Friday, September 4, 2009

Inflammation Combat:
Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Fish is your key source of two key omega-3 fatty acids – eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). These are major anti-inflammatories. EPA and DHA are essential building blocks for the body’s anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (e.g., prostaglandin E1) and for turning off Cox-2 and the body’s pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-6, and TNFa). In addition, omega-3 fatty acids block the activity of an enzyme that breaks down joint cartilage. Mackerel, salmon, trout, sardines and tuna are good sources of these fatty acids.

CurcuiminCurcumin is the active ingredient of the Indian spice turmeric. Over the last few decades hundreds of small scale studies have proven scientifically what Indian people have known for centuries; that curcumin has the ability to halt or prevent certain types of cancer, stop inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, prevent cataracts and kill or inhibit the toxic effects of certain microbes including fungi and dangerous parasites.
(Arora RB, Basu N, Kapoor V, Jain AP. Anti-inflammatory studies on Curcuma- longa (turmeric). Ind J Med Res 1971 Aug;59(8):1289-95).

Green Tea – Researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, recently reported that the antioxidant polyphenols in green tea had anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting Cox-2 and TNFa. Genistein inhibits prostaglandin E2 and Cox-2, and quercetin inhibits the activity of inflammation-promoting “adhesion” molecules. It’s likely that Pycnogenol, grape seed extract, and other flavonoids work through similar mechanisms.
(School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 6, 1558-1564, December 2004).

Ginger – The popular herb ginger contains over 500 different compounds, many of which have anti-inflammatory properties. Suppression of inflammation is attributed to suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines produced by synoviocytes, chondrocytes, and leukocytes. Ginger suppresses prostaglandin synthesis through inhibition of cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2. A ginger extract (EV.EXT.77) derived from Zingiber officinale and Alpina galanga inhibits the induction of several genes involved in the inflammatory response. (Setty AR, Sigal LH. Semin. Arthritis Rheum. 2005 Jun;34(6):773-84.

Vitamin C – Vitamin C has long been recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties. In a study published in the March, 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, High blood levels of Vitamin C reduced signs of inflammation by 45 percent. The study was conducted at a London university and involved over 3200 men between 60 and 69. Researchers looked at C-reactive protein and t-PA, both markers for inflammation levels in the body. High blood levels of Vitamin C were also predictive of lower risk of blood clots, as indicated by factors such as blood viscosity. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol. 83, pp. 567-574),

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why Grassfed Animal Products Are Better For You
A Quick Review of the Fats That Make Up Your Body
All food fats are a blend of the different types, saturated and unsaturated. Unsaturated fats include poly- and monounsaturated fats. omega-3s and 6s are types of polyunsaturated fats, called essential because we have to get them from food, our bodies can't manufacture them from other fats.

The Story on the the Good Fats and Bad Fats
Whereas cellular proteins are genetically determined, the polyunsaturated fatty acids composition of all cell membranes is to a great extent dependent on the dietary intake.
There are many kinds of fats in the body. Some of the most crucial fats are in the list of compounds that make up the cell walls for all of the body's cells.
After isolating these fats scientific experiments determined that if the ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats exceeds 4:1, people have more health problems. This is especially meaningful since grain-fed beef can have ratios that exceed 20:1 whereby grass-fed beef is down around 3:1.
Similar ratios are also found in all grain-fed versus grass-fed livestock products.
Grassfed products are rich in all the fats now proven to be health-enhancing, but low in the fats that have been linked with disease.
If you want to read a comprehensive review of omega 3 fats along with 78 references to the clinical literature you can read Omega 3 Oils.

Why are Omega 3 Fatty Acids Important For Your Health?
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for normal growth and may play an important role in the prevention and treatment of:
· coronary artery disease
· hypertension
· arthritis
· cancer
· other inflammatory and autoimmune disorders

Your Body Can't Make These Fats So You Have to Get Them From Your Diet
Omega 3 and omega 6 fats are not interconvertible in your body and are important components of practically all cell membranes.
Whereas the proteins in your cell are genetically determined, the unsaturated fats of all your cell membranes is to a great extent determined on what you eat.
Therefore you need sufficient amounts of dietary omega 6 and omega 3 fats and they need to be balanced for normal development.
Your Diet Has Evolved From Your Ancient Ancestors
On the basis of estimates from studies in Paleolithic nutrition and modern-day hunter-gatherer populations, humans evolved on a diet that was much lower in saturated fatty acids than is today's diet. Furthermore, the diet contained small but roughly equal amounts of omega 6 and omega 3 fats.

Plant Fat Ratios
In the past 100 years there has been a rapid and unprecedented change in our diet. The modern vegetable oil industry was developed, and it is based on oil from seeds rich in omega 6 fats. Modern agriculture increased production by emphasizing grain feeds for domestic livestock, and grains are rich in omega 6 fats. Therefore, aggressive, industrialized agricultural management techniques have decreased the omega 3 fat content in many foods: green leafy vegetables, animal meats, eggs, and even fish.
This imbalance where omega 6 fats levels exceed omega 3 levels can be seen by comparing wild edible plants and wild animals and birds with products of modern agriculture. Products of modern agriculture frequently have drastically lower omega 3 levels. It is estimated that man evolved with a omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of one to one from both meat and vegetable sources.
Today the vegetable sources have an estimated omega 6:3 ratio of 10 to one. The modern diet of meat, fish, chicken, and vegetable oils has a ratio estimated to be 20 or 25 to one.

Eggs and Beef Fat Ratios
Chickens that eat vegetables high in omega 3 fats, along with insects and lots of fresh green grass, supplemented with fresh and dried fruit, and small amounts of corn
Range fed eggs have an omega 6:3 ratio of 1.5 to one whereas the "supermarket egg"has a ratio of 20 to one.
Modern agriculture's emphasis on increased production has led to the development of chicken feed that is being reflected in the out-of-balance ratio of fatty acids in the "supermarket egg."
North Dakota State University conducted a study on the nutritional differences between grass-fed and grain-fed bison. The results of that study closely followed that of the egg studies. The grass-fed bison had omega 6 to omega 3 ratios of 4.0 to one, and the grain-fed bison had ratios of 21 to one.
Additional studies by others clearly show that the longer cattle are fed grain, the greater the fatty acid imbalance. For instance, after 200 days in the feedlot grain-fed cattle have omega 6 to omega 3 ratios that exceed 20 to one. Many cattle are fed 200 days or more in the United States.
With the scientific data that has been published concerning omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, we must assume grass-fed beef is far better for human nutrition than grain-fed beef. If so, then having access to grass-fed beef can be very beneficial for one's health.
And since REAL Beef has been raised naturally, without hormones, and without having been fed antibiotics during the final phase of their lives, they have added benefits.

Why Not Get Your Omega 3 Fats From Fish?
Fish, while generally a leaner food choice than beef, is heavily promoted as a good source of the omega-3 fats.
The problem with fish is that over half of the US burns coal to generate electricty and 80,000 pounds of mercury is dumped into the oceans every year as a result.
Nearly all fish are contaminated with mercury. It has gotten so bad that even the conservative US government warns pregnant women to avoid eating fish. Additionally, it is my recommendation to avoid all fish, unless you are absolutely certain that it has been tested in a laboratory and shown not to contain detectable levels of mercury and other toxins.

REAL Beef is Grass Fed Beef and a Major Source of Omega 3 fats
When we switch from grainfed to grassfed meat, then, we are simply returning to the diet of our long-ago ancestors, the diet that is most in harmony with our physiology. Every cell and every system of our bodies will function better when we eat products from animals raised on grass.
Grass-fed beef is naturally leaner than grain-fed beef.
Omega 3s in beef that feed on grass is 7% of the total fat content, compared to 1% in grain-only fed beef.
Grass-fed beef has the recommended ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats (3:1.)
Grass-fed beef is loaded with other natural minerals and vitamins, plus it's a great source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) a fat that reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders.
Beef, in its natural grass-fed state, is a health food of the highest order.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Blogs Evan follows on a daily basis:
MDA usually has a new post every day but the others change every few days.

Here is a link to an article from fitness spotlight on a subject (MILK) we were talking about on Friday night at the challenge kickoff:

Favorite Farms to visit (for food): All these places are CASH or CHECK no credit cards!! (Grass fed meats and all things dairy, handcrafted cheeses) (buffalo jerky, and all things buffalo) (this site is Bolton's Turkey Farm, Fresh turkey, chicken and beef)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Evan's Kitchen...a few recipes from our favorite Nutrition Guru!!!
Coconut Pancakes
4 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour (you may have to go a little out of the way for this - Wegman's has it or a health food store)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey (you can cut this in half)
1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat) (Tai Kitchen is the best - Oh yea, shake the shit out of the can b4 you open it)
1/4 cup of dried unsweetened coconut flakes
Mix these ingredients and let them sit for five minutes. Oil or grease up your pan and heat over medium heat. Pour about a 1/4 cup of batter for each crepe, allowing each side to brown before flipping it.
Toppings are pretty much limitless - If you find some good ones let me know. I'm thinkin.... Almond butter topping 1/4 cup pumpkin added in some 85% dark chocolate melted on top any kind of berries

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
*1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp fennel
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley pizza or Alfredo sauce toppings (make sure meats are cooked)
mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Could use silicone mat or parchment paper as well.
In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg and mozzarella.
Press evenly on the pan (about 1/4 thick).
Sprinkle evenly with fennel, oregano and parsley.
Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes (15-20 minutes if you double the recipe).
Remove the pan from the oven. To the crust, add sauce, then toppings and cheese.Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Real Foods Vs. Fake Foods: Coffee Creamer, Salad Dressings, And Hamburgers
June 7, 2009

In round one a couple months ago, butter wholloped margarine, bacon took down turkey bacon, and eggs KOed Egg Beaters. Today, I want to look at three more foods that have been replaced by seemingly healthy industrial alternatives and are far too prevalent in our world.

