Health

Want to avoid getting sick this winter? In addition to washing your hands frequently and staying warm--mom was right, bring a sweater; viruses thrive in cold weather--perhaps the best way to prevent illness is to avoid eating excess sugar. Sugar weakens the immune system.


After you drink a regular soda or eat a piece of cake, or anything else that is loaded with added sugar, your cells, much like your body at large, undergo a sort of sugar lethargy. This effect can last for several hours during which time your immune-fighting cells are impotent against bacteria.


Much of your immune system lies within your digestive tract. There must be a proper balance of good bacteria versus bad bacteria (some research suggests 85% good vs 15% bad is optimal). Eating excess sugar results in the equivalent of having a high-school party at your parent’s house and having it overrun by unwanted party crashers. The party crashers are the bad bacteria, which, when these colonies proliferate, may result in sickness.


If you’re trying to regulate blood sugar, perhaps you already know that consuming excess sugar (especially refined sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup) results in insulin resistance; your body will need to keep pumping more and more insulin to escort the sugar into the cells.


Even fruit, which has natural sugar--fructose--can weaken your immune system if you’re overindulging (suggested reading: Is Fruit Bad to Eat if You’re on a Low-Carb Diet). Some people refer to fructose as alcohol without the buzz. Just as alcohol has sugar, fructose has ample sugar. That’s why it’s unwise to eat a large serving of fruit.

 

Research proves that cancer cells feed on sugar. Sugar lowers HDL cholesterol (commonly referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol) and increases the density of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol.


Sugar causes systemic inflammation in the body, manifesting as either joint pain, perhaps cancer, organ distress, diabetes, and maybe even a cold.


There’s no guarantee that cutting out refined sugars from your diet will prevent the cold or flu, but the odds are much higher that even if you do get sick, you’ll bounce back quicker if you cut down on the sugar.

 

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This article was written by Judd Handler and orginally appeared on the Miracle Noodle blog

 

 

 

 

Mmmm…rapeseed….

 

Sounds delicious, does it not?

Unless you live on a farm and grow all your own food and never eat packaged foods, you’ve consumed rapeseed. And if you do eat out often or buy packaged foods, you’re likely swallowing the seed’s unpalatable-sounding oil every day.

It doesn’t take a marketing expert to realize how unappetizing ‘rapeseed’ sounds, so approximately 30 years ago, marketers decided that the product name ‘rapeseed oil’ would not fly off the shelves at supermarkets and rechristened it as “Canola oil,” in deference to Canada, which is where rapeseed was developed...at least it’s modern version.

Rapeseed varieties were cultivated in Asia thousands of years ago. But one major reason you should avoid canola oil is that contemporary rapeseed is genetically modified. Whether or not you think genetically modified foods are safe for human consumption or potentially harmful is your call to make. But when groups such as the American Academy of Environmental Medicine conclude, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects,” and call for a moratorium on GM foods, you may want to be at least slightly concerned.

While scientists may have had good intentions for developing modern Canola oil--resistance to crop disease, breeding for lower potentially harmful acidic compounds, for example--it’s still a laboratory-produced foodstuff, with long-term consumption effects still mostly unknown; there simply are not enough studies to verify if Canola oil is safe. It has not been around long enough to fully assess its safety.

And how does a dose of hexane sound?

Canola oil’s processing includes refinement with hexane, a constituent of gasoline. Hexane is used in several industrial applications, including extracting cooking oil from seeds.

Could you envision your mother telling you, “Don’t worry about it...a little hexane won’t hurt you?”

Not likely. Hexane can be potentially toxic. And traces of it are typically found in crops like soybeans and Canola oil.

The only good kind of Rancid is the 1990s-era punk band

Most producers of Canola utilize detergents and heating processes to refine the oil. Heating an oil such as Canola, results in the molecular degradation of the oil. In other words, the oil could very well be rancid before you grab it off the shelf. Rancid oils promote inflammation in the body and you can’t tell by sight or smell.

Eliminating Canola oil 100% of the time might be an impossible task if you eat out regularly. Cheaper than premium and health-promoting unrefined olive oil, most restaurants and food manufacturers stock up on Canola oil. But what you can do before ordering is ask the waiter to find out what kind of oil the cook uses. Stretch the truth and tell your order taker that you are allergic to Canola oil and ask if they can cook your food in butter instead.

