Should celebrities endorse soft drinks filled with sugar?

More and more studies are teaching us how too much sugar in our diet can lead to serious health issues, including conditions like obesity. This has triggered all sorts of policy debates with the Mayor of New York banning large soft drinks while others argue that the government shouldn’t get involved. Both sides have a point but with so much of our federal budget tied to health care costs we all need to consider these issues, while also looking in the mirror and asking ourselves whether we consume too much sugar.

Soft drinks in particular are a huge source of excess sugar in our diets, and now even stars like Beyonce are feeling some heat around this issue. For example, “The Center for Science in the Public Interest wants Beyonce to turn her back on her $50 million deal with Pepsi because the sugary drink is associated with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.” That’s quite a bit a money to turn down, and I guess she could only focus on Diet Pepsi, but in many ways this controversy illustrates how far we have come with awareness on this issue. I doubt Beyonce will end her deal, but now there is some PR price to be paid when a celebrity gets behind these types of products.

Of course, we need to do more than just cut down on sugar to improve our diet and our health, though it would be a great start for most people. It’s important to find healthy foods as a substitute for things like sugar and fat that we want to reduce. Another approach involves taking vitamins and supplements like the ones found at Predator Nutrition to round out what you consume as well.

It is encouraging, however, that the feedback we’re getting from commercials might be balanced a bit by the loud voices explaining the health risks of things like sugar along with the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Sugar issues getting more attention

This recent story on 60 Minutes is raising more awareness on the health issues surrounding sugar. We need to wake up as a nation.

The dangers of sugar

We’ve been saying for years that you need to avoid sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Check out this video and you’ll see why.

Stop drinking soft drinks and high-sugar juices. Don’t buy processed foods with high fructose corn syrup. This single change will have a huge impact on your health and ability to get lean.

Can coffee help with sugar addiction?

The reason why you get addicted to any food, but particularly sugar, is because your brain has opioid receptors (heroin is an opioid). Interestingly, sugar binds to the same addictive receptors as cocaine and other addictive drugs. These opioid receptors are part of a primitive reward system that helps you detect, select and enjoy eating fresh foods over rancid ones.

Today, however, we live in a world where we are surrounded, not only by food in general, but by processed foods that are typically loaded with sugar. Unfortunately, this has led to a saturation of our opioid receptors, and we’ve become addicted to foods that are extremely harmful.

Now, there are compounds called opioid receptor antagonists. That means once they occupy the receptors, they prohibit you from being addicted to something else. And coffee is an opioid receptor antagonist. Caffeine can bind to your opioid receptors and may diminish the addictive impact of another substance like sugar.

“If you are addicted to sugar, for instance, and you really want to train your body gradually get rid of this addiction, using coffee would be a viable way to help yourself achieve this. Train yourself to drink black coffee. Drink it sugarless on an empty stomach and you will see how, gradually, the cravings will dissipate…”
Ori Hofmekler

So, all in all, it appears coffee may have some valuable redeeming benefits, particularly to boost the benefits of your morning workout, as long as you get high quality organic coffee, ground your own beans to make sure it’s fresh, and avoid adding sugar.

Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet, The Anti-Estrogenic Diet, Maximum Muscle Minimum Fat, and the upcoming book Unlocking the Muscle Gene is an expert on how to improve your health with foods.
Mercola.com video transcript

Eating sugar linked to testosterone levels

Symptoms of low testosterone levels in men include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, depression, osteoporosis, weight gain, muscle loss, diabetes, heart disease, and decreased physical performance. Unfortunately, 1 out of 4 men above the age of thirty in the US has lower than normal testosterone levels and will experience some of these symptoms.

Age, which we have little control over, obviously plays a big role in lower testosterone. Are there other factors that we can control, such as nutrition?

A study involving 42 men with normal blood sugar levels, 23 with pre-diabetic blood sugar levels, and 9 with type 2 diabetes was performed to make testing for testosterone levels more accurate. In the process however, researchers discovered that eating sugar cuts a man’s testosterone levels significantly.

