The color of your urine is an indicator of your health. It lets you know if your body is hydrated, dehydrated or whether your organs are functioning well. The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio has created an infographic specifying what the color of your urine indicates about your health status.

Dr. Daniel Shoskes, a urologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says that changes in the color of your urine are usually influenced by your body’s hydration levels. If you are hydrated, you will pass clear urine. Yellow and dark yellow colored urine signify that your fluid intake is less than your body needs. However, if your urine has another strange color, then it is important to find out what is responsible.

There are certain colors that are linked to specific organs. Blood in the urine is a sign that blood is coming from the urethra, urinary tract, kidneys, bladder or prostate. Shoskes says that if the color of your urine is more brownish, it can be linked to a liver dysfunction. Checking the color of your urine is only a preliminary examination. Your doctor may look at it under the microscope to learn more.

The following explains the various shades of urine and their relation to your health:

Transparent: If you pass clear or transparent urine, it signifies that you are drinking lots of water. This is a condition known as overhydration. Drinking excessive amounts of water is generally not harmful to your health. However, in rare cases it may dilute the amount of salt in your body. This generally won’t put you at risk unless you are pushing yourself to drink more than the recommended amounts of water.

Pale Yellow To Amber or Honey: If you pass urine with a lighter shade of yellow, it indicates that you are well hydrated. However, if the color of the urine darkens, it means that your fluid intake is low and you need replenish your fluids.

Thanks to Dr. Don Colbert, DIVINE HEALTH, http://www.drcolbert.com/

PicturePhoto Credit: photobucket.com
Question: What increases blood sugar more, whole wheat bread or a Snickers® bar?   

Answer: Whole wheat bread increases blood sugar more than a Snickers® bar. (The glycemic index of whole wheat bread is 72, Snickers® bar is 41.)  In fact, with few exceptions, whole wheat and other grain products increase blood sugar more than any other known food. Yes, the foods we are advised to eat more of, "healthy, whole grains," raise blood sugar higher than many candy bars. (The exceptions are dried powdered starches, like cornstarch, potato starch, rice starch, and tapioca starch. Incidentally, these are the foods used to make most "gluten-free" foods.)   So carbohydrates, especially wheat products, also increase triglycerides and VLDL, which thereby increase production of small LDL and small HDL particles.  - See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/cholesterol/c/7986/117269/triglycerides#sthash.JQ1IOxTm.dpuf

According to a study, women who consume a high dietary glycemic load may increase their risk of colorectal (colon) cancer. Glycemic load is a measure of how quickly a food's carbohydrates are turned into sugars by the body (glycemic index) in relation to the amount of carbohydrates per serving of that food.The study consisted of 38, 451 women who were followed for almost eight years. The participants filled out questionnaires about their eating habits, so researchers could examine the associations of dietary glycemic load, overall dietary glycemic index, carbohydrate, fiber, non-fiber carbohydrate, sucrose, and fructose with the subsequent development of colon cancer. Researchers found that women who ate the most high-glycemic-load foods were nearly three times more likely to develop colon cancer.

This study shows that not only can a diet rich in sugar boost the risk of type 2 diabetes and contribute to obesity, but it may also lead to colon cancer.

PicturePhoto credit: © Liette Parent
| Dreamstime Stock Photos
Exercising excessively or incorrectly can backfire on your health in a number of ways. For example, the following can occur when you exercise too much or too hard:

  1. Your body can enter a catabolic state, in which your tissues break down
  2. Excess cortisol (a stress hormone) can be released, which not only contributes to catabolism but also to chronic disease
  3. You can develop microscopic tears in your muscle fibers (which may fail to heal if you continue over-exercising), and increased risk for injuries
  4. Your immune system may be weakened
  5. You may develop insomnia, especially if your workout is in the afternoon or evening

Dr. Mercola has published an article that warns against the use of aspartame for weight management . . .

The artificial sweetener aspartame is metabolized inside your body into both wood alcohol (a poison) and formaldehyde (which is a carcinogen used as embalming fluid and is not eliminated from your body through the normal waste filtering done by your liver and kidneys). It's been linked to birth defects, cancers, brain tumors and weight gain.

