The Best and Worst Foods of Summer

By VitaMist Ltd
on May 18, 2017

The Best and Worst Foods of Summer

It’s kind of a myth that summer means more exercise and healthier food choices for everyone. One eye-opening study found that kids gain weight three times faster over summer than they do the rest of the school year, thanks to a steady diet of junk food and video games.

And while there’s no comparable stat on grown-ups and weight gain, barbecues, state fairs, and waterside food vendors offer plenty of temptation. Here are the summer foods you should always avoid, and healthier options you can feel free to enjoy.

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How Long Do You Have to Work Out to See Results?

By VitaMist Ltd
on May 04, 2017

How Long Do You Have to Work Out to See Results?

The truth is, the weight didn’t come on overnight, so it is going to take you longer to see the results you want to see than you think it will. The good news is that by eating healthy and exercising, you can maximize fat loss and produce the results you want to get your best body ever.

 

Measuring & Tracking your Results

The scale is not the only way to measure your training results. In fact, the scale is likely one of the worst ways to measure your results. If you are weighing yourself everyday to see if you lost a pound, you are only fooling yourself. Water retention can cause your body weight to fluctuate by 2-3 pounds daily!

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Seeking Nutritional Counseling

By VitaMist Ltd
on April 01, 2017

Seeking Nutritional Counseling

Nutrition counseling is the therapeutic prescription of specific dietary nutrients to improve health. These can be either macronutrients or micronutrients.

Because food is essential to life, therapies involving plants, foods, and nutritional elements naturally seem fundamental to a person's health and well-being.

Sound nutrition counseling can play a vital role in developing a health plan, but the emphasis needs to be on the word sound. Nutrition is one of the more complicated subjects regular people encounter in their daily lives. We are bombarded with messages, many of them contradictory. We need to use math to evaluate calories and nutrient content. There are dozens of different nutrients and micronutrients we may encounter on our path to good health, and conflicting advice from experts on many of them.

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Gummy Candy Could Be Healthier Than Gummy Vitamins

By Steve Moren
on March 20, 2017

Gummy Candy Could Be Healthier Than Gummy Vitamins

Which is Troubling, As Gummy Bears Aren't Healthy At All

Nutrition can be an endlessly confusing science, full of contradictory information — Does expensive really mean healthier? Is a vegan diet actually good for you? What does moderation even mean, anyway? — but every so often, you run into a decision that seems like a no-brainer. Like, for example, whether it’s better to satisfy your sweets craving with a handful of gummy vitamins or a handful of actual gummy candy. Both are made pretty much entirely of substances you can’t pronounce, but one is actually good for you. Obviously, you go with the vitamins.

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Is Subway's Chicken Actually Chicken?

By VitaMist Ltd
on March 16, 2017

Is Subway's Chicken Actually Chicken?

This article originally appeared on the Time Magazine website, Time.com.

Is Subway Chicken Really 50% Filler?

 

Subway is under fire after a Canadian television show reported that the restaurant’s chicken products could be made up of less than 50% actual chicken. According to tests performed at Trent University in Canada, the company’s chicken strips and oven-roasted chicken contained just 43% and 54% chicken DNA, respectively, consisting otherwise of soy and other filler ingredients.

The sandwich chain denies the allegations.

The investigation, which aired in February on the CBC program Marketplace, included DNA tests of chicken products purchased from several fast-food chains in Canada. Researcher Matt Harnden said on the show that his lab, which tests meat samples for both industry and government, could provide a “rough estimate” for the ratio of chicken DNA to other ingredients. (The episode can be viewed here on YouTube.)

Most chicken samples tested—from McDonald’s, Wendy, Tim Hortons and A&W—contained between 85% and 90% chicken DNA. Fast-food chicken wouldn’t be expected to be 100% bird, Harnden said, because of seasoning marinades, and other ingredients that are likely added in the preparation process.

But the chicken content of the samples from Subway was consistently low even after repeated testing, and the tests showed that much of the remaining DNA was from soy protein. “Assuming the data is right, that is a surprisingly large amount of soy,” says John Coupland, president of the Institute of Food Technologists and a professor of food science at Penn State University, who was not involved in the testing.

