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Dr K K Aggarwal

Artificial Sweeteners in Sweets May Be Harmful

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In a joint statement, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association gave a cautious recommendation to the use of nonnutritive sweeteners to help people maintain a healthy body weight and for diabetics to aid glucose control.

These products should be considered like a nicotine patch. They are appreciably better than the real product (sugar), but not part of an optimal diet. The statement, published in both Circulation and Diabetes Care on July 9, 2012, warns that sweeteners are helpful only as long as people don’t eat additional calories later as compensation.

The term nonnutritive sweeteners cover six sweeteners including aspartame, acesulfame K, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, and plant–derived stevia. These nonnutritive substances have zero calories.

Two things may happen in terms of compensation

1.Physiological, where the body might be expecting more calories and so the individual may be hungrier and therefore may eat more

2.Psychological, where the individual thinks they are allowed to eat more sugar-rich food because they had a diet soda instead of a full–sugar soda.

When people use sweeteners there is compensation. The key is how much? Partial compensation is ok but people often completely compensate or even overcompensate, so these sweeteners have to be used smartly to be successful. Compensation seems less of a problem when these sweeteners are consumed in beverages as opposed to food.

People don’t really notice the lack of calories in a diet soda and so don’t tend to eat more, whereas if they consume a low–calorie foodstuff, they do tend to eat more as compensation.

Its better when sweeteners are used in beverages and not sweets or other foods.
One is not completely sure about the safety of these products, because their long–term use in humans has not been studied fully.

However, the artificial sweeteners on the market are almost certainly safer than consuming large amounts of sugar, which has definite harm when consumed in large amounts.

This harm, particularly when consumed in beverage form such as soda, includes increases in risks of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and gout.

A concern, though, is that just replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners leaves a person, especially children, conditioned to high levels of sweetness, which is likely to influence their food choices adversely.

Do Not Ignore Breakfast

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Taking a good breakfast made of carbohydrates and lean protein, can help lessen cravings and hunger during the rest of the day, which can lead to significant weight loss.

A research by Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, a clinical professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and an endocrinologist at the Hospital de Clinicas Caracas in Venezuela has shown that sedentary, obese women lost almost five times as much weight on the “big breakfast” diet as did women following a traditional, restrictive low–carbohydrate diet. While treating obese people we need to treat carb cravings and hunger.

On waking up in the morning, the body is primed to look for food. The metabolism is revived up, and levels of cortisol and adrenaline are at their highest. The brain needs energy right away, and if one doesn’t eat or eats too little, the brain needs to find another fuel source. To do this, it activates an emergency system that pulls energy from muscle, destroying muscle tissue in the process. Then when you eat later, the body and brain are still in high–alert mode, so the body saves energy from the food as fat.

Also the levels of the brain chemical serotonin are highest in the morning and the craving levels are at the lowest and you may not feel like eating. As the day wears on, serotonin levels dip, and you get cravings for chocolate or cookies, and such similar foods. If you eat these foods, your serotonin levels rise, and your body begins to associate good feelings with them, creating an addictive cycle.

The high protein, carbohydrate mix in breakfast gives the body the initial energy boost it needs in the morning. Throughout the rest of the day, the meals are made up of protein and complex carbohydrates, like vegetables. Because protein is digested slowly, you won’t feel hungry.

If you have to eat chocolate or candy, eat them in the morning because if you eat them when serotonin levels are high, they won’t taste as good, and the brain won’t feel the same serotonin boost. This will eventually help cut down on cravings.

Eating breakfast with high glycemic foods may be harmful. After eating cereal or a doughnut, the blood sugar and insulin levels spike. Once that blood sugar is used up, you’ll still have excess insulin circulating, which makes you hungry and makes you crave carbohydrates.

Artificial Sweeteners in Sweets May Be Harmful

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Artificial Sweeteners in Sweets May Be Harmful

The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have issued a joint scientific statement giving a cautious recommendation to the use of nonnutritive sweeteners to help people maintain a healthy body weight and for diabetics to aid glucose control.

