Nutrition: More Reasons to Avoid Sucralose

According to all the commercials and advertisements for sucralose (Splenda), which is not only an artificial sweetener you can buy to put in your beverages and use in baking, but one that is now an ingredient in many “diet” foods, it is totally safe and just passes through your body, unmetabolized. So it has absolutely no effect on your health or your body. But is that really true? When it was first introduced, the FDA supposedly reviewed over 100 animal and human safety studies, but of these studies, only six were done on humans, and the longest one lasted just four days. So long term safety was never studied.

As is the case with many of these “wonder foods,” questions have arisen as to safety. Most concerning is recent research that reveals that not only is sucralose metabolized by your body, but it also accumulates in your fat cells. As if that wasn’t alarming enough, it has also been found to reduce beneficial gut bacteria by 50% and increase intestinal pH levels.

This should concern us because for those who do use these little yellow packets, you are destroying your microbiome – the good bacteria in your gut – which not only impact digestion but are critical in immune and brain health as well.

If that wasn’t enough, studies have also linked intake of sucralose to an up to 40% decrease in thymus gland size (a gland associated with immune function), liver and kidney enlargement, migraines and DNA damage.

The bottom line is that this is not safe for human consumption. So if this is a regular sweetener for you, perhaps you should consider replacing it with a safer option. I wrote about sucralose and other artificial sweeteners and some healthier options in a previous No-Nonsense Nutrition Report.

What sweeteners do you routinely use?

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Posted in Brain health, Diabetes, Digestive Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Nutrition: What’s the Connection between Chicken and UTIs

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For most people urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common and minor annoyance. However, when UTIs involve the kidneys or blood, they can be life-threatening. More than 80% of UTIs are caused by E. coli. One specific type this bacteria, E. coli ST131, was found to be able to travel from the bladder to the blood resulting in thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year.

Recent research suggests that there are multiple strains of E. coli ST131 and that one strain in particular may be passed to people via contaminated poultry meat.  In a one-year longitudinal study retail chicken, turkey and pork purchased from every major grocery chain in Flagstaff, Arizona were analyzed. During that time, the team also collected and analyzed urine and blood isolates taken from patients seen at Flagstaff Medical Center.

Research found E. coli in nearly 80% of the 2,452 meat samples and in 72% of the positive urine and blood cultures from patients in the study. Their research further discovered that that almost all of the E. coli ST131 on the poultry products belonged to a particular strain called ST131-H22 and carried genes that helps E. coli thrive in birds. This same poultry-adapted strain was also found to be causing UTIs in people.

Poultry products are not routinely tested for the kind of E. coli strains that can cause UTIs. These findings underscore the importance of choosing organic, free range poultry, cooking it thoroughly and handling it carefully in the kitchen. As far as preventing E. coli in chicken coops, we need a better system developed to raise chickens so they are not raised in crowded conditions and prone to diseases like E. coli.

The healthier the living conditions for your food, the healthier the food will be for you! It always seems to come down to the quality of your food, doesn’t it?

If you suffer with frequent UTIs do you think there could be a connection here?

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Posted in Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

Well here we are again getting ready to celebrate another Thanksgiving. I simply want to wish you and your family a truly blessed Thanksgiving overflowing with the goodness of God.

Thank you for taking time each week to read my posts and share your thoughts. I am truly thankful for each and every one of you.

 

No matter what life looks like for you at this moment, just know that “this too shall pass.” I’ve had some pretty difficult years and some pretty wonderful ones. The one common factor is neither lasts forever.

So my message this week is simple – choose to be intentionally grateful for each day regardless of the “gifts” it holds and how they may look, trusting God can bring good from it.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Overall Health and Wholeness, Soul Health, Spiritual Health | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Health: Butt Brain Connection

Sitting has been called the “new smoking” meaning it is as detrimental to your health as smoking by increasing your risk for cardiovascular damage, obesity, certain types of cancer, and even early death.

Remember the old song called Dem Bones – you know it says the toe bone’s connected to the foot bone, the foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone’s connected to the leg bone – and on and on. What if I told you the butt is connected to the brain? Sounds crazy right? Maybe not.

A new study shows how your brain is affected by periods of extended physical inactivity (aka spending too much time sitting on your butt). In this study, the scientists used ultrasound probes on the brains of 15 healthy adults as they worked through three seated four-hour sessions. In the first session, study participants sat for the entire four hour period without getting up. In the second session, they stopped after two hours to take a leisurely eight-minute walk on a treadmill before returning to their desks for another two hours. In the third session, participants stood up every 30 minutes to walk on the treadmill for two minutes.

