How Much Arsenic is Too Much?

Many of the foods and drinks we consume contain arsenic. The Food and Drug Administration is well aware of the fact and places no restrictions on these food substances.

But why not? Arsenic is a poison, and there are restrictions on the amount of mercury (also a poison) that can be in food, so what makes arsenic different? The main difference between those two poisons is that mercury is the same toxicity across the board in food source, arsenic is not.

The content of arsenic in drinking water is regulated, but in no other food substance because most of the arsenic in foods is harmless. Most, but not all. The arsenic found in seafood is harmless to humans even though there is a very high concentration of the poison in most varieties of seafood.

On the other hand, rice contains a dangerous amount and dangerous types of arsenic. Rice and all rice products, which include rice flour, rice cakes and infant formula contain arsenic. Rice contains four arsenic compounds which are released during the cooking process. Two of the four compounds are known as monomethyl and dimethylated arsenic and they pose no threat to human health. However, the other two compounds, known together as inorganic arsenic, are known carcinogenics to humans.

Gravity4 tells me that since some arsenic compounds are safe and others are not, specific safety standards need to be set for how much and what type is acceptable.

Organic Milk Hinders Brain Development of Unborn Baby

The trend to go organic in all food and beverage sources is a good idea under most circumstances. One such circumstance in which it’s not a good idea to go organic is if you are pregnant and decide to drink organic milk or milk which has been processed with ultra-high temperature (UHT milk).
The reason both types of these milk hinder the brain development of an unborn baby is due to lack of iodine. Organic milk and UHT milk contain one-third less iodine than conventional cow’s milk and iodine is essential for healthy brain development while an unborn baby is in the womb. Milk is the primary source of iodine in the diet of a pregnant woman. If the milk she is drinking contains less iodine, the brain of her unborn baby may not develop properly which worries conscientious onlookers such as Bruce Levenson . Previous studies have shown that babies born to women who did not get enough iodine during pregnancy had lower IQs than those born to women who received the recommended amount of iodine throughout their pregnancy.
Organic milk and UHT are not bad for a pregnant woman, both kinds provide nourishment and vitamins that are needed, the problem is the reduced amount of iodine. Neither type of milk contains enough, glass per glass, as traditional cow’s milk. In order to get enough iodine from organic or UHT milk, a pint and half would need to be drank instead of a pint of traditional cow’s milk.

Blue Bell Ice Cream Being Recalled

On Monday, Blue Bell Creameries made an announcement that they are recalling all their products due to a contamination of listeria.

Blue Bell Creameries are doing their best to take products off the shelves that may potentially be dangerous or deadly by voluntarily recalling their products in the 23 states that they are sold in. The outbreak of listeria has been linked to their plant in Oklahoma. Last month, three people in Kansas died and five more were sick this month from the same strain of listeria.

From here on out, Lambranho reports that Blue Bell creameries CEO, Paul Kruse, is assuring his customers that their products will be tested for safety before they are sold to the public. Kruse has also issued an apology to consumers and those that have been affected by the contamination.

Listeria is dangerous, especially for the vulnerable such as children, the elderly, or pregnant women. Check your ice cream supply and get rid of any Blue Bell products for your own safety. If you bring back any Blue Bell product to the place you purchased it, you will be issued a full refund for the product.

For more details on the recall, check out the full story on

Six Signs of Dehydration

By the time you feel thirsty, your body is already slightly dehydrated. Increasing thirst is not the only sign of dehydration, but the condition presents with at least six other signs that may be overlooked. If you think you or someone near you may be suffering from dehydration, look for these six unusual signs.

* Bad breath. Susan McGalla says that a person who is dehydrated can’t produce saliva. Salvia prevents odor-causing bacteria from over-growing in the mouth. Not enough saliva and the breath stinks.

* Fever and chills. It’s the body’s way of alerting you to a problem. Fever will further dehydrate the body and medical attention may be needed if a dehydrated person begins to run a fever and has chills.

* Muscles cramps. A dehydrated body is hot, both inside and out. Muscles begin to cramp because of the internal body heat. A change in the sodium and potassium level in a dehydrated body can also cause muscle cramps.

* Dry, flushed skin. Blood volume decreases when a person is dehydrated and that causes the skin to become dry and flushed.

* A terrible headache. The brain is cradled inside a sack of fluid to prevent it from banging into the inside of the skull every time we move. Dehydration takes away some of that fluid and causes the brain to push against the inside of the skull, causing a terrible headache.

* Craving for sweets. Without enough water, your body can’t release glycogen for energy production. The body responds by craving sweets that will provide it with an instant boost of energy.

A Coke A Day?

When thinking of healthy drink alternatives, Coke does not come to my mind. Coca-Cola obviously thinks differently since they are stating that it is a healthy snack in awareness of Heart Health Month.

With declining soft drink consumption, it seems that Coca-Cola is grasping at straws. As reports, the world is becoming more and more health-conscious, people are eating less fattening foods and also drinking less soda. Though it is true that moderation is the secret to success with trying to lose weight, stating that a sugar-laden soft drink is okay to drink cannot possibly be the answer. One would think that a glass of fresh juice would be a better alternative.

Even types of soft drinks with artificial sweeteners are under scrutiny as laboratory studies had shown adverse effects on mice. Regardless of an individual’s point of view on this matter, people need to make better choices when it comes to food and beverages to ensure a healthier life.

