News & Commentary

♦ January 18, 2017

Health Ministry has warned the public against drinking coffee at restaurants, cafes – especially pregnant and nursing women

From Israel National News:

Israel’s Health Ministry on Tuesday warned the Israeli public to avoid buying coffee from restaurants and cafes, whose machines may leech high levels of lead residue into the water they hold. Hundreds of machines have already been checked and found to have lead levels which are higher than the acceptable amount. Read more

From Jerusalem Post:

…Excess lead can have a variety of influences on health. In adults, exposure to it has been linked with cardiovascular diseases and elevated blood pressure. It can also harm kidney function and male and female reproductive systems.

But the group that is most sensitive to excess lead is fetuses and young children, as some of the lead is released by the mother’s bone tissue to help the fetus build its skeleton.

It can pass through the placenta and also via mother’s milk.

Excessive lead raises the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and harm to children’s cognitive development, and can reduce IQ and cause learning problems. Read more

♦ November 21, 2016

The Israeli Health Ministry has outlined new recommendations to promote healthy nutrition including placing red or green stickers on products to indicate the level of health risk.

Health Ministry Director General, Moshe Bar Simon, on behalf of a special committee, today submitted to Health Minister Yaakov Litzman the committee’s recommendations for new regulations to promote healthy nutrition in Israel.

The recommendations include the requirement that all food products carry a green or red sticker indicating whether they are a healthy food or not and specifying the level of health risk associated with the ingredients.

In the first stage, which will begin next year, red stickers will be assigned to foods containing – in 100 grams – more than 800 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of sugar, or 6 grams of saturated fat.

Later on, the criteria will be tightened, and salty cheeses, kid’s cereals, sauces such as ketchup, snacks, sweets, and processed meat products will have to carry the red sticker. Read more

Update: According to this article in Haaretz, recommendations will be implemented later than originally indicated.

Nourishing Israel  comments:

While these changes are welcome and should go a long way to improving health in Israel, we must not make the dangerous mistake of eating too little salt and saturated fat. Read about your body’s need for adequate salt and saturated fat.

♦ November 15, 2016

Desalinated water identified as cause of increased heart attack rates

Israel’s five desalination plants along its coast produce more than 600 cubic meters of water each year, and 75% of water used in homes is desalinated. Given the water shortages threatening much of the world, what could be the problem with this method?

The answer is: Heart disease and consequent higher death rates, caused by the lack of magnesium in desalinated water.

A group of researchers from Bar Ilan University and the Tel HaShomer Hospital checked 4,600 heart-disease patients who were hospitalized around the country. They divided the hospitals into two groups: Those in areas supplied with desalinated water, and those… Read more.

Nourishing Israel Comments:

More than just iodine and magnesium are removed from desalinated water. Iron, manganese, calcium, and other minerals essential to health are also removed.

This is also the situation with reverse-osmosis filter systems which many people use in their homes, with distilled water sold for drinking, and with bottled water low in trace minerals, such as glacial mineral waters. In such cases, minerals must be added back to the water.

Another downside to reverse osmosis as a method of purifying drinking water is the removal of healthy, naturally occurring minerals in water. The membrane of a reverse osmosis system is impermeable to natural trace minerals. These minerals not only provide a good taste to water, but they also serve a vital function in the body’s system. Water, when stripped of these trace minerals, can actually be unhealthy for the body. Read more.

For a detailed report about the health hazards of demineralized water, read this WHO (World Health Organization) report: Health Risks from Drinking  Demineralized Water.

♦ October 30, 2016

Public Notice from the Israel Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development

Galilee Coconut Oil and Olive Oil labeled as “Organic” do not comply with Israel organic food laws. For detailed information (in Hebrew) and pictures of the Galilee Coconut and Olive Oil jars click here.

Nourishing Israel Comments:

Learn more about the health benefits of good quality olive oil and coconut oil.

♦ September 20, 2016

Desalinated water linked to iodine deficiency

Researchers have already shown that depending on desalinated water for drinking that lacks magnesium can raise the risk of heart disease. Now, researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem maintain that its lack of iodine naturally occurring in regular water can cause thyroid gland diseases as well. Iodine deficiency is also the single-most-important cause of preventable intellectual deficiency worldwide.

Some 300 million people around the world get their potable water from 17,000 desalination plants in 150 countries, including Israel, which has the highest percentage of desalinated water consumption in the world.

“There is no doubt that desalination is a blessing. However, … Read more