Reading List: Alli Linked to Liver Failure, New Sugar Guidelines & Becoming a Locavore

In this week’s nutrition headlines: the danger in taking supplements, American’s drowning in sugar, and the popular weight loss pill Alli is linked to liver failure.
Related To:

From this week's headlines: new reports show that Americans are drowning in sugar, the danger of supplements and the weight loss pill Alli might cause liver failure.

Does Alli Hurt Your Liver?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a magic weight loss pill, and those who have turned to the popular weight loss drug Alli (a.k.a. Orlistat) are starting to learn the hard way. Besides causing extreme discomfort (even the pill's instructions tell you to stick close to the bathroom after eating), the pill is now under investigation by the FDA on whether it may cause liver failure. Until there is clearer evidence, the FDA advises anyone users who experience stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, light-colored stool, itching or loss of appetite to consult their doctor before continuing to use the product. Folks can report their symptoms by calling (800) FDA-1088 or filing an online report.

Finally Some Sugar Guidelines!

For years there have never been clear guidelines on how much added sugar (this excludes naturally occurring sugar in fruits and dairy) we should getting everyday. By now, most of us know we shouldn't be overloading on sugar, but studies reveal that the average person guzzles down about 22 teaspoons daily. That's about as much as is in two cans of soda or a candy bar. You might think: "A candy bar? That's it?" Well, this past week the American Heart Association released their daily recommendations -- 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men maximum a day. So at 22 teaspoons daily (and many teens are at 34!), we get almost four times more than the recommendation.

Harmful Supplements: Know the Facts

We spend millions of dollars every year on vitamins, herbs and various supplements. Make sure you know the facts before taking them — especially if you’re using large doses on a regular basis. Many of my clients take vitamins or other supplements because a friend suggests it, and many don’t tell me about it until I ask several times. I’ve discovered clients with heart problems unknowingly taking supplements that speed up their heart rate! If you're taking supplements, whether they're vitamins or herbs, let your medical practitioner and registered dietitian know. This helpful CNN article reviews several common supplements that can cause harm if taken the wrong way, including fish oils, St. John’s Wort and Kava. Do your research!

The First State To Mandate Menu Labeling
I love visiting my cousin in California. When we go out to eat, I find that the menu options always seem healthier, even at the outdoor mall. So it’s to no surprise that California became the first state to require food labels on chain restaurant menus. Most chain places post their nutrition info online, but if you haven't looked into it, you might be in for a shocker. Some dishes might contain upwards of 2,000 calories! Perhaps now that they're required to post the details, restaurants might drop menu items that are ridiculously high in calories or modify portion sizes and ingredients. Would you like to see your state mandating menu labeling?
Are You A “Locavore”?

Dana is a great example of a “locavore" because she, like many others, tries to eat food grown as close to home as possible. I’m working more towards it myself by going to my farmers’ market weekly, and I just learned to preserve local produce. But some of the folks interviewed in this article get about 60% of their food locally. Even if you can’t go all out, learning where your foods comes from, teaching your children and even trying to grow a box of herbs are steps in the right direction.

Keep Reading

Next Up

2-Ingredient Banana Cookies (and Neither Is Sugar)

These Banana Cookies are so simple. You mash up two very ripe bananas with old-fashioned oats and bake. That's the whole technique right there. Get the full recipe.

Nutrition News: Added-Sugar Labeling, Mediterranean Diet Benefits, Panera Bread Slices 150 Artificial Ingredients

Mars, Inc. isn’t so sweet on added sugars, a study reveals the brain-boosting benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and Panera Bread boots 150 artificial ingredients off of their menu.

Reading List: New Coke Calorie Labels, Candy Linked to Violence & More

Coke moves to make their calorie info more clear, a healthy eating kids book hits the market and you can make money by changing your lifestyle.

Reading List: Pedometer Weight Loss, BPA Linked to Impotence & A Fun Food Quiz

In this week’s nutrition news: There is a hot debate over chocolate milk, BPA has been linked with a decreased sex drive and raw oysters harvested during warm months are under scrutiny.

Reading List: Soda Linked To Early Death, BPA Ban Faces Resistance and More People Going Organic

In this week’s nutrition news: Study finds high mercury levels in restaurant sushi, organic produce sales rise and food companies voluntarily cut salt before government sets standards