Elevated soy levels might be expected in reconstituted meat products, in which meat is ground up and stuck back together with binder ingredients, says Coupland. “But even then, 50% is high,” he says. “And it’s astonishingly high for something that you're supposed to think is a real, whole piece of chicken.”

In a statement sent to TIME on March 5, a representative for the company said, "Test results from laboratories in Canada and the U.S. clearly show that the Canadian chicken products tested had only trace amounts of soy, contradicting the accusations made during the broadcast of CBC Marketplace.'"

In an earlier statement provided to TIME, a Subway representative said, "Our chicken is 100% white meat with seasonings, marinated and delivered to our stores as a finished, cooked product. We have advised [Marketplace] of our strong objections... [and] we are insisting on a full retraction."

Subway’s U.S. site contains a list of ingredients used in its chicken products. For instance, the chicken breast strips contain "boneless skinless chicken breast with rib meat, water, 2% or less soy protein concentrate, modified potato starch, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, maltodextrin, yeast extract, flavors, natural flavors, dextrose, caramelized sugar, paprika, vinegar solids, paprika extract and chicken broth," according to Subway's website.

Coupland says that a high soy content that turned up in the Marketwatch study may be concerning to some with allergies. Most people with an allergy know to avoid fast food, since traces of soy are found in so many processed foods, he says. “But if people think they’re getting pure chicken and they’re in fact getting a mouthful of soy, that’s potentially dangerous."

Nutrition tests performed for Marketplace also found that fast-food chicken contained 25% less protein than home-cooked samples, and between 7 to 10 times the amount of sodium.

Subway’s chicken strips and oven-roasted chicken are both available at United States locations, but, according to the company's website, their ingredients vary slightly from their Canadian counterparts. Both countries include soy protein in their chicken strips, but only the U.S. version specifies that it’s present in quantities of 2% or less. And while Canada does include soy as an ingredient in its chicken patty used for the oven-roasted chicken sub, the United States does not.

A panel of taste testers on Marketplace rated Subway’s chicken as their least favorite among the fast food options, noting that the samples tasted "saltier" and "more artificial" than those from other chains. One panelist commented that Subway’s chicken strips tasted like “more flavor than actual chicken.”

The fast-food chain, which prides itself on offering healthy alternatives to burgers and fries, was hit with a rash of bad publicity in 2014 when customers complained that azodicarbonamide, a food-grade material also found in yoga mats, was used in their bread. Subway removed the chemical, and pledged the next year to remove all artificial ingredients from its food in North America by 2017.

400,000 Massage Therapists Can't Be Wrong

By VitaMist Ltd
on March 09, 2017

400,000 Massage Therapists Can't Be Wrong

Do you want to know why massage therapists named VitaMist named the 2016 Product of the Year?  The answer is in some of the company president William Deihl's comments upon accepting the award.

"We want to educate consumers who have been misinformed by malicious marketing campaigns for years.  There are robust solutions to many of your health problems, and most of these solutions don't have a price tag attached."

 In addition to retail products, VitaMist offers free health articles online at vitamist.com, stressing the importance of proper diet and exercise, rather than resorting to harmful supplements and medications.  Free nutritional coaching is available via phone for all customers and seminars at various conferences throughout the United States.  VitaMist offers free healthcare discount cards for all who ask, no purchase necessary.

"The highly complementary combination of massage therapy and nutrition work in concert to improve health and support our bodies. Through a whole body view of health maintenance, addressing diet, nutrition, exercise, and rehabilitation we are better able to support our customers, promote healthy habits and prevent health issues."

VitaMist Spray Vitamins provides vitamin and mineral food supplements for a new generation of health care providers and educated consumers. The numerous products in VitaMist's ever expanding arsenal meet the needs of customers worldwide.

When President Deihl was in Atlantic City to accept the award, he spoke at length with those attending about the positive benefits of nutrition and promoting the concept of "diet support."  Diet Support is the idea that changing your diet should not be painful, and should be for rest of your long and healthy life,  rather than harmful weight loss plans that involve drugs, unreasonable menus, and questionable supplements.

VitaMist talks a lot about diet, exercise and especially nutrition, which makes sense given that they are a nutritional supplement company.  Diet, exercise, and proper nutrition are not all that you need for good health.  To be truly healthy requires taking care of your body, your mind, and your spirit.  Your diet, mood, cognitive ability, physical health, and immune health are in a complex balancing act.  Each one is connected to the others, having profound effects upon each other.  Healing one of these areas will benefit the others while neglecting any one of them can bring them all crashing down. 

President Deihl reiterated that VitaMist is, "... honored to receive the 2016 Product of the Year Award from an organization as caring, reputable and charitable as The World Massage Festival. VitaMist supports their mission and looks forward to many more years of making people healthy."  He is scheduled to speak again at the 2017 World Massage Festival.

Your Diet May Be Changing Your Genetics

By VitaMist Ltd
on March 01, 2017

Your Diet May Be Changing Your Genetics

DNA is the blueprint for you, and every cell in your body has the same exact plan.  Your body uses these designs to build proteins, and proteins, in turn, do much of the work that makes you you.  Knowing this, you might wonder how your organs can look so dissimilar and function so differently.  After all, each of the cells in your body carries the same DNA and the same set of instructions.  Recent progress in the field of epigenetics is helping us understand how this works.  We now know that cells use the genetic material at their disposal in different ways but changing which genes are “expressed.”  Genes are switched on and off, resulting in the extraordinary level of differentiation within our bodies.

 

Epigenetics describes the cellular processes that determine whether or not an individual gene transcribes and translates into its corresponding protein. The message conveys through small and reversible chemical modifications to chromatin. For example, the addition of acetyl groups (known as acetylation) to DNA scaffold proteins (histones) enhances transcription. In contrast, the addition of methyl groups (known as methylation) to some regulatory regions of the DNA itself reduces gene transcription. These modifications, together with other regulatory mechanisms, are particularly important during development – when the exact timing of gene activation is crucial to ensure proper cellular differentiation – but continue to have an effect into adulthood.

 

Epigenetic modifications can occur in response to your environment, one of the most important of which is diet. The mechanisms by which diet affects epigenetics are not entirely understood, but some clear examples are well known.

 

During the winter of 1944–1945, the Netherlands suffered a terrible famine as a result of the German occupation, and the population’s nutritional intake dropped to fewer than 1000 calories per day. Women continued to conceive and give birth during these hard times, and these children are now adults in their sixties. Recent studies have revealed that these individuals – exposed to calorie restrictions while in their mother’s uterus – have a higher rate of chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity than their siblings. The first months of pregnancy seem to have had the greatest effect on disease risk.

 

How can something that happened before you were even born influence your life as much as 60 years later? The answer appears to lie in the epigenetic adaptations made by the fetus in response to the limited supply of nutrients. The specific epigenetic alterations are still not clear, but scientists discovered that people exposed to famine in utero have a lower degree of methylation of a gene implicated in insulin metabolism (the insulin-like growth factor II gene) than their unexposed siblings. This discovery has some startling implications: Although epigenetic changes are in theory reversible, useful changes that take place during embryonic development can nonetheless persist in adult life, even when they are no longer helpful and could even be detrimental. Some of these changes may even continue through generations, affecting the grandchildren of the exposed women.

 

The effects of early diet on epigenetics are also clearly visible among honeybees. What differentiates the sterile worker bees from the fertile queen are not genetics, but the diet that they follow as larvae. Larvae designated to become queens are fed exclusively with royal jelly, a substance secreted by worker bees, which switches on the gene program that results in the bee becoming fertile.

 

Researchers found another striking example of how nutrition influences epigenetics during development in mice. Individuals with an active agouti gene have a yellow coat and a propensity to become obese. This gene, however, can be switched off by DNA methylation. If a pregnant agouti mouse receives dietary supplements that can release methyl groups – such as folic acid or choline – the pups’ agouti genes become methylated and thus inactive. These pups still carry the agouti gene, but they lose the agouti phenotype: they have brown fur and no increased tendency towards obesity.

An insufficient uptake of folic acid causes developmental conditions in humans, such as spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Folic acid supplements are widely recommended for pregnant women and for those hoping to conceive to prevent these problems.

