RSS

Tag Archives: sugar

Strip Tease The Sugar Out of Your Diet

Français : Echantillons de différents sucres, ...

Français : Echantillons de différents sucres, de gauche à droite et de haut en bas : sucre blanc, sucre complet, rapadura, cassonade (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traditionally, when we think of sugar, we think sweet, white stuff coming from the sugar cane plant. Naturally sweet foods can be purposeful. Now, industry has flooded the food market with an excess of sugar from both natural and chemical sources.

In small amounts and in its natural state, sugar cane has many nutrients that contribute to good health;

  • chromium helps control blood sugar
  • manganese is an essential mineral involved in carb and fat metabolism, bone health, sex hormones and helps reduce free radical damage
  • cobalt is an essential mineral the is involved in the formation of vitamin B12
  •  copper and zinc are important to maintain minerals because when deficient can contribute to poor immune system, attention and behavior issues. If you suffer from chronic fatigue and are a vegan or an older adult, please read this, http://www.westonaprice.org/metabolic-disorders/copper-zinc-imbalance.
  • magnesium is an important mineral involved in bone and heart health and many more functions in the body, read more here http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

When sugar cane is processed into sugar, it is stripped of its nutritional value. Sugar cane loses 93 percent of its chromium, 89 percent of its manganese, 98 percent of its cobalt, 83 percent of its copper, 98 percent of its zinc, and 98 percent of its magnesium. It is now practically nutrient less. Consuming pure refined sugar may also cause your body to excrete chromium, which, ironically, triggers sugar cravings. This mineral loss is typically what happens in the processing of many convenience foods, including bread.

Sugar, no matter what the source has many names and you may be surprised to find out where it is hidden. Sugars aka, brown sugar, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, honey, maltodextrin, invert sugar, malt syrup, lactose, maltose and molasses. If you want a laundry list sit down while you go through it, it is quite a long list, http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/821596-257-names-for-hidden-sugar.

Many convenience foods that do not taste sweet are loaded with added sugars, and many busy people turn to these foods for quick meal options. Consider that peanut butter, jelly, bread, bologna, breakfast bars, granola bars, canned chili, and canned fruit in syrup all contain added sugar; so do fast foods such as pizza, sandwiches, and even breakfast items too. According to the USDA, a fast food cheese and bacon griddle cake sandwich has 9 grams of sugar. Some sweetened breakfast cereals contain as much as 15 grams of sugar per ounce.

Do you think of these foods as being sweet? Just check the label for yourself.

  • Grey Poupon
  • Pepperidge Farm 100% Natural Whole Wheat bread
  • Jif Peanut Butter
  • Bush’s Best – light red kidney beans
  • Progresso Dark Red Kidney Beans
  • Oscar Meyer shaved turkey breast
  • Oscar Meyer Ready to Serve Bacon
  • Oscar Meyer Hard Salami
  • Healthy Choice Split Pea & Ham soup
  • Powerbar performance bars
  • Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix
  • Aunt Jemima Whole Wheat Blend Pancake Mix
  • Desserts and sweet beverages pile on even more of the sweet stuff. You may also have more sugar in the form of soft drinks, candy, ice cream, cookies and cup cakes.

There is one sweetener, in particular, it is a natural derivative from corn.  So seemingly it would NOT be unhealthy but high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which has been in our foods since the 1970′s is been anything but a healthy alternative. It dominates the “added sugars” market in processed convenience foods. Here’s what you should know, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/high-fructose-corn-syrup-dangers_b_861913.html.

If you’re active and in good shape, you’ve probably been encouraged to load up on sugary sports drinks, and energy bars, before and after your exercise. Television commercials and programming also urge you to drink “sports drinks” after exercise, to replace the energy you burn. Guess what they contain? Have you read the ingredients? This is how fit people may end up with metabolic health conditions.  No matter what alias they give to  added sugars, when consumed they encourage us to prefer sweet foods as well as wreak havoc on blood sugar and insulin, appetite and fat storage especially triglycerides. If this makes you think metabolic syndrome, keep thinking. You are on the right track.

What Sugar does

The more sugar is pumped into food, the more sugar is consumed unknowingly. Sugar highs and             lows  intensify, metabolism becomes more imbalanced, setting you up not only for weight gain, but also     for developing stomach upset, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and other diseases. Health is           compromised no matter what.  The food supply threatens the health of our children too. It used to take         15 to 20 years for a steady consumption of sugar and other sweeteners to trigger conditions like type 2     diabetes. Now we’re seeing type 2 diabetes in children as young as age 6.

Each sugar hit gives you a little bounce, followed by a bigger crash. You eat sugar and experience a short-lived exhilaration and energy as your adrenal glands produce the stress hormone adrenaline. This hormone drops quickly, so you feel fatigued. You eat more sugar and rise some, only to drop deeper into a fatigue only to seal the adrenal “coffin”.  To learn more about adrenal fatigue, http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/what-is-adrenal-fatigue but make sure you read this, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/.2009/09/05/most-common-cause-of-fatigue-that-is-missed-or-misdiagnosed-by-doctors.aspx.

Strip sugar from your diet for so many more reasons, including addiction and depression, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-r-talbott/sugar-health_b_1396609.html and 141 physiological reasons from Nancy Appleton’s blog http://nancyappleton.com/141-reasons-sugar-ruins-your-health/. Even when you do not suspect you are eating sugar, you probably are ingesting it. Find lurking sugar in your food and strip it from your diet.There should be no room in your eating repertoire for added sweeteners in foods if you want to live a long healthy life.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Are Carbohydrates Triggering Your Food Addiction?

Corn Flakes box

Corn Flakes box (Photo credit: Ѕolo)

In late 2012, Sanjay Gupta, a media spokes person and physician,  reported on, “Is sugar toxic?”, http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7403942n. While this was jaw dropping, there is new mounting evidence showing that it is not just sugar that you need to worry about.

Low and non-fat starches seem to cause the same addiction issue. Recent research findings from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that high glycemic foods actually alter the addictive area of brain. Specific high glycemic foods were named and include, “white bread, most white rice, bagels, parsnip, pretzels, corn flakes, glucose, maltose, and potato”.

This is important because if you are trying to lose weight and start your day with a bowl of corn flakes, it may trigger a full day of bingeing. If you try cutting fat by switching peanut butter for pretzels or pile the rice on your plate instead of taking a little extra protein or non-starchy vegetables, it is likely the wrong choice. For people who are not trying to lose weight, if you eat these addictive foods, you may be at higher risk for weight gain diabetes etc…

If starchy foods can trigger addiction, we must use this information to redefine what is considered “good” and “bad” food based on its actual effect on the body and not just because a food contains a certain nutrient. Read this, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262603.php as it describes the results of what happens when carbohydrates are consumed. The bottom line: After eating carbohydrates, blood sugar drops and triggers addictive eating behavior.

There are those who have tapped into understanding body cues and realize that they are vulnerable to sugar addiction but this study shows, it is not just sugar, carbohydrates can be equally habit forming. There are likely more foods than the ones listed that will cause addiction. So pay attention to what happens when you eat.

The best way to know if a food triggers addiction is to be aware of how you feel after eating the food. Tell tale signs are:

1. If you are hungry within an hour or so after eating,

2. If your energy is zapped, or

3.You get a sense from your taste buds that this is R-E-A-L good and you need to go back for more.

Eating a balanced diet, means eating from each food group at each meal. Steer clear of any food that fosters the physical feelings described from the three symptoms mentioned above.

Give up on cereal with milk for breakfast or pasta as a main entree for lunch, this is carb overload and may be creating a lack of self control as the physical dependence on these foods become greater. Choose a hard-boiled egg on Alvarado Street Flax bread or a Cobb salad for lunch instead.

As science evolves and we are better able to gain more of an understanding of  what happens to the food we eat once it is digested and absorbed and how food can stimulate appetite, cravings or addiction, it seems sensible to make changes accordingly. Yes, for many years we have been told the key to health is to avoid fat but now we know better.

Certain fats and certain carbohydrates should be avoided but there are foods from both food groups that should be consumed everyday. Healthy natural fats that come from any protein sources, olives, avocados, coconut, seeds and nuts are nutrient dense foods that add value to daily meals without spiking blood sugar and triggering food addiction. Non-starchy vegetables and fruits that are low in sugar or some dairy products such as, Geek yogurt or kefir are healthy sources of carbohydrates.

Take the time to identify food triggers and uncontrolled eating, you are the best judge of how food effects you.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 23, 2013 in food addiction

 

Tags: , , ,

Immunity Boosters

English: Various cells that participate in imm...

English: Various cells that participate in immune functions. Note that even though hematopoietic stemm cell, erythrocyte, maegakaryocyte and platelets are found in the blood, they do not participate in immune functions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you stay healthy and fight sickness? Your immune system, its’ job 24/7 is keep you well. It wrestles with  fungi, viruses, bacteria, battles pathogens and any foreign invaders while cleaning up cellular debris. Sounds exhausting and it is, that is why as we age the immune system loses its steam. Nourishing the immune system will keep it strong and you healthy.

Eat:

All vitamins, 5 main minerals (zinc, copper, selenium, manganese and iron), all protein but especially arginine, http://jn.nutrition.org/content/137/6/1681S.abstract, and glutamine, http://jn.nutrition.org/content/131/9/2515S.full, fat (lower Omega 3 and 6 ratio to less than 1:4) and fiber.

In order to consume all these nutrients, you must eat a variety of low glycemic fruits, a colorful assortment of vegetables, protein from whole eggs (The yolk has choline a precursor to phosphatidylcholine which helps repair cell damage.), fish and grass-fed beef (also contain more Omega 3 essential fatty acids) turkey, sources of arginine (pumpkin/sesame seeds and almonds/cashews) and glutamine (cottage cheese and plain 2% Greek yogurt).

Drink:

tea-white (anti-bacterial and viral), elderberry and green

water with lemon

Green drinks, http://greensplus.com/index.php, any that contain sea vegetables

Practice:

Healthy habits and hygiene. Washing your hands and brushing your teeth is as important as keeping active and avoiding obesity as a study from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine found that in comparison to normal weight mice obese mice were unable to fend off flu and other types of infections, http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/apr05/beck040405.html.

Stress reduction techniques can also boost immunity.

Understand:

Just because these nutrients are immune enhancing, does not mean excess amounts will be helpful. In fact, too much omega 6 fat, iron and vitamin E will actually have detrimental effects on your immune system. The same is true for some medications, such as antibiotics or corticosteroids.

Supplement Foods with Herbs and Spices

Herb and spice supplements boost immune system and protect against aging too.

Curcumin, cloves, basil, garlic, oregano and ginger all ward of sickness and can specifically help in preventing colds and flu.

Reminder:

Avoid consuming products that have been shown to weaken your immune system like soda, alcohol and sugar (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published results of a study that found lowered immunity for up to 5 hours after eating 100 grams of sugar or 3 cans of soda).

Maintain gut acid-base balance with proper foods (vegetables) or a probiotic supplement

Avoid allergic or sensitivity reactions as they produce inflammation

Stay healthy!

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Eat Foods With Fat: What is your Response to Carb Overload? (3) Continued

Age 33 - Completely Naked

Irritability is not the only emotionally related issue linked to a “fat free, higher carb” diet, depression, is another factor tied into not eating enough or the right balance of fat.

This is true especially if you are a convenience food consumer.  Why? Because, trans fat (the ingredient used to replace real fat in real foods so you are not deprived of foods that taste good) has also been linked to depression, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/215021.php.  Here are some links if you want to find out where trans fats are lurking, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/06/trans-fat-foods_n_1130573.html and http://www.acaloriecounter.com/trans-fat-foods.phphttp://www.acaloriecounter.com/fast-food-trans-fat.php

Fat is involved in nerve impulses, the production of brain chemicals and hormones (for both men and women). So when you avoid fat, risks for ADHD and many other brain health issues as well as eating disorders because the nerves, hormones and brain chemicals may not function correctly.

Fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K, along with vitamin B6 and B12 (abundant in red meat and fish) are important for  growth, immunity, cell repair and blood clotting and so much more. If you’re not eating enough fat to for these fat soluble vitamins into your body, they will be excreted, and you may be at risk for a vitamin deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency alone has been linked to:

  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Severe asthma in children
  • Cancer

In fact, research suggests that vitamin D may play a role in the prevention and treatment of type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.

Additional health conditions that are catapulted by high carbohydrate foods that directly impact insulin and blood sugar spikes are:

Metabolic syndrome

Heart disease

PCOS

Cancer (Colon, breast, and prostate) are associated with low intakes of essential fatty acids

Yeast overgrowth

Dental caries

Advanced glycaction endproducts (AGE’s), contribute to the aging process as a result of excess sugar (again I remind you, 100% of carbs converts to sugar) http://www.prevention.com/node/23567#ixzz24u7nJ8SU

Adrenal dysfunction and defects with cortisol release

As I realize that there is just so many reasons to limit carbs, I am going to ask that you read the information that was written in 2004 by Kent Rieske entitled, “Scientific Proof Carbohydrates Cause Disease” posted on Dr. Mercola’s website, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/01/03/carbohydrates-age.aspx.

