David R. Williams: How racism makes us sick – Filmed November 2016 at TEDMED 2016

Why does race matter so profoundly for health? David R. Williams developed a scale to measure the impact of discrimination on well-being, going beyond traditional measures like income and education to reveal how factors like implicit bias, residential segregation and negative stereotypes create and sustain inequality. In this eye-opening talk, Williams presents evidence for how racism is producing a rigged system — and offers hopeful examples of programs across the US that are working to dismantle discrimination.


The Ominivore’s Guilt Trip Is there anything to buy in the market that isn’t bad for you, or bad for the world? – By Adam Platt July 10, 2016 9:00 p.m.

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Photograph by Bobby Doherty

There are still a few people around, I suppose, who remember when culinary fashions had an innocent, slightly carnivalesque feel. Menus were the size of mortar­boards. Many were inscribed with baroque French lettering instead of the urgent buzzwords of our relentlessly artisanal age (“line-caught,” “locally grown”). Members of the insular, eccentric food community spent their evenings discovering exotic new “delicacies” from as far abroad as possible ­(Hunan! Lyon!), and marveling at quaint inventions like engorged duck livers and translucent foams tipped with gold leaf. Gold leaf hasn’t appeared on stylish menus for years now, of course, and the stuff is probably toxic anyway. It’s been replaced by a whole universe of simpler but equally snobbish gourmet signifiers — the perfect asparagus, the perfect tomato. In this Slow Food era, the grandest, most self-important home chefs talk in grand, self-important tones about composting techniques, and food snobs are more likely to quote Michael Pollan on the perils of mass corn production than, say, Escoffier on the proper proportion of flour to milk in a béchamel. Even microwave-savvy junk-food cooks have begun looking for organic mac ’n’ cheese.

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Consumers have a new mentality that is helping Coca-Cola and Pepsi pull of the ‘greatest marketing trick of the century’ – Kate Taylor


A majority of Americans are “actively trying to be healthier.

That means that companies are profit from selling “healthy” products — even if those options aren’t necessarily good for you.

There’s a complicated relationship between the brands you purchase and how you want others to see you. In recent years, this issue of identity seems to be increasingly tied up with health.

Sometimes, that’s a negative thing. In 2013, 42% of people said they’d be embarrassed to be spotted carrying a bag of McDonald’s. Eating at the fast-food chain indicated a nutrition fail that went against most Americans’ supposed active efforts to be healthier.

On the other hand, publicly signaling that you’re a healthy, nutrition-savvy individual is the new cool. Wearing athleisure brands (even when not exercising) signals a dedication to fitness, whether you’re a CrossFitter wearing Reebok or a trendy pilates-goer sporting Lululemon. Instagram allows users to share whatever health trend they’re currently following, from the Sakara Life diet to the Kayla Itsines workout.

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Juicing Is Bad for You and the Earth – Johnny Adamic 02.20.16 9:01 PM ET

There’s a reason your mother told you to eat your vegetables, not juice them.

But no one seems to be listening these days. According to IBIS World, the market for juices and smoothies is $2 billion annually and expected to grow by hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years. You can scarcely go a week without hearing about a coworker or celebrity being on a “juice cleanse,” either.

Juicing is not just another fad though: it is a privileged, wasteful form of food consumption that’s worse for you than cooking and bad for the environment; juicing is the triumph of marketing over science.

When juiced, a basket of fruit would probably serve half—if not less—the amount of people as it would if eaten whole. Lost to juicing are fibers that satiate (including the skin which is loaded with heart-healthy, cancer-fighting flavonoids), vitamins, and most importantly, fat. Fat matters because the body needs it to absorb a whole host of vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Without fat in that juice combo, those vitamins pass right through you.

That sounds sort of like a “cleanse,” but what is being cleansed from the body to begin with? After all, the liver is the body’s own cleanser and it is so powerful it can repair itself in less than 24 hours under normal conditions.

Juicing fruits or vegetables high in sugar (like beets instead of leafy greens), can raise blood-sugar levels as much as drinking a can of Coca-Cola. That’s because fruit sugars (fructose) are consumed without fiber to control how fast they’re absorbed.