 

What about the dietary effect on epigenetics in adult life? Many components of food have the potential to cause epigenetic changes in humans. For example, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain isothiocyanates, which increase acetylation. Soya, on the other hand, is a source of the isoflavone genistein, which is thought to decrease DNA methylation in particular genes. The polyphenol compound found in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, has many biological activities, including the inhibition of DNA methylation. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, can have multiple effects on gene activation because it inhibits DNA methylation but also modulates acetylation.

 

Most of the data collected so far about these compounds come from in vitro experiments.  It is unknown if eating the corresponding foods has the same detectable effect as has been seen.

Epidemiological studies suggest that populations that consume large amounts of some of these foods appear to be less prone to certain diseases. However, most of these compounds have not only epigenetic effects but affect other biological functions as well.  A food source may contain many different biologically active molecules, making it difficult to draw a direct correlation between epigenetic activity and the overall effect on the body. Finally, all foods undergo many transformations in our digestive system, so it is not clear how much of the active compounds reach their molecular targets.

 

As a result of their far-reaching effects, epigenetic changes may aid in the development of many illnesses, including some cancers and neurological diseases. As cells become malignant, or cancerous, epigenetic modifications can deactivate tumor suppressor genes, which prevent excessive cell proliferation. Because these epigenetic modifications are reversible, there is keen interest in finding molecules – especially dietary sources – that might undo these damaging changes and prevent the development of the tumor.

We all know that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is healthy for our everyday life, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it might be much more important than that, having significant implications for our long-term health and longevity.

 

There is a fairly common belief that we need to eat healthy to lose weight, and exercise to live longer.  While this is truer than the notion that exercise will help you lose weight, scientists are starting to discover that diet has more to do with prolonging your life than we first thought.  It can even change your DNA.  The very stuff that makes you you.

Exercise Won’t Help You Lose Weight. But It Will Help You Live Longer.

By VitaMist Ltd
on December 01, 2016

Exercise Won’t Help You Lose Weight.  But It Will Help You Live Longer.

How do you lose weight?  Diet and exercise.  That much has been ingrained in us since youth.  So you take up a fad diet, get a gym membership, toil away for weeks and are left wondering why the formula for weight loss does not work for you.  It turns out, you’re not so different from everybody else.  Over the past several years, studies have shown us that half of what we learned about weight loss is wrong. 

As it turns out, exercise is great for your overall health, immune system, and longevity, but it’s not so great at shedding those extra pounds.  In the end, it really isn’t all that helpful for losing weight.

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Eight Tips to Live Longer

By Steve Moren
on August 01, 2016

Tip 1:  Drink Water

Every cell in your body functions only as well as the fluid that surrounds it.  Therefore, the more hydrated your body is, the healthier you are likely to be.

 The body eliminates waste through liquids in four ways: respiration, urination, perspiration or defecation.  Each of these processes dehydrates you, making the replenishment of fluid essential.  As we age, the amount of water persistently in our bodies decreases, making the elimination of waste more difficult.  The older we get, the more water we need to drink.  The same goes for hot days when we perspire more and dry days when we lose more water through respiration.

 You should not wait until your mouth and throat are dry to drink water.  In fact, people often believe they are hungry when they are thirsty.

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Suppressing Your Appetite

By Steve Moren
on January 01, 2016
I received an email in mid-December asking about appetite suppressants.  My response was around ten times longer than it needed to be.  This is a habit of mine, as some of you well know.  After replying, I thought of two or three or ten more bits of information that I could have included.  Rather than harassing a potential customer with multiple barrages of information, sending them into an information overload induced stupor, I decided that this topic would make for a decent Health Tip article.  Especially considering how often “weight loss” is added to our lists of New Year’s Resolutions.  So here we are.  Everything you ever wanted to know about suppressing your appetite.

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From the Blog

Independence from Monsanto

Independence from Monsanto

July 01, 2017

Monsanto is giant, and not a gentle one.  It may feel impossible to avoid their reach, the genetically modified Frankenfoods that they pedal, and the toxic business practices which they employ.  If not impossible, you might think that ditching Monsanto for healthier, and more sustainable options might seem like such a daunting task that it’s not even worth the effort.  But fear not!   We have a few steps that will help you avoid Monsanto, or, at the very least, cut out much of the genetically modified food in your diet.

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