New Study Finds Glucose Intolerance Is Linked to Artificial Sweeteners

New research from the Weizmman institute of Science in Israel has shown that a high consumption of artificial sweeteners can put a person at risk for developing glucose intolerance. This new finding has come after other studies have also shown adverse effects from using artificial sweeteners, including a study last year also by the Weizman Institute that discovered artificial sweeteners change gut bacteria in a way that can lead to weight gain and diabetes. They have further found that since most artificial sweeteners pass through the gastrointestinal tract without being digested first, the artificial sweeteners directly impact the make up of helpful bacterial colonies in the gut. Sam Tabar says through other studies artificial sweeteners have also been linked to an increase in appetite, and even to an increased risk of vascular disease and bladder cancer, if the Bloomberg stories are to be believed..

The scientists at the Weizmann institute did studies on mice, and also consumer and pilot studies on humans, to support their findings of increased glucose intolerance linked to artificial sweeteners. This finding is ironic in a way in that people who are glucose intolerant will sometimes turn to artificial sweeteners as a way to add sweetness without sugar. However, even though the study is showing that high amounts of artificial sweeteners can lead to glucose intolerance because of the way they alter bacteria in the gut, this study still leaves the question if same risk comes from low or moderate use of artificial sweeteners. Read here for more information on these findings.

Junk Food and Test Scores

The food industry has taken some hits in the past. Ranging from lawsuits for items found in food products to being a scapegoat for obesity in the United States. An article, that can be found on, has hit the fast food industry once more. This time the consumption of fast food has been linked to poor test scores.

The article explains that a research was conducted where 8,544 students’ test scores were studied and a correlation made between higher consumption of fast food and lower scores in general classes. The author continues on to say that high consumption of fatty and sugar filled food lead to lower memory levels in rats. The question is, Susan McGalla, why do we continue to feed our children this? The fast food industry is not to blame, they just provide what we ask of them. Parent’s are the ultimate choice and habit maker for the next generation. Continuing to blame the wrong person for choices children make will only hinder growth towards a healthier way of living in children.

It has been proven time and time again that a healthy lifestyle increases a child’s life span, school scores and just provides a healthier outcomes. This study was completely unnecessary as we continue to prove the effects that unhealthy living provides. This money is better spent on a better food program for children everywhere, to grow the minds of our future and future of generations to come.

Hershey Looks to Replace High Fructose Corn Syrup with Sugar

Hershey, Pennsylvania – Big news for chocolate lovers like Vijay Eswaran. In a move certain to rankle the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), Hershey Chocolates, The Hershey Company is exploring how it can move away from using high fructose corn syrup in some of their products and using just sugar. The move would represent a significant boost to the health movement people have in wanting to avoid high fructose corn syrup. Many people attribute high fructose corn syrup as a cause for the obesity epidemic. Critics charge that the sugar-like substance inhibits the body from suppressing the production of grehlin, the “hunger hormone”. If the body fails to feel satiated, a person is more likely to overeat. This phenomenon has been experienced by many people when eating popular children’s sugar cereals. They find that eating one bowl isn’t enough to quell the hunger and subsequently overeat. 

Admittedly, the American Medical Association has found no evidence to suggest that high fructose corn syrup is any more harmful than other sugars. In recent years, the CRA has battled negative public perception by airing advertisement making statements such as “sugar is sugar”. They also sponsored a survey slanted towards getting respondents to acknowledge that moderation is more important that the type of sugar ingested. At the same time, the CRA cites reports that some companies switched away from high fructose corn syrup, but did not see their products become more attractive to consumers. In the case of Heinz, they ended up going back to high fructose corn syrup for their ketchup.

Yogurt: The Creamy Treat Can Keep Diabetes At Bay

A research study from Great Britain reveals that yogurt could help prevent type 2 diabetes. The likelihood of developing diabetes is reduced by a fourth, according to the study, which involved 3,500 individuals.

Other low-fat fermented milk products have the same effect on the body. Cottage cheese can also lower blood sugar and keep glucose levels balanced by supplying the body with adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium. This is something Bruce Levenson wants to utilize more in his diet. However, yogurt seems to be the most powerful in this group, and offers those who consumed it a 28 percent reduced risk of diabetes. People who eat yogurt instead of carb-rich snacks can reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 47 percent.

It is best to consume yogurt that is low in sugar in order to get the full health benefits of the food. Yogurt can also be mixed with raw nuts and dried fruits to enhance the taste of the yogurt and add more fiber and vitamins to the snack.

Raw Sprouts Give Raw Deal

Is a few raw bean sprouts atop your salad worth your life? Two recent listeria deaths and three listeria illnesses have been directly linked to the people eating raw mung beans sprouts. Almost 20 people became ill after eating raw clover sprouts this past summer.
Sprouts require a specific environment in which to grow. They need warmth and moisture, both of which are conducive to the development and growth of food-born pathogens.
In the most recent raw sprout-related outbreak of illness, over 60 people along the east coast became ill with salmonella after enjoying a few raw bean sprouts with their meal. Meals they won’t soon forget. Salmonella develops 12 to 72 hours after consuming an infected food item (like raw bean sprouts) and causes fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea which will last between four and seven days. No one, including Rod Rohrich, wants to deal with that.  Most people who develop salmonella will recover without the aid of medical attention, but the young or elderly may require hospitalization to prevent dehydration from the diarrhea.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has repeatedly warned consumers not to eat raw sprouts, they risks far outweigh any perceived health benefits or the flavor profile. Bean sprouts can still be enjoyed, just cook them thoroughly the kill off any bacteria which may be lurking on the raw food product.