This is very interesting! My wife loves Mediterranean food (well, and the area!) and this guide certainly suggests that the food is awesome for our health! Check out the details from The Atlantic:
Study Confirms the Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet
Pivotal research in the New England Journal of Medicine today confirmed well-worn notions that the Mediterranean diet — including produce, olive oil, nuts, etc. – significantly reduced rates of heart attacks and strokes, as compared to a low-fat diet. Now, to make these foods as accessible as corn sugar
When research has to be stopped because it would be “unethical to continue,” it suggests one of a few polarizing scenarios. In this case, it’s because the study found something that was clearly good. So good that after five years of watching trends in heart disease and strokes among people at high risk, the researchers could not in good conscience continue to recommend a “low-fat diet” to anyone.
On the island of Ikaria, in Greece, there are more centenarians than you can shake a stick at. In Loma Linda, California, the Adventist community has a lifespan that’s five to seven years longer than the average American’s. These are people who eat a Mediterranean diet, and we’ve long inferred correlations between that and their prosperity and longevity. But we haven’t had solid research to show us how important their diet — as opposed to other factors genetic, lifestyle, and social — actually is.
That’s why today’s study in the New England Journal of Medicine is particularly important.
As Dr. Steven E. Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, told Gina Kolata at The New York Times, the study “says you can eat a nicely balanced diet with fruits and vegetables and olive oil and lower heart disease by 30 percent … And you can actually enjoy life.”
So, enjoy life, if that’s what it means to you.
Of course, utilizing this knowledge doesn’t just mean educating people about diet choices, but also making these foods accessible. That would necessarily involve reassessing and prioritizing how the U.S. subsidizes agriculture. You don’t need to eat a ton of any one these items to see the benefits of the diet, so making them more common in U.S. culture is not at all inconceivable.
Here’s how the study defined and broke down the diets it tested:
Recommended in Mediterranean diet
Discouraged in Mediterranean diet
Recommended in low-fat diet
Discouraged in low-fat diet
Sofrito is “a sauce made with tomato and onion, often including garlic and aromatic herbs, and slowly simmered with olive oil.”
I note the wine as a point of interest because a lot of people ask me how much they should drink. But no one element of these diets clearly shouldered an undue share of the glory or burden. I take this as a check in the “good” column for alcohol, among the thousands of studies that look more specifically at its goods and bads.
This is interesting – and confusing. I always wanted to know hot to decode those. Details from Organic Food Co:
How to read produce stickers on organic and conventional produce.
by Allison Ray
In grocery stores, produce that is sold in bulk has a Price Look Up Code (PLU). The PLU code is determined by the International Federation for Produce Standards www.plucodes.com. The produce can have either a 4 or 5 digit code printed on a sticker that is applied directly to the produce. The PLU stickers are used to make checkout easier and more efficient for the grocery store cashier. Once you know a few basics about PLU codes they are a breeze to read and you can double check the produce you choose to make sure that it is what you really want.
PLU Numbers on Produce Stickers:
- Organic produce has a 5 digit PLU number that begins with the number 9.
- Conventional produce has a 4 digit PLU number that begins with the number 4.
- Genetically modified (GMO) produce has a 5 digit PLU number that begins with the number 8.
PLU Number Examples:
Granny Smith Apples
Genetically Engineered – Modified (GMO) Labeling:
Initially in 1992 when the bio tech companies thought that we would all wanted to eat their altered food they wanted to have a new “code” so that we could all see which food was the altered and would buy it up- ya right! So they adopted the number 8 to appear in front of their products. Quickly the industry learned that not only do we NOT want the GMO foods we will purposely not purchase foods that have been altered they no longer use the number “8″ as part of the code. The only GMO product that still used the “8″ code is Hawaiian papaya.
The only foods that you can be sure are not GMO foods are labeled “Certified Organic”. Organic producers must follow strict rules to be able to label their products as organic. Interesting or disturbingly enough the companies producing the GMO (chemically altered foods) do not have labeling restrictions- Crazy! Anything else is fair game unfortunately- pay special attention to products that have corn, cotton seed or soy they may have GMO origins.
President Obama has stated that he supports mandatory labeling of GMO foods. To sign the petition to President Obama visit www.responsibletechnology.org
Other information included on the PLU stickers:
Depending on where the produce originates the PLU produce sticker may also contain the produce variety, grower, country of origin, and logo. The California Tree Fruit Agreement uses PLU stickers as part of their branding effort by adding a logo to all stone fruits (peaches, plums and nectarines) so consumers can recognize California fruits.
Examples of three different organic apple PLU stickers:
Cervantes Fuji Viva Terra Organic #94129 www.vivatierra.com
Produce of USA #94017 Organic Granny Smith Lg.
Stemilt Certified Organic #94133 Gala Produce of USA www.stemilt.com
for tough times
Be prepared! I have an Emergency Prep Kit in my garage (I need to update it and the ones I carry in my cars as well).
Good tips on telling the difference between a cold and allergies! From Greatist.com:
Illustration by Bob Al-Greene
Cold and allergies share many symptoms, so it may be tricky to know what’s causing those sneezy, sleepy, stuffed up feelings. Luckily, there are some key signs that help determine a diagnosis to help get on the right road to recovery. Just remember: We’re no doctors, so if something just doesn’t feel right, see a medical professional to get everything sorted out.
One Of These Things Is Not Like the Other — Why It Matters
Sure, they may share some symptoms, but colds and allergies are like apples to oranges: While the common cold is caused by a virus, allergy symptoms are immune system responses to allergens like pollen, dust, or Fluffy’s hair. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two ishow long they last — which unfortunately doesn’t help when symptoms first strike! A common cold usually lasts no longer than ten days, while allergies can pester people for months on end. Seasonal allergies usually bloom the same time every year (hellloo, spring!) while colds are more prominent in the winter and fall. No surprise there!
Still, each sickness has its main contenders to win worst symptom ever. With a cold, coughing and congestion are almost always evident, whereas itchiness of the mouth, eyes, and throat are easy indicators of allergies. The type of mucus associated with each is particular, too. (Gross, we know. Just hold onto those tissues!) A yellowy mucus usually accompanies a cold, while people with allergies deal with thin, watery snot. Other symptoms unique to the common cold include muscle aches, fatigue, and fever, whereas an all day sneeze fest (gesundheit!) usually points to pollen.
Sneaky Sickness — Your Action Plan
Feeling under-the-weather? Here’s a guide to help decipher between the two pesty illnesses:
The Common Cold:
- Common: Cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, sneezing
- Sometimes: Fatigue, aches/pains
- Rarely: Fever, itchy eyes
- Common: Itchy eyes, runny/stuffy nose, sneezing
- Sometimes: Cough, sore throat, fatigue
- Never: Fever, aches/pains
Figuring out what’s causing us to stay under the covers is only half the battle, though! To help prevent a cold, remember to frequently wash those hands and stay away from others who are sick — colds are contagious! (Unlike allergies.) If it’s too late and the sniffles are already a-comin’, get plenty of rest and fluids, try an over-the-counter cold medicine, and yes — chicken noodle soup with aside of zinc — could help[As for allergies, staying away from allergens is the best bet for staying sneeze-free: Shut the windows and turn up the AC to avoid pollen coming into the house, and rinse off after dog-sitting! Try taking some over-the counter antihistamines and decongestants as well, andcheck pollen rates before heading outdoors.
Remember: It’s always best to check with a doctor to figure out what’s causing those sniffles and sneezes, too. If a fever just won’t go away, a cold lasts longer than ten days, or if those allergy symptoms never seem to go away, it may be more complicated than cold vs. allergies. Getting better is key to continuing that half-marathon training plan and sipping a summer vodka-tonic — just not at once, please!
Cool look into where FastCo thinks technology in healthcare is headed:
When science fiction films depict the future, the best writers and directors are often less concerned with accurately prediction how specific technologies might reshape the world than they are with confronting the moral or philosophical quandaries of present day. It’s what makes those stories compelling–and relatable. When futurists attempt to tell us how (and when) technology leaps will occur, they’re not only speculating about what we’re capable of achieving in the coming decades but also imploring us to prepare–scientifically and psychologically–for those events.
Envisioning Technology, the firm behind the massive infographic explorations of the future of emerging technology and the future of education technology, is, as you might guess, run by a futurist: Michell Zappa. His most recent visualization maps the next three decades of health technology, charting how regeneration, augmentation, diagnostics, treatments, biogerontology, and telemedicine will change over time. According to ET, the stuff of science fiction–from cryogenics to all-out life extension, from robot health care to 3-D-printed synthetic organs–will be very real before too long.
“I’m a technology futurist because I care a great deal about where humanity is heading,” says Zappa. “I have a firm belief in technology being inseparable from human evolution, but unlike biology, we actually have a degree of control in where technology is going. The sand is shifting underneath our feet, and the safest way to ensure that we end up in a desirable future is by creating it.”
So, how does one go about predicting what the future holds?
Zappa acknowledges that the “actual forecast of when certain technologies are likely to reach maturity [or the] mainstream is very subjective.” He explains that he and his firm derives its visions of the future from the following factors: reliance on and “general indicators of accelerating change”; relative dependencies (“the more preceding technologies are being worked on, the larger the likelihood an individual technology has to become mainstream”), which he likens to a qualitative version of Google’s PageRank; and from synthesizing and assessing what’s in cultural tech magazines, gadget blogs, scientific journals, and the writings of other futurists.
The health infographic, designed by Zappa and Patrick Schlafer and with help from Colin Popell of Prokalkeo, is built on the belief that “technology is the ultimate democratizing force of society” and highlights the trend of “previously siloed repositories of information and expensive diagnostic methods … rapidly finding a global reach and enabling both patients and practitioners to make better use of information.”
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