Each participant was given a sugary solution and then had their testosterone levels checked. Regardless of whether the participants had diabetes or not, blood levels of testosterone dropped by as much as 25% and remained low for a period of 2 hours. 15% of the participants with normal testosterone levels before the test experienced a drop in testosterone so low they could be classified as having hypogonadism, which would require hormonal replacement therapy. (Alternatives.13(9);2010)

If nothing else, you’ll lose body fat and achieve a higher level of overall health by cutting out sugar. Sugar has been associated with diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and many more. Now you can add improved testosterone levels to the list

Should you make choices for yourself or should the government make choices for you?

Sin taxes on fat and sugar? It seems several states are looking with interest at chipping away at your rights as a US citizen to decide what you eat. Or, as they the politicians put it, encouraging you to make better choices. States are so interested in your health they want to tax foods containing sugar and fat in order to steer you into a more healthy choice. Politicians want to use pricing strategies to influence what you purchase. However, they?re not sure whether subsidies or punitive taxes work best. Shall we control people by making healthier foods cheaper or unhealthy foods more expensive?

The question shouldn?t be how best can the government control our choices, but does the government have the right to do it in the first place. What else are they going to try to influence? Who decides what’s unhealthy? We see what the FDA, AMA, and food industries have already done to our food supply. Is some politician going to get a hair up his ass about sports, thinking the average American needs to start saving their money, and make sporting events tickets so expensive the average person won?t buy them? How about the type of car you drive, even though the global warming issue has been proven a scam.

This is a slippery slope and is as UN-American as progressivism. This issue has been fought for over 300 years. People fled Europe to what is now the US to get from under the control of the governments there. In the US we have a right endowed by are creator to pursue health. The Government doesn?t have the right to make that choice, or to ?encourage?, for us.

An interesting, but not surprising study was performed to see which strategy, subsidies or taxes, works best as though it?s even a choice. No matter where you stand on this topic to see how human behavior can be influenced is very interesting

Epstein and colleagues simulated a grocery store, “stocked” with images of everything from bananas and whole wheat bread to Dr. Pepper and nachos. A group of volunteers — all mothers — were given laboratory “money” to shop for a week’s groceries for the family. Each food item was priced the same as groceries at a real grocery nearby, and each food came with basic nutritional information.

The mother-volunteers went shopping several times in the simulated grocery. First they shopped with the regular prices, but afterward the researchers imposed either taxes or subsidies on the foods. That is, they either raised the prices of unhealthy foods by 12.5%, and then by 25%; or they discounted the price of healthy foods comparably. Then they watched what the mothers purchased.

The results, just published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, show that taxes were more effective in reducing calories purchased over subsides. Specifically, taxing unhealthy foods reduced overall calories purchased, while cutting the proportion of fat and carbohydrates and upping the proportion of protein in a typical week’s groceries.

By contrast, subsidizing the prices of healthy food actually increased overall calories purchased without changing the nutritional value at all. It appears that mothers took the money they saved on subsidized fruits and vegetables and treated the family to less healthy alternatives, such as chips and soda pop. Taxes had basically the opposite effect, shifting spending from less healthy to healthier choices. ScienceDaily.com

The fattest countries

“Behold: the world’s 10 fattest countries” a recent article published on the GlobalPost, discusses the world-wide rise in obesity and ranks the top 10 fattest countries. Although the author mentions processed food and inactivity as the causes of obesity, she fails to go into detail. I do not feel an article on the obesity epidemic is doing justice by not mentioning sugar, in particular high fructose corn syrup, or vegetable oils. These two foods, and I use the term “foods” loosely, Are increasing in use around the world as they have in the US. Vegetable oil consumption in the US, including hydrogenated oils, has increased 437%. (1) Sugar consumption went from 5 pounds per year in 1900 to 163 pounds per year today. From 1970 to the present, fructose and vegetable oil consumption have increased over four fold.(2) During this same time saturated fat has decreased over 20%.

Because we’ve decreased saturated fat consumption and increasing vegetable oil and carbohydrate consumption like the “experts” at the AMA and the ADA (American Dietetics Association) have advised for decades, you’s think we’d be getting healthier. However, we in the US are getting fatter and more unhealthy and are taking the world with us.

