Friday, June 12, 2009
(NaturalNews) Sugar and monosodium glutamate have one thing in common. People are more likely to buy products containing them if they are called something else. Consumers trying to avoid sugar have started reading food labels. Many have begun to think that sugar by another name is not really sugar. Manufacturers know that calling sugar evaporated cane juice for instance, fools people into thinking there is less sugar in the product. Many label readers have caught on to the fact that ingredients have to be listed in order, from the largest amount contained down to the smallest. By using different names for sugar, manufacturers can split the content among the different names, putting the idea of sugar further down on the label without actually reducing the amount of sugar in the product. But aside from a few minor differences, sugar by any other name is still sugar.
Sugary products in "health food" stores are a recent phenomenon
Once upon a time health food stores did not carry products containing sugar. Today what we think of as a "health food store" is often a type of hybrid resulting from the cross breeding of true health food stores with traditional grocery retailers. These new stores are trying to capitalize on having a healthy image, while their shelves are stocked with products containing processed sugar, often listed by one of its other names.
Evaporated cane juice is one of the other names showing up in many products on the shelves of both hybrid and conventional grocers. It is available in a variety of forms that vary in texture and flavor. Because it has not undergone the final processing step that removes the last bit of molasses, it is slightly darker in color than white sugar. However, both evaporated cane juice and white sugar are both sucrose, and both contain 400 calories in 100 grams.
Sugar by any other name is still processed
Both evaporated cane juice and white cane sugar have been heavily processed to remove the molasses content. During this processing the vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, and trace elements that make molasses nutritious have been striped away, leaving one of the purest chemicals ever manufactured. Only tiny amounts of vitamin A and calcium remain in evaporated cane juice. Following processing, evaporated cane juice is 99.5 percent sucrose, and white sugar is 99.9 percent sucrose. Turbinado sugar, considered the least processed of any of the forms of sugar, is 99 percent sucrose.
Whether sugar is eaten in the form of white sugar, evaporated cane juice, turbinado, or any of the other names for it, its effect on the body is the same. When eaten in large amounts, or eaten without fat or protein, each of them will produce the same sort of insulin spike, weight gain, immune system suppression, and increased chance for diabetes.
The terms raw sugar and natural sugar are more words used by the manufacturers of today, but the terms are misnomers. True raw sugar is processed from sugar cane at a sugar mill and then shipped to a refinery for processing. In this stage, it is about 98% sucrose. Truly raw sugar that has not been processed is unfit for consumption and is not sold. The FDA notes that raw sugar is "unfit for direct use as food or as a food ingredient because of the impurities it ordinarily contains." These impurities include plant residues, bacteria, mold, and dirt. They make up the 1 percent difference between true raw sugar and turbinado.
All sugar is processed from the sugar cane or sugar beet plant, and the two types of plants are used interchangeably. High quality brown sugar is made by cutting short the refinement process and leaving a bit of molasses in the sugar for taste and color. Lower quality brown sugar sold in conventional grocery stores is usually made from processed white sugar with the addition of caramel for coloring. Some brown sugar is even made by processing white sugar through animal bone charcoal to add color.
The big difference between evaporated cane juice and granulated sugar is the price, which runs about 8 to 10 dollars a pound for evaporated cane juice compared to about 1 to 3 dollars a pound for white sugar. If manufacturers are willing to spend the extra money to put the words evaporated cane juice on their labels, it means they know the public is seriously trying to avoid eating sugar and needs to be tricked into eating it anyway.
Why eating sugar is so compelling
Our collective sweet tooth goes back to the days when we lived in caves and life was a physical event rather than a mental one, as it is now. We needed to eat foods high in nutrients in order to have energy to get through the physical challenges of the typical day. Sweets eaten back then were primarily berries and other fruits that contained beneficial nutrients, enzymes and many phytochemicals to keep us going strong. Back then, a sweet tooth was not a bad thing.