Cream vs. Non-Dairy Creamer
I’m a big fan of coffee…dark roast and black as can be. I try not to drink it too often, but as a vice, I think it ranks as pretty harmless in small quantities. Lots of people don’t share my love of black coffee, however, prefering a little something to color their coffee brown (if they’d start with good coffee though, they might change their tune). And few people use cream, opting instead for “non-dairy creamer”. Let’s see how these non-dairy alternatives measure up to the real deal.
Since the use of cream is pretty much verboten in our society, I’m going to consider it the challenger. So what is cream? Simple…it’s the butterfat layer that comes with real milk. That’s it…just butterfat. It’s about 64% saturated fat (not something I have an issue with of course) and has about 6g of fat per tablespoon, an amount I’d assume is sufficient for a mug of coffee.
Now what about the leader of the pack when it comes to flavoring coffee? Let’s look at the ingredient list for Coffee Mate Original, a variety of non-dairy creamer found in many office breakrooms and more than a couple household kitchens.
“Corn syrup solids, Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut, palm kernel or hydrogenated soybean), sodium caseinate (a milk derivative but not a source of lactose), Dipotassium phosphate, mono- and digycerides, artificial flavor and annatto color.”
Okay, so we start off with corn syrup solids, which is corn syrup liquid dehydrated of most of its water. Next up is our good buddy, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, aka trans fats. Here’s the part that boggles my mind though. Coconut and palm kernal oils are both highly saturated, making them already stable at room temperature. Why is there a need to hydrogenate these oils?
We then have sodium casienate, which is marked as a milk derivative. Can someone please explain how a product with a milk derivative is “non-dairy”? Regardless, it’s added to give a thicker creamier texture to the aforementioned sugar and trans fats. The dipotassium phosphate (or phosporic acid) and mono- and diglycerides basically serve to improve mouth feel, keeping ingredients that don’t want to go to together, together. The only ingredient in that list that I approve of is “annatto color”. It comes from the annatto seed, a darn tasty spice also used for its bright red color.
Essentially, when you choose to put Coffee Mate (rest assured that all of their flavors contain similar ingredients) in your coffee, you are basically pouring in sweetened trans fats. No matter what your thoughts are of saturated fats, you absolutely cannot believe that trans fat-laced corn syrup is a better alternative. If you can actually make that argument, please do so in the comments…I’d love to see this.
The funny part is that Nestle bills Coffee Mate with the tagline “Stir it up with coffee’s Perfect Mate.” Now, I know of some good pairs, such as peanut butter and jelly, pizza and beer, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. I’ve never considered “coffee and pseudo-food” to be on that list.
Your best option: Ditch the Coffee Mate and go with full-fat cream or coconut milk if you can’t stomach black coffee.

Oil and Vinegar vs. Fat-free Italian Dressing
Here’s one that really gets me in a twist. When you walk through the salad dressing aisle or through the dressing section of any salad bar, what do you see? Inevitably, there are a few fat-free dressings, usually fat-free ranch (already covered by our buddy Mark Sisson here) and fat-free Italian. As bad as fat-free ranch is, taking a cream-based dressing and somehow making it fat-free, fat-free Italian really confuses me.
Real Italian dressing is olive oil, vinegar, perhaps a few herbs, and salt and pepper. Pretty simple and definitely made of stuff that’s good for you and that you can easily envision in its natural state. We all know that olive oil is a healthy oil and the rest of the ingredients don’t have any real drawbacks. The best part is that you can tailor this dressing to your own liking.
And now, I present to you Kraft Fat-Free Italian:
water, vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, contains less than 2% of parmesan cheese (part-skim milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), garlic, onion juice, whey, phosphoric acid, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate and calcium disodium edta as preservatives, yeast extract, spice, red bell peppers, lemon juice concentrate, dried garlic, buttermilk, caramel color, sodium phosphate, enzymes, oleoresin paprika
Other than “vinegar” and “salt,” I don’t see anything remotely resembling real Italian dressing in that list. It’s basically flavored, sweetened water with a bunch of preservatives. It may be low-calorie, but it neither tastes like, nor is health-promoting like, real Italian dressing. Next time you’re at a salad bar, pick the spoon up out of the fat-free Italian dressing and notice how sludgy it is. Then put it down and grab the tiny bottle of oil and vinegar hidden somewhere in the area.
Your best option: 2 parts olive oil, 1 part vinegar (such as balsamic or red wine), a handful of fresh herbs, and a few cracks from your pepper mill.

A Grass-Fed Hamburger Vs. The Boca Burger
Finally, our top match-up, a real hamburger versus a veggie burger. Now when I make a burger in my kitchen, it’s made of grass-fed ground beef, an egg (to help hold things together), and some combination of onions, garlic, cilantro, cumin, or various other herbs and spices. I’d imagine most homemade hamburgers are similar.
Or, I could have delicious vegetarian option from Boca, makers of various meat alternatives, like Boca Burgers, Boca Breakfast Sausage, and Boca Chik’n. How about this Boca Burger on your plate?
water, soy protein concentrate, reduced fat cheddar cheese (pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, annatto (color), vitamin a palmitate), wheat gluten, corn oil, contains less than 2% of methylcellulose, hydrolyzed corn protein, wheat gluten and soy protein, salt, caramel color, cheese powder (cheddar cheese, [milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes], cream, salt, sodium phosphate, lactic acid), dried onions, yeast extract, natural flavor (non-meat), sesame oil, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate. browned in corn oil. contains: soy, milk, wheat, sesame.
Seriously? Do people just not care about what they eat or do they actually look at these ingredient labels and think, “Yeah, that’s better than meat”? We have soy, which isn’t the health food it’s made out to be. We have wheat gluten, destroying intestinal linings since 10,000 BC. We then have some emulsifiers, a bit of cheese powder, which is obviously nothing like real cheese, and natural flavor (*cough* MSG *cough*). And don’t forget the low-fat cheese, another highly processed food since milk is not naturally low in fat.
Okay, so here’s me being blunt about these meatless alternatives. I really have no problem with you not eating meat, if that’s what you choose. However, if you really don’t want to eat meat, stop trying to replace it with fake alternatives. If you’re not going to eat meat or if you’re going to talk about how meat is unnecessary in the human diet, trying to replicate the taste is only undermining your argument. Sure, vegetarians can definitely put together a healthy, meatless diet with a good bit of care and focus on not consuming too many grains. One thing is for sure though…a healthy vegetarian diet will never include fake foods like this one.
Your best option: Eat grass-fed meat; avoid fake alternatives no matter how pretty the packaging.
Once Again, The Winner Is Clear
Does anyone vote for the fake foods over the real foods? Now, I’m not going to say that any of the foods here are right for everyone. I don’t think cream, real oil and vinegar, or a hamburger are unhealthy; perhaps you do. So avoid those foods if they don’t agree with you. But don’t seek fake alternatives to these foods, made up of various industrial ingredients, low-quality proteins, hydrogenated fats, sugars, and flavorings.
It actually blows my mind that people can fall for the marketing that somehow makes sugary trans fats, flavored sugary water, and some strange amalgamation formed into a patty healthier than the foods they are intended to replace. Marketing is amazing!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Real Sugar Vs. Artificial Sweeteners: Which Is Better?
May 4, 2009
Do you want to hear an amusing quote? This one comes via the coworker who was telling us how bad Plastic #7 is. After he told me how bad my plastic mug full of green tea was (because of the plastic, not the green tea), I picked up his Cherry Coke bottle and replied, “Says the guy drinking 70g of sugar in that one bottle.” Here we go (might not be verbatim, but captures the essence):Sugar is okay. It’s the artificial stuff that’s bad.Yes, you read that right…”sugar is okay”. I politely informed him that there was nothing “okay” about sugar, which he argued adamantly against.* Luckily, he gave me an idea for another post…this one!So which is worse: sweeteners or artificial sweeteners? And is either “okay”?

Taking Yet Another Look At Sugar.
In months past, I’ve taken a look at the various sweeteners available and which is best. I also considered the arguments for and against the notion that high-fructose corn syrup is worse than sugar. Well now let’s look at sugar in comparison to artificial sweeteners. Note that these pros and cons are relative to artificial sweeteners.Just for a definition, by sugar, I mean any type of caloric sweetener, such as cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, honey, etc.Why Sugar Is BetterOver millions of years of evolution, one thing the human body has figured out is how to handle incoming nutrients. Through the actions of insulin, it either uses or stores incoming glucose for future use, either as muscle or liver glycogen or as fat. What I’m getting at is that the body knows what to do with the sugar you’re feeding it.Of course, it can’t handle the high quantities of sugar that most people are shoveling in, but at least it has a mechanism for dealing with what is going in when handling sugar. It doesn’t matter if that incoming sugar is in the form of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, or agave nectar…the body knows that it is sugar and breaks it down accordingly.Why Sugar Is WorseSugar is an empty calorie. Sure, with foods like honey and molasses, you get a few vitamins, but calorie-for-calorie, sugar, in all of its forms, is just empty calories compared to meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and tubers. It has few, if any, vitamins and minerals. It actually robs the body of the nutrients required for the body to process it.Sugar sends your blood sugar sky high where it does damage to your arteries (for which cholesterol gets the blame). Your insulin then shoots up, clearing out the sugar, sending you into a hypoglycemic funk, and ruining your insulin sensitivity. Sugar is also exceedingly easy to overconsume. A single tablespoon of sugar is nearly 50 calories. That pan of brownies you’re staring down? There’s probably 20-30 tablespoons of sugar in there, so you can figure out how much is in that 3″ square that goes down so easily. My blood sugar is skyrocketing just thinking about it.

