Category Archives: Lifestyle

Eating For Happiness

In the wake of the sad death of Robin Williams (didn’t we all love him?), there has been much discussion about the causes of depression and treatments for it.

Contentedness is the much desired opposite of depression – some would call it joy or happiness; that’s our “right” as Americans, right?!

But what contributes to happiness? Could what eat our way there? Yes! This fascinating article by Shayli Lones confirms it. She starts with an intriguing question:

Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables?

Eating For Happiness

We need food to survive, and what we eat impacts not only our health but also our well-being. Until now, little has been known about the potential influence different foods have on happiness and psychological health.

“Economists and public health researchers from the University of Warwick studied the eating habits of 80,000 people in Britain. They found mental well-being appeared to rise with the number of daily portions of fruits and vegetables people consumed. Well-being peaked at seven portions a day,” says a press release from the University of Warwick.

Most western doctors recommend 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. “In Britain today, a quarter of the population eats just one portion or no portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Only a tenth of the British population currently consume the magic number of seven or more daily portions. The study does not distinguish among different kinds of fruits and vegetables and it defines a portion as approximately 80 grams,” says the University of Warwick.

In the study, the researchers explain that, “People who are healthy in one kind of behavior are likely to be healthy in others.” They found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables showed higher mental well-being in a variety of ways compared to those who did not.

“In each of three data sets, and for seven different measures of mental well-being, we find evidence for the existence of a positive association between well-being and fruit-and-vegetable consumption,” says the study. “Our findings are consistent with the need for high levels of fruit-and-vegetable consumption for mental health and not merely for physical health.”

Study co-author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, Professor of Public Health at Warwick Medical School, says, “The statistical power of fruit and vegetables was a surprise. Diet has traditionally been ignored by well-being researchers.” There is still much to be learned about how diet affects our metal well-being, and scientists hope for more research in the future.

Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables?

The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotionreports, “Adults in the United States consume fruit about 1.1 times per day and vegetables about 1.6 times per day.”

Here are some easy ways to start adding more fruits and vegetables to you diet.

  • Smoothies are a great source of fruit and you can also add spinach or kale with almost no effect on taste.
  • Salads are a great way to add vegetables and fruits to every meal. Try starting off lunch and dinner with a small salad loaded with seasonal produce like blueberries, zucchini, avocados or garden tomatoes.
  • Fill half your plate with vegetables and eat them first. Pair a grilled chicken breast with steamed broccoli, carrots or asparagus.

We make no claims for Juice Plus+, but I can tell you that people like us who eat Juice Plus+ daily are a happy, contented, even joyful bunch!

Steps to Sensational Smoothies

We LOVE smoothies – some call them Shakes! Year ’round we usually enjoy at least one a day. As a meal, as a snack and/or as a pre- or post-exercise boost. There’s no limit to the imaginative ways to make sensational smoothies, but this is a great guide:

smoothiesClick the image above for a printable version.

Here’s the Complete article

One more step: add a scoop of delicious Juice Plus+ Complete (our powdered drink mix), for more ‘complete’ nutrition!

Survey Shows Life Regrets Can Shape Later Years

AXX_aging_1_XXThey’re either optimistic or delusional, but 89% of older adults and 84% of younger adults say they’re confident they can maintain a high quality of life throughout their senior years.

The reasons vary, but support of friends and family is at the top, followed by being happy about their living situation, being well-prepared financially, being in good health and generally being optimistic, according to a phone survey of more than 2,000 adults, half of whom are 60 and older and the other half ages 18-59.

However, the voices of the older group are tinged with regret, knowing that getting older offers fewer opportunities for “do-overs” to course-correct their lives.

What’s really surprising is that, in this survey, most regrets were from decades past, often occurring when people were in their 30s and 40s.

So you “young ‘uns” pay attention!

Findings from a new nationally representative survey in USA TODAY, suggest that while some do have regrets, many older adults also have some lessons to offer those who are younger — and aging, as well.

So you “young ‘uns” pay attention!

When asked about a preselected list of steps they wish they had taken “to plan and prepare for your senior years,” the most-cited responses illustrate just how regret also plays a role in getting older. Among them are:

  • saving more money
  • making better investments
  • taking better care of health
  • staying closer with family

“When we get older, people do a life review. They begin to think ‘I shoulda done this or saved more money or spent more time with the kids.’ At some point, you get to the realization that we’re not going to live forever,” says Louis Primavera, a psychologist at the private, New York City-based Touro College.

