Monday, February 25, 2019

Difference in salt explained...

Courtesy of General Metagenics

What’s the Difference? Table Salt vs. Sea Salt vs. Himalayan Salt & More

When you were growing up were you told to avoid oversalting your food? 
Also known as sodium chloride, salt is a crystalline mineral made of 60% sodium and 40% chloride. It gets a bad rap sometimes—and there are risks to consuming too much salt—but research indicates that not eating enough salt is also a risk in itself.1  
Salt intake helps the brain and nerves perform essential functions such as sending electrical impulses and maintaining fluid balance and muscle function.2 Plus, most dietary salts are harvested from mineral-rich sources including salt mines and by evaporating seawater. And, in addition to flavoring your meal, salt serves as a preservative by preventing bacterial growth.1
But what are the differences among table salt, sea salt, kosher salt, and other kinds of salts?
Table salt spilling on black table
Regular table salt: Table salt is extracted from natural deposits and heated to 1,200° F. Since it’s crushed product, the majority of its impurities and trace minerals are removed during processing.2 One thing to note is that regular table salt often includes additives called “anticaking agents” to keep clumps from forming, so it’s not as “natural” as it may seem.  
That said, food-grade table salt consists of 97% or more pure sodium chloride, and it also includes added iodine.2 If you decide not to consume iodized table salt, there are other foods that are naturally rich in iodine such as eggs, dairy, and fish, if you wish to ensure you are receiving iodine from other sources. 
Sea Salt in round wooden bowl
Sea salt: Like table salt, sea salt mainly consists of sodium chloride. Unlike table salt, sea salt is less processed and therefore much coarser. Made by evaporating seawater, sea salt contains potassium, iron, and zinc.2 Darker varieties of sea salt generally feature a higher concentration of impurities and trace minerals, which can affect the taste of the salt but not necessarily its nutrient value.
While many nutritionists favor sea salt because it’s less refined, ocean pollution has led to the addition of trace amounts of heavy metals and microplastics. Some believe the risks of microplastics in foods are relatively low at current levels, but more research is needed to confirm this.3
Coarse Celtic Salt in wooden scoop spoon
Celtic salt: Celtic salt is fairly coarse and sourced from French tidal pools. It features a briny flavor, and since it’s denser and moister than table salt, it can be used more sparingly. Its gray color is the result of being allowed to touch the bottom of the pan during harvest.
Celtic salt also includes trace amounts of minerals such as magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, iodine, and potassium, and it has less sodium than regular table salt. Its gray color is the result of those trace elements. Celtic salt is related to fleur de sel, which translates to “flower of the salt” and is quite popular in cooking, although fleur de sel boasts a more complicated harvesting process. 
Coarse Kosher Salt in wooden spoon on metal table shot from above
Kosher salt: Many recipes include kosher salt because it’s coarse and dissolves quickly. Often used in traditional Jewish cuisine, which requires that blood be removed from meat, kosher salt is absorbent and good at extracting liquid.  
Like table salt, kosher salt is mainly sourced from natural deposits, although it may also come from seawater. It’s worth noting, though, that a tablespoon of kosher salt weighs significantly less than a tablespoon of regular table salt—and that kosher salt features a larger flake size. In addition, kosher salt does not contain iodine.2  
Himalayan pink sea salt in bowl on table
Himalayan pink salt: Sourced by hand in Pakistan from the second-biggest salt mine in the world, Himalayan salt offers a unique color and flavor. Trace amounts of iron oxide, or rust, account for its vibrant hue. This salt type also includes minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and many others.2
Himalayan pink salt is lower in sodium than regular table salt and considered one of the purer salt varieties.2 While it may contain some iodine, it’s usually less than what is found in iodized salts.4
Of course, the different types of salts mentioned above aren’t the only ones available. Hawaiian salt, Persian salt, and smoked salt are other forms of dietary salts. And while different types of salts contain different amounts of trace minerals, there are generally few other nutritional variances.2

