Diet Sage

Is Your Olive Oil Fake?

July 8, 2017 by admin in Health News with 26 Comments

Every day, people are being told how beneficial it is to use olive oil in the preparation of food, but did you know a gang of Mafia suspects were busted for sending fake, adulterated olive oil to the United States?

Yes, you read that right.

The Italian mafia, what the Italians refer to as “agromafia”, infiltrated Italy’s famed agriculture and food business and have made a substantial profit off these fake oils; an estimated $16.85 billion.

It is said that they have been doing this for almost four millennia, but with food supply chain being widespread, vast and lucrative, it’s easy for bad guys to tamper with our food.

 

One way could be mixing it with a cheaper vegetable oil.

Do you know of anyone who has become sick after consuming olive oil?

They most likely have a food allergy, but since they didn’t know their olive oil was mixed with soy, peanut, sunflower, hazelnut, corn, palm, sesame, grape seed and/or non-human grade oils, they figured they were safe.

Italian investigators also found pesticides, hydrocarbon residues, pomace oil, and other contaminants in the olive oil imposters.

Other common things found in the fake olive oils are mineral oil, PAHs, carcinogens that have been proven to damage DNA and the immune system.

Unfortunately for us, this is nothing new.

In 1981 there was a case of toxic oil syndrome in Spain, when an industrial additive was added to rapeseed oil and sold as olive oil, killing eight hundred people and injuring thousands more.

In 2010 samples of imported olive oils were tested by researchers at the UC Davis Olive Center.  69% of the samples tested failed to meet the international standards to be called extra virgin olive oil.

Just to give you all an idea of how rampant this thing really is; Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity, documents oil fraud going back to the Roman Empire.

According to a 30-year comprehensive academic food fraud study in the Journal of Food Science, the single most referenced adulterated food of any type in scholarly articles from 1980 to 2010, was olive oil.

When Davis Olive Center tested samples from supermarkets, they concluded that two-thirds (69 percent) of imported oils and 10 percent of California oils that were labeled “extra virgin” did not meet legal standard.

In 2011, a follow-up Olive Center supermarket test was conducted using a larger number of samples for consistency. The results showed the five, imported, top-selling brands labeled “extra virgin” in the United States failed to meet the basic legal standard.

There are some people who think the University favors the olive oil that is made by domestic companies, mainly in California, over any imports, so another company, the North American Olive Oil Association, who does their own testing, disputes the accuracy of UC Davis’ findings.

However, continued studies and investigations show in:

  • 2014 – hitting an all-time high, there were 95 seizures of counterfeit “extra virgin olive oil” in Italy.
  • May 2015 – the National Consumers League, tested 11 national brands of “extra virgin olive oil” sold in the United States and 55 percent failed to meet legal standard.
  • 2015 – a French study found that 46 percent of “extra virgin olive oil” labeled bottles were non-compliant.
  • Twenty of the most popular brands in Italy were tested by and Italian newspaper, La Stampa, 45 percent were fake.
  • December 2015 – the Italian authorities were late in finding a fraud ring that sold 7,000 tons, tens of millions worth, of fake “extra virgin olive oil” that were labeled 100 percent Italian and sold in Italy, Japan and the United States.
  • 2016 – 60 minutes reported the majority of “extra virgin olive oil” is mislabeled and a German group found that half the nation’s retail “extra virgin olive oil” was mislabeled. There were seizure and scandals from Italy and France to Ghana and Taiwan.
  • February 2016 – Italian authorities seized 2,000 tons, $14.5 million worth, of fake “extra virgin olive oil”. Two months later they seized 22 tons more of Tuscan oil.

 

How to tell if your olive oil is authentic?

Now how many of you run to your cupboard to check your olive oil only to get there and realize you have no clue what to look for?

Unfortunately, you can’t tell by just looking at it and since people have learned you can find impure oil by testing it, they have come up with other ways to dilute pure oil with less than fresh versions by processing with heat or chemicals, which is harder to detect and illegal.

There’s still the question “So how can I find the real stuff?”  Well, there are some things you can look for:

Harvest date: It should say “fall harvest” or “early harvest” of the current year.

Storage and tasting: Oil should be stored in containers that are kept clean, made of stainless-steel with a temperature-control function and have an inactive gas, like nitrogen, that keeps oxygen out.

Flavor/Color: You want to look for extra virgin olive oil that has a bright green color to show high-quality; However, you can also find good quality oils that are green, gold or a pale straw.

The scent of a good oil can be described as fruity, like a green banana or apple, fresh or grass-like, spicy (which indicates the presence healthy antioxidants), bitter or efflorescent.

If the oils have the taste of mold, cardboard, being cooked, creamy, meaty, or hard-metal, they are no good.

Bottles: If you purchase pre-packaged oils, you want to look for one that is packaged in a stainless-steel container, glass that is dark or clear glass that is stored in a cardboard so they are protected from light.

Labeling terms: The label must say “extra virgin”. If it says, “olive pomace oil,” “olive oil,” “light,” or “pure” oil, it means it has been chemically processed.

It’s meaningless when they are labeled “cold pressed” or “first pressed”, because now EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) is made using centrifuges instead of being pressed.

Look for a seal of quality and certified origin: The Producer organizations are held to a much higher standard than the USDAs minimal standards.

