Dr. Oz Supports Labeling of GMO’s

Yes, an episode of Dr. Oz I can get into. Sorry, the “connective healing” episode a few weeks back really left me feeling short-changed, as well as a bit creeped-out. (Was it just me or did that guy seem like the leader of a cult?)

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, was on the show today letting us know that Whole Foods will not sell any foods containing GMO’s by 2018. That’s great! I just wish I could afford to shop there…

Dr. Oz mentioned that Walmart and Wegman’s (a supermarket chain on the east coast, I believe) were asked, they both responded that they have no intentions of labeling foods with GMO’s.  Could it be that they are more concerned with profit than they are with public opinion? Dr. Oz mentioned that 91% of consumers would chose food that    did not contain GMO’s if they had the choice.

Do you think stores should label GMO’s in food? I do, and evidently Dr. Oz does too!

Sure, if you’re already eating a diet based on organic vegetables, fruit, meat and eggs, you’re likely not consuming many GMO’s.

The foods most likely to contain GMO’s are:

  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Soybeans
  • Zucchini
  • Sugar Beets

So, by not eating the above foods, you are avoiding the most common sources of GMO’s.

If you are using canola (CAnada Oil, Low Acid) oil, switch to olive oil for all low-temperature applications (salad dressings, homemade mayo). For medium to high-heat cooking, try coconut oil (killer in curries…). Unless you are a cow, you probably shouldn’t be eating much corn. Go organic if you must eat that corn on the cob slathered in pastured butter. As for soybeans, natto (sky-high in vitamin K2) and tempeh are probably the healthiest form to eat, and I’m not sure if these products utilize GM soybeans. Anybody know? I’m not sure why zucchini is on this list, but you are likely best off getting organic zucchini if you can afford it. Sugar beets? Use good old-fashioned cane sugar. C&H. Pure Cane Sugar. From Hawaii. Growin’ In The Sun…

Organic foods are not allowed to contain any GMO’s, so by going organic, you will avoid the vast majority of GMO’s.

If you can’t go organic, look for the “Non-GMO Project VERIFIED” logo on food labels. This label signifies that less than 0.9% of the food item consists of GMO’s. I know, it seems like an arbitrary percentage, but it’s more than 99% GMO-free.

Are GMO’s harmful? Maybe, maybe not. The American Medical Association and the FDA claim that genetically modified food is safe.  Since Genetic Engineering is a relatively new science, I would argue that we just don’t have sufficient information to decide whether or not there is a significant risk to human health.  Why risk it if you don’t have to?

The bottom line is that when mankind fiddles with nature, he usually messes things up. Remember DDT, thalidomide, and estrogen replacement therapy? All were thought to be good ideas at the time, but when all the evidence was finally available, all of these things had significant negative impacts on human or animal health.

One thing to consider: The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

What this means is that just because the FDA or the AMA lack evidence of harm from GMO’s does not mean that there is no risk. It simply means that to date they haven’t identified measurable risk from that consumption of GMO’s.

What are your thoughts about labeling of GMO’s? I’d love to hear from you!

Robert J. Stone

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Using Science to Fight Hunger

Yesterday I summarized part of Dr. Oz’s show on Fighting Hunger in America. It got me thinking about a logical approach to providing the most nutrition for the lowest cost.

Obviously, if you are trying to get the most out of your food dollar, you need to keep in mind not only the cost per calorie, but also the nutrient content of the foods you purchase.

Check out where spinach turns up on both lists…

You don’t have to eat only super-nutritious foods such as kale, carrots, and wild salmon, but you don’t want to live on white rice just because it’s dirt cheap.

I’ve compiled two lists of foods titled: Cost per 100 calories and Cost per gram protein.

Continue reading

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Dr. Oz Fights Hunger in America

Today’s show was about the new face of hunger: Children in America.

Due to the poor economy recently and perhaps some unsound financial decisions, many families have found themselves struggling to keep food on the table. Several families discussed their new-found poverty and it drove home the fact that you never know what the future holds. One family was pulling in $98,000 a year, and the next thing you know they’re making only $21,000 a year.

