As we share information with a few, who share with a few, the knowledge travels easily and effortlessly, like the ripples in a pond; reaching an ever-widening circle as we move forward as a healthier town, nation and world.

Do yourself, your family and your friends a favor by watching and sharing this video post.

To your health and happiness, -Dr. Sass. Eat healthy, whole foods for a healthier life you deserve. Get started with our healthy diet plans today!

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Spoiling Your Grandkids Is Normal But Please Keep It Healthy!

Spoil The Grandkids, But Keep It Healthy

keep it healthyJunk food is now everywhere on our planet.  High in calories but low in nutritional value, junk food is available in the most unlikely places:  museums, cruise ships, city parks, and school hallway vending machines.  It is inescapable in grocery stores and fast-food restaurants.

In all children 12-18 years old, critical growth, bond building and amassing of nutrients such as calcium are taking place.  Your grandchild’s body will never be as efficient at performing those functions to ensure a healthy future as it is while they are teens.  Eating large amounts of junk food has far-reaching consequences.  Here are just a few:

-Teens have greater access to junk food and more control over how they spend money than your younger grandchildren.  Teens who fill up on empty calories will have less appetite for a nutritious main meal, and it’s unlikely they are taking in all the nutrients necessary for growth and development.  Key nutrients such as calcium from dairy and protein from meats help bones and muscles strengthen and grow.
-Teens who don’t consume enough of the needed nutrients tend to feel fatigued and can’t keep it healthy.  This can lead to poor concentration and test performance.  Instead, encourage them to eat “brain foods” such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables and dairy foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium.
-Weight gain is a consequence of regularly consuming high-fat, high-sugar and high-calorie junk food.  Kids who become overweight or obese during adolescence are likely to maintain an unhealthy weight as adults, with associated healthy consequences that include heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, poor self-esteem and even cancer.  By encouraging healthy food choices during your grandchild’s teenage years, you can give them a higher chance of a healthy adult life.

Tips To Keep It Healthy

Tips to help your teen grandchild eat more healthfully:

  1. If you must have fast-food, choose a fast-food restaurant that offers healthier choices.  And no matter where you are, opt for food and beverages that are high in nutrients.  Avoid sweetened beverages and fried foods.  Good choices include: freshly squeezed orange juice, whole-wheat bagel, bean burrito, pizza topped with veggies, grilled chicken sandwich on a whole grain bun.
  2. Look for products low in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, refined grains and partially hydrogenated oils.  Choose a 100 percent whole-wheat cracker made with canola oil, for example or snack on a cheeses and fruit plate instead of a bowl of cheese puffs.
  3. Limit TV viewing when the grandkids visit.  Certain shows seem to attract more junk food commercials than others, so you might want to discourage your grandkids from watching these shows.
  4. Smart for Life has a terrific Kid’s Program that makes it easier and convenient to keep it healthy and delicious tasting snacks!

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