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Your Health & Wellness, Issue #002 -- Begin a Nutritional Overhaul in Your Pantry and Refrigerator
July 12, 2007

(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)


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Week of July 15, 2007

Table of Contents

* Fruit Juice Versus Fruit *

* Change Your Exercise Routine *

* Let's Begin a Nutrition Makeover *


Fruit Juice Versus Fruit

Although fruit juice has not been around as long as the fruit itself, it is enjoying the same, if not more, popularity. Does the consumer get the identical health benefits from juice as he does from the fruit? The answer to that question depends on how the juice is extracted and whether anything is added to the juice.

Fruit is composed of skin and pulp. We eat some skins and throw others away. The skins of fruits like oranges, bananas, and pineapples find their way to our trash receptacles. However we eat the skins of apples (most of us anyway), blueberries, grapes, pears, etc.

Besides fiber, some skins of fruit carry disease-fighting phytonutrients. The skins of blueberries are loaded with the antioxidant anthocyanin. Skins of grapes carry phytonutrients which help to lower cancer risk. One of the most powerful and most promising of the nutrients found in grape skins is called reservatrol.

Fruits which are high in fiber carry most of that fiber in their skins. High fiber fruits include:

fruit grams fiber per 100 calories

  • raspberry 8
  • blackberry 7.6
  • strawberry 3.4
  • orange (med.) 3
  • apple (med.) 3.7
  • pear (med.) 4
  • dried figs (5) 8.5
  • The glycemic index of many fruits are low to moderate. A glycemic index from 1 to 55 is low; 56 to 69 is moderate; a glycemic index of 70 and above is high. A medium sized apple and pear have a glycemic index of 38. A strawberry has an index of 40 while an orange has an index of 43. (See http://www.living-a-healthy-lifestyle.com/glycemic-index.html.)

    The sugar in fruit is carried predominately in the pulp. Almost all fruit contain the following sugars in varying amounts: glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose, and sucrose. Note the following table (all sugar is per 100 grams):

    Fruit |Totl Sugar| Glucose| Fructose| Sucrose

  • apples 13.3| 2.3| 7.6| 3.3

  • blueberries 7.3| 3.5| 3.6| 0.2
  • blackberries 8.1| 3.1| 4.1| 0.4
  • peach 8.7| 1.2| 1.3| 5.6
  • pear 10.5| 1.9| 6.4| 1.8
  • orange 9.2| 2.2| 2.5| 4.2
  • raspberries 9.5| 3.5| 3.2| 2.8
  • strawberries 5.8| 2.2| 2.5| 1.0


  • The glycemic index for glucose is 96; for sucrose it is 64; the index for fructose is 19. Fruit highest in fructose and lowest in glucose will have the least impact on your blood sugar. Dried fruits carry a very high sugar content.

    Unfortunately almost all commercial methods remove the healthy skin from fruits such as apples and grapes when they are processed into juice. The consumer therefore doesn't get phytonutrients such as anthocyanins from blueberries and reservatrol from grapes. What he does receive is a concentrated source of sugar.

    The glycemic index of orange juice is 46 compared with 43 for the fruit; the index is 40 for apple juice as compared with 38 for the fruit. The glycemic response is not a factor in these juices. The absense of essential fiber and nutrients is though.

    Commercial juices which return some of the pulp is better than those that do not. But they are still missing the fiber which is located in the skin. Even 100% fruit juice cannot be considered a fruit replacement. They are at best a convenience, and are not a substitute for the number of servings of fruits and vegetables most Americans should be getting.


    Change Your Exercise Routine

    The human body is a marvel of creation. It is amazingly complex, and even now is not fully understood by the sciences. Medical science has found out that it is also very efficient--and adaptible.

    Nowhere is the body's adaptibility more evident than it is when engaged in a consistent exercise program. After having 'pumped iron' for almost 30 years, I've discovered quite a lot about the body and exercise.

    Exercise conditions the body to become stronger, more durable, and more efficient. Weight lifting builds bone density and muscle and makes you stronger. Cardiovascular training strengthens the heart and lungs and improves the flow of oxygen throughout the body. A novice on any exercise routine will make enormous progress.

    Swift progress is the result of the body having not experienced the stress of training that you are engaged in. It begins to adapt to that training. In the process of adapting, you will notice pain or shortness of breath. After awhile you will begin to experience diminishing returns. The body 'gets used to' to your exercise routine and all further progress comes to a grinding halt.

    This is not to say that you will lose your fitness level like air leaking from a pinhole in a ballon. No. You will remain fit, but you may not be able to burn off any additional fat.

    Let's say for instance that you begin a running program (I did that before I began lifting weights.) Day after day you run the same. Your distance doesn't change and your speed remains the same. In a short period of time your body adapts to your tempo and distance. All further cardiovascular benefits cease. You don't burn any more body fat. In order to make further progress something has to change. Either you run further or faster or start running up hills or inclines.

