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Monthly Archives: August 2017

Healthy Meals

The four classes of simple sugars that are considered harmful to health are fructose, malts, sucrose and honey. Let’s look at four sugar alternatives that are better for you than sugar and lower on the glycemic index scale. They offer more in the way of nutrition and will give you the sweet taste you are looking for. These alternatives are listed in order of healthiest first.

1. Stevia – this is the best alternative to sugar. It is 200-300 times sweeter than refined table sugar, however, stevia is not sugar. Stevia is an herb. It has a glycemic index of less than one and will not feed candida or cause other health problems that are associated with refined sugar consumption.

2. Agave Nectar – derived from the Blue Agave plant, and has a glycemic index of between 15 and 30. It is extracted and purified from the sap of the agave plant and then broken down with natural enzymes.

3. Raw Honey – used in moderation, honey is a healthy alternative to refined sugar. It is considered a superfood because of the vitamin, mineral, antioxidant and phytonutrient content it possess in its raw, unprocessed state. It has a glycemic index of about 30 and is used as a remedy for many health ailments by alternative health care providers. Use caution though when choosing honey. It is not all created equal. Once it is processed and refined, it loses all of its beneficial properties.

4. Maple Syrup – While the choices listed above are better ones, maple syrup is still a more nutritious choice than refined white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. It has a glycemic index of 54 and should be used in moderation. It is derived from the sap of the maple tree making it a processed food.

Reduce Sugar in Diet

1. Pay special attention to breakfast. If you start the day with a sugar rush and a sugar crash, you may have just started a cycle that will perpetuate itself all day. My favorite breakfast: a slice of whole wheat bread with a tablespoon of nut butter (almond or cashew butter.) Or try some homemade granola with yogurt (both without added sweeteners, of course.)

2. Satisfy your sweet tooth with naturally sweet foods. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

3. Stock up on whole grains. Look for whole grain breads, brown rice and wild rice instead of white. Add ground flaxseed to your diet as well. Use these whole grains – along with a bit of lean protein – to help sustain your moods and energy levels all day. Instead of reaching for a hunk of milk chocolate around 3, have a cup of green or herbal tea and a snack of carrots dipped in hummus or cashew butter on a slice of whole grain toast.

4. Use protein to moderate energy levels. Having a small portion of protein in your snacks and meals can go a long way in keeping your energy levels high.

5. Be a sugar detective at the store, and read all the labels. Look at total sugar grams as well as some of those hidden sugars in the ingredients lists of your favorite foods. Look for anything that ends in the suffix “-ose,” as well as ingredients with the words “syrup” and “cane juice.”

Find the “Sugars” on a food’s Nutrition Label. Take the amount of sugar (measured in grams) and divide by 4 to get the number of teaspoons. (Twelve grams of sugar, for example, is the same as 3 teaspoons).

According to the US Department of Agriculture, we should be limiting our sugar intake to between 6 and 12 teaspoons each day, depending on how many calories you take in. (People who eat 1600 calories should limit themselves to about 6 teaspoons of sugar. People who eat 2200 calories a day can eat 12 teaspoons.)

This may sound like a lot until you realize that there are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a a single 12 ounce soft drink.

6. Be careful not to replace the sugar in your diet with artificial ones, such as Aspartame or Splenda. The jury is still out on possible health effects of these sugar substitutes. The most healthful choice is to allow your body to lose the taste for sugar. (Of course, you’ll want to save sodas and fruit juices for special occasions.)

7. Indulge, the sugar-free way. If you love specialty coffee drinks, try coffee with a splash of half and half. If you love milk chocolate, treat yourself to a square of organic dark chocolate when a craving comes on. Once you start to notice the benefits of a reduced-sugar lifestyle, it’ll be easier to say no to sugar when the cravings strike.

If you fall off the sugar wagon, you can moderate any spikes in blood sugar with a little lean protein – or burn it off with a quick run or brisk walk.

Tricks to Detox Sugar

The sudden rush of sugar into your blood stream can give you an quick energy boost but over time your body becomes depleted of nutrients, your metabolism becomes inefficient, you suffer from lack of energy and poor weight regulation.

Your blood fats increase as your liver converts excess sugar to triglycerides and bad cholesterol. Eventually this leads to a number of health problems such as diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, mood swings, yeast overgrowth, osteoporosis, premature aging, poor immunity, degenerative diseases and increased risk of cancer.

A sugar detox is well worth it if you want to lose weight, curb sweet cravings, control diabetes, improve your energy levels, and lower your risk of many health problems. But be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability and sleep problems if your diet is high in added and hidden sugar.

Avoid adding sugar to your food and drinks and avoid obviously sweet foods. Exclude sugar hidden in many processed foods such as ketchup, many sauces, pickles, soups, dips, peanut butter, salad dressings, frankfurters, bread by reading labels. Many fruit drinks and sodas are laden with sugar.

It may be hard at first to avoid sugar if you rely a lot on convenience foods but you can replace sugar foods with fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, salad, unsweetened yogurt, almonds, almond butter, a handful of seeds, hummus. Avoid using artificial sweeteners or buying food or drinks containing them as they are not safe either. Try Stevia, a natural sweetener, instead.

Buy plain unsweetened yogurt instead of sweetened and add your own fruit. Try oatmeal for breakfast and add some raisins or other fruit to sweeten instead of having a sweetened cereal. Look out for sugar free muesli. Make your own dressing with virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. Replace candy bars with more healthy fruit sweetened bars. Eat fruit instead of dessert.

Reduce sugar cravings and stabilize blood sugar with a diet of whole grains, vegetables, beans and lentils or lean, free range poultry, meat and eggs. Refined carbohydrates like white flour, white rice and refined cereals have the same effect as sugar.

If you have been used to eating a diet high sugar foods you should reduce the sugars gradually. High carbohydrate foods can have the same lifting effect as alcohol and cocaine for some people. In fact alcohol is a chemical cousin to sugar. It upsets blood sugar too so avoid it when doing a sugar detox.

If you have a serious craving for sugar you can take some nutritional supplements to restore the nutrients that you are lacking. The B vitamins, Vitamin C, chromium, and zinc can help with sugar withdrawal symptoms. Try the amino acid L-Glutamine 500mg 30 minutes before meals 3 times a day. Increase dose to 1000mg three times a day if you still get cravings after 1 week. Combine with Chromium 200 mcg three times a day with meals.

Coffee is Bad For Health

Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant drug that acts on the central nervous system that can result in mood and behavior change. For people who could not tolerate a certain amount of coffee, drinking it could cause anxiety and fast cardiac rhythm. Coffee-addicts on the other hand, could find it hard to stop drinking because of the false energy alarm caused by the rapid heartbeat. For example, after several hours of having his drink shot, an addict might think that his plummeted energy can be increased by drinking it again and the cycle repeats a few times a day.

The combination of coffee with milk, cream or sugar can increase the cholesterol level if taken in excessive amount, which is the case for coffee-addicts. The variation of the drink like cappuccino, cafe latte and latte macchiato contains excessive milk and sugar that can increase the chance of diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure. Whereas unfiltered coffee contains cafestol and kahweol that could lead to high cholesterol level.