Sunday, December 1, 2019

Are Organic Foods Better Than Conventional Foods?

Not necessarily...

Firstly, there is ever growing evidence to dispel the myth that organic/non-conventional produce is superior to conventional produce in terms of health & nutrition; organic produce and conventional products have similar nutritional and health benefits.

Secondly, there is no control or regulation over the term "organic" which means that anyone or any company may use this term in their labelling and advertising without any justification.  In fact, the labelling & advertising terms on products are intended to manipulate and infer a better/superior status or product (unlike drugs/medication, labelling regulations are very lax and do very little to protect the consumer when products are classed as food, supplements, cosmetics or personal care products)

Thirdly, there are a variety of "certified organic" logos used by differing certification companies; each certification company/body have their own set of "standards".   These standards may greatly vary from one body to another.

Fourthly, many people are misled to believe that "organic" produce are free from pesticide/fungicides or additives, due to the misleading advertising/labelling and false claims!
Nothing is further from the truth.  All commercial produce utilise agents & additives to ensure their products survive, look, feel and taste their best.  Unfortunately, the truth is, organic produce end up using significantly more organic/natural pesticides/agents, simply because the agents used are far less effective than conventional agents.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Do Sunscreens Really Prevent Sunburn?

Yes, they really do, BUT....this depends on what's in your sunscreen and how you are using it.

Sunburn is often the result of incorrect use of sunscreen, insufficient understanding of Sunscreen SPF, and insufficient understanding of UV Radiation exposure.

Here are some very important basic points to remember & pass on:

1. Sun damage to the skin occurs regardless of whether you experience symptoms of sunburn or not.  The effects of sun damage (skin cancer, aging etc) is insidious as it's often asymptomatic and accumulates over your life-time.

2.  The best sun protection is a physical barrier (hat, long sleeve shirt, sunglasses etc).  Please note that not all clothing provide the same degree of SPF.  For example, darker colours and tighter weave will confer more protection compared to lighter colours and light/open weave fabrics.  To ensure maximum SPF protection, opt for SPF rated clothing, as these are manufactured with an SPF additive (although this effect may be reduced with with time/laundering).

3. You can still receive substantial UV radiation exposure even when shaded from direct sun, due to the scattering & reflection of UV from the environments eg atmosphere, light coloured concrete/buildings/clothing, sand, water and snow.   Cloudy/overcast conditions minimally reduce UV radiation exposure, while reflection from water, sand & grass (& snow) increase UV radiation exposure by reflecting up to 70% of sunlight.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Which Foods Are Calcium Rich?

Dietary Calcium

Dietary calcium is the body's best source of calcium.  Food sources or calcium are easily & readily utilised by our bodies without the ill effects experienced by many calcium supplements (e.g. constipation, bloating, gas).  

In recent years, there has talk about whether the use of calcium supplements contribute to cardiovascular disease.  At this stage, the evidence & data is still inconclusive, and mainly refers to calcium supplements (higher amounts of calcium as opposed to small amounts that may be found in some multivitamin combinations etc).  So, the general recommendation is to ensure a plentiful supply of dietary calcium intake from various foods, and take calcium supplements only as prescribed by your doctor.  

If you feel that you may require supplementation, please see your doctor . 

Since Vitamin D is a necessary for our bodies to absorb calcium, it's equally as important to maintain adequate Vitamin D intake.

Calcium Requirements:

These are general guidelines only, and requirements may vary from person to person, depending on how well the calcium is absorbed.  (Factors such as the presence of sodium, protein, oxalic acid & phytic acid in foods may influence calcium excretion & absorption).