The Gluten Problem

06 Jun
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  1 Comments

gluten-bread-caution

Gluten free. It’s everywhere now. Many think it’s the latest fad out there. Fad or not, gluten is a problem for so many people. Gluten sensitivity is the most under-recognized, undiagnosed medical condition of our time. Many people out there who are gluten sensitive don’t even know it and they could cure their ailments without the use of drugs by solely by removing gluten from their diets.

Undigested gluten lingering around in your body causes inflammation, which in turn can cause disease as well as weight gain. In a sensitive individual, gluten also causes poor absorption of nutrients which can lead to anemia, hormonal imbalance, and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, many people think that the symptoms of gluten sensitivity are solely in the digestive tract (bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramps). Gluten sensitivity can manifest in any system in your body and symptoms are variable depending on the person: migraines, joint pain, digestive issues, fatigue, exhaustion, brain fog, and the list goes on.

I’m not saying going gluten free is the answer to everything as I did several things to heal my body on my journey to healing, but going gluten free definitely helped me tremendously. And the past few weekends when I accidentally ingested some gluten while at weddings and eating random things at restaurants, my body can feel it. I’m extremely tired, sluggish, and unmotivated all of a sudden, as well as swollen joints.

Here are two posts that I wrote below that go into more depth about gluten sensitivity and celiac disease and how to recognize the symptoms and what to do about it:

Celiac Disease Vs. Gluten Sensitivity (Part 1)
Celiac Disease Vs. Gluten Sensitivity (Part 2)

 

Grain Free Blueberry Muffins

26 Jan
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  3 Comments


Yesterday I made coconut flour blueberry muffins for the first time. Why would I want to use coconut flour over any other types of flour? Here are the benefits of coconut flour: (via Dr. Mercola)

  • Coconut Flour is ideal for baking. It has fewer digestible (net) carbs than other flours, and it even has fewer digestible carbs than some vegetables!
  • Coconut Flour is gluten-free and hypoallergenic. With as much protein as wheat flour, coconut flour has none of the specific protein in wheat called “gluten.” This is an advantage for a growing percentage of the population who have allergies to gluten or a wheat sensitivity.
  • Coconut Flour consists of the highest percentage of dietary fiber (58%) found in any flour. Wheat bran has only 27% fiber.
  • Coconut Flour can help you reach a healthy weight. Ideal for those who follow a low-carb eating plan, coconut flour works well as part of a weight loss program because it has high fiber, and foods with high fiber can help promote a feeling of fullness.


    Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffin Recipe
    *Adapted from Tiana

    Ingredients:
    1/4 cup coconut flour, preferably sifted
    3 eggs
    2 Tbsp. melted butter or coconut oil
    2 Tbsp. milk of your choice (I used raw, grass fed milk)
    3-4 Tbsp. raw local honey (depending on how sweet you like yours)
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. vanilla
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 cup fresh or frozen organic blueberries

    Directions:
    Blend together eggs, butter, milk, honey, salt and vanilla. Combine coconut flour with baking powder and thoroughly mix into batter until there are no lumps. Fold blueberries into batter. Pour batter into greased muffin cups. It’s best not to use paper muffin cups as the muffins tend to stick to them. Greased silicone muffin cups work best. Bake at 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes. Makes 6 muffins.

    Serve with grass fed butter & raw honey. Enjoy!

    *Side note: If the batter seems too liquidy, you could use 1/3 c. coconut flour instead of 1/4 c.

    Let me know what you think!
    Naturally Yours,
    xoxoxo
    Kristen M. Pardue, RD, CLC

Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef: Contains Cancer-Fighting Substance

21 Jan
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

Guest Post by Melvin Marks at www.naturallygrassfedbeef.com

Grass fed beef simply means that the beef cattle were fed only grass, grass hay, or grass silage, as their only feed from birth to the butcher shop. Grass fed animals are raised the way nature intended, starting with their mother’s milk, then grazing contently in fields and pastures their entire lives.

Grass fed animals are generally much healthier, therefore they do not require antibiotics, feed supplements or hormones. This means there is no residues left in the beef to be passed on to you! Not being crowed into tight, confined, sometimes dirty pens means that they are healthier and happier animals also.