1. America Samoa 93.5% – percent of population that is overweight
2. Kiribati 81.5%
3. U.S. 66.7%
4. Germany 66.5%
5. Egypt 66%
6. Bosnia-Herzegovina 62.9%
7. New Zealand 62.7%
8. Isreal 61.9%
9. Croatia 61.4%
10. United Kingdom 61%

Deceptive fructose ads.

Fructose is found in everything from soda to cereal. It?s literally in thousands of products. The ?fat carb? has been in our food supply for more 35 years. We?ve been led to believe that fructose from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is akin to naturally occurring sugar,

Recently ads hyping high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) for its similarities to sugar are hitting the airwaves. This is part of a major marketing campaign from the Corn Refiners Association meant to combat the bad rap that HFCS has gotten in the past years.

To get that message out, the campaign relies on nutritional research. But CBS News has learned that funding for many of the major studies came from companies with a financial stake in the outcome.

Of the six studies CBS News looked at on the association?s Web site that ?Confirm High Fructose Corn Syrup is No Different From Sugar,? three were sponsored by groups that stand to profit from research that promotes HFCS. Two were never published so their funding sources are unclear. And one was sponsored by a Dutch foundation that represents the interests of the sugar industry.

Pepsi funded one study, so did a D.C. based lobbying group that gets their money from food, chemical and drug companies. And the American Beverage Association gave a grant for another.

One researcher who was involved in three of the studies, Dr. James M. Rippe, a cardiologist and founder of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute says there is no link between HFCS and obesity and calls contrary evidence ?accusations? and ?speculation.? Rippe?s ties with industry are no secret.

Russ Bianchi, a pharmacologist and toxicologist, explains: ?There is no safe form of fructose available from any source, unless already existing in an unprocessed apple or other piece of fruit. The science is known and epidemiologically proven.? For more HFCS facts Click HERE.

Good Calories, Bad Calories By Gary Taubes

For decades we have been taught that fat is bad for us, carbohydrates are good, and that the key to a healthy weight is eating less and exercising more. Yet with more and more people acting on this advice, we have seen unprecedented epidemics of obesity and diabetes. With seven years of research, Taubes argues persuasively that the problem lies in refined carbohydrates (white flour, sugar, easily digested starches) ?via their dramatic effect on insulin, the hormone that regulates fat accumulation?and that the key to good health is the kind of calories we take in, not the numbers. There are good calories, and bad ones. Taubes traces how the common assumption that carbohydrates are fattening was abandoned in the 1960’s when fat and cholesterol were blamed for heart disease and then?wrongly?were seen as the causes of a host of other maladies, including cancer. He shows us how these unproven hypotheses were emphatically embraced by authorities in nutrition, public health, and clinical medicine, in spite of how well-conceived clinical trials have consistently refuted them. He also documents the dietary trials of carbohydrate-restriction, which consistently show that the fewer carbohydrates we consume, the leaner we will be.

Good Calories Bad Calories is the end of the debate about the foods we consume and their effects on us.

Common ingredients that add major calories to your meals

SteakMen’s Fitness.com posted an interesting article about common ingredients in meals that surprisingly come jammed-packed with calories.

DROWNING FOOD IN OIL
Yes, it’s heart healthy, but also high in calories. Sautéed vegetables only need to be misted with oil—not swimming in it. Buy an empty spray bottle and fill it with olive oil. Then spray your food and the pan lightly before cooking.

USING REAL SUGAR
Switch to artificial sweeteners; some of them can even be used for baking. If you can’t stand the aftertaste, try combining two different sweeteners—this blending helps impart more sweetness and less artificial taste, says Stokes.

COOKING TOO MUCH MEAT
No substitute can emulate the taste of a steak, but if you’re making a meal like chili or tacos, swap some of the ground beef for less fatty soy crumbles or tofu, suggests Stokes. Not a fan of soy? Try mixing ground beef with black beans, diced cherries, or any other fresh vegetable or fruit.

USING FULL-FAT CHEESE
Not even our expert would touch the fat-free stuff, but Stokes does recommend switching to a reduced-fat version. “It adds flavor, melts well, and retains the normal properties of cheese,” he says. Cabot light cheddar, for one, tastes almost identical to the full-fat stuff.

Oil is an interesting note. We all hear about how Olive Oil is great for you, but over-doing it obviously has its disadvantages.

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