Top 5 Healthiest Cuisines in the World

Here are top 5 cuisines which are handpicked for their health benefits and punch of flavor. Not only do these foods taste good, they are packed with a ton of nutrients and vitamins crucial for the well being of your body! From hidden gems in Asia to the far West, navigate through scrumptious meals from various cultures that boasts of health benefits and exotic flavors. Who knows, you might just accidentally find your next favorite dish!

Japanese

The Japanese are famous for their longevity, and they’re probably the closest to cracking the code of immortality. A study conducted by the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the long life spans of Okinawan residents and their low rates of chronic diseases are corelated to their consumption of seaweed.

Japanese cuisine never goes wrong!

Commercial sushi joints tend to stray from the authentic roots with an injection of Western fusion which make it less healthier than traditional dishes. A popular dish, karaage, or Japanese style fried chicken is given a Western twist. It is smeared with a dollop of mayonnaise, making it appealing to Western consumers.

However, authentic Japanese cooking tends to star raw ingredients such as seafood and sea vegetables to honor its natural flavors. Staples such as yams, green tea, seaweed and soy, are rich in antioxidants and pack a punch of nutrition. As long as you watch your intake of tempura and carbs, you’re good to go!

Greek

Greek cuisine originates from the mysterious Island of Crete. According to research conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there is substantial evidence linking the high life expectancy and trend of low heart disease among Cretans to their diet.

The Mediterranean diet consists of natural foods such as olive oil, yoghurt, fresh fruit, garlic, tomatoes, and nuts and stars unsaturated fats, legumes, vegetables and grains. Popular ingredients such as chickpeas, fish, and peppers contribute to high nutritional values and high levels of Omega 3. Surprisingly, the diet has little meat, hence reducing the amount of saturated fats.

Most Greek dishes try to preserve the natural flavor of its food, hence its simple methods of cooking such as grilling, and mixing natural foods into salads.

Korean

Known for cleverly incorporating a lot of vegetables and meats, the burst of flavors Korean food provides is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Furthermore, their method of cooking is also healthier with plenty of soups, steamed dishes and grilled meats instead of fried foods.

Korean food is one of the healthiest cuisines!

When we think of Korean cuisine, the first item that comes to mind is kimchi. This fermented vegetable dish is said to have a myriad of health benefits including anti cancer properties and lower cholesterol. Key ingredients in Kimchi comprise of ginger, red peppers, and various vegetables. It is also considered a probiotic, which aids your digestive system.

Bimbimbap, “bimbim” meaning “mixed” and “bap” meaning rice, is a central dish in Korean cuisine which comprises of rice served with a mixture of vegetables with sliced beef and topped with gochujang (chilli pepper paste), soy sauce, or doenjang (fermented soybean paste). The mixture of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables make this a perfect balanced diet. Its noodles, soups and other versions of rice dishes are centered around this proportion of vegetables and meats.

Vietnamese

Vietnamese cuisine is low in fat, gluten free, and densely packed with nutrients, hence making it perfect for boosting the immune system, aid weight loss and provide a punch of energy. Dishes usually emphasizes fresh herbs, tons of leafy greens, seafood, lean meats and rice, packed with antioxidants and Vitamin A and E, which help fight against premature aging. Green papaya is utilized in a lot of Vietnamese dishes, and a study from British Journal of Nutrition found that green papaya contains healthier carotenoids than those in other vegetables.

Vietnamese cuisine for a change!

Vietnamese dishes are mostly prepared by steaming and simmering, hence less fat is being consumed. Cooked foods are usually accompanied by a side of salads and herbs served as whole leaves, adding a flavorful crunch to the meal. Restorative herbs like coriander and mint that is popular for improving digestion and cures nausea. ( Perfect hangover comfort food!)

Vietnamese food is low on wheat, the key culprit to getting hungry faster as it is digested by the body quickly. Vietnamese food mainly comprises of rice noodles and rice papers instead of wheat, and helps regulate the blood sugar level.

Thai

Traditional Thai cuisine is healthy and is vegetable centric, low in calories, served with lean proteins and often infused with a mixture of spices, and herbs, creating its signature bold tastes. Thai food has a good balance of macronutrients, with even servings of non starchy vegetables, protein, fats and carbs. Furthermore, a study shows that the intake of vegetables may contribute to sustained energy throughout the day and aid weight loss.

Packed with nutrition

Curries, and soups such as tom yum soup are laden with low starch vegetables such as mushrooms, tomatoes, cabbage and onions. The fiber, vitamins and minerals in the vegetables contribute to good digestion and overall health, according to Healthline. Healthy dishes include: Rice rolls, papaya salad, steamed fish, and red green curries.