    When I ran (actually I jogged) I would alternate a moderate pace with an all out run as fast as I could. This is called 'interval training.' Research has shown that this type of training increases endurance and boosts the burning of fat.

    Changing your routine has an added benefit. It prevents your exercise routine from becoming stale. You will not become bored and lose your initial excitement. In short, you will continue to look forward to exercising.

    When I first began lifting weights, I made quick progress. In order to continue making progress, I had to change my workout every few months. The changes don't have to be big. Increasing the weight as you get stronger is a must. You can also change the number of sets and/or reps. You can shorten your rest between sets. A little tweak here or a little tweak there makes all the difference in the world.

    Another way to introduce change in a weight lifting program is in the days. If every Monday you train say for instance chest and triceps (which I did for awhile), do it another day. In other words, swap body parts. Keeping your body guessing is a great way to prevent staleness and continue making progress.


    Let's Begin a Nutrition Makeover

    Okay, I know you are anxious to begin your healthy lifestyle makeover. So let's get started. This makeover consists of exercise and nutrition. Nutrition will be sub-divided into two parts: 1) healthy foods to add to your diet and 2) unhealthy products to remove from your diet. Look to remove a ton of products from your daily menu.

    Unfortunately there is no shortcut. The products which you will have to remove from your home all contain chemicals which are at the root of not only America's skyrocketing obesity epidemic, but soaring cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease rates.

    What you are going to do is go through your pantry and refrigerator. You will probably have to coordinate this with your family. But it is essential for everyone's health, longevity, and weight loss. You will be looking for all products which are bottled, jarred, packaged and boxed. Carefully read the ingredient label.

    If any of the following ingredients are found, trash that product.

    a. high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) b. monosodium glutamate (MSG) c. partially or fully hydrogenated oils (vegetable, soybean, corn, etc.) Hydrogenated oils are also known as trans fats.

    You will be surprised at how many commercial products contain one or more of these ingredients. These are some of the worst food chemicals you could possibly eat. Each one of them could sabotage your health. In the quantities which the typical American eats them, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate and trans fats raises the risk for, causes or leads to obesity, certain cancers, heart disease and other crippling diseases.

    I went through my pantry and refrigerator to see how many of my wife's food products contain any of these ingredients. Here is my list:

    1) Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise (HFCS) 2) Pathmark Cocktail Sauce (HFCS) 3) Shoprite Concord Grape Preserves (HFCS) 4) Shoprite Sweet Pickle Relish (HFCS) 5) Hunt's Tomato Ketchup (HFCS) 6) Shoprite Lite (reduced calorie) Syrup (HFCS, contains 25 grams sugar!) 7) Pfeiffers Thousand Island Dressing (HFCS) 8) Nature's Nectar Cranberry Grape (HFCS, contains 41 grams sugar!) 9) Pathmark Plain Reduced Bread Crumbs (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) 10) Shoprite Plain Bread Crumbs (HFCS, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) 11) Shoprite Peanut Butter (fully hydrogenated vegetable oils)

    [NOTE: log onto www.living-a-healthy-lifestyle.com/dangerous-food-ingredients.html to see why HFCS, MSG, and trans fats are dangerous.]

    Notice the amount of sugar in a serving of Shoprite's Lite Syrup--25 grams! Nature's Nectar Cranberry Grape is even worse at 41 grams per serving! Did you know that cancer thrives on sugar? America's consumption of sugar is one reason why the obesity rate is 33 percent. At the rate it is climbing, it is predicted that the obesity rate will soar to 41 percent by 2015! That's only 8 years away.

    High fructose corn syrup is in 9 out of 11 products located in my pantry and refrigerator. This chemical is in almost every food product you can think of--ketchups, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, baked goods, jams and jellies, etc., etc., etc. (in the words of Yul Brynner from the musical The King and I.)

    The sweetener high fructose corn syrup defeats two of your body's hunger flags. It doesn't allow the protein leptin to be released to let your brain know that your stomach is full. HFCS also affects ghrelin. A hormone, ghrelin stimulates the appetite before eating, and suppresses it after a meal. However, HFCS interferes with ghrelin's appetite suppressing job. This of course encourages you to overeat.

    Food manufacturers are not required to list the number of grams of HFCS on their product labels. But considering that it is universally used in almost every food product, you can be assured that you are consuming much too much! Oh, by the way, HFCS is used in soft drinks too.

    Trashing all food products (including diet and regular sodas) which contain HFCS, MSG, and trans fats will take away the major contributors to obesity and chronic disease. In order to make this nutrition makeover work, you will have to become a food detective. When you go to the supermarket, take time to carefully scrutinize food ingredient labels. Leave any product containing any one of the forbidden ingredients on the store's shelf.


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