 And now I am off to write more on this and will move on to reasons # 4 and 5 to “Eat Foods With Fat”.

 Related articles

How Fructose Turns on your Fat Switch, http://lewrockwell.com/mercola/mercola220.html.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 29, 2012 in health, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

60 Minutes And The War Against Carbohydrates

60 Minutes

Low carb heaven, now where was I? Here’s a link: http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/60-minutes-confirms-all-calories-are-not-equal/, to last weeks blog if you are interested in how 60 minutes started all this :).

Let me continue summing up from last week:

REFINED carbs and sugar, most REFINED foods created by food companies to reduce food cost and incresae profit coupled with the “best of intentions”  message from science research, “cut out fat to improve your health” has created huge health concerns for all of us. We eat 130 pounds of sugar/person/year and this has led to;

1. Cancer

2. Food addiction

3. Diabetes

4. Heart disease

5. Obesity

6. Fatty liver disease

7. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are created from carbohydrates, both simple and complex.  Carbs are absorbed by your body to  affect your blood sugar levels.  Blood sugar is then glycated to form AGEs.

8. Kidney disease

9. Alzheimer’s disease

10. Skin, nerve and eye diseases

Now people are getting paid to figure out how to reduce all this damage, for what? It really is not rocket science.

Wanna cut off glucose supply to cancer, wanna reduce your cocaine-like addiction to sugar, wanna reduce your risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease… just don’t eat sugar and foods that are made up mostly of carbohydrate containing foods.

It really seems prudent to eat balanced low carb whole food, paleo diets to help you live a long healthy life!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

60 Minutes Confirms All Calories Are Not Equal

Public relations of high-fructose corn syrup

Public relations of high-fructose corn syrup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So many people have told me about this and finally I had the time to watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta‘s report for 60 Minutes, http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7403942n&tag=mncol;lst;4.

You know, I’m not sure why Dr. Lustig was chosen for this piece. His comment about high fructose corn syrup being just as bad as sugar is so off the chart wrong it’s almost criminal. But I agree, processed foods including sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin…should be avoided.

I’m happy that he is on this campaign and more professionals are finally admitting that what has been promoted as healthy, “Eliminate fat and you will not be fat”, IS NOT necessarily true. Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional biologist at the University of California, Davis has actually changed her own diet as she observes the results of her study.

Here’s a piece on high fructose corn syrup I wrote awhile back. It is worth a quick read, http://valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/buyers-beware-hfcs-may-soon-be-a-wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing/.

One of the BIG messages I believe is so true and if so, I am way before my time (LOL). It is a mantra that I repeat to my clients all the time. “All calories are NOT equal”. If sugar is addicting and leads to health complications when you eat it, how is that the same when you eat the same amount of calories from a satisfying and nourishing piece of fish?

Three major points:

1. Many of the main health diseases (obesity, diabetes, cancer) are related to over sugar consumption (this means carbs too).

2. When sugar is consumed changes in the brain occur similar to that of cocaine addiction.

3. You probably do not realize how much sugar/carbs you are eating because we have been trained to think eat carbs not fat.

There is so much to talk about, I’m in low carb heaven :). More points on this next week.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cereal is NOT a Food I Typically Recommend

I enjoyed this and wanted to share it with you. Think twice before you reach for the box of cereal in your cabinet.

This picture kinda sums it all up!

http://www.delish.com/food/recalls-reviews/artist-creates-cereal-stunt-at-los-angeles-supermarket?GT1=47001

I hope you enjoy!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 14, 2011 in cereal, sugar

 

Tags: , , ,

Buyers Beware HFCS May Soon Be A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Raw (unrefined, unbleached) sugar, bought at t...

Image via Wikipedia

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used as an ingredient in almost every food you consume. For years it has slowly crept into our food supply. Now there is a lot of controversy over its effects on health.  Oh yes, we are all human guinea pigs!

58% of consumers are concerned about the link of high fructose corn syrup with diabetes, heart disease, obesity…It’s no wonder the Corn Refiners Association (The BIG GUYS behind HFCS: Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Tate and Lyle) petitioned the FDA to rename HFCS, “corn sugar”. See the Big Battle, consumerist.com/2011/04/big-sugar-sues-big-corn-over-corn-sugar-ad-campaign-for-hfcs.html

Now I’m not a fan of excess sugar in my food but I’d take real sugar cane over high fructose corn syrup any day. I suggest keeping sugar to a minimum by selecting fresh or frozen produce, but with this issue, I side with the sugar companies that are spending the big bucks to prevent the association of sugar with HFCS or its alias “corn sugar”. Huh, maybe they know something we don’t.

Even for those of us who believe HFCS may be harmful, unless you do a “kitchen” makeover, you have no control over what cheap products companies decide to use as ingredients for their products.  

This is a quick list of how to shop differently and make better food choices:

http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup

http://cleanerplateclub.wordpress.com/2007/06/20/take-the-high-fructose-corn-syrup-challenge/

http://parentingtips365.com/2010/01/19/how-to-remove-high-fructose-corn-syrup-from-your-diet/

So for all my label readers’ out there, if you are shopping one day and you see an item that does not contain HFCS, check again for the “Wolf in sheep’s clothing–corn sugar” just to make sure you are not fooled by the Corn Refiners Association.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Andrew Weil:”Saturated Fat IS NOT associated with an Increased Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke or Vascular Disease.”

For many years I’ve been trying to educate people on the importance of fat in our diets. I try to explain that, one, fat is not the devil and , two, not all low fat-high carbohydrate (sugar) foods are good for you.

I admit, I’m not pushing the right buttons to be seen by the big guys but now Andrew Weil, one of the big guys, has spoken and I am sooooo happy to see that saturated fat is not being vilified as usual.

Here’s what Dr. Weil has to say, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/healthy-eating_b_629422.html.

Two points that stick out and should be considered:

He is not promoting meat consumption and that’s fine be me. Hey, I’m all with eating meat that are grass-fed and natural vs. those pumped with antibiotics. Read my book, The Stubborn Fat Fix and you’ll understand how the food supply affects our health, http://www.amazon.com/Stubborn-Fat-Fix-Metabolic-ebook/dp/B002E6IJWY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1292253814&sr=8-2 . However the reason most people avoid meat is to cut saturated fat from their diet. If there is no link between eating red meat and heart disease then we can start eating meat to help supply our bodies with important vitamins and minerals like iron and B12 that we are not nourishing our bodies with when we omit red meat from our diet.

The other point worth paying attention to is that he underscores the fact that carboydrates can upset hormonal balance, fructose and glucose can overload the liver and raise insulin levels and “refined carbohydrates, starches and sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease and diabetes.”

Now that you know that saturated fat is not a one way ticket to death and that sweets/added sugars and sweeteners are at the top of the evil food list, what foods will you choose to consume?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vitamin Water: Another “UN”Healthy Food in Disguise

In my efforts to avoid high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), I started drinking Vitamin Water. I divide the bottle into thirds and add water so the amount of sugar is not high and the HFCS is replaced with crystalline fructose (CF). The name Vitamin Water implies that this beverage is healthy but really there are less than 5% of minerals. So, in essence vitamin water is really sugar water worse yet, fructose water.

It seems I have been seeing CF in more products lately and did a little research on this new ingredient that is seemingly popping up in “healthier” foods. Here’s what I found:

Crystalline fructose is worse than HFCS! Why? Because it is composed entirely of processed fructose vs. 55% processed fructose in HFCS. Do not get my message confused. I am not suggesting you stick with HFCS. I am saying stay away from both!

Processed fructose has been linked to numerous unhealthy risk factors (high triglycerides, high blood sugar and insulin levels) and poor health conditions including: fatty liver, diabetes, heart disease and cancer;

I guess on a more positive note, CF is 20% sweeter than sugar so if you are looking to cut calories you may be inclined to use it so that you can cut calories.

But I will keep reminding you, it is not about calories. It’s about the type of metabolic activity that the calories produce. If the calories follow healthy metabolic pathways, you will avoid ill health. If your calories are metabolized and trigger unhealthy responses and increase hunger signals, you will pay with your weight and health. Vitamin Water and crystalline fructose are two perfect examples of this.

My message is to always read the labels for ingredients while you focus on eating healthy products while lessening your attentiveness on just the calories and fat. It is more important to know which ingredients your calories come from than to obsess with a 100 calorie marketing seal of approval.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,119 other followers