Here are some examples:

-Real Italian producers – 100% Qualita Italiana

-California Olive Oil Commission – COOC 100% Certified Extra Virgin Seal

-The North American Olive Oil Association – NAOOA Certified Oil, bearing a red circular logo with a green olive branch

-Australian oils, Cobram Estates – California label (COOC Certified)

-McEvoy Estate has readily available standout California oils

-Australian and Chilean oils are considered more reliable

-Tunisian, South Africa and California produce high-quality oils

-Frankie’s Spuntino, Italian restaurants in New York – Frankie’s 457 made in Sicily, sold in Whole Foods nationally

-Frankie’s- Green Gold, less expensive ($10), for Whole Foods 365 house brand

There’s national chains, olive oil and vinegar stores, with different names, but look the same, with steel circular tanks that dispense oil and are adorned with lots of information about chemical analysis, olive variety, where it came from and when.

They provide tastings and sell in small quantities.

It’s best to buy from retailers that allow you to taste the product and sell small quantities.

Since open oil deteriorates quickly, it’s best to buy 2 small bottles/cans instead of one big one.

Try to buy oil that is less than a year old, follow the “pressed on” or “harvested on” date as this will let you know when it was made.

The “bottled on,” “sell by,” and “use by” dates are meaningless since they are up to the discretion of the manufacturer and most likely mean that is when they took it out of an old storage tank and put it in the bottle. It allows them to keep older stocks out on shelves.

 

Four tell-tale signs of defective Olive Oil

  1. Smells like crayons or putty, feels greasy in your mouth, tastes like rancid nuts.
  2. Fusty flavor. “Fusty” oil occurs when olives sit too long before being milled, leading to fermentation due to lack of oxygen. Should not smell reminiscent of sweaty socks or swampy vegetation.
  3. Moldy flavor. If it tastes dusty or musty, it was most likely made from moldy olives.
  4. Wine or vinegar flavor. Sometimes olives undergo fermentation with oxygen, this causes a wine and vinegar (or even nail polish) undertone.

 

About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice. Learn how you can lose weight fast – How to lose weight by adding these alkaline foods.

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How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat

June 29, 2017 by admin in Health News with 2 Comments

At some point in time or another, we’ve all heard that a low-fat diet is the best way to prevent heart disease.

For years, nutritionists and doctors promoted low-fat diets as the healthiest way to lose weight and prevent heart disease, but where did that idea come from?

You may be surprised to learn that the low-fat trend has been around for over five decades and is a result of some pretty questionable research reviews.

Where did it start?

In the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, an article was published that examined internal documents and correlation from the Sugar Research Foundation (now called the Sugar Association).

The authors of this article found correspondence and evidence of payment to Harvard researchers to examine the compiling evidence that linked sugar to coronary heart disease.

In their article, these researchers document the details behind the original literature review published in 1967 in the New England Journal of Medicine that claimed that it was not sugar (despite many studies revealing a link between sugar and heart disease), but saturated fat, that was the crucial reason for America’s high and increasing rate of heart disease.

Unfortunately, the authors were not able to correspond with the executives from the Sugar Research Foundation or the Harvard researchers who are mentioned in these documents as they have all passed away. Even so, according to the internal documents, below are some of the details that have been learned about this sneaky operation.

The documents, found by Cristin Kearns from the University of California at San Francisco, found that the plan to shift the attention from sugar began in 1964.

John Hickson, an executive in the sugar industry and vice president of Sugar Research Foundation, began discussing the need for a plan to change the public opinion of sugar through industry-funded research and legislation.

This discussion came about as a result of the increasing studies that were finding solid connections between sugar and heart disease.

During the time that these studies were being published, other studies investigating fat and cholesterol as the main culprits for heart disease were also being published.

Wanting to focus the attention on anything other than condemning sugar studies, Mr. Hickson suggested that the Sugar Research Foundation be part of industry-funded research in order to “publish the data and refute our detractors.”

To do this, he contacted Harvard researchers and scientists Dr. Mark Hegsted and Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, Harvard’s Nutrition Department chair at the time.

Hickson made it clear to the Harvard scientists that he wanted a literature review published that would diminish negative views of sugar while pointing to another source—fats and cholesterol—as the main cause of heart disease.

It would be extremely beneficial to the sugar industry if they could convince the public that fats were unhealthy because when you remove fats from food, those foods lose their palatable taste.

If you replace the fat with sugar, the food becomes tasty again, and according to some studies, addictive, as sugar has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine.

SRF paid the researchers an equivalent of almost $50,000 in today’s money to review articles that were specifically selected by Hickson and SRF executives.

Hegsted and Stare made it clear in their correspondence that they were “well aware of [Hickson’s] particular interest” and would do their best to align their review with that interest. As a result, they held the articles condemning sugar and the articles condemning fats and cholesterol to different standards.

When examining the studies naming sugar as the main culprit for heart disease, the researchers would claim that the studies were flawed in certain ways; when examining studies conducted in a similar manner, but questioning saturated fats, the researchers would praise the format of the study.

The literature review took longer than intended due to the continued release of studies calling sugar into question which required numerous alterations to the article.

After several rough drafts were submitted to Hickson and his team at SRF for approval, it was published in 1967 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

This review article became an influential paper that was cited to promote the need for low-fat diets.

Writing literature reviews that favor one idea or another is not necessarily an issue as it can provide legitimate questions about research studies, but several events made this particular review questionable.

First, when the article was published, there was no disclosure that it was funded by the Sugar Research Foundation.

Even though NEMJ did not require conflicts of interest to be disclosed until 1984, hiding the fact that this article was industry-funded calls its integrity into question.

