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Your water bottle may soon be made of sugar, not plastic
TheWorldNewsOrg posted a topic in Topicsvia .ORGWorld News
Guest posted a topic in TopicsI like this article about sugar addiction at Mindbodygreen, here are some highlights: Have healthy replacements on hand. Cutting sugar cold turkey seldom works unless you have the willpower of a Jedi. Make a healthier version of your favorite treat to have on hand to prevent you from wandering into the bakery. I love to make chocolate chip cookies with almond flour and sweeten them with honey or maple syrup, or I’ll make this amazing chia seed pudding with canned coconut milk and dates. When I have these things in my fridge, the chances of a sugar relapse are much slimmer because my sweet tooth is satisfied. Drink water. Most of us know by now that it is easy to confuse thirst signals from the brain for hunger signals. We think we’re hungry but we’re actually dehydrated. To avoid this confusion, aim for at least half of your body weight in ounces each day, and preferably more. I find that when I’m drinking 10 to 15 percent over that number, my cravings disappear. Important tip: Don’t skip out on your water in the morning and try to make up for it later. It will be too late. Try to get 32 ounces down by 10 a.m. and another 32 by 1 p.m. When you get the bulk of your daily water in early, you’ll notice more energy, minimal cravings, and better portion control at meals. Just make sure not to drink more than a few sips with your meals, as we don’t want to dilute our digestive enzymes. Include healthy fat and protein at each meal, especially breakfast. Many sugar cravings are the result of not getting enough high-quality fat and protein in your meals. This does not mean eat a chicken breast at each meal! Most of us need to eat less animal protein rather than more, so reach for plant sources here. Address your stress. In my experience and in working with clients, the worst culprit when it comes to sugar cravings is stress. Many of us don’t realize how stressed we really are, but our culture drenches us in it, with the inability to ever be off the clock, constantly having a screen in our faces, and, for many, the constant onslaught of stressful news. Some stress is normal, and even healthy, but the chronic levels we are facing today are not. First, in order to burn off the stress hormones, we need exercise. It is the only way to metabolize them and get them out of the system. And second, we have to try to shift the body out of stress and into relaxation as often as possible. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-overcome-sugar-addiction
Is Stevia Safe?
Guest posted a topic in TopicsSugar is one of the most dangerous ingredients on the market. It’s addictive, added to almost every processed food, and will make you overweight, depressed and sick if you eat too much. In fact, Americans eat close to 130 pounds of the stuff per person per year (4 times more than the recommended daily allowance), likely because it is so addictive. That’s why it’s exciting to know there are alternative sweeteners made in nature, like “stevia,” that don’t wreak havoc on your health – or do they? Is Stevia safe? That’s what I went on a quest to find out. Here’s what happened… What Is Stevia? For those of you that are hearing about stevia for the first time, it is a plant that is typically grown in South America, and while its extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar, it does not raise blood insulin levels. That’s what makes it so popular. However in 1991 the FDA refused to approve this substance for use due to pressure from makers of artificial sweeteners like Sweet n’ Low and Equal (a one billion dollar industry). But in 2008, the FDA approved the use of rebaudioside compounds that were derived from the stevia plant by Coca-Cola (Cargill) and PepsiCo – hmmm doesn’t that sound suspicious? Not until a major food company got involved did stevia become legal, and only after it had been highly processed using a patentable chemical-laden process…so processed that Truvia (Coca-Cola’s branded product) goes through about 40 steps to process the extract from the leaf, relying on chemicals like acetone, methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile, and isopropanol. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens (substances that cause cancer), and none of those ingredients sound like real food, do they? The whole leaf stevia that you can grow in your backyard (and has been used for centuries in countries like Brazil and Paraguay) remains a non-approved food additive by the FDA. However, rebaudioside A (the stevia extract) that was approved by the FDA has not been used for centuries and long term human health impacts have not been studied and are still unknown. The sweetener/sugar industry wields powerful influence over what is ultimately approved at the FDA, and this is just another example where they are influencing decisions that don’t make sense. How can a chemically derived extract be deemed safe in processed food and a plant from mother nature not? What Kind Of Stevia To Avoid The 40-step patented process used to make Truvia should make you want to steer clear of this stevia product alone, but there are two other concerning ingredients added (not only to Truvia but other stevia products as well). First, erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar that is sometimes found in fruit, but food manufacturers don’t actually use the natural stuff. Instead they start with genetically engineered corn and then go through a complex fermentation process to come up with chemically pure erythritol. Check out the manufacturing process below: “Natural flavors” is another ingredient added to powdered and liquid stevia products, likely due to the fact that once the stevia