Here are the Benefits of Reducing Consumption of Artificial Sweeteners

The average American consumes over 70 pounds of sugar per year. With the increasing number of people with diabetes and obesity, the message is clear that one must start to cut back on sugar consumption. Many people think that by replacing their sugary drinks and foods with alternatives that are loaded with artificial sweeteners, they will be able to reduce their consumption of sugar without adding more calories.

However, these are not as beneficial as you’d think. Below are three of the benefits of minimizing your consumption of artificial sweeteners.

1. Foods with artificial sweeteners do not actually fee fully satisfied.

There is an increasing evidence in the concept that those who consume foods that are loaded with artificial sweeteners may actually end up taking in more calories than those who don’t. According to Yale University School of Medicine researchers, artificial sweeteners do not trigger the release of the hormone dopamine which is responsible for controlling one’s appetite. This is the hormone that gives the feeling of satiation.

According to Harvard School of Public Health professor of Nutrition Dr. David Ludwig, artificial sweeteners do not satisfy a person’s appetite with calories. While diet soda can satisfy your craving for something sweet, it won’t help in reducing your appetite.

2. Artificial sweeteners make you have a hyperactive sweet tooth.

Harvard School of Public Health professor of Nutrition Dr. David Ludwig, consumption of artificial sweeteners can limit your tolerance for more complex tastes. Because artificial sweeteners are 200 to 600 times sweeter compared to sugar, you will develop a greater tolerance for sweetness and will start to crave these super sweet foods the more of them you eat.

Eventually, more nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods will lose their appeal to use. Naturally sweet foods such as apples and carrots will also not taste as sweet for people who consistently consume artificially sweetened drinks and foods.

3. Consuming too much artificially sweetened foods can probably change your bacteria in a negative way.

Recently, Israeli scientists found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose can be contributing factors to diabetes and obesity because they can affect the microbiome in your gut. Basically, this is a collection of bacteria that aids in food digestion, absorption of nutrients, and maintenance of the inner lining of the digestive system.

According to the study, artificial sweeteners disrupted the balance of bacteria present in the digestive system in mice, boosting blood sugar levels and increasing a certain gut bacteria’s growth which triggered storage of fat. Since there are no calories associated with the artificial sweeteners and there is nothing to digest, they pass directly into the gut and impacts millions of microbes in the digestive system.

Final thoughts

If you think that artificial sweeteners are okay, think again. This article just proves that anything that is taken too much can have a negative effect on the body. Hence, it is important to regulate not only your consumption of sugar, but artificial sweeteners as well.

Best Ways to Cut Back on Sugar

Although there is nothing wrong with giving in to your craving for chocolates, icecream, or margarita from time to time, consuming too much sugar can have adverse effects on your health and can negatively impact your weight loss efforts if you are trying to stay fit and healthy.

According to the FDA, you should consume more than 10 percent of your daily recommended calories from added sugars or sugars that are added during the packaging or processing. Some foods with added sugar include honey, syrups, and concentrated vegetable or fruit juices which have more sugar than expected from the same volume of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice. In this article, we will share with you some of the ways to cut back on sugar on your diet.

1. Use fresh fruits and cinnamon to sweeten your breakfast food.

Packaged granola bars, yogurt, and cereals normally contain significant amounts of added sugar, and sometimes you even add honey, maple syrup, and other types of sweeteners. For instance, you can choose plain yogurt and just top it off with fresh fruits and nuts. For oats, you can just add sliced fruits and cinnamon which can make it sweeter even if it is sugar-free.

2. Drink flavoured seltzer or other healthy beverages instead of soda.

Soda has tons of sugar in it. So instead of soda, drink flavored bubbly water or seltzer which do not have any added sugar or syrups. You can also drink tea and other healthier beverages instead of unhealthy softdrinks.

3. Read a product’s nutrition labels.

When you go to the grocery store, it is important to read the nutrition labels carefully and opt for those which do not have too much added sugar in it. For instance, granola which have less than 5 grams of added sugar per serving is ideal.

4. Reduce the sugar that you add in your food when baking or cooking.

Cut back on the sugar that you include in your favorite recipes by a half or a third. When you’re baking pies, even just a little added sugar can work well into bringing out the sweetness of the fruit filling.

Final Thoughts

Anything that is eaten too much can be detrimental to your health. With this, it is important to always practice self-control and avoid eating too much sugar if you want to avoid diseases and live a long, healthy life.

3 Hormones That You Should Keep in Check If You Are Trying to Lose Weight

Hormones always try to maintain homeostasis and keep your body functioning well. However, there are some cases wherein the hormones in your body are not regulated properly, leading to weight gain. However, did you know that you can manage your hormones and use them to your advantage?

In this article, we will discuss three hormones that you should always keep in check if you are trying to shed some extra pounds.

Leptin

This hormone is produced by fat cells and is responsible for signalling the brain about how much fat is in your body. According to Atlanta Endocrine Associates Medical Director Dr. Scott Isaacs, when the amount of leptin in your body is low, you will tend to feel hungry. Conversely, if the leptin levels in your body is high, you will feel full.

Sounds simple, right? However, according to Dr. Isaacs, it can be a bit more complicated than that. He said that as you become overweight, you will begin to develop resistance to leptin. With this, it is possible that you have high leptin levels, but your brain is not detecting that and you would still feel hungry. According to Susan Carnell, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at John Hopkins Medicine, this can put you at risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

So how do you regulate this hormone? According to studies, physical activity can aid in managing the amount of leptin in your body. Although any type of exercise can be beneficial, one of the most effective types of exercises if your aim is to reduce the leptin in your body is resistance training. This is according to a recent review of studies on obese and overweight middle-aged adults published in PLOS One. In addition, being more physically active can also help you lose some weight.

According to Dr. Isaacs, getting enough sleep is also important because leptin is produced in your sleep. This is one of the reasons those who are sleep deprived tend to be hungrier. Research studies suggest that acute and chronic sleep deprivation can deplete the leptin levels in your body.

Ghrelin

This hormone is produced by the stomach and is called the hunger hormone. When your stomach is empty, the levels of ghrelin is at their highest and then they will decrease once you ate. According to Carnell, when the amount of ghrelin in your body rises, you will seek for food and that stress will further increase the levels of ghrelin. Increased ghrelin coupled with stress can be more intense later in the day, and it is during the evening when there is a higher risk for you to overeat.

If you want to regulate ghrelin levels, it is important to manage your stress and make sure that you get adequate sleep because sleep deprivation can increase your hunger hormones. Furthermore, it is also recommended to consume foods that are high in fiber or protein so you will feel satiated longer.

Cortisol

Also called the stress hormone, as it is responsible for the fight or flight response, cortisol can also promote the release of insulin. This leads to an increased appetite and storage of fat especially around the waist.

You can regulate your cortisol levels by managing your stress. Instead of stress-eating, you can go for a walk in the park, enjoy some time with nature, or do something you are passionate about.

Final Thoughts

Aside from keeping these hormones in check, it is also important to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, eat a balanced diet, and get enough sleep and rest if you want to get fit. Not only does losing weight help you look good, but it can also bring countless of health benefits.

The Best Medicine is Prevention

The Best Medicine is Prevention

Every medical practitioner will tell you that the best medicine is prevention. This is simply another way of saying that if a person can avoid disease and illness in the first place there is no need for medication or treatment. Even though prevention is not always possible, it should always be the goal. The challenge in most cases understands how prevention works. Many people are still applying the old health rules they learned growing up. Prevention takes planning and most people are unwilling to invest planning time. It is important to determine what health advice will be most helpful to you.

Exercise

Committing to exercise and fitness is easy if you find something you enjoy doing. Start slow because overdoing it can ruin your motivation. Those who are currently in poor health will need to adjust their new workout plan to suit their physical limitations. Illness and injury should not end your plans to stay fit. The key is to find activities that are safe.

Healthy eating

In addition to exercising, healthy eating is also important. Some nutrition tips are outdated and you will need to learn what is best for you. People have different health risks, so you need to determine what yours are and what you can do to prevent health problems. Eat based on your personal health needs. People who know they are at risk for mental health problems can eat brain power foods. You can eliminate many health risks by choosing the
right foods.

Stress management

Managing stress and sleeping well are also important parts of maintaining good health. Letting life drag you down with unmanaged stress and exhaustion is sure to trigger health problems. In many cases, long-term stress has fatal results. People who lead unhealthy lives fall victim to long-term stress coming to terms with stress helps you manage it.  Here are some tips on dealing with stress.

Understand status of your healthy

You need to be aware of your personal health risks. You need to understand the best life changes you can make. You also need to understand the changes are not temporary. Changes might not come until you are much older. Weeks of eating healthy might not result in losing weight. The benefits of caring for your health are long-term. Years of healthy living help you stay strong. Staying strong helps you ward off illness.

To reduce the risk of illness and disease, learn about preventative health. If you are scared your health will deteriorate, act now to protect it.

5 Ways to Keep Your Thyroid Healthy

5 Ways to Keep Your Thyroid Healthy

Whether you know it or not, your thyroid is one of the most important components of your body. Just like anything in the body, it functions better if it is healthy.  Here are 5 ways to keep your thyroid healthy.

What Is The Thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck that produces hormones, regulates your metabolism, and affects the function of each organ in the body. The hormones that the thyroid produces, thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine, determine the speed and functions of your organs and how the body’s systems use energy.

Now that you know a little about the thyroid, here are 5 ways you can keep your thyroid healthy.

Maintain a Nutrient-Rich Diet:

Eating the right fruits and vegetables can help maintain your thyroid and overall health. It’s ideal to consume fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants and iodine, which is necessary for thyroid hormone production. An iron or iodine deficiency can actually cause hypothyroidism. For those with hyperthyroidism, iodine can help slow the release of too many thyroid hormones. No matter what thyroid problem you have, iodine can help your thyroid function normally. Sea vegetables like kelp or spirulina can help supply you with iodine. Below is a list
of foods, which are beneficial for thyroid health.

  • Berries (strawberries, blackberries etc.)
  • Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage)
  • Sea Vegetables (kelp,agar, Irish moss)
  • Foods high in chlorophyll (spinach, snow peas, cucumbers, parsley) Portabella Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Chia Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds

Avoid Fluoride:

Most commercial toothpastes contain toxic ingredients that can damage your health, but they also contain fluoride, which can damage the thyroid. Communities with fluoride in the water actually have higher rates of hypothyroidism.
This is why drinking distilled or alkaline water, or eating alkaline foods, is healthy for your thyroid and overall health. Additionally, try to abstain from non-stick pans and black tea, as both of those contain fluoride.

Decrease Stress:

Minimizing your stress levels can not only improve your thyroid function, but also contribute to your overall wellbeing. Stress can actually induce a thyroid condition, or make it more obvious that you have a thyroid
condition. Overproduction of cortisol, a stress hormone, can interfere with thyroid hormone production. It actually can make the thyroid work harder to produce sufficient amounts of hormones needed for bodily functions. Great ways to de-stress include acupuncture, breathing techniques like meditation, massage therapy, or taking warm baths.

Get Rid of Inflammatory Foods:

If you eat inflammatory foods, you can irritate your digestive system, which can rub your immune system the wrong way. When your immune system is irritated, it does not acknowledge your thyroid as part of the body. In fact, your immune system interprets the thyroid gland as intrusive and launches an autoimmune attack. Gluten, eggs, dairy, and grains are all inflammatory.

Make Sure You’re Getting Your Omega-3s:

If your body is lacking in omega-3 fatty acids, you can have a hormonal imbalance. Omega-3s provide a solid foundation for hormones that control immune function, cell growth, and they help out thyroid hormones. You
can get your omega-3s from flaxseeds and walnuts, among other foods.