The importance of reading food packages before purchasing, cannot be stressed enough. Look for words like, Hydrogenated, BHT (Butylated – Hydroxy – Toluene) , BHA (Butylated- Hydroxy- Anisole), Diabetic food, Sodium Nitrate, and Dyes like Red #40. These are just a few.

The hydrogenation saturates foods and as we remember BHA and BHT used as preservatives in certain cereals are linked to cancer. Excess refined sugars and syrups like High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) , cause fat buildup and rob your body of nutrients, leading to malnutrition and disease. Too much salt in susceptible individuals, can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) straining the circulatory vessels.

Sodium nitrite , usually added to luncheon meats to preserve them , can form nitrosamines which are powerful cancer forming chemicals. Products like bacon, hotdogs and sausages fall into this category. Manufacturers use dyes in drinks and other foods for colour. Red dye # 2 was banned years ago because of its cancer causing properties. Red # 40 was then introduced, but this is also suspected as being a carcinogen. Unfortunately, it is still used in many drinks and foods.

We try to avoid the excess added sugars and we turn to , what the marketers term, “Diabetic” foods. Many contain artificial sweeteners and they are called “diet” and “sugar free”. Research has linked artificial sweeteners to depression, memory loss, fatigue, migraine, and seizures. One in particular , Aspartame, is marketed as , Aminosweet, Equal, NutraSweet, and Canderel , and it started out as a Biochemical warfare agent for the Pentagon. Science already marks this fake sugar as being responsible for many ill effects including memory loss, Parkinson’s type symptoms, seizures, mood swings and headaches, yet this sweetener appears in thousands of diet products. The links to various Cancers are also apparent. Many experts warn about the ingestion of many artificial sugars and one should avoid these: Sucralose, Aspartame, Saccharine, Tagatose, and Acesulfame-K.

Better choices for occasional use as sweeteners are Stevia and Monk fruit extract. These are natural and are considered safe.  

Monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo fruit, is found in Southeast Asia. It got its name from the Buddhist monks who first used it in their own routines. Since then, monk fruit has been used for over one thousand years as both a sweetener and as a remedy in traditional medicine. The unique melon fruit is also much sweeter than sugar, up to 250 times. It can be a bit difficult to find but it can be purchased online.

Eat more fresh foods. Limit the amount of processed and hydrogenated products

Stevia is another natural non-nutritive (zero calories) sweetener that comes from a plant. Despite being a healthier option as a sweetener, it gets a bad reputation because people often confuse it with brands that promote cane sugar as stevia. Real stevia is extracted from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Stevia is 400 times sweeter than sugar, making it ideal for those who must avoid sugar entirely or are cutting back on their sugar intake.  

Like monk fruit, it has a unique taste, but stevia still remains a favoured option for similar reasons to monk fruit. When searching for stevia and products with stevia in them, be cautious: some brands claim their products use mostly stevia only to fill the gaps with, added sugars. 

Things to consider :

  • Read labels
  • Avoid high density sugar products like table sugar, soft drinks, and sugar coated cereals. A small bit of chocolate or piece of candy bar to mark the end of a healthy meal is actually useful in helping to control the appetite. The principle here is to avoid becoming cataclysmic. The idea is moderation.
  • Alcoholic drinks like Rum, Whiskey and Beer also contain sugar. Again, moderation is the key. Beware of over consumption.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Do not smoke. There is no acceptable level of smoking. There is no nutrition here and this is a terrible pollutant to the body. Lung cancer, throat cancer, COPD, tongue and mouth cancer, heart disease, damage to the immune system and ulcers are just a few effects to look forward to as a smoker. If you are smoking, do not start an exercise program.
  • Eat more fresh foods. Limit the amount of processed and hydrogenated products,
  • Consume more complex carbohydrates like oats, whole grains, vegetables, beans, and rice.
  • Have patience. If you are working towards losing unwanted fat, this takes time. One and a half to two pounds loss per week should be the maximum. Remember that not all weight loss is fat loss. Skin caliper measurements would better instruct as to fat loss and this is much preferred over scale weight.

    Do not single supplement by taking mega doses of a particular vitamin or mineral. Remember vitamins and minerals work synergistically. For example, Calcium would be useless if vitamin D were not present and Magnesium is essential for Vitamin D and Calcium absorption. Also remember that Mega doses can be poisonous.

    Most of all, do not fall prey to con men companies offering the silver bullet to fat loss. Charges were brought against a Canadian company operating in the US some years ago. They made quick money defrauding desperate and vulnerable individuals by selling products called Quickslim and Cellufight. Judge David N. Hurd froze the company’s assets and ordered an injunction against the defendants for misleading advertising.

    Exercise, proper eating, and perseverance are your best working principles.

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