Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah

Tag Archives: 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 Cause, Prevention and Detoxing of Candida Yeast

By Tammy Handsheik

The incidence of people with bowel troubles is on the rise in the western world. Though the afflictions bear several names, it is my belief that all of them are fungus based. Various species of candida, most notably candida albicans, are at the root of these problems. How do they enter into your system? Well, for the most part they’re already there. Like all natural fungi they serve a useful purpose and candida are therefore a natural part of your intestinal flora. Problems arise when these yeast fungi lead to overgrowth as a result of three different triggers: sugary foods, drugs and stress. Compare that to the western lifestyle and you can see why so many people have bowel problems today. It’s a wonder some people don’t have yeast overgrowth!

Yeast bacteria can also enter your system by eating molded bread or being exposed to molds at home or elsewhere. As soon as the environment is favorable to these bacteria they will immediately increase their numbers and colonize their living environment, starting with the intestines and then moving on to other parts of the body by developing spores and traveling through the bloodstream. Antibiotics and other ‘medicines’ are the worst culprits. ‘Antibiotic’ means ‘anti-life’. Antibiotics are designed to kill any bacteria in their path and that includes friendly probiotic gut bacteria who, contrary to candida, are not resistant. Other promoters of yeast overgrowth include cortisone based hormonal drugs (including skin applications) and painkillers. Stress and sugary foods are also detrimental to probiotic gut bacteria.

This clears the path for yeast colonization. They seem to favor mucus membranes particularly and will damage them wherever they decide to settle. They can damage the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract by making it porous. As a result, food particles can enter the bloodstream undigested and cause toxic and allergic reactions. This is known as a “leaky gut”. Candida fungi can also slip through these pores and enter the bloodstream. By dwelling in various other parts of the body they can then cause allergic symptoms in the weirdest places. Hence fungal toenails, thrush, sinusitis, etc. They are very clever and adaptable and the more they spread and grow in number, the more they will inhibit the immune system; causing anything from chronic nose-colds, flus and hay fever to psoriasis, hypoglycemia, arthritis, diabetes and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, even depression. Candida thrive on sugary foods and by eating and drinking them people will actually feed the candida. People developing various allergic symptoms will rarely trace back these symptoms to their foods and lifestyle, however.

Fatal and Vital Foods For Dealing With Candida

Sugars

Bad foods can either cause a fungal problem or help exacerbate it, or both. Good foods, on the other hand, can help cure fungal overgrowth. So what’s good and what’s bad? Candida love a sweet environment. Thus all sugars are bad. Dietitians will often say only fast sugars are bad and slow sugars are good. Thus they will advise against white sugar and white flour and will advocate the use of raw cane sugar and whole-grain products. Sorry if you’re a sweet tooth and “carboholic”, but all sugars are out if you really want to starve candida.

This means you will have to wean yourself off:

    • sugar, refined or unrefined;
    • natural sweeteners, other than stevia
    • grains, refined or unrefined;
    • starchy foods;
    • sweet fruits;
    • pasteurized milk products;
    • alcohol;
    • coffee.

You will be amazed at how many products contain sugar and/or grains. In fact, you will find that many so-called “health products” are also loaded with sugars and grains. Life will become a little bit more difficult when shopping for food items and you will have to learn to read the list of ingredients instead of the nutritional information. Forget calories and, whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of buying anything that is labeled “diet” or “light”, particularly if these products contain artificial sweeteners such as the very dangerous neurotoxin and carcinogen aspartame and other related additives such as sucralose (Splenda), which are all made in a lab instead of a kitchen. These include flavor enhancers such as MSG (mono sodium glutamate) and other neurotoxins. The supermarket is not the best place to get food items, so this is a good reason to buy organic and to do it from local farms, if you care about avoiding food additives, pesticides and growth hormones.

Although honey and maple and agave syrup can and have been proven very beneficial to people’s health they are a definite no-no if you have candida. The same is true for pineapple, bananas, papaya and other sweet fruits – even caffeine and alcohol in small amounts. The point is not to feed the candida any sugars, period. The only exception is stevia, which is a plant that is 300 times sweeter than sugar, yet it is perfectly healthy for you. You can buy it as a tincture with alcohol (not recommended), diluted in water, or in its pure form as a powder. I recommend getting the latter but be very careful when using it as it is extremely sweet. You can get stevia on the web, just Google for it.

Starchy foods are not necessarily bad for you either. Jacket potatoes are better than peeled ones. That is because you are refining the potato by removing the fiber (peel), leaving only the sugar (starch). Sweet potatoes and yams are very good foods indeed, but not if you have candida. Once again, the idea is to starve candida by not giving them sugars.

Unpasteurized, raw milk products can be very beneficial to your guts and liver. It naturally contains all the probiotic bacteria present in yogurt. Why raw milk is banned and yogurt isn’t is beyond me. Think about it, dairy farmers are obliged to use pasteurized milk as a basis for yoghurt and then reintroduce the same bacteria they killed when they heated the milk to make the yogurt! Although commercially available yoghurt, including organic yoghurt, is all made from pasteurized milk it is still a product I highly recommend. The reintroduction of probiotic bacteria largely undoes the damage caused by pasteurization.

As you can see, the truth is sometimes somewhere in the middle. Simple sugars are bad, complex sugars are not. Milk lactose is one such complex sugar. The sugars in, for example, cabbage and green leafy vegetables are all complex sugars, or polysaccharides. They are complex because chemically they consist of a longer chain than simple sugars. Basically, the shorter the chain the faster the sugar and the worse they are for your health. Some natural foods contain very long-chain sugars. These foods, interestingly enough, taste bitter! A good example of this is mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake and maitake, all of which are non-destructive and healing fungi. Which brings me to the next subject.

Fungi

Just like there are good sugars, there are also good fungi. Eating ordinary mushrooms is not a good idea if you have candida because you’re feeding it its own kind. There are, however, medicinal mushrooms which are actually a great idea to consume, either raw or as a tea or stock or even as a supplement. Asian cuisine, most notably Japanese cuisine, has a long history of eating and preparing medicinal mushrooms. Examples of these are shiitake, maitake and reishi. Bear in mind that the longer you cook these mushrooms the more you are converting the complex sugars into simple sugars (carbohydrates), just the way pasteurization changes the chemical structure of milk and other foods.

Eating blue cheeses is also not a good idea if you have candida. These fungi are introduced into the cheese and, though they are tasty, are harmful to your health if you have a fungal problem. In the same vein, Brie and Camembert are also out.

Yeast

Another aspect of the anti-candida diet is avoiding products containing yeast and yeast extract. This means you will once again have to learn to read the labels. Once more, you will be amazed to see how many products contain yeast extract. In fact, yeast extract is very often a hidden source of MSG!

Not all fermented products are bad for you. Naturally fermented products are in fact good for you because they contain wild yeast which makes its way into the product from the air and consists of natural probiotic bacteria which are also present in your guts. For that reason, even whole-grain yeast bread is bad for you because it contains baker’s yeast, but sourdough bread is good for you because it is naturally fermented bread and the yeast bacteria use the sugar from the starch as food. For the same reason, bio live yoghurt is good. In fact, any naturally fermented product, as long as it doesn’t contain alcohol, is permitted because these are natural probiotics. Sauerkraut is fine, for example.

Detoxing

Try the above no-sugar-no-grains-no-yeast-no-fungi diet for four weeks. You will find yourself going through a detoxification period which can last the whole four weeks or end after one or two weeks, depending on how much detoxing you have to do. The first week is the worst. You will feel absolutely miserable, have cravings for sweets and junk foods, experience moodiness, near-depression, everything is possible. This is because the candida are demanding their nutrition. You must be strong at this stage and not give in. You will also experience windiness of a very smelly kind, a sign of detoxification of the intestines. You may have a ‘brick-in-your-stomach’ feeling for some time, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness – even vomiting is possible. Do not despair, as there will be a turning point where you will increasingly start to feel better.

After the first four weeks, you can then slowly reintroduce healthy foods which were forbidden before such as honey, maple syrup, dark, unfiltered agave syrup (the lighter variety will still give you a sugar hit), corn, (sweet) potatoes, yams, and various sweet fruits back into your diet. Because of the detoxing you have done you will now get a pure, unbiased and more or less immediate reaction from your body. If the food feels good, continue eating it but don’t overdo it. If it feels bad, stop eating it straight away. It’s that simple.

These food choices are very easy on the liver and guts, which means they not only help battle candida, but they are also powerful immune boosters. They will help you lose weight as well as help maintain your natural weight, ward off diabetes, arthritis, viruses, parasitic and bacterial infections, and promote overall good health of skin, bones, tissue, cartilage, etc.

The great news is you don’t have to sacrifice a thing taste-wise. In fact, by freeing yourself from the sweet and salty carb-rich foods our toxic food environment provides us with you are making use of all four tastes nature has provided you with. Once you discover that whole, living foods give you more energy and need not cost more both money-wise and health-wise, you won’t be able to go back to potato chips, burgers, cookies and other empty junk foods. You will find that your appetite will go down and you will need less food to keep you going for a longer time. And even if you do end up spending more money on good-quality foods, my question to you is: which would your rather pay with, your wallet or your health?

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www.healingpowerhour.com

Where Sugar Hides and How To Eat Less

Americans consume an average of about 22 teaspoons a day of added sugar, according to the National Cancer Institute. That type doesn’t occur naturally—the way fructose does in fruit—and its calories might lack extra nutrients. A sensible daily limit of added sugar is more like 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men, the American Heart Association says.

Sugar can plead not guilty to some accusations. Many studies have debunked the idea that it causes hyperactivity in kids, for example. But it does nourish the bacteria that cause cavities, and the AHA says that added sugar is associated with increased risks of high blood pressure and high triglyceride levels. A study published last year in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention suggested that drinking an average of five sugar-laden soft drinks a week increased the risk of pancreatic cancer.* And it’s probably not coincidental that the nation’s obesity epidemic has progressed in step with increased sugar consumption.

The foods above, bought recently near our headquarters, are just a few in which sugar can hide. The cubes represent all sugar, added and natural, because labels don’t list those separately. Our symbolic cube equals 1 teaspoon. The amount in real cubes might be less.

What you can do

Study nutrition facts and ingredients. Other names that signal sugar include dextrose, fruit-juice concentrate, glucose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, sucrose, beet sugar, high-fructose corn syrup (the Corn Refiners Association has asked the Food and Drug Administration to change that to corn sugar), and evaporated cane juice. Other steps:

  • Try alternatives. Artificially sweetened foods are one option, but there are others. Mott’s No Sugar Added applesauce has the equivalent of about 3 teaspoons less sugar per serving than the version pictured; Rao’s Homemade Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce has almost 2 teaspoons less than the Newman’s Own. Some lower-sugar options are surprising. A chocolate-glazed Dunkin’ Donut has about half the sugar of a small Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Swirl Latte.
  • Add less sugar to foods such as cereal and substitute cinnamon.
  • Choose treats that contain some nutrients. Opt for fruit, say, or low-fat chocolate milk.
  • Replace candy with dry-roasted nuts or baked tortilla chips.
  • Watch what you drink. Sodas are the leading source of added sugar in the American diet, but many bottled teas and juice drinks are also loaded with sugar. Spike water with strong tea or fruit juice. Make smoothies from fresh or frozen fruit, plain nonfat yogurt, and ice.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter 

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