Sugar Substitutes III: Honey- Raw Organic vs. Refined Pasteurized

30 06 2009

Refined and Pasteurized Honey

The vast majority of brands of honey in most grocery stores are refined and pasteurized – these brands provide little more than liquid sugar.

Nectar commonly contains about 20 to 40 percent sugar. The bees in the hive concentrate the honey in the honeycomb to about 83% solids. Bees add the enzyme invertase to convert sucrose to the simple sugars glucose and fructose. After collection, most honey is heat treated. Honey is also filtered to remove air bubbles, solids and pollen grains.

Raw, Organic Honey

Honey that’s truly raw – not exposed to more than 118 degrees Fahrenheit – contains the following nutrients that can nourish your cells and keep you healthy:

  • A number of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can help keep your cardiovascular system healthy and help prevent damage caused by excessive amounts of free radicals
  • Amino acids (building blocks of protein in your body)
  • Enzymes
  • Trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and a number of other minerals
  • Healthy, natural sugars (fructose and glucose) that can help create glycogen stores in your liver and muscles, and provide a source of energy to your cells

What follows are some health benefits that are associated with raw, organic honey:

  • Raw honey contains phytonutrients – caffeic acid methyl caffeate, phenylethyl caffeate, and phenylethyl dimethylcaffeate – that may have anti-tumor and cancer-preventing properties. When raw honey is heavily processed and heated, these phytonutrients lose most or all of their effectiveness.
  • Research carried out in several Israeli hospitals indicates that honey may improve the strength of your immune system by supporting your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
  • Honey may help promote optimal build-up of glycogen stores in your liver, which can help your liver optimally supply your brain with glucose while you sleep and exercise for long periods of time.
  • When compared to other sweeteners, honey may improve your ability to regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels, though you still want to use raw, organic honey sparingly, as consumption of all sweeteners, even natural ones, can increase your blood sugar and insulin levels in the short and long term. Because raw, organic honey is rich in antioxidants, eating high quality honey may help support the health of your blood vessels.
  • From batch to batch, raw, organic honey may contain some friendly bacteria, which may help you experience optimal digestive tract health and a strong immune system.
  • When applied topically, raw, organic honey may accelerate healing of wounds, including burns and ulcers. The wound-healing properties of honey may be partly due to glucose oxidase, an enzyme that naturally occurs in honey. When glucose oxidase combines with water, the result is hydrogen peroxide, which is a mild antiseptic. Another possible reason why honey is an effective ointment for wounds is that the fructose and glucose in honey attracts water, and by keeping a wound dry, honey can help prevent growth of undesirable microorganisms.

Honey_on_a_spoon_by_jfschmit

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Almond Butter vs. Peanut Butter

29 06 2009

This chart compares creamy unsalted versions of each nutty spread, and the percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

2 tbsp. peanut butter 2 tbsp. almond butter
Calories 190 190
Total Fat (g) 16 16
Saturated Fat (g) 2 1.5
Carbs (g) 7 6
Fiber (g) 3 4
Protein (g) 8 7
Calcium 1% 8%
Iron 3% 6%
Vitamin E 14% 40%
Folate 6% 6%

Nutrition-wise, it looks like almond butter offers a bit more, especially in terms of vitamin E. Remember, a serving of each is only two tablespoons, so watch those portions.

butter





Plant Oils vs. Fish Oils

29 06 2009

It’s been surmised for a long time that people whose diet is based largely on fish and is rich in Omega-3 EFAs have lower rates of heart disease. This led researchers to investigate whether giving fish to people who had already suffered a heart attack would prevent them from having another attack.

The two largest studies conducted were the DART(1) and GISSI(2) trials, which both used fish-based Omega-3 fats. The results were positive, both studies showing a reduced risk. However, a much less publicized study was the LYON(3) trial, which used plant oils as a source of Omega-3 fats. The results showed that plant oils reduced the risk of a secondary heart attack by at least twice that of fish oils!

