A recent study called the APPROACH – Animal and Plant Protein and Cardiovascular Health – trial looked at the effects of diets high and low in saturated fats among healthy people. The results showed that white meat, such as chicken and turkey, may raise blood cholesterol levels as much as red meat. The results surprised the researchers, who did not expect to find higher blood cholesterol levels in those within the study who ate a diet high in poultry.
The APPROACH Study
Researchers assigned 113 healthy people to three different types of diets – red meat, white meat, and plant-based protein. The researchers aimed to look at the difference in blood cholesterol levels with the different diets and varying levels of saturated fats. The participants cycled through each of the diets for four weeks, with a wash-out period between each where they ate their normal diets. Cholesterol and other blood tests were done before and after each diet period. Additionally, participants refrained from taking any vitamin supplements or alcohol during the study.
The findings showed that participants in the high-saturated fat group had more total and LDL cholesterol levels than those in the low-saturated fat group, however both red and white meat raised LDL levels, regardless of the amount of saturated fat in the diet.
Senior study researcher Dr. Ronald Krauss, senior scientist and director of atherosclerosis research at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute said, “When we planned this study, we expected red meat to have more of an adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels than white meat, but we were surprised that this was not the case. Their effect on cholesterol are identical when saturated fat levels are equivalent.”
Essentially, the study found that white and red meats had the same effects on blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are found naturally in fatty beef, poultry with skin, butter, cream, and cheeses. Too much LDL cholesterol from saturated fats can create plaque in blood vessels, leading to blockages that can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The findings from this study went against current dietary guidelines, which encourage white meat as a healthier alternative to red meat. While the study was small, it was well executed and rigorous; it was also the first study to compare the health effects of eating diets high in red meat, white meat and nonmeat proteins (such as legumes, nuts, grains and soy).
The researchers noted limitations of the study including the size, duration, and that there may be other factors in red meat that can increase risk of poor cardiovascular health that were not explored. However, the overall message of the study is quite simple: eat more plants and more plant-based protein and limit intake of saturated fats.
What can you do?
If you’re interested in eating more plants and plant-based proteins, then you have come to the right place! At O2 Living, we value a vegan, plant-based diet and post healthy, vegan recipes weekly. All Living Juices are also organic, cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, perfect for adding fruits and veggies to your daily diet and for transitioning to a more plant-based diet! Living Juices are available online for delivery on our website and on Amazon! Learn more about the study here.
Hemp extract, or CBD, has grown in popularity in the past year, and for good reason! We've explored the science-backed benefits of hemp extract before, but now we're taking a closer look at how hemp extract (CBD) works within the body.
Hemp extract and its effects on the body
Hemp extract, or cannabidiol, and marijuana work on the endocannabinoid system within the body. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining many of our physical and cognitive processes, including homeostasis, mood and memory. It is also responsible for the body's response to outside stressors.
The endocannabinoid system communicates and works through the interaction of cannabinoids (a type of neurotransmitters) and their receptors throughout the body. There are two types of cannabinoids: endo (those created within the body) and phyto (produced by a plant). CBD/hemp extract is a phytocannabinoid that mimics endocannabinoids, meaning it can produce similar effects within the body.
Receptors for the endocannabinoid system are found throughout the body, in both the central and peripheral nervous systems.
In this diagram from Terra Vida, the receptors for the endocannabinoid system are shown. These are all the possible areas throughout the body which hemp extract may work.
Learn more about hemp extract
Would you like to learn more about hemp extract? Are you interested in trying out some Living Health and Wellness hemp extract and hormone products? Check out our blog at www.o2livinghemp.com/blog/news to learn more about how hemp extract works in the body and how it may be suited for you! Shop all of O2 Living's hemp extract and hormone products here!
In the past few decades, the role of big companies in industry-related research has come to light, such as the role of tobacco companies to sway research outcomes regarding the harmful effects of cigarette smoke. Despite public assurances of transparency, it appears these powerful and wealthy companies are still influencing research outcomes. In particular, one very well-known Big Soda company seems to still be influencing health and sugar science research.
