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June 2008 posts

Be Smart about your Fish!

Many of us know the benefits of eating fish.  So, we go to the grocery store and pick some fish to have for dinner and feel good about our choice.  But, the truth is...not all fish is created equal.  You have to be careful about the seafood you eat.  It could be toxic with industrial contaminants, pumped up on antibiotics from an aquafarm, or it could be one of the last members of an endangered species. 

Here are some smart choices you can make:

1)  Eat low on the Food Chain.  The smaller fish do not build up as many contaminants as do the large carnivores.  They also reproduce quicker and can better withstand overfishing.  Some examples of smaller fish are- sardines, anchovies, trout, arctic char, and bivalves such as scallops, clams, and oysters.

2)  Buy Alaskan.  Alaska has some of the best-managed fisheries in the world.Alaskan-salmon Their wild seafood populations are healthy as far as population and added contaminants.  Wild salmon that are harvested from Alaskan waters contain no antibiotics or added chemicals. 

Go out and look for Alaskan salmon, halibut, and sablefish and replace some of your canned tuna fish with canned Alaskan salmon. 

3)  Avoid Farmed Atlantic Salmon.  According to The Audubon’s Living Oceans Campaign, “farmed salmon are fed more antibiotics per pound of ‘livestock’ than are any other farmed animal.”

In fact, 23 million pounds of antibiotics are used annually in US animal production. Regulating the overuse of antibiotics is a serious problem in the fish farming industry, where salmon are raised in remote locations like Chile and British Columbia.

4)  Look for the Marine Stewardship Council stamp of approval.  The independent certification organization examines wild-capture fisheries and gives their approval to the best in the world. 

A list of retailers carrying MSC-certified seafood can be found at eng.msc.org

5)  Learn more about making healthy choices.  The following organizations publish a list of three dozen types of seafood in order from the best choices to worst in terms of sustainability and health:

If you are a sushi lover, go to the Natural Resources Defense Council (www.nrdc.org) for a guide to healthy sushi. 

One of my favorite sources for great quality Alaskan salmon is www.vitalchoice.com.

Enjoy!

Alison


Sunscreen- Good or Bad?

Did you know that ingredients of some sunscreens can be potentially harmful to your health?

 

With the increase in sun related cancers many lather up with sunscreens believing it willSunscreen help reduce sun related cancers.  Recent medical research is suggesting that some ingredients in sunscreen are in fact having a detrimental effect with continuous use. 

 

These ingredients can mimic estrogen and accelerate the production of free radicals in the body. 

 

The following is a list of ingredients to be aware of and avoid:

  • ocryl-dimethy-PABA
  • Octyl Methoxycinnamate
  • Homosalate
  • 4 Methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC)
  • Benzophenone-3

 

We all need sunshine to stay healthy. It is one of the essential ingredients for maintaining vitality. That does not mean that we should all go out and get sunburned. That should be avoided as it is likely to lead to an increase in skin cancer. However, prudent exposure to the sun, integrating and listening to your body, will not.  Adding chemical ridden sun screens is not a good way to limit your sun exposure. Staying out of the sun early on in the season and limiting your exposure until your system adjusts by increasing melanin pigmentation in your skin is.  I usually suggest doing this by starting with about 10 minutes of sun a day and working slowly up to several hours a day.  If you know that you will be out for an extended period of time, bring protective clothing.

 

There are several companies that make a clean and chemical-free sunscreen.  Some of them include:


 

Additionally, consuming many whole vegetables will increase antioxidant levels in the body which will also provide protection against any free radical damage from the sun.

 

Alison