Artificial Sweeteners
As for artificial sweeteners, I’m referring to any of the man-made non-caloric sweeteners that are found in numerous products in the store: Splenda, aspartame, acesulfame K, saccharin, etc.Why Fake Sugar Is BetterThe main reason that people find artificial sweeteners to be a better choice is that they have no calories. The body is unable to process them and as such, cannot derive any nutritional value from them. Just switching from a five Coca-Cola per day habit to five Diet Cokes per day will save nearly 200g of sugar and 800 calories. That’s obviously an improvement if you’re trying to lose weight and requires no real change of your routine.Why Fake Sugar Is WorseAnyone that’s been around here for any length of time has figured out that I am a big fan of real, whole, unprocessed foods. And as bad as sugar is in terms of processing, artificial sweeteners are even worse. These sweeteners are made in a lab from who knows what chemicals. Further, we have no idea what these chemicals will do to the body with sustained long-term use.I’m also not a fan of trying to fool the body. Just as with trying to outdo Mother Nature by creating “better” butter (i.e., margarine) and removing the “unhealthy” yolk from eggs, giving your body something that it can’t process just to keep from changing your habits is probably a recipe for failure.Finally, I think normal use of artificial sweeteners is a false sense of security. There is scant evidence that these sugar substitutes actually help people lose weight. In fact, there is evidence that they may contribute to weight gain. These substances still stimulate the sweet receptors of the tongue and may even cause an insulin response since the tongue is the first step in the digestive process.And as a final kicker, Splenda may be bad for your intestinal flora. As Mike pointed out in this article, your gut is the first line of defense in the immune system.

So Which Is Best?
Well, that’s easy to answer…the best option is c) none of the above. Your best bet is always going to be to ditch the sweet stuff, whether real or artificial and stick to Real Food. Turning the sweet tooth off is a good idea; fooling it with fake sugar is not a viable long-term solution. We are primed to gorge on sugar at every opportunity. And here’s why I think that is:§ Humans evolved in an environment with relatively little sugar. § Because we evolved in environments with few sources of concentrated sweetness, we learned to consume as much as we could when we found it, such as with a honey beehive. The brain is designed to reward us heavily when we feed it sugar, reinforcing the desire to go back for more. § Whether we eat caloric or non-caloric sweeteners, we are still activating the pleasure centers of the brain associated with sweet tastes. § These pleasure centers signal that there are concentrated sources of calories nearby and drive further consumption. So by activating sweet receptors and telling the brain “sugar is available,” even if it’s not, we increase our appetites. One study (and there are probably more of these) showed that artificial sweeteners disrupt the body’s built-in calorie measuring ability.But let’s face reality…we all live in the same world, a world where there are family parties and work events and desserts are going to happen. If given a choice, what should you reach for? I’d go for the real stuff. With the caveat that sugar intake should be VERY minimal, I’d rather go ahead and give my body the substance that it can process rather than some unknown chemical.Sure, I’m going to get hit with a tired, sluggish feeling thirty minutes later, but on rare occasions, I’m not doing any lasting damage. And on rare occasions, artificial sweeteners probably won’t do any long-term damage either. But I feel better with the sugar that has some basis in evolution. Again, better is a relative term. It’s better to smoke one pack of cigarettes than to smoke two packs. Cocaine is probably less harmful than crack. That doesn’t make it healthy. It’s even better to do neither.

Dealing With Sugar Cravings.
Once people commit to cleaning up their diet, sugar cravings are often the hardest part. It’s the biggest derailleur of dietary plans. We’ve all been there; completely stuffed until the dessert cart rolls by or someone drops off the Girl Scout Cookies in the breakroom. I dealt with it and know that it’s not easy. Here are some tips I’ve found that work:- Eat plenty of fat, protein, and nutrient-dense foods on a regular basis - These will help shunt your appetite. When the cake comes out, grab some almonds.- Eat some fruit - The sweetness will help curb your sweet cravings.- Find a good dark chocolate (or smart indulgence of your choice) - It has just enough sweetness for me to be satisfying without being unhealthy.- Go for a walk - Just getting away from the temptation is usually helpful.- Plan a few indulgences - I’m not a big fan of “cheat” meals, but early on, it can help keep things on track to know that in just another day or two, you can dig into some ice cream or a few pieces of candy. But you don’t need to eat the entire pint of Haagen-Dazs to indulge yourself.- And finally, if you just can’t resist, have one bite. It won’t kill you and as long as you can control yourself beyond that point, can be helpful. I actually knew a guy that would take a bite, chew, then spit it out and that was enough to manage his cravings when they hit. It worked for him. Your mileage may vary. I’m better off avoiding than trying to indulge “just a little”. Sugar cravings take a long time to go away. Long after you’ve figured out what to eat for breakfast instead of a bagel and cereal… Long after you’ve ditched the Rice-A-Roni in favor of asparagus… The cravings will resurface, often without warning. It’ll probably take a good six months or more to fully tame your sweet tooth. Just keep fighting the urges and find ways to kill them off without gnoshing the entire bag of Oreos.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Get a Grip on Insulin's Ups and Downs:
-By Jillian Michaels
One of the endocrine system's most important hormones is insulin, which plays a critical role in how your body uses food. When you eat, your digestive system breaks food down into glucose, and the glucose circulates in your bloodstream (where it's often referred to as blood sugar). In response to the rise in glucose after a meal, the pancreas releases surges of insulin, whose job is to clean the glucose from the blood. Insulin directs some of the glucose to the body's cells, which use it for energy. Some of the glucose is diverted to the liver, where it's converted into glycogen (stored glucose) for later use by the muscles. Insulin then helps turn any leftover glucose into fatty acids and stores them in fat cells, where they can be tapped later for fuel. Problems arise when your body starts creating too much insulin, which can happen for several reasons. One of the most common is that you ate too many highly processed, refined carbs, such as white bread or pasta. Such carbs increase blood sugar dramatically, requiring a rush of insulin to clear the blood. If your blood sugar surge is really dramatic (as it would be if you ate those refined carbs on an empty stomach), insulin overreacts and works twice as hard to clean the sugar from the blood. This overefficient removal of sugar means that your blood sugar concentration drops, with the result that you feel hungry again and crave (and probably eat) more carbs. That's the postsugar "crash and binge" cycle, the root of sugar addiction. In addition, when your muscles are still fueled from your last snack, the insulin converts those extra calories into fat. And as long as large amounts of insulin remain in the bloodstream, your body won't have a chance to tap into your fat stores for fuel — so you won't burn any fat, either.

This cycle can eventually lead to insulin resistance, a condition in which your body produces insulin but the cells become insensitive to it — as a result, the insulin can't do its job to lower the glucose concentration in the blood. Insulin resistance is a precursor of type 2 diabetes and is common among overweight people. Elevated levels of glucose in your blood is a surefire sign of it.

There is hope for preventing the problem. The key is to maintain low levels of insulin by eating whole foods, pairing carbs with protein, and avoiding highly processed carbs. When your insulin-release mechanism works the right way, it helps keep your weight in check. When it's not working, you're in trouble. If you can take control of your insulin's ups and downs, you'll be primed to lose weight and restore your body's hormone power!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury (HealthDay News)

-- Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.

HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average.

"Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply," the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies, said in a prepared statement.

In the first study, published in current issue of Environmental Health, researchers found detectable levels of mercury in nine of 20 samples of commercial HFCS.

And in the second study, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), a non-profit watchdog group, found that nearly one in three of 55 brand-name foods contained mercury. The chemical was found most commonly in HFCS-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments.

But an organization representing the refiners is disputing the results published in Environmental Health.

"This study appears to be based on outdated information of dubious significance," said Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, in a statement. "Our industry has used mercury-free versions of the two re-agents mentioned in the study, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda, for several years. These mercury-free re-agents perform important functions, including adjusting pH balances."

However, the IATP told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that four plants in Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio and West Virginia still use "mercury-cell" technology that can lead to contamination.

IATP's Ben Lilliston also told HealthDay that the Environmental Health findings were based on information gathered by the FDA in 2005.

And the group's own study, while not peer-reviewed, was based on products "bought off the shelf in the autumn of 2008," Lilliston added.

The use of mercury-contaminated caustic soda in the production of HFCS is common. The contamination occurs when mercury cells are used to produce caustic soda.

"The bad news is that nobody knows whether or not their soda or snack food contains HFCS made from ingredients like caustic soda contaminated with mercury. The good news is that mercury-free HFCS ingredients exist. Food companies just need a good push to only use those ingredients," Wallinga said in his prepared statement.

More information

The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry has more about mercury and health.