Comparing these three main trials shows that:

  • plant oils are far more effective than fish oils in reducing the chance of cardiac death in high-risk patients;
  • plant oils reduce the risk of dying from secondary heart attack by more than double that of fish oils;
  • plant oils reduce the number of painful, non-fatal heart attacks;
  • there are long-term survival benefits from consuming plant oils.

In addition, we have been so successful at spreading pollution that environmental contamination is widespread and all oceans now contain toxic chemicals. Mercury, organophosphates, PCBs, dioxins, and radioactive pollution are all highly toxic to life. Fatty foods have a tendency to “soak” up toxins and so oily fish are particularly prone to absorbing them.

In summary, plant oils are a far healthier source of the essential fats we need, halve the risk of heart disease compared with fish oils and are much less likely to be contaminated with harmful chemicals or turn rancid, making them the ideal choice for “good fats” to consume for optimal health.





Fast Food Calorie Chart.

27 06 2009

It seems as though fast food restaurants have become a way of life for many of us. With the hectic schedules and fast-paced lives we lead, it can be hard to find time to squeeze in cooking and preparing healthy meals. Many of us rely on the fast food industry to feed us when we are running errands on our lunch breaks, or feed our hungry children after a long day, so how good or bad is this fast food for our health?

You may be alarmed to see the calorie content of some of the most popular fast food items that are available.

  • Regular Cheeseburger – 320 calories
  • Large Cheeseburger – 610 calories
  • Regular Hamburger – 275 calories
  • Large Hamburger – 520 calories
  • Fish, fried or battered – 210 calories
  • Chicken, fried, dark meat – 430 calories for two pieces
  • Chicken, fried, wing/breast – 495 calories for two pieces
  • Chicken Nuggets – 300 calories for 6 pieces
  • Onion Rings – 175 calories for 8 rings
  • Regular French Fries – 240 calories
  • Large French Fries – 360 calories
  • Hot Dog – 240 calories
  • Chili Dog – 325 calories
  • Dressing – Caesar – 160 calories for one packet
  • Regular Chocolate Shake – 360 calories
  • Regular Strawberry Shake – 360 calories
  • Hot Fudge Sundae – 290 calories
  • Pancakes, Butter and Syrup – 520 calories for three pancakes
  • Apple pie – 260 calories for one piece

Keep in mind, that this is only the calorie content for some of the most popular choices in fast food. This does not depict the fat grams and other nutrient content. It is also important to remember that people often have more than one item from this list, which can lead to a large amount of calories for one meal from a fast food restaurant. Eating fast food in moderation can be fine, just make sure to watch your calories and try not to make it mainstay in your diet.





Raw Milk vs. Pasteurized Milk

27 06 2009

When it comes to raw milk, most people are a little squeamish and are not sure what to expect. True, raw milk is in its truest form, being straight from the cow and in its pure sense, but maybe knowing just how powerful and healthy raw milk is, could change a few minds. Raw milk has been used for years as a way to sustain life and even fight diseases.

Raw milk consists of important enzymes that aid in assimilating the nutrients present in milk. Raw milk serves as one of the best sources for calcium consumption. One of the major raw milk drinking advantages is that it contains the beneficial bacteria, which otherwise get destroyed, when the milk undergoes pasteurization process.

How beneficial is raw milk can be understood by analyzing the loss that occurs, when the milk is pasteurized. Pasteurization destroys enzymes, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 and also it kills the beneficial bacteria. Raw milk does not rot, rather it sours naturally. Pasteurized milk is often associated with health problems like diarrhea, cramps, iron-deficiency anemia, cancer, skin rashes, osteoporosis and allergies etc. On the contrary, raw milk keeps you away from these health ailments.

Raw milk is highly nutritious and thus acts as one of the healthiest foods. Raw milk tastes better, when compared to pasteurized milk, as it is creamier and fresh. People who do not relish the taste of milk are likely to find the taste of raw milk pleasant. There can be digestion problem with the consumption of processed milk, but that won’t be the case with raw milk.