To boost nutrition, opt for brown rice instead of white, which is packed with more fiber and nutrients. Also, eat high fat dishes like curries in moderation! Western influenced dressings for salads, deep fried foods and curries are prone to high calories and levels of sodium. As a rule of thumb, opt for a dish loaded with vegetables, with a protein source and infused with Thai herbs and spices. Cash in all that natural goodness!

Thai cuisine never goes wrong!

7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Good Nutrition

Good nutrition is often associated with losing body weight. However, the benefits go far beyond weight loss. Over the decades, science has proven that a healthy diet is significant for strong bones and teeth, strong immune, improved mood, an active lifestyle, and improved memory. Good nutrition can help prevent the risk of many diseases. 

A platter full of nutrition

To better understand the role healthy foods play in our health, this article highlights seven proven benefits of proper nutrition. Read along to find out how the right food can improve your overall health.

Weight Control

Healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains are packed with nutrients. These foods are low in calories compared to processed foods. They fall under fiber, which is indigestible. Fiber helps maintain a clean and healthy digestive system. 

Foods rich in fiber help with weight loss. Soluble fiber binds with water molecules, forming a thick gel that sticks to the gut, slowing down food movement. In return, this slows the rate of digestion and, consequently, the absorption of nutrients. As a result, you stay full for longer, reducing your food intake. 

Packed with nutrition!

Beans, apples, oat, peas, and fruits such as pears, berries, citrus, and apples are part of the foods rich in soluble fiber. These vegetables and fruits are generally low in calories. 

Therefore, maintaining soluble fiber in your diet ensures regulated body weight, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.

Strong Healthy Bones and Teeth

Foods rich in Calcium and Magnesium are associated with strong, healthy bones and teeth. Calcium is found in low-fat dairy products. Foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, legumes, canned fish, legumes, and dark green vegetables are also great calcium sources. Additionally, Vitamin D from the sun triggers the production of calcium, which reinforces the bone strength.

Whole grains, leafy vegetables, seeds, and nuts are a source of magnesium. Magnesium helps the body absorb calcium and increase the born dentistry. Strong bones help against osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes bone loss or limits bone production in the body.

Boost the Immune System

Maintaining a healthy diet boosts your body defense against diseases. Science has proven that Vitamin C and E and other nutrients like beta-carotene in vegetables and fruits promote a strong immune system. Also, foods rich in antioxidants minimize oxidative stress, helping your body function at an optimum level

All the nutrition you need in a bowl!

Sources of vitamin E include spinach, nuts, broccoli, and seeds. Vitamin C includes most vegetables and fruits. These antioxidants help suppress free radicals, which in return, promote the body’s response to diseases. Vitamin C promotes the production of T-cells and B-cells found in white blood cells. 

Plant-based milk and fortified cereals are sources of Vitamin D, which reduces the risk of viral infections. In addition, foods rich in Zinc such as lentils, pumpkin seeds, beans, and sesame seeds are immune boosters.

Overall, the production of white blood cells ensures your immune system is strong. Therefore, it’s important to have a diet rich in seeds, nuts, vegetables,and  fruits.

Prevention of Lifestyle Diseases

Lifestyle diseases are caused by poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. This leads to obesity, which can further cause chronic diseases such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis. Overweight also increases the risk of some cancer. 

The above health complications can be averted by changing your lifestyle. Good nutrition is the first step to a healthy lifestyle. Here, you want to minimize the intake of fat and processed sugar. The next step is increasing the intake of vegetables and fruits. Incorporating regular exercise can also help minimize the risk of lifestyle diseases.  

Research shows that a considerable percentage of heart complications can be prevented by making healthy food choices and regular workouts. Foods rich in Vitamin E have been proven to help minimize the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Also, low salt intake lowers blood pressure.

Experts in the fitness industry assert that a healthy meal and as little as 10 minutes of exercise can make a difference. So, if you are a fitness enthusiast with a passion for helping others live healthily, Ace certification reviews are a perfect starting point to transform your passion into a career. 

Improved Mood

Research has shown that foods with a low glycemic index improve your mood. These are foods that are digested slowly, leading to a gradual increase of glucose in the blood. 

These foods include vegetables, fruits, wholegrain, and pulses. On the contrary, carbohydrates have a high glycemic index because they are broken down fast, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar. The key is striking a balance between low and high glycemic index foods.

Active Lifestyle

Your diet significantly determines your energy level. Taking excess fat, refined carbohydrates, and sugars lead to an increased sugar level in your blood, which causes fatigue. 

Whole grains, unprocessed proteins, fruits, and vegetables are packed with nutrients. Their digestion takes place slowly, leading to a progressive increase in sugar levels in the blood. As a result, your energy levels are consistent throughout the day. 

