Sunday, September 28, 2008

Health Lesson #5 (Sugar)

MONDAY, JULY 28, 2008 09:51 PM

Hello sweet people. Time for.....
Another Health Lesson
#5 Sugar


Chloe is being my Vana White modeling all the flavors I have of Stevia. She also likes eating my dill I brought inside for the fall too. The middle bottle is the plain Stevia which I use 95% of the time.



Quick Facts:
* Sugar greatly speeds up the aging process in our bodies
* One key to why people get disease is insulin (which rises as sugar consumption rises)
* Dr Raymond Francis, author of Never Be Sick Again said if he could get a person to do only one thing to be healthier it would be to have them not consume sugar
* Cancer cells demonstrate a 3 to 5 fold increase in glucose uptake compared to healthy cells.
* Did you know that the average American eats his or her body weight in sugar each year? (About 140 lbs, where 20 pounds per year is what we should consume)
* The average can of coke has 10-12 teaspoons of sugar.
* Americans consume 15 billion gallons of soft drinks, 2.7 billion Krispy Cremes, and 500 million Twinkies per year

Why is sugar bad?
Cancer loves sugar. Sugar serves as fuel for cancer growth. You pancreas responds to sugar by releasing insulin (the hormone that escorts sugar to your cells) Refined sugars in cookies and juices makes your insulin levels rise very quickly. I read that women with high insulin levels have a 283% greater risk of getting breast cancer. Breast cells have insulin receptors (just like estrogen receptors) and when insulin attaches to the receptors it tells the cells to grow and divide. The faster the cells divide the greater risk of getting breast cancer.
Sugar severely compromises your immune system. Your T-cells (responsible for attacking disease) are down by at least 50% after consuming sugar and these affects last for up to 5 hours. That is a long time without your immune system at 100%.

Why are artificial sweetners bad?
Saccharine in Nutrasweet:
The FDA proposed a ban on saccharine when a study showed that it caused bladder cancer in lab rats. But congress put a moratorium on the ban and required only a warning label on all products containing saccharine. I remember reading the label on Sweet n Low a long time ago. After several human clinical trials researchers showed with NORMAL usage the risk posed by saccharine was small. Clinton then signed a bill requiring that warning label removed (out of sight out of mind right?)
Aspertame:
Aspertame is another artificial sweetner all over the shelves. It has been reported to cause severe headaches, allergic symptoms and depression in some people. It contains methyl alcohol which is a chemical that breaks down into formaldehyde and diketopiperazine, a known carcinogen and neurotoxin. In the Journal of American Medicine, an 11 year old did a science experiment and found that the aspartame in Diet Coke breaks down into formaldehyde and diketopiperazine at room temperature. (Sorry Diet Coke drinkers that I had to use this example)


What can we have then?????
Stevia:
Sweet, Sweet relief!! Stevia. Ahh Stevia. The greatest natural sweetener that has no glycemic effect and zero calories. Stevia is an herb (I have some growing in my garden) You can pull a leaf off the plant and eat it and it is sweet and tasty. The FDA did not approve Stevia to be used as a sweetner in processed foods because it is considered an herb (and because there is no money behind the herb like there is from pharmaceutical companies that make these artificial sweeteners that we KNOW have been proven to cause tumors to grow in lab rats). So now, it is considered an herbal supplement. I hope, by now you all understand that FDA approval is not always the healthier alternative and that there are enormous political agendas behind what gets approved and recommended. (I’ll have much better examples of politics with the FDA and the food pyramid when I discuss dairy and meat) So, the best part about telling you all this stuff is that there are some alternatives. I would hate to tell you all STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR and not have a little good news to bring your spirits up. I would be the crabbiest person you have ever seen if I didn’t have a sweet alternative. So, now that I have listed off all the “Why nots” for sugar and artificial sweetners, I’ll list some of the “whys” for Stevia our new king of the castle, powerhouse, all natural, all good, tastes so yummy yummy natural sweetner, Stevia. Phew, what an intro. I’m just getting started though. This stuff tastes awesome. PLEASE TRUST ME AND TRY IT. The very best form is liquid droppers and the best brand is Sweet Leaf. Of course you can get it at Whole Foods or a health food store. If you go to a Whole Foods or a store that has a lot of options, you can get a bunch of different flavors. I got root beer flavor (not even because I love the taste of root beer, but because I just thought it was cool that there actually was root beer flavor. You can get soda water and add root beer stevia and ta da, root beer pop. I also got English toffee. Such a good flavor. I also got cinnamon flavor, but I don’t use it because if I want cinnamon flavor, I use the spice which is also really good for leveling your blood sugar. There was strawberry, grape, chocolate, vanilla crème, peppermint, lemon…I can’t remember all the flavors, but I cannot wait to have my shelves stocked with all of them. I make my lemonade with fresh squeezed lemon and 10 drops of Stevia. There are so many options and it tastes so good, do we need more reasons we should start using this stuff. No, but there are a ton more reasons, and most of you who follow my journal are getting into this health stuff, so sit down because I have a very sweet treat for you.

Health benefits and facts on Stevia:
Stevia is a South American plant. Very small amounts of Stevia are needed to sweeten up anything.
Stevia had been used for 100s of years by tribes in Paraguay and Brazil to treat high blood pressure and diabetes. Yes, Stevia can cause blood vessels to dialate. In a double blind study patients who were treated with Stevia three times a day decreased both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Stevia has the opposite effect that sugar does on our bodies. It causes blood sugar to go DOWN.
Stevia causes our insulin sensitivity to go up. To explain what this means, Stevia improves insulin utilization so that the pancreas doesn’t to have to produce more of it to have the desired effect. The less insulin in out bodies, the better. Stevia also slows glucose production of the liver (our liver produces sugar as well)
Stevia can kill certain bacteria and viruses, including food born bacteria.
Stevia also has strong anti-inflamatory properties and has been shown to have anti-tumor effects.
So now, even though I only needed the reason that Stevia tastes great and sweet to consume it, I also know that it has tremendous health benefits to me when I eat it. Yeah!!

Xylatol:
Xylatol is another natural sweet alternative that appears to be safe. It’s found in fibrous fruits and vegetable labels and hardwoods. This sweetener causes small amounts of increase in blood sugar. This is used mostly in chewing gums. I believe Trident uses this.

Splenda:
Splenda is made from sugar and tastes like sugar, but does not elevate blood sugar like sugar. It has one molecule that is slightly different in shape from normal sugar and has a chlorine atom added. So far no evidence has proven it dangerous, but it is relatively new. I say it is better than Nutrasweet, Aspertame and Equal, but not as good as Stevia and Xylatol. I don't trust it. I think it is bad too, but there aren't enought studies that prove it. I'm sure it's justy a matter of time.

What else can you do to level your blood glucose regardless of what you eat:
* If you do consume sugar – try consuming whole fruits, honey and Agave Nectar, which are slowly absorbed. Agave nectar tastes wonderful and is great to add to drinks.
* Do fruit smoothies over fruit juice. The fiber in the smoothies slows down sugar uptake. If you consume fruit juice it delivers the sugar directly to your bloodstream. This is also why refined sugar is so bad because the refining process strips sugar cane of all of its fiber and protein (which slow down the sugar uptake). So also, increase your fiber intake.
* Exercise to burn up any extra glucose in the blood. Go for long walks and move your butt around
* Eat cinnamon with whatever sugar you consume because cinnamon lowers blood sugar
* If you use maple syrup use PURE maple syrup because otherwise it will have most likely been diluted with corn syrup to cut cost (read labels)
* Reduce stress in your life because stress leads to poor glucose tolerance

Have a sweet day!!

Shannon

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