Stevia, Monk Fruit Extract, or Aspartame- Are There Any Healthy Sweeteners?

We are all becoming more educated about reducing the total quantity of sugar in our diet for our better health, but are the sweetener -alternatives any better?  According to EatingWell.com, the artificial and sugar substitute industry is growing, topping $18 billion in 2019!  But do the artificial alternatives to sugar cause more sugar addiction and health problems?

You will find artificial sweeteners in the most inconspicuous packages products.  You expect them added to diet sodas, flavored yogurts, low calorie ice cream, and diet candies but would you expect them in fat free salad dressings, high fiber cereals, ketchup or breads? When you add it up in this product, that lunch, this snack; it turns out to accumulate.

It’s important to know the names that artificial sweeteners go by: aspartame, acesulfame potassium, saccharin, supra lose, neotame. The names of ‘natural’ sweeteners such as Stevia leaf extract, monk fruit extract and sugar alcohols such as erythritol and xylitol.  When looking at the ingredient listing of a product, look for these ingredients.  All of these sweeteners have been FDA-approved, but there is some controversy from organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)which question the impact all these additives on a bodies’ long term health.

Do they help you lose weight or crave sugar more?  One study will prove that in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle they do help you reduce your overall sugar intake.  Then there are opposing studies that say that those who consume sugar substitutes aren’t leaner, and are sometimes heavier!  What’s the solution?  Many nutritionist recommend utilizing sugar for sweeter swaps moderately and include more whole, unprocessed foods to your diet.  Many people with gut sensitivity may increase their health symptoms if they consume aspartame, Sucralose or saccharin. I personally had an doctor recommend this to me to improve my chronic digestive symptoms.

According to Joyce Hendley, states that American ingest a staggering 140 pounds of sugar substitutes annually. Any effort to improve reducing that number is health-beneficial.

Paula Maier
www.paulashealthyliving.com

Print this post

Boxing?! At MY Age?

 

IMG_2062
I like to mix up my cardio and muscle strengthening practices to keep my muscles guessing and my metabolism burning (and confused).  “Incorporating muscle-strengthening exercises two to three times per week and some extra intensity cardio and strength a day or two a week will stimulate strength gains, fitness, and calorie burn,” says Jennifer Sacheck, PhD, associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.  She explains how strength-based exercises slow the effects of aging by defying the 3-5% loss of muscle that happens every year after age 30 if no strength-based fitness is practiced. Muscle building also promotes bone density, which can be an issue as you age.
So what new workout class did I choose? Boxing, of course!  Well, kind of boxing.  It’s a circuit workout called 9Round 30 min Kickboxing Fitness.  You can go whenever it works for your schedule, versus most classes which happen at pre-determined times.  The workouts start every 3 minutes.  After starting you switch stations every 3 minutes, and the trainer explains that days exercise. It differs every day.
I burn between 200-300 calories most times during the 30 minute rotation.  I get to punch heavy weight bags with my hands that are wrapped and protected by boxing gloves. I kick the bag with my feet, working all zones including arms, shoulders, abs, core, gluten, legs and calves.  It’s a huge stress reliever and also comes with access to the Internet 9Round community and dieting tips.
I also love that you may see men or women from age 16 to 80.  Every one is working hard and leave sweating and feeling powerful!  There is no boxing contact with your face, just good old hard work.  See if it’s in your community.  Your first workout is free.  9round.com

Print this post

Food Related Ideas to Help You Meet Your Goals

Making healthy changes to achieve weight or fitness goals or due to health concerns can be paralyzing for many people. I encourage the people that I consult with in one-on-one counseling to look for small changes that you can make on a weekly basis. Most people do not succeed with their New Year’s resolutions, because they create unattainable goals.

Let’s come up with food-related ideas that are reachable and doable for the typical person:

Continue reading

Print this post

Can a FitBit Make Me Thinner? A Holiday Gift Idea!

Everyone is looking for a way to reduce their weight and be healthier. One of the hottest holiday gifts this year was the FitBit health tracker. My 13 year old son Nick received one and I have noticed him being more mindful of eating sugar and staying active. He said that “It’s made working out and exercising fun and easy.  Almost like a game, and your opponent is yourself.”

Continue reading

Print this post

Fill your fall with pumpkin recipes

You need a little something on this beautiful fall day 🙂 My team and I have put together a free recipe e book by guest writer-Trisha DeHall.

Continue reading

Print this post

Iced Coffee: How to Get Your Low Cal Fix at Home

When trying to mange your weight and health goals many people try to change the way that they eat from fried restaurant food, and processed store-bought food to manage fat, sugar and salt.  But, hot and iced coffee shop specialty drinks can cost you a pretty penny and end up being a calorie-bomb!

Continue reading

Print this post

Do You Take 10,000 Steps Per Day?

Did you know that many fitness experts recommend that you walk 10,000 steps every day? Monitoring your daily steps with a simple pedometer can be an effective way to increase your activity level. Continue reading

Print this post

A Heart-Healthy Mediterranean Diet

It is a fact that people who live in countries surrounding the Mediterranean have a longer than average life span. According to mayoclinic.com, “Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, an analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.”  Continue reading

Print this post

The Importance Of Building Muscles!

The importance of building and maintaining muscle really cannot be overstated. Regardless of age, having an adequate amount of muscle mass allows you to function normally in your day-to-day activities without undue fatigue and strain. But as you age, this muscle mass decreases and the only way to keep the level you need to be highly functioning, is through weight bearing exercises.
Continue reading

Print this post

Family And The Holidays

I was blessed with two parents, who enjoyed and reinforced the importance of family traditions surrounding the holiday season. Christmas for my family was always held at my parents’ home with lots of wonderful food and laughter, and everyone in the family participating. Continue reading

Print this post