Dr. Kesten's Blog

Are Food Labels Accurate? Important Tips to Find Out What You�re Really Eating

Posted: February 16, 2014
By: Dr. Joseph Mercola

If you eat processed or packaged food, ideally you should be able to tell what is in the food you are eating by looking at the ingredient list and the nutrition facts label. However, this is not always the case and what you see on the label may not always be what you get. 

Food Label Accuracy

While most prepared foods sold in the United States are required to contain nutrition labels, in one U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) survey of nutritional labels it was found that one out of every 10 products had inaccuracies. These, they said, were excellent results. 

A food label must be more than 20 percent off in order for it to violate federal law, and government food labs have a 10 percent margin of error. This means that an item labeled as having 400 calories can legally have up to 480 calories, plus there is the 10 percent testing margin of error.

Nonetheless, some foods, particularly those making low-fat, low-carb or no-sugar claims, contain drastically different nutrients than are listed on the label. For instance, according to an ABC News report from May 2004, two doughnut vendors that claimed their doughnuts were low-fat had dramatically understated the calorie and fat content of the doughnuts. In one case, a "carob-coated" doughnut with three grams of fat and 135 calories was actually a chocolate doughnut that contained 18 grams of fat and 530 calories. 

There are many other companies that have misbranded their products, including some of the newer products making low-carb claims. Carbolite’s vanilla mousse mix, which claimed 2 grams of carbs and no sugar per serving, actually had 8 grams of carbs and 4.2 grams of sugar. Another product, chocolate chips with zero crabs, actually had 14.2 grams of carbohydrates. 

Hidden and Misleading Ingredients

Aside from the potential errors with nutrition labels, product ingredients can also be misleading. For instance, food products that say they contain milk, fruit or vegetables may not contain them at all. 

Some examples include Pillsbury Blueberry Muffins, which do not contain blueberries--they contain artificial blueberry bits--and Chex Milk and Cereal Bars, which contain no real milk. Instead, they actually contain non-fat powdered milk, palm oil, sugar and additives.

Further, allergenic ingredients may not be listed on food labels. Cross contamination, which can occur when the same equipment is used to manufacture multiple products, can potentially cause allergic products to be introduced to non-allergic products if equipment is not cleaned adequately. 

There is also the potentially daunting task of trying to decipher what exactly certain ingredients are. For instance, if you were trying to avoid corn you would have to avoid not only anything listed as corn, but also Malt, Malt extract and syrup, Sorbitol, Food starch, Dextrin,  Fructose and fructose syrup, Baking powder, Monosodium glutamate,  Maltodextrin, Starch and  Confectioner’s sugar. All of these items could potentially be made from corn, but unless you are specifically aware of what to look for it would be easy to overlook these items when looking for corn on an ingredient label. 

What You Can Do

The FDA is encouraging food labels to be more science based and they will contain information on trans fats by 2006, however there is still no guarantee that the label accurately lists everything that a food contains. 

Tips to ensure that you know exactly what you are eating

Don’t eat packaged or processed foods 
Eat whole foods 
Make your food at home

If you are used to relying on processed foods then this may sound difficult, but it is actually just a difference in mindset. Choosing whole foods like fresh produce, organic meat and eggs and other ‘real’ food is the natural way to eat, and once you start eating this way it will seem only natural to you.

If you need some help getting started I suggest you read through my new book for a comprehensive, healthy eating program that is filled with only real, natural foods. You can check out the nutrition plan for an overview to get you started in the meantime. It’s true that eating whole foods will take you more time, but if you are interested in knowing exactly what you are putting into your body and changing your health for the better, it is well worth the effort.

Hyperactivity ADHD and Learning Disabilities

Posted: November 11, 2013
By: Dr Bruce Kesten

A NOTE ON MUSCLE TESTING - The Who What Where and Why

Posted: September 8, 2013
By: Dr. Philip Maffetone

Muscle testing is a procedure performed by health practitioners as part of a physical evaluation. It helps assess the body’s muscles and their connections to the brain through the nervous system. Testing is
accomplished by applying moderate and precise force against an arm, leg or other body area of a patient who is simultaneously resisting in the opposite direction. This evaluation is particularly important for those with back, knee and hip pain, spinal problems, wrist and elbow dysfunction, headaches, and many other disorders.

Testing muscles is a primary and practical way to determine a condition called muscle imbalance, where two or more muscles are not properly working together. The combination of a ‘tight,’ over-active muscle and one that is ‘loose’ or less active is a simple but accurate definition of muscle imbalance. Because it is a common cause of injury, pain, and disability, the use of muscle testing can be as important as blood and urine evaluations, X-rays, physical examinations, and other assessments. While associated with joint, ligament, tendon, and bone problems, muscle imbalance can significantly impair physical movement, such as walking, reduce sports performance, and even lower overall quality of life.