The survey, a joint effort by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the National Council on Aging, United Healthcare and USA TODAY, included responses from 1,000 adults 60 and older and a comparison group of 1,027, ages 18-59. Of the older group, two-thirds were 60-74.

The legions of older Americans are growing across the USA, according to a report from the U.S Census Bureau released in May, which shows the 65-and-older population is projected to reach 83.7 million by 2050 — almost double the 2012 level of 43.1 million. With such numbers, regrets about “saving more” or “staying closer with my family” can shape the quality of life in later years. So, for those now in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s, they can get a glimpse of what lies ahead.

So you “young ‘uns” pay attention! (Am I repeating myself?)

USA TODAY took the pulse of Americans 60 and older on their health, quality of life, financial situation and whether their communities are prepared to serve an aging population.

“The No. 1 thing people are looking for today is really peace of mind,” says financial adviser Susan Acker of Merrill Lynch in Pittsford, N.Y. “The goal of saving more money is to reach peace of mind.”

agingsurvey

Carsten Wrosch, a psychology professor at Concordia University in Montreal who has been collecting life regret data since 2003 among those ages 20-40 and 60-plus, has found that life regrets center around work, education and relationships. “But what’s really surprising”, he says, “is that most regrets were from decades past, often occurring when people were in their 30s and 40s.”

“We often hear one of the biggest regrets they have is that they weren’t closer with their family,” says Donna Butts, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Generations United, but now “we’re seeing that change as the generations change.”

Wrosch says regret can become a health problem if people have no chance to repair the harm or right a wrong. “People start ruminating. They become depressed. They experience associated biological problems,” he says. “Ultimately, it makes them more vulnerable to disease.”

“Letting go actually really helps,” Wrosch says. “Let go of those regrets and find something else in life that is meaningful and can provide purposeful living.”

Former first lady Laura Bush talked about aging with USA TODAY reporter Sharon Jayson at the Dallas conference for the National Association of Areas Agencies on Aging.

For more on Prime-Time Health

This Independence Day, What are YOU doing for freedom?

Join the Freedom Revolution This 4th of July!

Eagle-American-Flag“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
We the People have a wide range of things in common, regardless of who we voted for in the last election.
Everyone wants to be healthy (and their children and grandchildren).
Everyone wants to have honest labels on food.
Everyone wants to be safe from toxic pesticides, herbicides and agricultural poisons.
Everyone wants the opportunity for economic prosperity in a fair and just system where hard work and innovation is rewarded.
Everyone is tired of corruption in high places.

However, “Everyone” isn’t willing to work for these freedoms, to commit, to accept nothing less. Are you?

Our world is waking up to a Revolution. Awareness, truth and liberty are spreading globally. We are turning the tide of sickness and mediocrity in our nation. WE are part of this revolution, are you?

Our GenYers or Millennials are demanding high values for their lives: their Movement is all about Meaning, Mobility and Money (sufficient $$ to satisfy the first two Ms). These are OUR values. Are they yours?

WE are working to empower and enable others to enjoy all these freedoms; to OWN YOUR HEALTH & OWN YOUR LIFE.

Learn more about how WE are doing this at OnEaglesWings.tv … let us know if you want to be a part of OUR freedom revolution.

Happy Independence Day!

Secrets From the Longest-Living Place on Earth

Longest Living place on Earth, Nagano JapanFrom AARP Bulletin, May 2014

Takami Kuroiwa looks forward to weekends — not so he can relax with a little golf or TV, but to put in 12-hour days on the family farm. His regular job as a tourism manager provides a comfortable living, but raising his own fruit and vegetables is part of a lifelong routine.

At 66, Kuroiwa has already come out of retirement once and expects to work well into his later years.

“It’s part of the lifestyle here. You work in an office and then you retire to the farm. It’s just the next stage in life,” Kuroiwa says. As it turns out, it’s a very long life.

A healthy diet, regular physical activity, extended work years and aggressive government intervention have helped the Nagano region produce the longest life expectancy in Japan, which in turn is the longest in the world. That marks a remarkable turnaround for an area that, as recently as the early 1980s, had the highest rate of strokes in Japan.