Benefits and nutrition recommendations 

The body needs a certain level of salt to function. Since sodium helps our cells retain water, which, in moderation, ultimately keeps blood pressure in a healthy range, it’s important that we do our due diligence and consume enough of the stuff. 
The benefits of moderate salt consumption are certainly relevant. Sodium ensures we have enough fluids to maintain our cellular function, helps us contract and relax our muscles, and promotes brain health by helping our nerve cells communicate.5 And, as discussed, iodized salts and salts that naturally contain iodine—which is considered an essential mineral. 
How can we tell whether we’re getting enough iodine? In the US, iodized salt contains 45 micrograms of iodine per gram of salt.3 The recommended daily amount of iodine is 150 micrograms for most adults—about ½ to ¾ teaspoon of regular table salt—and research reveals that most Americans consume enough iodine through their diets alone.6
But how much salt is too much? The 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that people cap their sodium intake at 2,300 milligrams per day.7 This translates to roughly 1 teaspoon of regular table salt daily. (Those with high blood pressure should limit their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day.)1 According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 500 milligrams is a safe daily minimum sodium intake for most populations.8 

Managing salt intake

People over the age of 50, as well as those with diabetes or elevated blood pressure, are more susceptible to health risks associated with high sodium intake.9 To this end, a diet that includes too much salt may increase the risk of contracting the following health conditions:1
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver damage
  • Osteoporosis 
Almost 80% of the sodium in most Americans’ diets comes from processed or packaged foods such as frozen meals, condiments, and sodas.10 To manage your salt intake, consider exploring the different salt types outlined in this post, and start cooking with the ones that appeal to you most.
Use these salts sparingly—but by cooking with salt instead of buying salt-laden packaged foods, you’ll be better-equipped to control your sodium intake. You might also consider these tips:
  • When you go out to eat, request that the restaurant staff prepare your meal with little or no salt. 
  • Focus on salt-free snacks. If you’re choosing between two brands, select the chips or crackers that don’t include added salt. 
  • Read and compare labels before you purchase items like soups and deli meats. Many of these products are surprisingly full of salt.
  • Add herbs and spices to your pantry. They’ll add flavor without raising blood pressure, and many of these ingredients offer anti-inflammatory benefits.11
  1. Palsdottir H. Salt: Good or Bad? Healthline. Accessed January 28, 2019.
  2. Gunnars K. Types of Salt: Himalayan vs Kosher vs Regular vs Sea Salt. Healthline. Accessed January 28, 2019. 
  3. Karami A et al. The presence of microplastics in commercial salts from different countries. Sci Rep. 2017;7:46173. 
  4. Leonard J. Does pink Himalayan salt have any health benefits? Medical News Today. Accessed January 29, 2019.
  5. Tremblay S. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Sodium for Nutrition. SFGate. Accessed January 29, 2019.
  6. Torborg L. Mayo Clinic Q and A: Sea salt and sufficient iodine intake. Mayo Clinic. Accessed January 29, 2019.
  7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. Accessed January 28, 2019.
  8. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake. Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2010. Appendix B, Government Initiatives and Past Recommendations of the National Academies, the World Health Organization, and Other Health Professional Organizations. 
  9. The Nutrition Source Staff. Health Risks and Disease Related to Salt and Sodium. Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Accessed January 29, 2019. 
  10. Thomas G. Do You Know Where Salt Is Hiding in Your Food? Cleveland Clinic. Accessed January 28, 2019.
  11. Cleveland Clinic Staff. Do Sea Salt, Kosher Salt and Pink Salt Beat Table Salt? Cleveland Clinic. Accessed January 28, 2019.

Coffee is good for you, if it's organic..

Coffee is a great antioxidant.

If you handle coffee and metabolize it well, it is of tremendous benefit. However, it is important to note that it is best drank in the organic form and Dr Silverman does a great job of discussing the how and why of it in the article below.

Why Switch to Organic Coffee?