There’s a reason humans cook food instead of pulverizing and drinking it: we get more calories and nutrients.

Boiling, steaming and frying foods unlocks antioxidants, phytochemicals like lycopene and specific vitamins for the body to digest, according to a 2007 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. As Rui Hai Liu, a professor of food science at Cornell University put it in 2009, “the heat from cooking breaks down a plants’ thick cell walls and aids the body’s uptake of some nutrients that are bound to those cell walls.”

Think of cooking as a second, third, or fourth stomach like those inside cows, sheep, and goats who use each one to break down food. Moose spend their days chewing, swallowing, and digesting. Humans spend only a fraction of time eating compared to other animals because we learned how to break down food before eating it with heat and fermentation.

Juicing might even be worse for the environment than it is for you.

After the juice has been squeezed out of food, tons of pulp is left behind, thrown into landfills where they emit significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 21 timesmore potent than carbon dioxide. Only two U.S. cities, San Francisco and Seattle, have a required composting program that would prevent pulp from going directly into the landfill.

As always, mom was right: eat your veggies, just cook them first.


9 questions about the Zika virus you were too embarrassed to ask – Vox Updated by Julia Belluz and Javier Zarracina on February 2, 2016, 9:30 a.m. 23 MINUTES AWAY`

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The Zika virus was first discovered in the 1940s, though most people had never heard of it until this year. That’s because for decades, Zika outbreaks were sporadic and tiny, and the disease seemed to do little harm.

That changed in 2015. A massive outbreak in Brazil — affecting more than 1 million people — has changed our view of the mosquito-borne virus. Scientists are learning that Zika may actually be a lot more dangerous than anyone thought, potentially damaging the brains of fetuses and causing incurable and lifelong health and cognitive problems. In light of this evidence, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency on February 1.

Meanwhile, the virus has been spreading throughout the Western Hemisphere at a rapid rate, carried by a type of mosquito that feeds on and thrives alongside humans. More than 20 countries are currently battling outbreaks, and Zika is expected to reach nearly every corner of the Americas this year (save for Canada and Chile, which aren’t home to the mosquito in question). Odds are you’ll be hearing a lot more about Zika in the coming weeks and months.

1) I’d never heard of Zika. Is it a new virus?

Zika is actually an old virus — it’s only recently that health experts have been seriously worried. It was first discovered in 1947 when it isolated from monkeys in the Zika forest in Uganda. And for decades thereafter, it barely bothered humans.

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20 Ways To Make Your Day Healthy. Pick At least One Daily. ■ January 2016

Its that time of the year! We are all eager to start the New Year on a good note, turn over a new leaf. We want to get more serious about the important things in our lives, and cut out some of those unwanted things.

But then, deep down, we have that one big worry! Can I stick to my resolutions? Can I muster the discipline to keep at it throughout the year?

Lets accept it – its tough. 

  • Its tough to wake up every morning and hit the gym, day after day, every day.
  • Its tough to say no to that extra serving of dessert.
  • Its tough to stop yourself from pushing that activity to later, tomorrow, some time.
  • Its tough to convince yourself to shut your phone and laptop off, on Sunday.

Is there a better way? What if we didn’t have to do the same thing every day and had a set of great choices to pick from?

Here are 20 ideas to make a healthy day.

1. Wake up before sunrise


Sleep experts have suggested that going to bed early and waking up early will make one’s body more in tune with the earth’s circadian rhythms, offering more restorative sleep. Other studies have shown that morning people exhibit character traits like optimism, being agreeable, satisfaction and conscientiousness. Ayurveda recommends the hour before sunrise as the best time to meditate. This is the time when the mind has been refreshed by sleep and the day’s rhythms are yet to start influencing the body and mind.

2. Don’t skip breakfast

After a night of rest and recuperation, your body needs some energy to kick start the day. Without this energy, your body goes into low-intensity, energy-saving mode – for the whole day. Breakfast is important. Critically important, if you want to be at your best.

3. Exercise for an hour


Exercising helps you build a strong core. A strong core increases your strength, balance, posture and pretty much every activity that you do. Here are the only 6 exercises that you need for a strong core.