leaf is processed it can develop a metallic taste. Manufactured natural flavor is contributing to what David Kessler (former head of the FDA) calls a “food carnival” in your mouth. This makes it difficult to stop eating or drinking because the flavors they have synthesized will trick your mind into wanting more and more. When companies use manufactured flavor, they are literally “hijacking” your taste buds one-by-one; that’s why I recommend putting products that contain “natural flavors” back on the shelf. “Stevia in the Raw” sounds pure and natural, but when you look at the ingredients the first thing on the label is “dextrose” – so it’s certainly not just stevia in the raw. And Pepsi Co’s “Pure Via,” also pictured above, isn’t exactly pure either with this ingredient being first on the label, too. Dextrose is a sweetener that’s also derived from genetically engineered corn and has a long complicated manufacturing process, just like erythritol. Even certified organic stevia can have sneaky ingredients added, like this one above which has more organic agave inulin than the stevia extract itself. Agave inulin is a highly processed fiber derivative from the blue agave plant. Also on the ingredient list is an item you are probably familiar with from those little packets sometimes found in boxed goods – silica (pictured). It is added to improve the flow of powdery substances and is the same ingredient that helps strengthen concrete and creates glass bottles and windowpanes. It may cause irritation of the digestive tract (if eaten) and irritation of the respiratory tract (if accidentally inhaled). While it is non-toxic and probably won’t kill you in small quantities, it’s definitely not a real food ingredient I would cook with or that I want to be putting in my body. How To Choose The Right Kind Of Stevia Luckily there are ways to enjoy this sweet leaf closer to it’s natural state… because let’s be honest, the no-calorie artificial sweeteners out there are really dreadful, and no one should consume them (check this post for the low down on those). So here’s what you can do: Buy a stevia plant for your garden (luckily it’s totally legal!) or purchase the pure dried leaves online – you can grind up them up using a spice grinder (or use a mortar and pestle) for your own powdered stevia. When choosing products already sweetened with stevia, look for “whole leaf stevia” on the ingredient label. For example one of my favorite protein powders is made with “whole stevia leaf” instead of rebaudioside a or stevia extract. Add fresh or dried leaves directly to tea or drinks for natural sweetness (note the straight stevia leaves are only 30-40 times sweeter than sugar, vs. 200 times using the extract). Make your own liquid stevia extract (see graphic below for recipe). If you are not up for getting a stevia plant of your own or making your own extract, remember to look for a stevia extract that is 100% pure without added ingredients (Sweet Leaf & Trader Joe’s have versions). And when all else fails, choose a suitable alternative and forget stevia altogether. Use honey, pure maple syrup, or I personally prefer coconut palm sugar, since it is low glycemic (making it more diabetic friendly) and one of the most natural unprocessed forms of sugar available. It is naturally high in amino acids – has 10,000 times more potassium, 20 times more magnesium and 20 times more iron than conventional sugar. I use it all the time in my baking, from pound cake to muffins to a recent delicious cookie that is low in sugar – check out all those recipes here! If you know someone who uses artificial sweeteners or stevia, please share this post with them. Wishing you the best health life has to offer, Food Babe http://foodbabe.com/2013/04/25/stevia-good-or-bad/
Organic Gatorade: It's Still Loaded With Sugar, Folks
Guest posted a topic in TopicsTop brass at PepsiCo has talked for months about the introduction of an organic line. And now, according to Bloomberg, the company is rolling out G Organic — yep, an organic version of the famously technicolored sports drink Gatorade. (Think crimson red, electric blue and neon green shades.) "Gatorade really dominates the [sports drink] market right now," says Beth Bloom, senior food and drink analyst at the market research firm Mintel. Gatorade commands 77 percent of sports drink sales in the U.S. "I think the [organic line] will broaden the appeal," says Bloom. G Organic will be "one additional offering in their line that may [offer] a little bit of a better health profile." Bloom says health is definitely a driver in the purchase of organic products: "We're seeing that about half of consumers who purchase organic products do so because they think they're healthier than non-organic products." But is this new line of organic Gatorade really any better for you? I put the question to Haemi Choi, a sports medicine doctor at Loyola University Medical Center. She says some consumers like to see artificial colors and flavors removed from products. "It's more natural," Choi says. "But I don't think it's healthier per se. It's pretty similar," she says. Take, for instance, the sugar content. Even though Gatorade seems to have switched to an organic cane sugar for its new organic line, Choi says that, nutritionally, this makes little difference. (We asked Gatorade to confirm the ingredient list of the new organic line, but did not hear back in time for press.) Overall, Choi says the new organic line seems to contain about the same amount of sugar — about 20 grams per 12-ounce bottle. At a time we're told to cut back on sugar, she notes that many of us are already getting too much in our diet. "The average American consumes about 350 added calories from sugar [each day]." For instance, women are told to limit consumption to somewhere between 25 and 37 grams of sugar per day, total. "So, drinking