Women in Nagano prefecture, an area slightly smaller than Connecticut, can expect to live an average of 87.2 years, while men can look forward to living 80.9 years, according to the latest data from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. (In comparison, life expectancy in Connecticut averages 78.6 years for men and 82.9 for women. Hawaii has the highest life expectancy in the U.S., at 78 for men and 84.7 for women.)

The lifestyle in Nagano, home of the 1998 Winter Olympics, has also produced some of the lowest per capita medical costs in Japan. That saves consumers and taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

Officials now are hoping to export the Nagano experience to the rest of the country, and perhaps even farther.

“Nagano is unique in many ways, but there are lessons you can apply anywhere. Improve your diet, stay active, continue to work as you get older. The key is not just to live longer, but to stay healthy longer,” says Takuji Shirasawa, M.D., who teaches at the Department of Aging Control Medicine at Juntendo University in Tokyo.

Keys to a long life

Japan is one of the most rapidly aging societies in the world. A quarter of the population is age 65 or older. In Tokyo alone, some 3.1 million residents will be 65 or older by 2025, according to the health ministry.

Keeping those people healthy and productive is key to controlling costs for Japan’s national health care system and helping offset a declining birth rate.

At first glance, Nagano would seem an unlikely setting for a long and healthy life.

Tucked high in the Japanese Alps, the area experiences long and harsh winters. Arable land is limited. Surrounded by mountains, Nagano is one of the few regions of Japan without immediate access to the fresh fish and seafood that makes up much of the national diet.

Even as Japan’s economy boomed and longevity rates climbed through the postwar era, life expectancy in Nagano lagged. Men in particular suffered from high rates of heart attack and cerebral aneurysm.

Noriko Sonohara, head of the nonprofit Nagano Dietary Association, says much of the blame fell on a beloved, if unlikely, staple of the Nagano diet: pickled vegetables.

Housewives in Nagano for generations preserved all manner of homegrown produce to make up for the lack of fresh vegetables during long snowy winters, Sonohara explains. And while every village had a secret recipe for the dish, called tsukemono, all included one ingredient: copious amounts of salt. One survey found that Nagano residents on average were consuming 15.1 grams of salt per day — that’s nearly three times the daily maximum in U.S. dietary guidelines. “In wintertime, people would sit around and talk and eat tsukemono all day,” Sonohara says. “The turning point was 1981, when Nagano became number one in strokes. We decided, ‘OK, we have to do something about this.'”

A focus on diet

The first step in boosting Nagano’s life span was a campaign to reduce salt consumption and promote a healthier diet and lifestyle. Miso soup, served three times a day in many homes, became a prime target of health officials. Cases of hypertension and related illnesses began to decline shortly after, Sonohara says. The region of 2.1 million people now has some 4,500 volunteers who host seminars and clinics at supermarkets, shopping malls and community centers. They also conduct regular home visits to measure the salt content in daily meals and make dietary recommendations. “Our goal and our motives had nothing to do with becoming number one in life expectancy,” said Sonohara. “[But] individual efforts and local initiatives gradually changed the lifestyle, and that in turn lengthened the life expectancy for the region as a whole.”

Healthy Recipes

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At a recent cooking demonstration in a market near Nagano’s main train station, volunteer Sumiko Hirano was preparing a dish of sesame pork with shiitake mushrooms and sliced pumpkin. The total salt per serving was 0.9 grams. But on this day, Hirano was exhorting a half-dozen shoppers, who had stopped to watch the demonstration, to reduce the use of cooking oil. For this recipe: just one teaspoon.

A licensed nutritionist, Hirano and several other volunteers also took time to dispense health advice to passersby. “At first it was difficult to convince people to change, but gradually it’s becoming easier,” says Hirano. “The government is encouraging people to maintain a healthier diet and lifestyle and organizing a lot of activities that they never had before, so that helps.”

The efforts paid off with surprising speed. By 1990, life expectancy for men had risen three years in a decade in Nagano prefecture, and 3.5 years for women. Nagano life spans continued to climb until they topped all of Japan by 2010. Rates of deaths due to cancer, heart and liver disease, and pneumonia now rank well below the national average.

The private sector gets involved

As the effects of an improved diet began to be felt, the region’s business community found ways to support a healthy lifestyle. In Matsumoto, the region’s second largest city, a bank started offering higher interest rates and incentives like weekends at Tokyo’s Disneyland for those who get medical checkups for three consecutive years. A convenience store chain has agreed to distribute health care information and host some 40 health fairs at various locations this year.

