Trouble with Milk?

Some people who have trouble digesting milk have lactose intolerance, a condition in which the body is deficient in lactase, the enzyme necessary to digest lactose milk sugar. When lactose isn’t broken down, it passes into the large intestine, causing gas, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms. These issues can often be avoided by consuming lactose-free dairy products, or by taking a Lactaid digestive enzyme.

Dairy allergies, on the other hand, are an immune response to a protein found in dairy products, rather than an enzyme deficiency, and they are much more common. If you have an allergy to cow’s milk, eating dairy products—even if they’re lactose-free—will continue to cause health problems, including diarrhea and abdominal cramping. But symptoms aren’t limited to digestive distress. Dairy allergies can also cause skin rashes, nasal congestion, joint aches, asthma, and earaches.

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Tips to Help You Eat GMO-Free

by Melissa Diane Smith

Want to avoid laboratory-created, genetically modified organisms? October is Non-GMO Month – the ideal time to follow the Eat GMO-Free Challenge and learn how to remove GMOs from your diet.

Eat GMO-Free Challenge Tip 1A few years ago, I realized that general GMO avoidance guidelines aren’t enough for most people who want to stay away from genetically modified foods. That’s why I created the Eat GMO-Free Challenge—a series of tips to follow each day for 31 days to help people slowly learn how to remove sources of GMOs from their diet (no matter what type of diet they follow!).

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Has a Food Revolution Begun?

by Melissa Diane Smith

(Opinion) We desperately need a food revolution and there are indications that one may have already started.

First lady Michelle Obama is spreading the word around the country about making better food choices in her anti-obesity campaign and she just planted her second organic White House vegetable garden.

Last week ABC News reported that a coalition of Chicago high school students went to a meeting of the Chicago Board of Education to speak out against their school lunch menu. The students are fighting against the nutrient-poor, frozen and highly processed foods they are being served in the school cafeteria. Some students were quoted as saying, “Nutrients are missing. Calories are high. Sugar is high,” and, “Parents rely on schools to give their children nutritious meals, not tan-colored slop.” In addition, they said they rarely see any vegetables being served.

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Let’s Move to End Childhood Obesity,First Lady Michelle Obama Urges

by Melissa Diane Smith

It’s time to take action to end the epidemic of childhood obesity and it’s easier than you may think, first lady Michelle Obama said this week as she launched her “Let’s Move” campaign. Preventing and reversing weight problems in children in this country is vital for the health of kids who may for the first time lead shorter lives than their parents. But it’s also critical for the health of our country, which has a staggering $147 billion a year in weight-related medical bills.

Mrs. Obama knows firsthand that weight issues with kids can easily be reversed with changes in diet. Several years ago, Mrs. Obama was busy juggling a career and being a mother, and ended up cutting corners with food by ordering takeout and eating out more often. Doing that led to unintended weight gain in her girls and their pediatrician told Mrs. Obama that she needed to think more about nutrition. The Obamas got the message and made changes, particularly by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and the extra pounds quickly fell away.

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Drinking Soft Drinks Increases Risk of Pancreatic Cancer, New Study Finds

by Melissa Diane Smith

People who drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have an 87 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer, a particularly deadly form of cancer, according to a 14-year study of 60,000 people just published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Special Report: What’s Coming in 2009

What’s coming in the new year? Plenty of changes, most of which were put into motion in 2008. A new U.S. president is the most obvious change, but there will also be changes in foods and drinks on supermarket store shelves, finance-driven modifications in eating and lifestyle habits, and research and news about health topics that used to be so underground that they were only covered on blogs on the Internet such as this one!

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“Supersize Me” and “McLibel” – More Movies that Go Against the Grain

Many people like to read nutrition information that motivates them to eat better, but they also like to learn information through watching movies. As one client said to me, “Being able to both read information and watch it works really well together, helping to reinforce why we all need to ‘go against the grain’ with our diet for improved health.”

In my previous post, I wrote about “King Corn”, a documentary that explains how cheap corn ends up in most commercial American foods and plays a major role in our widespread and widening health problems. But two other documentary movies to watch are “SuperSize Me” and “McLibel”.

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