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.


Sugar Substitutes II: Stevia.

28 06 2009

Stevia, known as “sweet herb”, this plant is 25 times sweeter than sugar when made as an infusion with 1 teaspoon stevia leaves to 1 cup of water. Two drops of this infusion equal 1 teaspoon of sugar in sweetness.

It is safe for a diabetic as it is does not change blood glucose levels. It does have a bit of an aftertaste you need to get used to. In South America and the Orient a product derived of Stevia called Stevioside has a 41% share of the food sweetener market.

There are some healing benefits of stevia as well.

  • Stevia is known to help regulate blood sugar,
  • helps to lower high blood pressure,
  • aids in weight loss by decreasing the desire for sugary foods.
  • Some people even report that it reduces their desire for tobacco and alcoholic beverages.
  • Stevia is also used in facemasks to smooth out wrinkles and heal skin blemishes and acne.

So why don’t we see more of it? Apparently the import of stevia was heavily influenced by Nutrasweet politics.

You can actually buyt a Stevia plant from Wal-Mart. It’s and annual plant and grows quite well. You harvest the leaves just as the flowers bloom, dry them, and then use them in teas, or crumble them up and use them in cooking.

You can get Stevia drops or packets in your local health food store. It can also be purchased in bulk form.


Sugar Substitutes I: Splenda.

28 06 2009

Splenda is similar to a chlorinated pesticide. It is 600 times sweeter than table sugar. Although it has no calories some research indicates that it may actually stimulate the appetite. Splenda is a tri-chlorinated sugar, which releases chlorine into our bodies and is made with acetic acid and toluene (a carcinogenic substance). Chlorine destroys the immune system and can cause many autoimmune diseases and disturb vital functions.

One small study of diabetic patients using the sweetener showed a statistically significant increase in glycosylated hemoglobin (Hba1C), which is a marker of long-term blood glucose levels and is used to assess glycemic control in diabetic patients. According to the FDA, “increases in glycosylation in hemoglobin imply lessening of control of diabetes.

Research in animals has shown that sucralose can cause many problems in rats, mice, and rabbits, such as:

·        Abortion of fetus

·        Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus

·        Decreased red blood cell count (anemia)

·        Decreased weight of fetus and placenta

·        Diarrhea

·        Enlarged liver and kidneys

·        Extended pregnancies

·        Increased cecal weight

·        Pelvic hyperplasia

·        Reduced growth rate

·        Shrunken thymus gland up to 40% shrinkage (the thymus is responsible for our immunity)

There have been no long-term studies thus far on the use and challenges from using Sucrulose (Splenda). Two studies show that 11-40% of the Splenda consumed is absorbed while the rest is excreted in through the feces. They don’t exactly know where this buildup is going but it seems to sequester in the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.

Some testimonies from humans taking Splenda include symptoms such as:

  • ·        Bloating, severe
  • ·        Bright red rash and welts
  • ·        Chest pain
  • ·        Decreased coordination
  • ·        Diminished driving skills
  • ·        Dry heaves
  • ·        Dulled senses
  • ·        Excessive crying (emotional wreck)
  • ·        Food poisoning symptoms (lasting for days)
  • ·        Forgetful
  • ·        Generalized body pain
  • ·        Headaches
  • ·        Hypersensitive to noise
  • ·        Hypertension
  • ·        Insomnia
  • ·        Irregular heartbeat
  • ·        Irritability
  • ·        Itching
  • ·        Knee and leg pains (shooting pain) Act III popcorn testimonial
  • ·        Lack of focus
  • ·        Moody
  • ·        Panic attacks
  • ·        Stomach cramps (severe)
  • ·        Withdrawn and disinterested from life
  • ·        Zoned out

The FDA acknowledges that sucralose is 98% pure. The other 2% is composed of:

  • Heavy metals such as lead
  • ·        Arsenic
  • ·        Chlorinated Disaccharides and Monosaccharides
  • ·        Methanol
  • ·        Triphenilphosphine Oxide