A Full of Year of Health & Fitness Tips and Activities

Make 2011 a year of healthy habits and a better lifestyle. Take the opportunity to try new sports, workouts or other activities. Make new goals and set a plan in place to achieve them. Find tips for living a healthier lifestyle. Join me to make 2011 your best year yet!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 3 - Does Diet Soda Make You Fat?

How many of you have chosen diet soda because you thought it was the healthy choice? Lots of hands going up! Now those with their hands up, how many of you have heard someone say or said yourself, "I'm on a diet so I better choose the diet soda", or "I can drink as much diet soda as I want because its calorie and sugar free." Lots of hands still up. (Now put them down, you look silly waving your hands at a screen)

Well here's the bad news. There is evidence to prove that diet foods can actually cause you to gain weight.

Did you know that it is NOT the number of calories you eat and drink every day that causes you to gain weight? It is actually your body’s HORMONAL RESPONSE to the calories you ingest.

In the case of diet soda there are no calories, but the chemicals you are drinking trick the body into believing it’s eating something sweet.

Let’s take Aspartame for example (found in Diet Coke). This chemical actually blocks your brain’s production of serotonin (controls mood and appetite amongst other things).

And what does your body do when it is suffering from low serotonin levels? It tells your body to go and get some of the foods that it knows will stimulate the release of the chemical.

So sugar free sodas are actually fueling your sugar and junk food cravings.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 2 - Aspartame - What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

I want to share with you info from an article from Dr. Merola that I think sums up nicely the effects of aspartame.

Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. It was discovered by accident in 1965 when James Schlatter, a chemist of G.D. Searle Company, was testing an anti-ulcer drug.

Aspartame was approved for dry goods in 1981 and for carbonated beverages in 1983. It was originally approved for dry goods on July 26, 1974, but objections filed by neuroscience researcher Dr John W. Olney and Consumer attorney James Turner in August 1974 as well as investigations of G.D. Searle's research practices caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put approval of aspartame on hold (December 5, 1974). In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle and made Searle Pharmaceuticals and The NutraSweet Company separate subsidiaries.

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.(1) A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.

According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:(2) Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.

Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. The book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," by James and Phyllis Balch, lists aspartame under the category of "chemical poison." As you can see, that is exactly what it is.

More info to come on why you should not be consuming this terrible chemical.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 1 - Aspartame - What Is It?

NutraSweet® is the NutraSweet Company's brand name for the low-calorie sweetener aspartame. It is used to sweeten a variety of foods and beverages and is about 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Studies conducted with taste-test panels show that aspartame's taste is very similar to the taste of sugar. In addition, aspartame has the ability to intensify and extend fruit flavors, such as cherry, strawberry and citrus flavors such as orange, in foods and beverages. For example, aspartame makes chewing gum taste sweet and more flavorful longer than sugar-sweetened gum.

Aspartame (L-a aspartyl -L-phenylalanine methyl ester) was discovered in 1965. After more than 100 scientific studies were conducted and reviewed, it was granted approval for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1981.

First detail to note: it took FDA 16 years to be approved. Second detail to note: this chemical is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Third detail to note: this is not a natural substance. It's processed.

I will talk a lot about Aspartame and other chemical ingredients in the food we eat. But for now, your homework is to go through your cupboards and refrigerator and look for all products containing Aspartame. Over the next few days I will tell you why you should think twice before you eat them.

Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28 - HFCS & Obesity

I was looking through many articles relating high fructose corn syrup and obesity. This was one of the most simple and to the point articles I found. Some things are just plain and simple!

First some background. HFCS first came about in teh late 1950's when a couple of scientists developed an enzyme called glucose isomerase that had a unique property; it had the ability to convert the glucose in corn syrup into fructose. (HFCS today contains approximately 55% fructose and 42% glucose; sucrose, or table sugar, contains approximately equal amounts of fructose and glucose).

Moreover, the fructose in HFCS is unbound and “ready for action,” while the fructose in sucrose is chemically bound to glucose molecules. In its latter form, fructose must first be split off from glucose before it can be utilized by the body. In a sense, the fructose in HFCS is on a “fast track” for absorption and use.

The Princeton researchers took two groups of laboratory rats; the first group was given water sweetened with HFCS while the water given to the second group was sweetened with sucrose. The concentration of HFCS was approximately 50% of what is typically found in commercial soft drinks, while the concentration of sucrose was equal to a typical can of soda pop. Both groups were fed the same number of calories overall. They found that the rats that were fed HFCS gained significantly more weight compared to their cohorts.

In a second experiment, the Princeton group looked at possible long-term effects of HFCS. They found that after 6 months, rats that were fed HFCS showed not only weight gain, but also elevated serum triglycerides and increased abdominal fat deposition. This is reminiscent of something called metabolic syndrome, which in humans increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

In addition, the male rats gained a huge amount of weight; after 6 months, they were 48% heavier than their non-HFCS fed counterparts.

Enough said!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 27 - How Much High Fructose Corn Syrup Are You Consuming Daily?

So I wanted to post a list of all the foods that contain HFCS. Well to my surprise there was really no list anywhere on the internet. Then I came across an article written by a woman who was searching for the same list and couldn't find it - so she created her own.

Needless to say the list is LONG! I'm not even going to attempt to take up the space to list it here. But please visit this website to look at the list. Make a note of what on the list lives in your cupboards.

Click here for list

Now go clean out your cupboards!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26 - High Fructose Corn Syrup = Mercury

Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.

HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average.

"Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered.

Look at the ingredients of the food you are buying. If it contains HFCS just say no!

Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25 - Benefits of Oregano? I Was Surprised Too

Oregano is known to have strong antibacterial properties, perhaps as a result of the volatile oils the herb contains. Some of these powerful volatile oils include thymol and carvacrol. Both of these substances have been shown to inhibit the growth of many kinds of bacteria, including some that cause serious food borne illnesses.

Mexican researchers have even studied oregano as a treatment for the common bacteria disease known as giardia. This common amoeba is common throughout the world, and it can cause serious illness in those afflicted. In one study, oregano proved to be more effective at treating giardia than the commonly prescribed drug tinidazol.

The health effects of oregano do not stop with its antibacterial properties, however. Oregano is also a powerful source of many antioxidant vitamins. Antioxidant vitamins are thought to play a vital role in the prevention of many forms of cancer, as well as perhaps slowing down the aging process.

Oregano has been shown to have over 42 times the antioxidant activity as apples, 30 times higher than potatoes and 12 times more than oranges. As a matter of fact, ounce for ounce oregano is thought to be one of the most antioxidant dense of all foods.

Who knew? Pass the oregano please!