These products should be considered like a nicotine patch. They are appreciably better than the real product (sugar), but not part of an optimal diet.

The statement, published in both Circulation and Diabetes Care on July 9, 2012, warns that sweeteners are helpful only as long as people don’t eat additional calories later as compensation.

The term nonnutritive sweeteners cover six sweeteners including aspartame, acesulfame K,neotame, saccharin, sucralose, and plant–derived stevia. These nonnutritive substances have zero calories.

Two thinks may happen in terms of compensation

1.Physiological, where the body might be expecting more calories and so the individual may be hungrier and therefore may eat more

2.Psychological, where the individual thinks they are allowed to eat more sugar-rich food because they had a diet soda instead of a full–sugar soda.

When real people use sweeteners there is compensation. The key is how much? Partial compensation, is ok but people often completely compensate or even overcompensate, so these sweeteners have to be used smartly to be successful.
Compensation seems less of a problem when these sweeteners are consumed in beverages as opposed to food.

People don’t really notice the lack of calories in a diet soda and so don’t tend to eat more, whereas if they consume a low–calorie foodstuff, they do tend to eat more as compensation.

Its better when sweeteners are used in beverages and not sweets or other foods.
One is not completely sure about the safety of these products, because their long–term use in humans has not been studied fully.

However, the artificial sweeteners on the market are almost certainly safer than consuming large amounts of sugar, which has definite harm when consumed in large amounts.

This harm, particularly when consumed in beverage form such as soda, includes increases in risks of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and gout.

A concern, though, is that just replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners leaves a person, especially children, conditioned to high levels of sweetness, which is likely to influence their food choices adversely.

Play safe this Holi: Balloons may be Harmful

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Water balloons used by children during Holi can be dangerous and can cause blunt eye injury or even head injury. There can be bleeding in the eyes, lens subluxation, macular edema or retinal detachment. These can lead to loss of vision or even loss of the eye.

Most synthetic colours are harmful to the eyes or skin.  Home-made colours from flowers are always better. Chemical colours may contain heavy metals like lead, which is harmful to the eyes and skin. Other health hazards due to the exposure to heavy metals include skin allergies, dermatitis, drying and chapping of the skin, skin cancer, rhinitis, asthma and pneumonia.

Make your own colours

  • Mix ‘Haldi’ (turmeric) with besan (gram flour) to get yellow colour
  • Soak Tesu flowers overnight or boil them to get saffron or bright orange colour.
  • Soak ‘Beetroot’ pieces in water for magenta colour.

Chemicals that enter the eye may cause mild allergy or even severe chemical burn in the eye. A patient may present with allergic conjunctivitis, chemical burn, corneal abrasion or blunt eye injury. Most colours used during Holi usually cause mild redness and irritation lasting for up to 48 hours. If clarity of vision is affected, it’s an emergency. The particles in colour powders (shining mica particles in ‘gulal’) can cause damage to the cornea. Corneal abrasion is an emergency and one should immediately consult the eye doctor or ophthalmologist.

First aid: Splash your eyes with a lot of tap water, if colour enters the eye. If there is loss of vision or corneal abrasions, rush to the eye doctor.

Fluctuating Blood Pressure More Harmful

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In the elderly persons with high blood pressure further fluctuations and spikes in blood pressure readings can affect their ability to think clearly and other cognitive function.

As per a North Carolina State University study, in people whose systolic blood pressure is 130 mm Hg or higher, the cognitive functions gets impaired on days when their blood pressure spikes and fluctuates. On the other hand, in people with normal blood pressure, the cognitive functions do not get impaired if their blood pressure spikes or fluctuates.

Several studies in the past have found a link between high blood pressure and dementia, which is marked by a loss of memory and other cognitive abilities, including the ability to speak, identify objects or think abstractly. In another study it was found that treating high blood pressure in the very elderly may help reduce their risk of developing dementia.

The carry home message is that if you have blood pressure that wildly fluctuates and you also have underlying high blood pressure, you might be in double trouble for poorer cognitive functioning.