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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America’s Lifestyle Diseases Cost the Economy over $153 Billion per Year

Lifestyle diseases such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and depression are costing the American economy $153 billion per year in lost productivity.

Based on data collected via the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, researchers concluded that chronic health conditions such as obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression and recurring physical pain resulted in 449,847,652 days missed from work… and an estimated productivity loss of $153,398,049,221 per year.

This calculation doesn’t include productivity lost when employees show up at work but are less productive because of their poor health.

As well, the Gallup people didn’t speak with part-time workers.

Previous research which included these factors found that America’s chronic lifestyle diseasescost the nation up to $1.1 trillion per year.

And that’s a lot of money.

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Coconut OIL

In mid-2012, Nestlé Health Science acquired a stake in Accera®, the U.S. maker of Axona®, a medical food targeted at people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. Aside from the fact that the purchase shows that Nestlé is placing a strategic bet on the future direction of medical food demand, this acquisition also is interesting for its potential validation of a tropical oil that alternately has been damned and praised for its role in health: coconut oil.

On the one hand, there are those who still maintain that coconut oil, a source of more saturated fat than butter, lard or beef tallow, is the devil incarnate for brain and heart health. On the other hand, current science is in the process of validating the high regard that the coconut oil enjoys in the Ayurvedic and Chinese traditions of healing.

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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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