Research Agreements that Favor Companies' Wishes
A recent FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) document exposed by the public health and nonprofit consumer watchdog U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) revealed contracts between the Big Soda company and four research universities. The contracts showed that although the company does not control day-to-day research activities, it does have certain powers throughout the process. This includes the ability to stop or prevent studies from being published.
The findings from these contracts was discussed in a formal commentary published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, which stated that the company had the right to:
Review and comment on studies before publication
Intellectual property connected to the research
Control disclosure of results
Control disclosure of funding, meaning the company could prevent researchers from stating where the funding came from
End any research project for any reason, including no reason
What does this mean for consumers?
The ability for a funder to control and even stop or hide research is dangerous. This gives companies with deep pockets an ability to sway what is portrayed as "science." For instance, Big Soda has been a long-time proponent that the obesity epidemic is caused by inactivity alone, not processed and sugary foods.
"Soda Politics" author and New York University professor of nutrition and public health, Marion Nestle, Ph.D., stated that the released documents are "jaw-dropping." Further, she stated in a quote to Inverse, "Industry funded research is marketing research, not scientific research."
Consumers should be cautious and look to see who is funding the research that is . being cited in news articles. Additionally, consumers should support laws that enforce preregistration of nutritional studies, much like what is required for clinical trials. This would promote transparency and openness as results for all preregistered studies would be made public, including some of those Big Soda-funded studies that were recently hidden!
A recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association explored the health impacts of sugar-sweetened beverages, including sodas, fruit punch, fruit juice concentrates, powdered drink mixes, and energy drinks. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars in the U.S. diet, and substantial efforts have been made to introduce policies and programs that limit sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among children and adults.
The study looked at over 13,000 participants and tracked their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages as well as fruit juices, through participant-completed surveys, over a number of years. The researchers looked to find the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices on all-cause mortality and coronary heart disease mortality. The findings revealed that each additional 12-oz serving of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality. For fruit juices, the findings were similar.
The Fine Print
When looking at the statistical analyses completed by the researchers, all of the differences in mortality found between high consumption of fruit juices and low consumption of fruit juices include a null finding. What does this mean exactly? The results including the null finding indicate that the authors cannot state with 95% confidence that higher consumption of fruit juices leads to increased mortality. In fact, this means that there could be no difference in mortality at all between those who do and do not drink fruit juices.
Additionally, two researchers from Harvard left a commentary on the article in JAMA, where they discuss other research that highlights the benefits of 100% fruit juices. These benefits include:
Lower risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, and cognitive decline with moderate consumption of fruit juice (found from two studies)
Substantially lower odds of poor cognitive functioning in older men
While they do state further research is necessary to examine the health benefits and potential risks of fruit juices, the authors make a point to state that when looking for fruit juices or smoothies, be sure to choose those made with whole fruits. "Unless made with blended whole fruit, [other fruit drinks] are lower than whole fruits in dietary fiber and can contribute extra calories and sugars when consumed in excess."
What can you do?
Be wise when you read headlines about this study - some may try to sway the results and state that fruit juices are just as bad for you as sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks. Is that true? Absolutely not! Fruit juices are sources of vitamins and nutrients and natural sugars and are an excellent way to make sure that you are getting a variety of fruits in your diet.
The Living Juice Difference
Living Juices are 100% organic, cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices. We guarantee that we have and never will add any sugars or sweeteners to our juices. With 100% cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juice, you can rest assured that you are giving your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs.
Living Juice provides a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in its juices, giving you access to fruits and veggies that may not be a part of your everyday diet. O2 Living promotes a healthy, balanced and plant-based diet. We know that our cold-pressed, organic fruit and vegetable juices can be a healthy addition to your day, especially when you are on the go and can't get all of your fruits and veggies!
Picnics, barbecues and road trips are all part of summertime fun. They can also be a part of your healthy lifestyle with a handful of smart strategies. Here are some pointers for keeping your family’s eating habits on the right track.