Besides being healthier for you, grass fed beef is also tastier and leaner, providing many health benefits. Being raised the nature intended, grass fed beef is higher in Vitamins A & E, CLA’s and has the right balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.

Our bodies convert beta-carotene into Vitamin A, and grass fed beef contains 10 times the amount of beta-carotene than traditional grain fed beef. It also contains 3 times the amount of Vitamin E then grain fed. The balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids is an important factor in our bodies’ health, aiding in the prevention of coronary disease, cancer and diabetes. Cattle, fed a diet of mostly grain produce meat that has very low levels of Omega 3 and high levels of Omega 6, which presents health concerns to us.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is produced in the stomach of cattle, which in turn is found in meat. When passed onto us it has many health benefits. When cows are grass fed their entire life they have 2 to 3 times the amount of CLA then grain fed cows.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA’s have recently been discovered and good news for us, they are good for you! CLA’s are a fatty acid that has potential cancer fighting properties. They are also promoted as a diet aid and muscle builder.  In recent animal studies, even small amounts of CLA have been able to block all 3 stages of cancer. Beyond that CLA has significantly slowed down the growth of a number of tumors including colon, skin breast and prostate cancer.

Grass fed beef has 1.5 times more protein than grain fed- feed lot raised cattle. This is because feed lot cattle are there for one reason- to fatten quickly. They are pushed hard to reach slaughter weight in 18- 20 months, by being fed huge amounts of grain, being injected with growth hormones and not being allowed to get any exercise. The faster they get to slaughter, the more money these factory farms make.

Not so with totally grass fed and finished cattle. They grow at a slower pace, the way cattle did in the early 1900’s, with plenty of fresh air, clean surroundings and lots of green grass to eat. When they are grazed on lush green grass as their only source of feed, vitamins, minerals, omega 3 and CLA is abundant. When we eat grass fed beef, we energize ourselves with these nutrients that are passed along to us through the meat of these all naturally raised animals. Not only are these animals more healthy, we are too when we reap the benefits of grass fed beef.

Getting Healthy in the New Year

01 Jan
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments


Happy New Year to all of my amazing followers! My wish for each and every one of you in 2013 is health and healing, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional
, or spiritual healing that you need (or all of these).  If one of your goals for the new year is to lose weight or make healthier changes for your family, know that all things are possible.  You CAN do this. Your health and your family’s health is worth it.  You can take steps to prevent cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and other chronic conditions. By making lifestyle changes through the foods that you eat, you can have energy, sleep better, feel better, improve your fertility, and so much more!

I would love to help you on your journey to optimum health!  Most people don’t know just how good their bodies were made to feel.  Let’s get back to the basics of life.  There is healing power in the foundational foods that God created for us to eat.

As an Integrative Dietitian, I will not only teach you the benefits of eating nutrient-dense foods, I will show you how to do it (even with a busy schedule).  I will be a source of support and hope for you during your journey.  Whether you want to lose weight or you have a chronic health condition, you don’t have to continue living this way.  You deserve to feel good again! 

Happy New Year! May 2013 be your best year yet!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, CLC
*Mention this post & receive 25% off your initial consultation.

 

My Story of Healing Revised

30 Dec
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

 

My Family: This Is What Motivates Me To Be Healthy

I decided that I needed to re-write “My Story” of how I was able to heal myself from autoimmune symptoms through real food & food based supplements.  After a few years of research and educating myself, I’ve realized many underlying factors that contributed to me getting “sick” a few years ago, and I wanted to follow up my original story with what I think really caused my illness.  I’m thankful that God has given me an inner drive to figure out things for myself & be the researcher that I am.  If I hadn’t researched, then I would be living on prescription medicine to treat symptoms that were masking the true underlying problem.  If I hadn’t done all the research, then I wouldn’t have truly understood just how powerful a role that real food plays in the body; that food truly is medicine.  Also, if I hadn’t researched so much, then who knows, I may not have been able to conceive my now 9 month old baby boy.  (Infertility can sometimes be a problem for those with autoimmune issues).  I believe with all of my heart that the Lord allowed me to become very ill in 2010 so that I could be a source of hope for others.  I wouldn’t wish the pain I went through on anyone, but looking back I’m thankful for that time of trials because since then I’ve been able to see other people find hope and healing in their own lives.

If you’ve read my original story, you know that I struggled with autoimmune type symptoms (severe joint pain/swelling), as well as nerve problems, muscle twitching, tingling in my hands, and much more. After months of visiting doctor after doctor in Nashville who had no idea what was wrong with me and whose only solution was to give more prescription drugs to treat the symptoms, I took matters into my own hands.  I decided to go gluten free and pasteurized dairy free as well.  That same week, my chiropractor referred me to a naturopathic doctor who was also a BBRE practitioner (Body Balance by Reflex Evaluation aka Applied Kinesiology).  She was able to identify imbalances in my body and heal those through food based Standard Process supplements (the brand I now sale).  I am now a certified BBRE practitioner myself as I’ve seen first hand the amazing results from it.  My N.D. also confirmed that I was sensitive to gluten and pasteurized dairy.  Many studies show that these two foods should be eliminated in people dealing with autoimmune issues.  During that same time I saw a medical doctor who is more natural minded who did a lot of blood work and even stool sampling to identify potential problems.  I’m not going to be extremely detailed here because you can read that in my original story.  To make a long story short, all of my symptoms were resolved through my diet changes; removing foods that were causing inflammation and adding important chelating foods to rid my body of toxins (mercury in particular). 

The Cause: My Silent Downward Spiral:

Now, after several years of my own research and helping my own clients get healthy, I’ve learned the toxic path that lead to my “illness.”  I never got an actual diagnosis because the blood work was inconclusive on everything the doctors tested, but all my symptoms were autoimmune in nature.  Even though going gluten free helped me to find relief in some of my symptoms, I’ve learned that gluten wasn’t the main cause of it all.

Food:  Growing up, I ate my mother’s home cooked meals, but that changed a little when I got to the age where I was eating on the run because of sporting events, practices, and my busy schedule as a high school student and later college student.  I started eating the SAD diet (Standard American diet), which included processed foods, sodas, and eating out frequently.  In college I loved diet Mt. Dew’s to keep me awake while cramming for the next organic chemistry test. I wasn’t eating enough of the good stuff that God created for us to enjoy.

Vaccines:  Some of you may know that my sister is severely mentally handicapped due to a vaccine reaction she had as an infant. (DTaP vaccine) These reactions aren’t as rare as people think-the government does its best to not tell you about them because the vaccine industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.  I’m not going to talk in depth on this issue.  All I recommend is do your own research on the safety of vaccines.  See the CDC’s Vaccine IngredientsThe Weston A. Price Foundation states, whether or not you decide to vaccinate your child, vaccinations should not be given before the age of two as the child’s immune system is still developing after birth and that’s a lot of chemicals/toxins going into a tiny baby.  Back to my story, I was fully vaccinated because my mother didn’t know she had a choice on vaccinations.  The doctors acted as if they were mandatory.  She did delay letting them give me the DTap shot by a few months-you can imagine how scared she must have been after what happened to my sister.  Unfortunately, I have had more vaccines than the average person due to all of the mission trips I have been on to third world countries.  My vaccine card would get lost, and I would get a whole new cocktail of shots that I was already up to date on.  The repetitive injections of vaccines that are full of heavy metals, neurotoxins, and other toxic substances contributed to my body’s toxic overload.  One very dangerous heavy metal that is in vaccines is mercury, which was silenty building up in my body without me even knowing.

Dental Fillings:  You may remember reading my post, “Could Those Silver Fillings In Your Mouth Be Dangerous?”  Two weeks before the severe joint pain, autoimmune type symptoms started in my body, I had my silver fillings removed at my dentist’s office.  She had recommended that they be removed and replaced with a safer substance since mercury was toxic.  Unfortunately for me, she did not follow the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology protocol on the safe removal of amalgam fillings, so my body was exposed to toxic amounts of mercury during the process.  Months later after suffering through debilitating joint pain, muscle tremors, twitching, infections, and the list goes on, I asked my doctor if all my symptoms could be related to mercury toxicity.  My doctor confirmed through a stool sample that my body had elevated amounts of several heavy metals, especially mercury.  Did you know that mercury induces autoimmune diseases in rats?  It’s extremely toxic.  I then started myself on oral chelation therapy and other regimens to detoxify my body of the mercury.

Toxicity–>Disease:  When we fill our bodies with toxic things, it’s inevitable that eventually disease will appear.  It’s only a matter of when it will appear.  While I don’t believe it was just one thing that caused my illness in 2010, I do think that the build up of mercury in my body was the main culprit.  I believe my gut health was compromised over the years with processed foods, sugar, heavy metals & other dangerous chemicals in vaccines.  And what finally caused my body to say, “I’ve had enough” was the mercury exposure at the dentist.  I’ve been working on healing my gut ever since, and I’m so passionate to help others do the same.  While you may not be able to do everything “perfectly” in regards to your health/nutrition because we are constantly surrounded by toxic things, I still believe it’s important to do our best to keep our bodies healthy. 

As 2013 is here, maybe you want to make positive changes for your health. I hear of people everyday complaining about headaches, joint pain, sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, stomach problems, infertility, bloating, and the list goes on.  I just want to tell everyone that, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE THAT WAY.”  I believe that most health issues can be changed, even reversed by the foods we eat. I am looking forward to a healthy rejuvenating 2013 and I want you to be right along side with me living the pain free life you deserve.  As you make the decision to invest in your family’s health, I’ll leave you with this quote by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, CLC

Baby’s First Foods (It’s Not Rice Cereal)

19 Nov
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  7 Comments


As most of you know, I have a 7 month old baby boy whom I absolutely adore.  Owen keeps me very busy as he is crawling and pulling up on everything now.  This age is so much fun!  We also just introduced solids at 7 months old. Many people are shocked to find out that Owen’s first food wasn’t rice cereal.  I’ll tell you why in a little bit.  Something we practice with Owen is Baby Led Weaning. In a nutshell, baby led weaning just means that instead of feeding baby pureed foods from a spoon, babies feed themselves.  Baby led weaning experts state that babies have a hard time learning the swallowing/gag reflex if they are solely fed from a spoon.  They also state that feeding from a spoon can pose a risk for overeating since the baby isn’t in control.  Allowing babies to feed themselves lets them stop eating when they are full.  A quote from the book states, “spoon feeding can encourage babies to eat more quickly than they would do naturally, interfering with the sensation that tells them when they have had enough. Eating too fast is another food behavior that has been linked with obesity in adults and children.” 

Egg Yolk
I have been giving Owen infant probiotics since he was about 1 month old.  Unfortunately, we had a rough labor/delivery, so my immune system was shot when we came home from the hospital.  Owen and I battled candida/thrush for several months, which is why I started the probiotics early on.  Other than breast milk and probiotics, Owen had his 1st solid at 7 months-boiled egg yolk.  Why an egg yolk you may ask?  The yolks are a great source of choline & other brain-nourishing nutrients.  During infancy, babies’ brains are growing rapidly, so they need lots of healthy fats & foods that contain cholesterol (like egg yolk).  The best eggs to buy are from pasture raised hens.  It is best to avoid the whites of an egg until the baby turns 1 since the whites tend to cause more allergic reactions.

Owen enjoying an egg yolk

Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Owen’s 2nd “solid”
was fermented cod liver oil.  I started off with a very small amount (1/8 tsp).  Cod liver oil is rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docasahexaenoic acid (DHA) and has been used for centuries as it’s rich in vitamin A and D.  If there was only ONE supplement that families could afford, this is the one I highly recommend.  You get the biggest bang for your buck with fermented cod liver oil.  Make sure it’s from a reputable source!  Some people recommend rubbing fermented cod liver oil on an infant’s bottom rather than giving it to them orally.  Yes, you can absorb nutrients through your skin as well!