Dr. Oz had a doctor on to show how to feed a child on $5 a day, with foods like whole wheat bread, peanut butter, fruit, carrots, low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, and lean meat.

Am I the only one that thinks that whole milk and full-fat cheese are smarter choices than low-fat?????

Why would parents choose to cut the calories and fat out of the child’s diet, when calories and fat are exactly what the child’s body needs? Kids, especially starving kids, should not be on a low-fat diet!

Sure, whole milk costs a little bit more than low-fat, but the cost-per-calorie for whole milk is way lower than for low-fat milk. Plus, growing kids need more fat than us full-grown adults…

If I was trying to feed kids on a very limited budget,  this is what they’d be eating:

Breakfast

oatmeal, generic store-brand, 5-minute  (big old bowl!) with a few walnuts and dates, whole milk

(or)

vegetable frittata with spinach, broccoi, tomatoes and onions, topped with Swiss or Cheddar cheese (full-fat, of course!)

Lunch

Peanut butter and banana sandwiches on whole wheat bread, plus an apple or orange

Afternoon Snack

Popped Corn (air-popped or popped on stove with coconut oil) topped with melted butter, carrot sticks

Dinner

Big salad of mixed greens or spinach, with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes with homemade dressing (olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar), topped with canned tuna or salmon, with a big side of cooked pinto beans and rice topped with salsa to fill ‘em up

Bedtime snack

Hot chocolate made with whole milk, cocoa and sugar (they’ll sleep like babies…)

There is no doubt that it’s a challenge to eat well on a very limited budget, but it can be done. It involves knowing the cost per calorie of the food, and avoiding restaurants.

Unfortunately, most fruits and vegetables are more expensive than grain-based foods. You can only economize so much before you start to compromise the health of the kids.

Did you see this episode? What did you think? Let me know with a comment!

Robert J. Stone

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The doctor that claims everything Dr. Oz says about weight loss is wrong!

Dr. Oz had a fellow doctor on the show who claims that Dr. Oz is presenting misinformation about health and weight loss on his show. His name is Dr. Glenn Gaesser, and he is the director of the Health Lifestyle Resource Center in Arizona.

First off, Dr. Gaesser refuted the idea that there is an epidemic of obesity in America today. He claims that since the rise in obesity has started to level off, we have an “obesity crisis,”, not an “obesity epidemic.”

Since two-thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese, isn’t just a matter of so many people have become overweight that most people who are going to become overweight already are? In other words, there’s hardly anyone left that isn’t overweight, so of course the rate of increase is leveling off.

Next, Dr. Gaesser claims that being overweight is simply a marker of poor health habits, and is not by itself a health risk.

That’s like saying “wearing a 54 inch belt does not mean you are at risk for heart disease and diabetes, it just means you probably eat too much and exercise too little.”  (both of which just happen to predispose you to heart disease and diabetes…)

Later, Dr. Gaesser said that exercising is not an effective way to lose weight, but it’s an excellent way to maintain weight once you have lost it by any method.

He goes on to say that as the percentage of carbohydrates in the diet goes up, body weight goes down. Also, a higher intake of sugar was associated with lower body weight. (eat more sugar, lose weight…)

If you have ever taken a statistics class, you know that you can prove pretty much anything with a set of numbers. But this guy seems to really be pushing the envelope…

Of course, Dr. Oz is animatedly disagreeing with Dr. Gaesser, and this reminded me of the show featuring Gary Taubes. Most physicians are pretty strongly opinionated, and it can take quite a bit to make them change their mind (or even consider another opinion as having merit).

What do you think? Is exercise useless for weight loss? Is obesity something that we needn’t worry about so long as we exercise and eat healthy food? Should we eat more carbohydrates (and sugar) because Dr. Gaesser says a higher dietary intake of both is associated with lower body weight?

Please send me a comment and tell me what you thought of this show if you watched it.

Robert J. Stone

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Dr. Oz talks about free health clinics

Another great show by Dr. Oz!

Dr. Oz shared the story of some people facing major health problems without the benefit of having health insurance.