If your gum is sugar-free, there’s a good chance it contains the artificial sweetener aspartame. Aspartame is metabolized inside your body into both wood alcohol (a poison) and formaldehyde (which is a carcinogen used as embalming fluid and is not eliminated from your body through the normal waste filtering done by your liver and kidneys). It's been linked to birth defects, cancers, brain tumors and weight gain.

Coca-Cola Tries to Defend Aspartame Use
Chewing gum manufacturers who rely on aspartame to make sugar-free products probably love Coca-Cola’s new ad campaign, which attempts to assure consumers that its no- or low-calorie beverages containing the artificial sweetener aspartame are a safe alternative. According to the ad, aspartame is a “safe, high-quality alternative to sugar." Clearly they’ve not reviewed the hundreds of studies on this artificial sweetener demonstrating its harmful effects... Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson issued the following statement in response to Coca-Cola’s new ad:

“Aspartame has been found to cause cancer — leukemia, lymphoma, and other tumors—in laboratory animals, and it shouldn’t be in the food supply. We certainly want Coca-Cola to shift its product mix toward lower- and no-calorie drinks, but aspartame’s reputation isn’t worth rehabilitating with this propaganda campaign. The company would be better off phasing out its use of aspartame and accelerating its research into safer, natural sweeteners such as those extracted from the stevia plant.”

The same could be said to chewing-gum manufacturers, who continue to pass off their sugar-free products as “healthy” and even tools for weight loss. It is my belief that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could sue Coke and the other diet soda manufacturers, and potentially even chewing gum manufacturers as well, for fraudulent advertising, as there are no studies showing that the use of diet sodas or sugar-free gum causes one to lose weight. In fact, diet soda has actually been shown to cause weight gain. If anyone in the natural foods industry attempted to do this we would get a warning letter from these agencies in a heartbeat.

See the complete article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/14/chewing-gum-cancer-risk.aspx

(We recommend and carry natural gum that contains xylitol. We recommend safe gum and mints to help with bad breath that comes with ketogenic dieting. We caution all of our dieters to count each piece of gum as 1 carb and to limit gum usage to 4 pieces per day.)

Higher blood-sugar levels, even those well short of diabetes, seem to raise the risk of developing dementia, a major new study finds. Researchers say it suggests a novel way to try to prevent Alzheimer's disease - by keeping glucose at a healthy level. Here is the link to this article by MARILYNN MARCHIONE AP Chief Medical Writer: http://www.theday.com/article/20130808/NWS13/308089617/1019&town=

Image courtesy of Suat Eman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The fat and sodium percentages are off the charts! Remember, more fat than allowed on Phase 1 will STOP your weight loss! If considering pork, please, no ribs or chops. This also applies to 85% ground beef, prime rib and brisket!
If an item is not on your Phase 1 Sheet, then please do not consider it! The list of allowed items for Poultry, Beef or Pork is below:
Poultry: (skinless) Chicken, Fowl, Quails, Turkey, 4 Whole Eggs and 2 Egg Whites, Wild Birds.
Pork: Fat-Free Cooked Ham, Pork Tenderloin. NO PORK CHOPS or RIBS of any kind!
Beef: Flank Steak, (extra-lean) Ground Beef, Rump Steak, Roast, Sirloin, Round, Tournedos, Tenderloin.
    Alcohol is a powerful inhibitor of gluconeogenesis. In fact, it forces part of the gluconeogenic metabolic process into reverse. This means that if all the glucose in the blood is being derived from gluconeogenesis then the consumption of alcohol will inevitably cause the blood glucose level to fall. Additionally, the alcohol also stops ketone body production, thus leaving the brain entirely without fuel.
    A person who is ketotic is 100% reliant on gluconeogenesis to maintain adequate levels of glucose in the blood. If, under these circumstances alcohol is taken, the person will become disorientated and might lose consciousness, not just from the alcohol, but from low blood sugar. Needless to say, this could be very dangerous, and even fatal.
    In short, the message here is: do not drink if you are on a low carb diet, including IDEAL PROTEIN. You are deriving your glucose from fat burning and your glucose levels are adequate for your body to function, but you have no reserves. Hypoglycemia will result. If your blood sugar falls rapidly, you could pass out, or worse!

