What do Sugar, Trans Fat, and Vaccines Have in Common?

Far too many are still swooned by false promises from people with initials like “Dr.” and “CEO” in front of their names. 

I grew up in the 1960s, inundated by commercials for margarines made from hydrogenated vegetable oils that “promised” those margarines would keep my cholesterol levels low and protect me from heart disease. Yet in 2015, nearly 50 years later, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence of the harm they do, especially to the circulatory system and the heart, the Food and Drug Administration announced that artificial trans fats of the very sort that made up a good percentage of those margarines were no longer “generally recognized as safe,” and food manufacturers would have three years to remove these substances from their products altogether. (more…)

Busted: Candida Myths

busted candida mythsWhat is wrong with The Candida Diet?

What is wrong with the popular Candida Diet? And what is a safer, healthier solution to eliminate candida overgrowth? 

You are in the right place and asking the right questions, because I have some answers for you!

Sugar is healthy? What about Candida?

Those were the common questions I received on my popular post Sugar: Your Body Needs It. “But I have candida issues,” folks commented and emailed me, “I can’t eat raw honey, fruits and maple syrup.” The popular Candida Diet takes many forms, such as the diet outlined in The Body Ecology book or The Candida Diet website. These anti-candida protocols all eliminate natural sugars like honey and fruit as well as starchy vegetables like winter squash and carrots.  

I’m here to tell you that you can and should eat natural sugars, even if you have candida issues. It sounds like a scary concept. Believe me, I was also hesitant to start incorporating healthy sugars back into my diet after my short and extraordinarily unpleasant stint on The Candida Diet. I am grateful that I escaped harmful candida myths, because now I’m healing my body and addressing the root cause of my candida overgrowth.

(more…)

Two Types of Ingredients In Over 95 Percent of All Processed Foods Fuel Over-Consumption Of Those Same Foods

If you guessed refined sugars and processed oils, give yourself a gold star. Diets that lead to obesity — specifically diets high in refined sugars and processed oils may cause changes to the brains of obese people that in turn may fuel over-consumption of those same foods and make weight loss more challenging. The problem is that the body exerts a strong defense against undernutrition and weight loss, but applies a much weaker resistance to over-consumption and weight gain — a human behavior food industry scientists have learned to exploit in their favor.

There are very specific principles which influence how appetite control operates and this constitutes one form of vulnerability to weight gain. The expression of appetite is reflected in an episodic pattern of eating behaviour, the selection of dietary commodities and an associated profile of conscious sensations such as hunger, preferences, aversions and fullness.

(more…)

7 Things That Can Drain Your Brain

The human brain-over 4 million years in the making, and a marvel of evolution. Compared to body-size, we have the largest brain on the planet, by almost double. We also have the most complex brain, capable of over 100 million MIPS (Million Computer Instructions Per Second)1. That’s the equivalent of a 1,618,000 Mhz Pentium processor, or 10,000 super computers. Our brains are the third largest organs in our bodies (right after the skin and the liver…), and the hungriest. Although our brains only make up about 2% of our weight, they consume 25% of the nutrients and oxygen, and a whopping 70% of all the glucose. The brain controls thousands of operations per second, and it does it without any conscious input from us, so we never need to worry about forgetting to breathe, or make our heart beat. The brain is the body’s Command and Control Center. The average person has over 70,000 thoughts per day. And it continues to do so for over 100 years in some cases2.

Maple Syrup Does Far More For Your Health Than Just Sweeten Your Food

Maple syrup is one of the many wonders of the world and far more than a simple sweetener. Maple syrup is not only rich in essential nutrients such manganese as well as zinc, but 34 new beneficial compounds discovered just a few years ago have been confirmed to play a key role in human health.

 

The process of making maple syrup is an age-old tradition of the North American Indians, who used it both as a food and as a medicine. They would make incisions into trees with their tomahawks and use birch barks to collect the sap. The sap would be condensed into syrup by evaporating the excess water using one of two methods: plunging hot stones into the sap or the nightly freezing of the sap, following by the morning removal of the frozen water layer.

When the settlers came to North America, they were fascinated by this traditional process and in awe of the delicious, natural sweetener it produced. They developed other methods to reduce the syrup, using iron drill bits to tap the trees and then boiling the sap in the metal kettles in which it was collected.

Maple syrup was the main sweetener used by the colonists since sugar from the West Indies was highly taxed and very expensive. Eventually, inferior forms of sugar with no nutritional value became cheaper to produce, it began to replace maple syrup as a relied upon sweetener. In fact, maple syrup production is approximately one-fifth of what it was in the beginning of the 20th century.

Health Potential

Maple syrup was known to have naturally occurring minerals, such as zinc, thiamine, and calcium. Seeram was enlisted to study the plant’s antioxidants, known to exist in plant structures such as the leaves and the bark, and found 13 that were not previously known to be in the syrup. Several of those had anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and anti-diabetic properties.

A previous study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 found that maple syrup contains polyphenols such as abscisic acid (ABA) which is thought to stimulate insulin release through pancreatic cells very much the same way berries increase sensitivity of the fat cells to insulin, which makes the syrup beneficial for those with metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

These discoveries of new molecules from nature can also provide chemists with leads that could prompt synthesis of medications that could be used to fight fatal diseases, said University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram.

“I continue to say that nature is the best chemist, and that maple syrup is becoming a champion food when it comes to the number and variety of beneficial compounds found in it,” Seeram said. “It’s important to note that in our laboratory research we found that several of these compounds possess anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to fight cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses.”

As part of his diabetes research, Seeram has collaborated with Chong Lee, professor of nutrition and food sciences in URI’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences. The scientists have found that maple syrup phenolics, the beneficial anti-oxidant compounds, inhibit two carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes that are relevant to Type 2 diabetes management.

Enhances Liver Function

The pilot study, conducted by Dr. Keiko Abe of the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, showed that healthy laboratory rats fed a diet in which some of the carbohydrate was replaced with pure maple syrup from Canada, yielded significantly better results in liver function tests than the control groups fed a diet with a syrup mix containing a similar sugar content as maple syrup.

“It is important to understand the factors leading to impaired liver function — our lifestyle choices including poor diet, stress and lack of exercise, as well as exposure to environmental pollutants that produce tissue-damaging free radicals,” says Dr. Melissa Palmer, clinical professor and medical director of hepatology at New York University Plainview. “The preliminary results of this research are encouraging and emphasize the importance of choosing a healthy diet to help counteract the lifestyle and environmental factors that may impact liver function, even our choice of a sweetener. In addition to Dr. Abe’s recent findings, published research suggests that pure maple syrup may prove to be a better choice of sweetener because it was found to be rich in polyphenolic antioxidants and contains vitamins and minerals,” notes Palmer.

Where Is The Best Maple Syrup In The World?

The province of Quebec, Canada is known to produce the highest quality maple syrup in the world. With optimal soil pH and the perfect combination of cold freezing night and warm days, Quebec’s trees are hard at work every winter producing sap which flows beautifully from the trees. Quebec is also largest producer with over 8 million gallons harvested annually.

“Producers, transformers and partners of the Canadian maple industry believe that investing in maple syrup knowledge and innovation will bring the products to another level in a few years,” said Serge Beaulieu, president of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers and member of the Canadian Maple Industry Advisory Committee.

“Quebec Maple Syrup Producers are especially proud to be leading this long-term innovative strategy on behalf of the Canadian industry and with the talented scientists of the Canadian Maple Innovation Network.”

– The clear sap from the maple tree begins at about 1.5% sugar. Once it is evaporated to a thick syrup, the content is around 62%. Compare that to “pancake syrup”, which is 100% sugar.
– Syrups are graded A, B, or Commercial. They also come in three colors: light amber, medium amber, and dark amber. Grade A, the lightest in color, is culled at the start of the season. Grade B comes as the weather warms.
– Maple syrup isn’t just for pancakes and waffles. Chefs use the syrup in marinades, braises, and even some beers.

Seeram’s findings were be detailed in his publication in the Journal of Functional Foods. The title of the paper is “Quebecol, a novel phenolic compound isolated from Canadian maple syrup.” In addition, Seeram and Lee’s work on diabetes and maple syrup will also be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Functional Foods.

“I can guarantee you that few, if any, other natural sweeteners have this anti-oxidant cocktail of beneficial compounds; it has some of the beneficial compounds that are found in berries, some that are found in tea and some that are found in flaxseed. People may not realize it, but while we have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in our food chain, maple syrup is the single largest consumed food product that is entirely obtained from the sap of trees,” Seeram said.

Karen Foster is a holistic nutritionist, avid blogger, with five kids and an active lifestyle that keeps her in pursuit of the healthiest path towards a life of balance.

 

http://preventdisease.com/news/14/040914_Maple-Syrup-Does-Far-More-For-Your-Health-Than-Just-Sweeten-Food.shtml

(more…)

The Fat Question: Why fat doesn’t make you fat

why fat doesn't make you fat | www.eatnakednow.comThere’s a big ol’ myth out there that stubbornly refuses to die. It goes something like this: eating fat makes you fat.

From a basic caloric standpoint, this appears to make sense. Fat contains 9 calories per gram, whereas carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 calories per gram. If calories were the only thing to consider, it would stand to reason that if you eat fat, you’re going to gain weight because of the higher caloric load.

Well, first off – let’s clear up the calorie myth. If you haven’t done so already, please read last week’s post on why calorie counting is such a small part of the health and weight puzzle. (more…)

More Evidence that Sugar Fuels Cancer Growth

Cancer is not a curse – it is a lifestyle! You may have certain genetic risk factors for cancer, however, it is your lifestyle that activates those genes and allows cancer to develop. In fact, cancer develops over many years as a result of the combined effect of daily lifestyle choices. New research, reported in the New York Times Health blog, adds further evidence that sugar consumption – especially sugary drinks fuels the growth of cancer. (more…)

Food Babe Investigates Stevia: Good or Bad?

This is a guest post by Vani Hari (a.k.a. The Food Babe) who is a regular contributor on 100 Days of Real Food. To learn more about Vani check her out on “Our Team” page.


Sugar 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? That’s what I went on a quest to find out. Here’s what happened…

Stevia

 

What Is Stevia?

Stevia Plant

Stevia Plant (more…)