Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Health links

Hi folks. Well, it is the first day of spring and the weather has never been more wacky. Summer temperatures in Central Canada, snow in the lower mainland of BC. What the fudgsicles is going on Mother Nature?

But the crocuses are up in the garden and, gosh darn it, I am going to slip an extra fleecy on under my rain gear and take the kids outside to the park. We got super cool Nerf laser guns from Santa and they are the perfect thing for enticing kids away from their gadgets and books into the grey great outdoors.

Just a small, self-righteous moment, if I may. It is now, let's see, 9:57 am and I have already consumed my weight in spinach. Not adding spinach to your morning smoothie yet? You fool. I know in the past I have extolled the virtues of kale chips and  turmeric tea, so I understand that I may have lost some of you. But you have got to believe me on this one! As long as you have a good base of banana and berries, you can slam in spinach, wheat germ, hemp seeds, chia seeds, just about anything. Just, um, remember to brush your teeth after. I haven't yet...hold on...

OK - clean teeth...on to the links...
  1. In my last post I said the province was considering it, and now a decision has been reached. British Columbia bans people under 18 from using tanning beds. Vancouver Sun.
  2. Mark Bittman discusses the new study on the link between red meat and disease. While he doesn't disagree, his point is too much red meat is only one small part of a larger problem.We need to take a long hard look at how we produce and consume food, and whether we or the planet can sustain it. New York Times.
  3. A new way to screen breasts. A Richmond, BC company is completing work on an ultrasound system that uses a 360 degree rotating ultrasound transducer to capture a realistic, not squished image of the breast. Seattle PI.
  4. A diet to help lower your risk of colon cancer. Huffington Post.
  5. New American guidelines for cervical cancer screenings (Pap smears). Medical News Today.
  6. The benefits of hemp seed. And no, one of them isn't getting you high. Good lord. National Post.
  7. And, from the same writer, the benefits of chia seeds. And remember, when you hear people touting the benefits of plant-based omega-3s that they are not as readily converted to the form your body wants as fish-based omega-3s. But if you don't get enough fish in your diet, hemp and chia seeds are good, easy ways to fill in the omega 3 gap. And that doesn't even take into consideration their other nutritional benefits. National Post.
Have a great day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday's health links

Sorry for the brief posting today, but folks in our neck of the woods are scrambling to entertain our kidlets at home due to teacher job action. I'm on a break between Bill Nye the Science Guy videos, math games and crafting fiestas - so sorry if I'm a little light on content.  I'll try to make up for that with great recipes tomorrow.
  1. Considering banning teens from sunbeds in British Columbia. I've had skin cancer and breast cancer and if teens had any idea what they could lose in pursuit of their bronzed bods they would think twice about engaging in this dangerous activity. But I guess that is the point - they have trouble making connections between choices now and results in the future. Their parents, on the other hand, should know better. There is reassuring news in this article, though; a group of students in North Vancouver is rallying to promote a tanless prom. Vancouver Sun. By the way, if anyone still needs educating on skin cancer risk and prevention, this Health Canada website is a good resource.
  2. Following BPA bans in Canada, France, Turkey, Denmark and Japan, the FDA in the US is considering following suit. Forbes.
  3. Ice cream is as addictive as cocaine, say some researchers. You didn't have to tell me - I have long referred to Cherry Garcia as my crack. Huffington Post.
  4. After five years of consultations, Health Canada has no plans to require manufacturers to clearly state that "whole wheat" bread is not "whole grain" bread. So, the job is yours. Whole wheat bread is only marginally better for you than white bread. If you are looking to improve your health (all of you folks who are going to live forever can ignore me now), choose products labelled "whole grain." Look at the ingredient list and make sure the term "whole grain" appears in the first few ingredients; any further down the list and it is simply garnish, IMO. Vancouver Sun.
  5. The USDA and FDA are under growing pressure to change they way they inspect food. They key? Preventing outbreaks rather than responding to them. But it's going to take more money. Washington Post.