If you’re a coffee drinker, you’re in good company. Visit any major coffee shop in the US or Europe and you’re bound to either wait in line or find every seat taken in the cafĂ©. According to the International Coffee Organization, 151.3 million bags of coffee are consumed each year globally—and that number only continues to rise.1 As the most consumed beverage in the US (beating out even bottled water), coffee boasts a few other startling statistics, too. Coffee is the world’s most sprayed crop that humans consume, and the third-most sprayed agricultural crop, behind cotton and tobacco. Exposure to the synthetic pesticides and herbicides sprayed on nonorganic coffee has harmful effects on your health—both in the short term and long term2 What does this mean for the millions of people consuming coffee every day? And what can people do to protect themselves? Let’s take a closer look. 
What nonorganic coffee brands don’t want you to know
Coffee offers a variety of health benefits, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Yet most coffee drinkers probably aren’t aware of—and therefore don’t know to weigh—the negative effects of drinking nonorganic coffee, namely those caused by synthetic pesticides. The Pesticide Action Network, a UK-based charity focused on promoting safe and sustainable alternatives to pesticides, reports that acute exposure to pesticides can be toxic to humans and can manifest as skin rashes, headaches, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, or allergic reaction.2 Long-term pesticide exposure and consumption has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, depression, anxiety, asthma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, decreased fertility, diabetes, and obesity.2 Furthermore, nonorganic coffee wreaks havoc even before it reaches consumers. Coffee farms that spray pesticides also put their employees and local communities at risk. Farmers themselves are exposed to the harmful chemicals that linger in the air. Meanwhile, chemicals run into local water sources, polluting nearby communities’ drinking water. The takeaway here? Nonorganic coffee isn’t good for those who drink it, farm it, or live near it. But you won’t find that on any food label. 
Why organic coffee is better for you
Organic coffee, on the other hand, is grown and produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers or chemicals. Instead, it’s treated with organic fertilizers—like coffee pulp, chicken manure, or compost—and organic pesticides. Unlike nonorganic coffee, most organic coffee is grown in the shade of lush forests. Why does that matter? Forested coffee farms sustain soil fertility, keep regional ecosystems alive, and handle unusual weather patterns better, making them a safer investment for farmers.3
From a health perspective, organic coffee is high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin, as well as other nutrients like potassium, manganese, and magnesium.4 Coffee boosts the immune system and helps the body guard against disease. Moderate amounts of caffeine can also provide a natural energy boost. Organic coffee typically tastes better, too; growing in higher altitudes where it takes longer to develop results in a richer flavor many coffee drinkers can distinguish. By choosing organic coffee, you’re supporting the environment, sustainable farming methods, and avoiding unnecessary exposure to pesticides for your own health. 
The best type of organic coffee
Have I sold you on switching to organic coffee yet? Good—now I’m going to do you one better: biodynamic coffee. Cultivated by a process called biodynamic agriculture, which views all parts of the farm as being interconnected, biodynamic coffee was the first type of organic coffee.5 Biodynamic coffee farming focuses on the health of the farm and and the integration of all its parts. To differentiate it from other organic farming practices, biodynamic coffee farming doesn’t allow outside materials to be brought onto the farm.5 Soil health, for example, is maintained only through nutrients produced from the compost prepared from materials grown or raised on the farm.5 Not only does this practice ensure every bean is organic, this method promotes biodynamic coffee as one of the few crops that preserves natural landscapes rather than destroys them.5
Sip on this
If you plan to take your first sip of biodynamic or organic coffee black, go right ahead. If you take your coffee with the customary milk and sugar, there are a few more things you should know. When it comes to milk, I recommend skipping dairy and choosing an alternative nut milk like almond, coconut, or cashew—but be sure to choose one without large amounts of added sugar. Speaking of sugar, your best alternative for sweetening your coffee is monk fruit extract or coconut sugar. If you think you’ll have difficulty remembering what to avoid as you brew your organic coffee each morning, I use two acronyms as my guide—no GPS: Gluten, processed foods, and sugar; as well as no DNA: Dairy, nicotine, and artificial sweeteners.
For those organic coffee drinkers who love the taste but would rather avoid the caffeine, I have some additional guidance to share. Some decaf coffee, even in organic form, may increase your LDL cholesterol levels.6 Studies have shown that the Robusta coffee bean is to blame, so when ordering decaf, be sure you’re drinking coffee made from Arabica beans.7
As a coffee drinker, you have a tremendous amount of choice. To make the biggest impact on your individual health, the health of those involved in the coffee farming industry, and the environment, choose organic. It’s a win-win-win. 

