Blog

8/2/2019

Sugar consumption is a common problem in our diets and is hidden in many foods. Yogurt, condiments, sauces, juices, flavored coffees, sports drinks, milk, soups, bread, and protein bars are a shortlist of foods where sugar is hidden. These hidden sources of sugar in addition to the foods with known sugars cause obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, dental problems, and cardiovascular disease. According to Harvard Medical School, a 15-year study on added sugar and heart disease showed, “Participants consuming 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease than those whose diets included less than 10% added sugar. The results were regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body mass index.”

The long term effects of sugar are mind-blowing, what about the short term effects? Short-term effects are lethargy, weight gain, depression, cavities, decreased energy, restless sleep, premature aging, acne, feeling bloated, inflamed joints, increased cholesterol, increased blood pressure, impotence, and cravings for sugar. These are not just short-term effects of eating sugar but indicators that we are eating too much sugar. How much sugar should we consume in our diets? The American Heart Association recommends that women consume less than 100 calories of sugar and men less than 150 calories of sugar daily. To me, this is an odd statement; we’re all so different in size and activity level, how can you tag an exact amount of calories?

What can we do to cut back on sugar? The simple answer is to limit or eliminate foods with sugar in them. Read food labels, substitute nuts or fruit for cookies and sweets, reduce sweeteners in coffee and teas, choose sweeteners such as stevia in place of sugar, swap water with lemon or other fruit for sugary juices and sodas, cook/bake your own foods, and get educated on the different names of sugar. With effort, we can improve the health of our body and reduce the numerous health issues that come along with eating excess amounts of sugar by becoming more aware of the dangers and becoming more knowledgable to where sugar is found.

 

 

 

8/5/2019

Sugar alcohols are low-calories sweeteners that are derived from fruits and vegetables. The molecular structure is similar to a combination of sugar and alcohol, although there is no ethanol (the ingredient in alcohol that gets people intoxicated).

Sugar alcohols are found in baked goods, candy, gum, ice cream, jams/jellies, Jello, and toothpaste. Health benefits include increased bone health, skin health, weight loss, and a positive prebiotic effect by feeding the good bacteria in your gut. Another major benefit of sugar alcohols is the lack of insulin response (not causing a sudden increase in blood sugar). Diabetics eating foods with sugar alcohols rather than traditional sugar can manage insulin levels (in moderation). Another benefit consuming foods sweetened with sugar alcohol is bacteria in the mouth is often hindered and cease to develop, protecting against tooth decay (Xylitol the is best known for this, as a result, is added to gum and sugarless mints as a sweetener). According to the Journal of Medicinal Principles and Practice in 2011, “a diet found substituting regular sugars with sugar alcohols was an effective tool in reducing tooth decay.” Too good to be true? There are side effects, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea. These often are a result of overconsumption, although each person may have a different response if at all.

Common Sugar Alcohols

Erythritol - .2 calories per gram (60-70% sweetness as table sugar)

Hydrogenated Starch - 3 calories per gram (40-90% sweetness as table sugar; often blended with other sweeteners)

Isomalt - 2 calories per gram (45-65% sweetness as table sugar; often used in sugar-free candy)

Maltitol - 2.1 calories per gram (75-90% sweetness as table sugar)

Mannitol - 1.6 calories per gram (50-70% sweetness as table sugar; medical application)

Sorbitol - 2.6 calories per gram (60% sweetness as table sugar; medical application)

Xylitol - 2.4 calories per gram (same sweetness as table sugar; toxic to dogs)

Although not a cure-all, sugar alcohols are a great substitute for traditional sugars. When consumed in moderation side effects are minimal to none, with health benefits that will help with our overall well-being.

 

 

 

 

Diet Ketogenic Diet (Keto Diet) Paleolithic Diet (Paleo Diet) Mediterranean Diet  
         
Diet Structure High-fat focus, with moderate Moderate amount of protein, High carbohydrates, moderate proteins and  
  protein and low carbohydrates fats and carbohydrates fats  
         
Diet Macronutrient % Carbohydrate 5-10% Carbohydrate 22-40% Carbohydrate 45-65%  
  Protein 20-25% Protein 19-35% Protein 10-30%  
  Fat 65-75% Fat 28-58% Fat 20%  
  Higher fat % for medical usage Percentage varies by goal Percentage varies by goal  
  and use ex. muscle building ex. weight loss  
         
Benefits Weight loss Weight loss Weight loss  
  Reduces seizure frequency Balances blood glucose Reduces inflammation  
  Reduces inflammation Increased energy Increased energy  
  Helps with neurodegenerative Detoxifies Detoxifies  
  disorders Reduces inflammation Increased mental clarity  
  Reduced risk of disease Increased mental clarity Long-term heart health  
  Regulation of type 2 diabetes Decreased allergies Aids with depression and anxiety  
  Mental clarity Improved skin clarity Helps balance blood sugar  
  Increased energy Improved gut health Improved gut health  
  Improved skin clarity Reduced Risk of disease Reduced risk of disease  
  Polycystic Ovary Syndrome improvement Improved sleep Reduced cravings  
  Improved mitochondrial function Reduced cravings Improved vision  
  Improved gut health   Improved kidney function  
  Reduced cravings      
  Aids in regulating hormones      
         
Drawbacks Keto flu/adapting to process Possible lower energy with decreased carbs Possible weight gain with high % of carbs  
  Nutritional deficiencies if done incorrectly Decreased appetite Calcium deficiency  
  Restrictive Elevated LDL cholesterol Possible increase in alcohol consumption  
  May cause high cholesterol Diarrhea Challenging for those with celiac disease  
  Increased thirst Bad breath Challenging for those with gluten intolerance  
  Constipation Possible increase of heart disease    
  Possible development of kidney stones Calcium deficiency    
  Sleep problems Vitamin D deficiency    
  Bad breath when starting Carb/keto flu    
  Possible diarrhea when starting Difficult to follow    
  Leg cramps when starting      
  Difficult to follow      
         
Ease of use Can be challenging in social situations or No diary may be challenging Very easy, unless eating gluten-free  
  when not planned, will require planning      
         
Food Staples Meats, eggs, wild-caught fish/seafood, dairy, nuts Meats, eggs, wild-caught fish/seafood, nuts Fish/seafood, limited animal protein, whole  
  and seeds, healthy fats, greens/leafy greens, berries and seeds, healthy fats, any vegetables, any fruits grains, nuts, and seeds, legumes, dairy, any  
      vegetables, any fruits, healthy fats  
         
Gluten-Free Keto Diet is gluten-free by default Paleo Diet in it’s strictest form is gluten-free Can be with effort  
         
Types of Sweeteners Stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, xylitol, maltitol, inulin, Coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, stevia, Honey, maple syrup, dates, raisins, natural  
  allulose molasses, monk fruit, dates, natural sweeteners sweeteners  
         
Alcohol Use Ideally not, but choose light liquor such as vodka, gin, Ideally not because paleo focuses on the absence One glass red wine nightly  
  whiskey, scotch, or tequila of processed foods and toxins and alcohol is both.    
    Red wine and hard cider are the best choices    
         
Not Ideal For Older adults requiring higher percentages of protein, People who eat dairy People with Celiac disease or gluten  
  people without a gallbladder   intolerance  
         

 

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