Though butter is high in calories and saturated fat, a dab of it is much healthier to cook with because the saturated fat is chemically stable when cooked and won’t turn rancid easily like Canola oil.

If you can, cook at home often, as you’ll be in control of what oils you put in your body.

Use these oils instead when cooking

Avocado oil, Coconut oil, ghee (clarified) butter, regular butter, and, to a lesser extent olive oil (if not cooked at a high temperature) are best for cooking.

This blog was written by Judd Handler and originally appeared online at:

www.miraclenoodle.com/t-is-canola-oil-healthy.aspx?

 

If only you could feel like Superman all day…alert, energetic, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound….

 

How do we often try to feel like Superman? By drinking energy drinks, multiple cups of coffee, a few donuts and other high-glycemic or caffeinated fixes.

For the first few minutes after consuming a sugary or chemical-buzz inducing treat, we fleetingly feel like a superhero. How quickly, though, we come crashing back down to Earth as our blood sugar levels, after skyrocketing, fueling the brief energy burst, then plummets, making us feel tired and cranky.

Our brains are wired and conditioned by habit to be rewarded by sweet treats. The reward mechanism wired in our brain tells us that we will feel great after eating a pint of ice cream. Despite knowing--maybe sometimes denying--the fact that within an hour or two after eating the excess ice cream, an energy crash will occur, some of us continue to fall prey to the sugar.

For the over 25 million adults and children in the U.S. who have diabetes--and the approximately 80 million who are pre-diabetic and might not even know it--regularly monitoring blood sugar levels can help manage and even improve diabetes.

How can you tell if you should get a blood sugar test?

If you’ve never had a diagnostic test--fasting blood sugar level test; oral glucose tolerance test; IV glucose tolerance test; random blood-sugar test; or home testing with a glucometer--if you frequently experience the following, you should have a blood sugar test performed by a medical professional:

  • --mood swings

  • --energy crashes

  • --insatiable hunger

  • --bingeing late at night

  • --low energy in the morning

  • --worsening vision

  • --foot pain or numbness

Different factors play a part in determining an individual’s proper blood sugar levels, such as genetics, activity level, diet and insulin sensitivity so one person’s ‘normal’ blood sugar level could differ from another’s due to individual, unique biochemistries.

But no matter your constitutional type (lean and tall, short and stout, for example) everyone benefits from ‘homeostasis,’ whereby the body’s multiple systems self-regulate to try and operate at a normal level. This is why we can’t always feel high after that extra slice of pie. Our bodies prefer to operate with rock-steady energy and burn sugars slowly.

Crunching the numbers

Again, one person’s normal homeostatic blood sugar might be different than somebody else’s, but in general, normal, healthy fasting blood sugar levels in the morning, for somebody who does not have diabetes is between 70-100 (mg/dl). Blood sugar levels are typically lowest in the morning because we have hopefully gone at least 8 hours without eating.

Within an hour or two after eating, blood sugar levels typically rise, but normally, not higher than 125. For those with diabetes, medical consensus recommends levels lower than 180 post-meals; diabetics should have a pre-meal blood sugar reading (using a glucometer) of approximately 70-130.

Chronically high blood sugar levels--hyperglycemia--can lead to an official diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. The human body can only self-regulate and try to achieve homeostasis so much; after a while, the body cannot regulate blood sugar levels effectively if it’s bombarded with sugar. The pancreas becomes stressed out, continually trying to release insulin to escort the sugars to the cells.

During the day, i.e. after breakfast, a blood sugar level still effectively governed by homeostasis will regulate at 80-110, though many medical experts, in order to avoid the risk of pre-diabetes and worse, believe that 80-85 is a normal, healthy level during the day.

An interesting factoid about sugar and the body: you’d think that considering the human body has trillions of cells, there would be lots of sugar swimming around the blood and saturating cells, but in actuality, there’s only an amount of blood sugar equivalent to about the size of a few sugar packets.

It’s easy to see how powerful sugar is, then, in determining our overall health.

What's the best diagnostic tool for monitoring blood sugar levels?

In addition to getting tested on occasion, by a medical doctor, the easiest way to assess your blood sugar levels is to use a glucometer, which is the size of the palm of a human hand and pricks the skin (usually on a finger) to obtain a droplet of blood to read blood sugar levels.

For those people who have the rarer, type 1 diabetes and do not produce insulin, multiple tests--perhaps up to 10 times a day is necessary--whereas those with the more common type 2 should test approximately 5 times per day on average.