Those who didn’t get up at all in the four hours saw blood flow to their brains decrease. Participants who got up once after 2 hours had increased blood flow while they were up and moving, but after they sat again and resumed working for two more hours, they ended up with even lower blood flow than when they’d begun. Those with the frequent walking breaks in between saw their brains have increased blood flow by the end of the session than when they started.

Our human brain needs a constant supply of blood to function properly because blood is loaded with oxygen and other nutrients. Even short-term dips in cerebral blood flow can slow your thinking and impair memory.

You don’t need a gym session. Even just moving your legs periodically (aka fidgeting) may help. Intentionally stand up from your desk regularly or get a standing desk. Do a few squats or lunges on your bathroom breaks and set a timer and just get up and stretch.

Does it surprise you that inactivity affects your brain?

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Posted in Brain health, Fitness, Intentional Exertion/Exercise | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Health: Is Anxiety Inherited

We inherit many traits from our parents. You may have your parents’ eyes or build or tendency to carry weight in your hips or belly. You can have a genetic propensity toward developing certain diseases, although that’s not set in stone. We now know that our lifestyle and habits can turn certain genetic switches on or off.

You may well have “inherited” your mother or dad’s propensity to be a worrier, although I believe that is not so much inherited or genetic as it is just learned behavior.

Well today anxiety disorders have become the most common mental illness in our nation. We all seem to live busy, stressed out lives in this 21st century. So you may be thinking – well, of course we are all anxious. There can be numerous underlying contributors besides stress including diet, exposure to toxins and artificial additives, dyes, artificial sweeteners, GMOs, exposure to EMFs, nutrient deficiencies including magnesium, vitamins D and B, Omega 3s and even breathing incorrectly!

What I found very interesting was that this predisposition to anxiety, particularly in high risk children, can be passed from parents to children. Researchers have discovered an inherited brain pathway that increases the risk of anxiety in monkeys. If this research translates to humans, it could have huge implications for treating overwhelming anxiety.

While this research is ongoing and not conclusive yet, extreme early-life anxiety is one of the biggest risk factors for anxiety disorders and depression. Most current treatments address symptoms (a factor in the opioid epidemic) rather than the underlying problem. The more we can learn about the how anxiety disorders develop, the more likely it is that future treatments will be successful in preventing the disorder from developing.

Do you believe you may have inherited a predisposition to anxiety from your parents?

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Posted in Brain health, Children's Health, Emotional Health, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Exercise for Better Gut Health

It isn’t difficult to understand why what we eat affects our gut health. Nutrition is basic and including naturally cultured and fermented foods that provide probiotics is definitely helpful. But how can exercise improve gut health?

A study, just published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, showed that those study participants with the best cardiovascular fitness had a higher firmicutes-to-bacteroids presence in the gut. Researchers now believe that the ratio of these bacteria within the human gut might moderate whether we are obese or lean.

So what does that mean for you? Well first of all firmicutes are associated with the metabolic process that helps prevent bacteria in the gut from leaking into the body. You may be familiar with leaky gut syndrome, when undigested food and allergens get through the digestive tract into the bloodstream which causes inflammation throughout the body. Firmicutes help strengthen the intestinal lining preventing leaky gut syndrome.

This should be important news for you because leaky gut syndrome is considered a “danger signal for autoimmune disease.” Leaky Gut or intestinal permeability is a chronic condition for many people which is linked to numerous symptoms and health conditions including ulcers, IBS, SIBO, Celiac, allergies, arthritis, lupus, MS, Hashimoto’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid disorders and others.

While this research is only in its beginning stages, it is exciting to learn that exercise and staying physically fit can also benefit gut health, which is linked to overall health and well-being.

Does this encourage you to make exercise a regular, daily activity?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Digestive Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fitness: 10 Minutes versus 10,000 steps

I don’t know about you but I like to get the most bang for my buck. That’s why I really like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). You can get as much, or more, benefit in just 20 minutes than you would if you spent an hour or more at the gym doing long, slower cardio exercise. It’s more efficient and effective. I love saving time.

So we’ve all heard and been told we need to log at least 10,000 steps daily for basic fitness. But recent research and studies conclude that regular, brisk walking in 10 minute increments (which is the equivalent of about 1,000 steps) improves fitness just as well and can cut risk of early death by 15%.

The two operative words here are “regular” and “brisk.” I wrote not long ago about the benefits of picking up the pace when you walk. So now if you just combine those two things – walk briskly for 10 minute intervals and you have a pretty fast and easy way to improve fitness and health!

Do you still try to log 10,000 steps a day? What do you think about 10-minute walking intervals?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Fitness, Intentional Exertion/Exercise, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment