Allulose : A New Healthy Sugar Alternative?

by Nancy Mehlert, MS

You may have noticed allulose showing up on the grocery store shelf or on an ingredient list of a packaged food.  It came to my attention about a year ago, and I’ve been watching and waiting to hear more about it from nutritionists, doctors, and scientist in the functional medicine realm.

As I’ve mentioned before, maintaining balanced blood sugar and avoiding toxic chemical substances are both foundational to good health.  These are two factors we use to determine the healthfulness of a sweetener.  As you may know, we are generally supportive of monk fruit, stevia, erythritol, and xylitol. Each of these are derived from natural sources such as fruit, herbs, and bark with minimal processing in most cases.  They also move through the upper digestive tract without being converted to energy (i.e. not metabolized, having little caloric value, and therefore not elevating blood sugar levels). For the same reasons, allulose is another promising option on the scene now[1].

Allulose is found naturally in fruit and, at the molecular level, it is similar to fructose (a less favorable sugar). Allulose has 95% fewer calories than sugar and has about 70% of sugar’s sweetness. The most interesting potential found in animal studies for allulose suggest that it may actually lower blood glucose, reduce abdominal fat, decrease insulin resistance, and decrease fat accumulation in the liver. In one meta-analysis of human trials, when allulose was given with carbohydrate containing meals, it was found to decrease post-meal glucose levels by 10%.  Dr. Peter Attia, author of the referenced article, has personally put allulose in his morning coffee and observed a drop in his blood glucose level. It appears that allulose, rather than raising glucose levels, drags glucose with it to excretion through the kidneys.

Allulose feels like and tastes like sugar. Animal studies have shown no toxicity at high doses.  Literature suggests very few side effects. Digestive issues related to using allulose appear to be temporary and mild, especially compared to the sugar alcohols such as xylitol. It can be substituted 1:1 in recipes, and most people note no strange aftertaste or mouth sensation. One characteristic worth noting is, when allulose is used in baking, it does turn brown, so it can make baked goods darker than expected.

You will find Allulose in some HEB grocery stores and online.

[1] Peter Attia, MD, https://peterattiamd.com/replacing-sugar-with-allulose/, Dec 6, 2020.

 

By |2021-02-09T06:21:02-06:00February 10th, 2021|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Eating Should be Painless

by Nancy Mehlert MSfood-should-be-painless

When I first met Dr. McManus, she made a remark to me that I’ll never forget. Never because I did not want to believe what she said, and never because she proved to be right.  You see, I came to her with significant body pain.  My wrists, hands, knees, and lower back were chronically painful. I had joint and muscle pain. So what did she say that I’ve never forgotten?  She told me that she believed more than 50% of my issues, especially around pain, were a result of the foods I was eating.  That was hard for me to swallow (pardon the pun) because I love food and I loved the foods she was suggesting I eliminate.  However, several weeks later, after cleaning up my diet (specifically removing wheat and sugar), my body pain was gone and I realized that she was right!  When anyone tells me they have joint, muscle and nerve pain, a first priority is to clean up the diet.  Specifically, below are the foods you would be wise to eliminate to see if you experience significant reductions in pain.

Sugar in all forms.  Look closely at your diet. Be aware of the collective sugar.  It is surprising to see that several somewhat innocent choices can add up to considerable sugar in a day.  For example, one cup of organic brown rice pasta, one ounce of dried cranberries and a cup of watermelon is digestively over 60 grams of sugar. Sugar sources include fruit juices and smoothies (no matter how fresh pressed or organic they are!) and even some fruits such as grapes, watermelon and ripe bananas which have little to no fiber. The more obvious forms of sugar are included such as agave, maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, and corn and rice syrups.  Less obvious are the carbohydrates that digest rapidly to glucose (i.e. sugar) such as wheat, rice, corn, and potato as well as gluten free grains. Remember, your approximate one gallon of blood only needs about 1 teaspoon, or 4 grams of sugar in it at any given moment for optimal function.  Anything more than that is suboptimal and harmful, i.e. inflammatory! Inflammation is PAIN.  We would all do best if we kept added sugar to zero, and grain intake to very little or none.  Whole fruits with good fiber content are fine but the low to no fiber fruits are best kept to a minimum or avoided all together.  Most of your healthy carbohydrates should come from the vegetable world and all others should be kept as low as possible and certainly should not exceed 15-25 grams a day.

Processed Foods of every kind. This is where all breads, cereals and pastas fall, especially the glutinous wheat products.  Also included here are the additives, preservatives and food chemicals that are so harmful to the nervous system, organ systems and digestive tract. Monosodium glutamate, nitrates and nitrites, artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, are all potential pain creators by stimulating pain receptors.  This makes the receptors more sensitive, irritating muscle tissues, disrupting sleep and compromising the immune system.  Dairy is another culprit due to pasteurization and often times added sugars where the end product is highly processed food.  Casein, one of the proteins found in dairy can be very difficult to digest and causes pain for many.

Allergy Foods, those foods to which you are allergic often manifest as pain.  It is wise to test for food allergies and eliminate those foods to quiet the immune system and reduce pain and inflammation.

Foods that Reduce Pain and Inflammation

Thankfully there are many foods that help to reduce inflammation and pain. Here are some of the best: ginger, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, walnuts and almonds, turmeric, salmon, celery, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and cayenne pepper. It’s no surprise that these are all real, whole, natural foods and spices from the earth that naturally do the work of pain relief.

 
 
 
 
 
Resources:
http://blogs.naturalnews.com/21-foods-reduce-pain-inflammation-boost-immunity/
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/28/sugar-industry-research-manipulation.aspx
http://blogs.naturalnews.com/8-worst-foods-people-arthritis-joint-pain/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By |2016-10-31T10:42:06-05:00October 31st, 2016|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Most Common Genetically Modified Foods

by Nancy Mehlert, MS

Here are the most common Genetically Modified foods. Avoid them by purchasing organic and/or certified Non-GMO.

Corn – 90% of the American corn crop is genetically modified from which most corn flour, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, masa, corn meal and corn processed foods are made.

Soybeans – 93% of the American soybean crop is genetically modified from which soy proteins, soybean oil, soy milk, soy flour, soy sauce, tofu, or soy lecithin are made.

Sugar – 55% of the sugar produced in America comes from sugar beets, 95% of which are genetically modified. Unless the ingredient label says “pure cane sugar”, chances are significant the “sugar” in an ingredient label is genetically modified.

Vegetable Oils – it is safe to assume that canola oil, vegetable oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil and corn oil are all from genetically engineered crops.

Other foods that may well be genetically modified include Hawaiian papaya, zucchini, and yellow summer squash..

Foods under consideration for genetic modification include salmon, flax, plums, potato, radicchio, rice, tomato and wheat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By |2014-11-05T07:26:47-06:00November 5th, 2014|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Healthy Tips on How NOT to Catch The Crud

We all hope it won’t happen to us, but somehow as late winter and early spring roll around, the bad germs and blooming plants abound and, before you know it, it seems like everyone around you has the flu or a cold or that mysterious thing that hangs on forever, lovingly called “The Crud”. Especially prevalent where people gather in larger numbers, office workers and school attendees are especially susceptible.  If you have been fortunate to avoid it so far this year, or you want to make sure you don’t get hit again, there are many things you can do wherever you are to minimize your risk of getting sick this time of year.  Here is a list of proactive things you can do to protect yourself:

Vitamin Vigilance – Now is an especially important time to be diligent about taking your vitamins.  We know that a multi-vitamin, probiotics, vitamin D, vitamin C, and Zinc are effective in supporting healthy living and boosting the immune system.

Allergy Awareness – If you know you struggle with environmental or food allergies, do your best to minimize exposure where possible and seek quality treatment for your allergies.  Left to fester, the relentless attack on the immune system and the resulting inflammation often leads to infection and illness.  Today, there are numerous effective treatments to minimize the effects of seasonal allergies and promote healthy living and immune function.  Call our office to speak to a wellness consultant about sublingual allergy drops!

Hand Hygiene – Our hands are useful and relentlessly busy, and this means they touch many surfaces and people throughout the day.  Unfortunately, we also eat with them, touch our noses and lips, and cough into them.  As a result, they are a major carrier of germs to and from other people and high-traffic surfaces.  Here are some easy health tips: Keep hands clean using soap and warm water or citric acid/essential oil-based anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.  Keep your hands away from your nose and mouth and never eat food with your bare hands without washing them well first.

Germ Gatherings – So where do these pesky little microbes tend to hang out together?  Most of us fear public toilet seats, but you may be surprised to know that studies have shown they are one of the cleaner surfaces found in public areas because restrooms are generally cleaned on a daily basis.  Do you work in a healthy workplace? The greatest populations of viruses and bacteria are found on surfaces that are used often, but not cleaned regularly.  The germiest include desktops, office break room tables, restaurant tables (the rags to wipe them are usually not sanitized after each wipe), phones, computer mice and keyboards, grocery cart handles, and escalator rails.  Cleaning your personal workspace daily, washing your hands after using others’ workspaces and encouraging others to do the same, are ways to minimize your exposure.  It is a good idea to carry an antibacterial hand sanitizer to use after coming in contact with grocery carts, escalator rails, and other heavily handled surfaces.

Sugar, Stress, and Sleep Shortages – These little devils seem to hang out together when life gets busy and deadlines are looming. We become overly stressed, we have less time for a good night’s sleep or some exercise to relax us so we reach for a sugary treat to comfort our frustration.  Unfortunately, we have created the perfect storm for a bacteria or virus to jump on board and do a happy dance on us.  During this germy season, it is the very best time and reason to make wise snack choices, get a quick walk in during the lunch hour and get to bed on time. Avoid reaching for the bowl of candy at the office or resorting to the donut in the break room. Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease. Instead, keep pre-packaged single serving nuts, small mandarin oranges, low sugar KIND bars, and herbal teas at your desk (or in the office bowl of treats) to provide good nutrition and comfort.  Take a few minutes every hour or so to stretch, stand up, and take a deep breath to reduce stress and move the body.  Use 15 minutes of your lunch break to walk up a couple flights of stairs and back or around the building outside.  Then when you get home, be sure to get a good night’s sleep.

Sit and Stay! –If you are sick, stay home.  If you are a manager, encourage your team members to do the same thing.  If you are a parent, keep your sick children home. There are no heroics in bringing germs to the office or schoolroom to share with everyone else.  Rest will also allow the body to heal more rapidly.

By |2014-02-18T21:52:59-06:00February 14th, 2014|Articles, General|
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