Monthly Archives: September 2014

Health risk – artificial sweeteners


Artificial sweeteners, taken by many people as a substitute to sugar, are toxic and a danger to your health!

Just a few days ago Nature magazine issued the results of another study, suggesting that artificial sweeteners may contribute, rather than alleviating obesity-related metabolic conditions.

Quoting the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, the research finds that differences in gut microbes may explain why some people can handle artificial sweeteners just fine while in an unknown percentage of others the sweeteners lead to diabetes.

Taken together, the data indicate that artificial sweeteners “may contribute to, rather than alleviate, obesity-related metabolic conditions, by altering the composition and function of bacterial populations in the gut,” Cathryn Nagler and Taylor Feehley of the pathology department at the University of Chicago said in a journal commentary.

Obesity and the related health risks including diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure are becoming a global problem because of what we eat and drink. Take this: One fourth of a bottle of ketchup is pure sugar. A spoonful of classic mayonnaise, for example, adds an extra 100 calories and 10 grams of fat to whatever you mix it with.

In addition a lot of people are unaware that their sugar intake can be massive if they have a habit of drinking sodas or so-called “energy drinks”. A classic can of coke contains the equivalent of about ten teaspoons of sugar. A 2007 study revealed that one or more sodas a day increased the risk of obesity by 31 per cent and the risk of metabolic syndrome by 44 per cent. Metabolic syndrome is defined by having at least three of the following: abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure or elevated trigloerides.

But that is only part of the problem. German consumer protection organisations have found that up to 70 different types of artificial sweeteners are finding their way into processed foods you buy in the supermarket.

We are having a great problem in telling our teenage son to avoid bringing home a certain “energy drink”. The food industry is very much aware that they have to catch consumers at a young age, making them dependent on the “sweet taste”. I see only a solution in effective health legislation, limiting the sugar content and artificial sweeteners in food.

Obesity is caused when the body has a higher energy intake than it can utilise. An athlete doing a daily run of about 30 kilometres would have no problem getting rid of the excess calories. The problem is that most of us have desk-bound jobs and too little exercise.

So what can be an immediate solution? Just try and replace the sodas with good water for a couple of weeks and see how much weight you lose. You can spice up the water with lemon, spices, apple chips or mint leaves – really tasty!

Try and do more of your own cooking with fresh produce from your own region. There is a saying that you are what you eat. Your mood and how you feel in your body is determined largely by what food you eat.

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Jamie Oliver: McDonalds Hamburger unfit for human consumption

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has won his long-fought battle against McDonalds, proving that their hamburgers are unfit for human consumption with the fatty parts of the beef “washed” in ammonium hydroxide and used in the filling of the burger.

The story has received little coverage in the mainstream media. Consumers appear bored or numbed by the numerous stories on food scandals in recent years. Or, we really seem to be going into denial as to how much the fast-food industry is destroying our health.

As I mentioned in my previous blog. What we eat is not only destroying our planet but also our health. There is more than enough evidence that the artificial substances in processed foods is responsible for much of the modern diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and probably Alzheimer.hamburger

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Are our eating habits destroying the planet?

world-in-black-and-white-hands-1Some months ago we decided to get our own chickens, as part of a long-term project to make us more self-sufficient. We chose the French Marans because they are renowned for being especially disease-resistant. The dark-brown eggs are of a high organic quality.

Our five hens provide us an ample supply of eggs for our four-member family and have the freedom to roam around the property as they please. Its what I see as our small protest against the poultry industry. We were therefore aghast to learn that all private owners of poultry in our region here in northwestern Germany have been ordered to vaccinate their chickens against Newcastle disease, which broke out at a mass animal farm of 24,000 chickens in Norrkoeping, Sweden.

The only vaccination available is for 1,000 and more hens and has to be carried out by a registered vet every three months at a cost of around 75 EUR (97 U.S. Dollars) minimum. Meanwhile I have learned that severe vaccination rules apply for pigs and other farm animals. Several organic farmers, who started innovative projects to revive rare farm animal species, have been forced to give up their ventures because of the prohibitive compulsory vaccination costs.

The reason I’m mentioning this small example is that animal diseases, stemming from intensive mass animal farming is out of control worldwide. We’ve had food scandal after food scandal and nothing seems to change. A generation from now will ask us: “How could you have been so stupid and left us with this mess?”

The way we live, and especially our choice of foods, is not only destroying our health and quality of life but rapidly destroying our planet. According to a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and the like to spew into the atmosphere than either transportation or industry. (Scientific American) 

There is a chain reaction starting from depletion of water resources, pollution from animal waste, loss of habitat to grazing lands and destruction of biodiversity on many levels.

I’m not a proponent of a purely vegetarian diet. But I think we should radically cut down our meat consumption for the reasons mentioned and boycott food coming from the mass animal farm industry.

Yesterday I attended a most inspiring lecture by the Gyalwang Drukpa in Hamburg. He is the head of the 1,000-year-old Drukpa Buddhist Order, founder of the Live to Love foundation and was awarded the United Nations Milennium Development Goals Award. The topic of the talk was “Mindfulness and Happiness”. He highlighted the importance of individual responsibility in taking concrete action to save our world for the next generation. Volunteering action such as planting trees or becoming more mindful on the ways we can contribute positively to the wider world is a key to living a happy, fulfilled life.

Most people go into resistance or denial when told to change their lifestyle habits or being preached at with a pointed finger. The Gyalwang Drukpa has a different approach. He sees “compassion” as an individual process of understanding that comes from the heart and then translates itself into positive action, into a deep understanding to the needs of the wider world and all living beings.

Looking at the Biblical quotation “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Mark 12:30-31) this translates into developing a deep sense of compassion for oneself within the unity of humanity and our world of which we are an intrinsic part of.

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The Best Leaders Are Insatiable Learners

It is a social problem that finds growing expression in both business organisations and governments: The political and economic elite is unable to deal with the changes around us because it is trapped in fixed attitudes and habits.

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9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions

Good decisions are based a lot on networking with the right type of people, who have the right information.

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Alarming rate of high-professionals addicted to substance abuse

substance abuse

An alarming rate of doctors, lawyers, bankers, film stars and other high professionals seem to be functioning only by substance and alcohol abuse. While alcohol is the more common, there seems to be a large group of people addicted to substances available at the chemist around the corner or by mail order through the internet.

Most of these substances give a short-term energy boost but cause havoc with your health on the long-term and could even shorten your life.

Lately, I have come across several people in high-powered jobs admitting to taking a sleeping pill every night. The short-term effect is a good nights rest, especially if you have to be alert the next day and have to take important boardroom decisions. But it is important to understand the long-term health effects of these sedatives which are potentially addictive.

Several long-term studies have been conducted on the effects of sleeping pills. One of them is by Daniel F. Kripke. M.D. (The Dark Side of Sleepinig Pills) also available as an eBook.

Kripke refers to the life-shortening effects of common sleeping pills such as zolpidem (e.g., Ambien), temazepam (e.g., Restoril), eszopiclone (e.g., Lunesta), zaleplon (e.g., Sonata), other benzodiazepines such as triazolam (e.g., Halcion) and flurazepam (e.g., Dalmane), barbiturates, and sedative antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (e.g., Benadryl).

A whole industry is thriving on the mass consumption of energy pills, caffeine boosters and other chemical cocktails as a growing number of high-professionals and executives resort to such short-term relief to overcome chronic fatigue. The manufacturers claim that their energy boosters are non-addictive and safe but the truth is quite the opposite.

Most of these supplements provide short-term relief with an energy-high. Eventually, the effects wear off, often resulting what is called a “crash.” with individuals experiencing even more exhaustion, negative mood swings, lack of concentration, irrational decision-making, depression or a chronic headache. The cycles between the “high” and the “crash” become shorter and shorter.

Many energy supplements have been found to speed up the metabolism and to influence the production of adrenaline in the body, which might already be at a high level because of stress. Long-term effects are high blood pressure with the added risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Some experts even claim that the banking crisis was caused by the irrational behavior of the many bankers in the City of London addicted to cocaine.

In our consumerist world our mindset is to want a quick-fix if something goes wrong with the body or mind. Dysfunctional lifestyles inevitably lead to a physical and mental “crash”. Most of our modern diseases and mental health problems are caused by lack of exercise, poor nutrition and high emotional stress levels.

It is possible to lead a highly successful and healthy life by investing just a little time and energy in your own health. Have a look at my blogs on the best weapons against stress and the 7 simple ways of boosting your energy levels by safe and natural means.

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