City health workers will take blood pressure readings, answer questions and distribute information on public health care services. “A lot of people never visit city hall, but they do go to convenience stores, so this is a good way to reach them,” says Matsumoto’s mayor, Akira Sugenoya, a surgeon.

Those preventive care efforts contributed to lower health care costs in Nagano, which came to about $2,488 per person in 2009. The per capita average in Japan was $3,120, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That compares with $8,233 in the United States. Japan’s national health insurance program, which covers virtually all residents, including those in intensive nursing care, is funded in part by local contributions. “Preventive medicine is much less costly than having to put people in the hospital,” Sugenoya says.

Staying active for life

Another not-so-secret key to Nagano’s remarkable longevity is a vigorous lifestyle, encouraged by local leaders.

In Matsumoto, officials have developed a network of more than 100 walking routes to encourage people to exercise. Community groups and neighborhood associations organize communal walks — not difficult in group-oriented Japan. Even in winter, clusters of residents can be found regularly walking along Matsumoto’s streets, parks and canals and around its historic medieval castle downtown. Sugenoya says the walking trails are a cost-effective way to promote health and control medical costs. “The first thing we wanted was just to get people walking. Everyone can do that. You walk, you talk, you get exercise and that helps build up a sense of community,” he says.

Japanese officials encourage people to postpone retirement or begin second careers, in part to maintain a healthy lifestyle longer.

Nagano is ahead of the curve there as well. Nearly 1 in 4 people over 65 are still in the workforce — the highest rate in Japan. “We don’t really know if people in Nagano continue to work because they are healthy, or if they are healthy because they continue to work,” says Hiroko Akiyama, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Gerontology. “But we believe working does affect health.”

Kuroiwa says he doesn’t think about all that. He retired as village accountant a few years ago, but came back to manage a new tourism center last year. As before, his spare time goes into running his family’s small farm, where he grows apples and rice along with an array of vegetables. His parents worked regularly into their late 80s, and Kuroiwa figures he and his wife will do the same. “No one here is particularly aware that we live longer than other people. We don’t have any secret. We just go about our normal everyday lives and it just turns out that way.”


I am almost 68, have no plans to retire (why would I, when I love what I do?!), take no medication of any kind and am a fit, healthy, happy, primetime “senior”! I attribute much of that to Juice Plus+, of course – the products and the business!

Recognizing Special Mothers on Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day tomorrow, we not only want to recognize and thank all mothers, but share a heartfelt story of one of our own Juice Plus+ doctors, Dr. Tina Jones. Doctor Jones lost her mother to heart disease at a young age and since then has committed herself to helping others live a healthier lifestyle, including her own family.Dr. Jones always had a desire to be a doctor, and her passion grew even stronger when her mother had a heart attack at the age of 39. Like most medical students at that time, Dr. Jones did not learn much about nutrition, but she came to believe that her mother’s health problems were rooted in her diet. “My mother was a wonderful cook but she was a Southern cook,” Dr. Jones says. “Her family was from Orangeburg, South Carolina, and she cooked and ate Southern food her whole life. It’s what I grew up eating, too.”

Soon, Dr. Jones realized if she wanted to be there for her own children, it was time to make some lifestyle changes. She began studying and learning the importance of a healthy diet and the importance of adding fruits and vegetables to our diets on a consistent, daily basis. Of course, her inspiration to become healthy wasn’t only rooted in the loss of her mother, but for her own children as well. As a young mother, Dr. Jones began fixing her children fruits and vegetables at a young age, helping them acquire a taste for fruits and vegetables very early in life. She even added Juice Plus+ to her family’s diet as well.

Jones reminds us, “If you want to be well, you have to eat well − and most people just don’t eat well. They don’t eat fruits and vegetables consistently and they don’t eat a wide variety.” For Tina Jones, living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about feeling well, but having the ability to watch her children grow up, go to their graduations and weddings, and watch them fulfill their dreams.

Dr. Jones is just one of many inspirational mothers doing their part to help their families live a long, healthy life. This mother’s day, we want to celebrate all the moms out there promoting healthy living among your families – whether its preparing a healthy snack, getting the family outside for physical activity or making sure your family takes their Juice Plus+!

The Link Between Nutrition and Mental Health

Good nutrition not only affects our physical wellbeing, but our mental health as well.