Like millions of Americans, the women featured on Dr. Oz’s show felt powerless to address their health concerns due to not having insurance. Fortunately for them, Dr. Oz organized a free health clinic, held in the Los Angeles Sports Arenea, to provide medical care for them.

One woman, Yvonne, came in to reveal that a tumor on her breast had erupted through her skin from the inside, and she was diagnosed with cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes, but had not yet metastasized. Yvonne said she lost her job about 3 years earlier and soon after that noticed a lump in her breast. She didn’t have it looked at by a doctor because she lost her health insurance when she lost her job.

Since the cancer had not yet spread to other parts of the body, her doctor stated that it was potentially curable. Yvonne is currently undergoing chemotherapy and I hope she is cancer free soon.

Take home message: Whether you have health insurance or not, don’t wait to get any health problem checked out by a doctor. On his website Dr. Oz is providing a link to free health clinics across the United States, and he urges everyone to take advantage of their insurance if they have it, or attend a free health clinic if you do not have health insurance.

When it comes to cancer, catching it early can mean the difference between being cured  and being dead. Don’t wait to get that bump, lump, mole or crusty growth checked out!

Do you have a related experience or health situation you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it, please send me a comment…

Robert J. Stone

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Personal Trainer Drew Manning Gains 70 Pounds in 6 Months!

Dr. Oz recently has personal trainer Drew Manning, of Utah, on his show. Drew decided that in order to really understand his clients, he should gain weight by not exercising and eating lots of junk food. Drew proceeded to put on 70 pounds over the next 6 months, catapulting his BMI from 25 to 34 (in the Obese Category!)

Two thoughts came to my mind when I saw this segment:

1. Not the smartest move in terms of health

2. This guy is a great self-promoter! Not as skilled as Tim Ferriss, but still really good. I mean, if you can get on the Dr. Oz show after 6 months of stuffing your face with fast food, you’re doing something right in the self-promotion department.

Drew said that he now understands the addiction to certain foods much better than he did before, as well as the fatigue and general lack of well-being that accompanies gaining a large amount of weight.

The unfortunate thing is, a very similar process is played out in the lives of thousands of ordinary people (at a much slower rate), but they don’t get publicity for it. And, they usually don’t succeed in losing the weight, as I’m pretty sure Drew will be able to do eventually. But for the record, having been in great shape before the weight gain, as Drew most certainly was, does not mean that losing the weight will be easy. As we all know, it’s much easier to gain weight than lose it.

And let’s face it, once you’ve decided to gain over 10 pounds a month over the next 6 months, the rest is a piece of cake (or lots of pieces of cake!).

Dr. Oz said that he was approached by his producers to do a similar experiment for the Dr. Oz Show, but he declined because he didn’t think it was in his best interest health-wise. Smart move, Dr. Oz!

What are your thoughts on a personal trainer gaining 70 pounds in 6 months? Genius? Foolish? Let me know with a comment!

Robert J. Stone

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Welcome to Dr. Oz Best!

(If you were looking for PrimalFood, my blog that focuses on healthy eating in particular and great health in general, it has moved to primalcowboy.com)

Do you watch the Dr. Oz Show? If so, you know it’s usually a great source of information.

I watch Dr. Oz too, and every day (well, almost every day!) I write a quick summary right here that you can refer to if you missed the show.

Think of this blog as your Quick Stop for information presented on the Dr. Oz Show.

I’ve done my best to summarize as succinctly and accurately as possible, and I’ve attempted to include additional information when appropriate.

Also, I don’t include every topic covered on the Dr. Oz Show, only the ones I consider of general interest.

Please feel free to send me a comment to let me know how you’re doing (or how I’m doing), and thanks for visiting my blog.

Robert J. Stone

(If you were looking for PrimalFood, my blog that focuses on healthy eating in particular and great health in general, it has moved to primalcowboy.com)

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Dr. Oz Supports Weight Watchers

Who hasn’t heard of Weight Watchers?

Started by Brooklyn housewife Jean Nidetch in 1963 (is it really that old???), Weight Watchers is a group-meeting and on-line weight loss/weight management program that promotes healthy eating, frequent exercise and group support.

