Contents

Most of us love the sweetness that sugar adds to so many of our foods. But we always hear reports that say sugar is not so good for us. So then, are there any good alternatives that we can use? This article looks at several kinds of alternatives and gives you a report on each one.

If Sugar is bad for you, Are Sugar Substitutes Better Instead?

If Sugar is bad for you, Are Sugar Substitutes Better Instead?Everyone knows that sugar is not a good part of a healthy diet and so many people are turning to sugar substitutes in order to get their sweet tooth fulfilled, but, are these substitutes in reality better than sugar or are there more things hidden under the surface of these healthier alternatives than meets the eye?Lets take a closer look at some of these substitutes and see which ones are better and which ones may be better to avoid.SUCRALOSE, sold under the name splenda, is useful as a one to one substitute for sugar. Sucralose is made from sugar and is used to make splenda which tastes like sugar. Sucralose has no calories but does not measure, look or act like sugar. Sucralose is 600xs sweeter than sugar so much less is needed for the same sweetness. Sucralose is bulked up with maltodextrin, a carbohydrate derived from corn, giving it some calories and making it look and act like sugar. This combination makes splenda. Splenda has 1/8 to 1/4 the calories of sugar. We are told that all the sucralose consumed will be excreted unused but despite the manufactures claims, sucralose is absorbed and metabolized by the body. The FDAs final rule report says that 11% to 27% of sucralose is absorbed in humans and the Japanese food sanitation council says as much as 40% is absorbed.SUCROSE is made from sugar beets or sugar cane. Not only does sucrose taste good, but it also gives you quick energy as well. However, the downside to this quick energy burst is that when its gone, your body wants another dose of sugar to keep the energy going. Taking in too much sucrose leads to excessive insulin responses, which causes the excess carbohydrates to be stored in your fat cells. Because sucrose is a high-glycemic (rapid release) sugar, you should substitute other sweeteners. Here are some other forms of sucrose to avoid when looking at labels: raw sugar, brown sugar, invert sugar, turbinado, confectioners sugar, cane sugar, crystallized cane juice.ASPARTAME is about 200xs sweeter than sugar and there is a lot of concern over the safety of this sweetener. It is made from two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartame is marketed under the names NutraSweet and equal and is found in a wide variety of prepared products. This sweetener is not useful for cooking or adding to hot beverages.MALTITOL, like all sugar alcohols does not promote tooth decay and has a taste and sweetness like sugar. It does not raise blood sugar levels or insulin levels and is useful for diabetics. Like all sugar alcohols, maltitol can have a laxative effect in some people.SACCHARINE has been around for almost 100 years and is 200xs sweeter than sugar. It is produced from a substance found in grapes. The human body cannot break it down, so it does not produce an insulin response. It is most commonly found in soft drinks and sweeteners like sweet n low. SORBITOL is a sugar alcohol which is found in numerous products, especially those that need to become dry or hardened like candies or confectionaries. Sorbitol is often used in reduced calorie or light products.HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP is made from corn starch and has a high glycemic value which means it will cause a large insulin response. There is some controversy over the safety of using large amounts of this sweetener over time. High fructose corn syrup is found in numerous products and is not the same as a product that contains fructose.FRUCTOSE, also known as fruit sugar, is sweeter than table sugar and only 1/3 is needed as a sugar substitute. Fructose is low on the glycemic index (slow release sugar) and so it helps control insulin responses, keeping them low, which means it is good for diabetics. DEXTROSE OR GLUCOSE, has a higher glycemic value than table sugar and on most glycemic indexes, glucose is used to compare the value of other foods as glucose (which is actual blood sugar) has a faster release into your system than most any other sugar or food item which will result in a very sharp rise in your insulin levels. Diabetics should not use this sweetener. On labels it can also be called corn sugar.LACTOSE, also known as milk sugar is about half way between sucrose and fructose on the glycemic index. It is made from whey and skim milk and is used largely by the pharmaceutical industry.HONEY, is an invert sugar formed by an enzyme from nectar. It is a combination of fructose, sucrose, glucose and maltose and is a high glycemic sweetener so it should be avoided by diabetics who need to control insulin. Unlike popular beliefs, honey only contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals.As you can see, some sugars and substitutes can be fine to use in place of table sugar but certainly NOT all of them. For diabetics or people trying to control their insulin for fat loss, careful consideration must be taken when using sweeteners or sweetened products. As for the rest of us, well, still we need to be aware of what kind of sweeteners we consume as you cannot always rely on claims made by manufactures of some sweeteners or products which contain sweeteners regarding there safety or health benefits.

The Top Fourteen Foods to Avoid

The Top Fourteen Foods to Avoid

Copyright 2006 Monique HawkinsObtaining optimal health is a goal for many people. No one wants to develop disease and sickness. The good news is, one of the ways to develop optimal health is by avoiding purchasing food that is loaded with chemical, has no nutritional value, or is energetically altered. Let's discover the top fourteen foods to avoid.1. Avoid purchasing anything with words you can't pronounce. This is very easy. If you have difficulty figuring out what a word is and have a hard time pronouncing it, don't buy it. Most likely it is a harmful chemical.2. Monosodium Glutamate. Never buy anything with this chemical in it. MSG is a toxin that is dangerous, causes weight gain, increases appetite, and causes all kinds of health problems.3. Stay Away from Aspartame. This is a toxin that makes people gain weight, causes hunger, and leads to medical problems such as PMS and migraines.4. Avoid High Fructose Cory Syrup. This is a chemical that causes people to become addicted and makes them fat.5. No Hydrogenated Oil or Partially Hydrogenated Oil. Never buy foods with these ingredients since they are trans fats. Trans fats are deadly, causes heart disease, cause weight gain, and once more, other medical problems.6. Avoid Sugar. Sugar that is processed turns out as refined white powder. All the natural sugarcane is taken out. Sugar has lots of chemicals that are used in the growing of sugarcane. It should be avoided at all costs.7. Don't Be Fooled By "Natural" and "Artificial Flavor". These words, most of the time, mean that the food is loaded with chemicals and grown with pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and herbicides. The bottom line-eating organic food is best.8. Be Wary of Spices. Spices do sound very healthy, but many of them really are not. Companies use hundreds of chemicals, put it in food products, but only label the product as a spice. In reality, people are getting more that salt, pepper, oregano, and the like in their foods. Most of the time, lots of man-made chemicals are made as well.9. Avoid Artificial Color. If anything has dye in it, stay away. A dye is really a chemical poison.10. Avoid Palm Oil: This is a very unhealthy oil that is cheap to manufacture, but causes physical problems. So, stay away from it.11. Dextrose, Sucrose, and Fructose. There are chemically made sweeteners. There are not good for the body at all. So, it's best to avoid them.12. Avoid Sucrulose and Splenda. This is a man-made sweetener that most people have heard of. In spite of the hype, it is unnatural, artificial, and man-made. The problems it can cause are increases in appetite, depression, allergies, etc., all depending on the person's genetic makeup. It is best to avoid these products.13. No Enriched Bleached White Flour. This flour has no fiber. It has no nutritional value, and is highly refined. Eat organic wheat flour or other organic flours such as rye, millet, etc.14. Avoid Soy Protein Isolate. This is usually found in protein shakes and in protein or food bars. Soy protein isolate's refining process often includes hexane, which a petroleum solvent like gasoline. The best thing to do is to avoid at all costs.So, there you have it. The top 14 foods to avoid in order to be in the best health as possible. Pay attention to those labels and be on your way to outstanding health.

Food Companies Fail To Tackle Diet Crisis

Food Companies Fail To Tackle Diet Crisis

The bigger you are the better you are - well not in this case. The world's 25 biggest food companies are failing to take the global crisis in diet seriously and often only change their practices when faced with adverse publicity that could damage their sales, a new study claims.From Wal-Mart to McDonald's to Coca-Cola to Cadbury, the world leaders of the food industry are accused of a "pathetic" performance on meeting targets set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2004 to take basic action to improve diet that will in turn tackle obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.The study judged each company on responsible marketing, in particular to children; reductions in fat, sugar and salt; portion size; and developing healthier new products. Just four of 25 said they were taking action to reduce the total fat content of their products. Only five said they were cutting sugar and 10 said they were reducing salt.The comprehensive review of the policies and practices of the companies, including four British conglomerates, found that their global reach meant they were largely unaccountable for how they addressed the epidemic of diet-related disease. Researchers at City University in London said the only factor which seemed to produce action on issues such as salt and fat content was public discontent.If the best way to get companies to take health seriously is to have critics give them a wake up call, do these companies care? Many dont even have the correct policies in place to deal with the crisis.This lack of commitment to health paints a poor overall picture. Diseases such as cancer, heart disease and obesity currently account for 60 per cent of global deaths- that figure is predicted to rise to 73 per cent by 2020. Does this epidemic have to rise to this level before these corporations accept some kind of accountability?

How Much Protein Should You Eat?

How Much Protein Should You Eat?

Dont sacrifice your carbohydrates for a high protein diet, and think twice before bulking up those biceps with protein to look better at the gym. Your daily diet shouldnt contain more than 30% protein ideally, because an excess of it will do you more harm than good. So says Gail Butterfield, Ph.D., director of Nutrition Studies at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical Center.Dr. Butterfield says that excess protein in your diet may have harmful effects. If you increase protein without adding more calories and exercise to your daily life, instead of building muscle mass you will put your other body systems under undue stress. And eating more protein while increasing calorie intake -- but keeping at the same exercise levels -- builds an equal amount of additional fat and muscle. Meanwhile, a diet where protein is more than 30% of your calorie intake causes a buildup of toxic ketones. A ketogenic diet, or one high in ketones, pushes your kidneys to excessively flush themselves free of toxins. This can cause you to lose a significant amount of water, which puts you at serious risk of dehydration, especially if you exercise heavily during your workouts.Such water loss will make it appear youre losing weight, when in actuality youre not. Plus you will be losing, not gaining, muscle mass and bone calcium from this ketogenic diet, while the stress of dehydration can also badly affect your heart. Dehydration from a ketogenic diet can make you dizzy and weak, give you bad breath, and lead to other health-related problems. This can be the result of a high-protein, low-carb fad diet one that emphasizes proteins excessively.Actual protein deficiency is a very rare condition and is confined usually to elderly women or persons with eating disorders. Protein deficiency is defined as eating 50-75% of the recommended daily amount of protein. You should consume 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of your normal body weight, according to the US recommended daily allowance -- or RDA -- guides. And protein should make up about 15% of your daily caloric intake, not go well over 30% of it.Protein is absolutely required for your bodys normal functioning, as it helps synthesize your enzymes and hormones. It maintains your fluid balance and the building of antibodies against infections. It also is the basic building block for your muscles, bones, cartilage, skin, hair and blood, and is essential for the formation of all of the cells in your body You should eat protein-rich foods such as meat, cheese, milk, fish and eggs to get enough protein in your daily diet. You can also find protein in soy products, as well as in combinations of food such as rice or corn with beans, when it comes to vegetable proteins that you may consume.You should eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish and complex carbohydrates, not one heavy in protein alone. But protein is optimal for immune functioning, and you may need heavier amounts of it when injured or otherwise undergoing any serious healing processes.Proteins are made up of several different amino acids, some of which your body can make on its own. But some of them have to be ingested. These are called the essential amino acids. You must eat a variety of foods to make sure youre getting all of your essential amino acids. Lack of these can cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immune system functioning, weakening of the circulatory and respiratory systems and even death.The most common source of protein in the American diet is meat, but milk and other dairy products are rich in it. To avoid too much fat with your protein, eat leaner cuts of meat, and cook without adding fat by baking, broiling, barbecuing or boiling your meat. By eating beans and lentils as well as a variety of vegetables and grains, you can add terrific sources of vegetable protein to your diet. Nuts and seeds are also great sources of non-animal protein.The average adult American needs eight grams of protein each day per twenty pounds of normal body weight. Yet we generally eat twice that much protein daily. If you balance your carbohydrates with your proteins, and eat a variety of foods to make sure you get all of the amino acids you need, you will be eating a healthy diet. You should also make sure you keep your diet low in fats, oils and refined sugars. Those substances have no proteins, and hardly any other nutrients, with one gram containing nine calories of energy. You do need some saturated and unsaturated fats in your food, every day. Unfortunately, junk food laden American eating habits tend to provide far too much of these fats.Your daily diet should contain no more than 30% total calories from fats, hopefully far less than that. The upper limit on the amount of fat in your diet will depend on how many calories you need to maintain your weight, and cutting back on fat can help you consume fewer calories. But some dietary fat is needed for good health. It supplies energy and the essential fatty acids, which like the essential amino acids can only be gleaned from your consumption of certain foods. Fats also promote absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.High levels of saturated fat and cholesterol are linked to increased blood cholesterol and put you at risk for heart disease. Fat is also associated with protein-rich food such as meat and dairy products. So you should lower the daily amount of protein and fat that you consume to an acceptable level, while raising the amount of complex carbohydrates you consume to at least 50% of your daily calorie intake. This will ensure that you are eating a proper and not a fad -- or risky to your health diet every day. Eating meals and snacks rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as well as some high protein and certain fatty foods, will help you to obtain your desired weight and to keep fit -- not fat.

Atkins Destroys The Competition

Nutritionists agree, todays dieters can lose weight on many of the popular diets prevalent throughout the diet industry. The trick to dieting success is keeping the weight off once the dieting part of the plan has ended. Figures from the CDC show that the percentage of dieters who able to maintain their weight loss for five years after accomplishing their goal weight is a very disheartening 5%. Some research shows the figure to be less than this. So the greatest challenge for the nutritional community is not the actual weight loss, but the maintenance of weight loss once the initial loss has been accomplished.During the main weight loss period dieters stray from their diets to varying degrees, but the most successful dieters are the ones who are able to get back on their program after a stumble. This is very similar to the maintenance problem most dieters face. If one is told that they will never be able to enjoy a specific treat for the rest of their lives the likelihood that they will be able to sustain a program is significantly reduced. Both the dieter and maintainer face similar obstacles in fulfilling successful programs.This is where low carbohydrate diets have a significant advantage over their counter parts. If the dieter has just gone through a rough patch, such as the holidays, or a vacation, the low carb diet knows that in order to get back on the program they can start with a nice gigantic steak and eggs breakfast, followed by a roasted chicken for lunch and salmon drowned in a nice rich dill cream sauce for dinner. The choice for the other dieters is no where near as inviting. Half of a scrumptious grape fruit and a bowl of delicious cottage cheese followed by whole wheat bread with tuna mixed with diet dressing for lunch and a couple slices of dry turkey breast with brussels sprouts and low-fat vanilla yogurt for dinner. These are common choices for the dieting public.The number one most significant factor in the successful completion of a diet is overwhelmingly answered by the low carb diet. Getting back on the program once you have stumbled. The appeal of the foods offered clearly favors low carb dieter. Although some find Special K to be a most attractive choice, most would choose the green pepper, onion, cheese omelet option.The bias against low carb diets is rarely answered empirically. Long held conventions in any discipline are hard to overcome, especially in the field of health. Finding a health professional with an open mind can be one of the hardest tasks for the health conscious consumer today.

What Is an Essential Fat?

You may have heard that essential fats are an important aspect to maintaining the health of your body. But what exactly are they?Basically, there are two truly essential fatty acids, Linoleic and Linolenic. You may have heard of these referred to as Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids.So, why are they called essential? The term essential in the life sciences refers to the fact that a nutrient cannot be synthesized by the body. Thus, you must have a dietary or supplemental source to supply your need for these acids.You probably heard of the 8 essential amino acids. It's the same idea here but in this case we are referring to fatty acids rather than an amino acid.These fatty acids exist in and are used in every cell of your body. So they are crucial to a cell's health and therefore to our health as people. The good news is that in North America, you generally get enough Omega -6 in your diet. Omega-3 has presented a question mark to researchers. Are we getting enough or not?Fortunately, you can get Omega-3 from fish and certain nut oils. If you have any doubt at all, you can get Omega three from flax oil,which is in abundant supply at your local health food store.Don't let the phrase essential fat or essential fatty acid fool you. These are not going to make you gain unwanted weight.As those of us who truly understand weight loss and gain can tell you, the key to losing or gaining fat storage from your body centers around the bodies short term energy storage supply.This article is for information purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or condition. Consult your primary health care provider if you have or suspect you have any physical ailments.

Summary

Most of us love the sweetness that sugar adds to so many of our foods. But we always hear reports that say sugar is not so good for us. So then, are there any good alternatives that we can use? This article looks at several kinds of alternatives and gives you a report on each one.