SOURCE: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, news release, Jan. 26, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Butter, Bacon, And Eggs: Real Foods Take On Fake Foods
A few days ago, I was served a quiche at work, but instead of being made with eggs, it was made with half eggs and half Egg Beaters. As the person that made it proclaimed, she “did everything she could to make it low-fat.” So I started thinking about all of the fake foods we use to replace real, wholesome foods. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the length of time the foods I’m about to talk about have been in our diets.The Food TimelineLet’s look at an interesting site that I came across quite awhile back…The Food Timeline. Now, since we know that the foods that humans have been eating the longest are the very foods that we’re the best adapted for, this site could prove beneficial in helping sort through this mess.

Real Food
Butter - 3000BC
Pork - 7000BC
Eggs - Pre-dates civilization

Industrial Food
Margarine - 1870
Turkey Bacon - Unknown
Egg Beaters - 1972

So let’s note that butter existed nearly 5000 years before man-made margarine. While there’s no entry for bacon specifically, pork was domesticated around 9000 years ago, so I’m betting bacon followed within the next century or two. Unsurprisingly, turkey bacon isn’t on the timeline, but I’m betting it only came about in the last decade or two, three at most. Yet, we’re consistently told these new foods are better for us. Why?

Butter Vs. Margarine

The butter vs. margarine debate has been around pretty much since 1870 when margarine was first created in a lab. The easiest way to market a fake food is to demonize the product that you want to replace. This might be the first (and is probably the most obvious) example of a fake, industrial food replacing a real food that has been in use in healthy cultures for millenia. So let’s look at what is in these two foods:Butter - Cream, saltMargarine - Liquid Canola Oil, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Plant Stanol Esters, Salt, Emulsifiers, (Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin), Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA to Preserve Freshness, Artificial Flavor, DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Colored with Beta Carotene.

Okay, so what’s ingredient number three in the list of margarine’s ingredients? Partially hydrogenated soybean oil! Trans fats. For kicks, note the third ingredient in butter… Anyone want to know what kind of margarine you’re looking at there? I didn’t seek one out that was particularly bad. In fact, this one is called Benecol and is one of the brands that the American Heart Association suggests you use to replace your butter.

Yes, that’s right…the AHA is suggesting you eat trans fats to replace butter! Do you still think they’re interested in protecting your health? For Pete’s sake, they’re sacrificing your health and accepting payments from the companies that reap the rewards of your trade from butter to fake food.And now, I’ll send it over to Stephen at Whole Health Source to tell us more about this amazing Benecol.Are you kidding me? Partially hydrogenated soybean oil for cardiac patients? A nice big dose of omega-6 linoleic acid? A mega-dose of “heart-healthy” plant stanols? This stuff is like a molotov cocktail for your coronary arteries!Decreasing Consumption And Recognizing InferiorityAlso, I should note that when margarine was first invented, up until the early 20th century, laws prohibited it from being marketed as butter. Laws prevented it from looking like butter. It was considered what it really is: an inferior product. Unfortunately, by the turn of the century (that’s the 2000s, not the 1900s), Americans were eating only 4lbs of butter, but 8lbs of margarine per year, down from 18lbs and 2lbs, respectively, in 1930. It’s a good thing getting rid of all that animal fat improved our health so vastly…oh wait…

Pork Bacon Vs. Turkey Bacon

Back to that quiche I was served…the bacon had been replaced with turkey bacon so the dish would be healthier. Heh heh heh!If you want to know the source of your pork bacon, it’s either the belly, sides, or back (or the cheeks if it’s jowl bacon) of the pig. Close your eyes and you can imagine slicing into a pig and finding some uncured bacon right there for the taking. Now imagine cutting into a turkey and finding anything resembling a strip of bacon. In fact, just try to imagine which part of the turkey your meat is coming from. Yeah, I’m still trying to imagine it too.Let’s just jump to the ingredients…Bacon - pork, sugar, salt, spicesTurkey Bacon - Turkey,mechanically separated turkey, water, sugar, salt, contains less than 2% of sodium lactate, canola oil, sodium diacetate, sodium phosphates, smoke flavor, sodium erythorbate (made from sugar), autolyzed yeast extract, sodium nitriteHmmm….mechanically separated turkey. By golly, that sounds scrumptious. What is it?!??!“a paste-like meat product produced by forcing beef, pork or chicken bones, with attached edible meat, under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.”Have you had your autolyzed yeast extract today?

Eggs Vs. Egg Beaters

Now that we’ve made it through the undercard matches, let’s have a look at the main event. In this corner, we have the lowly egg, ever dissed and dismissed as the cause of your heart’s every ill. And in the other, with such beautiful packaging, Egg Beaters…”The Real Thing. Only Better.”Of course, there’s no ingredient list for an egg. It is simply an egg. There’s a white and a yolk.But boy oh boy do those Egg Beaters come out swinging with a nice ingredient list:Egg whites (99%), less than 1%: Natural flavor, color (includes beta carotene), spices, salt, onion powder, vegetable gums (xanthan gum, guar gum).Okay, so I see what ConAgra is doing here. They’re removing the yolks and adding some flavoring. Seriously, if for some strange reason you feel the need to remove the yolk, the healthiest part of the egg, at least do it in your own kitchen for much less money and many fewer additives. Oh yeah, and those Egg Beaters are pasteurized too, just to make sure they’re extra dead for you.Speaking of ill health and death, there was a study I saw, which I unfortunately cannot find (feel free to post it in the comments if you know where to find it), in which two groups of rats were fed either fresh eggs or Egg Beaters. The rats fed fresh eggs thrived. The rats fed Egg Beaters were something less than thriving, significantly smaller than the rats fed the real food and covered in mangy fur. Here’s a picture for some visual evidence. Can you guess which rat is which?

Humans Vs. Mother Nature

Let’s get real here…mankind has yet to outdo the foods that Mother Nature has provided. Meat, eggs, seafood, fruits and vegetables of all types, nuts and seeds have all been found in some shape or form for millions of years. Of course, no one can guarantee that man will never create the perfect food, but the odds-on bet is that it won’t happen.Stick to the real stuff and you won’t have to worry about whether you should be eating this margarine or that margarine. These companies are playing on your confusion to sell you products that have been stripped down to what nutritionism has determined are the nutrients of the week. If one were inclined to throw such accusations, one could say that the American Heart Association and other such organizations were in cahoots with these death peddlers.The bottom line is that humans have been eating eggs, meat, and butter for a really long time without heart disease and cancer. Yet somehow, now heart disease and cancer run rampant and the food industry is always there to protect us from eating these wholesome foods.What other man-made “healthy” foods can you think of that replace the wholesome traditional foods that humans have been eating for anywhere from 5,000 to a couple million years? Come up with some good ones and I’ll do some more comparisons.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Getting thin–on fatsThe healthy, sure-fire way with omega oils
By Ann Louise Gittleman, MS, CNSSource: Condensation from "Eat Fat Lose Weight", Keats Publishing Publishing Date: 1999
True, it may sound strange. But eating the right kind of fats is definitely where it's at for healthy weight loss. Sadly, many people have been so brainwashed by the fat-free mentality of the past ten years that they still suffer from fat phobia. And although we are slowly emerging from the no-or low-fat craze, the notion that all fats are bad is definitely a hard one to shake.

There are, of course, some fats you should definitely stay away from. Hydrogenated, oxidized, fried or heat-processed fats–typically found in margarine, vegetable shortening or fried foods–are sources of the unnatural and unhealthy trans fats. These are the fats that have been linked to heart disease, cancer and aging. But there are good fats. The essential fatty acids, for instance, are not only necessary for overall health, but are also beneficial for shedding those excess pounds. In fact, they are so crucial to cardiovascular, immune, reproductive and skin health that it amazes me how so-called "experts" could have ever believed otherwise.

The truth is high-quality, protective fats (such as extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, fish oils, nuts, seeds and avocados) can aid in keeping blood sugar levels stable. So you actually feel fuller longer. Translation: You get full by eating less food, which inhibits food cravings and prevents overeating. In addition, some of the healthy fats can trigger fat burning rather than fat storage. And that boosts your body's natural fat-burning ability. So the question isn't whether you should include fats in your diet. The question is "Which ones?"

The fat-free roller coaster rideThanks to the fat-free propaganda of the past decade, Americans mistakenly linked all dietary fats with elevated cholesterol levels, cardiovascular problems and obesity. They reacted by dramatically altering their dietary regimens and removing fats as much as possible from their meals. But without fat–the most potent blood sugar stabilizer–many developed powerful food cravings and wound up substituting unlimited carbohydrates (sugar, fat-free yogurt, cookies, bagels, bread, crackers, rice cakes, etc.) for the missing fats.
Even the most nutritionally conscious health buffs went overboard with these fat-free carbohydrates and became fat in the process! It was all due to their overeating refined, white flour carbohydrates (like bagels and white rice) as well as those highly touted complex carbohydrates (such as whole grain bread, potatoes and corn). These foods can produce a quick spike in blood sugar levels, which raises insulin–the fat-promoting hormone. Plus elevated insulin blocks the body's ability to burn stored fat for energy as well as creates a rapid fall in blood sugar levels, resulting in more hunger.

This roller coaster ride of blood sugar peaks and valleys has ultimately lead to our national problem: weight gain. In fact, more Americans are overweight today than ever before. Over 50% of us fall in the overweight category. And as odd as it may sound, many of these overweight individuals are suffering from a fat deficiency–an essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiency to be exact. Essential fatty acids are absolutely necessary for the body's biochemical processes. Without them, your body senses a famine and begins to convert more carbohydrates into fat, turning it into a fat-producing machine.