a bottle of [sports drink] is already getting you close to what you should get in one day," Choi says. Choi says unless you're exercising vigorously for an hour or longer and sweating a lot, you don't need to drink any kind of sports drinks — organic or not. If you're out for a casual jog or bike ride, you don't need electrolyte replacement, either. So, what does Choi recommend for quenching thirst? "I say, drink water," she says. Lots of dieticians agree. "Sugar is sugar, so no matter if it's organic or not, it's still going to have the same effect on your body," says Lisa Cimperman, a clinical dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you consume too much, it may have negative effects on your waistline and can increase blood-sugar levels. And as we've reported, excess sugar is also linked to ahigher risk of heart disease. Cimperman says the new organic label may lead consumers to think organic Gatorade is healthier for them. "I think it's a marketing ploy to apply this organic health halo to this product," Cimperman says. And that halo will likely cost you more. Bloomberg reports that G Organic will cost about an extra 50 cents per 16.9 ounce bottle, compared to the non-organic options of the same size, such as Gatorade Thirst Quencher. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/09/01/492257166/organic-gatorade-its-still-loaded-with-sugar-folks
Is Sugar Really Bad for You? It Depends
Guest posted a topic in TopicsThe federal government’s decision to update food labels last monthmarked a sea change for consumers: For the first time, beginning in 2018, nutrition labels will be required to list a breakdown of both the total sugars and the added sugars in packaged foods. But is sugar really that bad for you? And is the sugar added to foods really more harmful than the sugars found naturally in foods? We spoke with some top scientists who study sugar and its effects on metabolic health to help answer some common questions about sugar. Here’s what they had to say. Why are food labels being revised? The shift came after years of urging by many nutrition experts, who say that excess sugar is a primary cause of obesity and heart disease, the leading killer of Americans. Many in the food industry opposed the emphasis on added sugars, arguing that the focus should be on calories rather than sugar. They say that highlighting added sugar on labels is unscientific, and that the sugar that occurs naturally in foods like fruits and vegetables is essentially no different than the sugar commonly added to packaged foods. But scientists say it is not that simple. So, is added sugar different from the naturally occurring sugar in food? It depends. Most sugars are essentially combinations of two molecules, glucose and fructose, in different ratios. The sugar in a fresh apple, for instance, is generally the same as the table sugar that might be added to homemade apple pie. Both are known technically as sucrose, and they are broken down in the intestine into glucose and fructose. Glucose can be metabolized by any cell in the body. But fructose is handled almost exclusively by the liver. “Once you get to that point, the liver doesn’t know whether it came from fruit or not,” said Kimber Stanhope, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, who studies the effects of sugar on health. Dr. Stanhope noted that while the liver may not know whether the fructose came from an apple or a soft drink, the way the liver processes that fructose could possibly be affected by some of the beneficial components in fruit. In contrast to soda, fruit contains fiber, vitamins, minerals and numerous other bioactive components. “We don’t know if and how these components may counteract the negative effects of fructose overload in the liver,” she said. The type of sugar that is often added to processed foods is high-fructose corn syrup, which is the food industry’s favored sweetener for everything from soft drinks to breads, sauces, snacks and salad dressings. Made commercially from cornstarch, high-fructose corn syrup is generally much cheaper than regular sugar. It contains the same components as table sugar – glucose and fructose – but in slightly different proportions. What about “natural” sweeteners? Food companies like to market agave nectar, beet sugar, evaporated cane juice and many other “natural” sweeteners as healthier alternatives to high-fructose corn syrup. But whatever their source, they are all very similar. To suggest one is healthier than another is a stretch, experts say. In fact, last month, the F.D.A. urged food companies to stop using the term evaporated cane juice because it is “false or misleading” and “does not reveal that the ingredient’s basic nature and characterizing properties are those of a sugar.” Is high-fructose corn syrup worse than regular sugar? How is it different? High-fructose corn syrup and regular sugar are so similar that most experts say their effects on the body are essentially the same. The main difference is that the variety of high-fructose corn syrup used in soft drinks tends to have more fructose. In one 2014 study, researchers analyzed more than a dozen popular soft drinks and found that many sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup – including Pepsi, Sprite, Mountain Dew, Coca-Cola and Arizona Iced Tea – contained roughly 40 percent glucose and 60 percent fructose. Regular sugar contains equal parts glucose and fructose. Why doesn’t the F.D.A. require that added sugars be listed in teaspoons rather than grams? When the new food labels go into effect, the daily recommended limit for added sugars will be 50 grams, or roughly 12 teaspoons, daily. (One teaspoon of sugar is 4.2 grams.) But the new food labels will list the amount of added sugars solely in grams. Many nutrition advocates have urged the F.D.A. to require