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June Issue of Natural Alternatives
June 01, 2012

Natural Alternatives for Your Total Health

June 2012

Hello, and welcome to this edition edition of my Natural Alternatives Newsletter!

I hope you will enjoy reading this issue.

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“The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” ~Hippocrates






By Dr. Mercola

Since the introduction of low-fat foods, heart disease rates have progressively climbed, even as studies kept debunking Keys research—repeatedly finding that saturated fats in fact support heart health. For example:

A meta-analysis published two years ago, which pooled data from 21 studies and included nearly 348,000 adults, found no difference in the risks of heart disease and stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat. In a 1992 editorial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. William Castelli, a former director of the Framingham Heart study, stated:

"In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person's serum cholesterol. The opposite of what… Keys et al would predict…We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active."

Another 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a reduction in saturated fat intake must be evaluated in the context of replacement by other macronutrients, such as carbohydratesiv. When you replace saturated fat with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, you exacerbate insulin resistance and obesity, increase triglycerides and small LDL particles, and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol. The authors state that dietary efforts to improve your cardiovascular disease risk should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intake, and weight reduction.

The Cholesterol Myth

Another example of tragically incorrect diet advice is the idea that dietary cholesterol is bad for your heart. Just as the saturated fat myth created an entire industry of harmful low-fat products, the cholesterol myth has given rise to a similar industry of highly processed fake foods posing as healthier alternatives. Take Egg Beaters for example. Introduced in 1972, Egg Beaters has been hailed as a healthy substitute for whole chicken eggs. It basically contains egg whites with added flavorings, vitamins and gum thickeners, providing you with no or low saturated fat and cholesterol, and fewer calories than regular eggs.

This is a tragedy, considering how nutritious whole eggs are—provided they're from organically raised free-ranging hens. For example, egg yolks have one of the highest concentrations of biotin found in nature. So for 40 years, many Americans have deprived themselves of one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, while epidemiological studies repeatedly show that dietary cholesterol is not related to coronary heart disease incidence or mortality, so there's no reason to fear eggs!

Your Body NEEDS Saturated Fats

But let's get back to the issue of saturated fats versus trans fats found in Crisco and other vegetable oils. Foods containing saturated fats include:

Dairy products
Tropical oils like coconut and palm oil

These (saturated) fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet, and they provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances. When eaten as part of your meal, they increase satiety by slowing down absorption. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes.

Saturated fats are the preferred fuel for your heart, and are also used as a source of fuel during energy expenditure. Furthermore, saturated fats:

* Provide building blocks for cell membranes, hormones, and hormone-like substances
* Act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K
* Are required for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, and for mineral absorption
* Act as antiviral agents (caprylic acid)
* Help lower cholesterol levels (palmitic and stearic acids)
* Modulate genetic regulation and help prevent cancer (butyric acid)

Trans Fat and Sugar are the True Culprits of Heart Disease

Now, some research still suggests there is an association between fat and heart disease. The problem is that most such studies make the crucial error of not differentiating between saturated fat and trans fat. Additionally, the other primary ingredient in processed food that plays a role in heart disease is sugar, specifically fructose. Most researchers have failed to control for these variables. If researchers were to more carefully evaluate the risks of heart disease by measuring the levels of fructose, trans fat, and saturated fat, they would likely validate what I've been teaching for decades.

Both fructose and trans fat are known to increase your LDL levels, or "bad" cholesterol, while lowering your levels of HDL, known as "good" cholesterol, which, of course is the complete opposite of what you need in order to maintain good heart health.

It can also cause major clogging of arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. It's important to realize that it's virtually impossible to achieve a nutritionally adequate diet that has no saturated fat. What you don't need, however, are trans fats and fructose in excess of 15 grams per day. Since the average adolescent is now consuming in the neighborhood of 75 grams of fructose per day, one can begin to understand why we obesity and heart disease are at epidemic levels.

Healthy Fat Tips to Live By

Remember, you do need a certain amount of healthy fat, while at the same time you'll want to avoid the unhealthy varieties. The easiest way to accomplish this is to simply eliminate processed foods, which are high in all things detrimental to your health: sugar, carbs, and dangerous types of fats. And don't fall for labeling tricks designed to hide trans fat content.

In recent years many food manufacturers have removed trans fats from their products. However, the FDA allows food manufacturers to round to zero any ingredient that accounts for less than 0.5 grams per serving. So while a product may claim that it does not contain trans fats, it may actually contain up to 0.5 grams per serving. If you eat a few servings, you're quickly ingesting a harmful amount of this deadly fat. So to truly avoid trans fats, you need to read the label and look for more than just 0 grams of trans fat. Check the ingredients and look for partially hydrogenated oil. If the product lists this ingredient, it contains trans fat.

After that, these tips can help ensure you're eating the right fats for your health:

Use organic butter (preferably made from raw milk) instead of margarines and vegetable oil spreads. Butter is a healthy whole food that has received an unwarranted bad rap.

Use coconut oil for cooking. It is far superior to any other cooking oil and is loaded with health benefits. (Remember that olive oil should be used COLD, drizzled over salad or fish, for example, not to cook with.

Following my nutrition plan will automatically reduce your modified fat intake, as it will teach you to focus on healthy whole foods instead of processed junk food.

To round out your healthy fat intake, be sure to eat raw fats, such as those from avocados, raw dairy products, and olive oil, and also take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil.

As for how much fat you might need, government guidelines are sorely in need of reconsideration. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends between 20-35 percent for adults, and 25-35 percent for children between the ages of four and 18. The US Department of Agriculture's dietary guidelinesv are even more ill-advised, recommending you to consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats.

As I and other nutritional experts have warned, most people actually need upwards of 50-70 percent healthful fats in their diet for optimal health! My personal diet is about 60-70 percent healthy fat, and both Paul Jaminet, PhD., author of Perfect Health Diet, and Dr. Ron Rosedale, M.D., an expert on treating diabetes through diet, agree that the ideal diet includes somewhere between 50-70 percent fat.

By Dr. Group

Natural stress relief is great when you can get it. You can do a lot to relieve stress, from exercise to massage therapy. How about just sitting? That works too. And, where you sit can make even more of a difference. Nature provides great stress relief. The wind through the branches of majestic trees, the blossoms of flowering plants, the blue-jays flying and the frogs leaping all play a soothing symphony and all you have to do is step out into it. And if you're near flowing water, then you are really fortunate!

What Nature & Sunlight Can Do For You

Nature and sunlight can greatly improve your mood.
Being close to nature lets you feel removed from the things that cause you stress.
Being in the sun is a natural source of vitamin D.
The sun is a powerful weapon in our arsenal against stress. It has powers that we can wield just by being in its light. Just as sunlight is needed for plants, it's needed for humans too. It's exhilarating to be out in the sunlight and excitement is an obstacle to stress. Improve your health, get some sun.

The Effects of Stress

It's become clear that stress is a part of most of our lives. But, are you embracing it as a necessity instead of realizing the power that you have to fight against it? If you keep stress, you run the risk of developing serious ailments. You can opt to combat stress. Any of these symptoms can indicate that you're stressed: sleep disorders, pain and abnormal muscle tension, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbances, or increased smoking or drinking.

How to Eliminate Stress with Nature and Sun

Nature and sunlight provide us with beauty, energy, vitamin synthesis, and clean, fresh air. In nature we have chance to relax and release our stress to the open air. Below are a few ideas to get you into the natural flow of things. The list is by no means exhaustive, only some really simple ideas that can easily get you started.

You don't have to be a jogger or swimmer or even a walker. You just have to be outside and you are doing good things for your body and your spirit.

Take your meditation times outside. Experience the magic of nature and let the sunlight work in your body. You know, 20 minutes in the sun will cause your body to manufacture vitamin D naturally, which is necessary for your good health.

When you're outside, walking to the store, work or to a neighbor's house, take time to notice the trees, leaves, plants, animals along the way. When was the last time you were stopped in your tracks by a lovely spider web, or the things that insects do? Be open; let it take you for a moment. As it does, you can feel your stress passing out of you.

Putting a bird feeder in your backyard is a way of inviting birds to come and be present with you.

You can take up gardening or landscaping. While you're gardening, you may want to consider planting a vegetable garden. Organic fruit and vegetables are the healthiest produce to eat. And what better way to interact with nature!

If you find that you spend much of your time indoors, bring nature in with you. Bring a water fountain inside to bring you close to nature. The natural sound of moving water can relieve stress easily.

Indoor plants are beneficial relieving stress in several ways:
There are kinds that can cleanse the air you're breathing
Caring for plants, like gardening, is a therapeutic, soothing activity

Salt lamps are designed to increase negative ions in the air and this enhances your relaxed, calm sense of being.

Nature sounds on compact discs are developed with the understanding that nature is critical to stress relief. If you cannot be in it, you can use these sounds to recall the experiences of being in nature and sun. At your desk, or wherever you choose, close your eyes, listen and breathe deeply and for a few minutes work can be a distant memory.

What does your desktop and screensaver look like? Try putting up pictures of nature and in your times between activities you can briefly drift off into nature.

By Frank Mangano

Acupuncture is an alternative form of treatment which originated from China, and is now being used all over the world to treat and manage a variety of bodily disorders. With the use of fine, slender needles inserted at strategically located acupoints, acupuncture aims to restore “vital energy” and its balance inside the body. Years and years ago, the Chinese believed that illnesses and ailments are caused by energy imbalances and, in an attempt to restore the balance, employed the use of fine needles to go down to the root of the problem by identifying acupoints and stimulating those points so as to bring back good health. Until the present time, acupuncture is utilized as an alternative medicine, with more and more people going to acupuncture clinics to avail of the procedure.

What to Look for in an Acupuncturist

People who practice acupuncture are called acupuncturists. They are professionals who have undergone the required number of hours of training and have gotten educational requirements to comply with the standards set by their licensing body, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). If you are looking for an acupuncturist, make sure that you carefully choose the right person. Otherwise, the treatment may do you more harm than good. Here are some tips for you if go looking for an acupuncturist:

Some acupuncturists have their own specialty. One may be good with muscular pains and the other in relieving stress so it is important to know your acupuncturist’s specialty.

It is equally important that you already know the reason why you need an acupuncturist’s help before you go looking for one. This would help you narrow down your choices.

If you have already selected an acupuncturist, ask for credentials. It always pays to be careful and thorough. Ask for the number of hours that they have undergone training because some acupuncturists have only practiced for 50 hours which is the minimum number of hours to get certified while licensed acupuncturists have undergone 1,800 hours of education and training to get their license. Note that being certified and being licensed are two different things. Should you choose between one, go for the acupuncturist that is licensed.

Health Benefits of Acupuncture

More and more people have realized the benefits of acupuncture, and this form of procedure may just be the right one for you too. Here are some of the health benefits which you can easily benefit from having acupuncture done on you:

It helps with the management of balance disorders

Our everyday functions can be done properly when our balance is not impaired. Getting up out of bed and standing up to face the world would be very difficult if we have balance disorders. Not only does this affect our quality of life but this also predisposes us to falls, fractures and immobility. In cases such as balance disorders, acupuncture can help.

According to a study conducted way back in 2004, researchers revealed that acupuncture can help treat balance disorders. The results of the study, which was conducted among balance disorder sufferers, were published in the International Tinnitus Journal. People who suffered from whiplash injuries were also effectively treated by the use acupuncture.

It helps with angina treatment

Angina pectoris, or also commonly called simply as angina, is a medical term for chest pains – the one that is too uncomfortable to ignore. Angina is brought about by abnormalities in the heart, specifically the lack of blood to the heart muscles.

Remember that your heart is always contracting which is mostly made up of muscular tissues. The lack of blood to the heart can deprive the organ of its much-needed oxygen and nutrients, and if this goes on for a long time, the heart may soon cease to perform its function well.

The results of a research study were published in the American Journal of Physiology, revealing that electro-acupuncture can help in angina treatment. Electro-acupuncture makes use of batteries connected to needles used in acupuncture which are then inserted to the acupoints.

It helps relieve morning sickness

Morning sickness may be a normal part of pregnancy but still, women may find it difficult to deal with. Waking up really nauseous and vomiting until your insides seem to turn out is not very pleasing at all and it is easily understandable if pregnant women may look for ways to help them deal with morning sickness. Good news for morning sickness sufferers: a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management revealed that pregnant women complaining of morning sickness who decided to undergo acupuncture reported lesser symptoms. Plus, nausea was relieved too.

It is used in carpal tunnel syndrome treatment

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve which passes through your wrist is trapped, pressed or compressed, causing symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling sensation and as the condition progresses, grasping things become difficult. This is usually caused by repetitive wrist motions such as typing in a computer’s keyboard for long periods of time.

In addition to physical therapy, application of splints and rest, another form of carpal tunnel syndrome treatment is acupuncture. This is supported by a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, saying that people with carpal tunnel syndrome who underwent acupuncture reported relief from the syndrome.

It promotes weight loss

If you have been having problems shedding off your excess weight, then acupuncture may help you achieve the weight you have always wanted. According to the results of a study conducted among obese individuals, acupuncture helped by suppressing a person’s appetite thereby helping him to lose weight. The study was published in the Australian Family Physician journal.

It deals with headaches

If you are one of the million sufferers of migraine headaches, then acupuncture is good for you. This is according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. Migraine sufferers reported a lesser frequency of migraine attacks after they have received acupuncture treatment.


Thank you for reading.

Brampton, Ontario, Canada

P.S. If you have a comment or suggestion, just reply to this e-mail. Your feedback is important to me.



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This newsletter is for educational purposes only. It is your right to educate yourself in health and medical knowledge, to seek helpful information and make use of it for your own benefit, and for that of your family. You are the one responsible for your health. You must educate yourself in order to make decisions in all health matters. My views and advices are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medicine, but simply a help you to make educated changes in order to help your body heal itself. If you have a medical condition or concern you should consult your physician.

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