Owen enjoying his fermented cod liver oil

Avocado
Owen’s 3rd solid was avocado.  He actually preferred playing with it instead of eating it.  I know this goes against our society’s way of thinking, but with Baby Led Weaning the saying goes, “Solid Food Before One Is Just For Fun.”  So you don’t have to worry that your baby isn’t getting enough nutrition if he/she won’t eat a lot of solids.  Your breast milk is all they truly need.  So just continue offering nutrient-dense foods and let your baby decide when he/she is ready to eat them.  Let them explore all the tastes & textures of food on their own and they’ll become more adventurous eaters as they grow!

Bone Broth
Another great first food, which I’ll be giving Owen next is homemade bone broth.  Again, this is another food that our ancestors have been eating for centuries.  Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends it as a first food to help seal the leaky gut.

No Rice Cereal?
Why didn’t I start my baby off with rice cereal?  One reason is because it’s highly processed.  When flour is refined to make cereal, the most nutritious part of the grain is removed, so the flour essentially becomes a form of sugar.  Another reason rice cereal isn’t a good first food is because it’s a grain and infants don’t begin producing the enzyme (pancreatic amylase) needed to digest grains until around 1 year.  Babies don’t fully produce enough of this enzyme until their 2-year molars are in, so it’s best to limit grains until then.  Grains are the hardest for a baby’s body to digest.  Fats are the easiest to digest, which makes sense as breast milk is mostly fat.  This is why baby’s first foods should be those rich in healthy fats.

I am a Weston A. Price Foundation mother and am so thankful for their nutrient-dense, whole foods based philosophy of eating; the way our great ancestors ate (natural & unprocessed).  This may seem like a “new” way of eating for you, but it’s really not new; our society just needs to get back to eating the way God intended.  I’m learning & transforming my family’s health right along with you.  Join me on this journey!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, CLC

GMO’s & How They’re Destroying Your Health

19 Oct
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

We Have a Right to Know if Our Food Has Been Genetically Engineered

You may have been hearing a lot about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) lately.  If you haven’t heard by now, consumers are demanding that the government respect their right to know what’s in their food by labeling GMOs.  I am one of those consumers, and I hope you are too.  You have the right to know what’s in your food, especially because not knowing will dramatically damage your health.  If you’re new to all of this, I will explain what GMOs are and how they’re destroying your family’s health.

What Are GMOs?
Genetically modified organisms are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.  Monsanto (the company responsible) uses poisonous pesticides and herbicides so the plants are protected from the insects that might damage them.  So basically what happens is that we eat the GMO food, which in turn mutates our cells and furthers the development of malignant tumors and other forms of cancer.  You may ask why Monsanto would do such a thing if it’s so dangerous to our health?  Unfortunately, Monsanto (and also the FDA or they would stop this) is driven by money instead of the health of consumers.

Health Problems That May Be Related to Eating GMO Food:

  • Cancer
  • Infertility
  • Birth Defects
  • Food Allergies
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Asthma
  • And much more since we are the guinea pigs and we don’t know all the long term effects this can have on our families
  • These once healthy rats were fed Genetically Modified Food as part of a study & ended up with these tumors. The GMOs caused cancer, liver, & kidney problems in these rats.
  •  

Some doctors will prescribe non GMO diets, and their patients will get better from a variety of diseases. The same problems they get better from are found in laboratory animals that are fed GMOs.

The 9 GE Crops on the Market in the U.S.:

  • Corn
  • Soybeans
  • Cotton
  • Canola
  • Sugar Beets
  • Alfalfa
  • Hawaiian Papaya
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Crookneck Squash
  • **A GE salmon is waiting FDA approval

What Can You Do?
Make sure you don’t buy any foods that contain GM seeds.  An easy way of doing this is by buying certified organic foods and/or by buying local from farmers who don’t use GM seeds.  Use your wallets to make your opinions known.  Another option you have is to buy foods that are “Non-GMO Verified.”
If more of us speak out about why we care about the food we put in our own bodies and in our children’s bodies, then we can convince the FDA to change its policy. In November, we need Prop 37 to pass in California, which would require the labeling of GM foods. “Prop 37 gives us the right to know if our food has been genetically engineered. It helps us make the right food choices for our families by putting a simple label on the groceries we buy and telling us if our food has been genetically engineered.” If it passes in California, then there is hope for GMO food labeling for the rest of the country.

