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14 Popular Sugar Substitutes

14 Popular Sugar Substitutes

Check out this Food Revolution article on sugar, how bad it is for you, and some of the most popular sugar substitutes and their health benefits (or lack thereof). Here are the five best sugar substitutes:

  1. Stevia, from a bush native to South America.
  2. Xylitol
  3. Molasses
  4. Yacon syrup, from a plant in the Andes
  5. Date sugar

Of course, the article says that fresh fruit is the best sweetener.

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15 Heart-Healthy Foods

The latest article on the Food Revolution Network is all about heart disease. I will read the article in detail later, but right now, I want to list the 15 heart-healthy foods the article named:

  1. Berries
  2. Leafy greens
  3. Avocados
  4. Nuts
  5. Seeds
  6. Dark chocolate
  7. Beans
  8. Tomatoes
  9. Apples
  10. Garlic
  11. Turmeric
  12. Ginger
  13. Black pepper
  14. Cinnamon
  15. Coriander

Luckily, these are all foods I like.

All About Avocados

Avocado Health Benefits

Who’d have thought avocados would be so good for you? Now, I’m used to hearing about how fatty they are, so I’ve always been careful about avocado intake. But it turns out they do have other benefits.

Readers, how do you like to eat avocados? My favorite is guacamole (of course!), and I also like them in salads and on sandwiches, as long as they’re seasoned or covered in dressing. I always thought they were pretty bland by themselves.

Has anybody had a chocolate-avocado dessert? I heard chocolate and avocados was a thing now, but I’ve never tried it; it seems a little weird.

(I would have reposted this article, but the Food Revolution Network doesn’t let you repost on this site.)

400 Million Fewer Animals Killed in the US in 2014

Food Revolution Cow

Great news for the meatless and animal rights movements!  According to this Food Revolution Network article, people in developed  countries are eating less meat, and it’s already starting to show.  In 2014, 400 million fewer animals were subjected to industrial farming and slaughter.

I like meat, but I’ m trying to do my part for these animals and for the environment.  When I was in Wooster for the past two years, I bought very little meat, and what I did buy was from local sources.  I also found out last night that I can’t eat a huge steak (conventionally-raised beef) without feeling nauseous, though I’m not sure if that’s due to my feelings about factory farming or to a smaller appetite from dieting.

Whatever the reason, here’s hoping I can keep it up.

(The picture was originally taken from the article).

Environmental Working Group’s Seafood Calculator

You’ve probably been hearing lots of good things about seafood.  It’s healthier than red meat.  It’s sustainable.  It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation and triglyceride levels, boost effects of antidepressants, and reduce symptoms of ADHD in children, among other benefits.  So is this all true?

Not always.  Most of our seafood contains at least some mercury, the result of previously-unregulated heavy metals polluting our waterways.  Sadly, much of our seafood isn’t sustainable either.  However, there’s no denying the fact that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial, and that as long as you can avoid as much mercury as you can, you should be able to enjoy seafood.  So the Environmental Working Group (EWG) came up with a handy little program: the Seafood Calculator!  Located at the link below, it’s easy to use.  You enter your weight, age, sex, whether you’re pregnant or nursing, and whether you have a heart condition, and the calculator lets you know how many servings of each kind of seafood per week you can eat.

I tried it just now, and as a seafood lover, I was pleased with my results.  It turns out that some of my favorite seafood, like salmon, mussels, and rainbow trout, not only have relatively low mercury content, but are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.  Shrimp, scallops, clams, catfish, and tilapia are low in mercury content but are also low in omega-3 fatty acid content.  The only fish I was told to avoid were shark, orange roughy, and swordfish.

Go to the link below to make your own seafood calculations:

Seafood Calculator

Eating Vegetables Makes You Happy?

According to a new study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, eating more fruits and vegetables is associated with more curiosity, happiness, and creativity in daily life, possibly due to high levels of Vitamin C and of antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body.  Granted, it’s possible that better moods caused higher consumption of vegetables and fruits among the test subjects instead of the other way around, but it’s an interesting study anyway.

See the link below for the abstract of this article:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjhp.12113/abstract

How Much Sugar is in your Cereal?

How Much Sugar is in your Cereal?

Go to this Environmental Working Group (EWG) article to find out the most and least sugary cereal brands.

I checked myself, and it turns out Cheerios are one of the least sugary.  Phew!  Despite my sweet tooth, I could give up Applejacks or Froot Loops much more easily than I could give up Cheerios.