An essential fatty acid deficiency may also be the cause behind escalating health concerns such as arthritis, diabetes, skin disorders, breast cancer, PMS and menopausal symptoms, low-energy levels, fatigue, allergy, yeast problems, mood swings and depression. Just look at the trends since North Americans started cutting back the fat:
• Heart disease still remains the No.1 killer• The cases of diabetes have tripled in the last 30 years• New health conditions are appearing like puzzling epidemics (chronic fatigue, Candida, food allergies, immune suppressive disorders)• The number of cancer cases has escalated­the chance of survival isn¹t much better than 20 years ago• Hyperactivity among children and adults is on the rise­quite possibly the lack of brain fortifying fat is contributing to numerous cases of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

So who says cutting out fat is better for your health? Trust me, fat is not the enemy. On the contrary, it can become your best ally. Besides promoting well being, essential healthy fats make you look good by adding luster to brittle hair, strength to cracked or weak nails and healing to skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

The real deal: omegasAmong healthy fats, the "omegas" are probably the most studied. These families of essential fatty acids include omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. These EFA's provide support for numerous bodily functions, including the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous systems. Both the omega-3s (in sources such as flaxseed oil, fatty fish, walnuts and pumpkin seeds) and the "good" omega-6 sources (such as borage and evening primrose oil) contain the essential fatty acids your body needs but can't produce on its own. For that reason, they must be taken through food or supplementation.

Current research indicates that the omega 3s have therapeutic benefits in reducing high tryglicerides, lowering hypertension, regulating irregular heart beat as well as assisting in learning disorders, infant brain development and menopausal discomforts. Certain of the omega 6s are outstanding for improving diabetic neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS and skin disorders (such as psoriasis and eczema) as well as helping aid in cancer treatment.
In addition to the omega 3s and 6s, there are also omega 9s. Although not considered essential, omega 9s provide substantial health benefits and should still be an intricate part of your dietary lifestyle because of their monounsaturated oleic acid content. Monounsaturated oleic acid plays a protective role in lowering heart attack risk and protecting arterial cholesterol build-up. It is also believed to assist in cancer prevention. Olive oil, avocados and various nuts (like peanuts, almonds and macadamias) are rich omega-9 sources.

Here's how the omegas workAlpha linolenic acid is the principal essential fatty acid in the omega-3 family and linoleic acid takes the lead in the omega-6 series. In a healthy body with sound nutrition, various metabolic conversions take place transferring the raw dietary materials into usable, biologically potent EFAs. The alpha linolenic acid is transformed into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and later into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The omega-6 linoleic acid converts to gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Both the EPA and the GLA synthesized from dietary sources undergo another conversion, resulting in hormone-like biochemical compounds know as eicosanoids. These remarkable substances aid in virtually every body activity, from vital organ functioning down to intracellular processes.

Today, most popular literature suggests that "we get too much omega-6" and should therefore focus on the omega-3s. It is true that the typical North American diet already contains an excess of the omega-6 linoleic acid obtained through many of the cooking oils and pre-packaged foods we eat on a regular basis. However, as with many things in life, the process of converting linoleic acid into beneficial GLA doesn't always go as planned.

Several metabolic roadblocks often hinder the conversion process of creating GLA. Environmental factors (such as pollution) along with aging, daily stress, smoking, viral infections and other illnesses (like diabetes) get in the way. And, according to current research, diets rich in sugar, trans fats (like those found in margarine and processed foods) and alcohol can also block the critical process of creating GLA. Since these impediments to healthy GLA production are so common in the North American population today, it is safe to say that most of us are deficient in GLA, even though we get lots of omega-6 linoleic acid.

Eliminating these factors whenever possible helps your body reap the numerous benefits of the amazing omega oils. The easiest place to start is in reducing or even omitting sugar, trans fats and alcohol. You might also consider supplementing with rich sources of preformed GLA as well as EPA and DHA. borage power: your GLA connection While most consumers are already somewhat familiar with fish oil containing EPA and DHA, GLA has been overshadowed by the more publicized omega 3s. However, GLA is quickly coming into its own as an immune booster, PMS soother and skin beautifier. Although traditionally women have used evening primrose oil as a source of GLA, the richest source of this fatty acid is actually borage oil. This botanical oil has the highest concentration of GLA available (up to 26%), compared to the 15% found in black currant seed oil and only 8-10% in evening primrose oil. So the good news is you need fewer capsules overall to achieve the recommended one-to-two gram daily GLA dosage.

Recognized throughout Europe, the blue, star-shaped flowered borage plant has been sought for its healing properties for over 1500 years. Due to its high GLA levels, borage oil is fast becoming the optimal GLA alternative here in North America. Perhaps the best news yet involves animal studies, which suggest that both omega-3 and omega-6 oils have the ability to halt obesity. A diet rich in fats was fed to lab mice having a tendency toward obesity and diabetes. Even though both test groups had the same amount of calories and fat percentages, the slimmer mice were those given omega-3 oils (fish oil). The fatter mice consumed unhealthy oils (mostly soybean oil) or saturated fat. The difference in their weight equated to that of a 150-pound man versus a 225-pound man. Several good omega-6s (like GLA and conjugated linoleic acid) have also demonstrated an ability to be potent metabolic burners in animal studies and with humans. Clearly the best plan of action for a healthy weight-loss program includes a balanced diet with sufficient amounts of protein and moderate carbohydrates, as well as omega-3s and the omega-6s.
If you want to drop those extra pounds and enjoy vibrant health, put an end to your fat phobia and add healthy fats back into your diet. I've witnessed dramatic and long lasting results with my readers and clients, who were all tired of that weight-loss roller coaster ride. Not only did they feel better, but their skin cleared up, their hair had sheen and they enjoyed more energy–as well as a slimmer body. And guess what? The same thing will happen to you.
Omega-fying Fat Zappers The key to vibrant health and successful weight loss is balanced nutrition. Here's a list of the best dietary sources for each of these healthy fats. But remember: When processed or refined, the nutritional benefits of these oils are dramatically compromised. Omega-type How to Get Them Hot Tips Omega-3s Eat fatty fish 3 or 4 times a week. (Choose from salmon, mackerel, sardines, butter fish, etc.) Or supplement with 1-3 grams of fish oil or flaxseed oil daily.
Omega-3s• wheat germ oil (bottled oil or capsules)• walnuts (raw nuts, bottled oil or capsules)• pumpkin seeds• purslane (dark, leafy green used throughout Mediterranean countries)• hemp seed oil (bottled oil or capsules)• Blend a tablespoon of flaxseed oil in your yogurt, cottage cheese or ricotta cheese. The dairy products' amino acids along with the flaxseed's fatty acids may help combat breast cancer, according to German researchers• Use only unrefined or cold-pressed brands of canola oil, usually found health food stores• Perk up your salads by using walnut oil in your dressing• Hemp oil is a healthy mixture of both omega-3s and omega-6s
Omega-6s Enjoy 1-2 grams of borage oil (liquid or capsules) daily or 3-6 grams of evening primrose oil (liquid or capsules). Other savory omega-6 sources: • black currant seed oil (capsules) • pine nuts (raw nuts)• pistachios (raw nuts)• sunflower seeds (raw seeds)• Conjugated Linoleic Acid--CLA (capsules)• Check labels and avoid products made with partially hydrogenated versions of these oils. You'll find them in a variety of foods, like bread and crackers. Also don't purchase these omega-6 oils, typically sold in a refined, nutrient-deficient form: corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed.

Omega-9s 1-2 tablespoon(s) daily of olive oil. Other tasty omega-9 sources: • sesame oil (bottled oil)• avocado (raw or bottled oil)• peanuts (raw nuts or bottled oil)• almonds (raw nuts or bottled oil)• pecans (raw nuts)• cashews (raw nuts)• hazelnuts (raw nuts or bottled oil)• macadamia (raw nuts)• Only use virgin or extra virgin olive oil. Whenever the label merely says "pure," the nutritional benefits have been reduced.

About Ann Louise Gittleman, MS, CNS Ann Louise Gittleman, MS, CNS, is one of the foremost nutritionists in the United States. The former Nutritional Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center, she currently consults with a broad spectrum of professional organizations and is the author of the best-selling books: Eat Fat, Lose Weight, Super Nutrition for Women, Super Nutrition for Menopause, The 40/30/30 phenomenon, and Why Am I Always So Tired?
Reprinted with permission from the author. To order "Eat Fat, Lose Weight" online, visit or http://barnes&

Selected References
Brush MG, Watson SJ, Horrobin DF, Manku MS. Abnormal essential fatty acid levels in plasma of women with premenstrual syndrome. Am J Obstet Bynecol 1984; 150:363-366.Castelli, William P. and Glen C. Griffin. Good Fat, Bad Fat: How to Lower your cholesterol and reduce the Odds of a Heart Attack. Fisher Books. Tucson, AZ, 1997.
Gittleman, Ann Louise. Eat Fat, Lose Weight. Keats Publishing, Canaan, CT, 1999.
Horrobin DF. The effects of Gamma Linolenic Acid on breast pain and diabetic neuropathy: possible non-eicosanoid mechanisms. Prostaglandins Leukotr Essent fatty Acids 1993;48:101-104.
Horrobin DF. The role of essential fatty acids and prostaglandins in the premenstrual syndrome. J reprod Med 1983;28:465-468. Korzekwa MI, Steiner M. Premenstrual Syndromes. Clin Obestet Bynecol 1997;40(3):564-576.
Lambert-Lagace, Louise and Michelle Laflamme. Good Fat, Bad Fat. Stoddart Publishing, North York, Ontario, 1995.
Melnick, B and Plewig, G. 1991. Atopic dermatitis and disturbances in essential fatty acid and prostaglandin E metabolism. J. Amer. Acad. Dermatol. 25:859.
Pullman-Mooar S., Laposata, M., Lem, D., Holman, R.J., Leventhal, I.J., DeMarco, D. and
Zurier, R.B. 1990. Alteration of the cellular fatty acid profile and the production of eicosanoids in human monocytes by gamma-linolenic acid. Arthritis and Rheumatism. 33:1526-33.
Ziboh, V.A. 1998. Lipoxygenation of Gamma Linolenic Acid by skin epidermis: Modulation of epidermal inflammatory/hyperproliferative processes. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Oil Chemists' Society. pp. 25.
Ziboh, V.A. and Fletcher, M. 1992. Dose-response effects of dietary gamma linolenic acid enriched oils on human polymorphonuclear-neutrophil biosynthesis of leukrotriene B4. Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 55:39.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Click here to read Rapid Health Improvements with a Paleolithic diet from the Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D...It might leave you questioning if the "person" who made an "oops" when they said it was dangerous to squat below parallel was the same "person" that said saturated fat is evil...hummm. A small excerpt is below:

...The Paleolithic diet data indicates that early man ate more saturated fat than he did carbohydrates. And he was molded by the processes of natural selection to thrive on such a diet. When he bolted from that meat-based diet, as he did when he settled in to life as an agriculturalist, he paid dearly for it with a devolution in health. Since the evidence is so obvious that a diet higher in saturated fat worked wonders for Paleolithic man, it seems like some academicians somewhere would ranger up and test such a diet. But it appears that the pox on saturated fat is so virulent that no one wants to risk it.

If such a study were done and the results tally with what I’m positive the results would be, the authors would find themselves in the untenable position of having to at least tacitly imply that saturated fats aren’t harmful. And that could ruin an academic career. No more invitations to present at meetings. Expulsion from the club. People tsk tsking behind their hands. It just couldn’t be done.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Your Genes Remember a Sugar Hit

Human genes remember a sugar hit for two weeks. What’s more, prolonged poor eating habits could be capable of permanently altering your DNA.

A team studying the impact of diet on heart tissue found that cells showed the effects of a single sugar hit for 14 days. The cells switched off genetic controls designed to protect the body against diabetes and heart disease.

Regular poor eating could amplify the effect, with genetic damage lasting months or years, and potentially passing through bloodlines.


Journal of Experimental Medicine September 2008, 29;205(10):2409-17

Tehran Times January 18, 2009

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

This finding lends even more credence to the phrase “you are what you eat.” When you eat sugar, not only do your genes turn off controls designed to protect you from heart disease and diabetes, but the impact lasts for two weeks!

Even more concerning, if you eat poorly for a long time, your DNA may become permanently altered, and the effects could be passed on to your children and grandchildren.

While you may not feel the effects of a poor diet immediately, in time health problems like diabetes, heart disease and others begin to surface.

What this all points to is even more support for the emerging field of epigenetics, which is the study of how environmental factors like diet, stress and maternal nutrition can change gene function without altering the DNA sequence in any way.

In other words, you are born with a set of genes, but the expression of those genes is not set in stone. Your genes can be either activated or silenced by various factors including your diet and even your mind. It is not your genes that dictate your future health, but rather the expression of those genes that matter.

So in the case of eating sugar, it’s now known that this switches off good genes that protect your body from disease. This is just one of many reasons why you may want to seriously limit or eliminate sugar from your diet.

Is There a Good Diet for Your Genes?

Your genes are merely storage facilities; they have no intelligence. As I said earlier, what’s important is the expression of your genes, and your diet can certainly influence that.

Scientists are now uncovering that the reason why certain foods fight cancer or other disease is because of their impact on gene expression.

For instance, a substance called isothiocyanate in broccoli sparks hundreds of genetic changes, activating some genes that fight cancer and switching off others that fuel tumors.

Freeze-dried black raspberries also show promise. In an animal study, researchers used a carcinogen to alter the activity of 2,200 genes. However, 460 of those genes were restored to normal activity in animals that consumed freeze-dried black raspberry powder.

So it is very clear that just as a bad diet can lead to negative changes in your genes, a good diet can lead to positive ones. As Associate Professor Assam El-Osta, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute team who led the above study on sugar, said in the Herald Sun:

"This is not all doom and gloom . . . we think there is good epigenetic memory as well for individuals who have a good diet, not only for themselves but potentially for future generations.

If you have had five years of bad control, where good genes are switched off and bad genes switched on, changing that for a couple of months to a good diet may not have a tremendous impact.

But going back to a good diet would have some effect 10 years later. Dieting doesn't work because what you ate two months or two years ago is going to be reflected now."

The bottom line?

Eating healthy should not be just a fad or a phase in your life -- it should be an essential part of your lifestyle. And by eating well, you are helping your genes to express themselves in a positive, disease-fighting way.

For those of you who aren’t “perfect” eaters, there’s good news too. If you switch to a healthy diet now, it can have a positive impact on your health down the road.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sugar Shockers: Foods Surprisingly High in Sugar
WebMD takes a look at the sugar content in some popular packaged foods -- and the results may surprise you.

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
WebMD Expert Column
When you read the labels on foods in your supermarket, it's no surprise that you find plenty of sugar in products like cake mix, ice cream, jelly, cookies, and soda. But it can be downright shocking to see 12 grams of sugar in bottled pasta sauce or barbecue sauce -- and even more so to find 50 grams of sugar in a healthy-sounding bottled tea!

To help you ferret out which products are surprisingly high in sugar, I embarked on a mission in the aisles of my local market. Over the course of several days, with my reading glasses close at hand, I examined hundreds of nutrition information labels to check out the sugar content in foods.

One thing’s for sure: Just because there’s a nutrition-oriented statement on the package (like "contains whole grain," "excellent source of calcium," "fat-free," "100% juice" or "25% less sugar") doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain a shocking amount of sugar. And just because the brand name or product name sounds like it’s good for weight loss (Weight Watchers, Skinny Cow, etc.), don’t assume the food is lower in sugar.

So how much exactly is a gram of sugar? One teaspoon of granulated sugar equals 4 grams of sugar. To put it another way, 16 grams of sugar in a product is equal to about 4 teaspoons of granulated sugar.

Keep in mind, though, that the grams of sugar listed on the nutrition information label includes natural sugars from fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose) as well as added sweeteners like refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. That’s why the label on a carton of regular low-fat milk says there's 13 grams of sugar per cup. And that’s why the grams of sugar per serving in Raisin Bran (or any cereal with raisins or other dried fruit) seem unexpectedly high.
Further, many beverages that boast of being 100% juice use juice concentrate to achieve their sweet flavor. This is also reflected in the grams of sugar listed on the label.

Touring the supermarket, I found sugar shockers in 14 food categories. Here are some of the foods I found to be surprisingly high in sugar.

1. Canned or Packaged Fruit
You don’t really expect to find lots of sugar in individual packages of fruit, even if the package says "in light syrup," like the diced peaches or pears, or "made with real fruit" like the Fruit Chillers Sorbet.
· DelMonte Fruit Chillers Frozen Fruit Sorbet: 1 small individual cup = 26 grams sugar, 190 calories
· Motts Apple Sauce (cinnamon or original): 1 small serving cup (113 g) = 22-23 grams sugar, 100 calories
· Dole diced peaches in light syrup: 1 small serving cup = 18 grams sugar, 80 calories
· DelMonte diced pears or mandarin oranges in light syrup: 1 small serving cup = 17 grams sugar, 70 calories

2. Pudding & Pudding Cups
This line of products is designed with kids in mind. Yet, a snack pack of pudding can add 20 grams or more of sugar to your child’s meal or snack. You'll find some sugar-free pudding options on the supermarket shelf as well.
· Jell-O Instant Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, or Cookies and Creme Pudding: 1 serving as packaged (not including milk) = 21 grams sugar, 110 – 120 calories
· Hunt’s Snack Pack Pudding, Chocolate Mud Pie: 1 snack pack = 20 grams sugar, 130 calories
· Jell-O Fat Free Pudding Snacks, Chocolate Vanilla Swirls 100-Calorie Packs: 1 small cup = 17 grams sugar, 100 calories
· Kraft Handi-Snacks Fat Free Vanilla Pudding: 1 snack pack = 15 grams sugar, 90 calories

3. Snack Cakes & Pies
Obviously, the traditional snack cakes, the Twinkie or the Hostess cupcake, are going to be foods high in sugar (19 and 22 grams, respectively). But would you guess that snack pies, or a serving of Ho Hos or Ding Dongs, actually score much higher in sugar content?
· Store-brand chocolate crème pie or coconut crème pie: 1 snack pie (4.5 ounces) = 46 grams sugar, 500 calories
· Hostess Ho Hos: 3 cakes = 42 grams sugar, 370 calories
· Store-brand fruit pies (apple, cherry): 1 snack pie (4.5 ounces) = 36 grams sugar, 480 calories
· Hostess Ding Dongs: 2 cakes = 36 grams sugar, 360 calories
· Little Debbie Swiss Rolls: 2 cakes (61 g) = 27 grams sugar, 270 calories
· Pop Tart, Chocolate Fudge: 1 pastry = 20 grams sugar, 200 calories
· Pop Tart, Frosted Blueberry: 1 pastry = 18 grams, 200 calories

4. Muffin Mixes
Sugar is the first ingredient listed in Fiber One’s muffin mix. A muffin’s worth of mix contains 15 grams of sugar.
· Fiber One Muffin Mix, Apple Cinnamon: 1/4 cup mix (as packaged) = 15 grams sugar, 130 calories

5. Prepared Muffins
Serving sizes of packaged muffins vary quite a bit, but even the smallest ones may contain more than 15 grams of sugar.
· Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chip Muffins: 1 muffin (4 ounces) = 32 grams sugar, 420 calories
· Otis Spunkmeyer Wild Blueberry or Banana Nut: 1 muffin (4 ounces) = 30 grams sugar, 360-420 calories
· Weight Watchers Blueberry Muffins or Double Chocolate Muffins: 1 muffin (2.2 ounces) = 18-21 grams sugar, 180-190 calories
· Little Debbie Chocolate Chip Muffins or Cranberry & Orange: 1 muffin (1.9 ounces) = 17 grams sugar, 210 calories
· Little Debbie Blueberry: 1 muffin (1.9 ounces) =16 grams sugar, 190 calories

6. Cereal Bars & Healthy-Sounding Cookies
· Quaker Oatmeal to Go, Brown Sugar Cinnamon: 1 bar = 19 grams sugar, 220 calories
· Newton’s Minis, strawberry "baked with 100% whole grain": 1 package = 15 grams sugar, 130 calories
· Back to Nature Mini Classic Crème Cookies: (1 pouch = 14 grams sugar, 170 calories
· Nature Valley Strawberry (or Vanilla) Yogurt Granola Bars: 1 bar = 13 grams sugar, 140 calories
· Quaker Chewy Dipps Chocolate Chip Granola Bars: 1 bar = 13 grams sugar, 140 calories
· Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars (all flavors): 1 bar = 12 grams sugar, 130 calories

7. Instant Hot Cereal
· Instant Cream of Wheat, Apples ‘n Cinnamon: 1 envelope = 16 grams sugar, 130 calories
· Instant Cream of Wheat, Cinnamon Swirl: 14 grams sugar, 130 calories
· Quaker Instant Oatmeal Dinosaur Eggs (made with whole-grain oats): 1 envelope = 14 grams sugar, 190 calories
· Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Cinnamon Roll: 1 envelope = 13 grams sugar, 160 calories:
· Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream or Peaches & Cream: 1 envelope = 12 grams sugar, 130 calories

8. Breakfast Cereal
No shock that the typical "high-sugar" cereals Americans know and love -- like Froot Loops or Reese’s Puffs, Trix or Cap’n Crunch -- contain around 12 grams of sugar. So here, I've just listed healthier-sounding cereals that turned out to be as high in sugar as the notoriously sweet ones.

· Kellogg’s Smart Start Strong Heart, Toasted Oat: 1 1/4 cup = 17 grams sugar, 220 calories
· Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran: 3/4 cup = 15 grams sugar, 200 calories
· Kellogg’s Smart Start Strong Heart, Original Antioxidant: 1 cup = 14 grams sugar, 190 calories
· Quaker Oatmeal Squares: 1 cup = 13 grams sugar, 210 calories
· Frosted Mini-Wheats (all the different flavors are pretty much the same): 1.8 ounces = 12 grams sugar, 180 calories
· Special K Fruit & Yogurt: 3/4 cup = 11 grams sugar, 120 calories

9. Bottled Spaghetti Sauce
Some types of bottled spaghetti sauce have double or triple the grams of sugar as other types. Here are a few of the products that I found had almost as much sugar as a granola bar or Pop-Tart.
· Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil: 1/2 cup = 12 grams sugar, 90 calories
· Bertolli Vineyard Marinara: 1/2 cup = 12 grams sugar, 80 calories
· Prego Fresh Mushroom Italian Sauce: 1/2 cup = 11 grams sugar, 90 calories
· Prego 3-Cheese: 1/2 cup = 11 grams sugar, 80 calories

10. Barbecue Sauce
· Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce: 2 tablespoons = 15 grams sugar, 70 calories
· Bull’s Eye Brown Sugar & Hickory: 2 tablespoons = 14 grams sugar, 70 calories
· KC Masterpiece: 2 tablespoons = 12-13 grams sugar, 60 calories
· Cattlemen’s Honey or Smokehouse: 2 tablespoons = 12 grams sugar, 60-70 calories

11. Beverages
Just 8 ounces of Langers Grape Juice Plus adds 36 grams of sugar to your daily total. Granted, the sugar comes from juice concentrate. But that is still quite a shock when you're reading the label. What would a juice lower in sugar contain? Welch’s Light Grape Juice Beverage brings it down to 12 grams of sugar and 50 calories per 8-ounce serving by using Splenda and acesulfame potassium.
Flavored Milk
· Nesquick Fat Free Chocolate Milk: 16 ounces = 54 grams sugar, 300 calories
· Nesquick Strawberry Milk Shake: 13.5 ounce bottle = 46 grams sugar, 340 calories
Juice and Fruit Drinks
· Langers Grape Juice Plus (contains grape seed extract) 100% juice: 8 ounces = 36 grams sugar, 160 calories
· Minute Maid Lemonade, 12% Lemon Juice All Natural: 8 ounces = 29 grams sugar, 110 calories
· Simply Lemonade (or Limeade): 8 ounces = 29 grams sugar, 120 calories
· V8 Fusion Vegetable Fruit 100% juice, Peach Mango or Acai Mixed Berry: 8 ounces = 26 grams sugar, 110-120 calories
· An "organics" store brand of fruit punch with no sugar added (100% juice): 1 pouch = 25 grams sugar, 100 calories
· Capri Sun 25% Less Sugar, Wild Cherry: 1 pouch = 18 grams sugar, 70 calories

11. Beverages continued...
Bottled Tea and Similar Drinks
· SoBe Energy or Elixir: 16 ounces = 52-54 grams sugar, 200-220 calories
· SoBe Green Tea: 16 ounces = 50 grams sugar, 200 calories
· Snapple Iced Tea, Peach, Lemon, or Raspberry: 16 ounces = 46-50 grams sugar, 200 calories
· Arizona Iced Tea: 16 ounces = 48 grams sugar, 180 calories
Vitamin and Energy Drinks
· Snapple Antioxidant Water, Agave Melon: 20 ounce bottle = 32 grams sugar, 140 calories
· Glaceau Vitamin Water: 20 ounce bottle = 32 grams sugar, 125 calories
· Gatorade Bring It, Shine On, or Be Tough: 16 ounces = 28 grams sugar, 100 calories
Instant Cocoa
You'd probably expect hot cocoa mix to have cocoa, or maybe powdered milk, highest on its list of ingredients. But for Swiss Miss Mocha Cappuccino and Marshmallow flavors, the first and second ingredients are sugar and corn syrup, with cocoa listed as the fourth ingredient.
· Swiss Miss Mocha Cappuccino or Marshmallow flavors: 1 envelope made with 6 ounces water = 19 grams sugar, 120 calories

12. Yogurt
To enjoy yogurt without the added sugar, make your own flavored yogurt starting with plain yogurt. Or, buy the light yogurts that use alternative sweeteners.
· Yoplait Original 99% fat free, Lemon Burst: 6 ounces = 31 grams sugar, 180 calories
· Yoplait Thick & Creamy Yogurt, Strawberry: 6 ounces = 28 grams sugar, 180 calories
· Yoplait Original 99% fat free, Boysenberry: 6 ounces = 27 grams sugar, 170 calories

13. Frozen Breakfast Foods
You wouldn’t expect to find frozen breakfast products that feature savory items like sausage and cheese to be foods that are particularly high in sugar. And yet the new Jimmy Dean breakfast entrees contain 16 and 21 grams of sugar per serving.
· Jimmy Dean Breakfast Entrees, Sausage & Cheese Croissant with diced apples and hash browns: 1 entrée = 21 grams sugar, 560 calories (the sugar seems to mainly be from the sweetened diced apples)
· Eggo Cinnamon Toast Waffles: 3 waffles (each with 4 mini waffle pieces) = 17 grams sugar, 300 calories
· Jimmy Dean Breakfast Entrees, Scrambled Eggs with Sausage & Cheese with diced apples and hash browns: 1 entrée = 16 grams sugar, 390 calories
· Eggo French Toaster Sticks Cinnamon: 2 pieces = 15 grams sugar, 230 calories

14. Frozen Desserts
· Weight Watchers Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cups (and other flavors): 1 small cup = 22 grams sugar, 140 calories
· Weight Watchers English Toffee Crunch: 2 bars = 20 grams sugar, 220 calories
· Skinny Cow Low-fat Ice Cream Cone (different flavors): 1 cone = 19 grams sugar, 150 calories
· Weight Watchers Giant Chocolate Fudge Bar: 1 bar = 16 grams sugar, 110 calories
· Weight Watchers Giant Cookies & Cream Bar: 1 bar = 15 grams sugar, 140 calories
· Skinny Cow Low-fat Fudge Bar: 13 grams sugar, 100 calories

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Study of Splenda Reveals Shocking Information About Potential Harmful Effects

James Turner, the chairman of the national consumer education group Citizens for Health, has expressed shock and outrage after reading a new report from scientists outlining the dangers of the artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose).

In animals examined for the study, Splenda reduced the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50 percent, increased the pH level in the intestines, contributed to increases in body weight and affected P-glycoprotein (P-gp) levels in such a way that crucial health-related drugs could be rejected.

The P-gp effect could result in medications used in chemotherapy, AIDS treatment and treatments for heart conditions being shunted back into the intestines, rather than being absorbed by the body.

According to Turner, "The report makes it clear that the artificial sweetener Splenda and its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume the product. Hundreds of consumers have complained to us about side effects from using Splenda and this study ... confirms that the chemicals in the little yellow package should carry a big red warning label."


Globe Newswire September 28, 2008
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 2008;71(21):1415-29

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

It’s very important to realize that Splenda (sucralose) is actually NOT sugar, despite its marketing slogan “Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar”. Rather it’s a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, and with detrimental health effects to match.

Splenda was approved by the FDA in 1998 as a tabletop sweetener and for use in products such as baked goods, nonalcoholic beverages, chewing gum, frozen dairy desserts, fruit juices, and gelatins. Sucralose is also permitted as a general-purpose sweetener for all processed foods.

The approval was given after the FDA supposedly reviewed more than 110 animal and human safety studies, but as you’ll soon find out, out of these 110 studies, only two were human studies, and the longest one was conducted for four days!

There’s overwhelming evidence that consuming artificial sweeteners will likely wreak havoc on your body. Previous news has centered mainly around artificial sweeteners’ ability to impair your appetite regulation and leading to weight gain.

For example, it’s been discovered that diet soda increases your risk of metabolic syndrome and, ultimately, heart disease.

However, the study mentioned above, published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, found even further disturbing news besides weight gain. Splenda:

reduces the amount of good bacteria in your intestines by 50 percent
increases the pH level in your intestines, and
affects a glycoprotein in your body that can have crucial health effects, particularly if you’re on certain medications
They also found unmistakable evidence that Splenda is absorbed by fat, contrary to previous claims.

It’s truly disturbing that Splenda can destroy up to 50 percent of your healthy intestinal bacteria, as these bacteria help maintain your body's overall balance of friendly versus unfriendly micro-organisms, and support your general health. Many people are already deficient in healthy bacteria due to choosing highly processed foods. This is why a high quality probiotic is one of the very few supplements I highly recommend for nearly everyone.

The Diet Fallacy

The belief that consuming artificially sweetened foods and drinks will help you to lose or maintain weight is a carefully orchestrated deception. So if you are still opting for diet choices for this reason, please understand that you have been sorely misled.

In reality, these diet foods and drinks can cause serious distortions in your biochemistry and ruin your body's ability to control calories. As a matter of fact, it’s been shown that diet soft drinks can double your risk of obesity!

Nearly a decade ago, studies were already revealing that artificial sweeteners can:

Stimulate your appetite
Increase carbohydrate cravings
Stimulate fat storage and weight gain
Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States still recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as an acceptable alternative to sugar.

Now, I am definitely not a fan of sugar, but if I had to choose between sugar and any artificial sweetener, I would choose sugar, hands down, without question. I strongly believe artificial sweeteners are even more dangerous to your health than an excess of sugar.

The Health Dangers of Splenda

According to James Turner, the chairman of the national consumer education group Citizens for Health:

"This report followed accepted policies and procedures and the results make clear the potential for disturbing side effects from the ingestion of Splenda.

It is like putting a pesticide in your body. And this is at levels of intake erroneously approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

A person eating two slices of cake and drinking two cups of coffee containing Splenda would ingest enough sucralose to affect the P-glycoprotein, while consuming just seven little Splenda packages reduces good bacteria."

The web site lists a variety of consumer complaints from Splenda consumption, such as:

Gastrointestinal problems
Blurred vision
Allergic reactions
Blood sugar increases
Weight gain
My site also contains a long list of personal testimonials from readers who have suffered side effects from Splenda. In fact, we have more people on our site that have reported adverse reactions to Splenda than were formally studied in the research submitted for FDA approval!

The symptoms are so numerous I can’t include them all here, but the following are common symptoms, usually noticed within a 24-hour period following consumption of Splenda products:

Skin -- Redness, itching, swelling, blistering, weeping, crusting, rash, eruptions, or hives (itchy bumps or welts). These are the most common allergic symptoms that people have.
Lungs -- Wheezing, tightness, cough, or shortness of breath.
Head -- Swelling of the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, or throat; headaches and migraines (severe headaches).
Nose -- Stuffy nose, runny nose (clear, thin discharge), sneezing.
Eyes -- Red (bloodshot), itchy, swollen, or watery.
Stomach -- Bloating, gas, pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or bloody diarrhea.
Heart -- Palpitations or fluttering.
Joints -- Joint pains or aches.
Neurological -- Anxiety, dizziness, spaced-out sensation, depression.
Beware – You Could be Consuming Splenda Without Your Knowledge

You also need to be aware of the fact that although the bulk of Splenda is sold to processed food manufacturers and soft drink bottlers, it could turn up in your medicine as well, as nearly 10 percent of all sucralose is sold to drug companies.

Many times sucralose (Splenda) will not be listed in the drug information, so there simply is no way you would know you are consuming a potentially dangerous artificial sweetener. However, if you experience any of the symptoms above even though you’re avoiding Splenda and other artificial sweeteners, then it may be worth investigating the ingredients of any medications you’re taking as well.

Splenda Has NEVER Been Proven Safe for Human Consumption

As of 2006, only six human trials have been published on Splenda. Of these six trials, only two of the trials were completed and published before the FDA approved sucralose for human consumption, and the two published trials had a grand total of 36 total human subjects.

36 people sure doesn't sound like many, but wait, it gets worse: only 23 total were actually given sucralose for testing, and here is the real kicker -- The longest trial at this time had lasted only four days, and looked at sucralose in relation to tooth decay, not human tolerance.

Even more shocking, the absorption of Splenda into the human body was studied on a grand total of six men! Based on that one human study, the FDA allowed the findings to be generalized as being representative of the entire human population. Including women, children, the elderly, and those with any chronic illness -- none of whom were ever examined.

The FDA claims they reviewed over 100 studies conducted on Splenda. What they don't tell you is that most of the studies were on animals. And, those animal studies reveal plenty of problems, such as:

Decreased red blood cells -- sign of anemia -- at levels above 1,500 mg/kg/day
Increased male infertility by interfering with sperm production and vitality, as well as brain lesions at higher doses
Enlarged and calcified kidneys (McNeil stated this is often seen with poorly absorbed substances and was of no toxicological significance. The FDA Final Rule agreed that these are findings that are common in aged female rats and are not significant.)
Spontaneous abortions in nearly half the rabbit population given sucralose, compared to zero aborted pregnancies in the control group
A 23 percent death rate in rabbits, compared to a 6 percent death rate in the control group
Chemically, Splenda is More Similar to DDT Than Sugar

Yes. Splenda bears more chemical similarity to DDT than it does to sugar.

Sucralose is in fact a synthetic chemical that was originally cooked up in a laboratory. It does start off as a sugar molecule. Then, in a five-step patented process of making sucralose, three chlorine molecules are added to a sucrose (sugar) molecule. The chemical process to make sucralose alters the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is somehow converted to a fructo-galactose molecule.

This type of sugar molecule does not occur in nature, and therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize it. As a result of this "unique" biochemical make-up, McNeil Nutritionals makes its claim that Splenda is not digested or metabolized by the body, hence it has zero calories.

But, if you look at the research (which is primarily extrapolated form animal studies) you will see that in fact an average of 15 percent of sucralose IS absorbed into your digestive system, and according to this latest study, it is also absorbed into your fat cells.

Unfortunately, if you are healthy and your digestive system works well, you may be at HIGHER risk for breaking down this product in your stomach and intestines!

Your Healthiest Alternatives

If you have a craving for sweets, rather than trying to find "healthier" ways to continue indulging in them, it is in your best interest to learn ways to relieve your cravings.

The obvious one would be to stop eating any of the products to begin with. But sweets are powerfully addictive – sugar has even been shown to be more addictive than cocaine. Stevia is a preferable natural substitute, which can be used in making most dishes and drinks.

However, complete avoidance of sweets is often necessary to break your addictive cycle, as your hormones insulin and leptin likely play an important role in your cravings.

If you are unable to achieve abstinence from sweets, your emotional connection to cravings might be an important factor for you. One of the most profound methods I know of for diminishing the effects of food cravings is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT is the psychological acupressure technique routinely used in my practice to help people reduce their cravings.

There is enough evidence showing the dangers of consuming artificial sweeteners to fill an entire book -- which is exactly why I wrote Sweet Deception. If you or your loved ones drink diet beverages or eat diet foods, this book will explain how you've been deceived about the truth behind artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose -- for greed, for profits ... and at the expense of your own health.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Drop Sugar, Get Smarter and Better Behaved.

From Modern Forager:

For all you parents looking to give your child an edge, check this out: Principal Says Banning Sugar Made Students Smarter.
For the past ten years, the now-trim principal has required students at Browns Mill Elementary in Lithonia to participate in daily physical exercise and eat healthy foods. Her school enforces a strict ban on sugar.

According to Butler, standardized test scores increased 15 percent at the school within the first year of the program. She said discipline problems decreased by 23 percent. Student health has improved and obesity at the school has been virtually eliminated.
It makes sense to me. We all know how hard it is to concentrate after a hefty dose of sugar and the resultant blood sugar crash. Kids become restless and hyperactive, followed soon after by an inability to concentrate.
“For me, it was not just about educating children about reading, writing and arithmetic,” Butler said. “If these people were going to be successful, I had to ensure that they were going to be healthy.
Unfortunately, most schools seem to focus solely on standardized test scores.
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