Check your perspective
Ah, summer! It’s a much-anticipated delight for adults and children alike, with outdoor parties, events and family-oriented activities galore. In your rush to savor all the season offers, don’t drop the ball on your family’s eating habits. Some experts point out that how you eat directly impacts your moods and perspective, so keep things healthy and positive so everyone can get the most out of your family’s summertime adventures.
Pack light and right
When you’re on the go to sporting events, the zoo or the campground, packing a cooler is a smart option for helping your family eat healthy. While fast foods are convenient, they are generally unhealthy. Healthline lists 24 healthy vegan snacks. Pack a cooler with these and your summertime snacking and meals-on-the-go will be a breeze! Not sure what to include? One idea is to opt for baggies filled with fresh veggies and fruits. Make sure you wash them thoroughly before packing in case you don’t have access to a water source later. Nut butters, lentils, and hummus can provide protein. Note that if your cooler is normally stored in a hot location, such as on a shelf in the garage, you should bring it into your house the night before the outing to allow it to cool. Also top it off with ice when you pack it, since empty spaces will make it warm up more quickly.
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is a key to your health, and without sufficient hydration, you actually won’t enjoy your activities as much. Some research reflects losing as little as 2 percent of your body’s weight due to dehydration can put you in a bad mood, give you a headache, cause you to lose focus, and make you feel confused. Make sure everyone keeps water handy during your summertime fun, and choose foods that help you stay hydrated. Fruits, vegetables and yogurt all hold water in them, and foods prepared with water, such as brown rice and whole grain pasta, can also help you stay hydrated.
Careful food handling
Most people think of food safety in terms of animal products. However, fresh fruits and vegetables must also be handled with care. Strawberries, for example, can mold quickly if left at room temperature and melon rinds can harbor bacteria so these should be scrubbed well before cutting. A few simple precautions can mean the difference between dinner and a disaster!
Sometimes, it seems like healthy eating is expensive, but with some smart grocery shopping strategies, you can keep your family eating healthful choices all summer long. Start by choosing in-season produce. Summer offers a wealth of fresh fruits and vegetables, so you can stock up on a tremendous variety and get better prices than in the off-season. Shop for groceries on the perimeter of the store to steer clear of the less healthy selections. Finally, make a list before you head to the store, and stick with it. Impulse shopping can get you into trouble, both in terms of finances and healthy eating choices.
If you’re having difficulty figuring out what’s healthy and what’s not, there are many resources available online to steer you in the proper direction. In fact, some people turn to professional nutritionists/dietitians to figure out great recipes to prepare for their families. And if you have a senior loved one in your household, you can take advantage of nutrition therapy if a doctor deems it medically necessary, as this form of therapy is covered by Medicare. Additionally, some Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage for healthy food and home meal delivery.
Happy, healthy, and smart
Summer should be a time for family fun! Choose healthy foods, prepare them correctly and shop carefully. Keep your family’s adventures healthy with these smart eating strategies!
The World Health Organization, the agency of the United Nations that is dedicated to international public health, recently gathered for its 72nd annual World Health Assembly this past week. Leaders and those convened this past week in Geneva, Switzerland. Among priority issues, the assembly met to discuss global mental health and prioritizing the healthy lives and well-being for all. This prioritization brings light to a global issue, that is leading cause of disability worldwide.
Barriers to Global Mental Health Treatment
While it is welcoming news that the largest public health governing body is acknowledging the need for better mental health care globally, many barriers exist to promoting positive mental health and treating mental health issues worldwide. One of the largest barriers to treating and preventing mental health illnesses is stigma. Stigma and shame in mental health illnesses persist, despite growing awareness and education on mental health issues. These can prevent those suffering from seeking treatment and cause families and friends to seek the wrong (and often harmful) treatments for loved ones who are suffering from mental illnesses.
Funding and research are two large issues preventing positive mental health globally. Despite the pervasiveness of mental health worldwide and the impact that it has on daily functioning, allocated resources remain limited. Hopefully, with the WHO prioritizing mental health there will be an increase in funding and research dedicated to global mental health treatments, prevention and promotion programs and activities.