4. Drink 2 glasses of water 5 times a day

Are you drinking enough water? Most likely not. Do you know that dehydration makes you old? Don’t wait to feel thirsty before reaching out for that glass of water. Better still, keep a bottle of water at hand at all times. Here are the best times of the day to drink water.

5. Cook a meal at home


Processed and packaged foods and eating out have become an integral part of our life. They are not great for health though. Cooking at home is a great opportunity to have fun, bond with family, get up close and personal with the food we eat and of course, packed with healthy nutrition. Here are 5 tips to get you started with home cooking.

6. Get off the internet

Are you a prisoner of the internet? Do you compulsively reach out for your Facebook fix? Do you check email every 5 minutes? Check every notification? Enjoy browsing all those shopping web sites? You are not alone. You have to reclaim your life back. Start slowly. Get off the internet for a few hours. Increase your periods of non-distraction. Even a week away from Facebook can change your life!

7. Walk briskly for an hour


Brisk walking is easy to start, gentle on the joints, yet great for the heart and lungs. It helps burn fat and cuts risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Mornings are the best time. Here are 16 reasons why you should get up and get walking to great health.

8. No junk food

Junk food is calorie-dense and nutrient-poor, the opposite of what we really need. Switch from regular to diet pop. Observe how much you spend on junk food every week – budget the same amount to buy healthy food instead. Nuts and fruits are great alternatives to those trans-fat heavy fast fried snacks.

9. Get 8 hours of sleep at night


8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is the best gift you can give yourself. You need to prepare for it. Don’t take long daytime naps. Keep your dinners light and avoid alcohol. Don’t drink too much water before sleeping. Late-night television is a strict no-no. Keep your hands and feet warm. Switch on some calming music. Use Yoga to relax. Switch off those blue light emitting devices. Keep your room dark or dimly lit. Stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule.

10. Procrastinate procrastinating

Procrastination is not the harmless indulgence that we often think it is. People who are prone to procrastination have a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Procrastination is linked to a range of stress-related health problems, including headaches, digestive issues, colds and flu, and insomnia. Also, people who tend to procrastinate have more maladaptive coping mechanisms, which include negative thoughts, self-blame, denial, and other strategies that are deleterious to our mental well-being.

There is always more to be done than can be done. You cant let that get in the way of getting started. Here are some tips to help you stop procrastinating.

11. Cycle to work


Cycling is easy and fun, boosts energy, relieves stress, builds muscle, prevents illness and needless to say, is great for your heart. Its also great if you are living in a city with traffic and parking woes.

12. Ditch the elevator

Yes, its tempting to push that button. Yes, those steps look daunting. But you do know, that the first step is the toughest one. After that its easy. Climbing steps, along with squats and jumping, is one of the best ways to lose weight, strengthen the lower body (especially the knees and thighs), increase lung capacity and strengthen the heart. Step up. Its OK, in fact, its great, to huff and puff a little bit!

13. Drink a cup of green tea


Green tea contains only a small amount of caffeine and retains maximum amount of beneficial antioxidants and poly-phenols. Here are 21 healthy reasons to sip a hot cuppa green tea daily.

14. Laugh out loud for 10 minutes

Can you remember the last time you laughed out aloud, with tears streaming and your stomach in knots?

Laughter increases blood circulation, boosts immunity, aids muscle relaxation, reduces stress, enhances your intake of oxygen rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles. It also increases endorphin production (the happy hormone), breaks the pain-spasm cycle, helps you cope with difficult situations, reduces depression and improves your mood. Above all, it makes us human! As they say – He who laughs . . . lasts.

15. Do 10 repetitions of Surya Namaskar


Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) stretches the entire body, stimulates the endocrine, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems and energizes the mind. It consist of 12 steps (yoga poses) to be performed in a continuous flowing action. Perform it 10 times, at sunrise, facing the sun (if possible), salute the energy flowing through the universe and capture some of it within yourself.

