Bottled Water and Glycemic Index
Sequoia Health's June newsletter has been published here for your reading enjoyment and education...
Bottled Water: 3 Major Health Concerns
Water is a Must
The safety and environmental friendliness of bottled water is back in the
news. Drinking adequate amounts of water is important to good health.
Depending on your body weight, drinking anywhere from 32oz to 100oz of
water daily helps your muscles, digestion and kidneys all work better.
However, it's also important to make sure that the water you are drinking
and the container it's stored in are safe.
An Important Report
A recent report by the Earth Policy Institute (EPI) says "The global
consumption of bottled water reached 154 billion liters (41 billion
gallons) in 2004, up 57 percent from the 98 billion liters consumed five
years earlier. Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for
bottled water is increasing; producing unnecessary garbage and consuming
vast quantities of energy. Although in the industrial world bottled water
is often no healthier than tap water, it can cost up to 10,000 times more.
At as much as $2.50 per liter ($10 per gallon), bottled water costs more
than gasoline." About one-fourth of bottled water is actually bottled tap
water; according to government and industry estimates (some estimates go as
high as 40 percent).
Several new studies have pointed to three major health problems associated
with bottled water.
#1) Chemical Leaching From the Plastic Bottles
When it comes to water and foods, not all plastics are created equally.
Plastic can leach chemicals into whatever is stored in it especially when
heated. To make sure the plastic is safe and does not leach, check the
recycling symbol on your bottle. #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), #4
LDPE (low density polyethylene), or 5 PP (polypropylene) on your bottle are
all safe. Water is generally sold in plastic bottles market with a #1, and
is only recommended for one time use. Do not refill it.
#2) High Bacterial Count in Reused Water Bottles
Several researchers in Canada and the USA have determined that refilling
your water bottle, even if washed, might not be such a good thing.
Dangerous bacteria and potentially toxic plastic compounds have been found
in water bottles with the recycle #1 on the bottom. A study of water
bottles at a Calgary elementary school found bacteria in kids' bottles that
would prompt health officials to issue boil-water advisories, had the
samples come from a tap. The better choice is to filter your water with a
Brita or Pure filter and use a refillable water bottle that is safe to wash
marked with a recycle number #2, #4 or #5.
#3) Environmental Concerns with Recycling and Landfills
After you drink your bottled water, the bottle has to be recycled or
thrown away. According to the Container Recycling Institute, "86 percent of
plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter.
Incinerating used bottles produces toxic by-products such as chlorine gas
and ash containing heavy metals. Buried water bottles can take up to 1,000
years to biodegrade. Almost 40 percent of the PET bottles that were
deposited for recycling in the United States in 2004 were actually
exported, sometimes to as far away as China, adding to the resources used by
An Environmental Nightmare
Environmentally, the plastic most commonly used to make water bottles is
polyethylene terepthalate (PET), which is derived from crude oil. A
Colorado-based company, BIOTA, bottles its spring water in a container made
from a biodegradable plastic called polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived
from corn. The bottling company says, given the right composting
conditions, the container will disappear in 75 to 80 days. So, the bottom
line is keep drinking lots of water but:
*Don't reuse (even if you wash) plastic bottles with a recycle #1 on the
*Don't heat foods or liquids in a microwave or store in plastic.
Use glass instead
*Buy re-usable water bottles that are stainless steel or BPA
FREE and filter your water with a Brita or Pure filter
Eating the right balance of foods can give you many of the antioxidants you need
for good health. Contact us to discuss how Fresh Start can help you, in a healthy way,
learn to make better food choices. You will improve energy and stamina while feeling and looking your best.
The Glycemic Index... A Valuable Weight Loss Tool
Food Affects Your Brain
The various natural substances in food have a profound affect on the way
you feel. Proper variety and "food pairings" make a big difference in your
overall health and longevity. Unbalanced eating habits can either create a
situation where you have depleted or excess blood glucose (a form of
sugar). When excess blood sugar is present, the pancreas stimulates
production of higher levels of insulin to move the excess sugar into your
The Risks to Your Health
In theory, it is these higher levels of insulin in your blood that are
implicated in increased risk to your health. Over time, an insulin
resistance builds up when your cells no longer respond normally to the
insulin circulating in the blood. When your cells do not respond to
insulin, sugar will not move into the cell to be used for energy. High
circulation blood sugar is what we refer to as type 2 diabetes. High
insulin levels also contribute to other key metabolic problems such as
obesity, high blood pressure and elevated blood cholesterol, predisposing
to heart disease, strokes and other health problems.
Stable is Better
Either way, your body likes blood glucose levels to remain stable.
Unstable blood glucose negatively affects your concentration, mood,
athletic ability, hormone balance, energy levels and the ability to
maintain a healthy weight. Unstable blood glucose will also affect your
hunger levels. High levels of insulin in your blood stimulate the hunger
mechanisms and make you over eat. The easiest way to keep your blood
glucose levels stable is to eat a healthy balance of foods that have a
medium to low glycemic index. Does this mean having to get obsessive about
how and what you eat? Definitely not! This is, however, much easier and
more effective than counting calories!
What is the Glycemic Index?
Simply, the glycemic index or GI is a food ranking system from 0 to 100
first invented to help diabetics control their blood sugar levels. When a
food, specifically one containing carbohydrates, is eaten and digested, the
speed with which the food raises your blood sugar is called its glycemic
index. Low GI foods (less than 55) produce a gradual rise in blood sugar
that's easy on the body. Foods between 55 and 70 are intermediate GI foods.
