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The HCG Controversy

Recently I was attending a meeting and heard from 2 different people that they were using the “amazing HCG diet”.  HCG is human chorionic gonadotropin.  ” Take these drops or injections (depends of the plan) and stick to a 500 calorie diet each day and you will lose about a pound a day” one person said.  Well in my experience if you are on a 500 calorie diet, you will lose weight! No surprise there.

But the people insisted that this was “the way” to get back into shape.  No hunger pains, no exercise, no real work or worry.  I would worry about taking something that the FDA has not looked favorably upon.  I would worry about cutting my food intake so much that I was burning more that fat in order to “lose weight”.  If things are too easy, most times there is something wrong with the process.  But these 2 people were sticking to the plan.

In January 2011 and an updated statement in December 2011, the FDA issued statements saying that homeopathic HCG products are illegal.  “The FDA is warning consumers that over the counter HCG products marketed as weight loss aids are unproven and illegal. Many HCG products are marketed to be taken in connection with a very low calorie diet — it’s the decrease in calories that accounts for any weight loss. There are currently no FDA-approved HCG products designed to help you lose weight. FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have jointly issued warning letters to companies illegally marketing over-the-counter HCG products labeled for weight loss.”

Letters have been sent to 7 different companies according to the FDA statement. “FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued seven letters to companies warning them that they are selling illegal homeopathic HCG weight-loss drugs that have not been approved by FDA, and that make unsupported claims.”

These companies are:

Nutri Fusion Systems, Inc
Natural Medical Supply, LLC DBA HCG Complete Diet
HCG Platinum, LLC
HCG Diet Direct, LLC

For more information on the HCG diets and their negative side effects, visit the FDA website. 
According to the FDA site, “Living on 500 calories a day is not only unhealthy—it’s hazardous, according to FDA experts. Consumers on such restrictive diets are at increased risk for side effects that include gallstone formation, an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep the body’s muscles and nerves functioning properly, and an irregular heartbeat.

Shirley Blakely, a nutritionist at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, echoes concerns about such restrictive diets. They can be dangerous, she says, and potentially fatal.”

Of course I am partial to the clinically proven, natural weight management system from Shaklee call Cinch Inch Loss Plan.  Loose inches, keep the muscle mass you need and loose the fat you don’t need.  Muscle mass = metabolism.  The main thing is to lose the weight safely, slowly and in a manner that breaks the “YoYo” diet cycle!  Stay well.

Are You Buying the Pictures on the Labels?

Are you buying into Meaningless but Pretty labels?

In a recent article by Associate Editor Morgan Bast for NFM, labels are not all that they are reported to be.   Foods are being labeled using pictures and with terms that sound healthy but in reality have no definitions or regulations determining what that term truly means.  The pictures and claims are often misleading, sounding healthy, when they have no basis in reality or definition with the Food and Drug Administration.

For example, “lightly sweetened” does not have a definition from the Food and Drug Administration.    The FDA has regulations for the use of “sugar free” and “no sugar added”.  However, there are no regulations governing the claims of “low sugar” or “lightly sweetened”.  What might be light to one person could be heavy for another.  My idea of sweet iced tea is a far cry from the overly sweet jugs of tea from the store!  No tea taste, might as well eat a spoonful of sugar followed by a swallow of water.

Be Healthy

Be Healthy

“Made with Real Fruit” is often not the case according to an article in the New York Times.  Many of the main ingredients of “’real fruit” packaged foods are often sugar, corn syrup and white grape juice concentrate.  So don’t be blinded by the pictures and claims of the front of the package.

Don’t be fooled by the pretty picture! One product that is targets pre-schoolers,  a “juice treat” has pretty pictures of pineapple, oranges, peaches, cherries and raspberries.   However, when you read the ingredients list, there is not any cherry, pineapple, or orange in the product.  The main ingredients of this “juice treat”, targeted to pre-schoolers, are corn syrup and sugar in the equivalent amount of 4 teaspoons of refined sugar per serving.  So you can imagine the extra energy that the kids have after enjoying their treat!

So with these few examples, you can see that a picture is not always representative of the ingredients in the box!  Read the ingredients list, don’t be seduced by the pretty labels!  Read!!! And educate yourself about what terms are regulated and which just sound good.  Education Is power.  Check out the Center for Science in the Public Interest for more information.  Stay Well!

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