Today, sugar craving is not often answered by a piece of nutritious fruit, but instead by a processed concoction that tastes sweet but from which most nutrients have been removed. But sugar craving still exists for the purpose of compelling people to seek high energy nutrition. Until that nutrition is obtained, sugar craving continues, leaving today's people in that vicious circle where more nutrient depleted sweets are eaten, and more sugar craving signals are sent. For many people, sugar has almost completely replaced nutrient dense foods, with obesity and health issues as the results.
Buying products made with forms of sugar that sound like they offer significant nutrition and less processing is a way of eating sugar while sugarcoating the conscience. It is an excuse to eat sweets, made even better if the product is organic. But the best sounding form of sugar in an organic product is still just the sucrose that results from processing out all other compounds. It is not a whole food. The real difference between organic and non-organic sugar is the lack of pesticide in the one labeled organic, and a reduction in the possibility of eating sugar that has come from genetically modified plants.
Also in the minds of manufacturers is the realization that in addition to giving the product a more "healthy" connotation, the other names for sugar have appeal to green-minded customers because sugar that does not go through that final processing may require less fossil fuel to produce.
For genuine good health, give your sweet tooth some fruit
The bottom line is that we have been hardwired to have a sweet tooth. Nature has provided the means for satisfying our cravings through an abundance of fruits. Eating fruit breaks the vicious circle of consuming processed sugar and failing to provide the nutrients needed to quiet sugar craving. Fruit provides those necessary nutrients to energize the body and to keep it healthy and well. Fruit is a whole food, and as such has complete integrity. It is backed by nature.
People who engage in heavy consumption of processed sugar can break the habit by substituting fruits and vegetables. Once the body realizes it is getting all of its nutritional needs easily met, it will slowly turn down the volume on the signal to eat sugar. After a period of maximum nutrition with fruits and vegetables, processed sugar will taste abhorrently sweet.
When you make the decision to give up processed sugar in favor of full nutrition and good health, you break free of the manipulations and trickery used by manufacturers to get you to spend your hard earned money on products that are harmful to your health. Breaking away from such a situation is a personally empowering event that can highlight your inner strength and place you in control. naturalnews.com
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Hundred Health Sapping Neurotoxins are Hidden in Packaged and Restaurant Food
By Barbara Minton, Natural Health Editor
(NaturalNews) What is it that stands between you and vibrant health? People who have spent a fortune on supplements, gotten plenty of exercise and bought high quality food still find themselves unable to answer this question. For many of them, the answer lies in neurotoxins hidden in even the healthiest sounding foods, including many foods labeled as organic. These ingredients often cause serious reactions, including migraines, insomnia, asthma, depression, anxiety, aggression, chronic fatigue, and even ALS. They may be responsible for the swelling numbers of children diagnosed as ADHD.
Almost everything in every kind of grocery store has additives that can cause reactions including asthma attacks, obesity, tinnitus, and restless leg syndrome. While 1 out of every 4 people is sensitive to neurotoxic food additives, only 1 in 250 is aware that these additives are the source of the reactions they are having.
Most neurotoxic food additives contain free glutamic acids processed from proteins. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is probably the best known of the neurotoxins. However, there are many other names for these protein derived additives, including yeast extract, maltodextrin, carrageenan, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, dough conditioners, seasonings, spices, and whey protein concentrate. Even the pleasant sounding term natural flavors can mean the presence of additives toxic to the brain and nervous system.
Food additives are there to trick you into thinking what you are consuming tastes really great. They are an assault on your nerve synapses and a violent attack on the cells of your brain.
"Bet you can't eat just one"
Remember that old slogan? Food and beverage companies use food additives because they make you crave more of what tastes so good. They cause nerve cells to cry out for repeated stimulation, keep you buying and consuming more of their products. People watch in horror as they pile on pounds and become food junkies without any idea of how they are being manipulated to further corporate interests. In addition to the benign sounding terms natural flavors and spices, manufacturers use other seemingly innocuous names for these additives on their labels, such as seasonings, broth, or gelatin.