Himalayan Salt vs. Sea Salt and Rock Salt

27 06 2009

Many people believe sea salt is a healthy alternative to table salt, but this is no longer the case. The oceans are being used as dumping grounds for harmful toxic poisons like mercury, PCBs and dioxin. Reports of oil spills polluting the sea are becoming more frequent. With some 89% of all the sea salt producers now refining their salt, today’s sea salt simply isn’t as healthy as it used to be.

If you were to look into a microscope at sea salt you would see it has irregular and isolated crystalline structures disconnected from the natural elements surrounding them. Thus, however many vital minerals it may contain, they cannot be absorbed by your body unless the body expends tremendous energy to vitalize them. Your body’s net gain is small compared to the great loss of energy.

Because the crystalline structure of himalayan crystal salt is balanced, it is not isolated from the 84 inherent mineral elements, but is connected to them in a harmonious state. This means the energy content in the form of minerals can be easily metabolized by your body. When you use this salt it has a vital energetic effect, your body gets an ample net gain with little energy loss.

Mined salt, or rock salt, is also a poor substitute for Himalayan Crystal Salt. While natural rock salt comes close to being intact and is more valuable than industrial table salt, from a biophysical as well as bio-chemical perspective, it holds little value.

The elements contained in rock salt lack sufficient compression to be included in the crystal web, but are only attached to the surface and in the gaps of the crystalline structure. It is the considerable pressure that brings the elements to a colloidal state – where your cells can readily absorb them. The valuable elements found in rock salt are useless because your body cannot absorb and metabolize them.





Himalayan Salt vs. Conventional Salt

27 06 2009

Most people simply don’t realize that there are enormous differences between the standard, refined table and cooking salt most of you are accustomed to using and natural health-promoting salt.

These differences can have a major impact on your staying healthy.

If you want your body to function properly, you need holistic salt complete with all-natural elements. Today’s common table salt has nothing in common with natural salt.

Your table salt is actually 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents, and iodine. Dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt.

This salt from the Himalayas is known as “white gold.” Together with pure spring water, Himalayan Crystal Salt offers all the natural elements exactly identical to the elements in your body — the very same elements originally found existing in the “primal sea.”

Containing all of the 84 elements found in your body, the benefits of natural Himalayan Crystal Salt include:

  1. Regulating the water content throughout your body.
  2. Promoting a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells.
  3. Promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging.
  4. Assisting in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body.
  5. Absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract.
  6. Supporting respiratory health.
  7. Promoting sinus health.
  8. Prevention of muscle cramps.
  9. Promoting bone strength.
  10. Regulating your sleep — it naturally promotes sleep.
  11. Supporting your libido.
  12. Promoting vascular health.
  13. In conjunction with water it is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure.

Table Salt

What remains after typical salt is “chemically cleaned” is sodium chloride — an unnatural chemical form of salt that your body recognizes as something completely foreign. This form of salt is in almost every preserved product that you eat. Therefore, when you add more salt to your already salted food, your body receives more salt than it can dispose of.

This is important as over 90% of the money that people spend on food is for processed food.

Typical table salt crystals are totally isolated from each other. In order for your body to try to metabolize table salt crystals, it must sacrifice tremendous amounts of energy.

Inorganic sodium chloride can keep you from an ideal fluid balance and can overburden your elimination systems.

When your body tries to isolate the excess salt you typically expose it to, water molecules must surround the sodium chloride to break them up into sodium and chloride ions in order to help your body neutralize them. To accomplish this, water is taken from your cells in order to neutralize the unnatural sodium chloride.

This results in a less-than-ideal fluid balance in the cells.

For every gram of sodium chloride that your body cannot get rid of, your body uses 23 times the amount of cell water to neutralize the salt. Eating common table salt causes excess fluid in your body tissue, which can contribute to:

  1. Unsightly cellulite
  2. Rheumatism, arthritis and gout
  3. Kidney and gall bladder stones

When you consider that the average person consumes 4,000 to 6,000 mg of sodium chloride each day, and heavy users can ingest as much as 10,000 mg in a day, it is clear that this is a serious and pervasive issue.

himalayan_salt