It also was not until recently (in the last year) that the correspondence documents were found and examined making it seem like the Sugar Association may have wanted to hide this information for as long as possible.

As mentioned previously, holding similar studies (with different outcomes) to different standards reveals the researchers’ already biased approach to the studies.

Finally, after the article was published in November that examined the documents from over 50 years ago, the response from the Sugar Association was disappointing, to say the least.

While they acknowledged that the SRF “should have exercised greater transparency”, they attacked the researchers who examined the documents and JAMA, brushed off the lack of integrity as acceptable because it was “not the norm” back then, and claim that disapproving of industry-funded research is “not only unfortunate, but a disservice…”

Industry-funded research can provide valid questions, however, the highest amount of integrity must be maintained during the process.

In the situation of the literature review published in 1967, it is clear that integrity was not a top priority. This is seen even more clearly by the fact that Dr. Hegsted, who became the head of nutrition at the USDA, helped to draft dietary guidelines recommended by the federal government.

He used his governmental position and relationship with the sugar industry executives to influence government nutrition legislation.

 

Is this a common issue?

This specific and long-lasting incident of the negative influence of industry-sponsored research is not the only example.

In 2015, Coca-Cola payed millions of dollars in research in an effort to minimize any connection between their sugar-filled drinks and current obesity trends.

In June 2016, a trade association that represented three major candy companies funded a research study that claimed that children who ate more candy weighed less overall than those who didn’t.

These are simply two examples of numerous published studies that are funded by specific companies who have a vested interest in a positive outcome of the research.

Funding research studies that may be beneficial to that company is not necessarily a bad thing, but the concern is that companies will pick and choose certain outcomes to be published, thus not giving a full and accurate picture of the actual research.

What does this mean for the sugar vs fat debate?

Both current and older research have implicated sugar as the major factor in developing heart disease.

When the sugar industry used their financial means to influence the research studies, fats were called into question, but what needs to be realized is that the body requires fats in order to function at an optimal level.

Sugar is necessary to a certain degree in the body, but not in the amounts that are typically consumed in a Western diet.

Heart disease is prevalent in the United States because the amount of sugar consumed is excessive.

Fats have been falsely implicated as the culprit for far too long, allowing for the consumption of sugar to increase by replacing fats in low-fat and no-fat foods.

It is only when sugars and fats are consumed in their necessary amounts, sugar consumption being lowered and fat consumption increasing, that heart disease will begin to decline.

If you are struggling to lose weight, learn about the real reason what’s stopping you to melt the stubborn fat –

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About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice. Learn how you can lose weight fast – How to lose weight by adding these alkaline foods.

 

Please share with your friends this information about sugar using any of the social media and email buttons on the left of our website.

37 Different Types Of Sugar

June 20, 2017 by admin in Health News with 3 Comments

Sugar. In the health fanatic’s world, this can be the forbidden “s” word, and for good reason as most people consume significantly more sugar than the body requires.

Overconsumption of sugar leads to a variety of health issues, but do all sugars have the same impact?

Are they all created equal? Did you even realize there were so many types of sugar?

It is important to be able to recognize each of these names on food labels so let’s take a look at where these sugars originate and how they can impact the body.

 

Common Sugars

  • Beet sugar

Accounting for over 20% of the world’s sugar, this sugar is typically made from the evaporated and boiled liquid that is extracted from sliced beets. Genetically modified beets are most commonly used as the source of beet sugar, so be aware of this.

  • Brown sugar

Common brown sugar is white refined sugar, typically from sugarcane, that has had the extracted molasses re-added to it after the sugar extraction process. Light brown sugar has had less added molasses and dark brown has had more.

  • Cane sugar

This sugar is the crystals that result from chopping, heating and evaporating sugarcane. White refined sugar and brown sugar are two categories made using cane sugar, but the cane juice from cane sugar is usually more colorful and flavorful.

This type of sugar has been shown to have a significant impact on blood pressure (raising it), cholesterol and insulin resistance, even though it is often touted as a better alternative.

  • Caster Sugar

Caster sugar is the same as white refined sugar that has been even more finely granulated. It is often used in baking products and mixed drinks.

  • Date sugar

This sugar made from dates is not useful for liquids as it will not dissolve. While it is less processed than other sugars, it still remains very high in sugar content.

  • Demerara sugar

Sugar cane is pressed and steamed to result in this large crystal sugar. It is pale brown and usually comes from a region in Guyana where the sugarcane grows in rich, volcanic soil. It has more nutrients than refined sugar, but has a very small amount of proteins and vitamins.

  • Fructose

This is the sugar that is traditionally found in fruits including apples, dates, grapes, etc. This sounds great at first, but the fructose that is found in products that are not fruits is not extracted from fruit—it is created either in a lab by treating glucose with enzymes or is extracted from corn syrup.

When fructose is processed by the body, it can only be done so in the liver. When a large amount of concentrated fructose is consumed and hits the liver, it stresses the liver severely enough that it is almost entirely converted to fat.

This amount also increases the triglycerides blood levels leading to an increased risk of heart disease; the amount of uric acid is also increased. Keep in mind that consuming fructose from fruit is not the same as consuming it in liquid or crystal form like what is in baked goods, sodas, etc.

Fruits contain many other nutrients that are very beneficial to the body and can off-set the impact of the small amount of fructose on the liver.

  • Glucose

First, glucose is essential to the human body. It is important to have glucose in order for the body’s cells to function properly, but it is very easy to eat way too much, especially with our modern Western diet.

