1. Dinner-in-a-box won’t just make you fat

    Last week, I shared with you how obesity is known to lead to certain types of cancer.

    In a way, that’s good news – because it means that those cancers are entirely avoidable.

    All we’ve got to do is look at what causes weight gain. And while there are a number of factors that can certainly contribute (genetics being one), the first place we should look is diet.

    You are what you eat, after all.

    And if all you’re eating are the highly processed foods in the freezer aisle and the drive-thru, you can bet you’re going to pack on some extra pounds.

    Now, a study out of France and Brazil has found an even more direct connection – specifically, that eating processed foods and getting diagnosed with cancer go hand in hand.

    And it may not be just because they can make your load a little wider than it should be.

    Researchers gave over 100,000 people questionnaires to track everything they ate and drank. Every item they put into their mouths was categorized into one of four groups, ranging from unprocessed foods (like fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish) to "ultra-processed" foods (including packaged breads, processed meats, snacks, sweets, and sodas).

    After about five years of follow-up, the researchers compared these dietary diaries to the participants' medical records and found that a 10 percent increase in ultra-processed foods in the participants' diets led to a 12 percent increase in their overall risk of cancer.

    Now, the study didn't prove that hot dogs and hot dog buns CAUSED the cancer in the study’s participants. It could be, of course, that those who eat more packaged foods also have unhealthier habits that set them up for cancer than those who favor fresher foods.

    And certainly, the weight doesn’t help.

    But it's undeniable that processed foods' added sugar -- not to mention their lack of protective fiber and vitamins -- may feed the growth of cancer cells.

    And as I've shared with you recently, studies have shown that processed meals ramp up inflammation in your body, which sets the stage for many diseases, including cancer.

    Not only that, but foods from bags and boxes often contain chemical additives and preservatives that are known to be carcinogenic -- and toxic chemicals can even leach into the food from packaging.

    When you open up a boxed meal, you're really opening a Pandora's box of risks!

    Switching to the Paleo (a.k.a. "caveman") diet makes it easy to sidestep processed junk -- because it includes only FRESH meat, fish, dairy, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

    And try cutting out the grocery store "middleman" by shopping at your local farmers market, where you can buy whole ingredients with no packaging whatsoever.

  2. Could your BP med cause CANCER?

    If you've been reading my eTips for a while, you know that blood pressure meds can do a lot more harm than good.

    As I've shared with you before, these drugs come with some pretty hefty side effects, from irregular heartbeat to problems in the bedroom.

    But if you're currently taking the BP drug valsartan -- which actually has fewer side effects than some other prescription BP meds -- you may think you're taking less of a gamble with your health.

    But now, the FDA has sounded the alarm on valsartan for a pretty shocking reason.

    It’s issued a RECALL of the drug... because it was found to contain a chemical known to cause CANCER!

    That chemical is called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NMDA), and it's used to make stuff like rocket fuel and industrial lubricants.

    The FDA classifies it as a "probable human carcinogen," so what in tarnation is it doing in your medicine?!

    Well, it turns out that valsartan -- like many prescription drugs today -- is produced overseas in countries like India and China, where the feds have little oversight of manufacturing processes.

    And since NMDA can unintentionally make its way into products through certain chemical reactions , it can sneak into your drugs… especially if no one's looking out for it.

    The FDA sure wasn't -- that is, until the European Medicines Agency kicked off a recall of valsartan at the beginning of July, followed by countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and Canada.

    When the flunkies in OUR federal government finally followed suit mid-July, they issued a voluntary recall of five different generic valsartan products manufactured in China but sold by U.S. companies.

    And now, in August, the FDA has expanded that recall list to include some valsartan products manufactured in India , too.

    All told, there are a DOZEN drugmakers whose valsartan products -- including valsartan drugs that contain a diuretic called “HTCZ” -- were found to contain NMDA!

    Of course, the feds are urging everyone not to stop taking valsartan abruptly, lest your BP shoot through the roof. And your doc may recommend switching to another version of the drug made by other companies -- or to another BP drug entirely.

    But the question is: Do you really need to be on BP meds in the first place?

    Too often, a diagnosis of hypertension is made by tightening that cuff on your arm ONE time during ONE visit to the doctor's office.

    And the stress of being at the doc's can send anyone's BP higher than normal -- something known as "white coat syndrome."

    A better way is to measure it consistently at home, where you're most comfortable, multiple times over a week or two.

    And if it turns out that your BP is truly, dangerously high, simple lifestyle changes like losing weight... moving around a bit more... and supplementing your diet with tart cherry juice and cinnamon can bring it down naturally.

  3. Killer cancer claims a musical legend

    The “Queen of Soul” has left us. Just after it was announced that she was in hospice care in her hometown of Detroit, the news broke that Aretha Franklin had passed. She’d been battling pancreatic cancer – a notoriously aggressive form of the disease with one of the worst survival rates (in fact, its five-year survival rate is downright abysmal...
  4. Could this medical test ‘cook’ your brain?

    When you're in agonizing pain... or feeling gravely ill... you want clear answers about what's going wrong inside of your body. And there's no doubt that CT (a.k.a. "computerized tomography") scans are one of the most powerful tools that docs have for taking a detailed look at your insides. They're used to diagnose major health issues -- from heart attacks...
  5. Bask in the sunshine to beat back cancer

    Ah, summer. It sure is a feel-good season. The days are long... the nights are warm... and that means more time to spend with friends and family in the great outdoors. And those sunny skies alone may be enough to make you feel cheerful -- in part because when your skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun, your...
  6. Carrying extra weight? Beware your cancer risk

    We're just a few days away from the summer solstice, a.k.a. the "official" start of summer. And as that warmer weather sets in, it's a great time to lighten up what's on your plate and head outdoors for some fun in the sun. There's no better season for shedding some extra pounds... without too much extra effort. And if there’s...
  7. What you need to know before going out in the sun

    This morning, I shared with you how taking aspirin every day can increase your risk of getting a sunburn and, ultimately, developing the deadliest type of skin cancer, melanoma. And as I mentioned, that’s not the only med that can induce sun sensitivity in your skin, making you burn more quickly and more severely than before you started taking it...
  8. Daily aspirin? Your skin could suffer

    As spring starts ripening into summer, the days are getting longer -- and sunnier. Pretty soon, you'll be soaking up those warm rays everywhere from your garden to the beach. That summer sunshine can sure boost your mood -- not to mention your levels of vitamin D. But as I'm sure you know, getting too much sun on your skin...
  9. Conquer breast cancer with "flower power"

    Ladies, once you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, I know that you just want to move on with your life. So, you may be tempted to go with aggressive approaches -- sickening chemotherapy, toxic radiation, or disfiguring surgery -- to try to get rid of that tumor ASAP. But those aren’t your only options. And they’re not always the best...
  10. Why your breakfast should be bursting with color

    Spring is in full bloom, and that means that something colorful and juicy is starting to show up at your local farmers market. That's right -- it's the beginning of berry season! Sure, you could pick up strawberries or blueberries at most grocery stores year-round. But berries picked during the peak season are naturally sweeter... plumper... and more vibrantly colored...

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