that food labels list added sugars in both teaspoons and grams on food labels, arguing that Americans often underestimate the actual amount of sugar in a product when it’s expressed in grams alone. But the F.D.A. ultimately sided with the food industry, which opposed the teaspoon proposal. “It would be difficult, if not impossible, for a manufacturer to determine the volume contribution that each ingredient provides toward the added sugars declaration,” the agency said. “For example, a cookie made with white chocolate chips and dried fruit would have added sugars in the form of sugar in the batter as well as in the white chocolate chips and the dried fruit.” The F.D.A. also said that requiring both grams and teaspoons would “cause clutter and make the labels more difficult to read.” But Michael Jacobson, the president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group that had petitioned the F.D.A. to require the teaspoon measurement, said the agency was under enormous pressure from the food industry, “which knows that consumers would be far more concerned about a product labeled 10 teaspoons than 42 grams.” So what’s the issue with added sugars? It mainly comes down to the way they’re packaged. Naturally occurring sugar is almost always found in foods that contain fiber, which slows the rate at which the sugar is digested and absorbed. (One exception to that rule is honey, which has no fiber.) Fiber also limits the amount of sugar you can consume in one sitting. A medium apple contains about 19 grams of sugar and four grams of fiber, or roughly 20 percent of a day’s worth of fiber. Not many people would eat three apples at one time. But plenty of children and adults can drink a 16-ounce bottle of Pepsi, which has 55 grams of added sugar – roughly the amount in three medium apples – and no fiber. Fiber not only limits how much you can eat, but how quickly sugar leaves the intestine and reaches the liver, Dr. Stanhope said. “You can’t easily eat that much sugar from fruit,” she said. “But nobody has any problem consuming a very high level of sugar from a beverage or from brownies and cookies.” Why is it a problem to have too much sugar? Many nutrition experts say that sugar in moderation is fine for most people. But in excess it can lead to metabolic problems beyond its effects on weight gain. The reason, studies suggest, is fructose. Any fructose you eat is sent straight to your liver, which specializes in turning it into droplets of fat called triglycerides. “When you ingest fructose, almost all of it is metabolized by the liver, and the liver is very good at taking that fructose and converting it to fat,” said Dr. Mark Herman, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard. Studies show a predictable response when people are asked to drink a sugary beverage: A rapid spike in the amount of triglycerides circulating in their bloodstreams. This also leads to a reduction in HDL cholesterol, the so-called good kind. Over time, this combination – higher triglycerides and lower HDL – is one major reason sugar promotes heart disease, said Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist and adviser to the United Kingdom’s national obesity forum. This sequence of events may even overshadow the effects of LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad kind. “What many people don’t realize is that it’s triglycerides and HDL that are more predictive of cardiovascular disease than LDL cholesterol,” Dr. Malhotra said. “I’m not saying LDL isn’t important. But if there is a hierarchy, triglycerides and HDL are more important than LDL.” Dr. Malhotra said that when people reduce their sugar intake, “their overall cholesterol profile improves.” “I see this in so many of my patients,” he added. “The effects are rapid.” How much sugar is too much? One of the largest studies of added sugar consumption, which was led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that adults who got more than 15 percent of their daily calories from added sugar had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. For the average adult, that translates to about 300 calories, or 18 teaspoons of added sugar, daily. That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually quite easy to take in that much, or even more, without realizing it. A single 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola, for example, has almost 10 teaspoons of sugar; it can add up quickly. The study found that most adults got more than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugar, and that for 10 percent of people, more than 25 percent of their calories came from added sugar. The biggest sources for adults were soft drinks, fruit juices, desserts and candy. While those might seem like obvious junk foods, Dr. Malhotra said, about half of the sugar Americans consume is “hidden” in less obvious places like salad dressings, bread, low-fat yogurt and ketchup. In fact, of the 600,000 food items for sale in America, about 80 percent contain added sugar. Everyone’s tolerance for sugar is different. Studies show, for example, that people who are already obese may be more susceptible to metabolic harm from sugar than others. But Dr. Malhotra said that he generally advises people to follow the World Health Organization’s guidelines, which recommend that adults and children consume no more than about six teaspoons daily of added sugar. “Could I tell you the exact limit where sugar starts to definitely impact cardiovascular health?” he said. “That’s difficult. But I think if people stick within the W.H.O. limits, then their risk is reduced.” Source: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/is-sugar-really-bad-for-you-it-depends/?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&action=click&contentCollection=health®ion=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=1