Glucose travels in the blood (known as blood sugar) and is kept in check through the body’s production of insulin. Glucose is found in almost all carbohydrates.

  • Jaggery (palm sugar, gur)

Jaggery is a sugar that has many different names throughout the world. It is typically made from the heated, reduced sap of the sugar palm or palmyra palm.

Commonly found in East Indian markets, jaggery comes in the forms of blocks, bricks, cups or spreadable pastes. It is comprised of sucrose, invert sugars (sucrose that has been broken down into fructose and glucose), moisture and insoluble matter.

  • Muscovado (Barbados) sugar

Available in light and dark varieties, this sugar is made by pressing and slightly cooking sugarcane and is often used as a replacement for brown sugar and in teas and coffee.

It is less processed than turbinado and demerara sugars but still contains very few nutrients and five grams of carbohydrates per teaspoon.

  • Raw sugar

Truly raw, unrefined sugar is not something one will find in the United States as it is illegal to sell. Those that are labeled as “raw” have gone through about half of the usual refining process in order to remove dirt, insect fragments and other particles.

Examples of these “raw” sugars are demerara, muscovado and turbinado sugars.

  • Sucanat

This granular sugar is made from the juice of organically grown sugarcane, and the process does not involve the use of chemical additives.

  • Turbinado sugar

One of the “raw” sugars available on the market, turbinado sugar is similar to demerara sugar but consists of smaller crystals.

  • White refined sugar (granulated sugar, table sugar, sucrose)

White refined sugar is derived from both sugarcane and sugar beets. This is the most commonly used form of sugar and has typically been bleached with sulfur dioxide. Sucrose, the chemical name, consists of half fructose and half glucose. This sugar comes in a variety of granulations, in addition to the typical granulated sugar.

  • Coarse sugar: large crystals, normally used for decorating baked goods
  • Superfine sugar: finer than regular granulated sugar; dissolves almost instantly; often used in drinks
  • Confectioners’ sugar: crushed granulated sugar; often contains some added cornstarch to prevent clumping

 

Liquid Sweeteners

  • Barley malt syrup

This sweet syrup is created through slow-cooking dried barley grain sprouts. It is a common ingredient in malt beers, cereals and candy bars. Despite being half as sweet as white sugar, barley malt syrup has a high glycemic index rating causing the blood sugar to spike similarly to white sugar.

  • Carob syrup

This syrup is used frequently in cakes, cookies, and often as a chocolate substitute. Carob fruit has wonderfully beneficial proteins and nutrients that are removed once the fruit is processed down into the syrup.

  • High fructose corn syrup

One of the most commonly recognized, unhealthy sugars, corn syrup is used most commonly in fast food, sodas and cookies. This syrup is generally made from GMO corn by processing the starches in corn into sugar, and just one tablespoon contains 16 grams of carbohydrates. The removal of any particles results in light corn syrup while dark corn syrup has added caramel coloring and a stronger flavor.

  • Honey

Honey is certainly a unique sweetener. For ages, it has been praised as an incredible food, and rightly so. Nature’s sweetener has been found to contain antioxidants and was even used as a source of payment in ancient Rome. Made by bees from flower nectar, honey has magnificent properties, but must still be managed carefully as it is still very sweet and full of calories.

The flavor and color of honey depends on the source of the nectar, and typically, the darker the honey, the stronger the flavor. In addition to being sold in a liquid version, honey may be found in the following ways:

  • Comb honey: liquid honey that is sold in the edible, chewy comb
  • Chunk-style honey: liquid honey with bits of honeycomb in it
  • Whipped honey/honey butter/creamed honey: honey that has been processed in such a way to give it a spreadable, smooth consistency

While honey is a naturally sweet product that is used as a better alternative to refined sugar, it is not one that can be given to children under 12 months old. Infants under one year do not have digestive systems that are mature enough to handle the spores in honey that can cause infant botulism.

Children older than 12 months and adults are not impacted by these spores.

  • Malt syrup/malt extract

Malt syrup is a natural sweetener that is less sweet than honey and has an earthy flavor, but it is very high in carbohydrates and will cause the blood sugar to spike. It is created from ground corn and sprouted barley.

  • Maple syrup

When sap is collected from the sugar-maple tree, boiled down and evaporated, maple syrup is the result. The process for this is very time-consuming, making pure maple syrup an expensive sweetener.

With very few nutrients and consisting of mostly sucrose, this sweetener should be used sparingly. There are several grades for maple syrup that correlate with their specific qualities.

  • Grade AA (also called Fancy): light amber with a mild flavor
  • Grade A: available in medium and dark amber with a mellow, delicate maple flavor
  • Grade B: dark, full-bodied, strong maple flavor
  • Grade C: the darkest maple syrup with a molasses-like flavor
  • Molasses

Molasses is a byproduct of extracting sugar crystals from cane sugar and is high in iron and calcium. The downside of molasses is that it can have a laxative effect and can trigger allergies and asthma attacks.

This is usually the result of molasses with high sulfur content.

Molasses with high sulfur content has been made from green, immature sugar cane and treated with sulfur during the sugar extraction process. Unsulfured molasses is available and is made from the juice of sun-ripened sugarcane. It is a lighter molasses and is not as strong in flavor.

