Is there too much sugar and too many calories in fruit?

The most common response I hear from people about fruit is this: ‘I don’t eat fruit because there is too much sugar and I don’t want to gain weight’ or ‘I heard there is too much sugar and too many calories in fruit so I don’t eat it.’ Such unfounded theories have stopped many people from eating fruit for 10 years or more (and they are still overweight!). Take some time to understand what is really happening, and hopefully you’ll get back to the idea of adding even more fruit back into your healthy routine and better yet, into your daily Green Smoothie!

Do fruit sugars make you gain weight?

Do fruit sugars make you gain weight?

Not all sugars are created equal.

David Wolfe explains one of the main problems with sugar. He states, “Because the term is used so loosely, sugar has become an ambiguous word. When one states the word “sugar” it could mean one of a dozen things such as high fructose corn syrup, refined cane sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar, beet sugar, fruit juice, dried fruit, etc.” He goes on to explain, “Sugar is defined as a natural hydrocarbon compound (such as honey, agave, fruits, dried fruits, etc.) and Refined Sugar is an unnatural hydrocarbon product (such as high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, white sugar, etc.) made through human engineering, plant breeding, and heat processing.”

First, I do think it’s important to be honest with yourself if you are saying that you don’t eat fruit because it has too much ‘sugar’. More than 95% of the time that someone tells me this, in the same conversation I discover that they eat chocolate every afternoon, a cookie every night or a glass of wine with dinner every day. And I feel so sad that the high-nutrient dense, high-enzyme, high-fiber, naturally healing food didn’t make the cut while all the other favorite Refined Sugar foods remain. If you stop eating chocolate, cakes, ice-cream, Greek Yogurt (yes…full of refined sugar!), gluten-free cookies (often containing 35g of refined sugar per cookie!), alcohol, bread (with a higher GI index than a Mars Bar!), then you have plenty of room in your diet to add some fresh raw fruits every day! If you convince yourself otherwise, you are only do a disservice to yourself.

The difference between Refined Sugar and Natural Sugar.

Refined Sugar, with no fiber, goes into the blood stream very quickly, disrupting sugar levels, leading to weight gain and increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Refined Sugar should be avoided as much as possible!

The FIBER in fruit is really the key to making it a healthy food and differentiates fruit from other refined sugar foods. Fiber slows down the body’s intake of natural sugars, and allows the body to regulate the absorption of fructose sugars at a healthy pace. When you make a Green Smoothie, you are blending the fruit and greens together, keeping all fiber intact (unlike a juice which separates the fiber from the liquid, leaving only the liquid). Read here for more info on juices vs. smoothies.

Fiber is key!

As Arnold Ehret once stated, “Modern Life is the tragedy of nutrition.” It’s important to remember that fruit has been on this planet for 2,000 years and it is a healing food from the Gods. What a shame to think that modern fad diets and industrialized foods have pushed out the idea of eating natural, whole and pure fruits. It doesn’t matter how modernized and industrialized we have become, our bodies are still organic beings and they need organic whole foods in order to be well. The obesity epidemic we face today was not caused from eating too much fruit! It’s that simple.

Fruit is also alkalizing and naturally high in enzymes.

I’m sure you can’t say that about your blueberry scone and Frappuccino! Most people are suffering from chronic acidosis, meaning they are eating too many acid-forming foods in their diet and not enough alkaline-forming foods. Fresh fruits (and greens) are the best alkalizing foods there are and are excellent for pH health, another great reason to add them to your diet! William Davis, the author of the book Wheat Belly, states, “Vegetables and fruits are the dominant alkaline foods in the diet. Virtually everything in your produce department will drive pH towards the alkaline direction. From kale to kohlrabi, generous consumption of vegetables and fruits serve to neutralize the acidic burden from animal products.” High-enzyme foods allow the digestive system to work better and long-term that sets you up for normalized weight and normalized blood sugars.

Eating greens and fruits together is really the perfect way to ingest fruits. The greens help to balance out the natural fructose in fruits and the fiber from the combination slows down absorption to a healthy pace. Greens, being naturally high in magnesium, help to replenish the body’s natural reserve and often stop cravings for junk foods (did you know that a lot of food cravings are actually due to low magnesium levels?).

I didn’t mention the other most common question that I get asked and that it ‘What’s the best alternative to sugar…is it Sweet’N Low (Saccharin), NutraSweet or Equal (Aspartame), Truvia, Agave Nectar or something else? Do you see the irony that in one moment, people are afraid to eat fruit and on the other they are looking for a sweetener for their food? Why would you ever turn your back on fruit, a gift from the Gods and choose chemical alternatives (and even known carcinogens) with dangerous side effects (such as destroying of brain cells)??

In my opinion, the whole calorie-counting mentality is a distraction and a waste of time.

Animals eat fruit in nature, they don’t count calories, and they’re not fat!

The more you spend your time and energy getting away from processed and chemical-laden foods, the more you will naturally eat the correct amount of calories for your energy output daily.

The bottom line: Fruit is high in fiber, enzymes, alkalinity, healing powers, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients. Remember, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Add that apple to a Green Smoothie with banana and water, blend it up with ground flax seed, hemp seed, acai powder and spirulina and you are off to an amazing start to a healthy day…and a healthy weight for life!

Looking for Green Smoothie recipes to eat more fruit and greens?

Green Smoothie for DummiesCheck out my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies – I’ve got a whole section on Bulking up to Slim down where I feature 5 amazing Green Smoothies for Weight Loss.

As I mention in the book, “When your body gets the nutrients it needs, you no longer feel hungry or think about food as much, and that alone can help you lose weight. With so much health to gain and potential weight to lose, fruits are actually the perfect addition to a green smoothie.”

Remember: Experimenting with different fruits is a great way to keep variety in your diet and to ensure getting a wide spectrum of different minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. So, if you see a fruit that you’ve never had before, search for it in your local supermarket and give it a try!

Find the book Green Smoothies for Dummies on iTunes or amazon.com!

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What I Learned from taking a traditional Nutrition Course…and What I Didn’t Learn

I recently completed the Nutrition, Health, and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights Course at Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing. It was an extremely insightful experience to see what a traditional Nutritionist learns and eventually coaches or advocates to their clients.

I decided that it would be a unique “cultural exchange” to experience what traditional Nutritionists learn. Although I did learn a few useful things that I will outline below, for the most part I was shocked and disappointed to see the mis-truths and lack of unbiased information being presented to the students. Well, we all know that industry sponsors many universities through expensive grants, so could we really expect these teaching institutions to maintain an impartial perspective?

Many times during the course, I felt like I was being fed propaganda created directly by the food industry and/or Monsanto themselves. I actually feel bad for anyone who spends the money on a 4-year Nutrition Degree, because they may enter their study with high hopes of helping others, but how can they really help guide others through nutrition and diet when they are being taught lies? It’s truly a shame to see a system that is so broken and so far away from the relevance of a real natural, whole and pure diet and its effect on one’s health.

What I Learned

As I mentioned above, there were a few things that I learned from this course, or at least that I felt were truthful and relevant. They include:

-Professor showed several studies comparing a vegetarian diet to meat-based diet and how vegetarians have reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, etc.

-Professor mentioned that, “Even though we are living longer in the US, we are also living sicker.” I would agree!

-Professional explained superfoods, nutrient-dense foods, phyto-chemicals and importance of nutrients in the diet. Obviously this is important, and was factual in the course.

Superfood are Nutrient-Dense Foods
from Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing

-Professor cited a study that showed vegan and vegetarian diet offer significant benefit in diabetes management. Additionally, it was pointed out that vegan and vegetarian diets also improve plasma lipid concentrations and have been shown to reverse atherosclerosis progression.

-Professor cited the position of the American Dietetic Association that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

-Professor discussed the importance on B12 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids in a vegetarian and/or vegan diet. Certainly important factors to consider, and should be addressed for meat-eaters too!

-Professor accurately showed the excess of salt, fat and sugar in the Standard American Diet and the related high obesity rates in the United States.

Clearly these facts cannot be denied!

Typical American Diet: Excess in Fat, Salt and Sugar
from Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing

United States #2 in Obesity Rates
from Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing

In summary, some good information about the benefits of a vegetarian and/or vegan diet was presented, and some factual information on obesity and the lack of fruits and vegetables in the Standard American (SAD) Diet was mentioned.

The other parts of the course are where I found myself wincing and shaking my head in utter dismay.

What I Didn’t Learn

Most notable items not addressed, under-addressed or mis-addressed in this course:

-Professor downplayed any danger associated with GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods, saying that “GMO has been around for centuries and centuries” and then stated that GMO has been around for “thousands of years.”

How did they isolate proteins in labs thousands of years ago exactly?

-Professor mentioned soy as a complete protein but of course no mention that 94% of soy in the USA is GMO and no mention or even peep about consuming GMO foods in relation to higher risk of infertility and food allergies.

Isn’t this of utmost importance when working with people and the nutritional relevance of their diet to health?

-Professor stated that, “Consumers may need to educate themselves before they jump on the bandwagon of something that they don’t understand,” and went on to add that with GMO foods “we are feeding areas of the world that don’t have the distribution and supply that we have.”

Spoon-fed propaganda from Monsanto PR…or what?

Anyone who is working with nutrition and food allergies, autism, ADHD and infertility (all of which have completed skyrocketed in the last decade worldwide) knows that something has seriously gone wrong.

If you are unsure in any way, please watch these documentaries on GMO foods and health: “The World According to Monsanto,” “Food, Inc.,” “The Future of Food,” “Seeds of Freedom,” “Genetic Roulette,” “Scientists Under Attack,” and “The GMO Trilogy.” Some of these documentaries can be watched for FREE online at http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/.

I also highly recommend the book The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It by Robyn O’Brien for extensively researched information and links to studies on GMO foods and food allergies. An excellent read for anyone looking to learn more on the subject of GMO foods and health!

Yes, it is true that we need to educate ourselves!

