Monday, April 27, 2009

Shopper's Guide to Pesticides

In a perfect world, we would all be eating only organic foods. Foods with no hormones, pesticides, anti-biotics, or any other chemicals. Hopefully, someday it will be the only option. But for now, we still have to choose. Unfortunately, the healthier option is still more expensive, but I still highly recommend shopping at Trader Joe's. The organic foods are very reasonable in price compared to any other grocery store I have visited. (I should ask for a stipend from Trader Joe's for the amount I promote them!)

I have a lot of people who tell me they want to start buying some organic foods, but can't afford to do too much. Last year, I gave a top ten list of foods that you should try to buy organic. Recently, I found a good list from the Environmental Working Group that shows different types of produce with the highest and lowest amounts of pesticides. If you can try to buy organic produce from the list that contains the highest pesticides, you will help to cut down your exposure to these chemicals. Here is the list.

Just remember, a little change in your diet, household items/products, or daily environment can go a long way in the health of you, your family, and future generations.

Live Well.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vitamin D...Part 2

After quite a long break from blogging, I am back. At least I have a good excuse for not posting...After issues with infertility and waiting on the adoption list, Dawn and I are finally parents!!! Zachary William was born on St Patrick's Day and weighed 5 lbs 1 oz and was 17.5 in. We now know why we had to wait for so long. Zack is truly a blessing and we couldn't imagine our lives without him! He is now 3 weeks old and we are having so much fun spending each and every day watching our son grow!!

Now back to the business at hand. Considering I started giving you information about Vitamin D about 2 months ago, I'm guessing you are more than ready for me to finally finish the topic. In the first post about Vitamin D, I talked about the importance of Vitamin D and health issues that have been associated with Vitamin D deficiency. All that information is great, but you are probably wondering how you know if you are Vitamin D deficient and what you should do about it.

Finding out your Vitamin D level is as easy as a simple blood test. You can have your blood drawn at your doctor or at our office or there is even at-home Vitamin D test kits that you can order on the web. However, you need to make sure you get the right type of Vitamin D levels checked. 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D is the proper form of Vitamin D that is best used to check for Vitamin D deficiency. If you go to your doctor, make sure you ask for this form of Vitamin D to be tested and not 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D. Normal, healthy levels of 25(OH)D is between 50 and 80 ng/mL. Any levels below 50 ng/mL may be considered deficient.

Fortunately, if you find out you are deficient or if you live in areas of little sun, you can supplement your diet with Vitamin D to improve your level. Vitamin D3 is the most useable form of Vitamin D in humans, so make sure you supplement with Vitamin D3. The FDA suggests supplementing with 400-600 IU of Vitamin D daily, but studies have shown that higher doses are needed to achieve optimal levels. Here is what Dr. John Jacob Cannell MD, the director of the Vitamin D Council, suggests...

"If you have little UVB exposure, my advice is as follows: healthy children under the age of 2 years should take 1,000 IU per day—over the age of 2, 2,000 IU per day. Well adults and adolescents between 80–130 pounds should start with 3,000 IU per day while those over 130 pounds but less than 170 pounds should take 4,000 IU per day. Those over 170 pounds should receive 5,000 IU per day. Two months later have a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D blood test, either through ZRT or your doctor."

With springtime hopefully around the corner, do your best to try and get 15-20 minutes of sun exposure per day. If not, you should consider supplementing your diet with Vitamin D3.

Live Well.