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Saturday, July 21, 2012


Resolve to myself:  start avoiding sugar more and more.....it may prevent dementia, since I am predisposed because of my mother's side of the family.  Maybe this article will also convince you?

Posted on July 10, 2012 by AmenClinics
This is a “good news, bad news” story; first the bad news. Sugar is the enemy. It’s disguised in many forms, and they all are bad for your brain and health. Artificial sweeteners are also bad for your brain. So we need to avoid or eliminate all forms of sugar and the so-called “fake sugars.”

Now the good news: You can still have a sweet tooth. Get to know “stevia.” Stevia is an all-natural alternative to white sugar that’s 30 times sweeter, has zero calories, zero carbs, is zero on the glycemic index and does not raise insulin or blood sugar levels. Stevia is a naturally sweet herb native to Paraguay and has been around for centuries. It has been thoroughly tested and found to be completely non-toxic and safe. In Japan, 40% of the sweetener market is stevia based and it’s becoming more accepted worldwide.

Stevia is also a helpful aid in weight loss due to the fact that it contains no sugar and has been shown to reduce cravings for sweets and fatty foods. People have reported that consuming 10-15 drops of whole leaf stevia concentrate 20 minutes before meals diminished hunger sensations.

When you have a sweet craving, stevia is a safe and effective option to satisfy you without all of the side effects and consequences of sugar.

The Truth About Sugar

According to Dr. Amen, sugar has numerous negative aspects. It’s highly addictive, causes inflammation and increases erratic brain cell firing which means that brain cells don’t communicate well with each other. It’s been known to cause depression, headaches, fluid retention, hormonal imbalances and hypertension. There’s nothing sweet about how much sugar people are consuming every day. According to the American Heart Association, the average adult in the United States takes in about 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, while teens pile in 34 teaspoons a day.

“In one study using mice, they gave them cocaine, which they liked. Then they gave them sugar, which they also liked. But when given a choice, they preferred sugar,” said Dr. Amen, who also advises to avoid “drinking your calories” referring to sugar-laded coffee drinks, alcoholic beverages and even fruit juices.

“The body can break down sucrose dramatically better than fructose – which is the form of sugar derived from fruit. When you unwrap fructose from its fiber source, it becomes a toxin,” said Dr. Amen. So eat the orange instead of drinking orange juice which is typically made of 6-8 oranges worth of fructose in one glass.

Artificial sweeteners were designed to be sugar substitutes as a less fattening alternative. Artificial sweeteners like Splenda, NutraSweet, and Sweet ‘N Low, found in diet sodas and yogurt, can not only cause you to gain more weight, but has also been linked to many diseases. One University of Texas study linked increased consumption of artificially-sweetened diet soda with obesity. Scientists have concluded that these so called “fake sugars” manipulate the body’s natural ability to sense how much it has eaten and therefore we overeat without realizing it.

The only potential downside about stevia is some people experience bitterness after consuming products with stevia in them. Stevioside and rebaudioside A (or Reb A) are both partially responsible for the aftertaste, however, rebaudioside contains the least and is barely detectable. Try different brands until you find the one you like.

There are several upsides to using stevia. For example, you can use it anyway you would typically use sugar; bake, cook, add it to hot and cold teas. Add it to a shakes to make it sweeter. Make lemonade using fresh squeezed lemons. Put it in yogurt. You get the idea.

Tips to Avoid Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Learn all the forms of sugar. And don’t eat them. See the list of sugars below.
Start checking food labels and throw out everything that has “fake sugars” such as sucralose, aspartame, saccharin.
Avoid all products that are labeled “low calorie, diet, sugar free or no sugar added.”
Drink purified water instead of diet drinks.
Use natural sweeteners like stevia or brown rice syrup.
Here’s a delicious, sweet and guilt-free summer dessert everyone can enjoy. It’s easy to make and will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Mango Sorbet


1 cup low-fat plain greek yogurt
2 cups of frozen mango chunks
Pinch of stevia

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.




* Preferred alternatives

* Agave – Derived from the blue agave cactus, agave syrup tastes similar to honey but it’s low on the glycemic index.
Barley Malt
Beet Sugar
Brown Sugar
* Brown Rice Syrup – A syrup made from sprouted brown rice.
Cane Juice crystals
Cane Sugar
Caramel Color
Confectionary Sugar
Corn Sugar
Corn Sweetener
Corn Syrup
Corn Syrup Solids
Date Sugar
Dehydrated Cane Juice
Fruit Juice Concentrate
Granulated Sugar
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Invert Sugar
Malt Syrup
Maple Sugar
Maple Syrup
Palm Sugar
Raw Sugar
Rice Syrup
* Stevia – A naturally sweet herb native to Paraguay. It is non-caloric, and has been used as a natural sweetener and flavor enhancer for centuries
Turbinado Sugar

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