I'm in Toronto...
Every time I'm in Canada, I make sure to indulge in one of my favorite comfort foods – poutine.
For those of you who haven't heard of poutine, it's a traditional Canadian food. French fries topped with fresh cheese curds and gravy. (Bonus points if the fries are cooked in duck fat.)
Poutine isn't something I'd eat every day... but occasionally eating something that's not a healthy food is fine.
A healthy, fulfilling life has plenty of indulgences.
Longtime readers know I believe in moderation. Whether you enjoy eating salty food, having a glass of alcohol with dinner, or eating bacon with breakfast, don't worry too much about harming your health... as long as you don't overdo it.
Now let's get to this week's Q&A so I can get back to my poutine.
Q: I know you have recommended eating ginger. I dice it very small and put it in my smoothie. However, I really don't know how much I should be taking. If the width of the ginger is about the size of a quarter, what size should I cut? – P.M.
A: Ginger has several incredible health benefits. Ginger is a natural way to fight nausea and vomiting. According to a 2009 National Cancer Institute study, it reduced nausea in cancer patients up to 40%.
Ginger has also been used to treat pain for thousands of years. Several more recent studies have found ginger can relieve sore muscles, migraines, and even arthritis. Two active ingredients in ginger – zingerone and shogaol – act as anti-inflammatories. Studies found ginger inhibits pain in a way similar to medications like Advil. But unlike those medicines, fresh ginger is about as natural of a pain remedy as it gets... with fewer side effects.
To maximize benefits, you should eat about two grams of ginger. That's about one teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger. For your quarter-sized piece of ginger, try slicing about an eighth- to quarter-inch at a time.
Q: I know you've written about fish oil before but I can't find the issue. Do you recommend it or is it a waste of money? Is krill oil the same as fish oil? – R.K.
A: For years, I've told subscribers to stay away from fish supplements. Not only are they a waste of money, they're dangerous. You can read our issue on why to avoid fish oil supplements here.
Krill oil is the same. Don't waste your money. Stick to eating fresh fish a couple of times a week.
Q: The new plastic used is BPS. It is worse than the BPA. – R.R.
A: You're absolutely right. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration began banning bisphenol A, or "BPA," use in certain products, like baby bottles and children's sippy cups. That's after years of research showing the dangers of BPA – specifically how it alters hormones.
Bisphenol S ("BPS") then became a popular substitute for companies previously using BPA. But, as we've written before, BPS is just as dangerous as BPA. Studies show it alters proper hormone function in the same way that BPA can.
So if you're looking for safe drinkware, stick to glass and stainless steel. And make sure to wash your hands after touching receipts and newspapers.
Q: How would you rate coffee drank from a French press, as compared to other "filtered" coffees, in regard to its health benefits? – J.M.
A: A French press is my preferred way to make my coffee. There's no proof that using a French press offers greater health benefits than a traditional coffee maker. I simply like the taste.
And I use a glass French press... That way I don't have to worry about BPA and BPS getting into my morning cup of coffee.
Q: Do you recommend specific brokers? – C.H.
A: I've written before about brokers I've used or readers have recommended. You can read about three of them here. In general, you should stick to discount brokers. Most people don't need full-service brokers. Discount brokers don't give you as much spoon-feeding, but you pay much less in fees and transaction costs.
Lots of discount brokers also offer special deals throughout the year. In fact, Fidelity just lowered its transaction fees to $4.95, making it one of the lower-costing discount brokers. You can learn more about Fidelity's fee reduction here.
What's your favorite comfort food? Tell us about it at [email protected].
What We're Reading...
- Did you miss it? Four easy ways to relieve your aching back.
- BPA exposure can turn us into binge eaters.
- Something different: Why astronauts prefer spicier food in space.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
March 3, 2017