O2 Living and JCK Foundation
For the month of May, O2 Living, makers of organic, cold-pressed Living Juice and Living Health and Wellness Hemp Extract and Progesterone products, has partnered with the JCK Foundation to help promote mental health education. A portion of O2 Living sales this month will be donated to the JCK Foundation.
The JCK Foundation works in several ways to decrease stigma around mental health and help improve treatment of mental health issues globally. In Kabale, Uganda the JCK Clinic provides psychiatric outreach and services to those who live in this rural area. You can learn more about the JCK Clinic in Uganda here. If you'd like to support the JCK Foundation and promote your own health and wellness, you can treat yourself to an organic, cold-pressed Living Juice or Living Hemp Extract Oil or Muscle Mist this month!
We've all heard it before, you are what you eat. What we may not have realized is that the food we eat and diet we keep can impact not only our physical health, but our mental health as well.
Two Major Health Issues
Across the globe, poor diet is responsible for many non-communicable diseases and major health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. Nearly 20% of all deaths worldwide are linked to unhealthy eating habits. Mental health is the leading cause of global disability. Specifically, depression alone is one of the top five highest causes of disability across the world.
Diet and Mental Health Connections
Research has shown that diets in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes, protein, unsaturated fats help to prevent depression. People with diets high in whole foods such as these are up to 35% less likely to develop depression than people who eat diets with less whole foods. On the other hand, diets that are high in processed, fried, and sugary foods can increase the likelihood of depression. Research has shown that diets high in these foods may even increase the risk of depression by as much as 60.6%. If you'd like to learn more about these studies, you can read more on Mental Health America's website.
Vitamins and Nutrients Key to Supporting Mental Health
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and other whole foods from early life on into adulthood can help promote positive mental health. You can help protect your mental health even further by incorporating specific vitamins and nutrients into your diet. Vitamins and nutrients that promote mental health include:
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in dark, leafy vegetables (like kale and spinach), oily fish (salmon, mackerel, trout), walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Omega 3 fatty acids are key for healthy brain development and reducing inflammation.
B Group Vitamins
The B group of vitamins help to regulate neurotransmitters - which regulate mood and other brain functions. B vitamins, like folate and folic acid, can be found in leafy, green vegetables, and many cereals are fortified with B vitamins (a great option for vegetarians and vegans). Research has shown that B vitamins can help prevent depression.
Vitamin D, is crucial to optimal brain functioning and regulating mood. Vitamin D, which many of us get from sunlight, can decrease in the winter causing seasonal depressive disorder.
Living Juices for Better Mental Health
Organic, cold-pressed Living Juices with dark, leafy vegetables can be an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin Bs. Living Juice's Green Vitality made with organic kale, cucumber, lemon, fennel and parsley is a great source of both! Pineapple Punch, made with organic kale, pineapple and apple, is also a great source of omega 3s and vitamin Bs.
This May O2 Living and Living Juice partnered with the JCK Foundation for mental health awareness month. Check out our recipes this month that feature fruits and vegetables rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin Bs, and vitamin D to support positive mental health.
This month, O2 Living, makers of organic, cold-pressed Living Juice, has partnered with the JCK Foundation to increase awareness around mental health. We'll be sharing blogs featuring about mental health topics and news. This week, we're looking at a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) on mental health stigma.
The study by the APA shows that in the US, mental health stigma may be decreasing. In the online poll of over 1,000 adults, 87% said a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed. 86% of those surveyed stated that they believe people with a mental disorder can get better.
APA's CEO, Arthur Evans Jr., noted that over half of respondents (59%) stated that they knew someone with a mental illness. Personal experience is key in addressing and minimizing stigma. Further, 81% said they would be comfortable being friends with someone who has a mental disorder, and 79% said they would feel at ease interacting with someone experiencing a mental disorder.
This survey shows that we have made progress in reducing stigma around mental disorders, which is promising and encouraging. In an APA release, Evans, Jr. stated, "[the results] indicate a willingness to be more open about mental illness, as well as a strong belief among older respondents that having a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed of."
Despite this progress, discomfort and fear around mental illness still persists. Particularly, almost half of participants of the survey (49%) said they were uncomfortable dating someone with a mental disorder, and 33% said people with a mental disorder scare them.
The survey also looked into people's opinions about suicide. The majority of those surveyed supported openness about suicide. 87% said they should talk more openly about suicide, and 84% of people said that others should not be ashamed to say a loved one died by suicide. In fact, almost 4 out of 5 respondents agreed that less stigma and shame around mental disorders would lower suicide rates.
At O2 Living, we support open and honest discussion about mental illness and encourage others to share! Education, awareness and openness about mental disorders will decrease shame and stigma. This month, we'll be sharing articles about mental health and our partners, the JCK Foundation. Check our blog each week to learn more and visit https://jckfoundation.org/ to read how the organization is empowering younger generations to authentically address mental health culture in their communities.
May is Mental Health Awareness month, and O2 Living is proud to be supporting mental health awareness and the JCK Foundation. Throughout the month, we'll be featuring blogs about mental health topics! This week, we're looking at anxiety and a new alternative relief from anxiety and stress.
Have you recently heard that hemp extract (cannabidiol aka CBD) can help ease your anxiety or help you relax after a long stressful day? Or that hemp extract can help calm the stress you may feel in a social situation without any psychoactive effects? Recent studies have shown that hemp extract can in fact help with these symptoms of anxiety and is becoming an acceptable and reliable alternative treatment for anxiety.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorder in the U.S.. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 18.1% of the adult population in the U.S. suffer from anxiety disorders each year, which equates to about 40 million people. Additionally, anxiety is closely linked with depressive disorders, and about half of those with anxiety also suffer from a depressive disorder.
Anxiety disorders include a variety of illnesses including general anxiety disorder (GAD), specific phobias, obsessive compulsive disorders, social anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. Symptoms of anxiety include but are not limited to: restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance. Treatments for anxiety disorders include medication, such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills like Buspirone, and sedatives, and therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
WHAT CAN HEMP EXTRACT DO?
Hemp extract, cannabidiol, has recently been studied as an alternative treatment for anxiety symptoms and illnesses. Though these studies are recent, cannabis has been documented and used for these and other symptoms as far back as 2700 B.C. Both animal and human studies have shown that hemp extract has stress alleviating properties.
This 2012 review assessed CBD studies and found the hemp extract is effective in treating symptoms of anxiety. In particular, the study found clinical evidence for CBD treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Though the study calls for additional clinical trials and more evidence on dosing, the review is promising.
A 2014 study on mice sought to find the exact pathway through which CBD/ hemp extract alleviates symptoms of stress and anxiety. This study found that augmenting the endocannabinoid system may be an effective method for reducing the physical and mental effects of stress, proving that hemp extract, which acts on the endocannabinoid system, may be an effective alternative treatment for stress.
INTERESTED IN TRYING HEMP EXTRACT?
Are you interested in trying hemp extract to see if the previously mentioned benefits may work for you? Living Health and Wellness, by O2 Living, offers a variety of hemp extract products, including Living Hemp Extract Oil - 250 mg and 1000 mg. Living Hemp Extract oils contain the highest quality, organic and full-spectrum hemp extract and have a delicious espresso flavor! Be sure to consult with your doctor before trying a new type of treatment for any stress related illness.
*FDA Disclosure: Hemp extract products are not approved by the FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease.
May is Mental Health Month, and at Living Juice we've partnered with the JCK Foundation. Our juices will feature green caps to represent the color of mental health awareness. Our juices will also include the story about the JCK Foundation! This month, we're donating a portion of our sales to the JCK Foundation. The JCK Foundation was founded in honor of John Cleaver Kelly and works towards increasing mental health awareness and outreach through school programs, community events and a mental health clinic in Uganda. We interviewed John Tessitore, the founder of JCK Foundation, to learn more about the foundation, its history, programs and where they are headed!
Who is John Kelly?
John Kelly is truly a legend. John was the most selfless person many of us had the pleasure of knowing. Whether it was his friends, a stranger, someone he volunteered with, or someone who just looked lonely and needed a helping hand, John was there with a warm smile and a willing ear. He had a passion for people, and would stop at nothing to help someone. He really had a heart of gold and in his college essay he stated he "wanted to change the way the world viewed OCD." John was also an explorer. He loved to travel and he loved to learn about other people and immerse himself in their cultures. The experiences he spent traveling helped deeply with his own OCD.
What is the JCK Foundation and what makes it so special?
In honor of John Cleaver Kelly, who lost his battle with OCD and depression in 2011, we aim to empower younger generations to authentically address mental health culture in their communities. You’re Not Alone in your search for hope. We do this through mental health prevention and culture programs at high schools, colleges and corporations. We also do this through community events that spread John's values of companionship and acceptance, and we also have other initiatives like our Podcast, the Mental Health Literacy Project and the JCK Clinic in Uganda.
What makes the JCK Foundation so special is the dedication to John's values and the love our community has for what we do. Everything we do it seems like we have 100 percent support of our community and they want to be a part of it. That’s a special feeling. Also, the fact that we always put John’s legacy first and foremost is a distinct factor of the foundation. We really do put everything we have into making sure this Foundation can impact as many people as possible for a very long time. This Foundation is truly filled with pure love and passion.
Our unique approach to programming, and willingness to try to tackle mental health from a wholistic approach and as a social justice movement makes the Foundation a lot of fun!
What has it been like growing such an awesome foundation?
Growing this Foundation has been pretty indescribable to see, it’s something I’m so grateful for. It all started at the JCK Legends Softball Tournament in in July of 2011. We all dressed up in our old Little League uniforms and stopped whatever we were doing in life to play for John and his family. On that day, we slowly began to heal through each other. Those values of community healing hold stronger than ever today. When I think back from that July day to now, it makes me so happy, and honestly kind of blows my mind. We've worked so hard to use John's legacy to make people's lives better. The way the community has responded, and the different people I've met along this journey are some of the most precious gifts imaginable.
Where do you see the JCK Foundation in 5 years?
Five years down the road, we see the JCK Foundation as providing a permanent layer of full support to address mental health culture on high school and college campuses with the ability to measure impact into the future. It starts with small steps, but the harder we work now, and the more relationships we build, the more we can permanently integrate ourselves into changing a culture and pushing the mental health movement forward. We want to live in a world where students feel empowered, loved, and excited to take on the ups and downs of this life. We want JCK's values of companionship and acceptance to really ring across the country, and hopefully the world.
At Living Juice, we strive to provide the healthiest organic, cold-pressed juices. Why is physical health so important to mental health?
Physical health is SO important to mental health. The more you take care of the body, the more you take care of the mind! I typically need to go to the gym everyday in order to free my mind. When I get the rush of endorphins, I feel like I can take on any mental challenge with more confidence! When you create healthy habits and put healthy food and drink into your body, it creates confidence and allows the mind to work to its fullest potential. When you neglect your physical health, you tend to neglect your mental health! Take care of your body and mind!!
How can we get involved with the work the JCK Foundation is doing?
There are so many ways you can get involved at the JCK Foundation! Right now, we are in the midst of the "Kelly's Heroes" initiative which is a series of 15 community events with the goal of spreading John Kelly's values of companionship and acceptance to as many people as possible. We are actually looking for 6 more hosts! A host can be as simple as running a 5K to benefit the foundation or as complicated as hosting a wine and cheese event at your house! We want you to do whatever you are comfortable with. Other than the Kelly's Heroes initiative, we are huge advocates of meeting volunteers at their passions. We want to find the perfect fit of what helps the Foundation and what you're good at and makes you happy! All you need to do is reach out to email@example.com and I guarantee we can find something for you!