Health Tip#49

health-tip-49

Article to come….

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Health Tip #34

health-tip-34

Soft drinks are addictive

If you are a regular soft drink consumer, one of the best things you can do for your health is to stop drinking soft drinks.  Soft drinks contain sugar, in the form of fructose, caffeine and a number of unsavory chemical flavors, coloring and preservatives.  Sugar and caffeine are very addictive substances.  In fact, sugar consumption increases dopamine and stimulates pleasure centers in our brains exactly the same way heroin does.

Soft drinks cause blood sugar dis-regulation

Consuming caffeine and sugar in this way can set you off on a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows as your body struggles to return to homeostasis after  their consumption.  Blood sugar rises rapidly.  The pancreas creates insulin to deal with the sugar.  As the blood sugar spikes, the liver deals with the sugar by storing it as fat.  The caffeine creates a stress response which raises blood pressure and the liver dumps more sugar into the bloodstream.  An hour later our blood sugar crashes leaving us looking for another sugar high.  The sustained level of sugar intake of a regular soft drink consumer, makes it impossible to lose weight and can lead to diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Fructose makes us fat

Most soft drinks are sweetened with fructose which is far worse for our health than regular sugar because fructose must be processed by the liver which then stores it as fat.  For this reason, fructose consumption has been associated with obesity.  Fructose has also been linked to increased levels of triglycerides which increases risk of heart disease.  The blood sugar roller coaster effect after fructose consumption also puts us a risk for insulin resistance and decreased leptin signaling.  Leptin controls appetite and fat storage.

Artificial sweeteners are no better

Finally, if we think we can avoid soft drinks negative effects by choosing the diet version, think again.  Diet sodas are often sweetened with Aspartame.  Aspartame has been associated with neurological disorders, brain tumors, liver problems, birth defects, diabetes, and other ailments.  Artificial sweeteners also disrupt appetite regulation and sends messages to keep eating more.

Healthier alternatives

The best thing we can do for our health when it comes to soft drinks is to just avoid them all together.  Try switching to spring or sparkling water, adding cucumber, lemon or lime for flavor.  Chilled herbal teas are flavorful and refreshing. Lacto-fermented drinks like kefir or kombucha can also be a healthier alternative.

Health Tip #26

health-tip-26

Eat The Old-Fashioned Way

This  post is a continuation of the post about basing our diet on simple, old fashioned foods.  As much as possible we should try to eat natural whole foods that our grandparents and great grandparents and great great grandparents would have recognized.

Foods Are Like Drugs

The foods that we eat and the beverages we drink make up every cell of our bodies.    Foods are like drugs, and they send powerful chemical messages all over our bodies, including our brains.  Everything we choose to eat and drink has a huge impact on our health and how we feel physically and mentally.

Taking Stock

As we are in January and beginning a new year, and as we want to make better choices for ourselves and our family in the coming year, it’s time to take stock of what it is we have in stock.

Out With The Old and What Is Not Serving Us

We already talked about cutting out the diet foods and overly processed sugary foods and processed carbohydrates.  We talked about replacing the damaged processed fats with healthy fats. Now is the time to consider clearing out all the products from our pantries, refrigerators and freezers that aren’t serving us in our endeavor for weight loss and overall health.  Ditch the energy drinks and candy bars.  Ditch the breakfast cereals loaded with sugar.  Breakfast cereal out of a box really isn’t the best start to our day anyway.  Ditch the bags of chips and salty snacks, particularly the ones flavored with MSG or hidden as “yeast extract“.

Become A Food Detective

In general, go through your kitchen and be a bit of a detective.  Read the labels.  If there are ingredients in your food that you have never heard of and have no idea what they are, get rid of them.  Why would we eat things when we don’t even know what they are?  And why the heck do we need modified corn starch, propylene glycol, carrageenan and gelatin in our  0% fat yogurt?  Ironically these ingredients don’t belong in our yogurt but the fat does!  Did you know we can’t even utilize the calcium in the yogurt without the fat anyway?  Choose a yogurt that is just real, whole yogurt.  Locally where I live, Tree Island Yogurt is my choice.

If you want to know more about reading labels and the about the detrimental ingredients in our foods, check out Vani Hari at the Food Babe.

 

Health Tip #9

health-tip-9

Low Fat, Sugar Free, Low Calorie, Cholesterol Free, Lean, Diet…  If you see these words on food labels on products on the grocery store shelf, put them back and walk away! When you see these words think chemical $&!% storm.  Low sugar or sugar free often means artificial sweeteners.  Saturated fat free can mean these fats have been replaced with damaged trans fats and vegetable oils.  Low fat often means high sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used to enhance the flavor.  To make any of these products taste good after all the natural goodness has been stripped from them,  artificial flavors, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and artificial colors are added to them.  And of course to keep all of this … whatever it is, “fresh” then of course food companies  add preservatives to the products.  Most if not all of these products will also be produced using genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs).

I’ll have more to say on each of these in further posts but for now, what’s the bottom line? All of these “foods” because of their toxic nature, promote weight gain, not weight loss.  If you want to lose weight, just eat real food.