If you want to learn more about GMO food labeling:
We Have the Right to Know.
CaRightToKnow.org

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

13 Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil

03 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments


Awhile back I wrote a post about the amazing benefits of coconut oil titled
“Nuts Over Coconuts.” I wanted to share with you more research I read this morning about just how good coconut oil is for your health.  This information is from Green Med Info.

13 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil:

  1. Fat-Burning: There are 2 studies showing that 2 tbsp. a day of coconut oil can reduce belly fat in 1-3 months.
  2. Brain-Boosting: Cognitive improvement has been shown in studies of alzheimer’s disease patients
  3. Clearing Head Lice: Coconut oil + anise spray works better than the insecticide permethrin
  4. Healing Wounds: Coconut oil has been used as a healing agent for centuries
  5. NSAID Alternative: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and fever-reducing properties
  6. Anti-Ulcer Activity: Coconut oil has been shown to be as effective as the conventional drug sucralfate as an NSAID-associated anti-ulcer agent.
  7. Anti-Fungal: Coconut oil is natures anti-fungal.  It especially works against drug-resistant Candida species.
  8. Testosterone-Booster: It reduces oxidative stress in the testes of rats, which increases testosterone levels.  Low testosterone has become a big problem over the years.  Most people don’t realize that theirs is low.
  9. Reducing Swollen Prostate: Coconut oil lowers testosterone-induced benign prostate growth in rats.
  10. Improving Blood Lipids: Improves cholesterol (LDL:HDL ratio).  Coconut oil is a saturated fat that unclogs arteries.
  11. Fat Soluble Nutrient Absorption: Improves tomato carotenoid absoption
  12. Bone Health: Lowers oxidative stress inside the bone, which can possibly reduce structural damage in osteoporotic bone.
  13. Sunscreen: Blocks out UV rays by 30%; Coconut oil is great to use for short-term sun exposure (just enough to get your vitamin D but not get burnt).

I even rub coconut oil all over my baby after his baths.  It’s a great moisturizer and great for his immune system.

For the full article, including all the links to the research behind all of this, go here.

If you need help choosing the right coconut oil (and at the cheapest price), click here.

Enjoy this God-given miracle food!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

 

Nutrition Makes A Difference

29 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

I got this email from one of my clients today: 

 

“This week – I planned my meals and feel really great!
My clothes are already feeling looser than before.
And I don’t have any “drops” in energy right before my workout class.
One other thing I am noticing is that my sleep is improving.
I did not notice it much before, but now feel like my sleep is deeper than it was.
Thanks for your help!
I think that focusing on more balanced meals will help instead of zoning in on calories.
Because I definitely was not getting enough protein or healthy fats!!
You have been such a great resource for me.
I have liked your Facebook page and also your blog.”  

 

This is why I love doing what I do.  I’m so passionate in helping people heal themselves so that they feel better.  I talk to so many people who struggle with weight loss, energy, sleep problems, joint pain, and the list goes on and on.  What some people don’t realize is that nutrition affects everything. You CAN feel better and you CAN improve your health. Don’t give up!  Instead of counting calories-count your nutrients.  Everything else will fall into place.  


Naturally Yours,

xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Sugar 101: The Truth About Sugars & Sweeteners

08 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments


Sugar.  Who would have thought it would be such a confusing topic.  And now that food companies have added artificial sweeteners to the market, Americans are even more confused.  One minute Splenda is good for you, the next it’s bad.  Should you even be consuming sugar in the first place?  I’m here to hopefully clear up some of your confusion. First, know that sugar can be very toxic to your health
, especially in the amounts our generation consumes it.  This article is about differentiating between the most popular sweeteners, so I’m not going to spend much time on the toxicity of sugar.  I think most of you know the less the better.  And when it comes to artificial sweeteners: AVOID THEM ALL! If your great grandmother has never heard of it, don’t eat it.  They’re not real food.  They’re a mix of unnatural chemicals that are toxic to your bloodstream, can cause damage to your organs, and can even lead to mutations in your cells.  If you’re going to use sweeteners, use the ones that God gave us, the natural ones.  Here is the lowdown on some of the most popular sweeteners out there:

Honey: My favorite sweetener & God’s created sweetener!  Honey contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants, which is why its known to be medicinal.  It can even be applied topically to wounds.  Beware when shopping for honey at the grocery store-most are processed and void of the good stuff mentioned above. The best honey to buy: RAW, LOCAL. You want raw so that the enzymes & nutrients are still alive.  Otherwise, they are killed during the heating process. Raw honey also has so much more flavor than the processed brands.  Local honey is best as it contains the immune stimulating properties needed for your body to adapt to its environment (Fights allergies to pollen/grass/etc in your area).

Stevia: If you must have a zero calorie sweetener, this is the one to go with because it has a glycemic index of less than 1 and does not feed candida (yeast) or cause any of the numerous other problems associated with sugar consumption.  It can be used by diabetics as it doesn’t adversely affect blood glucose levels. Some people (me included) have reported a bitter aftertaste when ingesting stevia.  Also, a little goes a LONG way when using this sweetener.

Maple Syrup (Grade B): Grade B is the least processed.  Maple syrup has been contributed to promoting heart health.  It is an excellent source of zinc and manganese and also provides trace amounts of calcium, iron and magnesium.   Maple sugar can be used at a 1:1 ratio for white or brown sugar.

Raw Coconut Nectar/Sugar: Made from tapping the coconut tree & draining the sap in a process similar to producing maple syrup. (Coconut nectar doesn’t require heating, though.)  Coconut sugar is also relatively low on the Glycemic Index.

Molasses: Molasses is a by-product of the refining part of the sugar making process. A quality organic (must be organic!) molasses provides iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, and is alkalizing to the body.

Refined Table Sugar: Conventionally grown, chemically processed, and stripped of all beneficial properties, many health advocates believe that refined sugar is one of the two leading causes (high fructose corn syrup is the other) of nearly every health ailment known to man (or woman or child). Not only does it have a high GI ranking, but it also is extremely acidic to the body causing calcium and other mineral depletion from bones and organs (sugar is alkaline but has a very acidic effect on the body).  -Source: Michael Edwards

Organic Sugar: Organic sugar comes from sugar cane that is grown without the use of chemicals & pesticides.  However, it is still processed, just not to the degree that white sugar is processed.  Organic sugar is darker in color than white sugar because it contains some molasses.

Turbinado: Turbinado sugar is partially processed and is also known as raw sugar.

Agave Nectar: This sweetener has been very popular lately, however, I do not recommend it.  It is not natural. It comes as a syrup and is highly refined.  Agave nectar even has more concentrated fructose than high fructose corn syrup according to the Weston A. Price Foundation.  Agave was developed in the 1990′s and is made primarily in Mexico.  To produce agave nectar, the leaves are cut off the plant after it has aged 7 to 14 years. Then the juice is expressed from the core of the agave. The juice is filtered, then heated, in order to hydrolyze the polysaccharides into simple sugars. The filtered, hydrolyzed juice is concentrated to a syrupy liquid, slightly thinner than honey, from light colored to dark amber, depending on the degree of processing.  This is not a traditional sweetener and the high levels of synthesized fructose in agave puts people at risk for obesity, heart disease, arterial inflammation, high blood pressure and increased insulin resistance.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials that say HFCS is the same as sugar, and that when used in moderation, it’s safe. Well, it’s not the same or safe. When used in moderation it is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay, & more. “Why is the corn industry spending millions on misinformation campaigns to convince consumers and health care professionals of the safety of their product? Could it be that the food industry comprises 17 percent of our economy?”   Check out Dr. Mark Hyman’s post “5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You.” Something new that I learned in this post is that HFCS contains mercury, which as we know is extremely toxic and detrimental to our health.

So when you must reach for a sweetener, aim for a natural, unprocessed one.  And most importantly, use in moderation!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC