Sweet Truth

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Stevia a South American herb that Guarani Indian tribes used as a sweetener for foods and beverages for more than 1500 years. Sweeter than sugar as much as 200 to 400 times and unlike sugar does not cause tooth decay, no calories, glycemic index, or harmful side effects such as artificial sweeteners and is resistant to high temperatures. Large producers of sugar in order to protect its interests challenged the safety of stevia, even though it is used for 2000 years as a sweetener. In Asia, South America, in Japan it is used continuously and constitutes 40% of all sweeteners. The plant has remained anonymous in the health industry which is now a profit, it seems, the main guiding principle.

 "Honeymoon leaf"

Stevia were discovered in the 18th century Spaniards, who were coming to Paraguay noticed habits of the natives. Ka'a He'e or stevia to Paraguay, was used as a sweetener, a bit lightweight and medical purposes. Due to the extremely sweet taste, the South American plant called "honey leaf". Because of its properties, stevia is a good choice for diabetics, people with hypertension or overweight and for those who avoid refined sugar in the diet. Stevia reduces blood sugar levels, does not affect insulin, which is especially important for diabetics, lowers high blood pressure, reduces hunger and improves digestion. New research shows that products of stevia also helps prevent cancer.
Stevijini sheets already been used for centuries as a sweetener in many widely used for medicinal purposes. The leaves are present, two ingredients - stevioside and rebaudioside (Reb-A), as many as 200 to 400 times sweeter than sugar! Reb-A is the sweetest and healthiest ingredients stevia, and also the best flavor.

 Production and availability

Stevia grows again as much as 3 to 4 times a year, making it very profitable culture. Her breeding was equally successful. On one hectare of plants obtained from 1500 to 2000 kilograms of dried leaves of stevia, which ultimately amounts to 100-200 pounds of extracts.
In Europe, the company operates steviana GmbH, established in 2003. with the aim that the European market performance products that would in future be able to fully replace sugar. SteSweet products are the purest and healthiest products of stevia, which can be found in many forms - liquid, fresh powder, sugar sachets and a small pill.
Due to the large influence of producers of sugar and artificial sweeteners, which aim to protect their interests, proponents of stevia two decades of waiting for the legalization of Stevia products. From this year, stevia should be completely legalized throughout Europe and the former ranking as dietetic, will become registered with the sweetener stevia. After a long battle and a series of studies on security in late 2008. years there has been a big step forward in market acceptance of stevia. Specifically, the U.S. FDA has finally given the green light to extract a certain part of the plant Stevia - Reb-A.
Last year in September, France and Switzerland have approved the use of sweeteners based on stevia as a dietary supplement. Stevia Extract that contains 97% or more of rebaudioside A, its sweetest and healthiest part, thus becoming accessible to all residents of France and Switzerland.

SteSweet products Stevie can buy orders.

Product prices would be much lower if they were widespread and widely available, but it is still, unfortunately, is not the case. Lobbies of big corporations, is one million subsidy for sugar producers, the popularity of artificial sweeteners (aspartame is an ingredient of almost all dietary products), ignoring the media, are still hindering wider use stevia. It will, unfortunately, diabetics and those with diabetes will become, for some time remain the sweet secret of big corporations and their faithful partner in crime - the healthcare industry.
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Daily Telegraph: Genetically modified foods and cloning save the world?

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Daily Telegraph referred to the committee report by the British government which is threatening world food shortage, it is necessary to apply several solutions, including greater use of genetically modified foods.

Daily Telegraph writes that in the next 60 years the population of the country to reach 9.2 billion. Predictions about population growth decades ago caused the apocalyptic warnings of famine and overpopulation, so it still feeds the planet, says newspaper in his commentary.

Similar to the paragraph continues, and the French Ministry of Agriculture and the Association of Mechanical Engineers, which concluded that the nine billion people can feed if the technical capabilities to be better exploited.

For example, according to Daily Telegraph, half the food produced in Africa rot before they reach their customers. It might, for example, could change the proper cold storage and better roads, says paper.

Commission scientists established by the British government, however, warned that it was necessary to find a range of solutions - from being a traditional agriculture more efficient, to the introduction of genetically modified crops.

Daily Telegraph in the commentary concludes that the environmental organizations are too long campaigned against GM products and that British scientists report sends the right signal not only in the direction of greater use of GM foods, but also for the use of nanotechnology and animal cloning, and all this in order to avoid mass famine.


Realistic to anticipate or fear of enforcement: The following food apocalypse

It took 400 experts from 35 countries that in the two years of research concluded that something is rotten in the way the Earth food supplies. If governments do not start together to reform its food policy for the twenty years we will be waiting for impossible missions nourishing humanity, say the authors.

- 'We know that in the next 20 years world population at around 8.3 billion people, "he told the BBC Sir Professor John Beddington, head of forecasting studies for the British government. 'We know also that urbanization will move to cities around 65-70 percent of the total population, the world will become more developed and that we will need 40 percent more food, 30 percent water and 50 percent more energy, "continues scientist dark line outlining the words that we can not wait to environmental, agricultural and energy reform.

The challenge is to increase production capacity in the food industry in a sustainable manner, which will require a total change in the current political consciousness. As stated by Beddington, 925 million people live in a state of hunger, but there are still a billion suffer from a lack of vital mikronutritijenata - minerals and vitamins. The problem is, of course, what people are fallen by hunger or malnutrition have minimal to no influence on the world, agricultural policy.

Glad to reflect each other in obesity. Billion people carry on it a serious excess pounds demonstrating the complete collapse of the food industry in terms of promoting health.

Nebula around the uneven distribution is intensified by the lack of market regulation, said the study's authors. Rapid inflation, fluctuations in national currencies, insufficient trade liberalization and the lack of government intervention led to drastic price increases of food, the consequences of which we see today in Tunisia. The United Nations has also warned that the food price index reached a record high.

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Raw Milk - Raw Truth

Raw milk Gets a Raw Deal

or public health officials or the services of the state of agriculture, unpasteurized milk is a liquid mounted dangerous germ that is particularly dangerous for children and their immune systems immature. And the FDA has been on a rampage against raw milk for a while. If this was not the fact that 28 states allow the sale of raw milk, the FDA to ban nationally. The agency has already banned raw milk cheeses that are aged at least 60 days, a requirement that weighs heavily on small farms and artisan cheese makers.

In the case of imported cheese, like France, only a limited number of manufacturers are allowed at all, thus eliminating the best cheeses. This is another example of how the FDA prefers to concentrate production of food and medicines into the hands of a few large companies with which the agency has close links. Favoring large producers of household products manufacturers and crafts that our food safer. Instead, it just makes less secure, less nutritious, and also invites more corruption of government by powerful companies increasingly rich government-created monopolies.

More troubling is the fact that the raw milk cheese aging requirement is quite arbitrary. There is no scientific (or even anecdotal) suggests that the age of cheese a time, it will be safer than it already is.

And it is really safe. Raw milk has been shown to be superior to pasteurized milk in protecting against infection, diarrhea, rickets, tooth decay, and tuberculosis, children who drink raw milk have growth rates better than drinking milk pasteurized. The Weston A. Prize Foundation has launched a campaign for "real milk" which is, grazing, unprocessed, and full of grease. campaign website carefully documents the safety of raw milk, its health benefits, and economic aspects involved.

ANH-US believes that consumers should have the right of access to unprocessed food, and farmers should be able to offer these products directly to consumers. state laws governing the sale of raw milk is highly variable. Retail sale of unpasteurized milk is legal in ten states, but it is banned outright in another ten. The rest is legal only in society through the "cow-share" (where people buy shares of a cow for their milk they drink), depending on the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund .

The cow that provides the raw milk is important. There are many cows overmilked with bad results for their health and quality of milk. Nobody knowingly choose milk that is full of white blood cells and other signs of ill health.

The issue of raw milk is booming in Wisconsin, the "land of all things dairy." Some farmers blame the big dairy companies to lower prices at a point where family farms can not compete. The problem is that some farmers to turn to niche markets such as raw milk, hoping to have more control over their products. But the law allows only sales of Wisconsin accidental raw milk (which can not part of a regular activity of the farm), and these sales can not be advertised.

Right now, there are two difficult trial ban on sales of the state of Wisconsin from raw milk. In one of the suits, Grassway organic farmers say that regulators have the right to stop selling raw milk to customers who are part owners of their farms. A lawyer from the Ministry of Agriculture in Wisconsin, Trade and Consumer Protection have challenged the trial, saying: "We believe that this idea of this organization for members only who may be outside the rules is all simply not available under Wisconsin law. "The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, based in Virginia and supporters of the sale of raw milk at the national level, is to protect farmers in both cases.

Both chambers of the legislature of Wisconsin has approved a bill legalizing the sale of raw milk this year, should be rejected by Governor Jim Doyle. Why the veto? The bill was opposed by the dairy industry of Wisconsin (controlled by the major producers) and the Wisconsin Medical Society.

Wisconsin residents tell us your governor, senators and state representatives that you want the bill of raw milk again, adopted and promulgated.
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Soy - Be careful with it

Soy has been used traditionally in China, Korea and Japan for thousands of years. As a legume with high protein and fat, produces numerous products, many of which are now part of big business. Among the traditional products are fermented tofu and soymilk, miso and fermented soy sauce, tempeh, natto. In the early days of the movement "health food, the middle and late 1970s, these products have been brought to public attention by the Japanese macrobiotic movement, and became adopted as excellent additions to vegans and dietary herbal.

Since the late 1980s there was great importance to the use of soy for women's health issues. Curiously, it is also time that soybeans began to be genetically modified. I always found this curious coincidence time.

Soy is known to contain phytoestrogens and goitrogens.

Effects on Women

Phytoestrogens (genistein is one of them) are similar to those of the female hormone estrogen, and may have both positive and negative. They can reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal women, on the other hand, when taken by pregnant women, genistein may affect the male reproductive system, development and female embryos. They can also cause the same effects of excess estrogen, and growth of endometrial tissue and breast cancer. Soy products are recommended against osteoporosis because the assumption is that since estrogen has a positive effect on bone mineral density, although this does not mean they prevent fractures.

Soy weakens the thyroid

The presence of goitrogens - substances that weaken the thyroid - in soybeans has been known for at least 30 years. This is a problem that is largely ignored in the marketing of big push soy: Soy does not weaken the thyroid. For customers who come to me for consultation, if they have thyroid problems, I would say that they completely avoid any form of soy, with generally good results. In addition, as a legume, soybeans in a raw state contains substances called trypsin inhibitors, also called protease inhibitors. These substances interfere with the activity of the protein-digesting enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin digestion. Animals fed raw soybean meal show reduced growth and damage to the pancreas. Cooking eliminates most of the trypsin inhibitors.

Growth problems

Soy is also a source of phytic acid or phytate. According to the Weston A. Foundation Award (http://www.westonaprice.org/brochures/SoyAlertTrifold.pdf), high levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. phytate diets have caused high growth problems in children. The phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking, but it must be neutralized by the fermentation. Consequently, the soy milk and tofu, which are fermented, food choices are poor, both for children and adults. Miso, soy sauce, tempeh, natto are better sources on this subject, but there is still the problem of goitrogens, which appear to be related to phytoestrogens from soy, the very substance that makes them desirable for those seeking women's issues. Please also be aware that soy allergies are extremely common, especially among children.

At that time (in the first decade of the 21st century), about 89% of the soybean crop in the United States is GMO, genetically modified, or more commonly to resist herbicide. Studies show that when rats fed GM soy, there are adverse changes in the liver, pancreas and testes of these animals. When these animals were extinct GMO soybeans, and fed standard, non-GMO soybeans, their bodies returned to normal.

How to be safe soy

To be sure, if you use soy products, it is essential that they be biological, non-GMO, and fermented as tempeh, natto and soy sauce. I think it's OK to use tofu here and there, mixed into stir-fries or other dishes, but not much. I really do not like soy milk as a substitute for milk, it's just a white liquid like milk, but highly processed. Real taste of soy milk house like water to beans, that is. The commercial stuff has many ingredients in it, including sweeteners - just read the label carefully. Even if I met women who feel their hot flashes decreased from soy milk to drink, on the whole, I would advise against non-fermented soy as a purchase of healthy foods, because of all the other problems mentioned.

Source: Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D.
ANNEMARIE COLBIN, Ph.D., CHES, is an award-winning leader in the field of natural health She founded Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts (TM) in New York City in 1977, and is adjunct professor of nutrition at the city’s Empire State College. She is the author of four books, including The Book of Whole Meals (Autumn Press, 1979; Ballantine Books, 1983), The Natural Gourmet (Ballantine Books, 1989, 1991), and Food and Healing (Ballantine Books, 1986, 1996).  Print Page

The truth about sugar

Where Does Sugar Come From?
Cane sugar is refined from sugar cane. Then there is corn syrup, produced from corn, sugar beet and sugar beet. Although sugar cane was popular in the last 200 years, corn syrup is fast passing, especially in the production and trade of processed foods and beverages, because it is cheaper to produce.

Nutritional Profile

Refined cane sugar is a disaccharide (double sugar) sucrose called, consists of two simple sugars called glucose and fructose. Glucose is the technical name for sugar in the blood, and it should stay more or less constant for the proper functioning, especially in brain function. The brain uses about 25% glucose in the blood, so that their needs are greater.

In real terms of nutrients in refined sugar is only one: sucrose above. It constitutes 99.9% of the product. There are vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fiber, water, proteins, fats, or anything else. Nutrients such as chromium, manganese, zinc, magnesium and copper were lost in the refining process. For this reason, it was said that sugar provides "empty calories". One could call "naked calories", so.

Simple carbohydrates like sugar cane are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, where they provide a quick high - and an accident that followed. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates like whole grains or vegetables, due to the presence of fiber and other nutrients are absorbed more slowly and therefore tend to provide a steadier supply of energy without the ups and downs great.

Sugar and Health Problems

Diabetes and hypoglycemia: When carbohydrates are consumed, blood sugar increases, the body reacts by producing insulin and blood sugar is down. In a healthy person usually has just enough insulin to glucose to normal. The function of insulin is to encourage the rest of the cells to open up and absorb glucose for its energy needs. In a condition called "insulin resistance, cells resistant to this proposal, and more insulin is needed to get the message, which also stresses the pancreas. Finally, this situation leads to diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose remains high. If it is closely linked to diet and lifestyle, this is called Type II diabetes.

A different varieties of diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin for the body's needs. If the pancreas has been damaged due to an autoimmune reaction, the condition is called type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM). This condition does not respond to changes in lifestyle, and should be followed by a doctor.

When there is too much insulin can lower blood glucose below the level required for health, production instead of a condition of blood sugar, or sugar in the blood. This condition, according to Kathleen Desmaisons, Ph.D., author of Potatoes not Prozac, can cause fatigue, restlessness, irritability, confusion and poor memory, as well as hunger, dizziness, and what some call "brain fog." In some cases, hypoglycemia can cause fainting. A quick solution is quickly absorbed by a food as sweet as orange juice. However, regular use of sugar does not resolve the problem only makes it worse because the pancreas becomes hyper-stimulated insulin and sends more and more. A better solution is to increase the protein and fiber in the diet and eliminating refined sugar all.

In my experience a hypoglycemic reaction also responds to salty foods such as olives or anchovies, even if you can not give a reason for this chemistry. Recently one of my friends, the groom's mother, feels warm and dizziness just before the ceremony. This was attributed to a decrease in blood sugar - she is diabetic and had not eaten much - and I tried to eat a slice of cake. But she did rally after I gave him half a dozen green olives, cocktail, after which he recovered completely and makes a marriage successful.

An excess of carbohydrates (refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour in general), will often be stored in the body as fat. Although this metabolic trend was useful in the past, might protect against the frequent famines in the societies of hunter-gatherers, is more useful with the presence of an abundance of cheap, processed foods. This situation has become particularly evident since there was an increased consumption of fat-free snacks: people have learned to eat whole boxes of "low calorie" or "fat free" cookies with the sad result of an increase significant obesity and its problems.

The effects of sugars on disease

Cardiovascular diseases: In 1970, in his book Sweet and Dangerous (Wyden, 1972), English physician John Yudkin pointed out that countries with the highest incidence of heart disease are those who consumed the most sugar (like Great Britain and United States), not those with high protein and fat (such as the Maasai and Eskimos). His views have been lost in the crazy anti-fat, but it is still valid.

Dr. Gerald Reaven, an endocrinologist at Stanford University, points out that insulin regulates the production of triglycerides, which are an important predictor of heart disease. The higher the insulin, the higher the levels of triglycerides, high blood pressure and weight, and also lower HDL (good cholesterol) - all of which contribute to cardiovascular problems.

Cancer: The renowned nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, author of obtaining sugar (Crown, 1996), said that if we do not know if the sugar is directly involved in the genesis of cancer, it is known that cells cancer feed on sugar. Therefore, for people with cancer who eat a diet free of refined sugar would be highly desirable.

weakened immune: Researchers at the Tokai University School of Medicine, Japan, revealed that the antibodies of the immune defense in patients with diabetes include sugar molecules abnormally. Therefore, the general immunity may be compromised in people whose blood sugar is abnormally high, which makes them susceptible to all kinds of infections, including colds and problems of the reproductive tract.

Other health problems: There is no doubt that sugar consumption is linked to tooth decay. In addition, Gittleman says nutritionist, she discovered that sugar can cause or contribute to alcoholism, allergies, candidiasis, bone loss, osteoporosis, hypertension, kidney stones, enlarged liver, abnormal menstruation, rheumatism, ulcers, among others.

Sugar and spirit

Fluctuations in blood sugar because they affect the brain, also appears to affect neurotransmitters, especially in diets low in protein. C. Keith Conners, author of Food of the brain, showed that children who received a sweet snack, after a breakfast rich in carbohydrates became agitated and hyperactive. If they had a snack after a breakfast high in protein did not react much. Others have found that sugar should be closely linked to mood swings, low energy consumption, and depression. For those who prefer not to take antidepressant medication, it might be interesting to go on a diet without sugar and artificial sweeteners instead.

Sugar is addictive? Psychologically or physically?

For a long time, the question arises whether the sugar is an addiction or not, consumers have said yes, and scientists have said no. In every class I taught for 30 years, whenever I asked the students, "who believes that sugar is an addiction for you?" About 80% of the class raised their hands. scientific publications, on the other hand, refuted the idea. Yet the concept of "sugar addict" is firmly rooted in the population.

According to the Society for Neuroscience, the studies developed in recent years have become the support of this idea (http://web.sfn.org/content/publications/BrainBriefings/sugar/html). It seems that excessive consumption of sweets may share some characteristics with a drug addiction. For example, in studies of opioids, which are brain chemicals associated with a pleasant response, it was found that when opioid receptors were blocked, people with eating disorders like bulimia to reduce consumption sweets in the middle. Studies that were fed sugar water mice showed that when the sugar was removed, showed signs similar to drug withdrawal such as chills and tremors. Rats weaned off sugar has continued to try to find a plus, showing signs of possible relapse. Many of us have noticed that if you eat no sugar at all, and then eat one day and the next day you start looking for a new fix of sugar!

Of course, in my experience, brown sugar is extremely addictive. I can not find maple syrup, fruit, honey or as exciting, but other people with sensitivities and candidiasis addictively reaction to any form of refined sweetener.

What is average thirst for sweets?

In my 30 years of experience working with food and diet, I noticed that there are three main reasons why people crave sweets.

1. I'm hooked.
2. They do not eat enough protein or fat, or, oddly, they eat lots of protein, but not enough good carbs. Or do not eat enough food! Meaning, they are hungry.
3. They have something emotional going - especially with the desire for chocolate.

Foods to avoid because of sugar and other harmful content:

- Cakes trade or homemade pies, cookies, candy and snacks made from cane sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners

- Soft drinks, soft drinks, lemonade and other sugar with artificial sweeteners. (Better to use mineral water or sparkling water with apple juice a little "for best flavor or other If you want a soft drink.)

- Trade dressings and condiments (read the labels: they are often very high in sugar, especially cane sugar and corn syrup)

- Breakfast cereals cold, where sugar is one of the ingredients.

Foods to increase to satisfy your sweet tooth:

- Sweet fruits: bananas, dates, figs, mango, etc. They are rich in potassium and other trace elements.

- Fresh vegetables, especially potatoes or sweet orange type potatoes, squash, zucchini. They are especially rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants.

- Cookies, cakes, jams and cakes made with small amounts of natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and fruit juice concentrates

- Carbohydrates good enough from whole grains and vegetables, fats good enough from olive oil extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, unrefined coconut oil, not refined, and organic butter, protein and naturally enough, beans, nuts or foods of animal origin. Print Page

How Much H2O Should You Drink?

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The answer is different for each person. Too little bad for your health. Too much time unnecessary sentences bathroom! And unless your half bath home is as beautiful as what I recently renovated, it is a waste! Water consumption is like a bikini - one size does not fit all! However, knowing more about your body need for fluids will help you estimate the amount of water to drink every day.

Water constitutes approximately 60 per cent of body weight. That is why some think that to lose weight on a crash diet - most of the loss is water. Water flushes toxins from vital organs, carries nutrients to cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. And the water level in our body is important. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. Think of water in your body ... like oil in your car. Too little of both is bad! We lose water daily through time breathing and bathroom. And you lose a lot of water through sweat in the gym! Suppose you put in the gym !?!?!
Health and Fitness

You've probably heard of "8 x 8 Approach", which means drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. It is easy to remember and accurate for many people, since the average adult loses about 10 cups of water per day. The other two sections can be replaced by food.

Want to test? It's a little "rough, but it works. If you produce about 6 cups of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably correct. No, I will not check for my clients. Some things you must do it yourself!

There are reasons to drink more water, of course. Exercise, hot weather, pregnancy and being sick are all due to increasing water consumption. It's just common sense. If you sweat more, drink more!

You do not need to rely on liquid water for all needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of the total water consumption.

Many fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and watermelon, are 90 percent to 100 percent by weight of water.

Water is the healthiest way and more economical to replace fluids. However, all beverages like milk and juice also are composed mainly of water. Also drinks beer, wine and caffeine - coffee, tea or soda - can contribute, but do not count on them.

And do not tell your significant other that "Gina said I need to drink more beer to keep a good level of water in your system!"

Remember to drink water before you feel thirsty - your body so as to say you're already dehydrated. Also, be aware that when you get older your body is less able to sense dehydration and send your brain signals of thirst. thirst and excessive urination increase may be a sign of a serious medical condition. Talk to your doctor if you experience either.
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The Truth About Aspartame

Aspartame (the technical name is L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanyl-methyl-ester) is considered to be about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is virtually calorie free. When ingested and metabolized, it breaks down into three substances:

1. phenylalanine (50%), one of the amino acids needed for the production of neurotransmitters essential to brain function. While this sounds OK, it is not: people with PKU (phenylketonuria) are missing the enzymes to break down this amino acid and may end up with an excess that causes brain damage. For susceptible people, phenylalanine will be neurotoxic and might cause seizures.
                                 2. aspartic acid (40%), which can cause brain damage in fetuses
                                 3. methanol (10%), an alcohol wich turns into formaldehyde, a known toxic substance used, among other things, as embalming fluid.

Sugar is bad for you, right? It has calories and makes you fat. Therefore, anything that tastes sweet and doesn't have calories is preferable, because it won't make you fat. Right? That is the thinking that supports the widespread use of artificial sweeteners. Millions of people guzzle soft drinks sweetened with aspartame, the compound sold under the trade names Nutrasweet and Equal. This ingredient is found in all kinds of diet foods, in toothpaste, and sprinkled out of small packets into coffee and tea. It is sold worldwide. It is also associated with thousands of reports of adverse effects. Most of the information that follows was taken from the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network Fact Sheet, written by Lendon Smith, MD, former Network Physician at NBC-TV and well-known author and pediatrician.

Early studies in the 1970's found that aspartic acid causes holes in the brains of mice. (I find this an interesting bit of information, in the light of current concerns with "spongiform encephalopathy," or mad cow disease, and Creuzfeld-Jacob disease, in all of which the brain becomes sponge-like with holes in it). Monkeys fed aspartame died or had grand mal seizures; however, these studies were not submitted to the FDA when approval for aspartame was requested. The request was approved by then FDA commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., in 1981, after he overruled the Public Board of Inquiry's recommendation to ban this artificial sweetener. Two months before quitting the post, Hayes approved the use of aspartame in soft drinks, even though the National Soft Drink Association had warned the FDA that aspartame was breaking down in warm climates.

From the early ‘80's, consumer complaints began pouring into the FDA related to aspartame use. Among the symptoms reported are the following:

hearing loss
numbness and tingling of extremities
blurred vision
eye problems
memory loss
slurred speech
mild to suicidal depression
personality changes
violent episodes
mood changes
anxiety attacks
heart arrhythmia
edema or swelling
gastrointestinal disorders
skin lesions
muscle cramps
joint pains
menstrual irregularities
chest pain
increased appetite

Artificial sweeteners can increase appetite because as the sweet taste hits the mouth, a message is passed on to the body that carbohydrates are coming in; then the pancreas swings into action and sends insulin into the bloodstream. As there are no actual carbohydrates, the insulin lowers the blood sugar and appetite increases. In this manner, artificial sweeteners can contribute to hypoglycemia.

Scientific studies show mixed results; some find no increase effects on hyperactivity with aspartame, others find that individuals with mood disorders do react with headaches or increased number and severity of depressive symptoms. "Anecdotal reports" are simply people telling what happened to them; while the scientific community does not accept these as valid, sensible human beings might at least pay attention. Where there's smoke there's fire.

In addition to the above symptoms, aspartame use can mimic a number of autoimmune diseases. Betty Martini, founder of Mission Possible, an organization dedicated to spread information about problems with aspartame, found that methanol toxicity causes metabolic acidosis and mimics multiple sclerosis (MS). She lists the following symptoms as "aspartame disease": fibromyalgia, spasms, shooting pains, joint pains, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, and memory loss. In addition to MS, aspartame may also either mimic or trigger the following illnesses:

chronic fatigue syndrome
post-polio syndrome
lyme disease
Meuniere disease
Alzheimer disease

Fortunately, most of these symptoms are reversible, and disappear once aspartame is discontinued.

This noxious substance, so ubiquitous in our commercial food supply, should be recalled by the FDA and retested as a drug. As it is not classified as a drug, the manufacturers are not obligated to monitor its adverse effects! Senator Howard Metzenbaum had written a bill warning pregnant women, infants and children against ingesting aspartame, on the suspicion of its relationship to seizures, changes in brain chemistry, and adverse neurological and behavioral symptoms; as is to be expected, the bill got killed. What I found really interesting is that the US Air Force has formally warned all pilots to refrain from consuming aspartame-sweetened diet drinks, as they found them linked to grand mal seizures, vertigo, heart disease, and suicidal depressions. Aspartame interferes with the production of the calming neurotransmitter serotonin. Isn't it really interesting that sales of the antidepressant Prozac, which encourages the production of serotonin, have gone through the roof in the last few years?
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Eat your way to lower blood pressure

High blood pressure is considered a “silent epidemic,” as lots of people have it but don’t know it. The usual treatment is drugs, and there are some dietary suggestions as well, especially cutting down on salt and fat as promoted by Dean Ornish and Nathan Pritikin. Stress reduction is highly recommended as well. However, there seems to be more to the issue than salt and stress.

Samuel J. Mann, M.D., an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Hypertension Center of The New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, is a hypertension specialist. Dr Mann has seen thousands of people with all varieties of high blood pressure. He began to notice a pattern that did not accord with the common view that stress is linked to this condition. “Even patients with severe hypertension did not seem more emotionally distressed than others,” he writes in his book Healing Hypertension: A Revolutionary New Approach (John Wiley & Sons, NY: 1999). “If anything, they seemed less distressed. Their high blood pressure appeared to be more related to what they did not seem to be feeling than to what they were feeling.” He began to see in his patients that old, un-healed, repressed trauma seemed to be a major culprit in the problem.

These are the main concepts covered by Dr Mann in his book, and they warrant serious attention.
1. Blood pressure fluctuates all the time, day by day, and there has been extensive over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment of millions of people.
2. Anger or stress can elevate blood pressure temporarily, but do not actually cause hypertension.
3. Here is the kicker: “it is our hidden emotions, the emotions we do not feel, that lead to hypertension and many other unexplained physical disorders.”
4. To deal with hypertension at its core, it is necessary to bring those hidden emotions to the light, to consciousness, and to deal with them.
5. For those who are under the care of a physician for hypertension, incorporating this new information can help the physician select a more appropriate drug, if required, to match it to the cause of the condition.

While for many people there are contributing factors to hypertension such as genetics, obesity, and salt consumption, for countless others it may be driven mainly by repressed feelings due to traumatic experiences. Generally it is not easy to deal with these, and the process can be painful. However, it may be worth it. What I liked best is that Dr Mann points out that we have a choice: those who are willing to face their hidden demons can take on the work of uncovering them, while those who do not want to deal with these issues can opt for the standard medical treatment to help control the condition. What is not advisable is to ignore it.

For a dietary approach, cutting out added salt is the standard route. It would also pay to avoid all manner of commercial foods with added sodium, of which there are many. Read the labels carefully! In addition, high-fat eating may contribute to the problem, so eating lots of vegetables, cooked and raw greens, beans and grains would be a good idea, as proposed by the Pritikin and Ornish diets. Curiously enough, plant foods with natural sodium, such as celery and bananas, can also help in lowering blood pressure, so some pieces of celery daily and a banana before bedtime would be good. Give it a try!

Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D.

ANNEMARIE COLBIN, Ph.D., CHES, is an award-winning leader in the field of natural health She founded Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts (TM) in New York City in 1977, and is adjunct professor of nutrition at the city’s Empire State College. She is the author of four books, including The Book of Whole Meals (Autumn Press, 1979; Ballantine Books, 1983), The Natural Gourmet (Ballantine Books, 1989, 1991), and Food and Healing (Ballantine Books, 1986, 1996). Print Page
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