   The modern diet of processed foods, takeaways and microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including alopecia, asthma and eczema.
    A team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, say junk food diets could be partly to blame. 'This study is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases,' they said. Junk foods at fast food restaurants as well as processed foods at grocery retailers represent the largest sources of sodium intake from refined salts.
    The Canadian Medical Association Journal sent out an international team of researchers to compare the salt content of 2,124 items from fast food establishments such as Burger King, Domino's Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald's, Pizza Hut and Subway. They found that the average salt content varied between companies and between the same products sold in different countries.
    U.S. fast foods are often more than twice as salt-laden as those of other countries. While government-led public health campaigns and legislation efforts have reduced refined salt levels in many countries, the U.S. government has been reluctant to press the issue. That’s left fast-food companies free to go salt crazy, says Norm Campbell, M.D., one of the study authors and a blood-pressure specialist at the University of Calgary. Many low-fat foods rely on salt--and lots of it--for their flavor. One packet of KFC’s Marzetti Light Italian Dressing might only have 15 calories and 0.5 grams fat, but it also has 510 mg sodium--about 1.5 times as much as one Original Recipe chicken drumstick. (Feel like you’re having too much of a good thing? You probably are.
    Bread is the No. 1 source of refined salt consumption in the American diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just one 6-inch Roasted Garlic loaf from Subway--just the bread, no meat, no cheeses, no nothing--has 1,260 mg sodium, about as much as 14 strips of bacon.

How Refined Salt Causes Autoimmune Disease
    The team from Yale University studied the role of T helper cells in the body. These activate and 'help' other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections. Previous research suggests that a subset of these cells - known as Th17 cells - also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases.
    In the latest study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more 'aggressively.' They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation. They were also more likely to develop a severe form of a disease associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.
    The scientists then conducted a closer examination of these effects at a molecular level. Laboratory tests revealed that salt exposure increased the levels of cytokines released by Th17 cells 10 times more than usual. Cytokines are proteins used to pass messages between cells.
    Study co-author Ralf Linker, from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, said: 'These findings are an important contribution to the understanding of multiple sclerosis and may offer new targets for a better treatment of the disease, for which at present there is no cure.' It develops when the immune system mistakes the myelin that surrounds the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord for a foreign body. It strips the myelin off the nerves fibres, which disrupts messages passed between the brain and body causing problems with speech, vision and balance. Another of the study's authors, Professor David Hafler, from Yale University, said that nature had clearly not intended for the immune system to attack its host body, so he expected that an external factor was playing a part. He said: 'These are not diseases of bad genes alone or diseases caused by the environment, but diseases of a bad interaction between genes and the environment. 'Humans were genetically selected for conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, where there was no salt. It's one of the reasons that having a particular gene may make African Americans much more sensitive to salt.
    'Today, Western diets all have high salt content and that has led to increase in hypertension and perhaps autoimmune disease as well.' The team next plan to study the role that Th17 cells play in autoimmune conditions that affect the skin. 'It would be interesting to find out if patients with psoriasis can alleviate their symptoms by reducing their salt intake,' they said. 'However, the development of autoimmune diseases is a very complex process which depends on many genetic and environmental factors.'

Stick to Good Salts
    Refined, processed and bleached salts are the problem. Salt is critical to our health and is the most readily available nonmetallic mineral in the world. Our bodies are not designed to processed refined sodium chloride since it has no nutritional value. However, when a salt is filled with dozens of minerals such as in rose-coloured crystals of Himalayan rock salt or the grey texture of Celtic salt, our bodies benefit tremendously for their incorporation into our diet.
    "These mineral salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have been built and were originally found in the primal ocean from where life originated," argues Dr Barbara Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water & Salt, The Essence of Life. "We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of salty fluid."
    "In water, salt dissolves into mineral ions," explains Dr Hendel. "These conduct electrical nerve impulses that drive muscle movement and thought processes. Just the simple act of drinking a glass of water requires millions of instructions that come from mineral ions. They're also needed to balance PH levels in the body." Mineral salts, she says, are healthy because they give your body the variety of mineral ions needed to balance its functions, remain healthy and heal. These healing properties have long been recognised in central Europe. At Wieliczka in Poland, a hospital has been carved in a salt mountain. Asthmatics and patients with lung disease and allergies find that breathing air in the saline underground chambers helps improve symptoms in 90 per cent of cases.
    Dr Hendel believes too few minerals, rather than too much salt, may be to blame for health problems. It's a view that is echoed by other academics such as David McCarron, of Oregon Health Sciences University in the US. He says salt has always been part of the human diet, but what has changed is the mineral content of our food. Instead of eating food high in minerals, such as nuts, fruit and vegetables, people are filling themselves up with "mineral empty" processed food and fizzy drinks.

