month. I hope a loved one surprises you with something a little
better than chocolate, although that would do it for me!...
as long as it's 70% Cacao. Not that I'm picky or anything
(yes, very)...but it's so much more satisfying. Besides, it's
really very good for you. With all the hearts flying around,
confection and otherwise, it's no wonder that February has
become Heart Health month.
In addition to our monthly special and some
great new Oöna news, I'll reiterate some heart health
facts specific to women that I feel merit repeating. While
many of Oöna users are very well educated and up on women's
health issues (thanks to me! LOL), it's important for us to
keep in mind that only 1/3 of women are aware that heart disease
is the number 1 killer of women. At the risk of being patronizing,
it may not be a bad idea to make sure acquaintances and colleagues
know this fact. I think even less women know that we can experience
a heart attack with very different symptoms. I'll also report
on big news this month concerning the FDA and changes in the
food pyramid. Then, something I've been curious about is the
new explosion of the Splenda sweetner, is it really safer?
This month I'll start a little mini series and look at the
different artificial sweetners.
GREAT OÖNA NEWS
For those of you that live near a Wild Oats store, beginning
later this month you will able to buy all three Oöna
Products in their stores! We will also be available in the
Whole Foods Markets all throughout California and into Washington
and Oregon state. The store listing on our website will be
Our sweetheart deal this month is order a box of Oöna,
and get the second box for $5.00 off, the third box for $7.00
off and the fourth box for $9.00 off. (it stops there!) For
Oöna PMS1 and OönaPMS2 - if you order both, we already
offer a $5.40 discount off the two together - but this month
we'll offer $2.00 off the first tin, $5.40 off any two tins
and $7.00 off any three tins. I'm thinking it's like a tiered
cake, with the best layer on the bottom.
FEBRUARY AND HEART HEALTH
If you see anyone with a red dress pin, it's for heart health
awareness for women. I've written about heart health and women
before but it never hurts to repeat a couple of things. While
most men and women are aware of cholesterol levels and how
diet and exercise effect their heart health, I feel one of
the most important points is that women may experience a heart
attack very, very differently.
When we think of a heart attack, we think
chest pains, difficulty breathing, etc. When a woman experiences
a heart attack it can be quite disguised - and the scary thing
is that medical professionals often miss the signs and send
these women home! These "disguised" symptoms include
nausea and light headedness, breaking out in a cold sweat,
perhaps a little trouble breathing but no chest pains, sudden
fatigue, some sort of pain or discomfort in the upper body
including arms, jaw, neck and even stomach. Understandably,
many if not most women think they slept funny or are coming
down with a cold or flu - when they are in fact experiencing
a heart attack.
For the most part women will experience
a first heart attack at about age 51, 10 years after men (average
age 45) and usually after going through menopause. At the
time of menopause, it's really good idea to get screened for
risk factors. Heart disease risk factors include: 1. Diabetes,
2. High Cholesterol, 3. Too much body weight, 4. Blood factors
like a presence of a certain protein and 5. Smoking. If you
are at a higher risk and suddenly experience the above symptoms,
think, "heart attack" just to rule it out.
I do have some favorite lifestyle adjustments
for heart health. The most obvious is exercise - and like
I always say, exercise makes every list. I personally don't
think it matters that much if it's this or that type, I just
think it needs to be something you enjoy and enjoy WORKING
AT. If you do more than one type, all the better as you'll
use different muscles. Besides the obvious "eat more
fruits and vegetables" I like CoQ10, a NATURAL vitamin
E, lycopene (best from tomatoes or tomato sauce), lots of
good fats from nuts and fish and green tea. I'm a huge green
tea drinker - it contains a great deal of polyphenols that
fight free radicals - not only does it keep me from snacking
too much (a known appetite surpessant), polyphenols fight
free radicals and reduce the risk of heart disease.
THE FAMOUS FOOD PYRAMID
There's going to be new one, due out March or April, and it's
based on new Government research that came out in mid-January.
According to the Wall Street Journal, it may not look like
a pyramid at all. Competing shapes include a plate, an hour
glass and a tree - however, a revised pyramid is looking like
the most popular shape. Does anyone really pay attention to
it? Maybe we should as it sets the guidelines about how federal
institutions buy and serve food (military) as well as federally
supported school lunches. Others follow -- like hospitals,
schools, nursing homes, etc. It's also incredibly political.
The actual guidelines (link below) sound
good and thankfully include trying to eliminate as much trans
fats and sugars as we can. This could get interesting, as
trans fats is listed on just about every label I read. The
government takes the stand of "limit calories" and
"increase exercise" which makes sense to me. The
reference point is a 2,000 calorie a day intake and stresses
fruits and vegetables 2 cups fruit, 2 ½ cups veggies
in a variety (green, yellow, red, etc) -- 3 oz of whole grains
and 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk. Fats should come from
nuts and fish and should be limited to 20-35% of calories
So how is this all going to get related
to the public? That's the interesting part... as the bottom
of the pyramid is prime real estate. As I mentioned, they
are thinking of changing the pyramid - so instead of it being
horizontal lines like we have now, it would be vertical color
bars that appear more like "rays" of different colors
inside a triangle. Each ray is thin at the top and thicker
at the bottom. Some are fatter altogether (fruits and veggies)
while some are thinner (oils/fats). The new concept is that
any food group would have its good examples at the bottom
and it's bad examples at the top. Taking grains as an example
- the Chocolate chip cookie with trans fats would be at the
top where the ray is thin (don't have a lot of these) and
bread complete with the nuts and seeds at the bottom. (yes
more of this) In the middle would be pasta. I think this gets
tricky with fruits and vegetables - as the determination of
"less good" gets a little tough. (corn worse, tomatoes
best?) We'll have to see what the million dollar ad budget
comes up with - it better be good!
There is currently a LOT of lobbying going
on. As an example, the fruit and vegetable lobby is trying
to surpass the grains as the most important food group as
grains is lobbying to keep it as it is. The sugar lobby is
trying to urge that there not be a daily cap on sugar. Even
Atkins is getting in on the effort and trying to replace the
grain with protein on the bottom. (please no) I'm sure the
meat and potato groups are in there as well.
In the end they may all lose - the gov't
may put bike riders and other images of active people in the
prime real estate. Maybe they do accomplish something in Washington.
For more info: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2005pres/20050112.html
Other source: Wall Street Journal Thursday Jan. 27, 2005 front
page Personal Journal "Rebuilding the Pyramid".
What I didn't mention about my green tea habit is that I put
Sweet n' Low in it. (yes I have faults but I got it down to
½ packet) I wish I liked it without, but I don't. I
drink so much of it that it does concern me. Let's be honest,
it's not good - but just how bad are these artificial sweetners
- and is Splenda any better?
I'm not sure I have the answer, but let's
start with the one that is the most popular and is taking
the most hits -- that's Equal or aspartame. Remember, aspartame
is in just about EVERY diet beverage that you drink. The government/FDA
INSISTS that it's safe and often mentions that the web sites
(tons of them) that condemn it are misguided. What's the case
against it? It looks strong.
A magazine I respect, Alive from Canada,
just published an interesting article about it, which I'll
summarize here. It begins with a class action law suit that
was filed recently in Sept. 2004. The plaintiffs are claiming
that NutraSweet is a deadly neurotoxin. Part of the evidence
refers to an affidavit signed by a former translator for the
company Searle, the developer of aspartame. The affidavit
says that the company conducted studies in developing countries
in the early '80's and there was conclusive evidence that
aspartame caused severe illness and that the evidence was
It gets a little more interesting...prior
to 1981 the FDA had refused to approve aspartame because of
seizures and brain tumors developed in animal studies. Secretary
of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was Chief of Staff at the time
under Ford. It is believed that he used political power to
pass it through the FDA as it was passed one day into the
Reagan Administration against the wishes of the new FDA's
commissioner's Public Board of Inquiry. Rumsfeld had recently
left the Ford administration and was now the CEO of Searle.
In 1995, aspartame accounted for more than
75% of all adverse effects reported to FDA. These adverse
effects included dizziness, headaches, seizures and even death.
The FDA stopped taking adverse reports about aspartame in
In a 1996 peer review of all the studies
done on aspartame, a doctor at Northeastern Ohio Universities
College of Medicine discovered that in 74 studies on aspartame
with ties to the industry, no safety issues were reported,
- in 92% of the 90 independent studies, problems were identified.
It will be interesting to see how this case progresses. In
the meantime, I think we should ask Donald Rumsfeld what kind
of sweetner he uses in his coffee.
For the article I was referring to:
If you type "aspartame" into google,
there's dozens of sites about how bad it is, for the other
side, go to http://www.aspartame.org/
Our staff is available to answer any questions
you may have at 1-888-596-5154. That's right-real people,
not some electronic menu-happy to answer questions, give opinions,
take orders, or just listen. (Business hours are 9:30-6 p.m.
That's it for this month! As always,
check out our website for lots more information at www.oonahealth.com.
In Good Health,
The Oöna Team
Questions or comments? Write firstname.lastname@example.org