In addition to sulfured and unsulfured molasses, there are three categories of molasses based on their flavors and color:

  • Light: the result of the first boiling of the sugar syrup
  • Dark: the result of the second boiling of the sugar syrup
  • Blackstrap: the result of the third boiling of the sugar syrup; the strongest, most bitter flavor
  • Rice syrup

Sprouted barley and cooked brown rice are fermented in order to convert the starches to sugar. Rice syrup is a slow energy-releasing sugar, is not as sweet as sugar and is typically found in pies, cakes and granola bars.

  • Sorghum molasses/sorghum syrup

Sorgum is a sweetener similar to molasses that is found in cereal, muffins, alcoholic beverages and cakes. While it consists of a high level of dietary fiber, it is also high in calories and carbohydrates.

 

Common Sugar Substitutes

 

  • Advantame

This sugar substitute is made from aspartame (meaning it pure chemicals) and is a water-soluble, white powder. Only recently approved by the FDA in 2014, this sweetener is 20,000 times sweeter than sugar.

  • Acesulfame-K (acesulfame potassium)

Used in soft drinks, candy, and baked goods, Ace-K is often combined with aspartame or sucralose. It passes through the body unaltered, and is thus a non-caloric sweetener. Common names include Sunett and Sweet One.

  • Agave syrup

This syrup is a highly processed pulp from a dessert-dwelling agave cactus that has an extremely high amount of fructose in it. Depending on the brand, agave syrup can be between 56-92% fructose making it a sugar alternative that is not worth consuming!

  • Aspartame

Equal, NutraSweet and AminoSweet are the most common brand names under which aspartame is sold. Multiple large-scale studies have revealed that aspartame has shown no ability to prevent weight gain or promote weight loss, despite the idea that it being a low-calorie sweetener should promote weight loss.

Aspartame is made entirely from artificial chemicals and has been shown to lead to health issues including neurological damage. One byproduct of the breakdown of aspartame is formaldehyde, making this sweetener even more dangerous.

  • Erythritol

This is a crystalized form of glucose that has been liquefied and fermented with yeast. It is often derived from genetically modified corn and does not result in the same intestinal distress that may be caused by other sugar substitutes. In some animal studies, erythritol was found to be toxic in certain amounts.

  • Isomalt

A sugar alcohol made from sucrose that is often used in hard candies and cough drops, isomalt is about half the sweetness of sugar. It is a combination of gluco-sorbitol and gluco-mannitol.

  • Maltitol

Maltitol is a sweetener that is derived from hydrogenated maltose that has been obtained from starch. Excessive intake can impact the intestines producing gas, bloating and diarrhea.

  • Mannitol

Typically extracted from seaweed and found in almost all plants, mannitol is 50-70% as sweet as sugar and is used in food manufacturing. Because it moves slowly through the intestines, it is also known to cause bloating and diarrhea.

  • Saccharine

Known most commonly as Sweet’N’Low, saccharine has been linked to bladder cancer in animal studies. It is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar.

  • Sorbitol

With a sweetness that is about half that of regular sugar, sorbitol is naturally occurring in some fruits and berries. The sorbitol that is used as an artificial sweetener and a thickener in candies and sugar-free gums, however, is manufactured from corn syrup. It is known to aggravate those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome

  • Stevia

Stevia is currently one of the highest-praised sugar substitutes on the market today. Due to its extraction from the stevia plant, it is considered a natural alternative.

Unfortunately, by the time it is processed into the compounds used in brands like Truvia and others, it is combined with other artificial sweeteners (erythritol) and has been processed just as much.

Instead of going with these brands, go for the pure extracts.

  • Sucralose

Sucralose is praised as being “derived from sugar”, leading people to believe that it is a natural, healthy alternative to sugar. It is between 320 and 1,000 times sweeter than regular sugar. To convert sugar into sucralose, there are many steps involving chlorination, making this sweetener one that should be avoided.

  • Xylitol

This is another common sugar alcohol that is typically made from birch tree bark. It can also be found naturally in certain fruits and vegetables. Its sweetness is comparable with sugar, and it tends to have a minty flavor that has made it desirable for use in sugar-free chewing gums.

 

As you can see, there are so many ways that sugar and chemically-made sugar substitutes can sneak into just about every packaged food. Consuming sugars from fruits and vegetables is the only way that the human body was designed to process them efficiently.

The other nutrients tend to off-set the negative side-effects of any sugars found in produce, not to mention those sugars are usually found in significantly smaller amounts.

If you choose to use a sugar substitute, be sure to research the ways in which that alternative may impact your health specifically.

Some substitutes can irritate or exaggerate certain health conditions. Also, be sure to read all of the ingredients that are in the brands you intend to buy as some may contain extra additives that will negate any “healthy” choices.

 

Do watch out for most of these sugar in your foods. Some of them can seriously damage your digestive system.

If you have a weak digestive system, and suffering from digestive issues, go to the next page and learn more about the 3 tips to reverse these digestive-related issues –

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About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice. Learn how you can lose weight fast – How to lose weight by adding these alkaline foods.

Do you use or consume any of these sugar?

Please share with your friends this information about these sugar using any of the social media and email buttons on the left of our website.

What’s In Your Deli Meat?

June 16, 2017 by admin in Health News with 4 Comments

Deli meat is a product that is quick and easy to grab for meals, snacks or party trays. It is a naturally low-fat product that many consider a great addition to a “healthy” lifestyle.

Unfortunately, typical deli meat contains some ingredients that can be damaging to one’s health, especially if consumed on a regular basis.

Deli meats have been linked to a variety of cancers, especially those affecting the digestive tract, in several studies.

This alone should cause one to question the consumption of deli meats, but why have they been linked to cancers?