-Professor downplayed importance of organic foods, stating that “an organic apple is not going to be more nutritious than a conventionally grown apple.”

No mention of pesticides, GMO proteins or the simple fact that organic soil has more nutrients in the soil. How, why?? How can a “qualified” Nutritionist ignore the nutritional value of organic food?

In fact, reviews of multiple studies show that organic varieties do provide significantly greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties of the same foods (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20359265).

Organic food has been shown to have higher nutrient concentrations,
yet Vanderbilt University’s Nutrition Course says: No Difference.

-Professor advocated the use of “fortified foods” as a way to increase nutrient consumption, specifically advocating milk fortified with Vitamin D, fortified breakfast cereals, and fortified sports drinks like Gatorade.

Why ignore the value of organic whole foods yet advocate processed foods that are chemically fortified with inorganic vitamins and minerals? No mention of the antibiotics and hormones in conventional milk, the added sugar in breakfast cereals or the chemical colorings in sports drinks. Wow.

-Professor downplayed the dangers of chemical food additives in the diet.

In my professional experience, more people are being affected by all types of food additives more than ever before, because food additives are being used in food more than ever before!

Flavor enhancers (MSG, ribonucleotide), nitrates, sulfites, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners and chemical colorings are creating an absolute health epidemic! To gloss over this issue and to not acknowledge the danger of food additives in relation to nutrition and health is both irresponsible and just plain idiotic. I’m truly devastated to see the education so lacking on this topic. Sadly, the food industry has a lot of money to hide the truth.

Nutrition Courses teach that MSG is “Generally Recognized as Safe” or GRAS
from Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing

Because Monosodium Glutamate was used in foods before 1958, the FDA considers it as “Generally Recognized as Safe” or GRAS. Other foods which are categorized as GRAS are salt, pepper, vinegar and baking powder. How is it possible that MSG is considered as safe as vinegar? And hasn’t the amounts of concentrations of MSG increased in foods since 1958, making it a higher risk contaminant and something that should be re-evaluated in the interest of public health and safety?

The worst part of all is that this is what Nutritionists are learning in school. Will they be able to identify an MSG intolerance in their client? Chances are extremely slim, because they are taught that MSG is “safe!” I cannot count how many clients I have worked with suffering from migraines, insomnia, depression, heart palpitations, anxiety, vertigo, itchy rashes, puffiness, sensitivity to light and sound and even behavioral and learning problems in children: all of which were reversed when we removed MSG and/or Ribonucleotides and all hidden forms of MSG out of the diet.

You cannot advise people on food and not take into account the potential effect of chemical food additives!

-Professor spoke with David McCarty, Senior VP Operations of Smart Balance spreads for 30 minutes and praised his product line for being a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and for being a “heart-friendly” food.

Smart Balance “butter” is not something that I even consider a FOOD!

What is natural about spreadable butter containing genetically modified (GMO) soy and artificial flavor which is surely where they are hiding the salty, savory flavor enhancers and/or some hidden form of MSG to actually give this greasy mess some type of taste that is palatable to humans?

How are consumers protected when food companies “self-regulate”?
from Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing

If you are a non-vegan, you are much better off eating REAL butter with 2 simple ingredients: butter and salt. I am amazed to see Smart Balance call itself a “heart healthy” food when Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is known to cause heart palpitations. People may eat this mess and think they are having a heart attack!

Vegans can simply use extra-virgin olive oil, an organic almond butter or tahini (sesame seed) paste. People on a raw food vegan diet will not need any spread to put on bread, and they can use fresh lime or lime for salad dressing and add tahini to a raw cracker. Easy!

To summarize, I do not feel that I wasted my time by taking a traditional nutrition class. Actually, I would recommend it to anyone working with nutrition, diet, people and food. It’s important to know what the “mainstream” teaches in order to have a better understanding of what your client may have faced previously by seeing a traditional nutritionist in the past.

That said, there still may be some nutritionists who think and learn outside of the box and may actually have an awareness of other factors that affect food and health, mainly GMO foods, quality of food (organic vs. conventional) and the relation of food additives to health. As a client, the best thing to do is to check your nutritionist’s website or ask them if they will go to the level of food additives and food quality during your session. If they reply that their approach is centered only around protein, carbs, fats, minerals and vitamins, then please take my advice: keep shopping until you find someone who will go deeper to help you have the best health ever…because you deserve the very best, in food and in health!

For information on how to work with me for Your Best Health, please go to my Coaching Page.

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Venezuela Bans Coke Zero

No Unhealthy Foods Allowed - Yeah!

No Unhealthy Foods Allowed – Yeah!

The Venezuelan government has ordered Coca-Cola to withdraw its Coke Zero beverage from the South American nation, citing unspecified dangers to health.

The decision follows a period of increased scrutiny of businesses in South America’s top oil exporter. Health Minister Jesus Mantilla said the zero-calorie Coke Zero should no longer be sold and stocks of the drink removed from store shelves.

“The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans,” the minister said in comments reported by the government’s news agency. Coke Zero contains artificial sweeteners.

See the full article plus comments at mercola.com.

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