The Dangers of Carrageenan

Did You Know…

…consuming this “natural” food additive can have fatal consequences?

     Although it’s usually listed as a “natural” ingredient on food labels, a common food additive called carrageenan (a highly processed derivative of red seaweed) is anything but healthful. Continue reading

Heal Your Body One Sweet Bite at a Time with Cacao

Once used by ancient civilizations as offerings to their gods, cacao has a long and colorful history. Cacao beans – which are actually the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree – are native to South America and the West Indies.

The raw beans have been used in beverages and foods for more Continue reading

Is Carbonated Water Bad for You?

Although I don’t drink much soda (or, as they call it where I grew up, “pop”), I do enjoy drinking sparkling, or carbonated, water and often recommend it as a healthful alternative to soda.  But several of you have written with concerns that drinking carbonated water might be bad for you.

Is Carbonated Water Bad for You?

Sure enough, I did a quick Internet search and found several websites warning Continue reading

A Guide To How Much Water, Potassium, Sodium, You Should Take

The Food and Nutrition Board released the sixth in a series of reports presenting dietary reference values for the intake of nutrients by Americans and Canadians. This new report establishes nutrient recommendations on water, salt and potassium to maintain health and reduce chronic disease risk. Highlights of the report include:

    * The vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide. The report did not specify exact requirements for water, but set general recommendations for women at approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water — from all beverages and foods — each day, and men an average of approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces daily) of total water. The panel did not set an upper level for water.

    * About 80 percent of people’s total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages — including caffeinated beverages — and the other 20 percent is derived from food.

    * Prolonged physical activity and heat exposure will increase water losses and therefore may raise daily fluid needs, although it is important to note that excessive amounts can be life-threatening.

    * Healthy 19- to 50-year-old adults should consume 1.5 grams of sodium and 2.3 grams of chloride each day — or 3.8 grams of salt — to replace the amount lost daily on average through sweat and to achieve a diet that provides sufficient amounts of other essential nutrients.

    * The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for salt is set at 5.8 grams per day. More than 95 percent of American men and 90 percent of Canadian men ages 31 to 50, and 75 percent of American women and 50 percent of Canadian women in this age range regularly consume salt in excess of the UL.

    * Older individuals, African Americans, and people with chronic diseases including hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease are especially sensitive to the blood pressure-raising effects of salt and should consume less than the UL.

    * Adults should consume at least 4.7 grams of potassium per day to lower blood pressure, blunt the effects of salt, and reduce the risk of kidney stones and bone loss. However, most American women 31 to 50 years old consume no more than half of the recommended amount of potassium, and men’s intake is only moderately higher.

    * There was no evidence of chronic excess intakes of potassium in apparently health individuals and thus no UL was established.