High GI foods (more than 70) cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar and
insulin. In 1995, Barry Sears, in his book, The Zone, went on to popularize
the glycemic index as a weight loss tool in his diet plan, The Zone.
The GI in Practical Application
The simple rule, especially for higher carbohydrate foods, is to choose
less refined foods like whole grain breads, cereals with a low GI, beans,
lentils, brown rice instead of white and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
These foods will keep your blood sugar in the healthy range. Avoiding large
amounts of high GI foods can help you lose weight more easily. High GI
foods causes a spike in blood sugar and that means you'll be hungry again
soon after eating. Studies of volunteers at buffets show people eating high
GI meals consume more calories at the next meal.
Benefits of Eating a Low GI Meal:
Helps control your body weight
Increases your body's sensitivity to insulin
Improves diabetic control
Reduces your risk of heart disease
Lowers your blood cholesterol levels
Reduces hunger and keeps you feeling fuller for longer
Prolongs physical endurance
For a good Glycemic Index tool and food check, go to
A strong immune system is the key to excellent health. Building a strong immunity is
just one of 8 healthy lifestyle habits we teach. We provide the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best.
Pets and People
Loss of Appetite in Your Pe
For most pets, eating is a joyful part of their daily routine. So when a pet doesn't want to eat, it is a reason for concern for most pet owners. When loss of appetite is short-lived, it's usually nothing to worry about. But when your pet stops eating for unknown reasons for longer than 24 hours, a visit to your veterinarian might be in order.
Julie Andrus of Holistic Pet Info takes a look at what loss of appetite can mean:
Moving to a new home or the addition of a new family member can cause stress on your pet and they may not feel like eating. This type of appetite loss is usually short-lived and can be remedied with coaxing and extra attention to your pet. When your dog or cat stops eating for unknown reasons, it is time to take a closer look.
A sudden loss of appetite or one that develops over time and continues for several days could indicate a variety of illnesses, including:
- Partial blockage of the digestive tract (foreign objects or possibly tumors) can make it difficult to swallow and can result in your pet's unwillingness to eat. Parasites, ulcers or bacterial infections, even food allergies can cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which make it uncomfortable to eat. Additional symptoms to watch for are increased salivation, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Occurs when the pancreas secretes its corrosive digestive juices on itself and the surrounding internal organs and tissues rather than on the food in the intestine. The resulting inflammation causes pain and stress in the animal, eventually leading to a complete loss of appetite. Vomiting and listlessness often accompany your pet's loss of appetite when the pancreas is affected.
- The kidney's job is to remove waste products from the blood. When the kidneys begin to fail, toxins begin to build up in the blood stream and sometimes cause ulcers in the mouth and stomach. You may notice your pet has stopped eating (because of the ulcers) yet they are drinking and urinating more often because of the kidney disease. With kidney disease, vomiting and lethargy are often present.
- One obvious but often overlooked reason for loss of appetite is that your pet experiences mouth pain when eating. Abscesses, tooth decay and gum disease can sideline even the hungriest pets.
Your pet's loss of appetite may mean something as simple as his dislike for a new brand of food or it may indicate a more serious medical condition. If other symptoms are present (difficulty breathing, vomiting, lethargy, drooling, excessive thirst), schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. A physical exam, x-rays, fecal tests and or blood work can diagnosis the problem and a treatment plan can be determined.
Remember that early intervention can mean a better prognosis for recovery and less discomfort for your beloved pet.
Julie Andrus is the owner of Holistic Pet Info. If you are looking for information on how to manage your pet's health with holistic or natural pet care products like nutritional supplements, vitamins, nutraceuticals and other natural medicines, Holistic Pet Info is the place for you. They carry more than 100 natural pet products including vitamins and nutritional supplements, nutraceuticals and other natural medicines. The site also offers a wide range of well-written and researched articles and other information on animal health issues.
Ingrid King is a writer, Reiki Master Practitioner and owner of Healing Hands. She publishes a FREE E-zine with topics ranging from conscious living for you and your pets to holistic and alternative health topics. Healing Hands provides Reiki for pets and people. Ingrid also hosts a popular blog, "The Conscious Cat". She is the author of "Buckley's Story - Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher", to be published later this year. For more information about Ingrid and Healing Hands, please visit www.pethealing.net.
Help for Brittle Bones... Be Bone Strong!
We have just introduced a new Fresh Start program called Be Bone Strong! Another
in our series of healthy lifestyle programs, Be Bone Strong! is the only complete osteoporosis prevention and repair program. Unlike other programs that just
focus on medications, calcium and vitamin D to increase bone density, Be Bone Strong! works to modify ALL the lifestyle factors that lead to poor bone quality.
Included in the program are:
The "Big 5 for Healthy Bones"
1. Dietary changes that balance protein with fruit and vegetable intake.
Fruits and veggies contain greater amounts of water, minerals and antioxidants with generally lesser amounts of animal protein to reduce total body inflammation.
2. Calculate optimum water intake for maximum hydration. Water is very important
in helping the kidneys regulate pH and detoxify the body.
3. Increase daily stress reduction activities. This helps lower cortisol and homocystein
levels while reducing calcium loss.
4. Establish year round vitamin D3 levels in the 50-80 ng/mL (or 125-200 nM/L).
This should be confirmed by regular 25-hydroxyvitamin D testing.
5. Safe and sufficient weight bearing exercise to stimulate muscle growth and balance. This is essential for increasing bone quality and preventing falls.
Test your bone knowledge and take our Strong Bones Healthy Body Quiz at sequoiahealth.com