16. Breathe in deep for 10 minutes

Find a quiet place. Close your eyes. Breathe normally for a couple of minutes. And then breathe in deep. Fill up your lungs. Empty them fully. Feel your body soak up the oxygen. Feel the chaos and negativity melt away. Open your eyes and find yourself calm, vitalized, transformed. Its a whole new world – inside and outside!

17. Take a barefoot stroll on grass


Walking bare feet on moist grass immediately produces a warm, tingling sensation. It stimulates reflexology points in the feet which is great for the entire body, especially the eyes.  It also connects us with Mother Earth. Walking on grass is a form of healing meditation, removing our stress and replacing it with well being on all levels.

18. Give sugar a pass

Short term sugar overload causes symptoms like mood shifts, learning difficulties, poor sleep, decreased energy and bloating. Long term sugar overload causes more than 70 documented adverse effects like increased belly fat, insulin resistance/diabetes, failing liver, kidneys, eyes and thyroid, frequent infections, cancer, dementia, stroke, infertility, developmental delay and poor growth.

The moot point is – excess of sugar is not good for your health. Take a day off from added sugar. Eat some fruits instead.

19. Go green


Plant-based diets are low in calories, low-fat, and high in nutrients, especially fiber and water which help increase satiety and resting energy rate. They help reduce high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Cut back on your meat intake by substituting for healthy meat alternatives such as: tempeh (fermented soy), edamame beans, tofu (silken, firm, or extra-firm depending on the dish), and seitan (wheat protein). Or simply try replacing meat dishes with legumes.

20. Call up an old friend

No, don’t poke him on Facebook. Don’t chat with her on Whatsapp. Pick up the phone. You don’t need an appointment. Let it be spontaneous. And then, before you end the call, fix up a time to meet up. It might be the best thing you will do in the whole year!


Here’s a Diet That Actually Works—and Has the Science to Prove It – —By Tom Philpott | Mon Nov. 2, 2015 5:00 AM EST

Fat-free fro yo: maybe not the way forward. 

Low-fat dietary dogma—and, by extension, the plethora of processed junk the food industry conjured up to indulge it—has passed its sell-by date. But cutting down on sugary foods can trigger rapid health improvements.

Those are the messages of two studies released last week. For the fat one, a team of Harvard researchers scoured databases looking for randomized, controlled trials—the gold standard of dietary research—comparing the weight-loss effects of low-fat diets to other regimens like low-carb. They found 53 studies that met their criteria for rigor.

Lustig is a proponent of the idea that all calories aren’t created equal—specifically, that added sugars do more harm than fats, starches, and complex carbohydrates.

The result, published in the British journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: low-carbohydrate diets “led to significantly greater weight loss” than did low-fat ones. People assigned low-fat diets tended to lose a small amount of weight compared to no-change-in-diet control groups, but cutting carbs delivered better results than reducing dietary fat. “The science does not support low-fat diets as the optimal long-term weight loss strategy,” lead author Deirdre Tobias of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School said in a press release.

The study marks the latest indication that your fat-free fro-yo habit is not likely doing you any favors by cutting your fat intake. But its sugary jolt may be doing more harm than you already thought. That’s the suggestion of another new study, published in the journal Obesity, by a team led by longtime sugar critic Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist in at the University of California at San Francisco.

For 10 days, the kids ate catered meals with caloric amounts equivalent to their previous diets but with all foods with added sugars removed, replaced with starches. Their overall sugar intake went from 28 percent to 10 percent (representing naturally sweet foods like fruit). Lustig summarized the results in an op-ed:

Diastolic blood pressure decreased by five points. Blood fat levels dropped precipitously. Fasting glucose decreased by five points, glucose tolerance improved markedly, insulin levels fell by 50%. In other words we reversed their metabolic disease in just 10 days, even while eating processed food, by just removing the added sugar and substituting starch, and without changing calories or weight. Can you imagine how much healthier they would have been if we hadn’t given them the starch?

It’s important to note that the results are suggestive, not conclusive. Unlike the studies conglomerated in the low-fat paper, Lustig’s project did not include a control group.

But both the Harvard study and Lustig’s reinforce an emerging consensus that fat is not necessarily a dietary devil, while quaffing sugar at typical US levels might just be.

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