Keeping a clean mouth isn’t just important for pleasant-smelling breath but also increases your chance of maintaining overall good health. Many studies have linked oral health to a variety of diseases and conditions, Continue reading
Soda consumption is now in “freefall,” having dropped to its lowest point since 1995, with diet sodas taking the greatest hit. Sales of carbonated beverages in general fell three percent in 2013
Diet Coke and diet Pepsi both dropped by nearly seven percent in 2013. Sales of Diet Mountain Dew also fell Continue reading
Is agave nectar good for you? With all the research done on high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), consumers focused on eating healthier prefer “natural” sweetener options. Many believe that agave nectar is a healthy choice – and the sales reflect that.
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This is the season for showing your family how much you love them. And what better way is there to do that than piling your holiday buffet high with delicious cancer-fighting foods?
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The never-ending advice to cut back on salt fails to give the whole story on this misunderstood substance. In fact, if you don’t get enough of the right kind of salt, you may be sowing the seeds of your own health destruction.
A nightly newscast recently carried a report on the most recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiative beginning a public campaign (propaganda) to further persuade Americans to cut back on salt.
Well, we have to remember that Americans think that salt is salt. Not so at all. Everyday salt that we consume is sodium chloride. This is a bad salt because it is processed salt. That means it is heated and the mineral value is diminished. Continue reading
Refined sugar is used in just about every type of food you can imagine. It’s in baked goods, of course, but you’ll find it in breads, cereals, dairy products, drinks, and even sandwich meat. The reason white sugar is used so often and in such a diverse range of foods is that white sugar leaves you wanting more. It creates a sort of nutritional deficit in your body, triggering cravings — which is exactly what the companies that make these sugar-laden products are hoping for.
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Aspartame, nutrasweet, aminosweet, sugarAspartame producer Ajinomoto is launching a new initiative that will rebrand the sweetener as “AminoSweet”.
Aspartame is used in many foods and beverages marketed as low calorie or sugar-free. However, its reputation has been clouded somewhat by studies that have investigated reports of ill effects.
Just to remind you, the side effects of aspartame can include:
* Change in vision
* Convulsions and seizures
* Nausea and vomiting
* Joint pain
It can cause many, many other problems as well.
Aspartame is the most controversial food additive in history, and its approval for use in food was the most contested in FDA history. In the end, the artificial sweetener was approved, not on scientific grounds, but rather because of strong political and financial pressure. After all, aspartame was previously listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent!
It’s hard to believe such a chemical would be allowed into the food supply, but it was, and it has been wreaking silent havoc with people’s health for the past 30 years.
The truth is, it should never have been released onto the market, and allowing it to remain in the food chain is seriously hurting people – no matter how many times you rebrand it under fancy new names.
The Deceptive Marketing of Aspartame
Sold commercially under names like NutraSweet, Canderel, and now AminoSweet, aspartame can be found in more than 6,000 foods, including soft drinks, chewing gum, table-top sweeteners, diet and diabetic foods, breakfast cereals, jams, sweets, vitamins, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Aspartame producer Ajinomoto chose to rebrand it under the name AminoSweet, to “remind the industry that aspartame tastes just like sugar, and that it’s made from amino acids – the building blocks of protein that are abundant in our diet.”
This is deception at its finest: Begin with a shred of truth, and then spin it to fit your own agenda.
In this case, the agenda is to make you believe that aspartame is somehow a harmless, natural sweetener made with two amino acids that are essential for health and present in your diet already.
They want you to believe aspartame delivers all the benefits of sugar and none of its drawbacks. But nothing could be further from the truth.
How Aspartame Wreaks Havoc on Your Health
Did you know there have been more reports to the FDA for aspartame reactions than for all other food additives combined?
In fact, there are over 10,000 official complaints, but by the FDA’s own admission, less than 1 percent of those who experience a reaction to a product ever report it. So in all likelihood, the toxic effects of aspartame may have affected roughly a million people already.
While a variety of symptoms have been reported, almost two-thirds of them fall into the neurological and behavioral category consisting mostly of headaches, mood alterations, and hallucinations. The remaining third is mostly gastrointestinal symptoms.
Unfortunately, aspartame toxicity is not well-known by doctors, despite its frequency. Diagnosis is also hampered by the fact that it mimics several other common health conditions, such as:
Multiple sclerosis Parkinson’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease Fibromyalgia
Arthritis Multiple chemical sensitivity
Chronic fatigue syndrome Attention deficit disorder
Panic disorder Depression and other psychological disorders
Lupus Diabetes and diabetic complications
Birth defects Lymphoma
Lyme disease Hypothyroidism
How Diet Foods and Drinks CAUSE Weight Problems
In recent years, food manufacturers have increasingly focused on developing low-calorie foods and drinks to help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity. Unfortunately, the science behind these products is so flawed, most of these products can actually lead to increased weight gain!
For example, researchers have discovered that drinking diet soda increases your risk of metabolic syndrome, and may double your risk of obesity – the complete opposite of the stated intention behind these “zero calorie” drinks.
The sad truth is that diet foods and drinks ruin your body’s ability to count calories, and in fact stimulate your appetite, thus boosting your inclination to overindulge.
Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as an acceptable alternative to sugar, which is at best confusing and at worst harming the health of those who take their misguided advice.
Even More Toxic Dangers of Aspartame
Truly, there is enough evidence showing the dangers of consuming artificial sweeteners to fill an entire book — which is exactly why I wrote Sweet Deception. If you or your loved ones drink diet beverages or eat diet foods, this book will explain how you’ve been deceived about the truth behind artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose — for greed, for profits, and at the expense of your health.
As mentioned earlier, almost two-thirds of all documented side effects of aspartame consumption are neurological.
One of the reasons for this side effect, researchers have discovered, is because the phenylalanine in aspartame dissociates from the ester bond. While these amino acids are indeed completely natural and safe, they were never designed to be ingested as isolated amino acids in massive quantities, which in and of itself will cause complications.
Additionally this will also increase dopamine levels in your brain. This can lead to symptoms of depression because it distorts your serotonin/dopamine balance. It can also lead to migraine headaches and brain tumors through a similar mechanism.
The aspartic acid in aspartame is a well-documented excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are usually amino acids, such as glutamate and aspartate. These special amino acids cause particular brain cells to become excessively excited, to the point that they die.
Excitotoxins can also cause a loss of brain synapses and connecting fibers. A review conducted in 2008 by scientists from the University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo found that consuming a lot of aspartame may inhibit the ability of enzymes in your brain to function normally, and may lead to neurodegeneration.
According to the researchers, consuming a lot of aspartame can disturb:
The metabolism of amino acids
Protein structure and metabolism
The integrity of nucleic acids
Furthermore, the ester bond in aspartame breaks down to formaldehyde and methanol, which are also toxic in their own right. So it is not surprising that this popular artificial sweetener has also been found to cause cancer.
One truly compelling case study that shows this all too well was done by a private citizen named
Daily, she fed some of the rats the equivalent (for their body weight) of two-thirds the aspartame contained in 8-oz of diet soda. Thirty-seven percent of the females fed aspartame developed tumors, some of massive size.
How to Ditch Artificial Sweeteners, and Satiate Your Sweet Tooth
If you suffer from sweet cravings, it’s easy to convince yourself you’re doing the right thing by opting for a zero-calorie sweetener like aspartame. Please understand that you will do more harm than good to your body this way.
First, it’s important to realize that your body craves sweets when you’re not giving it the proper fuel it needs.
Finding out your nutritional type will tell you exactly which foods you need to eat to feel full and satisfied. It may sound hard to believe right now, but once you start eating right for your nutritional type, your sweet cravings will significantly lessen and may even disappear.
Meanwhile, be sure you address the emotional component to your food cravings using a tool such as the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT). More than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, MTT works to overcome food cravings and helps you reach dietary success.
And, if diet soda is the culprit for you, be sure to check out Turbo Tapping, which is an extremely effective and simple tool to get rid of your soda addiction in a short period of time.
Non-Acceptable Alternative Sweeteners
And I’m not only talking about high fructose corn syrup, which is virtually identical to table sugar. The only major difference between the two is HFCS is much cheaper so it has contributed to massive increase in fructose ingestion, far beyond safe or healthy.
Please understand you need to keep your fructose levels BELOW 25 grams per day. The best way to do that is to avoid these “natural” sweeteners as they are loaded with a much higher percentage of fructose than HFCS.
Please note that avoiding these beyond 25 grams per day is crucial, even if the source is fresh, raw, and organic. It just doesn’t matter, fructose is fructose is fructose…
Acceptable Alternative Sweeteners
For those times when you just want a taste of something sweet, your healthiest alternative is Stevia. It’s a natural plant and, unlike aspartame and other artificial sweeteners that have been cited for dangerous toxicities, it is a safe, natural alternative that’s ideal if you’re watching your weight, or if you’re maintaining your health by avoiding sugar.
It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and truly has virtually no calories.
I must tell you that I am biased; I prefer Stevia as my sweetener of choice, and I frequently use it. However, like most choices, especially sweeteners, I recommend using Stevia in moderation, just like sugar. In excess it is still far less likely to cause metabolic problems than sugar or any of the artificial sweeteners.
I want to emphasize, that if you have insulin issues, I suggest that you avoid sweeteners altogether, including Stevia, as they all can decrease your sensitivity to insulin.
So if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners.
But for everyone else, if you are going to sweeten your foods and beverages anyway, I strongly encourage you to consider using regular Stevia or Lo
BOSTON – Scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have revealed results from a study outlining some of the effects of artificial sweeteners on the body. Conducted on a group of 3,000 women, the results indicated that those who drank two or more artificially-sweetened beverages a day doubled their risk of more-rapid-than-normal kidney function decline.
The study accounted for various other risk factors including the woman’s age, her blood pressure, if she smoked, and if she had any other pre-existing conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. The 11-year study evaluated the effects of all sweetened drinks on progressive kidney decline and discovered that two or more diet drinks leads to a two-fold increase in rapid kidney decline incidences.
Though study results did not show any correlation between sugar- or corn syrup-sweetened drinks and the onset of rapid kidney decline, these ingredients are implicated in causing diabetes and obesity and should not be perceived as safe merely because they did not have a direct correlation in this particular study topic.
High sodium intake was also implicated in the study as promoting progressive kidney decline. Since diet soda contains excessive amounts of sodium, higher than sugar soda, it is no surprise that diet sodas were the primary offenders in the study. However it is unclear from this particular study which ingredient plays the larger role in progressive kidney decline, the artificial sweeteners or the sodium content.
Studies on aspartame
When aspartame was first approved in the 1970s under the name “NutraSweet”, studies were submitted as supposed proof that the artificial chemical was safe. The FDA initially approved the chemical in 1974 for use in a limited number of foods based upon the studies submitted by G.D. Searle Co., the company that invented aspartame.
Following a discovery made shortly thereafter by a research psychiatrist who found that aspartic acid, a primary ingredient in aspartame, caused holes to form in the brains of mice, the FDA decided to form its own internal task force to investigate the initial claims made by the Searle Co.
What the agency discovered was a series of falsified claims, compromised study results, and missing information. The claims made in favor of aspartame were so dubious and the evidence so faulty that the FDA decreed that a grand jury should investigate Searle Co.’s claims. Unfortunately, the case failed to move forward when U.S. Attorney Thomas Sullivan and Assistant U.S. Attorney William Conlon failed to initiate any legal action. Conlon was later hired by the law firm that represented Searle Co.
Investigation revealed that aspartame had caused tumors, seizures, brain holes, and death in many of the studies. All negative findings had been altered or scrubbed from the final reports delivered to the FDA when aspartame was first reviewed.
Time and time again the question over whether aspartame is safe has led to investigations that never go anywhere. Studies are continually released in support of the chemical’s safety even though they fail to address the results of other studies that show it to be harmful.
Other artificial sweeteners
A study published in the January, 2008 issue of the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health revealed that the newer artificial sweetener, sucralose, alters gut microflora and inhibits the assimilation of dietary nutrients.
Commonly marketed as being “made from sugar”, sucralose had undergone no long-term human studies to verify its safety in humans. Like aspartame, initial studies revealed negative reactions by lab animals on whom it was tested, indicating that there could be the same potential problems in humans.
The EU Food Commission, Canadian health officials, and the U.S. FDA all rejected the initial studies submitted by McNeil Nutritionals, the marketers of sucralose, because of the negative results. However they encouraged the company to continue researching until they “got it right”. McNeil simply lowered the levels of sucralose used in their studies until an acceptable limit was found. After several tries, sucralose was finally approved.
Stevia, a safe alternative
A great many varieties of artificial sweeteners have been approved, many scandalously, despite the fact that safe, natural alternatives exist. Stevia, for instance, is a sweet herb from South America that is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Claiming inadequate safety research, the FDA has long refused the herb from being included on the “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) list.
Up until last year, all forms of stevia could only be sold as dietary supplements. The extract could not be labeled as a “sweetener” and it could not be included in any food items.
Once the parent companies of both Pepsi and Coca-Cola discovered how to manipulate and patent a segment of stevia, however, it suddenly became safe to use as a sweetener and is now sold on grocery store shelves in packets similar to the artificial sweeteners. The FDA reluctantly added the natural stevia extract to the GRAS list as well.
Stick with natural and unprocessed
When it comes to health, a person’s best bet is to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether. There are plenty of preferable, safe alternatives such as stevia which will allow for a little extra sweetness without all the harmful side effects.