So here's a controversial one.... artificial sweeteners. There's is a newish kid on the block STEVIA.
I hate all artificial sweeteners with a HUGE passion. So her comes Mr Stevia. "I'm healthy" he says, "I'm made from a plant, I naturally have virtually no calories, but am 200 times sweeter than normal sugar". Brilliant?? No I don't think so. Ok so it may help an obese person to keep consuming highly sweetened foods and loose weight. Or any person for that matter. (Recommended by the NHS for obese and overweight people). Ermm eurgh great so they still eat junk food, sweetened foods that make their mouths explode. Are we not missing the point though? Our bodies were designed to crave sweetened foods because they were sparse. We needed them for energy. It was a natural instinct to keep us healthy and our energy levels high. The food industry bought into this by adding sugar into everything, and i mean everything !!!! Bread, cereals, farming fruits and vegetables that were sweeter. Any thing you can think of the really to get the mainstream consumer to buy their product over someone else's, because our bodies are drawn to the sweet shit! Should we not be teaching our young, friends , family, co-workers anyone who will listen to change up their diets? To feel great in their skin. To live long, strong and happy? Not be brainwashed by the supermarket factory of health problems? I eat cake, I love cake, I love sweet stuff. I have to make an informed decision to eat fruit, to make cake over shop bought (or buy wisely) and do my best to eat small amounts in my diet. Because I love myself, my family and friends I want to live a long healthy life. It's hard I agree and it's a drug that is everywhere. I personally think that counting calories is a waste of time. If you eat a mostly natural diet you can afford to occasionally eat sweet things and not worry. Eat to nurture yourself. Just because something has low/no calories doesn't make it good for, just because your bum doesn't get fat, does it make you happy that your internal organs might be? Please choose wisely use healthier natural alternatives like dates, agave syrup and good quality sugars. Just don't expect to eat it every day and be slim, most importantly healthy.
I thought I would share my response to a readers comment regarding this stevia article. So here is my continued response........
I am no expert. I'm sharing MY opinion. I have researched stevia (and it under other name forms). The way it was used hundreds of years ago is not the way it is being sold now. The form it is sold in now is what i have the issue. A highly processed product. That I believe has not been researched enough. It's amazing what being a multimillion pound company can do for a product being accepted and placed on the market though! Companies such as Cargill Ltd. and Merisant Worldwide Inc. are extracting rebaudioside A, one of the components that makes the plant sweet, and turning it into a zero-calorie, natural rival to artificial sweeteners like Splenda. Cargill's stevia product is known as Truvia, while Merisant - owner of other sweetener brands such as Equal - markets its as PureVia. Some studies have suggested it can lead to male reproductive problems, interfere with metabolism and cause genetic mutations. There’s also a growing concern that stevia’s intense sweetness could alter our food preferences. So while stevia is widely available and generally considered safe, there’s still more for cautious consumers to learn about this sweetener and its impact on our bodies, brains — and taste buds.
The Guarani Indians in Paraguay have used stevia since the 16th century. They discovered that by crushing leaves of a native shrub,Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni), they could sweeten tea and medicine. By the 1800s, the leaf’s popularity had expanded throughout much of South America. Which is very different to the highly processed version we are being marketed.
In its original, undoctored state, stevia’s molecular makeup triggers the tongue’s taste receptors for both sweet and bitter. But when scientists figured out how to chemically alter stevia, they snipped off the molecule’s less attractive, bitter bits. The result was a solely sweet product — one that’s up to 300 times sweeter than table sugar.
‘Natural’ used to mean whole, as in holistic. But the concentrated extraction of one particular fraction of stevia that exists in the little green packet is a far reach from how stevia appears in nature.
We respond hormonally to sugars — and high-potency sweeteners — in our mouths. We also have sweetness receptors in the intestines, liver, pancreas and brain.
That brain-body reaction to sweetness is called the cephalic phase response. And it means that, to some extent, whenever you eat anything sweet, your body reacts as though you’ve consumed sugar, regardless of the actual caloric or carbohydrate load.
Stevia advocates, including some health experts, point to small-scale studies that suggest stevia does not trigger the same insulin response that sugar and artificial sweeteners do. This does not mean it doesn't give any effects. And as always there is conflicting evidence to support both sides!
Ultimately though we won’t know what all the added sugar and high-potency sweeteners in our diet are doing to us for another 40 or 50 years. Essentially it is a natural experiment on the population, and the jury is still out.
I wonder why we have to find all these sugar substitutes for people with diabetes? Should we not just accept everybody is different and some bodies can and can't accept excess sugars. Eat for your health.
I'm not sure what you will make of this response. I may or may not be right. But for me personally I don't advocate animal testing and certainly not HUMAN testing!!
Love Forking Fit Wholesome Foodie Lizzy
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