Best Health Letter

vicnytn3[1]I realize that my posts tend to jump around with respect to subject matter, but I do this so that hopefully, there is something for everyone – something that they will find interesting rather than “the same old boring content.”

In this post, I would like to direct your attention to a publication known as the “Nutrition Action Health Letter”, which is published by the “Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The CSPI is a non-profit health-advocacy group, and annual subscriptions to the newsletter ($24 for 10 issues) can be arranged by contacting the CSPI, 1220 L Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005. You can also subscribe by going to the organization’s web site www.cspi.net, which contains tons of useful information. I have subscribed for many years.

 This health letter is extremely easy to read, and each colorfully-illustrated issue is packed with informative, non-partial information — the publication accepts no government or industry funding, or advertising of any kind. The issues contain about 16 pages, and each issue has a theme. For example, one issue details “how arteries age” and what you can do to slow, or possibly stop the process. The February edition highlighted “How to keep your brain sharp” and described the classic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, known as plaques and tangles.

I particularly like the “food watch” section, exposing the false claims made by food marketing executives.

As an example, a well-advertised juice company advertises a “medley” drink and states that “every 8 oz. glass has 2 total fruit and veggie servings, and contains the powerful anti-oxidant vitamins C and E and the bone mineral magnesium.” The answer as to how the company manages to squeeze two servings into one 8 oz. glass is quite simple – the USDA’s pyramid food guide states that a serving of juice is just half a cup – so an 8 oz glass of ANY juice is two servings! As for the “two total fruit and veggie servings” per 8 oz. glass, it sounds like one fruit and one vegetable serving, right? – Wrong! Each glass has mostly water plus nutrient-poor apple and grape juice fortified with vitamins C, E and Magnesium. As for the veggie claim, each glass contains appx. 2 tablespoons of carrot juice – no wonder the drink “tastes just like the fruit juice your family loves” – with the exception of 2 tablespoons of carrot juice, it is!

The “Right Stuff vs. Food Porn” segment is always enlightening. For example, one Italian chain restaurant recently introduced a new appetizer to its menu – Lasagna Fritta. Unfortunately, this “appetizer” has 1,030 calories, a day’s worth of saturated fat (21 grams) and sodium (1,590 milligrams). Couple this with the complimentary breadsticks – 150 calories each (whoops, I guess I blew their cover by mentioning breadsticks) plus an entrée easily exceeding 1500 calories, and you have the ideal Christmas gift suggestion – a larger belt!

Another Interesting food porn article cites the I_ _ P website (I didn’t include the missing letters to hopefully avoid any problems with the company), which makes reference to a new item on their menu, Garden Stuffed Crepes. Their description states “Our crepes are light, delicate and rolled with savory or sweet ingredients for a meal that’s a delicious choice any time of day – or night.”  I_ _ P’s Garden Stuffed Crepes sound rather healthy – – “Two crepes stuffed with Swiss cheese, eggs scrambled with fresh spinach, mushrooms and onions topped with hollandaise & tomatoes.” How can you go wrong?

Well, for starters try 1,230 calories and 29 grams (1 ½ days’ worth) of saturated fat. The 1,730 milligrams of sodium (a day’s supply) just adds salt to the wound. The “light and delicate” garden crepes is equivalent to downing two eggs, three pork sausage links, three slices of bacon, hash browns and toast with butter and jam. Your best bet is to try I _ _ p’s “simple and fit” dishes, any of which have less than 600 calories.

I highly recommend this publication and have given gift subscriptions to my friends.

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