Examining some of the ingredients and the process by which deli meats are made may provide some answers.

Common Ingredients

Carrageenan: used in reduced-fat foods as a fat replacement and to provide a specific “mouth-feel”

Citric acid: used as a preservative and/or a pH control agent

Corn syrup: sweetener derived from corn starch (most likely from GMO corn)

Caramel color: used to color meats—note that this is not considered an “artificial color” so it may still appear on a product that claims to have “no artificial colors” on the package

Gelatin: a form of animal-derived collagen (typically from bovines)

Modified food starch: a starch that is used as a thickener once it has been chemically modified; the source of the starch is not required to be listed

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): used as a flavor enhancer

Phosphates: used as a preservative; considered a “free” phosphate meaning it is readily absorbed in the body, as opposed to naturally occurring phosphates which have only 40-60% bioavailability; this study shows that consuming these phosphates could be fatal to those with kidney disease

Propyl gallate: an antioxidant used to prevent rancidity in rendered fats or pork sausage

Sodium nitrate: a preservative salt and color enhancer often added to jerky, bacon and lunchmeat

Sodium nitrite: a preservative salt and color enhancer similar to sodium nitrate but is also an antioxidant; typically used to cure ham and bacon

Sugar/sucrose: sweetener

Dried whey: used as a binder or extender in meat products like sausage and stews

The Dangers of these Additives

While this list is an incomplete list of the ingredients added into deli meats, these are many of the most commonly used additives.

When reading what they do, it may be easy to think that they are beneficial, but the problem is that many of these ingredients either have not been studied intensely for their long-term effects on the human body or they have been studied and have been found to be harmful.

First, citric acid has been a common additive about which there has been much discussion. The fact that what is used as a food additive is not actually derived from citrus foods, but is instead derived from a type of mold known as Aspergillus Niger concerns many because of the dangers that mold can present to the body.

It is more economical to produce citric acid in this way, but unfortunately, it could mean contamination with mold spores which can negatively impact one’s health.

This study concluded that specific amounts of citric acid can have damaging effects on the organs and should be controlled for optimal health.

Corn syrup and sugar have been established as additives that should be consumed minimally, if ever. The effects of sweeteners on the body can have both short- and long-term consequences, and these consequences are compounded due to many processed foods, apart from deli meats, being sweetened with one, the other or both.

Sodium nitrates and nitrites are also frequently discussed when it comes to additives to avoid. These particular additives are not necessarily dangerous on their own, but they become a concern once ingested if and when they combine with dietary amines to produce what is called nitrosamines.

Nitrosamines have been shown to be carcinogenic. While there is a level of nitrates and nitrites that is deemed “safe” (since it is also naturally-occurring), the problem comes when one consumes large amounts of nitrates and/or nitrites that may be added to foods during processing.

Other Dangers

In addition to the ingredients that are questionable, one specific disease tends to be more prevalent amongst deli meats.

Listeria monocytogenes is the most common disease found in packaged deli meats.

Even with the preservatives that are added in order to prevent the growth and spread of Listeria, deli meats are a notorious carrier of this harmful disease. Listeria can cause headaches, muscle aches, confusion, convulsions, loss of balance and fever, but it is most dangerous for pregnant women.

A pregnant woman who contracts Listeria may not have any symptoms or may only exhibit flu-like symptoms, but the danger is to the fetus.

Listeria can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or infection in the newborn. It is for this reason that pregnant women are advised to eliminate deli meats while pregnant.

The process for making deli meats should also be considered. The more processed a meat is and the more machines it has to be fed through, the greater the risk of contamination with other products in the processing plant as well as increased risk for bacterial contamination. If the equipment being used is not cleaned correctly or regularly, this can

What are the alternatives and best options?

First, choose organic meats. This is one of the simpler routes to take since there are stricter guidelines for processing organic meats.

Keep in mind, however, that the more processed a food is, the more opportunity there is for contamination. If you buy organic meats, be sure to use them within a few days of purchase and to store the meat at the appropriate temperature in order to reduce the risk of bacterial growth.

Second, try to buy meat that is processed as little as possible. If you can buy from local, organic farmers who provide whole-cut pieces of meat, that would be the best option. Then you can cut your own meat into the thickness of your preference and store appropriately (use or freeze within a few days.

If you find yourself preferring to buy deli meats that are already packaged, look for organic meats without salt and nitrates/nitrites. Be sure to read the ingredient lists, and if you do not recognize an ingredient, look it up before purchasing! This is the best way to prevent buying meats that seem like healthier options but may have hidden and harmful ingredients.

 

Speaking of brands that claim to be “healthy”…

Some have wondered about certain brands that are more expensive and make claims to be healthier than the other deli meats on the shelf. Are they actually healthier? What are the ingredients? How are they processed?

Boar’s Head

This is one of the most popular brands that is quickly considered healthier than the rest.

On some of their signs, they claim “No Fillers, No By-products, No Artificial Colors or Flavors, No Trans Fat, No Gluten”, but what do these claims really mean?

On the surface, they seem like great claims, but when you examine each statement, you find that they are somewhat deceptive.

No Fillers—the meats do not contain the cheap substances that are used in other processed meats to hold the meats together (i.e. carrageenan, soy concentrate, starches, etc.).

No By-products”—their meats do not contain unusual (to the Western diet) animal parts like the lips, tripe, stomachs and hearts. This is great, except that several other well-known brands also make these claims.

No Artificial Colors — these colors include the FD&C certified colors like Blue #1, Blue #2, Green #3, Red #3, Red #40, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6. This is a moot point, however, since no other deli meats contain these colors either. Because caramel color is not included as an “artificial color”, it can still be used even with this claim, so be sure to look at the ingredients for this.

No Artificial Flavors—again, this is a misleading claim because while no “artificial” flavors may be used, “natural” flavors can be used which are very similar to artificial flavors…they are not truly natural.

No Trans Fat—this statement references the use of partially hydrogenated oils and are not typically used in the processing of deli meats; note that trans fats also naturally occur in some foods like meat, so claiming to have NO trans fats may not be entirely accurate depending on the type of Boar’s Head meat you buy.

No Gluten—meat does not naturally contain gluten so making this claim is only useful for recognizing that the factory in which the meat was processed did not also process other products that would contain gluten. In other words, there was no possibility for cross-contamination.

 

If you contact your local grocery store that sells Boar’s Head products and ask for an ingredient list, you will find that the ingredients are not much different from many of the other store-bought brands. Be sure to do your research if you want to obtain the healthiest meats!

Louis Rich turkey variety pack

Another brand that many turn to is Louis Rich. Specifically, the turkey variety pack (smoked white turkey, smoked turkey ham, turkey bologna and turkey cotto salami) has some interesting (read “questionable”) ingredients.

These include modified corn starch, sugar, sodium phosphates, sodium nitrite, “flavor” (what is that?!), corn syrup and dextrose. The problems with many of these has already been discussed so let’s just say that this variety pack should not be given a second thought if you are interested in finding healthy deli meats.

Some deli meat brands that have been shown to contain better ingredients include Applegate Farms, Organic Praire, Nuna Naturals and Kol Foods Oven Roasted Turkey and Simple Truth meats.

No matter what, make sure you READ THE INGREDIENT LIST before choosing!

In fact, there are more than thousands of toxic chemicals in many of the food and products you eat or use every day and they can increase your cancer risk dramatically.

Go to the next page and & learn how you can protect your body from cancer –

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About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice. Learn how you can lose weight fast – How to lose weight by adding these alkaline foods.

What deli meats do you eat? Have you checked the ingredients before buying them? Comment below on the product and brand so all of us can take note of it.

Please share with your friends this article on deli meats and warn them about the toxins in the meats – Use any of the social media and email buttons on the left of our website.

Why Is Diet Soda So Bad For You?

June 12, 2017 by admin in Health News with 4 Comments

For years, people who love soda but want to watch their caloric intake have opted for low- or no-calorie sodas that have been marketed as a healthier alternative simply because they have fewer calories.

While it is true that calories do “count”, the quality of your calories matters more. It is no secret that soda, no matter what kind, is detrimental to one’s health, but diet sodas may actually be causing even more harm than you might think or want to believe.

Diet Soda Ingredients

Based on multiple epidemiologic studies, diet sodas have been linked to obesity, weight gain, heart disease, metabolic disease and neurological issues. They have even been shown to alter the way the brain processes the “sweet” taste.

Most diet sodas have many similar ingredients in their products including carbonated water, caramel color, non-nutritive or artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucrose, etc.), natural flavors, potassium benzoate, potassium citrate, phosphoric acid, citric acid and caffeine.

There are many other ingredients that may be used depending on the brand and specific product, but let’s take a look at some of these common ingredients and their impact on the body.

Here is a comparison of how one of the most popular soda companies describes each of these ingredients with the actual health damaging effects these ingredients have been known to have:

1. Carbonated water

“Carbonated water, also known as soda water, sparkling water, or seltzer, is water with carbon dioxide bubbles added to provide fizz and refreshment.”

Carbonated water, the base of almost all sodas, has not been shown in studies to be detrimental to health by itself. There is not enough research that has been done on the carbonation alone to determine any significant negative health effects, but it has been shown that the combination of carbonation and sugar can have serious impacts on your dental health.

As the base of diet sodas, this does not seem to be the ingredient that poses the greatest health risk, but read on, and you will see that this is the only ingredient that has any positive merits.

2. Caramel Color

“Caramel color is made by a process involving the heating of corn or cane sugar and other carbohydrates to achieve the desired color.

Caramel coloring in beverages has been evaluated for safety by agencies like the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives of the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.”

This coloring, in varying amounts, accounts for over 80% of all colorants added to our foods and drinks.

Caramel color is an ingredient that is not listed as an “artificial color” according to the FDA, but it has been shown to cause health problems.

During the manufacturing process of caramel color, a potential carcinogen known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) is formed.

Every time caramel coloring is consumed, this carcinogen can enter the body, and because it is not considered artificial, it can still be in food and drinks that are labeled with “no artificial colors”, thereby increasing the possibility of consumption.

One study published in Toxicology Letters in 2016 found that caramel color cannot be considered as a safe additive when considering certain ways that it impacts the body.

With this additive being found in so many foods and drinks simply for the purpose of obtaining a desired color, it is important to pay attention to how much is being consumed in your daily diet. One way to eliminate this potentially harmful additive is to eliminate sodas from the diet.

3. Non-nutritive sweeteners

Non-nutritive sweeteners are any sweeteners used in place of sugar or honey to create a sweet taste in a food or drink yet provide no nutritional value. In diet sodas, these include aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin and acesulfame potassium.

Some of these have been studied extensively and found to have legitimate health impacts while others have been touted as a “healthy” alternative to sugar without any real evidence to support those claims.

In general, non-nutritive sweeteners have been shown in several large-scale epidemiologic studies to have similar effects as sugar—weight gain, metabolic syndrome, central adiposity and cardiovascular disease.

Aspartame is made of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. For those with phenylketonuria, phenylalanine cannot be digested properly so there is a clear warning for those with this condition to avoid aspartame.

Consuming large amounts of phenylalanine can also cause phenylketonuria because of the way it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Aspartic acid is an excitotoxin that can lead to free radical damage in the brain.

Studies have been performed that have called for a re-examination of this artificial sweetener as “safe” based on proven carcinogenicity in animal studies.

Pregnant women and children are especially encouraged to avoid aspartame as they may be more vulnerable to its effects.

One study revealed that those who consumed a high-aspartame diet showed increased irritability, depression and performed more poorly on spatial orientation tests. This shows the impact aspartame may have on the neurological system.

Sucralose, commonly known as Splenda, has been promoted as a better alternative to aspartame as a non-nutritive sweetener since it is derived from sugar.

According to scientific studies, this does not actually seem to be the case. The danger with the mentality that sucralose is safer is that, when it is promoted as a weight-loss agent, many people still believe they can consume both sucralose and a sweet treat because they are consuming “less sugar”.

There is a seeming justification for eating both a sugar-sweetened treat and a sugar-free drink, usually together.

One study found that this combination is actually harmful to the body because sucralose can actually affect the glycemic response by affecting the body’s ability to absorb and/or dispose of glucose.

Saccharin is an artificial sweetener that has also been claimed to be safe for consumption, but looking at research studies will reveal a different story.

One animal study found that all non-nutritive sweeteners that were studied (aspartame, saccharin and sucralose) resulted in glucose intolerance after only 11 weeks of consumption with saccharin having the most significant impact. Glucose intolerance resulted from a direct alteration to the body’s gut microbiota.

4. Natural Flavors

According to the same popular soda brand’s website mentioned earlier, “natural flavors may come from the essential oils or extracts of spices, fruits, vegetables, herbs, roots and barks”.

Basically, you don’t know what these ingredients are.

Even though natural flavors are derived from a natural product, the actual product being consumed has been chemically altered far beyond its natural state.

By the time the natural flavor grouping is consumed, it will likely have been altered to actually contain artificial and synthetic ingredients.

Depending on what the specific combination of ingredients is, there could be a variety of health issues that result.

 

5. Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric acid is described as an acid used to add tartness to a beverage. Interestingly, the justification on the popular soda brand’s website is that “phosphoric acid contains phosphorus, one of the basic elements of nature and an essential nutrient.

Phosphorus is a major component of bones.”

They make it sound like you are actually benefiting from drinking phosphoric acid because phosphorus is natural. Don’t be fooled!

Phosphorus and phosphoric acid are two entirely different compounds!

Phosphoric acid has been shown to reduce bone mineral density as well as wither both skin and muscles and cause kidney and heart damage.

It has also been shown to affect the urinary tract and lead to kidney stones and disease.

 

What happens to your body in one hour after drinking diet soda?

It does not take repeatedly drinking diet soda for a long period of time to begin to experience detrimental health effects. Here is what happens within one hour of drinking a diet soda:

  • 10 minutes: phosphoric acid attacks and erodes the enamel in your teeth; gut microbiota begins to be affected by artificial sweeteners
  • 20 minutes: your body is sent into fat-storing mode by triggering the release of insulin after tricking your body into tasting a “sweet” taste
  • 40 minutes: a short, addictive high (similar to the way cocaine works) occurs from the combination of caffeine and aspartame; the brain’s neuroreceptors are overstimulated and excitotoxins are released
  • 60 minutes: the body begins to crave more diet coke

Diet drinks, specifically artificial sweeteners, reduce the body’s ability to produce leptin. Leptin is a hormone that makes one feel full, so when this hormone is not released like it would be after the consumption of other foods or drinks, the body believes it is still hungry and causes the desire for more food or drink.

This is one reason many people who drink diet sodas will not lose weight—they actually feel hungrier and will reach for another snack or drink in an attempt to satisfy that hunger.

 

Are there any safe alternatives?

Obviously, it is ideal to completely eliminate diet (and regular) sodas from one’s beverage choices as there is no nutritional benefit to the body, and they can clearly cause damage. If you enjoy a flavored beverage, there are some nutritionally beneficial, tasty alternatives.

Mineral water can be a great choice as it can be flavored with citrus, other fruits or honey and will keep you hydrated.

Green tea gives a boost of caffeine without causing jitters and can have positive effects on the brain and nervous system. One favorite naturally fizzy drink is kombucha. This drink is rich in probiotics and will satisfy cravings for a fizzy drink.

While it may be difficult to break the habit of drinking diet sodas on a regular basis, it is absolutely possible, especially if you take preemptive steps and load up your kitchen with other healthy, flavorful drink choices.

When you eliminate diet sodas, your body will almost immediately begin to recover from the negative impacts that have occurred, and that is worth a short amount of discomfort to break a harmful habit!

 

But do watch out for similar ingredients in other food products. These ingredients can seriously damage your gut and it is best to avoid at all cost.

If you have a weak digestive system, and suffering from digestive issues, go to the next page and learn more about the 3 tips to reverse these digestive-related issues –

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About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice. Learn how you can lose weight fast – How to lose weight by adding these alkaline foods.

When did you last drink diet soda? Would you still drink it?

Please share with your friends this cancer article using any of the social media and email buttons on the left of our website.

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