Food News Today for June 14th, 2014

Sweeteners vs. Sugars: Keep it simple! Questions for mindful eating.

June 14, 2014


Proposals are currently in place to make adjustments to products' Nutritional Facts Panel. The revisions are designed to help consumers understand just how much sugar of any kind they are consuming.  But the proposal has stumbled onto a road block and it's called advantame.

Advantame is the name of the latest of FDA approved artificial sweetener and is reported to be 20,000 times sweeter, gram for gram, than table sugar. It is brought to market by the same company, Ajinomoto North America, Inc. who markets aspartame; which is only 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Recently at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago, NBC's Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman (a friend and real M.D.) spoke to a packed house about the benefits of consuming real sugars instead of artificial sweeteners. She explained that using artificial sweeteners can actually cause us to crave more sweet foods and drinks and how in some cases have led to weight gain.

Snyderman is concerned that by consuming these sweeter than sugar intensities we may be altering our brain messages to our taste buds and furthering the demand for sweeter, sweeter, sweeter...versus satisfying. 

With shoppers these days on a search for more local and fresh foods, cleaner ingredients, and more tasty artisan foods; you may be asking yourself, why approve advantame? Doesn't this approval further complicate he re-education of our quest for health & wellness  and moderation?  

It is time to cleanse our palates, not fool them. Dr. Synderman's closing statement was simple - to remember that one teaspoon of sugar is just 16 (satisfying) calories.


If you want to be more mindful of what you eat and make better choices about what you're putting into your body,  there are certain things to think about before diving in to any meal. Certified Health Coach, Karen Ann Kennedy, recently shared with The Huffington Post 4 questions you should ask yourself before you eat anything. 

Question number 1:  "What am I eating?".  Don't say, "chocolate bar"or "yogurt", really think about it. Look at food labels and read what you're eating. Chances are, if you're about to chow down on something with a long list of ingredients you can't pronounce you shouldn't be eating it.  A good suggestion to keep in mind, if you're eating packaged food, choose ones with five ingredients or less.

Next question; 'Where did it come from?'  Simply, farm or factory?  Chances are, food that came from a farmer is healthier for you than food from the factory. Not that you have to abort all factory food, but always know where your food came from and check ingredients! 

Question 3, 'Why am I eating it? ' This is important; are you really hungry? Are you craving something? Are you just bored?  Pinpoint the reason, and if you really need to fuel up, grab something healthy. If you're just bored at the office, try taking a walk!

Finally, ask yourself, 'How will I feel after I eat this?'. Think physically and emotionally. Will you feel  guilty? Annoyed? Or will you be bloated or have a headache?  Keep a food journal to write down everything you eat, but also make sure you write down how something makes you feel.  This will help not only figure out  if you have any food allergies or sensitivities but also help you  identify triggers that cause overeating. 

 If you can get into the habit of thinking about your food in this way you'll find yourself eating smarter and making better choices.  Good luck and eat well everyone!


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