A consistent energy level means you can get tasks done from dawn to dusk without feeling overly exhausted. Besides, taking healthy snacks during the day will consistently fuel your energy, increasing your productivity

Improved Memory

A healthy meal rich in Vitamin D, C, and E, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, and polyphenols have been found to prevent cognitive decline and memory loss. Diets like the Mediterranean have a wide range of food choices rich in nutrients that improve memory.

Conclusion

Most people underestimate the importance of good nutrition, yet science has proven that healthy meals are the key to a robust lifestyle. Eating healthy foods will go along in ensuring your immune system is strong enough to wade out diseases. 

So, if you’re still struggling with poor eating habits, the simplest way to incorporate healthy foods into your diet is to have a weekly meal plan. This helps avoid the last-minute struggles in deciding what to eat. 

You can shop once a week and outline a balanced diet meal plan. Next, you want to try different foods once in a while to keep it fun. Lastly, start with small changes and progress towards replacing all the junk foods with healthy ones.


About Tyler Read: 

Tyler Read is the owner of PTPioneer.com which is a website dedicated to helping people get started in the personal training industry. He helps people discover, study, and pass their fitness exams. Check out his free videos for the latest trends.

CBD: A product of good marketing?

The popularity of CBD has skyrocketed over the years, with people swearing by its medicinal properties. In the US, every corner shop you turn to seem to have some form of CBD, be it in the form of shampoo, oils, to CBD infused food. Cafes selling CBD infused cookies and coffees have started to pop up in Hong Kong. However, despite its fame, little is known about how CBD affects our body. This lack of knowledge coupled by its availability around the world has led to discrepancies and legal conundrums around the world. In some parts of the world, CBD has to be purchased with a prescription, however, in other parts of the world, it is as simple as buying a packet of chips off a supermarket shelf.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or its abbreviated form, CBD is one of the active ingredients of cannabis. It is derived from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant. CBD is not a psychoactive drug, as hemp plants do not produce enough tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical ingredient guilty of giving us that “high”. CBD is marketed as a wonder drug, with various companies and pharmaceuticals marketing its ability to cure cancer, alleviate pains, rectify sleeping disorders, etc. However, does it really live up to its claims?

According to Scientific American, CBD claims do have some backings. CBD has the potential to treat a variety of conditions as it has the ability to bind to various receptors in the body. It binds specifically to the endocannabinoid system, which involves pain, mood, metabolism. However, there isn’t sufficient information regarding how our body absorbs the compound to draw a conclusive conclusion.

Scientifically proven health benefits:

Reducing / stopping epileptic seizures:

According to Harvard Health, research has shown that CBD is able to reduce and even stop a number of epileptic seizures, which normally fails to respond to ant seizure medications. The FDA has also approved the first ever cannabis derived medicine, Epidiolex.

Reduce anxiety:

CBD is taken by patients who suffer from insomnia. Studies and testimonies from patients show that it could reduce anxiety and put them in a more relaxed state.

Reduce chronic pain:

Several studies back up this claim. A study by the European Journal of Pain uses animals as test subjects to show that CBD applied on skin can help lower pain and inflammation derived from arthritis. Another study showed that CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain. However, more study on humans should be conducted.

Side effects of CBD:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

The Challenge in Prescribing CBD

The ideal prescription of CBD varies by many external factors including sex, age, body mass, medical conditions etc.

The drug’s behavior changes at different concentrations:

The ability of CBD to bind to multiple receptors make observation tricky. Furthermore, where it binds is heavily corelated to its dosage. CBD has the uncanny ability to behave like different drugs at different concentrations. Contrary to popular belief, increasing dosage doesn’t guarantee positive results. A study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine showed that antianxiety effects peaked after 300mg dose, however was significantly lower at 900mg.

CBD is oil soluble:

The amount of CBD absorbed into the bloodstream increases when taken with meals or infused in oils. A report by GW showed that “plasma concentrations quadrupled when liquid medicine was taken with a high fat meal, compared to the medication alone.”

Variation in form and purity:

As CBD is only one of the few hundred components derived from a plant, extracts in some products contain varying amounts of CBD. Furthermore, the CBD may contain other compounds as well. The inability to quantify CBD in known amounts and the fact that it is not a concrete, single molecule causes variation in form and purity, hence the inability for it to be properly prescribed.

CBD oils

Is CBD legal?

United States:

Now the million dollar question. Is CBD legal? CBD is available in most of the states in the US, however all 50 states have varying levels of restrictions and laws towards the legalization of CBD. Mostly, CBD is legal as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. However, Virginians can only access CBD with a prescription. It is marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. The FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements, hence, there is no way of knowing if the product contains said active ingredients. To be safe, do some more research about the laws in your area.

CBD infused drinks anyone!

Europe:

The European Commission is in the process of determining if CBD should be labeled a novel foods or narcotics. Some European countries have legalized CBD in some ways, with the variation of most countries allowing less than 0.2% THC or no THC at all. France and Norway are examples of countries that only allow for a isolated form of CBD. However, a small number of countries on the other end of the scale who have made it illegal to buy, sell or possess CBD.

Asia:

There is a mixed response of regulations throughout Asia. Even the pure form of CBD is completely banned in Singapore and Asian markets, however other markets such as Hong Kong and Japan are more lenient in accepting pure forms of CBD. A low percentage of THC or an isolated form of CBD has a better chance of expanding in Asian markets. Despite the reserved attitudes from Asian countries, there is a trend of laws relaxing as people are more open to claims of health benefits from other parts of the world.

CBD derived from the Hemp tree

Fun facts:

  • China is a big producer of Hemp. Despite CBD not being on the list of narcotics in China, it is only legal for cosmetic use and remain illegal for food and health
  • Growing Hemp is illegal in Hong Kong. Hong Kong and Japanese markets allow isolated forms of CBD (0% THC) in the market.
  • Countries that allow CBD as medical use: South Korea, Malaysia, Phillipines, Taiwan, Thailand.

Turmeric is a Super Spice for Sensitive Skin!


Turmeric has been used to treat inflammatory skin conditions like Eczema, but the question is turmeric good for our skin? It contains the compound curcumin, which has shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

What is turmeric?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is turmeric.png
Turmeric is a Super Spice!

Commonly used in Asian food, turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It is mainly used as the main spice in curry. It has a bitter taste and can be used to flavour many things such as butters and cheeses. The root of turmeric is known to be used to make medicine. The compound curcumin is yellow coloured, which can be used to colour foods and cosmetics.

What can turmeric do?

Turmeric can be used for a number of conditions, most notably for pain and inflammation. It can be used for other conditions such as;

  • hay fever
  • high cholesterol
  • liver disease

Turmeric has been used for other conditions with no good scientific evidence to support the use, such as heartburn, inflammatory bowel disease and stress.

Turmeric and Eczema Studies

There are many studies to determine whether turmeric is able to treat Eczema. Despite the spice been used as a natural treatment for skin conditions, there is very little research on the relationship between the two.

Studies

A 2016 review of 18 studies that involved curcumin for treating Eczema both topically and orally found early evidence to support the matter. There is the need for more studies, as researchers could not determine the dosage, efficacy, and mechanism of action.

A study of 150 Eczema sufferers used a turmeric containing cream for 4 weeks. It resulted in nearly 30% decrease in skin scaling and a 32% decrease in itchiness. Despite the positive results, the cream also contained other anti-inflammatory herbs, meaning that it cannot be concluded that the turmeric alone relieved the Eczema symptoms.

Can we use Turmeric?

Should we use turmeric for Eczema? The research is still far too limited to give an answer. A study needs to show significant improves in Eczema symptoms using turmeric alone. Most studies used a topical cream containing turmeric but many other herbs and spices.

Turmeric in Products

Many companies use turmeric as an ingredient in their cosmetic products. Applying turmeric-containing products allows for adequate absorption of curcumin. Despite the benefits of these products with turmeric, the formulas have specifically formulated for enhanced absorption. This does not mean applying pure turmeric will have the effects.

Should I use Turmeric for Eczema?

Turmeric has a lot of potential health benefits but it does not have clear links with Eczema. It has been used for centuries in Asian culture for herbal medicine. Products containing turmeric are formulated to be used safely. Not that excessive turmeric intake can include skin rashes and other conditions.

To get the best possible advice, consult a dermatologist or doctor and ask for their guidance.

Health apps you need to filter skincare noise

Buying a good moisturizer is a quest that involved multiple tabs on Google, crosschecking ingredient lists, potential health implications, product reviews from your favorite influencer, company brand image. However, more often than not, the chemical jargon leaves us feeling more confused than ever. (RIP mental health)

Everyone should use health apps!

Glycolic acid. Titanium dioxide. Niacinamide. These are some common ingredients in skincare products but what do they mean? It feels like we need a degree in chemistry just to understand the ingredients in our everyday beauty products. Why make it so complicated? The cosmetic line makes it compulsory for products to label their ingredients according to the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) system to standardize the naming of ingredients globally. The results? It makes no sense to shoppers.

If we are allergic to eggs, it is easy to avoid all products with eggs on their ingredient label, but for skincare products, it is much more complicated than that. What’s the purpose of having chemical compounds on a tiny ingredient label if we do not understand them?

You have the right to know what’s in YOUR products

Consumers have the right to know and understand individual contents of products they purchase. There is a need for complete ingredient transparency to raise awareness around consumer rights in the blur of marketing hypes and ambiguous labels. This is crucial as consumers need to be able to understand what’s in their products in order to choose the least harmful products.

health is a priority!

How do we decode cosmetic ingredient labels?

Health apps and websites. Fortunately, there are many apps that function as ingredient analyzers to determine the components of your product and a thorough analysis and summary of its ingredients. They do the hard work for you of looking into science journals to come up with a paragraph long summary explaining the functions and features of the ingredient/ product.

Jump to:

1Source
INCIDecoder
Code Check
Think Dirty

1Source

Ingredient analyzers have popped up over the years to accumulate a database of products and ingredients to breakdown the ingredients into lay man friendly, bite sized factoids.

With a database of 500,000 ingredients and consumer product data, 1Source breaks down complicated chemical jargon into page long summaries about main features of ingredients, and backs it up with links from medical and scientific journals for those who intend to have a deeper understanding of the ingredients. Product can’t be found on the database? Just take a picture and upload the product to our website / app in just a few clicks!

Other Features:

Potential Risk Index

Furthermore, 1Source curated its very own potential risk index to determine the harmfulness of a product. An ingredient will be assigned a level 1 rating (green) to level 10 rating if it has been banned or classified as a carcinogen by the IRAC. The rating of green, yellow and red make it easy to determine the safety of the product.

Health ratings

Health Filter

Besides being an ingredient analyzer site, 1Source is the only site in the world that screens products based on personal health conditions. Our app also allows users to quickly scan barcodes of products and alert them if any hazardous chemicals are found. Simply by inputting your own health profile our website, the app can help filter and find products which will not trigger your health conditions and warn you of those that do.


INCIDecoder

This soft purple and white color scheme with simple infographics is cute and easy on the eyes. The website contains basic functions, making it user friendly and easy to navigate. Highlights of its functions include searching for a product or ingredient, showcasing products and cute infographics featuring different chemical compounds.

Product / Ingredient Ratings

INCIDecoder contains rating system from ” no rating” (functional ingredients) to “superstar” ingredients which does good things for the skin and is backed by research. After looking at this rating, INCIDecoder makes it possible to look for products with or without certain ingredients. Product not in the system? Create an account and upload it.


Code Check

Code Check is an app only platform that scans product barcode and rates ingredients based on scientific sources. The app is first ever ingredient analyzer in the industry and aims to help people discover cleaner and healthier product alternatives. Ratings can be adjusted according to preference. However, the rating system is a little impractical and hard to decipher as the overlapping ratings make it hard to understand at one glance.

Courtesy of Code Check

Think Dirty

This app only platform contains over 850,000 cosmetics from Canada and the US. They have a rating called Dirty Meter which comprises of ingredient information, certifications and health impacts.

My Bathroom Rating:

Keeps track of what you already have in your bathroom. Figure out your current bathroom rating, and track your process on “cleaning” it up.

Shopping lists:

Identical to Amazon or other E-commerce websites, save products to a basket to make shopping easier.

Shop now:

Want a particular product? Buy them directly from Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Well.ca, Sephora.com and more!

UPC Submission: Can’t find your product on the database, scan the barcode of the product and submit it to the app.

Courtesy of Think Dirty on google app store

A more sustainable world

If consumers were to understand individual components in their products and its toxicity, consumers will start making smart, informed decisions and choose less harmful and toxic products. The whole cycle changes.The supply chain and the environment becomes cleaner. What we need for a more Eco friendly and sustainable world is lesser marketing hypes, smarter consumer choices and a world of ingredient transparency.

20% of Spices in your Cupboard have Toxins

In a recent discovery by the Consumer Council in Hong Kong, 20% of popular retail spices contain carcinogenic aflatoxins. But why is this a concern?

With the pandemic still at large in many countries, we have been cooking at home more often. We tend to think home cooked meals are generally safe because we know what ingredients we are using. But what we do not know is how these raw ingredients are being produced.

The Study

The Consumer Council selected and tested 37 dried spices that were popular items in the kitchen. Many of the spices came from popular chain supermarket stores, making them heavily accessible. Here were the findings:

  • 24% were found to contain aflatoxins (AFs) and/or ochratoxin A (OTA)
  • 1 curry powder sample had exceeded the content regularly limit for the EU and Hong Kong

It was urged by the Consumer Council for producers of the spices to improve the production process to reduce the level of aflatoxins levels.

The samples that contained that contained AFs were 3 white peppers, 2 curry powder and 1 garlic powder. So there is no particular spice that has this problem, it can happen in any kind of dried spice.

What are Aflatoxins?

Aflatoxins are more common than you think. They can occur in foods such as nuts, rice and other dried foods like spices and cocoa beans because of a fungal contamination before and after harvest. It is a natural process but can be avoided.

Aflatoxins are poisonous carcinogens and mutagens that has been classified as a Group 1 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

What are the safety hazards of products containing Aflatoxins?

  • Fatal if swallowed (H300)
  • Fatal in contact with skin (H310)
  • Fatal if inhaled (H330)
  • May cause cancer (H350)

1Source Health Tips

There are a few things we can do to improve the safety of our home cooking with dried spices.

  • Take note of the product label. Highlight the shelf life and expiry date.
  • Make sure the product packaging is intact to avoid any contamination.
  • Store in a tightly sealed container after opening and in a cool dry place.
  • Reduce the amount of spices to reduce the amount of intake of toxins.

With more knowledge comes better decision making. Take more time to examine your products to make the more beneficial decision. Just because a product is cheap and in the shelves of a supermarket, does not mean it is free of toxins.

“Low sugar” labels on beverages are lies

As people become more health conscious, many of us opt for healthier options when doing our shopping. We choose “low sugar” and “zero sugar” options to try to cut down our sugar intake, however, studies show that these labels are fallacious claims.

sugar-y drinks

The Consumer Council tested 51 beverages with sweeteners with zero calories, however the results of the research showed that many samples were still rich in sugar despite the addition of sweeteners. The beverages tested included 18 non-alcohol carbonated drinks, 16 sports and energy drinks and 17 other drinks ranging from fruit juices, yoghurt drinks and flavored bottled water. The Council cross checked the sugar contents of the samples against its nutrition labels and tested the amount of sweeteners it contained.

sugar!

Samples do not comply with “low sugar” regulations!

Food and Drugs (Composition and labelling) Regulations states that products with “low sugar” or “zero sugar” should not contain more than 0.5g -5g of free sugar per 100ml. However, The Council’s research shows that up to 36 samples abused this guideline, with sugar ranging to 14g per 100ml, more than double than what was stated in the regulation.

Two drinks easily takes us over the sugar limit!

The recommended daily intake for sugar is 50g, according to the World Health Organization, however, 40% of the samples had nearly half the level of recommended daily sugar intake in just one can.

Issue of laws and legalities

  • According to the Sweeteners in Food Regulations in Hong Kong, food manufacturers and food importers can only use or sell food products using 10 permitted sweeteners, however there is no regulation on the amount of different sweeteners used.
  • Some sweeteners detected in some samples did not match with nutrition labels.
  • Some samples lacked identification of sweeteners as required by the law.

Health risks:

Sweeteners are a “sugar substitute 100x sweeter than sucrose” that is neither digested nor absorbed by the body, according to Hong Kong Consumer Council. 4 types of sweeteners were tested in this study, including acesulfame potassium/ACE-K, aspartame, sucralose and steviol glycosides. Although it has no calories and does not affect blood glucose levels, research shows that it still poses its own health risks.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer conducted a study of over 400, 000 individuals and found that people who consumed sweetened beverages more frequently faced a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. Those with a regular consumption of at least 2 cans of soft drinks with sweeteners per day had a 26% higher mortality rate than those who drink less than one can per month.

Advise:

  • Contrary to popular belief, artificially sweetened beverages don’t help your weight loss journey. Studies revealed that they increase sweet cravings and make people desire sweeter foods.
  • Sports and energy drinks have connotations to health and fitness brand. However, this study found that many sports and energy drinks contained sweeteners irrespective of natural sugar contents. Consider diluting energy drinks with water and refrain from drinking excessively.
  • Beware of caffeine and other stimulants in your drinks!

1Source Rates Common Body Lotion Products

Summer is officially over in the northern hemisphere. As we near cooler days and shorter evenings, we start stocking up moisturizers and body lotions to protect our skin against harsh weather. However, with so many products lining supermarket shelves, how to choose the most suitable products?

20201010 at a popular chain store in HK

We got you! Our team recently compiled a list of common body lotion products found in local drug stores and supermarkets in Hong Kong. From budget prices to high end brands, 1Source has analyzed the product contents through its system and came up with a Potential Risk Index and short description for each product.

Body Lotions we analyzed:

Popular products in Hong KongPotential Risk Index®
Cerave Itch Relief Moisturizing Cream10
Chloe Love Story Body Lotion10
Collagen by Watsons Shea Butter Softening Body Lotion10
Nivea Body Moisturising Mousse10
Philosophy Living Grace Firming Body Emulsion10
The Body Shop Vegan British Rose Body Yoghurt10
Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF506
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Stress Relief Lotion 6
Johnsons Body Care Lotion6
Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair6
QV Skin Lotion Repair Skin6
Cerave Moisturising Lotion For Dry to Very Dry Skin5
Locccitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream5
Nivea Intensive moisture Body Milk 48H5
Crabtree Evelyn Gardeners Body Lotion New4
Derma 365 Gentle Lotion4
Kundal Body Lotion4
Cetaphil Pro Ad Derma Skin Restoring Moisturizer3
Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Body Lotion3

QV Skin Lotion Repair Skin

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 6

Comments:

  • Contains methylparaben , which is proven to be carcinogenic when bound to human estrogen receptor

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Stress Relief Lotion (Lavender, Chamomile, Ylang- Ylang)

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Stress Relief Lotion, With Lavender, Chamomile + Ylang-Ylang 艾惟諾 天然薰衣草舒緩保濕乳

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 6

Comments:

  • Contains benzyl alcohol which is found to be strongly linkedin to the incidence of brain damage among infants

Kundal Honey & Macadamia Body Lotion, Baby Powder

Kundal Honey & Macadamia Body Lotion, Baby Powder 蜂蜜堅果保濕潤膚乳 爽身粉香

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 4

Derma365 Gentle Lotion, Suitable For Eczema, Dry And Itchy Skin

Derma365 Gentle Lotion, Suitable For Eczema, Dry And Itchy Skin

Potential Health Index:

potential risk index 4

Comments:


Cetaphil PRO AD Derma Body Skin Restoring Moisturizer

Cetaphil PRO AD Derma Body Skin Restoring Moisturizer 舒特膚 倍加護潤膚霜

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 3

Comments: No ingredients rated above 4


Physiogel DAILY MOISTURE THERAPY BODY LOTION

Physiogel DAILY MOISTURE THERAPY BODY LOTION

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 3

Comments: No ingredient above rating 4


Cerave Moisturizing Lotion For Dry To Very Dry Skin

Cerave Moisturising Lotion For Dry To Very Dry Skin

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 5

Comments:

  • Contains phenoxyethanol, a potential irritant to skin and banned in all sunscreen products from January 1 2020 by the Republic of Palau to protect its coral reefs and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Contains methylparaben , which is proven to be carcinogenic when bound to human estrogen receptor

Cerave Itch Relief Moisturizing Cream

Cerave Itch Relief Moisturizing Cream

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 10

Comments:


Nivea Intensive Moisture Body Milk 48H

Nivea Intensive Moisture Body Milk 48H

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 5

Comments:


Nivea Body Moisturising Mousse Fresh Cucumber & Matcha Tea Fragrance 48H

Nivea Body Moisturising Mousse Fresh Cucumber & Matcha Tea Fragrance 48H

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 10

Comments:

  • Contains phenoxyethanol, a potential irritant to skin and banned in all sunscreen products from January 1 2020 by the Republic of Palau to protect its coral reefs and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Contains Butane which is on the Canada Ingredient Hotlist of ingredients prohibited for use in cosmetic products in 2019

Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Body Lotion

Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Body Lotion

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 6

Comments:

  • Contains phenoxyethanol, a potential irritant to skin and banned in all sunscreen products from January 1 2020 by the Republic of Palau to protect its coral reefs and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Contains methylparaben , which is proven to be carcinogenic when bound to human estrogen receptor

Johnson’s Body Care Aroma Milk, Rose & Jasmine

Johnson'S Body Care Aroma Milk, Rose & Jasmine エクストラケア アロマローション

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 6

Chloé Love Story Body Lotion

Chloé Love Story Body Lotion

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 10

Comments:

  • Contains colorant red4, which is prohibited in cosmetic products according to EU CosIng Annex II in 2017 and 2018
  • Contains oxybenzone, functions as physical sunscreen that is banned in 2018 for commercial uses as it is found to be a serious water contaminant to coral reefs under Hawaii Senate Bill 2571
  • Oxybenzone may cause skin irritation and allergic skin reaction
  • Contains Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, which functions as sunscreen and is found to behave as an endocrine disrupter

Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF50

Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF50

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 6

Comments:

  • Contains octocrylene, which functions as a chemical filter and is found to be a strong allergen leading to contact dermatitis in children and mostly photoallergic contact dermatitis in adults

Philosophy Living Grace Firming Body Emulsion

Philosophy Living Grace Firming Body Emulsion

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 10

Comments:


Collagen By Watsons Shea Butter Softening Body Lotion

Collagen By Watsons Shea Butter Softening Body Lotion

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 10

Comments:


L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream

L'Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 5

Comments:

Contains phenoxyethanol, a potential irritant to skin and banned in all sunscreen products from January 1 2020 by the Republic of Palau to protect its coral reefs and UNESCO World Heritage Site