Restaurants are another place to find foods laced with neurotoxins. This is why restaurant food tastes so good. Neurotoxins have conditioned people to think restaurant food tastes so great they will stand in line to get a table, when what they are really paying money for is the privilege of having their brain cells destroyed.
Many people think if they avoid Chinese restaurants they can avoid neurotoxins in their food. But these hazardous chemicals are added to virtually all restaurant food from McDonalds to the most exclusive gourmet dining spots. A sign on the widow or on the package that says there is no MSG simply means that another form of neurotoxin is used instead.
The FDA wouldn't allow dangerous food additives, would they?
Unfortunately, the food industry is controlled by powerful conglomerates that have great political influence over the FDA and other government regulatory agencies. Naturally it is in the best interests of these corporations to defend their use of the neurotoxic additives that make their products so pleasing to the senses and so habit forming. Just like the tobacco industry, food corporations have no regard for the health of their customers but will stop at nothing to get their money. Until consumers realize what is being done to them and how they are being used, neurotoxins are here to stay. Kicking the addiction promoted by food additives is as difficult as kicking the nicotine habit.
Although the science of food technology has been around since the 1950s, consumers are just now waking up to the link between neurotoxic additives and their loss of vitality. Even when people understand the link intellectually, many are so hooked on the fabulous taste of adulterated food that they just can't stop eating, no matter what it is doing to them. Others buy into the lame propaganda telling them that neurotoxic additives are safe.
Additives from natural sources can be highly toxic
MSG is natural. It is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, an amino acid. Originally isolated from seaweed, MSG is now made by fermenting corn, potatoes and rice. MSG is naturally present in high levels in tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. But MSG is highly dangerous to health. An early study reported that the inner layer of the retina was destroyed in neonatal rats receiving a single exposure to MSG. This is an amazing finding considering that humans are more than 5 times more sensitive to MSG than rats.
Another study used rats to determine the effects of exposure to MSG on obesity. Rats given MSG developed obesity, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome X. They also developed lesions of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. MSG is a powerful disrupter of the endocrine system, creating havoc with meta-thermoregulatory modulates like neuropeptide Y and leptin, and their target tissue, brown fat. It reduces the thermogenicity of brown fat while also suppressing food intake. This means that MSG makes a people gain weight even when they decrease caloric intake.
These findings explain how a person can hardly eat at all while still putting on weight. But these effects are not confined to MSG. The other substances classified as neurotoxic food additives produce much the same outcomes.
Natural flavors are isolates from naturally occurring products just like MSG. Many natural products including organic fruits and vegetables contain compounds that in isolation are extremely harmful. Some of these compounds are what make up the defense system of the plants. When the whole plant, fruit or vegetable is consumed as food, other compounds are present that neutralize their harmful effects. When taken from the plant as isolates, the compounds become no different in their effects than those created in a laboratory.
The word spice is another innocuous sounding germ, but in the world of food marketing, it is a word that has been manipulated to sound harmless when it really isn't. People tend to think that the individual spices are not listed because the creator of the product doesn't want to give away his secrets. This is not true. When the word "spices" is used, it is the tipoff that toxic additives are hidden in the product.
Feeling your best involves learning to read labels
Neurotoxins are added to virtually every packaged food and beverage sold in almost every store. Not just packaged meal type items, but many of the ingredients used to create a meal.
Anyone wanting to avoid neurotoxic additives needs to know that there is a lot more to it than just looking for MSG on the label. MSG may be the most well known of the additives, but all the others are just as hazardous to health and as likely to produce a reaction. Even if products say "No MSG" or call themselves "all natural" or "organic", it is almost a certainty that neurotoxic additives are in that product. There is no way to know unless you are willing to take the time to read the label.
When there are a hundred different kinds of neurotoxic food additives used being pumped into almost everything on stores shelves, trying to avoid them may seem like navigating a mine field. It helps if you are armed with a listing of what to avoid. The label of any product that is canned, frozen, bagged, bottled, boxed, wrapped, put in a carton, or offered in a take home dish or container needs to be examined because almost all of them contain neurotoxins. Check everything you suspect may have flavoring added to it, even coffee, tea bags, and bottled waters. You will be surprised. Be sure to check chewing gum and candy.
