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The Holiday Sugar Trap; All There is to Know
The festive season can be a tempting affair to any healthy eater. Hopping from one party and family gathering to another might easily see you indulging in unhealthy dishes and drinks. It is quite difficult to hold back on the wide varieties of delicious treats unless your will is exceptional. Counting the calories in the food you eat when in the middle of a conversation with a long lost friend or family members isn't easy. What you regard as 'just a once off affair' might ruin the rest of the year for you. There is a lot of hidden sugar in holiday treats such as; syrup, cakes, flavored pop corn, cookies, soda, juices, Lemonades and ice cream.
Reasons to Avoid Sugar During the Festive Season
Sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay. Plaque, a harmful bacteria responsible for tooth decay, uses sugar as a form of energy. This way, the plaque multiplies and becomes thick hence making it difficult for it to be washed away by saliva. Sugar is also used as a form of glue for the bacteria to firmly stick to the teeth.
Added sugar for instance fructose corn syrup contains a lot of empty calories with zero nutrients.These calories do not contain any protein, minerals, vitamins nor any essential fats. It is purely energy which is converted into fats in the body hence weight gain.
Did you know that indulging in all that sweetness at the Christmas table might be the beginning of your sugar addiction? Sugar shuttles tryptophan in the brain which further converts to serotonin hence having a physiological addictive effect.
When the refined sugar intake is high, the body might be forced to produce more leptin and insulin. This is due to the high carbohydrate and processed food diet. When these two rise, blood pressure might go up leading to leptin and insulin resistance. Insulin is responsible for the storage of magnesium meant for the relaxation of muscles in the body. When the insulin is interfered with, the lack of magnesium in the cells may lead to the inability of your your hearts' vessels to fully relax hence narrowing them. This overworks your heart hence increased blood pressure.
Refined sugar has been proven to cause diabetes, obesity as well as other conditions that put your heart at risk. New studies have linked sugar with unhealthy cholesterol and increased triglyceride levels. When you consume a lot of refined sugar, the excess is stored in the liver as tryglecirides (a form of fat that sticks to your arteries). This fat travels through the blood stream and may clog it up.
That extra can of soda might leave you struggling with life altering health conditions. It is important to consider healthy alternatives to refined sugars. A perfect example in this case would be unsweetened or stevia calorie free sweetners. Sweet leaf and Truvia are made of stevia which is a natural herbs that are commonly found in South and Central America. Stevia is 40 times sweeter than sugar yet contains no empty calories which makes it a suitable alternative. These sweeteners are easily available in local stores and can be used in almost anything; tea, coffee, cereal, yogurt and even fruit.
Celebrity Holiday Fare - eating plenty of vegetables is the trendiest trend...
June 13, 2005 09:53 AM
Celebrity Holiday Fare by Claire Gottlieb Energy Times, October 11, 2003
Trendy celebrities and trendy food go together like holidays and sparkling trees. Within the celebrity-filled universe known as the media, eating plenty of vegetables is the trendiest trend. And, according to the latest nutrition research, it also may be the healthiest.
Even before Frankenstein's monster picked up his first movie contract or endorsement deal, he was a vegetarian (for reasons best known by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, his creator).
Meanwhile, well-known actor Woody Harrelson, a fan of raw, vegetarian foods, professes that his devotion to uncooked veggies only reached firm ground when he became convinced they could and would taste fantastic. The tastiness of the recipes we've included with our inspection of the rarefied world of celebrity food prove that the celebrity predilection for these dishes keeps taste buds happy.
For Love of Pie
When preparing your holiday fare this season, taking tips from the dietary habits and favored dishes of celebrities may perk up your lunches and dinners. Healthy dishes can be delicious!
As Woody Harrelson points out in his foreword to Living Cuisine (Avery/Penguin) by Renee Loux Underkoffler, he became a fan of raw vegetables when he was convinced that they could be made into delicious dishes.
"Though I wasn't raw at the time, I knew enough to know that raw food and its emphasis on enzymes being the life force of the food is the way to go for optimum health and energy. Still, you can talk theory all you want; if the taste isn't there, color me a cooked-food junkie."
Eating dishes cooked by Ms. Underkoffler left him and Gabriel Cousens (a health book writer) speechless.
"We were struck dumb by our taste buds...the coup de grace was one of Renee's coconut cream pies, which, I confess, almost brought Gabriel and me to blows over the last piece." Other celebrities also find Ms. Underkoffler's food preparation skills to be superb. Alicia Silverstone raves, "I love Renee....Her food reflects that spirit, opening the senses to everything around you-it's incredibly rich and delicious and full of health and restorative energy. Her food is medicine." (But it doesn't taste like it!)
Birth of a Charitable Idea
Meanwhile other celebrities have taken their food act to a whole new level. Consider how Paul Newman's holiday habits led to his food adventures.
The story on Mr. Newman starts with salad dressing and Christmas. He and his friend, author A.E. Hotchner, originally created home made dressing and bestowed wine bottles of the stuff on family and friends for Christmas presents. Consequently, every holiday season Mr. Newman and his immediate family indulged in Christmas caroling and salad dressing giving. The demand for the dressing grew every successive holiday season until Mr. Newman and Mr. Hotchner decided to go commercial: Sell the dressing and make it available to shoppers throughout North America. The profits go to charity, and Mr. Newman bestowed about a million dollars to worthy causes in the first year.
In the early 80s, the Newman's Own brand started out with its Oil & Vinegar Dressing. Today they offer salad dressings, pasta sauces, salsas, popcorn, Lemonade and other sauces. According to Mr. Newman, the two principles that rule the company are an insistence on top-quality products without artificial ingredients or preservatives and the donation of all after-tax profits from the sale of the products to educational and charitable organizations, both in the United States and foreign countries where the products are sold. Over $125 million worth have been donated since 1982.
In 1986, Mr. Newman founded The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, along with Ursula Gwynne and A.E. Hotchner, with funds from Newman's Own and other donations. The camp, located in Connecticut, is for children with serious disease. (Newman recipes are available at the website: www.newmansown.com.)
Whether the latest celebrity trend wends its way to raw food or cooked creations, you can safely count on the fact that celebrity heads will rest easy tonight (and yours can, too!) knowing that they've eaten food that's both in fashion and healthy. Leo Tolstoy, the celebrated Russian novelist, once pointed out, "Vegetarianism serves as a criterion by which we know that the pursuit of moral perfection on the part of man is genuine and sincere."
When you try it for yourself, you'll find that serving mostly vegetarian meals may also offer evidence of a sincere devotion to better health and happier holidays.