Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad?

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I always thought I was doing myself a favor when I would use an artificial sweetener or sugar substitute in my tea, cereal, or anything else I would sprinkle it in, or on. Now all of a sudden I hear advertising claims for the use of sugar.  What gives?

Artificial sweeteners can raise insulin levels, which in turn will send a message to the brain to store fat, which leads to weight gain. It may be psychological as well. When we are told that something has no calories or less calories, we automatically believe that there is room for more. Maybe by cutting calories in your diet soda intake, you justify the burger, fries, chips, second portion of mashed potatoes or whatever you have.

Did you know that as little as one diet soda a day can increase your risk of diabetes or metabolic syndrome? Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that includes increased cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, larger waistlines and elevated glucose. This raises your risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Other negative affects can be headaches, tooth enamel loss and an increased risk of depression. Lower bone mineral density in female soda drinkers, raises the chance of osteoporosis as well.

Nutritional Value? Forget it. Not with an artificial sweetener. Do yourself a favor and drink water. So you like the bubbles? Get sparkling water, or put a straw in the glass and blow bubbles. Just kidding about the straw, I wanted to see if you were still reading. But I enjoyed it as a kid. My dad wasn’t so thrilled with me though.

If you are weaning yourself off of regular soda, a diet alternative soda may be for you, but only if it is short term. Our brains are wired to receive the signal that it had sugar, Not an artificial sweetener.

Our brain responds to sweets by telling us to have more. When we take in a sweet flavor without calorie content, the craving is not satisfied and we drink or eat more sweets to try to make up that difference, thus taking in more calories. Remember that the excess is stored as fat. Sugar actually sends a signal to the brain that it has received it’s reward, Sucralose, (my sweetener of choice),will not do that. So the viscous cycle continues. I will throw a word of caution about the excessive use of refined sugars. Moderation!

I am not a licensed medical professional, registered dietitian, nor do I claim to have all the answers. I am trying to raise your awareness of the possible dangers or hurdles you could face with a weight loss program. If you question this, please research for yourself. Knowledge and the application of it will take you extremely far. 

In fitness, Bob

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Is Milk Your Friend or Foe?

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I am not a proponent of a large consumption of milk. Antibiotics that are added are one reason, another is that we are the only species to consume milk beyond our early developmental stages. The milk being consumed is not the mother’s milk that provided us with the vital nutrients our young, fragile bodies needed for growth. While this needs to be researched further, I believe there are better sources of calcium.
Strength training is very beneficial for the formation of calcium deposits, promoting bone growth, even in the elderly. Numerous studies have proven that the risk of osteoporosis can be reversed by strength training. This does not say you have to join a gym or lift massive amounts of weight to reap the benefits. Strength training helps the body retain calcium. Calcium supplements alone will not prevent osteoporosis. Running, dancing, stair- climbing, and weight lifting are considered impact exercises. These exercises also incorporate muscles that build balance skills, something that declines as our bodies age. With falls becoming more prevalent in later years, and the injuries we can sustain to our bones increasing, it is a good reason to protect ourselves.                        The  benefits can begin at any age and it is never to late to start a weight training regimen. Muscle and bone mass can be regained even as we age into our 70’s and 80’s. Why wait?                                                             Did you know that 9 out of 10 hip fractures result from falls? Men and women both can benefit from a bone and muscle building workout. As little as 15-30 minutes, two times a week will produce benefits.

Our Better Health

Instead of reduction in fractures, study suggests higher risk of heart disease, cancer

WebMD News from HealthDay      By Dennis Thompson     HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) – Drinking lots of milk could be bad for your health, a new study reports.

Previous research has shown that the calcium in milk can help strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis. These benefits to bone health have led U.S. health officials to recommend milk as part of a healthy diet.

But this new study found that drinking large amounts of milk did not protect men or women from bone fractures, and was linked to an overall higher risk of death during the study period.

However, the researchers said the results should be viewed with caution.

Women who drank three glasses of milk or more every day had a nearly doubled risk of death and cardiovascular disease, and a…

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