Sugar Cravings, When Too Much of a Good Thing Becomes a Health Concern

I think it’s fair to say we’ve all had our share of cravings; whether you’re a guy longing for an ice cold beer after a hot humid day of mowing the lawn, or a pregnant woman who can’t stop thinking about hot fudge sundaes. But what if your cravings ALL revolve around sugary sweets, the dreaded sugar cravings? Do you consider yourself to have an insatiable sweet tooth? While it’s an easy thing to overlook, and just accept thefact that you live for desserts, your sugar cravings can be a red flag indicating some underlying health issues. Before we get into what these concerns may be, let’s be sure you understand what I mean when I say a “sweet tooth” or “constant sugar cravings”… everyone loves the smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, and while most people can stop at one or two, I’m talking about those of us that can’t. For me, my weakness is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It wasn’t until I realized they were becoming a daily habit (justifying it by thinking everyone has their “thing”) that I knew I had to figure out what was causing my obsession. After a few weeks of succumbing to my sugar craving, they tasted great going down, but left me feeling nothing but guilt and a bit of a sugar crash.

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Eating Healthy on a budget…You Can’t Afford Not To

Ways to get healthy on a budget…You Can’t Afford Not To

I know in the past I’ve written about how to eat healthy on a budget, which is a struggle for many people, but in today’s economy, it is also tough for many of us to afford belonging to a gym, investing in fitness equipment or purchasing diet programs.  For those that don’t know, I myself am a single mom with very limited income since losing my job last December, so I speak from experience when I say that there ARE ways around financial limitations when it comes to working out.  Just DON’T allow the budget to be an excuse as to why one can’t get (or stay) fit.  A family can also be eating healthy on a budget. There are so many options out there and while I’ll touch on a few, the possibilities are endless, so try to keep an open mind and think creatively, you may surprise yourself with what some ingenuity can come up with!

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A Forgotten Nutrient Essential for Health

If you answered iodine, you’re correct. Before the widespread use of synthetic drugs, iodine was practically a universal medicine for everything, even in assisting the body to fight off cancer. Today, we find ourselves with skyrocketing cancer rates, an epidemic of thyroid dysfunction and auto-immune disorders, and toxic build-up in our bodies—could an iodine deficiency be to blame? I believe it is!

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE…

Iodine was discovered in 1811, isolated from the soda ash of seaweed, by the French scientist Courtors and used as a medical tincture in the Civil War. By 1874, it was found to be one of the most efficacious antiseptics, due in part to its low reactivity to proteins—allowing its I2 molecules to rapidly and thoroughly penetrate the cell wall of microorganisms.

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Building a Healthy Metabolism with Protein

In order to maintain an efficient metabolism-especially while dieting, it is imperative to ensure adequate protein intake, with special emphasis on branched-chain amino acids.

Our bodies need protein to build bone, skin, hair, nails, and cell membranes, and to manufacture blood, hormones, neurochemicals, immune cells, and enzymes. That’s because proteins contain amino acids, a nutrient that provides our bodies with a constant supply of nitrogen and sulphur. Nitrogen and sulfur are also essential to the ongoing growth, repair and detoxification of all our cells. In fact, nitrogen balance (the measure of how much nitrogen is retained as opposed to excreted) is the measurement researchers use to determine protein requirements.

Twenty-three amino acids are considered biologically important. At least nine of these are deemed essential because our bodies can’t manufacture them on their own. That’s why we need a constant supply of complete protein from dietary sources such as beef, dairy products (especially high-alpha whey), poultry, fish, eggs, and vegetable proteins such as hemp, rice, alfalfa and Moringa.

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Choose Protein to Build Muscle & Burn Fat

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found eating a low-protein diet makes your body more likely to store fat around your liver, kidneys, and other organs. You might not think any type of body fat could be good, but trust me: fat hanging around these organs is especially bad. On the other hand, researchers here found a higher-protein diet increases muscle and boosts your metabolism.

The study recorded everything 25 people ate over 12 weeks. And I mean everything: these people were confined to a hospital ward and closely monitored. None of them were smuggling in Little Debbies or anything else not on the well-regulated menu. Researchers gave these participants about a thousand extra calories every day. One group got those extra calories as protein, the other from carbs.

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Take A Vacation from Your Low-Carb Diet

Can you take a five-day “vacation” from your low-carb diet every week and still burn fat? A study suggests that possibility. Researchers here found women who cut carbs for just two days each week lost more weight than women who stuck with a permanent calorie-restricted diet. In other words, for five days every week, the low-carb groups ate what they wanted and still lost weight.

The study, presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, randomly assigned 115 women with familial histories of breast cancer (in other words, they’re considered high risk) to one of three diets for four months.

  1. One group ate a 1,500-calorie Mediterranean-type diet.
  2. The second group ate their normal diet, but two days a week they cut carbs and also calories to about 650 on those two days.
  3. The third group also ate as they pleased and low-carbed two days a week, but without any caloric restrictions.

Just to clarify, during these two low-carb days, researchers allowed the two groups 50 grams of carbohydrate. They could eat one piece of fruit each day as well as non-starchy vegetables. I say this because studies fluctuate wildly over what they define as a low-carb diet.

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Distracted eaters consume more calories

People who eat meals or snacks while watching TV, playing games or reading tend to consume more calories in a sitting, and especially later in the day, according to a UK review of two dozen past studies.

“Some studies have individually shown this before, but the evidence has never been put together,” said lead author Eric Robinson from the University of Liverpool, who said the amount consumed could rise by up to 50 percent with distracted eating.

But while distracted eating can really up the calorie count, summoning up memories of what was eaten in a previous meal decreased the amount of food eaten later.

Written by Kathleen Raven, Reuters

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