Have you ever felt inspired or overly optimistic after consuming a healthy meal? Or have you felt sluggish and tired after indulging in junk food? Several new studies confirm these are not coincidental experiences.

Maintaining a whole food based diet to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs from fruits, vegetables and whole grains is crucial to your health in more ways than one. Below we explore how nutrition impacts mental health in three ways.

1.       Brain Power

The brain needs nutrients to function every day, hence the phrase “brain food.” Healthcare professional and Juice Plus+ supporter, Dr. Marla Friedman, PH.D. proposes a strong connection between nutrition and mental health.

She suggests depression, anxiety, mood disorder, insomnia, addictions and other factors can be tied to nutritional health and ultimately improve with a proper diet. Dr. Friedman explains how nutrition affects all parts of us, even the brain because “good nutrition affects memory, focus, concentration, and your mood. Our brain health/emotional health affects every decision we make… when our brains are nourished, we function at a high level. We need whole food nutrition.”

2.       Mood Booster

At some point in time, we have all been guilty of emotional eating or “eating our feelings,” but is there a reason why we eat certain food based on our mood? A recent study by Meryl Gardener, a marketing professor at the University of Delaware, connects the dots between having negative emotions and eating unhealthy foods (as well as having positive moods and eating healthy foods). Her studies look at food choice and mood, while also considering the consumer’s perception of time in the equation, revealing that eating healthy can positively affect your mood. Dr. Leigh Gibson, a psychology professor at the University of Roehamp, also found connections between mental health and nutritional health in his studies. Dr. Gibson’s research revealed that people who are future-focused and think essentially positive make healthier choices. For example, if someone has a positive goal of eating healthier, then that upbeat emotion will influence eating behavior. Dr. Gibson explains, “Achieving goals is part and parcel of emotional experience.” If you get yourself excited about doing something that improves your health, then your actions will reflect your mindset, and you will ultimately achieve your goal.

3.       Overall Mental Wellness

Overall, research exploring the link between diet and mental health is a new frontier of study. However, researchers are now extending studies to learn more about how nutrition affects one’s psychological wellbeing beyond solely mood. For instance, Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia, conducted a study that found “lower rates of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder among those who consumed a traditional diet of meat and vegetables than among people who followed a modern Western diet heavy with processed and fast foods or even a health-food diet of tofu and salads.” Although there have been few studies correlating healthy eating to alleviating mental illnesses, there have been several case studies suggesting the connection, which has fueled further development of the field of study.

It is important to keep new research developments in the back of your mind when dictating your diet. Having a whole food based diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables is the best thing you can do to ensure good health, both physically and mentally. There are plenty of ways to maintain good health, but we recommend considering Juice Plus+ as an easy option. As Dr. Friedman has said, “Improving people’s nutrition with Juice Plus+ helps empower them to make their lives better. It helps them see that through nutrition, their bodies can heal and improve in ways that they did not know were possible.”

What are your good mood foods? Do you find yourself feeling more uplifted after eating fruits and vegetables? We do every day because of Juice Plus+!

Of course, the two ways we prefer to get our fruits and veggies in abundance are the smart and easy way: Juice Plus+; and the simple and fun way: Tower Garden.

Togetherness Advances Wellness: Stay Active With Your Family

Want your kids to stay active? According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, spending quality time together may be the solution.

We all know kids learn by watching their parents, observing their every move and mimicking their actions. With so many negative distractions around us, it’s more important now than ever to set a positive, healthy example for your children, including their activity level. And what better way to do so, than by spending quality time with your kids.

Help your children stay active by being active with them. All children should be physically active for at least one hour every day. Encourage your child to find activities they enjoy by building physical activity into family life. Here are some simple ways to stay active with your children:

Plan an outdoor activity: Set aside one day a weekend to do something active as a family: swimming in the summer, sledding or ice-skating in the winter, or biking in the spring and fall.

Take classes together: Ask around at your local gym or community center about yoga or aerobics classes offered to parents and kids together. Parent-child classes help promote exercise and build bonds in a fun and exciting environment.

Organize a scavenger hunt: What better way to get kids running around then by planning a scavenger hunt for the whole family. Make a list of challenges (get a neighbor’s signature, find a yellow flower), split your family into teams, then head off and see who can complete the most tasks!

Host a family Olympics tournament: Get the whole family moving with a family Olympics event. Compete in events like 50-yard dash, relay race, hula-hoops, basketball shoot and an obstacle course.

