6 Reasons To NEVER Drink Another Diet Soda

Is this the one vice
every FOF needs to give up… now?

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When Dr. Vincent Pedre, MD, one of New York City’s most sought after internists, meets a new patient, he always asks her: “How much soda do you drink? How much diet soda do you drink?”

“I don’t wait for her to volunteer the information,” says Pedre. “Soda consumption is an important part of the overall health history.” The fact is, millions of us drink diet soda because we’re (a) trying to lose weight; (b) like it more than water; and (c) compared to soda, it’s the lesser of two evils… right?  Wrong, says Dr. Pedre, who insists that diet soda is just as bad if not worse for your body… and for your waistline.  Here, he offers seven reasons to stop drinking it right now.

1. It actually makes you fatter.

Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio followed 474 people for 10 years and found that the more diet soda the subjects drank, the fatter they got. Diet soft drink users experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with non-users. Those who drank two or more diet sodas a day saw their waists grow 500% bigger than non-users, even when controlling for things like age and exercise. Wait… what? How could America’s favorite diet drink be making us fat? “We still don’t know for sure, why,” says Dr. Pedre. “One theory is that when you eat something sweet, it triggers insulin and the cascade of hormones that make you feel full. Diet soda triggers the sweet receptors on your tongue, but not the insulin, so you never feel full. It actually causes you to crave—and probably eat—more high-carb, processed foods.”

2.  It increases risk of stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular disease.

A recent study of 2,564 adults over 40 living in Manhattan (published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine) concluded that daily consumption of diet soda was independently associated with an increased risk for stroke, heart attack and death. Shockingly, consumption of regular soda was not associated with an increased risk. “Again, this doesn’t tell us why,” says Dr. Pedre, “but we know that people who drink diet soda seem to gain weight and have a greater chance of developing metabolic syndrome,” an increasingly common syndrome associated with abdominal weight gain, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

3. It gives you a super-powered sweet tooth.

“The level of sweetness in these diet drinks—the strength with which they stimulate your sweet receptors—is so strong, that you can lose the ability to taste the natural sweetness in foods like fruits and vegetables,” says Dr. Pedre. “You end up wanting to eat things that are going to stimulate those receptors, such as processed foods and other sweets. When you put someone on a detox, and take these things out of their diet for a while, their taste receptors come back. Suddenly they’re able to eat a blueberry, which maybe tasted bland before, and appreciate how delicious it is.”

4. It leaches calcium from your bones.

Diets high in phosphoric acid are associated with lower bone density, hip fractures and osteoporosis. Guess what contains phosphorous? That’s right, cola. Phosphoric acid gives your diet Coke that tangy, acidic taste that’s so fun to drink, plus it prevents mold and bacteria from forming in the can. Yum? “The addition of caffeine also causes reduced calcium absorption,” points out Dr. Pedre. “If you’re drinking a diet cola or two a day, you’re really setting yourself up for osteoporosis in the long run.”

5. Some experts insist that artificial sweetener is a neurotoxin.

The debate has long raged as to whether artificial sweeteners cause cancer. “It’s fine!” says your friend as she swirls five Equals into her coffee. “That answer is still up in the air,” admits Dr. Pedre, “But, aspartame is a neurotoxin, which means it causes irritation and over-stimulation of the nerves.” This is also a highly controversial statement. The FDA has assured consumers that aspartame is safe, however the debate has raged on, and in recent years many European brands have been slowly removing aspartame from their products. In addition, a minority of very vocal doctors, including Dr. Joseph Mercola, a Huffington Post blogger, and Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board certified neurosurgeon, have led crusades against the additive, insisting that it causes longterm nerve and neurological damage, with common symptoms being headaches and migraines. According to a widely quoted article by Dr. Mercola, “100 percent of the industry funded studies supported aspartame’s safety, while 92 percent of the independently funded studies identified at least one potential health concern.”

6. The caramel color is a carcinogen.

Coca Cola and Pepsi both use a chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) to give their drinks that signature brown, caramel color. Looks yummy, but 4MI is a known carcinogen that, in high doses, has been linked to cancer in mice and rats. As part of California’s new Proposition 65, a company must inform consumers if its products contain any substance “known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.” Reluctant to put a “toxic” warning on millions of cans, Coca Cola released a statement this week saying: “We have asked our caramel manufacturers to modify their production process to reduce the amount of 4-MI in the caramel.” Is the additive gone? No. Is this language sort of hazy? Yes. “The FDA has let this slide because they say the quantity of 4MI in the sodas isn’t enough to be harmful,” explains Dr. Pedre, “But these toxins are stored in fat, so if you’re overweight or carry weight in your mid-section, I can tell you that you’re likely not flushing this toxin out of your body. Each time you drink a soda, more toxins are going in than are coming out. That cumulative effect is very hard to account for.”

Ready to crack open an ice cold cola? Yeah… we aren’t either. So what should we drink? “Water,” says Dr. Pedre. “I can also get on board with sparkling water and a touch of organic berry juice or lemon. Bottom line: If you drink water, herbal tea and eat lots of plants, you just don’t have to worry about this stuff.” How… refreshing.

We’re curious… do you drink diet soda?

How To Get The Most From Calcium & Vitamin D Supplements

Staying on top of our bone health is important as we age, but not all calcium supplements are created equal. To help us understand how to properly include calcium in our diets, FabOverFifty recently sat down with Danielle Omar, integrative dietitian and healthy lifestyle coach. Danielle’s 21-day online program is structured to transform the way we eat after 50.

Why is it critical to supplement our diet with nutrients? What specifically do calcium and vitamin D do to support a woman’s long-term health?

Supplementation is beneficial for a woman today, even when she’s eating a clean diet or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. In this case, you might think you’re getting the nutrients you need – but that’s not always the care. Here’s why:

First, our food supply isn’t as nutrient dense as it used to be, when people were eating foods produced locally. Critical vitamins and minerals lose their potency when produce travels long distances.

We spend a lot more time indoors, which prevents our bodies from accessing sunlight, which is the main source of vitamin D.

Many medications we take also can inhibit the absorption of nutrients and affect our calcium levels, including blood pressure medications, bisphosphonates, antibiotics, iron, and some seizure medications.

Calcium, which needs vitamin D for maximum absorption, is essential in maintaining optimal bone health and to help prevent osteoporosis. The calcium stores you built up don’t change after age 30. After that, it’s a challenge to maintain your bone health.

Do certain types of women need calcium and vitamin D more than others, either because of their genetics or lifestyles?

Women’s calcium needs increase with age, and when they are pregnant or nursing.  They also change when a woman is very active or training for extended periods. If you’re preparing to run a marathon, for example, you may be losing calcium through your sweat.

If you’re are on a modified diet, you may need calcium that you otherwise would get from dairy, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Additionally, people with darker skin have a harder time absorbing vitamin D from the sun because of the pigment in their skin.

Keep Reading…

5 Signs You May Have Geriatric Rhinitis

What is geriatric rhinitis?

Rhinitis in older people is a common, but often neglected condition. Structural changes in the nose associated with aging predisposes one to rhinitis.1

Why does it happen?

As you age, the connective tissue in your nose may become weakened. This can cause the tip of your nose to droop, restricting airflow and potentially causing nasal obstructions.

Additionally, the lining inside the nose loses its efficacy with age, and it becomes more difficult to warm and moisten incoming air, which can produce dryness and nasal crusting.2

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{Test This} OCEAN® Saline Nasal Spray

OCEAN® Saline Nasal Spray ($4.69 for 3.5oz) “provides instant, soothing relief to dry, irritated nasal passages due to colds, allergies, dry air, pollution, smoke, and air travel,” according to the manufacturer. The solution, comprised of sodium chloride 0.65% in purified water, is easy-to-use as a spray, stream, or as drops.

The spray works by helping to thin nasal passage mucus. The solution also “may help reduce the frequency of nosebleeds due to dryness.”

Ready to breathe easy?

The first 15 FabOverFifty.com readers to submit their responses will receive their very own bottle of the OCEAN® Saline Nasal Spray!

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Don’t Swallow Another Supplement Until You’ve Read This! [Sponsored Post]

Women can be funny creatures.

Fanatic as we may be about staying in shape, by exercising and eating intelligently, we often skip entire meals because we’re A) just too busy, B) not hungry or C) hungry, but figure it just doesn’t hurt to skip a meal now and again.

Oh, but it does. It really does. Think about newborns and infants. They require a certain amount of milk (breast or formula) each day, in order to grow bigger and stronger. If a mother decided to simply eliminate feedings, here and there throughout the week, the baby wouldn’t get all the nutrition it needed. Of course, women over 50 don’t need to grow bigger (we sure don’t!) , but we must make certain to maintain good health and keep up our strength. When we deny our bodies the proper nutrition they need each day, it decreases our chances of doing either. So while a svelte bod may look good on the outside, it’s probably not working so well on the inside if it doesn’t get the proper vitamins and minerals, not to mention things like omega-3s fatty acids and antioxidants.

Let’s stop here, you’re saying to yourself about now. Practically every day, you read or hear about another dietary supplement that one expert or another claims you MUST take. Calcium and D3 for bones; Vitamin C for collagen; Vitamin E to fight cell damage; magnesium for energy and to help your muscles, arteries and heart to work properly. And how can something called “fatty” be good for you? One look at the packed vitamin shelves in the drugstore sends you into a tizzy, and there’s no one around to help. The shops that specialize in vitamins aren’t any better, since the salespeople try to push everything on you, having no idea what you need. What you really need, you’re convinced, is an advanced degree in nutrition to understand all the gobbledygook thrown at you from every direction.

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4 Visible Signs That Can Accompany Summer and Fall Allergies

As summer moves into fall, your allergies may make you look as woebegone as you feel!

The backyard garden can be a beautiful, relaxing hangout spot, but for the estimated 40 to 50 million of us in the U.S.1 with hay fever (a.k.a. allergic rhinitis), inhaling pollen from ragweed, grasses, and trees can trigger more than just stuffiness. Allergies also are often accompanied by a runny nose, sneezing and bloodshot eyes, and may even create dark circles under the eyes2—making us look like we just lost a round with Rocky Balboa. Worse, allergies can last for weeks!

Even if you’ve never experienced allergies, they may develop at any age and time of year. Beware of any of the undesirable signs below, if they accompany your sniffles and sneezes. Treating them early will help you feel, and look, a whole lot better.

  • Allergic Shiner: Congestion of the small blood vessels beneath the skin in the delicate eye area can cause swelling and discoloration, which creates dark circles.3 Hence, the term shiner.
  • Adenoid Face: This condition is common in children, but can affect grownups, too. Nasal allergies can trigger swelling of the adenoids (the lymph tissue lining the back of the throat and extending behind the nose), which blocks airflow through the nose, and may make us look tired and droopy.4
  • Excessive Mouth Breathing: If you continually breathe through your mouth, due to extreme nasal congestion, you could develop a high, arched palate, a raised upper lip and an overbite.5
  • Nasal Crease: When you rub your nose upward to relieve nasal congestion and itching, it can produce a line across the bridge of the nose, called a nasal crease.6

Although OCEAN® Nasal Care products do not treat allergies, nasal spray and sinus rinse can help flush nasal allergens and cleanse the sinus area to aid in symptom relief from nasal congestion and help to improve your overall look.

Make sure to see a board-certified allergist to determine the most effective treatment for you.

OCEAN® is a registered trademark of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., or its affiliates. © 2014 Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC (SKOCN140021)

1 Allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Retrieved July 28, 2014 from http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/rhinitis/Pages/default.aspx
2 The ugly truth about summer allergies. (2014). Retrieved July 28, 2014 from http://www.acaai.org/allergist/news/New/Pages/TheUglyTruthaboutSummerAllergies.aspx
3 Allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Retrieved July 28, 2014 from http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/rhinitis/Pages/default.aspx
4 The ugly truth about summer allergies. (2014). Retrieved July 28, 2014 from http://www.acaai.org/allergist/news/New/Pages/TheUglyTruthaboutSummerAllergies.aspx
5 Allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Retrieved July 28, 2014 from http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/rhinitis/Pages/default.aspx
6 Allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Retrieved July 28, 2014 from http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/rhinitis/Pages/default.aspx6

Win A Pair of Grounding Sandals!

Get Grounded Footwear is partnering up with FabOverFifty this spring to give away its innovative grounding sandals! When we first heard about the sandals last year, we asked Justin Donoghue, 3rd Planet’s COO, to explain the concept of grounding and to tell us how Groundals can benefit our health.

Now, 3 lucky FOFs have another chance to win a pair of Groundals ($49.99 with free shipping), in the size and color of their choice.

See real FOF reviews of Groundals here.

Featuring 3rd Planet’s proprietary Terra-Technology® (a type of vinyl with a grounding additive), Groundals are contoured for comfort at our feet and to provide traction on the soles. They currently come in gold, silver and black, but additional colors will be available in the future. Sizes are medium, medium-large and large.

Are you ready to sport these healthy sandals this summer? 3 FOFs will win.

To enter to win, comment below by answering the question:

Why do you want to ground yourself?

Want more chances to win?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 FOFs will win. (See official rules, here.) Contest closes April 23, 2014 at midnight E.S.T. Contest limited to residents of the continental U.S.

{Tested} Get Grounded Footwear

A few months ago, we asked you why you wanted to try Get Grounded Footwear’s Groundals ($49.99 a pair). 5 lucky FOFs tested the innovative sandals—see their reviews below!

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{Test This} Get Grounded Footwear

We recently asked Justin Donoghue, 3rd Planet’s COO, to explain the concept of grounding and to tell us how his company’s Groundals sandals can benefit our health. Now, we’re giving you the chance to test them! 5 lucky FOFs will win and test Groundals ($49.99 with free shipping), in the size and color of their choice.

(more…)

Get Grounded

What on Earth is grounding?

When we walk barefoot, free electrons from the Earth’s surface are transferred into our body through thousands of nerves in our feet. The process, called grounding or earthing, reportedly provides health benefits, including anti-oxidization to improving chronic pain. Since most of us can’t go barefoot all the time, Get Grounded Footwear claims it’s created the next best thing, a line of tong-like sandals called Groundals. Made of 3rd Planet’s proprietary Terra-Technology® (a type of vinyl with a grounding additive), the sandals are contoured for comfort at our feet and provide traction on the soles. How do Groundals work? Justin Donoghue, COO, explains.

(more…)