It may seem overwhelming at first to have to drag around a list of toxic food additives and examine every product you buy. But very quickly you will learn where to find the ingredient lists and what to look for. The key words will jump off the label right into your eye. As you become better at identifying products using these additives, you will also begin to notice how much better you feel. Those persistent symptoms that have been around for months or years will begin to disappear along with the unwanted pounds. By the time label reading becomes second nature and can be done in one quick glance, you will well be on the road to vibrant health.
Here is a list of what to look for. Arm yourself against corporate exploitation when you go to the store, and learn how to spend your money so that it benefits you, rather than someone else who has made it clear he doesn't care whether you are healthy or not.
Neurotoxic Chemical Food Additives
broth of any kind
solids of any kind
soy protein anything
textured vegetable protein
About the author:
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses: only results. –Kenneth Blanchard
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I had a follow up appointment with my doctor, 2 weeks ago, where he diagnosed me with diabetes. Fortunately for me, I belong to Kaiser and they are very conservative on monitoring blood sugar levels, so I just barely crossed their threshold of treatment. The good news for me is that I now qualify for quarterly blood test instead of every six months to a year. I was give a monitor and Metformin for controlling my blood sugar.
I read the literature that came with the kit and noted that once I started the medication, I had to become concerned about my blood sugar dropping too low and they advise carrying around candy to raise it. This approach seemed insane to me as the very substance that is responsible for causing diabetes. sugar, is being suggested as an antidote for the medicine give to control it.
On to the internet to find some sanity. I found the Health Ranger, Mike Adams who cured himself of borderline diabetes through diet and exercise alone. I downloaded his excellent book, How to Halt Diabetes in 25 Days, and realized that with a couple of critical exceptions, I was well on my way to following his program, so I started this 25 day strategy.
I have been on the program for one week and after weighing myself every day and taking my weekly average, I was down 2.1 pound from my average of the week before. I am still following the low carb program from the Carbohydrate's diet, except that now all of my carbs for my reward meat are from raw fruit.
A Brief look at the 25 day (and for the rest of my life) program from the book is:
Day 1. Halt the consumption of all soft drinks. Never drink soft drinks for the rest of your life.
Day 2. Engage in at least 45 minutes of mild exercise.
Day3. Halt the consumption of all white flour products and products containing white flour: white bread, crackers, cakes, pastries, and so on. Never consume white flour for the rest of our life.
Day 4. Begin consuming healthy quantities of essential fatty acids, omega-3 oils in particular. These oils coe for flax oil, olive oil or salmon. RAW nuts and seeds on a daily basis: cashews, almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, etc. Only ear them raw, and only in small quantities (usually no more than 10 nuts during any one-hour period).
Day 5. Engage in another 45 minutes of mild exercise. This is not about burning calories, it's about altering your metabolism, blood sugar levels and insulin response. As you exercise, your body chemistry is transformed and you begin shifting out of the realm of diabetes.
Day 6. Halt the consumption of all added sugars in all forms: sugar, evaporated cane juice crystals, sucrose, corn syrup, table sugar, and so on. This means no ore syrup, pancakes, cake, cookies, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sweetened yogurt, etc. Also watch out for sugars in pasta sauces, salad dressings, and fruit drinks. Read nutrition labels and avoid anything with refined sugars of any kind.
Day 7. Begin consuming whole-grain breads (Ezekiel Bread or French Meadow Bakery bread), whole-grain breakfast cereals (oat groats, Kashi, etc.)
This is the first week program. The author Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, suggest working on each day for a day or for a week, so the program may take 25 days or twenty five weeks. It depends on how motivated you are. I'm on the daily plan and have already adapted almost all of the 25 steps into my life. I am exercising an hour to an hour and a half every day. I've stopped eating anything with white flour or sugar, I've added raw almonds and pumpkin seeds to my diet and the results for my first week were encouraging. I have not taken the Metformin that was prescribed for me and plan to talk to my doctor about withdrawing the prescription on my next visit in a couple of weeks based on my improved blood chemistry and weight loss.
I'm looking for this new challenge to lead to a new victory for me in my health and weight loss progress.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
For all of us who are frustrated with plateaus and lack of weight loss, it is easy to get discouraged. We need to put our striving to lose our unneeded weight in perspective. If we can accept the fact that fat is not a moral problem, but a symptom of a disease state, we have to look at the causes. When we cover up a symptom or suppress it, often we find that we end up with a bigger problem.
The Carbohydrate Addcts Diet Low-Carb Lifestyle is a healthy diet, but our held over concerns about dietary fat and calories can subtlety sabotage us by reducing the nutrients that help us to be healthy. Our hormones are dependent upon the consumption of good fats to be able to make enough to keep us healthy. When we cut calories, fat is the first thing to go because we all know that it has 9 calories per gram and protein and carbohydrates are only 4 calories per gram.
When I first started SparkPeople, it was because they had the best food tracker on the web. I was eating only healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil and omega-3 rich fish. This made my calories always come out high, so I increased my exercise level to the point where I had to eat more than normal to not fall too far behind my calorie burning. I exercise and hour to two hours a day on a rowing machine and added weights twice or three times per week.
I became frustrated because as much as I exercised and ate like "they" said, I plateaued. When I discovered the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet LifeSpan Program, I broke through the plateau and lost more weight until I hit another plateau, like Jan's magic "00"; I became stuck above 300#.
I was following the CAD system "religiously" so was the problem? When I read more, I realized that I was very sensitive to MSG which is present in all Far Eastern food in the soy sauce, tofu, and other sauces. This was my favorite food, so every time I went out and ate CAD food choices, but cooked in a Chinese, Japanese, or Vietnamese restaurant or even at home by my Filipino wife, I gained weight or stalled. I say "was" my favorite food as now I know why I craved it so much; I was addicted to MSG which is present in all of the food. I no longer have soy sauce or any soy products in my home and I eat sushi with lemon juice, salt, and wasabi, period. I leave the sugar sweetened sticky rice on the plate. I wouldn't do this at a sushi bar as it would be a great insult to the sushi preparer!
In doing more research by reading Dr. Diana Schwarzbein and Eric Berg, DC, I found out that all of my intense exercise was wrong for my body type; I am an adrenal type and my adrenal glands have been weakened by my previous stressful lifestyle and need to be repaired before my body can heal and resume its weight regulation to a healthy weight.
Now I exercise moderately for an hour on the rowing machine. According to Dr. Berg, the first 30 minutes is just a warm up and fat burning only starts after that 30-45 minute period. I am resting a day between rowing because exercise is stressful and drains my already low adrenal reserves. My goal is to work up to a comfortable hour per day, in time, and when that becomes comfortable, to add two days of weigh training with a couple of days rest between upper body and lower body routines.
I have added healthy fats to my diet by cooking with coconut oil which is not damaged by heat like olive oil, which oxidizes when you cook with it. I eat two eggs every day for breakfast for the super nutrition and I eat fish once a day. My salad dressings are all home made with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and spices.
I took two weeks off from exercising to let my body recuperate from an injury and when I got on the scale. I had lost 1.75 pounds due to dietary improvements alone.
We are all unique and I am not only addicted to carbs, but to MSG, so once I identified that problem, I eliminated it. I am also not supposed to do vigorous exercise, and now that I know that from Dr. Eric Berg and Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, I can exercise properly and speed the healing of my endocrine system and become healthy enough so that my symptoms of obesity can disappear.
Dr. Berg's book is The 7 principles of Fat Loss and Dr. Schwarzbein's books are The Schwarzbein Principle. Both are compatible with CAD, but deal more with the difference in body types that various glandular weaknesses create and how to heal those glands through variations on diet and exercise.
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