Testing The Muscles

The Who
Muscle testing is used by a wide variety of practitioners including those in medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic, physical therapy,and numerous others. For example, neurologists may perform it to rule out serious conditions; physical therapists to rate a patient’s level of disability; athletic trainers to assess a particular injury; and chiropractors
to help determine areas of treatment. Overall, those who employ biofeedback,manipulation, diet and nutrition, exercise, sports, coaching, and other approaches, often utilize muscle testing.

In the 1940s, physical therapists Florence and Henry Kendall developed a comprehensive
system of testing muscles to evaluate disabilities. Their first textbook on the subject was published later that decade, and would inspire the work of two doctors, in uniquely different ways, triggering a muscle testing revolution that continues today. In the early 1960s, Vladimir Janda (1923- 2002), a Czechoslovakian medical doctor, developed a system of care using muscle testing, teaching practitioners in many disciplines including physical therapists, athletic trainers and chiropractors. Janda’s primary approach included various therapies directed at the ‘tight’ muscle, although sometimes he addressed the ‘loose’ one to correct muscle imbalances.

Unknowingly, and at the same time, George Goodheart (1918-2008), an American chiropractic physician, discovered a way to use muscle testing to evaluate the nervous system. In this approach, now used by chiropractors, medical doctors, osteopaths, and others, treatment incorporates a variety of complementary remedies including acupuncture, manipulation, and nutrition. Goodheart primarily directed therapy at the ‘loose’ muscle (sometimes referred to as ‘weak’), and on occasion, applied treatment to the ‘tight’ one to correct muscle imbalance.

The What
A term commonly associated with muscle testing is kinesiology, referring to the study of human movement. It is a topic taught in the coursework of many colleges and universities, and postdoctoral programs. With an understanding of kinesiology, practitioners can better use muscle testing to evaluate
posture, gait, and all other movements. Many types of assessment and treatment approaches that incorporate muscle testing and use the name kinesiology have evolved over the last fifty years. Most originated from the work of Goodheart.

The Where
Tens of thousands of health practitioners around the world, in hospitals, clinics, private practice, on sports teams, and elsewhere, employ some form of muscle testing in their work. In addition, hundreds
of studies have been published in scientific journals on this topic.

The Why
As an important part of a comprehensive physical evaluation, muscle testing can help discover the cause of a particular injury or disability. It can also quickly assist in measuring the effectiveness of specific treatments. While its use varies with individual practitioners, there is one common feature among all using it: muscle testing is a form of biofeedback. We usually think of biofeedback as a type of electronic monitoring, such as EMG for muscles or EEG for the brain, which involves the use of electrical devices. While these approaches often incorporate muscle testing, most practitioners perform it as a hands-on evaluation without equipment. While millions of people have experienced muscle testing, many more have not. Finding a health practitioner who incorporates this form of evaluation is as easy as inquiring about whether testing muscles is part of his or her practice.

Dr. Philip Maffetone is the author of over 15 books, including “The Big Book of Health and Fitness,” and
has used

Healthier Children Through Chiropractic Care

Posted: August 12, 2013
By: Dr Bruce Kesten

Chiropractic care For Children at Kesten Family Chiropractic

"Chiropractic care for my child? Why? His back doesn't bother him." How often chiropractors have encountered parents who appreciate the importance of regular checkups for their child's teeth, hearing, eyes and ears but draw a blank when it comes to a spinal checkup. In fact, a spinal check up could be one of the most important checkups your child will ever have. 

Your child's spine is his/her lifeline because running through it is the spinal cord, containing billions of nerve fibers that send messages and energy from the brain to every part of their body. If there is blockage of any of the nerves along the spinal cord, any nerve damage at all, then a state of "dis-ease" will develop. Dis-ease means dis-harmony in the body that will cause generalized weakening of your child's body, lowered resistance to disease, and consequent body malfunction and sickness. 

Blockage of nerves in the spinal column are usually caused by tiny fixations and misalignments of the spinal vertebrae that are called vertebral subluxations. Only chiropractors are trained to detect and correct subluxations, much like only a dentist finds cavities. Subluxations can be cause by the birth process, the very physical childhood activities of running and jumping, falls and accidents. 
Because your children (and you) may have spinal subluxations and not know it, all children need periodic spinal check ups. There are however certain warning signs indicating that the spinal column may be out of alignment: one hip or shoulder is higher than the other, hyperactivity and can't sit still, frequent falling, a foot turned in or out (foot flare), neck tilt, one leg shorter than the other, chronic fatigue, "noisy bones" or joint aches, and skin conditions. Some other indicators are increased allergies, colds and flu, asthma and ear infections. A recent study of 332 children showed that chronic ear infection sufferers under chiropractic care had no more infections in 80% of the cases (JCCP, Vol.2, No.2 1997). 

The Chiropractic Approach
By releasing stress on the nervous system with very gentle and safe chiropractic adjustments, the body will work more effectively and be able to express better health. The nervous system controls EVERY function of the body (Gray's Anatomy) and thus the nervous system when not interfered with by subluxations can enable the body to heal itself and be healthy. 

No matter what health concerns you or your children may have, you can benefit from a healthy spine. Spinal health can be as important for your overall healing as proper nutrition. Are you and your family carrying vertebral subluxations in your spines? A spinal checkup can tell. Among the many things contributing to your health: the quality of the air, food and water you take in, how you handle stress, your inherited weaknesses, strengths and activity levels - a healthy spine is absolutely essential. In some people and children it is a major factor and can make the difference between a life of health, strength and vitality or a life of disease, weakness and disability. 

More and more families are finding that chiropractic care for their children makes a big difference in their health. Every day we see children in our office getting healthier as they receive adjustments, because their parents who saw benefits from chiropractic care for themselves wanted their children to have the same. One of the comments that we hear over and over again is "My child doesn't seem to get sick as often since getting adjusted." 

Why not include chiropractic spinal checkups for you and your children? It may be the best move for your family's health you'll ever make. 


Posted: July 8, 2013
By: Dr Bruce Kesten

Take a room of 50 people and give them each the same portion of bad fish laced with Salmonella (a bacteria that causes food poisoning). Let’s say, all things being equal, that 25 people develop all the symptoms of food poisoning (namely fever, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea) and the other 25 people had NO SYMPTOMS WHATSOEVER!

I have one question and there is only ONE CORRECT ANSWER!

Which half of the room is sick?

If you guessed the side with NO SYMPTOMS, you are CORRECT!!!

Why is this the case?

The human body is very intelligent. It knows how to protect the body when something invades it. Bacteria do not like very high temperatures. That’s why you cook meat, to rid it of bacteria. A fever is a natural way of the body fighting off the invading organism. 

If you had just swallowed some paint thinner by accident (please don’t try that one at home!), I could make a good bet you would vomit almost immediately. We know right away that paint thinner is toxic to the body. When we take bad things into the body, again, we have an intelligence that knows to rid the body of poison. That’s why you have upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea with food poisoning.  It’s actually the body’s way of EXPRESSING HEALTH!!

We have an amazing innate intelligence to the body that helps keep us healthy all the time. Anytime we upset the balance of this intelligence, the body tries to right the ship by creating health once again.

BUT……. What happens when the body is so overcome by forces that it cannot create its own healthy environment? 

Eventually the body breaks down and real illness develops.

Chiropractic has for its entire existence looked at aiding the body to restore its own innate intelligence through its effect on the main system that controls its function, specifically the nervous system. 

Chiropractors are actually nervous system doctors that remove interference (subluxation) to the flow of innate intelligence from the beginning of the nervous system pathway (the brain) to the distal periphery of the body.

When subluxations are corrected the body can better adapt and function under duress and live an optimal state of health.

So…….the next time you have a bad piece of fish, think about your chiropractor!!!

Yours in True Health,

Bruce Kesten, D.C.



Posted: June 27, 2013
By: Dr Bruce Kesten

According to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary the word “ manipulate ” is defined as “to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own  advantage” or… “to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose.”

Adjust ”, on the other hand, is defined as “to bring to a more satisfactory state” or…”to make correspondent or conformable or…”to bring parts of to a true or more effective relative position, and my favorite, “ to achieve mental and behavioral balance between one’s own needs and the demands of others”

In other words, adapting to our environment, both inside and out.  

Which definition applies best to Chiropractic?  I think the adjustment is much more powerful, truthful and is absolutely representative of Chiropractic.  I have never liked the term manipulate and do not care to use it in my practice.When you speak of chiropractic, please think in terms of adjustments to connect the mind and body, and leave the manipulating to others.

Thanks for trust and confidence in our office and your kind referrals.

“Molding Back to Normal”

Posted: June 9, 2013
By: Dr Bruce Kesten

One of the most important benefits of Chiropractic care is the restoration of normal alignment and mechanics to your spine.  But getting the shape back to where it should be takes time and effort… especially if your spine is tight and rigid to begin with.

 If you’ve ever worked with a fresh block of modeling clay, you know how tough it can be to mold right from the start.  You have to work with it – kneading and loosening it until it becomes pliable.  The more you work with it, the more malleable it becomes and shaping becomes easier.  Re-establishing the normal front alignment and lateral curves of your spine is no different.

 If your spine has never been adjusted before, it’s not uncommon to feel some tightness or soreness in the early ‘kneading’ part of care.  But don’t worry, it’s only temporary – much like the soreness you feel the first time at the gym.  With each adjustment you’ll gain more flexibility, and with more flexibility – less tension and discomfort.  

One Hour to Ease Your Back Ache and Boost Your Mood

Posted: April 21, 2013
By: Dr Bruce Kesten

Sitting a little less each day can reap big health benefits
In a recent study, participants were able to significantly reduce back and neck pain and improve their mood by sitting just 66 minutes fewer each day.