Sweeteners are linked to insulin resistance, obesity, elevated blood sugars, diabetes, elevated blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, elevated LDL, demineralization of vitamins and minerals from the body, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancer, arthritis, and many other diseases. Volumes of research on fructose demonstrates that our current average consumption of 73 grams per day is a primary cause for each of the diseases mentioned above. Most foods, including whole foods contain fructose. It is not necessarily bad, but its over consumption is bad and places far too much burden on the liver, where fructose is metabolized. Its overconsumption leads directly to the production of fat, so when you down that smoothie that contains almost zero fat, but is sweetened with a high-fructose-based sweetener, know that it will probably lead to the immediate production of fat.
Once your liver has exceeded its capacity to store fructose, additional fructose is turned into free fatty acids, VLDL, and triglycerides, which turn to fat. When you consume too much fructose you may as well be consuming pure fat. By comparison glucose, the body's primary fuel source, can be stored in both the muscles and the liver in far greater volumes before it will turn to fat.
Fruits generally contain about 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Additionally, they contain a wide array of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and ample fiber. Generally speaking, their carbohydrate load is fairly low per serving. When eaten as a whole piece of fruit that is not super blended, their absorption into the bloodstream occurs at a healthful rate that does not lead to obesity.
When you need to use a sweetener, I recommend the following:
The epidemic rise of diabetes in our nation reflects a trend that is affecting each of us to one degree or another. We have become entirely too dependent upon and addicted to sugar. Take a break from overt sugary desserts and sweeteners for a time. Get back to three square meals a day that are properly balanced with real whole foods. All whole foods have been ordained for your use. The master chemist who created the pattern by which each whole food is to grow and propagate is omniscient and is the same master chemist who designed your body. To the extent possible, also avoid foods that appear to be whole, but that are products of genetic engineering. The engineers who design such foods do not possess omniscience, nor do they possess the Master Chemist's ability to account for the myriad checks and balances that exist in the real food that was designed for our use by the creator. It wasn't long ago that anyone who suggested such a thing was considered to be a quack and a crank and behind the times. The times have caught up to us and clinical studies now demonstrate clearly the foolishness of those we once considered to be most wise.
- Become creative with whole or dried fruit and use it where possible to create the sweetening effect you desire.
- Use the herb stevia, as discussed in Sweeteners, Part 2.
- Use raw honey
- Use minimally processed organic cane sugar, such as those discussed in Sweeteners, Part 2.
- Use any of the other traditional sweeteners mentioned in Sweeteners, Part 2 but do so sparingly. Moderation suggests too elevated of a position for sugar-laced sweeteners; be artfully sparing in your uses of any sweetener.
- Avoid all artificial sweeteners; too much evidence demonstrates that the body treats these as unrecognized foreign substances and they damage health.
- Avoid the sweeteners mentioned in Sweeteners, Part 1.
- If you are diabetic, avoid super-blended fruit smoothies and fruited green smoothies; rather, always eat your fruits whole. This is good advice for each of us who cannot afford to have our sugars absorbed into the bloodstream too quickly. Blending leads to accelerated absorption. When accelerated absorption is desired, such as after a very hard workout that has depleted your glycogen reserves, a smoothie is fine. Be wise.
- Avoid all sports drinks and sodas; they contain too much sugar, as well as chemical additives and sodium. Choose to hydrate with a pure source of water.
- Avoid fake dead food that has been enriched with damaging man-made nutrients, and that has almost always been sweetened with sugar (HFCS) before it gets to your plate--not to mention the damaging effects of the preservatives, fats, and salts.
- Become cognizant of all sugar intake in your life and limit it to whole foods whenever possible. Even improperly prepared grains will boost your insulin levels unsafely and will cause your health to become compromised in myriad ways.
- Learn to eat foods that stabilize blood-sugar levels, that drive insulin production down, and that do not promote other metabolic damage. These include all whole and unprocessed vegetables, fruits, and properly prepared grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. These can also include a variety of animal-based food sources (when not used to excess).
If the animals, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds you use in your diet can survive and thrive in the wild, without genetic collapse within a few generations, then they are probably good for you. By comparison, if they cannot, it is probable that man has tinkered without sufficient knowledge and competence to deliver a truly healthful product that takes into account all aspects of human metabolism. To the extent possible, stick with real food that was originally designed by God. When eaten prudently in proper balance, blood sugars remain stable and all raw materials needed for the metabolism of cells are easily sustained. This is what leads to longevity and the absence of diet-induced diseases.
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