Study Source:
    This is the result of a study conducted by Dr. Markus Kleinewietfeld, Prof. David Hafler (both Yale University, New Haven and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, and Harvard University, USA), PD Dr. Ralf Linker (Dept. of Neurology, University Hospital Erlangen), Professor Jens Titze (Vanderbilt University and Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg, FAU, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) and Professor Dominik N. Muller (Experimental and Clinical Research Center, ECRC, a joint cooperation between the Max-Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, Berlin, and the Charite -- Universitatsmedizin Berlin and FAU) (Nature, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11868)*. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks healthy tissue instead of fighting pathogens.

www.PreventDisease.com • by April McCarthy a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.

    After intense lobbying by Kraft Foods Global Inc. and Kemin Food Technologies, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has agreed to reverse existing regulations that prohibit the use of three toxic meat preservatives.
    According to Courthouse News Service (CNS), sodium benzoate, sodium propionate, and benzoic acid will now be permissible for use in preserving and treating meat and poultry products, despite having been previously banned. FSIS has long been of the persuasion that major food corporations would attempt to use such additives to "conceal damage or inferiority in meat and poultry," but the agency's view has apparently changed.
    After Kraft submitted its own company-funded trials claiming that the three preservative chemicals are allegedly safe, and that they supposedly cannot be used to disguise sub par meat and poultry products, the USDA suddenly changed its mind about them. This is all according to its mouthpiece, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which made the announcement recently about the change.
    "Kraft submitted data collected from its in-plant trials and from scientific studies that show that these substances do not conceal damage or inferiority, or make products appear better or of greater value than they are under the proposed conditions of use," says FSIS.
    Factory food companies commonly use chemical preservatives, anti-microbials to mask inferior meatThis is a nice story, but according to admissions made by both Kraft and Kemin, use of these additives will indeed be used to disguise inferior meat and poultry products. According to CNS, the two companies admittedly petitioned FSIS to allow use of the chemicals in liquid form to kill pathogens like Listeria monocytogenes, which typically only exist in tainted meat derived from factory farms.
    Industrial agriculture is a filthy business, especially when animals are involved. Rather than have access to pasture and the outdoors, cows and chickens from factory farms live most, if not all, of their lives in confinement, where they wallow in their own feces, and sometimes even in the rotting carcasses of other dead animals. As a result, such animals become ill, and their systems infected with harmful pathogens that must be eliminated before human consumption.
    The reason companies like Kraft and Kemin exist and thrive is because high-profit factory farms exist and thrive. And the only way these food corporations can "safely" sell their factory-farm food products to the public is to kill it, sanitize it, and smother it in antimicrobial agents like sodium benzoate, sodium propionate and benzoic acid.
    So to claim that their goal in seeking approval for the three chemicals is not to conceal second-rate meat products is simply a lie. Low-grade meat products from squalid factory farms have to be disguised, otherwise the public would never purchase them.
    Beyond this, the chemical substances in question are not even safe. Sodium propionate has been linked to causing gastrointestinal upset and respiratory problems, while sodium benzoate can cause DNA damage and promote the formation of cancer cells. And benzoic acid, which is often added to processed foods, can promote the development of asthma and hyperactivity, particularly in children.
    "The continued ingestion of certain chemicals has been linked to cancer, fatigue, memory-impairment, imbalanced motor-function, diabetes, thyroid problems, confusion and far more," says Creative Bioscience about food preservatives and additives. "Such food additives can stunt or stall weight loss and even cause more pounds to add on."

NaturalNews.comFriday, April 05, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer