Archive for glycemic load

Mar
02

Artificial Sweeteners: Safe? Effective?

Posted by: Bruce Bair | Comments Comments Off

What is the purpose of an artificial sweetener?

It is to replace sugar in processed food to lower the calories and keep the person consuming that food from getting fat or “fatter”.  Is there any evidence that they do the job? I agree with the principle of lessening the stimulation of insulin by lowering the dietary intake of high Glycemic Load Carbohydrates.

How about this quote from Professor David Benton found on Medical News Today:

Professor Benton concluded that at present the scientific evidence suggests there is a lack of convincing evidence to draw firm conclusions on the role of artificial sweeteners on long-term energy intake and body weight regulation. Current evidence suggests that, although artificial sweeteners may be helpful in the short-term, there is little long-term benefit in people of normal, body weight.

Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe?

What about the safety issue?  Are they safe to use on a daily basis for long periods? An author I read, Mark Sission, of “Mark’s Daily Apple” wrote a post entitled “The Not So Definitive Guide to Diet Soda“. If you don’t want to read it, Mark concludes that a healthy diet is an 80/20 proposition. He recommends saving your 20% for things more satisfying and fun than artificial sweeteners.The article is comprehensive and I recommend it.

Here is my advice. It is second hand. The person I heard say it first is Jack LaLanne. His advice passed from me to you is this:

“If man touches it, don’t eat it.”

Nutritional Legal Terms

For money, business men can make things very cloudy. Most food labels on processed food are legal not nutritional terms. Whole Wheat stands for the least amount of real “whole wheat” that can be added to a processed grain product and still call it whole wheat.Whether there is good evidence that artificial sweeteners are harmful or not does not matter. They do not work as intended. People who use them regularly are usually over weight and their use does not make them slimmer or prevent the health problems that accompany obesity.

My advice, avoid them. Make them something you only ingest occasionally if at all. If you are going to put fuel in your tank, make it high test. The very best. You don’t need a lot, just enough and artificial sweeteners can not help you become healthier.

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When you want to be healthier and you are evaluating your health; consider these questions:

1. What is Insulin?

2. What are the “jobs” of Insulin?

3. How can I make my insulin more effective?

4. What am I possibly doing to make the effect of Insulin harmful to me?

The PDF from which these videos were made is available to download at the end of this post.

There were some vocabulary words used in the attached PDF and videos you may want to know more about.

ApoB

Glycemic Index

Glycemic Load

Ketones

Magnesium

Insulin

Adrenaline

Cortisol – best definition is near bottom of page

If you would like to learn more or get some personalized information use our contact page to send us a message.

Please remember, we are not your medical providers.  If you are going to make changes to effect your health, be sure to check with your doctor first.  It is a very good idea to have a relationship with a health care provider you trust who can advise you.  We provide information only. Discuss this information with your health care provider.

The Insulin Story

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If insulin is my problem, why did it wait until menopause to causeDistress on Scale

me trouble?

Excess insulin is a problem throughout life but we are protected by a larger muscle mass when we are younger and by increased activity.  We also had better things to do than late night snacks.  That muscle mass protected you until your thirties.  Then you began to lose about 1% of your red muscle mass per year.  A very slow decline but 15-20% of the muscle you started with disappears by age 50-55.  Now your arm may be the same size or a little bigger but the percentage of muscle to fat has decreased unless you have been very disciplined about your diet and exercise routine.  A few people have strong established habits that keep them fit and maintain their muscle mass and thus a smaller more compact size and stronger bones.

What can I do about insulin now?

Insulin is your friend when it isn’t over stimulated.  It responds to glucose in the blood.  Any food you eat that raises glucose rapidly will cause an associated spike in insulin.  Regular consumption of food that delivers a rapid blood glucose elevation is going to cause you more rapid weight gain.  To keep this from happening, you need to eat foods that do not release their starches and/or sugars quickly or if they do, must not contain a large amount per serving.

Let me introduce you to two terms: 1) Glycemic index  and 2) Glycemic load

Glycemic index is the speed with which the sugars contained in a food are released into the bloodstream.  This release will stimulate insulin and the more sugars released the greater the insulin response.  Eating foods with a lower glycemic index will keep insulin levels low.

Glycemic load is the amount of sugar in a serving.  Most, but not all high glycemic index foods also have a high glycemic load.  A low glycemic index is between 1-55, medium is 56-69 and high is 70-100.  Glycemic load is low from 1-10, medium 11-19 and high from 20 on up.

Foods with a high index but low load would include Popcorn – load 8, index 72, Watermelon -  load 4, index 72

Foods with a low index and low load include Apples – load 4, index 38, Peanuts load 1, index 14, Strawberries or any berry is about the same – load 1, index40.

Corn flakes have a load of 21 and an index of 81!!!!  Get the idea! Most fresh fruits and many vegetables (not french fries) are low in load and index or have a low load even if the index is medium or above.

Check out this information from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

Don’t forget about stress!

There was the issue of the stress response raised in my first article.  Cortisol raises blood glucose levels and stimulates an insulin response.  This creates all kinds of havoc.  You can have low blood sugar in your sleep, you might wake up sweating and shaking and think it was a bad hot flash or flush when really glucose spiked from stress and maybe some high glycemic index bedtime snacks (ice cream or milk and cookies). Then insulin followed and lowered your glucose levels fast – too fast – the glucose bottoms out. Guess what?  Now you have a real emergency!  More adrenaline and more cortisol and puff – you are awake, shaky and slightly sweaty.  You feel a need to pee and while you are up, maybe a drink of water that leads to a few bites of this or that left over etc…  Too many total calories will make you gain weight too.

Just 100 calories per day too many will eventually lead to one extra pound of fat in 35 or so days.  Just 10 extra calories a day is a pound plus per year. 15-20 pounds by age 50-55 and a lot less muscle.  Don’t think you can just walk off those pounds, you have to cut your calories to what you need for your ideal weight and activity level.  Then, activity will make a difference – with an appropriate diet.  It is fairly simple, but not easy.  There are many interested parties that want you to eat more of what they are selling.  Tell them they are evil and they will tell you that you are irresponsible.  You’ve got to guard what enters that brain of yours through your eyes and ears.

Need some help?  Confused?  Think I am exaggerating all this?  Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.  If enough of you want to, I will get my partner, Bruce who is a physician assistant and life coach and the webmaster here, to set us up a live teleseminar.  Then all of you, he and I can get together on line, privately and discuss all of this. Let me know how I can help you.      
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