Someone recently said to me that “we don’t need supplements”. When asked for the reason why; the response was “to be healthy it’s simple – it’s two parts diet and one part exercise”. “All people need to do is eat better and exercise; then we wouldn’t have all these health problems”.

While I do admit there is some truth to this statement, it was probably more accurate in earlier generations than it is today. The real problem is that people do not eat the way they should or drink adequate amounts of water, but even if they do there is something missing.

Have you heard of the term homeostasis?

Homeostasis is about the balance of acid to alkaline in the body. Over acidity, this can become a dangerous condition that weakens all body systems, is very common today.

The body can maintain adequate alkaline reserves to meet emergency demands. When excess acids must be neutralized, our alkaline reserves are depleted leaving the body in a weakened condition.

Here are just five (5) ways we put ourselves out of balance on a daily basis.

  1. Dietary habits – the things we eat and drink every day including sugar and beverages such as soda pop and alcohol
  2. Cooking and food preparation
  3. Packaged, processed and refined foods
  4. Environmental factors – the air we breath, chemicals we spray on foods, medications
  5. Nutrient loss in foods / soil depletion from framing

If we are healthy we can do many things in moderation, and still the body recovers back to an alkaline balance. To help with this recovery and to further nourish and enhance the bodily systems, in addition to good dietary habits (and water) we can use the correct supplements to ease this process for the body.

Everyone knows the importance of Protein

Protein is a great example to use as it is a nutrient that everyone knows the importance of it, but very few actually understand how to get it in the body in a utilizable form.

Protein is used in tissue building and repair. Next to water, protein is the most plentiful substance in our bodies. Protein makes up 50% of the dry weight of the body and 90% of the body in its natural form.

Just about everyone knows that muscles are made of protein. Every single cell in the body has some protein. Other important parts of the body like hair, skin, eyes, and body organs including the colon are all made from protein.

Many substances that control body functions, such as enzymes and hormones, also are made from protein. Other important functions of protein include forming blood cells and making antibodies to protect us from illness and infections.

What are the best sources of protein?

Proteins are made up of 8 essential amino acids and 12 non-essential amino acids. In science, animal proteins contain a better balance of these essential amino acids than plant proteins. People who do not eat animal products should eat different types of plant foods together or within the same day to get the proper balance and amount of essential amino acids their bodies need.

The issue comes when we eat proteins, if we do not digest it, we cannot utilize it and it comes in to the body as a toxin. This toxin ends up putting our body’s in an acidic state. How do we digest proteins? Enzymes!

Cooking Kills Enzymes

Despite our diets being high in protein foods, even if you eat meat for example, you’re likely still a vegetarian” ~ Michael O’Brien, MD – leading nutrition expert and enzyme researcher

The reason Dr. O’Brien makes this statement is that when we cook our protein foods, cooking kills all the enzymes in the foods. In order to digest protein we need the enzyme ‘Protease’.

If our protein foods contain no protease then we need our bodies to produce this digestive enzyme in sufficient amounts to digest the protein foods we eat; bu breaking the protein down in to smaller utilizable amino acids. These protease enzymes in the body are made in the pancreas.

Pancreatic load

Due to our high diet of cooked protein we are constantly putting our pancreas in high demand to continually produce this enzyme to allow the body to breakdown the protein foods we eat. In order for the pancreas to produce this protease enzyme it needs amino acids. In order to get amino acids, we need to eat protein and digest it. See the cycle happening?

If we are not digesting our foods, then we are not giving the body the essential amino acids for such reasons as the production of enzymes. This then becomes a never ending cycle, and as we age the process and cycle also slows. This puts an added burden on the pancreas to always keep up

To further compound the problem, the amount and varieties of cooked foods we eat (starches, carbohydrates, etc) along with protein only makes the digestive demands on our bodies even greater.

A Compounded Problem over many years

Each and every meal we eat continues to compound the overload on the body to manufacture the enzymes to completely digest the meals. This not only puts a load on the body but also creates toxicity in the digestive tract with undigested foods.

Our modern diets, with all of the nutrient-depleted processed foods (sugar, salt, breads, packaged foods) and liquids (alcohol, soda pop, sports drinks) we drink, cause rapid fluctuation of glucose (sugar) and insulin levels in our blood which is called the Glycemic Affect.

What’s the solution?

It is not always realistic to think we can live a 100% all natural and perfect dietary lifestyle. For sure we will put our bodies out of balance on a regular basis despite our good dietary habits; this is why we need to look for supplements to help us keep the homeostasis balance in our body for true optimum health.

It makes clinical sense to two key supplements as your foundation for health, these include a full spectrum digestive enzyme and a nutiritonal fiber source to ensure full digestion and proper food utilization throughout the day? This is the foundation to avoiding the Metabolic Syndrome.

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think?

Doug Collins
Riverview, New Brunswick

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Have you ever wondered the best way to eat food — raw, slightly cooked, moderately cooked or well done?

by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.

Do you know that the way you prepare food can determine whether you can get all of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and simple sugars from your food? Although all the nutrients might be in the food, if the food is cooked incorrectly the food will not digest and metabolize optimally and the nutrients become less available to the body.

There is enough evidence to show that the more food is cooked, the more difficult it is to digest and metabolize. The higher the temperature that food is cooked, the longer it stays in the gut. This makes it more difficult for the food to absorb and work on a cellular level where it needs to work.

When the food cannot work at the cellular level, the cells can become deficient and/or toxic. This leads to deficiency and toxicity of the whole body making the body less able to function optimally. All food deteriorates during commercial food processing and during storage.

Three different things happen to food that is overcooked or over-processed:

  1. Destruction of essential amino acids.
  2. Decrease in digestibility.
  3. Production of anti-nutritional and toxic compounds.

It is the liver’s job to detoxify toxins, but the liver can become overloaded and unable to do its job. In the bloodstream, the undigested or partially digested food (in the form of macromolecules) is in too large a particle to get into the cell in order to function. Undigested or partially digested food then moves through the bloodstream causing havoc in the body.

When food is heated past the heat-labile point, its chemical configuration changes. Pasteurization, deep-frying, and barbecuing are all forms of cooking where food is heated past the heat labile point. The body does not understand these new chemical configurations and does not have the enzymes to digest the food easily.

However, the immune system comes to the defense of the body, and makes these undigested particles back into substances that the body can use or escorts them out of the body. We ask our immune system to do the job that our digestive system did not do. The immune system was not designed to do this on a daily basis, every time we overcook foods or over-process foods. Over time the immune system becomes exhausted and the door is opened to infectious and degenerative diseases.

Unfortunately it is not only foods heated past the heat labile point, such as potato chips, other fried foods, barbecued foods, dried milk or eggs, cake mixes and such, that cause this reaction. There is evidence that shows that foods cooked past 112 degrees Fahrenheit are more difficult to digest. Foods in this category include fried foods, pressure cooked foods, barbecued foods and most processed foods. Also sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, corticosteroids, antibiotics, aspirin, and many prescription, over-the-counter and street drugs can cause upset body chemistry. This upset causes undigested food to get into the bloodstream with all of the consequences.

From this research and the principle of the heat labile point, it seems that the best way to cook food is the least way. If you do cook your food, it is best to lightly steam, bake, stew, stir fry or use a slow crock cooker. Eat as few over-processed and overcooked foods as possible.

The state of balance (homeostasis) is the key to health. As long as your body is in homeostasis, it is healing. When it is out of homeostasis, it is on the degenerative disease process. The foods that keep the body in balance are natural foods. God made food for health. Man made food for shelf life, beauty and profit, and not necessarily in that order.

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Nancy Appleton, Ph.D. is a nutritional consultant who created an advanced curriculum for National Institute for Nutritional Education and authored numerous books including, Lick The Sugar Habit, Healthy Bones, Heal Yourself With Natural Foods, Stopping Inflammation, The Curse Of Louis Pasteur and Lick the Sugar Habit Sugar Counter. Visit www.NancyAppleton.com

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There are alot of “dark gourmet chocolate” start-up companies entering the wellness industry over the last year. The claim is that the product is “healthy”. We’ve seen the commercials, ads and the media feature it. So I decided to look in to this myself from a health and nutrition perspective.

I am personally not a chocolate eater so I’ve never had any interest except that I find it intriguing from a marketing perspective. How can a “chocolate product” be marketed as healthy?

I selected one of the Direct Selling “healthy gourmet chocolate” companies and reviewed its marketing materials and ingredients.

Ingredients & Marketing

The main source of the product is dark chocolate, with each of the packaged varieties having added nutritional elements including sweeteners, berry powders, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and omegas.

While the story of the “healthy chocolate” makes for great marketing and lends itself to a greater interest from the poor dietary habits of people today; after further reading it appears this requires further investigation (even more than what I will provide here). Besides the antioxidant story the main selling feature in the product is the natural sweetener called agave.

The dark gourmet chocolate product I reviewed lists these key selling features:

  1. It is diabetic friendly due to the sweetener from agave, which comes from a cactus like plant. The literature claims the agave is very safe.
  2. The product itself has a low glycemic index and will not cause increases in blood sugar, and that the antioxidants found in this gourmet chocolate, helps promote cardiovascular health.
  3. The literature says that it may help with weight loss as it provides natural energy and increases your sense of well-being.

Agave Sweetener – what is it?

The Agave syrup found in “healthy chocolate” was originally used to make tequila. When Agave syrup ferments it turns to tequila. The enzymes activity must be stopped so that the syrup will not turn into tequila for use in healthy chocolate.

Agave Syrup is advertised as low glycemic and marketed safe for diabetics. According to my reading, it is true that agave itself is low glycemic but we have to consider why. The reason is due to the unusually high concentration of fructose (90%) compared to the small amount of glucose (10%).

Even though fructose is low on the glycemic index, there are numerous problems associated with the consumption of fructose in such high concentrations, the same as found in other sweeteners.

High Amounts of Fructose

High amounts of concentrated fructose may cause health problems ranging from mineral depletion, to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and it even causes miscarriages in pregnant women.

Whole foods such as fruits contain a much smaller amount of fructose compared to sucrose and glucose, as well as a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, enzymes and other nutrients. These are the nutritional needs of the body. Concentrated sweeteners from food sources such as the agave plant contain no fiber and have much greater concentrations of simple sugars than are found in fresh foods.

Fructose also appears to interfere with copper metabolism. This causes collagen and elastin being unable to form. Collagen and elastin are connective tissue which essentially hold the body together. A deficiency in copper can also lead to bone fragility, anemia, defects of the arteries and bone, infertility, high cholesterol levels, heart attacks and ironically enough an inability to control blood sugar levels.

The Research

Research suggests that fructose actually promotes disease more readily than glucose. This is because glucose is metabolized by every cell in the body, and fructose must be metabolized by the liver.

Tests on animals show that the livers of animals fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrohosis of the liver. This is similar to the livers of alcoholics.

Very few agave studies have been documented, and most involved rats. There have been no clinical studies done on its safety for diabetics.

Fructose – Blood Glucose, Leptin

It is important to understand that the glucose in other sugars are converted to blood glucose, fructose is a relatively unregulated source of fuel that your liver converts to fat and cholesterol.

A significant danger here is that fructose does not stimulate your insulin secretion or enhance leptin production, which is involved in appetite regulation.

Because insulin and leptin act as key signals in regulating how much food you eat, as well as your body weight, dietary fructose can also contribute to increased food intake and weight gain.

Weight Loss

Fructose is one type of sugar you’ll definitely want to avoid, no matter what the source is. Therefore, “healthy chocolate” does not have any weight loss benefits.

We now understand that chocolate has no weight loss benefits, we also know that it provides a feeling of well being through a sense of euphoria. The coca solids in dark chocolate contain alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects on the body. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain.

In Summary

My recommendation is that if you are going to eat this gourmet chocolate it would be better than eating chocolate bars (albeit more expensive). I would not suggest consuming alot of it on a regular basis and don’t expect it will offer you any real medicinal benefits.

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about dark gourmet chocolate.

Be sure to read Part II on Healthy Chocolate at Dark Gourmet Chocolate – Maybe not so Healthy?

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The Glycemic Affect is simply when foods turn into glucose (a form of sugar) in the bloodstream after we eat them.

The glycemic index is the measurement of the type or quality of carbs in a particular food, and how fast carbohydrate raises blood glucose levels, (and consequent insulin secretion and effects produced by the pancreas) as it is digested.

Our modern diets, with all of the nutrient-depleted processed foods (sugar, salt, breads, packaged foods) and liquids (pop , sports drinks) we eat and drink, cause rapid fluctuation of glucose (sugar) and insulin levels in our blood.

These fluctuations causes the body’s muscle & liver cells to attempt to store the excess glucose. If the digestive system is pumping glucose into the blood stream quicker than insulin can move it into the muscles/liver or glucose stays high too long, the body will convert the excess glucose into fat.

The peaks cause cellular damage and pancreatic stress. The lows cause sugar cravings and lack of energy. This is called the glycemic load.

Choosing foods low on the glycemic index not only helps to control your weight but also helps to control cholesterol, maintain a healthy heart and decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It is not always realistic to think we can live a 100% all natural and perfect dietary lifestyle with foods low on the glycemic index, this is why we need to look for supplements to help us keep the balance.

There are a wide array of products that promise to lower your blood sugar level naturally. The simple truth is, most of them make these claims based on anecdotal results. I have found only one product that effectively does this, called Bios Life Slim.

Bios Life Slim is clinically proven to reduce the glycemic affect in the blood. By lowering the glycemic affect the body will reduce the insulin levels following the digestion of your meals, and throughout the day. Even when you consume high glycemic foods.

Once you have that balance in your sugar levels, it gives you more usable energy throughout the day, and prevents you from having sugar cravings. This is also of great benefit to help prevent cardiovascular disease, control type 2 diabetes, maintain your healthy weight, or if want to lose Fat.

Interested in trying Bios Life Slim and seeing for yourself how it can make a different in your life? To order contact me at (506) 856-9258 or send me an e-mail.

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