Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah

Tag Archives: artificial sweeteners

8 Ingredients to Avoid at all Costs

8ADDITIVES

Take a buyer’s beware approach of the damaging additives, GMOs and synthetic chemicals in the foods before you buy and eat them. Become an avid label reader and familiarize yourself with the following common and harmful ingredients.

Become familiar with misleading marketing claims. Items labeled as “all-natural, organic, sugar-free or gluten-free” are not necessarily healthy.

1. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the number one source of calories for most Americans. Estimates are that Americans consume 70 pounds of corn sweeteners annually, which is the equivalent of 30 teaspoons of HFCS every day! Aside from weight gain, HFCS has been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), diabetes, inflammation and several other diseases. Products with HFCS also contain high levels of mercury. You’ll find HFCS in processed, packaged and fast foods, fruit drinks, sodas, syrupy coffee drinks, chewing gum, baked goods, and in hundreds of other processed, packaged food items.

2. Partially hydrogenated oil (trans fats) found in thousands of packaged and processed foods (breakfast cereals, cookies, chips, crackers) are proven to cause heart disease and obesity. Restaurant food, especially from fast food chains often serve food loaded with trans fats. Consequences of a diet high in trans fats include decreased IQ, increased inflammation, immune dysfunction, neurological damage, obesity, cancer and diabetes. In addition, avoid vegetable oils and other frankenfats such as margarine and fake butter products, canola and soybean oil.

3. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a chemical food additive associated with seizures, rashes and hives, infertility, depression and panic attacks, migraines, permanent damage to the endocrine system, linked to obesity and other serious disorders.

Especially harmful to developing fetuses, children and the elderly, MSG is an excitotoxin, overexciting brain cells to the point of death. MSG is found in frozen meals, ramen noodles, soups, chips and numerous packaged foods. MSG is used as a taste enhancer and has over 50 different names that are used to disguise it on food labels.

4. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine altering brain, behavior and psychological function. Consuming sugar (grains, wheat, candy, juice, cereals, soda, bagels and more) promotes inflammation and oxidation, triggers cravings and increases appetite, increases risk of depression, diabesity and other diseases, is a fuel source for yeast and parasites, causes magnesium, vitamin B and other nutrient deficiencies, accelerates aging and the production of free radicals, which cause collagen to breakdown creating wrinkles.

Avoid all items that end with –ose (a sugar), evaporated cane juice, barley malt, brown rice syrup and hidden sources of sugar found in processed, packaged and fast foods and beverages.

5. Sodium chloride (commercial table salt) found in microwave dinner, take-out items and processed foods is highly processed containing aluminum, chemicals and additives that are toxic and cause neurological disorders, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders. Opt for a healthier version: unprocessed sea salt.

6. Artificial sweeteners (Aspartame, Splenda, Equal, Sweet ‘N Low, Sucralose, Saccharine, TruVia, Acesulfame-K). This includes the little blue, yellow & pink packets too!

Splenda consists of sucralose, which contains chlorine, originally a pesticide and fillers maltodextrin and glucose. It’s about 600x sweeter than sugar. Splenda is toxic to the brain and thymus, causes GI distress, weight gain, thyroid dysfunction, alters gut microflora, and destroys beneficial bacteria in your gut. Splenda affects expression of certain enzymes known to interfere with nutrient absorption and medications.

Aspartame is an excitotoxin and neurotoxin that comes with a laundry list of side effects.

Aspartame and artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite, intensifies carbohydrate and sugar cravings, cause bloating, digestive and liver dysfunction, migraines, weight gain, microbiome problems, increased risk of depression, bone loss, stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, ADHD, brain seizures and tumors, rashes, hives, and cancer.

You’ll find artificial sweeteners in thousands of items including desserts, gelatins, low calorie foods, kool-aid fruit drinks, breath mints, sugar-free gum, energy and sports drinks, wine coolers, flavored bottled waters, cereals, cold remedies, medications, some vitamins and protein powders and of course, diet sodas.

Healthier sweeteners: SweetLeaf stevia, coconut nectar, raw organic honey

7. Sodium nitrate is a preservative, coloring, and flavoring commonly added to bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, smoked fish and corned beef. Studies have linked it to various types of cancer.

8. Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from a process in a lab where genes are taken from one species and inserted into another in an attempt to obtain a desired characteristic or trait. Often referred to as Frankenfoods, GMOs alter and disrupt DNA. Children, newborns and pregnant women face the greatest potential hazards from GM food.
– See more at: http://www.celestialhealing.net/monsanto/intromonsanto.htm

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The 10 Most Misleading Food Labels

0ghhBy Healthy Living

1. All Natural 
In theory, the term “all natural” should convey a glowing halo of wholesome goodness, with quality ingredients sourced straight from Mother Nature. In some cases, yes, this absolutely applies (like when we’re talking about asparagus or apples). But far too often, “natural” has less than zero meaning, and the number of lawsuits against food companies proves it. The FDA has yet to define “all natural,” so companies can slap it on anything from potato chips to corn oil, even if preservatives or genetically modified ingredients were used. When in doubt, double check ingredient lists and lean toward using whole ingredients you recognize…like asparagus and apples, no labels necessary.

2. Zero Trans Fats 
You’d think zero means nothing, nil, nada, right? Think again. There’s a lovely sneaky clause that allows food companies to weasel in up to 0.5 grams of trans fat, and still market it as containing “zero” trans fats. May not sound like a lot, but serving after serving adds up. And when trans fats are clear culprits in raising “bad” cholesterol and lowering “good” cholesterol, that’s a definite problem. So re-read that nutrition label and make sure that “0” really is listed in the trans-fat line, and watch out for red flag words like “hydrogenated” in ingredient lists.

3. Sugar-Free & No Sugar Added 
Knocking sugar out of our diets is something most of us have attempted at one point or another. And yes, it’s a good idea to keep added sugar to a minimum and look to nature-made sources of sweetness. Too bad products claiming they’re sugar-free or have “no sugar added” are generally loaded with non-natural artificial sweeteners or man-made (manipulated) sugar alcohols, which can wreak havoc on a sensitive digestive system. The word “artificial” says it all. Choose the real deal when it comes to sugar or sweeteners (or treats that include them) like honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, and fresh fruit juices and purees…and keep their amounts on the lighter side.

4. High-Protein
Myth: Bulking up on protein will help you get into buff shape and melt away excess fat. Fact: Too much of anything, even if it’s healthy, isn’t always good. Too many calories overall, and you can kiss that buff shape goodbye; too much protein, and your kidneys can go into overdrive. When it comes to food products touting “high-protein,” the source of protein is often from a manipulated, processed form of an ingredient, like soy protein isolate. Most of us get more than enough protein in our diets, so stick with simple sources like fish, eggs, nuts, organic tofu, beans, and quinoa.

5. High-Fiber 
Somewhat like “high-protein,” high-fiber products are often boosted with doses of processed forms of fiber. Added “functional” fibers like chicory root fiber, polydextrose, and oat fiber don’t necessarily have the same impact as naturally occurring fiber in foods, and may cause bloating and gas. Look to fruit, vegetables, seeds, beans, and whole grains for your fiber intake and you’ll hit your recommended 25-35 grams per day without thinking about it, and without the stomach upset.

6. Low-Carb
The fear and loathing of carbohydrates that has taken hold of health-minded individuals has allowed food companies to run rampant with new “low-carb” products like bagels, brownies, muffins, and more. Most of these items however, contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners and/or processed sources of fiber–which isn’t exactly health-minded. The thing with carbs isn’t to demonize them. It’s about eating them in smart quantities and from quality sources. You’ll fill up faster on less, and will be more satisfied and happier.

7. Gluten-Free
This might just be the “health claim” of the moment right now. Food items that are marketed as “gluten-free” are by law void of gluten or wheat, any ingredient that would potentially cause digestive harm to someone with Celiac disease or a severe wheat/gluten allergy. What these products aren’t free of, however, are calories, and they often contain quite a lot of them. If you don’t have a specific condition, like Celiac, going gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose weight. That said, lowering the amount of gluten or wheat you consume may increase your energy levels or help you feel better digestively, but keep an eye on how much gluten-free bread, cookies, cakes, and chips you eat. Just because they’re sans gluten, that doesn’t give you license to eat with abandon. Look for healthy carbohydrates that are naturally gluten-free, like rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, and quinoa.

8. Organic
Grabbing an “organic” item in the grocery store doesn’t mean you’ve hit a pot of calorie-free gold. Organic cheese puffs, ice cream, and chocolate-creme cookies do not a balanced diet make. Organic is defined as any item with at least 95 percent organic ingredients–no hormones, genetically modified ingredients, additives, antibiotics, or radiation. But aim to focus your “organic” attention on items that should appear in your diet frequently, like grains, fruits and vegetables, specifically those with permeable skins.

9. Fat-Free
“Free” isn’t always a bargain. Fat-free items are typically full of empty, unfulfilling calories and may leave you hungry. Surprising as it may be, we need fat (the healthy kind) in order to fill up. Fat-free products often leave eaters scrambling for other foods because they’re just not satisfied. Healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats and omega-6 and omega-3 fats help lower cholesterol and heart disease risk, and they delay signs of aging and mental decline, and help boost mood. Choose excellent sources like olive oil, nuts and nut butters, avocado, flaxseeds, and coconuts

10. Omega 3’s
By no means are we aiming to slam amazing-for-you heart-healthy omega-3 fats. What we are trying to call out are all the excessive claims on products with “added” omegas, from tortilla chips to eggs and yogurt. If it doesn’t come inherently from nature, it’s still unclear how our bodies will respond and metabolize it. And if you’ve got a tortilla chip rich in omega-3s thanks to whole flaxseeds, unfortunately, you’re not getting very far. Flaxseeds need to be ground in order to reap all the benefits. Look for naturally occurring omega-3 fat sources like avocado, ground flaxseed, walnuts and other nuts, and olive oil.

 

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The 6 Most Horrifying Lies The Food Industry is Feeding You

By: Pauli Poisuo from cracked.com

If there’s one thing in the world the food industry is dead set against, it’s allowing you to actually maintain some level of control over what you eat. See, they have this whole warehouse full of whatever they bought last week when they were drunk that they need to get rid of — and they will do so by feeding it all to you. And it doesn’t matter how many pesky “lists of ingredients” and consumer protections stand between you and them.

#6. The Secret Ingredient: Wood

You know what’s awesome? Newspaper. Or, to be precise, the lack thereof. The Internet and other electric media have all but eaten up classic print media, with the circulations of almost all papers on the wane. Say, do you ever wonder what they do with all that surplus wood pulp?

“But Cracked,” you inquire, “what does this have to do with food ingredients?”

And we look at you squarely in the eye, then slowly bring our gaze upon the half-eaten bagel in your hand.

Oh, shit …

The Horror:

What do they do with all the cellulose wood pulp? They hide it behind a bullshit name and make you eat it, that’s what.

And everybody’s doing it. Aunt Jemima’s pancake syrup? Cellulose. Pillsbury Pastry Puffs? Cellulose. Kraft Bagel-Fuls? Fast-food cheese? Sara Lee’s breakfast bowls? Cellulosecellulose, goddamn cellulose.

It turns out that cellulose can provide texture to processed foods, so food companies have taken to happily using it as a replacement for such unnecessary and inconveniently expensive ingredients as flour and oil. As the 30 percent cheaper cellulose is edible and non-poisonous, the FDA has no interest for restricting its use — or, for that matter, the maximum amount of it that food companies can use in a product. It is pretty much everywhere, and even organic foods are no salvation — after all, cellulose used to be wood and can therefore be called organic, at least to an extent.

But the worst thing about cellulose is not that it’s everywhere. The worst thing is that it is not food at all. Cellulose is, unlike the actual, normal food items you think you’re paying for, completely indigestible by human beings, and it has no nutritional value to speak of. If a product contains enough of it, you can literally get more nutrients from licking the sweet, sweet fingerprints off its wrapper.

#5. Zombie Orange Juice

Quick, name the most healthy drink your nearest store has to offer. You said orange juice, didn’t you? It’s what everybody makes you drink when you get sick. Hell, that shit must be like medicine or something. And the labels are always about health benefits — the cartons scream “100 percent natural!”, “Not from concentrate!” and “No added sugar!”

And why not believe them? When it comes to making the stuff, orange juice isn’t sausage. You take oranges, you squeeze oranges, you put the result in a carton, with or without pulp. End of story, beginning of deliciousness.

But what if we told you that “freshly squeezed” juice of yours can very well be a year old, and has been subjected to stuff that would make the Re-Animator puke?

The Horror:

Ever wonder why every carton of natural, healthy, 100 percent, not-from-concentrate orange juice manages to taste exactly the same, yet ever so slightly different depending on the brand, despite containing no additives or preservatives whatsoever?

The process indeed starts with the oranges being squeezed, but that’s the first and last normal step in the process. The juice is then immediately sealed in giant holding tanks and all the oxygen is removed. That allows the liquid to keep without spoiling for up to a year. That’s why they can distribute it year-round, even when oranges aren’t in season.


Thanks to science, we can enjoy screwdrivers from Christmas to the 4th of July.

There is just one downside to the process (from the manufacturers’ point of view, that is) — it removes all the taste from the liquid. So, now they’re stuck with vats of extremely vintage watery fruit muck that tastes of paper and little else. What’s a poor giant beverage company to do? Why, they re-flavor that shit with a carefully constructed mix of chemicals called a flavor pack, which are manufactured by the same fragrance companies that formulate CK One and other perfumes. Then they bottle the orange scented paper water and sell it to you.