And just as important as promoting an active family, is preparing healthy meals. Take your kids to the farmer’s market to pick out their own fruits and veggies, and involve them in the food preparation. They’ll be much more likely to enjoy their healthy meal and clear their plates!

How do you and your family stay active together?

We’ve been an active family since before our boys were born, and to this day they, their wives and children (our 6 grandchildren) are very active – fit and healthy. Oh… and so are we!

Original Article.

New Zealand is ‘Wellness’

We are half way (3 weeks) through our current “holiday of a lifetime”. It began with 5 days in Fiji (Bula! Bula!) – a ‘well’ land indeed.

Just 2 weeks in New Zealand (with 3 more to go) has confirmed that this country possesses a special “wellness”. New Zealand is small:  the size of Colorado or the UK + Ireland, but has only 4.4 million inhabitants – and, yes, far more sheep! It is everything it is cracked up to be and more, much more.

On our bucket list for many years, we finally turned the dream that became a goal into a plan, a commitment, and here we are.

Why has NZ been on our bucket list for so long? For all the right reasons: glowing reports from friends, meeting Kiwis (who speak like Aussies, but have something … special), loving the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit films – these are just a few.

What does this have to do with “Wellness”? Everything! Wellness is a whole state of mind and body that exudes vitality, joy and ‘joie de vivre’ (or as we say ‘living life to the plus’). New Zealand empowers this state of wellness – for tourists like us and for the Kiwis themselves.

In Christchurch, devastated by the earthquakes of 2011 (the third anniversary of ‘the big one’ was 3 days ago), the spirit of wellness pervades the people and the place – even though they have 20 years of rebuilding and restoration to look forward to.

JRR Tolkien’s books and his mythical stories could have been written for and about NZ. Even the Kiwis themselves possess something of the Hobbit spirit. The countryside is exactly what Tolkien imagined. An excellent Lord of the Rings locations guidebook, purchased in Christchurch, gives deeper insights into Peter Jackson and his crew’s choice of locations, filming and experience all over this amazing country.

Having Vegemite on toast most mornings is my gesture towards NZ nutritional ‘wellness’!

I will return to this subject in a few weeks with more observations; but, for now, here are some of the adjectives Jenny and I have listed to describe NZ and the Kiwis: majestic, mythical, civilized, unhurried, savvy, simple, vibrant, verdant, … all (you might say), elements of ‘wellness’.

Each day we post a selection of photos (to keep our friends and family informed and to keep our memories fresh). We are so grateful and blessed that we can hike and fully enjoy this amazing country at our age: another marker of ‘wellness’.

Jenny has started her NZ Journal

This was us on Valentine’s Day (Mt. Cook in the background). Today we are on the other side, on the Coast (west coast of South Island).

DSCN3008

Low-Carb or Low-Fat?

North Americans in record numbers are dieting to lose weight – an estimated 50 million of us will go on a diet this year. The sheer number of diet books on the market today – more than 1,200 at last count – makes losing weight  overwhelming as well as confusing.

Many people are trying to fight the fat by cutting out the carbs. According to a recent survey, low carbohydrate diets are already being followed by 17 percent of Americans, a number that is growing by the day.

lowcarbWhat exactly are “low-carb” diets? Generally speaking, they are based on restricting the consumption of processed and refined carbohydrates, especially sugars, breads, pastas, and starchy vegetables.

There are numerous variations on the low carbohydrate theme. They differ in their recommendations as to just how low one’s carbohydrate intake should be and whether all carbs are created equal. One of the most popular allows unlimited consumption of protein and fats – including bacon, cheese, eggs, and butter – along with very limited quantities of all types of carbohydrates, even fruits and vegetables.

katzDavid L. Katz, M.D., of the Yale Preventive Medicine Research Center in New Haven, Connecticut is a nationally known nutrition expert and nutrition spokesperson for the American College of Preventive Medicine. He warns against any approach to losing weight – low-carb or low-fat – that doesn’t correct the energy imbalance that ultimately causes people to gain weight. “If you want to lose weight, you need to ingest fewer calories than you expend,” he explains.