Dr. Robert G. Silverman is a chiropractic doctor, clinical nutritionist and author of Inside-Out Health: A Revolutionary Approach to Your Body, an Amazon number-one bestseller in 2016. The ACA Sports Council named Dr. Silverman “Sports Chiropractor of the Year” in 2015. He also maintains a busy private practice as founder of Westchester Integrative Health Center, which specializes in the treatment of joint pain using functional nutrition along with cutting-edge, science-based, nonsurgical approaches.
Dr. Silverman is a seasoned health and wellness expert on both the speaking circuits and within the media. He has appeared on FOX News Channel, FOX, NBC, CBS, and CW affiliates as well as The Wall Street Journal and NewsMax, to name a few. He was invited as a guest speaker on “Talks at Google” to discuss his current book. As a frequent published author for Dynamic Chiropractic, JACA, ACA News, Chiropractic Economics, The Original Internist and Holistic Primary Care journals, Dr. Silverman is a thought leader in his field and practice.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Vaccine debate.....

Extensive research has proven to me that vaccines are my choice and I choose not to get vaccinated. I will never get the flu vaccine, as an example. Those that chose to do so are making the best decision for themselves and their wellbeing. It is and should always be a personal choice and the information regarding the pros and cons should also be availed for people to make their own informed decision....I am saying all this as there are many social media platforms being “asked” to remove anti vax information. The powers that be (Big pharma and the ones in their pockets) are removing any comments and reports that deem vaccines unsafe or question the current vaccine schedule for infants and children.

I pose this question: what happens to a society when they no longer have the right to choose or question what they are being forced to consume? (in all its forms)

The debate about vaccines rages on and on and can be a controversial subject for most. I am not anti or pro vaccine for the public. I am pro choice and believe that we have the right to educate ourselves on the subject and make our own personal choices for ourselves and our children and families. I DO NOT believe that the government has the right to mandate the healthcare of us or our families...

Here are a few facts that you may wish to investigate further, to form your own opinion, regarding vaccines.

Excerpt from The truth about cancer newsletter....

“Here are a few quick facts about vaccines:

#1. Vaccines have not been proven to be safe. New vaccines are routinely tested against confirmed dangerous ones in order to arrive at what appear to be positive outcomes, and the timeline for these studies is significantly shorter than for other drugs seeking FDA approval.
#2. There’s too much money being pumped into the system by the pharmaceutical industry. Those who serve in the CDC Immunization office are often rewarded with lucrative jobs by some of the industry’s biggest companies, including Merck, who has been repeatedly accused of defrauding the U.S. government but continues to be one of the leading manufacturers of U.S. vaccines.
#3. Vaccines use preservatives that are known to be dangerous. Many vaccines are accompanied by adjuvants like aluminum and mercury. These toxic substances can wreak havoc on the immune system and have been linked to a host of diseases. There is evidence that these preservatives cause a number of health issues, including autism.
#4. Infant immune systems are not equipped to handle the load that the current vaccine schedule presents. In order to develop healthy gut bacteria, infant immune systems are initially suppressed. The massive load of toxic adjuvants and antigens put the infant body on defense, preventing healthy gut bacteria and permanently damaging the child’s immune system.
#5. Vaccine manufacturers are not liable for harm caused by their products. Lobbyists have pressured the government, claiming that to NOT make vaccines available is unethical. That’s why there are no studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. If you or your family are injured or killed by vaccines, you have to go through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, where you essentially sue your own government for the negligence of private corporations.
#6. Freedom of information is under assault. Politicians who question vaccine safety are quickly silenced, and expert witnesses are dismissed and misrepresented if their findings don’t support the vaccine industry. Now we’re seeing social media platforms caving to pressure by silencing anyone who speaks out against the CDC schedule, safety testing standards, or the millions of dollars the industry spends on lobbying efforts.
Facebook needs to take a stand in defense of free speech. With over 2 billion users across all of its platforms, Facebook may be one of the most important venues for open discussion about vaccine safety. The conversation about vaccines is important, and if we can’t have an open dialogue, nothing will change.”