And, thanks to a loophole in regulations, they often don’t even bother mentioning the flavor pack chemicals in the list of ingredients. Hear that low moan from the kitchen? That’s the Minute Maid you bought yesterday. It knows you know.

#4. Ammonia-Infused Hamburger

Any restaurant that serves hamburger goes out of its way to reassure you how pure and natural it is. Restaurant chains like McDonald’s (“All our burgers are made from 100 percent beef, supplied by farms accredited by nationally recognized farm assurance schemes”) and Taco Bell (“Like all U.S. beef, our 100 percent premium beef is USDA inspected, then passes our 20 quality checkpoints”) happily vouch for the authenticity of their animal bits. Their testaments to the healthiness and fullness of their meat read out like they were talking about freaking filet mignon.

And aside from the rare E.coli outbreak, the meat is clean. It’s how they get it clean that’s unsettling.

The Horror:

Ammonia. You know, the harsh chemical they use in fertilizers and oven cleaners? It kills E.coli really well. So, they invented a process where they pass the hamburger through a pipe where it is doused in ammonia gas. And you probably never heard about it, other than those times that batches of meat stink of ammonia so bad that the buyer returns it.


If your Big Mac ever tastes like pee, this is why.

The ammonia process is an invention of a single company called Beef Products Inc., which originally developed it as a way to use the absolute cheapest parts of the animal, instead of that silly “prime cuts” stuff the competitors were offering (and the restaurant chains swear we’re still getting). Consequently, Beef Products Inc. has pretty much cornered the burger patty market in the U.S. to the point that 70 percent of all burger patties out there are made by them. Thanks, ammonia!

#3. Fake Berries

Imagine a blueberry muffin.



Even with your freshly gained knowledge that there may or may not be some cellulose in the cake mix, it’s pretty impossible not to start salivating at the thought. This is largely because of the berries themselves. What’s better — they’re so very, very healthy that it’s almost wrong for them to taste so good.

Everything is better with blueberries — that’s why they put them in so many foods. Now that we think of it, there sure seems to be a lot of blueberries in a lot of products. You’d think we’d see more blueberry fields around …

The Horror:

… not that it would do any good, as the number of blueberries you’ve eaten within the last year that have actually come from such a field is likely pretty close to zero.

Studies of products that supposedly contain blueberries indicate that many of them didn’t originate in nature. All those dangly and chewy and juicy bits of berry are completely artificial, made with different combinations of corn syrup and a little chemist’s set worth of food colorings and other chemicals with a whole bunch of numbers and letters in their names.

They do a damn good job of faking it, too — you need a chemist’s set of your own to be able to call bullshit. You can sort of tell them from the ingredient lists, too, if you know what to look for, although the manufacturers tend to camouflage them under bullshit terms like “blueberry flakes” or “blueberry crunchlets.”


Nothing says “nature” like petrochemical-derived food coloring.

There are a number of major differences between the real thing and the Abomination Blueberry: The fake blueberries have the advantages of a longer shelf life and, of course, being cheaper to produce. But they have absolutely none of the health benefits and nutrients of the real thing. This, of course, doesn’t stop the manufacturers from riding the Blueberry Health Train all the way to the bank, sticking pictures of fresh berries and other bullshit cues all over the product packaging.

Now, here’s some good news: The law does require the manufacturers to put the whole artificial thing out there for the customers. The bad news, however, is that they have gotten around this, too. First up, the Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats way:

This is somewhat recognizable. They just stick a picture of the berries there, while not actually bothering to conceal the fact that the actual cereal looks like it’s made of cardboard and Smurf paste.

A bunch of  Betty Crocker products and Target muffins use the second route, which brings the cheat level even further by actually containing an unspecified amount of real berries. This way they can legally advertise natural flavors while substituting the vast majority of berries with the artificial ones.

Or, you can just take the “we don’t give a fuck anymore” route, as evidenced by General Mills’ Total Blueberry Pomegranate cereal. The whole selling point of the product is that it contains a bucketload of blueberries and pomegranates, and the package boasts all the buzzwords the marketing department has been able to dream up:



In reality, not only are the blueberries fake, but also they’ve forged the freaking pomegranates as well.

#2. “Free Range” Chickens That Are Crammed Into a Giant Room

Buying “free range” eggs is one of the easiest ways to feel good as a consumer — they are at least as readily available as “normal,” mass produced eggs from those horrible giant chicken prisons Big Egg maintains. Hell, they even cost pretty much the same. There’s literally no reason not to buy free range even though, now that we think about it, we’re not actually sure what that means. But the animals must live in pretty good conditions. In fact, let’s buy our meat and poultry free range, too!

Well, according to law, the definition of “free range” is that chickens raised for their meat “have access to the outside.” OK … so that’s not quite as free as we assumed, and it appears to only apply to chickens raised for their meat. But at least they still have some freedom, what with the outside and all that.

The Horror:

Words have power, and “free range” in its original sense means unfenced and unrestrained. That makes it a powerful phrase that, no matter how smart we are, conjures subconscious images of freedom hens, riding tiny little freedom horses out on the plains, wearing hen-sized cowboy hats and leaving a happy little trail of delicious freedom eggs in their wake. There may be mandolin music.

But the reality is there are absolutely no regulations whatsoever for the use of the term “free range” on anything other than chickens raised for their meat. Your Snickers bar could be free range for all the government cares.

The industry knows this full well and happily makes us lap up the free range myth, even though in reality a free range hen lives in pretty much the same prison as a battery cage hen — except its whole life takes place in the prison shower, rather than a cell.


Look, they’re free!

Awareness of the free range myth is slowly increasing, but although a manufacturer that has been pushing his luck a bit too much does get jailed every once in a while, that doesn’t do much to the overall phenomenon. In fact, Europe is set to ban egg production in cage systems come 2012. Guess what the replacement is going to be?

#1. BS Health Claims

Nuts that reduce risk of heart disease. Yogurts that improve digestion and keep you from getting sick. Baby food that saves your kid from atopic dermatitis, whatever the hell that may be. Products like that are everywhere these days, and we do have to admit it’s hard to see any drawbacks to them. We eat yogurt anyway, so why not make it good for our tummy while we’re at it?

It’s just that we can’t keep wondering where all these magic groceries suddenly appeared from. One day your peanuts were peanuts, and then, all of a sudden, it was all coronary disease this and reduce heart attack risks that. Maybe Food Science just had a really, really productive field day a while back?

Or, of course, it could be that we’re being fooled yet again.

The Horror:

The vast majority of product health claims use somewhat older technology than most of us realize: the ancient art of bullshitting. The “health effects” of wonder yogurts and most other products with supposed medical-level health benefits can be debunked completely, thoroughly and easily. So why are they able to keep marketing this stuff?

It all started in 2002, when many ordinary foods found themselves suddenly gaining surprising, hitherto unseen superpowers. This is when the FDA introduced us to a new category of pre-approved product claims. It was called “qualified health claims,” and it was basically just another list of marketing bullshit the company can use if their product meets certain qualifications. This was nothing new. What was new, however, was that the list said no consensus for the scientific evidence for the product’s health claims was needed.

“This brand treats syphilis and diabetes.”

Since “no consensus needed” is law-talk for “pay a dude in a lab coat enough to say your product is magic and we’ll take his word for it no matter what everyone else says,” companies immediately went apeshit. Suddenly, everyone had a respected scientist or six in their corner, and the papers they published enabled basically whatever they wanted to use in their marketing and packaging.

We’re not saying that none of the products boasting health properties work. There are plenty out there, but they’re kind of difficult to find under the constant stream of bullshit supplementary claims. Come on, food industry — just tell us the truth. Don’t you realize that we’ll just eat it anyway? Shit, people still buy cigarettes, don’t they?

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Delicious Drink Recipe – Homemade Ginger Ale

Light and sparkling, ginger ale has always been one of my favorite drinks. But drinking sugar-laden, chemically laced store bought soda is out of the question. This is the way Ginger Ale was made before it was commercialized and ruined. It was loaded with health benefits. The addition of real  vanilla in this recipe adds a wonderful depth of warmth to the spiciness of the ginger.

makes about 3 cups concentrate which should yield about 6 glasses of Ginger Ale

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
    4- to 5-inch piece of ginger
    1 teaspoon white Stevia powder  (liquid Stevia works just as well)
    1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
    a wedge of lime
    sparkling water (no artificial sweeteners)

Instructions

  1. Peel the ginger and cut it into slices.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the ginger and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid into a heatproof glass container and add the Stevia and vanilla. Stir to dissolve.
  4. Store in the refrigerator until cold. Serve over ice with an equal amount of sparkling water and a wedge of lime. (I have also used lemon when I didn’t have lime)

As most of you know the ginger in this recipe has anti- inflammatory properties as well as being chemo-protective.  This is a great alternative for those of you who don’t buy store bought soda drinks!

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