“Any diet that doesn’t do that will not stand the test of time.”

fatcaloriesDr. Katz extends an important caution to low-carb dieters in this regard: be smart when it comes to consuming new low-carb products. Low-carb offerings, from crustless pizzas to bunless burgers, are popping up on restaurant and fast food menus everywhere. In grocery stores, low- or reduced-carb products – including low-carb beer, cereal, cookies, chocolate bars, chips, pork rinds, even low-carb marshmallows – are flying off the shelves, while their “high-carb” counterparts are seeing dramatic declines in sales. Last year, for example, Nielsen reported sales of instant rice were down 8.2%; pasta, down 4.6%; and, white bread, down 4.7%.

Dr. Katz says that it’s a case of history repeating itself. “Why don’t low-fat diets work? Snackwells, that’s the answer,” he explains, referring to a popular line of reduced-fat cookies and crackers.

It’s not all about Snackwells per se, of course. In fact, our focus on lowering fat has led Americans to reduce their consumption of fat from 40% of  calories in 1968 to 33% in 2000, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We have similarly reduced the amount of saturated fat in our diets from 18% to 11%. So why are more than a third of Americans overweight or obese today, and why has that percentage continued to grow?

It’s because, in terms of body weight, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) the average amount of fat in the American diet has actually increased from 81 grams to 83 grams per day, even though the percentage of calories from fat has gone down. How is that possible? It’s because the number of calories the average person eats has increased as well, from 1,989 to 2,153 calories per day. A low-fat diet only “works” (in terms of losing weight) if you reduce the percentage of  calories from fat while maintaining or reducing the total number of calories.

The same problem could occur with low-carb diets as well. Dr. Katz describes the problem this way: “as the food industry produces more and more products labeled ‘low-fat’ or ‘low-carb’ Americans line up to eat them.“ There are 3,800 alories produced in the U.S. every day for every man, woman, and child in America.

“We eat too much because there are too many calories available.” says Katz.

Another potential problem with low-carb product offerings is that there is presently no FDA definition for the term “low-carb.” This allows food manufacturers to make low-carb claims about products that may not be so low in carbohydrates after all.

Lisa Sanders, M.D., also from the Yale Preventive Medicine Research Center, believes that regardless of which side health professionals are on in the low-carb/low-fat diet debate, the reality is that “patients are using these [low-carb] diets. We need to work with that.” That’s where  Juice Plus+ can play an important role, both for low-carb dieters and the health professionals who look after them.

Dr. Katz recommends Juice Plus+ and, in my opinion, everyone needs Juice Plus+. But certainly no one needs Juice Plus+ more than the low-carb dieter. The problem is that while no one questions the nutritional value of the thousands of antioxidants and other phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables, fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates. Low-carbohydrate diets recommend that you eliminate or drastically reduce the consumption of all fruits and most vegetables other than a few green leafy ones.

In a very real sense, the nutritional baby is getting thrown out with the carbohydrate bathwater. Low-carb diets typically “allow” only four or five of the 17 different fruits, vegetables, and grains used to make  Juice Plus+. The few that they do allow tend to be ones like spinach, parsley, and kale that most people don’t like anyway – especially people who are being told that they can eat as much meat, butter, and cheese as they want.

newbottlescapsulesJuice Plus+ is the perfect addition to any low-carb diet because it helps provide the wide variety of healthful antioxidants and phytonutrients that can only be found in fruits and vegetables. Our recommended daily serving of Juice Plus+ – two Orchard Blend, two Garden Blend and two Vineyard Blend capsules – contains only 3 grams of carbohydrates. For perspective, the most popular low-carb diet limits carbohydrate intake to 20 grams a day, a mere fraction of the 250 grams of carbohydrates that the average person takes in.

Doctors and dieters concerned about the potential negative nutritional implications of low-carb dieting should take a serious look at  Juice Plus+. Juice Plus+ is also perfect for everyone watching the fat content of his or her diet, because Juice Plus+ contains no fat at all.

Despite the emerging popularity of low-carb diets, major disease prevention organizations, such as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, still recommend that we eat at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day, preferably more.

So, the diet debate rages on. But whether you believe that low-carb or low-fat is the best way to shed pounds, there’s one thing you can count on: the nutritional goodness of  Juice Plus+ will be a good fit with any diet you choose.

Of course, all this talk about dieting misses the mark. The only way to be truly healthy and achieve our perfect weight, is to make the right choices every day: the choice to ‘eat clean’. That’s what our Transform2014 program is all about – learning the make the right choices, and making that a habit; for a lifetime.

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