Crabtree & Evelyn GARDENERS BODY LOTION (New)

Crabtree & Evelyn GARDENERS BODY LOTION (New)

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 4

Comments:


The Body Shop Vegan British Rose Body Yogurt

The Body Shop Vegan British Rose Body Yogurt

Potential Risk Index:

potential risk index 10

Comments:

  • Contains colorant Red 4 which is prohibited in cosmetic products according to the EU CosIng Annex II 2017 and 2018

Here is what we learnt about body lotions:

  • A product may be popular or has a good reputation but contain unsafe ingredients within certain products
  • Higher pricing does not guarantee products with safer ingredients
  • Just because a product is common and you see it everywhere does not mean all its ingredients are safe

Just because a brand is popular or has a good reputation doesn’t mean that all its products are completely safe. This is because ingredients within a product varies among different products, hence the importance of using an ingredient analyzer site to scan product ingredients to ensure the safety of you and your family.

6 Natural Dry and Sensitive Skin Remedies

Natural is becoming the more sought after method of treatment due to the many hazardous ingredients that are in shelved products. The ingredient label doesn’t tell you much about what is inside a product. There is no clear indication of what ingredients are safe and which ones are hazardous.

What natural remedies are out there that can help with our skincare routine? Here are 6 to get you started!

1. Coconut Oil

Natural Dry and Sensitive Skin Remedies – Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Coconut oil is 99% fat, composed mainly of saturated fats. It has various applications.

A natural remedy that is recommended by the National Eczema Association as it can help prevent infection. It is highly recommended for those with patches of inflamed skin that are prone to cracking and oozing. The antibacterial abilities of coconut oil can reduce staph bacteria on the skin.

Coconut can be used as a natural moisturizer. It is made by extracting from the coconut meat. Choosing the right product is vital, as virgin or cold-pressed coconut oils are the ones without chemicals.

2. Chamomile

Natural Dry and Sensitive Skin Remedies – Chamomile

Something I used as a child and saw great improvements to my Eczema. Highly known for its antioxidant properties, Chamomile is a medicinally recognized plant that promotes skin health by tightening the skin and improving complexion.

2014 study showed that Chamomile lotion can be equally effective as hydrocortisone, making it a natural alternative to the cream.

Chamomile cream/lotion can be bought over-the-counter, so no prescription is needed. Chamomile tea can be used to massaged into the skin as an alternative.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple cider vinegar has many uses, but did you know it can be used as an exfoliant? It can help to remove dead skin and stimulate healthy skin growth. It is well known for its antiseptic and antibiotic properties.

Apple cider vinegar has the vitamins and nutrients needed to regenerate skin cells. When applying, dilute a small amount with water. Apply to your skin and leave it for a few minutes before washing the mixture off with water.

Along with oatmeal, it can be used to exfoliate your skin and soothe Eczema symptoms in baths. Be sure to use the right amount of dilution to prevent irritation. Consult a doctor or dermatologist for more feedback.

4. Turmeric

Natural Dry and Sensitive Skin Remedies – Turmeric

Turmeric is a herb well known for its anti-inflammatory properties that contains curcumin. Curcumin is a rich in antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties compound.

Turmeric cream can help speed up wound healing and reduce scarring for Cesarean wounds according to a 2015 study.

Top tip, you can actually mix honey and turmeric together for a more effective paste to treat Eczema scars. Apply the paste and let it sit on your skin for 10-20 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water.

5. Sunflower Oil

Natural Dry and Sensitive Skin Remedies – Sunflower Oil

Another oil on the list! This time it is sunflower oil, made by extracting the oils from sunflower seeds. Sunflower oil has proven benefits to the skin that makes it enticing to use.

Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil pressed from the seeds of sunflower (Helianthus annuus). Sunflower oil is commonly used in food as a frying oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient.

Sunflower oil can hydrate skin, preventing inflammation and itching. It protects the skin’s out layer, which keeps the bacteria out. This is proven by research, making it a must to try out in terms of natural remedies.

6. Colloidal Oatmeal

Natural Dry and Sensitive Skin Remedies – Colloidal Oatmeal

Colloidal Oatmeal is a popular treatment to help calm and soften inflamed skin. Colloidal oatmeal is oatmeal grains that have been ground into an extremely fine powder which is then suspended in a bulking liquid.

The properties of the colloidal oatmeal mixture are often derived from the suspension liquid. It can be used as a moisturizer and helps to soothe itchy, scratchy skin or eczema-esque symptoms. It should not be ingested. 

The most popular methods of using colloidal oatmeal in a lukewarm bath and to use it as a paste and apply it to your skin. It should be noted that you must check whether you have an allergic reaction to oats or not first before trying this remedy out.