Typically you meet with other members once a week for a weigh-in (awkward?) and group discussion.

Individuals are allotted a certain number of “points” that they can use during the day, with points assigned to food and drink based on cabohydrate, fat, protein and fiber content.

In most cases, people that are younger and more active (or breast-feeding) are allowed more points, while older, less active people are allowed fewer points.

You may have heard that recently fruits and vegetables now are “zero-point” foods, meaning they can be eaten without accruing points, essentially making them “free foods” that can be enjoyed at any time and in any amount.

When you boil it all down, it comes down to calorie counting. It works because when you follow the “Points Plus” program, you are essentially eating a low-calorie diet. It will continue to work as long as you follow the program (just like any diet), but if you ever “go off” the program, expect those lost pounds to start settling around your mid-section, butt and thighs.

I like the fact that Weight Watchers emphasizes exercise and support, as these are very important in any weight loss/weight management program.

Weight Watchers makes money by charging a monthly membership fee, as well as selling food under the Weight Watchers label. Just like Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig.

A big selling point the company spokespeople use is that you can eat any food you want, as long as you don’t go over the recommended point total.

But what happens when you max out your points by the end of lunch? I guess since fruits and vegetables are worth zero points, you could fill up on sliced apples, radishes and grapes. But how would you handle a craving for ice cream or a candy bar? Sheer will-power? We know that doesn’t work.

To me it seems being a lifetime member of Weight Watchers would be like being on parole. You’re free to do what you want, but you have to keep following dietary/exercise recommendations and meet with your parole officer (and other parolees) on a regular basis.

Do you have experience with Weight Watchers? I’d love to hear about it, please send me a comment!

Robert J. Stone

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Dr. Oz: 4 New Ways To Burn Fat Faster

This is another of Dr. Oz’s “Best of the Best” segments, where he taps the best experts for their hottest tips on living healthier, looking younger, and burning fat faster. Without further ado, here are 4 New Ways To Burn Fat Faster:

4.  From Bob Harper of “Biggest Loser” fame: Lateral Bounding 

This is bascially the same movement you would use if you were skating (ice, roller, or in-line), except you do it without skates, and instead of rolling or sliding on the surface, you “bound” from side to side. If you have not been very active for a while and/or are significantly overweight, be careful to not overdo this movement, as it’s fairly demading.

3.  From Jim Karas, “Personal Trainer to the Stars”: Choffey

Choffey is basically brewed cocoa, except the price is inexplicably inflated to $15 for 12 ounces (that’s $20 a pound!). I give Jim creativity points for this, and who doesn’t like cocoa? But seriously, what’s wrong with coffee? As far as the price goes, I pay about $6/pound for organic coffee at Costco (about 70% less expensive that Jim’s choffee), and I did a quick price check on amazon.com, and I found that plain old cocoa runs about       $7-10/pound.  I’d say stick with coffee, unless you are independently wealthy and can afford a 200% price increase for your fat-burning beverage fix.

2. From Maksim Chmerkovskiy of Dancing With The Stars: Figure 8

The Figure 8 is a dance move where you sort of rotate your torso and hips in opposite directions. No doubt Maksim is a great dancer and has a great physique. But is anyone going to “Figure 8″ in their living room enough to burn any fat? Anyone?

1.  From Nancy Scheussler, who lost 222 pounds: Get 25 grams of Fiber!

Anybody who loses 222 pounds through exercise and watching what they eat deserves major kudos.  No, not the sugar-bomb granola bar Kudos… Getting 25 grams of fiber per day is a great idea for everybody. But like many things in life, the Devil is in the Details. Nancy recommends a high fiber pasta from “Fiber Gourmet,” which provides 18 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein (and costs $5 per pound, compared to 69¢ per pound for regular Italian pasta from Trader Joe’s…that’s more than 7 times the cost!). Remember the Oat Bran craze, where they were putting oat bran in pretty much anything edible? (effectively making it inedible…) Nowadays you can’t even find an oat bran muffin…probably a good thing, now that I think about it.

A 2-ounce serving of Fiber Gourmet will provide 18 grams of fiber, at a cost of 62.5¢. I wrote a post on psyllium a while back (read it here), and if you’re looking for fiber you can’t do much better than psyllium.

Besides, if you are eating lots of vegetables and a moderate amount of fruit in your diet, you are almost surely already getting at least 25 grams of fiber.

What did you think of Dr. Oz’s list? Let me know by sending me a comment!

Robert J. Stone

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Dr. Oz: The Five Best Anti-Aging Secrets

As you may know, Dr. Oz just started his third season on the Dr. Oz show. Finally!

Here are his Top Five Secrets to Slow Down Aging:

5.  Use Retinol Cream on your face.

Shown to “reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles”, retinol creams are available over the counter (OTC), and Mehmet recommends getting a cream with at least 0.4% retinol.

4.  Wear High Heels

Ok, I’m hoping this one isn’t directed at men. But high heels? C’mon Doc, this Top 5 List is started to crumble. According to Dr. Oz’s “expert” (a shoe designer, how’s that for a trusted source of health information???), wearing high heels makes you feel confident, and therefore younger. In my experience, if a woman is not used to wearing high heels she will simply look uncoordinated and awkward. In Dr. Oz’s defense, he did warn viewers to make sure the heels were under 2-1/2 inches, and don’t wear heels longer than 3 hours.

3. Never go to bed without washing your face.

Again, this advice only seems applicable to women (that have makeup on their faces at the end of the day). Personally, I think women look best without makeup. I feel that makeup “covers up” a woman’s beauty (that’s why they call it “cover-up”). So yeah, I guess washing all that putty off is better than sleeping with it on.  But if you don’t wear makeup, I’d argue that washing your face before bed will just tend to dry your skin out.

2. Use Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar on your hair.

For this tip Dr. Oz introduced a hair stylist with a really thick French accent, who recommended spritzing olive oil and apple cider vinegar on your hair. Of course, you can’t just put straight oil and vinegar on your locks! You must first buy a hair product that has these ingredients in it, which he just happens to sell.  Olive oil and apple cider vinegar is great on salad (see below), but putting in on your hair? I don’t know about that…

1. Use Concealer-Correcter

For this tip, Dr. Oz introduced famous makeup maven Bobbi Brown, who proceeded to tell the audience that her concealer-correcter combo was “the secret of the universe.” Pretty confident, I’d say! Evidently using this makeup duo will make you appear less tired and younger.

I’m not a shoe designer, makeup artist or hair stylist, so I can’t claim any credentials that qualify me to divulge any anti-aging secrets, but I’ll give you my Top 4 List of Anti-Aging Tips anyway:

4.  Use Coconut Oil for dry skin.

Rub a tiny amount of coconut oil on the part of your face that tends to be dry. It won’t take much, and you don’t want your face to shine like a waxed Red Delicious apple, do you? Didn’t think so…If your face tends to be dry, perhaps you are washing it too often. Once a day is plenty, unless you are a chimney sweep or coal miner…

3.  Don’t Wear High Heels

That’s right, I’m going in the other direction. I contend that wearing high heels will simply make you less likely to walk, and we all know that walking is good for you. Wear comfortable shoes that you will enjoy walking in.

2.  Use Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar on your salad, not your hair.

I’ve never been a fan of those non-fat salad dressings, or bottled dressings in general. It’s very easy (and much cheaper!) to make you own dressings, and all you need is olive oil and vinegar! Just blend 2 parts olive oil with 1 part vinegar (any type), add some salt and pepper to taste, maybe a crushed garlic clove or two, shake vigorously and you’re done!

1.  Get Some Sleep!

Yes, it sounds so simple, but if you want to look less tired and younger, getting enough sleep is sure to help. If you’re having a hard time dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, or if you battle drowsiness during the day, you probably need more sleep. Not only will you feel better and look better, it’s totally free! Sleep is so important that I put it at #1 on my list. Everything else in life is better when you get a good night’s sleep!

Do you have some anti-aging tips you’d like to share? Please send them to me, I’d love to hear from you.

Robert J. Stone

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