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Sugar Wars

A war going on in the courtroom between competitors you may not be aware of. Both parties are trying to convince you they are right and are fiercely competing for your dollars. This is not just a sweet disagreement between two competitors.  The Western Sugar Cooperative, which represents sugar growers and processors and the Corn Refiners Association, representing high fructose corn syrup manufacturers including Archer-Daniels Midland and Cargill, are in an all -out high stakes battle.  In addition, each have spent millions of dollars on...

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Healthier Rockford

  Most people would agree health is important and people should try their best to promote good health.  Unfortunately, in reality health usually get put on the back burner until a person gets sick.  School, work, finances, fun and life in general always seem to get in the way.  Which is why I was so excited to see most of the teams at the Transform Rockford event last week list health promotion as one of their priorities in their vision for a better Rockford. Communities as a whole can be healthier than other just because of the way they are...

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National Nutrition Month

March marks the beginning of spring and National Nutrition Month.  Along with the daffodils and tulips up come the asparagus and spinach, yummy!  This year the American Dietetic Association chose “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!”  Healthy foods are not only nutritious but when enjoyed at their peak freshness, they are delicious.  Use herbs and spices to add taste and nutrients while creating new flavors and expanding your palate. In short healthy eating boils down to 6 main food groups you should focus on consuming: vegetables, fruits,...

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Loving Your Liver

I  would guess all of us have read something recently about heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol, exercise, type II diabetes, weight loss programs, or the latest superfoods.  Anyone read anything about the liver lately?  Thought not. Although the liver is a topic not often written about, it is an amazing organ that sadly doesn’t get the publicity it is due. The Chinese call the liver “the father of all organs” for a very good reason. The responsibilities of the liver are too numerous to mention here – over 500!  Just to name a few,...

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Bring on 2014!

This year drew quickly to an end.  I don’t know about you, but for the last two weeks of 2013, my inbox was inundated with appeals to make last minute tax-deductible donations to charitable organizations that will help among other things preserve the arts, stop cruelty towards animals, improve the environment, save the bees, advance living conditions in third world countries, and support cancer research. Giving to nonprofit organizations at year end is the final opportunity for us to give to meaningful causes and at the same time do what we...

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Eliminating Trans Fats- Another Government Mandate?

Last week the FDA took initial steps that will eliminate trans fats from all foods.  Food scientists and others can respond to this mandate to the FDA over the next 60 days.  This will help the FDA determine when to phase out all trans fats since manufacturers may need to reformulate some of their products. After that, food manufacturers will need to petition the FDA to allow trans fats in a particular product. By forcing hydrogen atoms into vegetable oil and changing its molecular structure, trans fats are created. This saturates the oils...

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Back Problems: Causes and Solutions, Part Two

As we first documented in part one of this series on back problems, back pain is one of the most common and most complicated issues for doctors to treat.  Nearly everyone at some point has back pain that interferes with work, routine daily activities, or recreation. Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain, the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work. Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States — only headaches are more common. Fortunately,...

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