Similar to the benefits of keeping a food journal, regularly monitoring and recording blood sugar levels in a diary (include in your food journal) can help monitor levels and analyze if dietary modifications are necessary. Many modern glucometers store your blood sugar reading so adding those records to a separate food journal may not be necessary.

Eat all the Miracle Noodle you want to help regulate blood sugar

Sorry to lecture, but don’t roll the dice with your blood sugar levels. Long-term complications from diabetes, which include blindness, foot amputation and fatal heart disease, are not worth a third trip to the all-you-can-eat pasta bar. Instead, opt for foods like Miracle Noodle, with which you can indulge in multiple servings because it has zero net calories and zero net carbs; it won’t raise your blood sugar levels at all.

Prepare a quick Miracle Noodle dish with lots of steamed or lightly cooked veggies and add a lean protein like fish for the perfect low-glycemic meal.

 

Both secular Jews and non-Jews alike might be surprised to learn that Yom Kippur isn’t the only Jewish holiday that calls for fasting.

 

There are six other major traditional tzomot (Jewish fasting days), and more if you include fasts for the tzaddikim (righteous ones).

Almost every, if not all, religions, have at least one fasting day. Beyond the scope of spiritual observance, though, is fasting healthy for you?

Yom Kippur provides an opportunity for us to start anew. Not only spiritually, by reflecting upon how we can be more kind, compassionate and involved with our community, but also from a health perspective: Yom Kippur can provide a metabolic reboot of your system.

Bagels, blintzes, kugel and more break-fast comfort food

Most people eat traditional Ashkenazi comfort food to break the Yom Kippur fast and oftentimes for other fast days as well.

While some of us who observe Yom Kippur and other Jewish fast days may feel like we are performing a mitzvah, most people when breaking the fast do so by bingeing on either sugary foods or juices and simple carbohydrates that quickly convert into sugars.

Perhaps it’s worth having a philosophical discussion concerning fast days with the following question: Would Ha-Shem really want us to refuel our bodies with substances that are poisonous to the body?

Sure, most of us are too weak from a 25-hour fast to want to imbibe in alcohol, and certainly not toxic drugs, but many processed foods--anything that contains wheat flour, added sugars, high-fructose corn syrup--are toxic to the body.

In essence, most of us, instead of supplying the body with clean-burning fuel post-fast, are ingesting too much poison (read: sugar) for their first post-Yom Kippur meal, thereby negating the benefits of the fast!

Reflect not only on being more of a mensch, but also on your food addictions

Some people who are trying to lose weight but have a difficult time, even though they may exercise regularly, might have a clogged liver, which results in a sluggish metabolism. Eating processed foods for years and decades places a burden on the liver, which is the main detoxification organ of the body.

Periodic fasting provides the liver, as well as the insulin-secreting pancreas (regulates blood sugar) and bile-releasing gallbladder (digests fats) a much-needed rest.

In addition to reflecting on how you can be a better person on Yom Kippur (hopefully not just the period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, but all year), take note if you have difficulty fasting.

If so, it could be because your body is suffering from drastic fluctuations in blood sugar levels, spurred by frequent consumption of sugar, wheat- and white flour.

Traditional break-fasts are counterproductive

You’ve done a mitzvah by fasting for 25 hours. You’re missing out on an opportunity to truly reset your physical body if you eat common Ashkenazi foods like bagels and kugel. By extension, your spiritual body will suffer, too.

Someone who has rock-steady blood-sugar levels, achieved by a low-glycemic diet with many vegetables, may be able to better focus on Torah study. And perhaps someone eating a kosher, low-glycemic diet will be more of a mensch because they won’t have as many mood swings as someone who eats lots of sugary foods.

Beyond the observant Jewish community, the intermittent fasting movement is gaining in popularity. This might be a healthy fad, as long as people break the fast with pure, wholesome foods.

Speaking of which, zero-calorie Miracle Noodle is perfect for break-fasts!

Try to eat plenty of vegetables at lunch and dinner every day. You can even throw in a couple veggies with your omelette in the morning. Eat as few calories as possible to satisfy you. Miracle Noodle is 97% water, but because this zero-calorie natural noodle substitute also contains fiber, it will actually keep you full longer--without the guilt. Miracle Noodle is the perfect surrogate for traditional high-starch chicken noodle soup.

Occasional low-calorie diets and fasting can be both spiritually and physically beneficial  but check with your doctor if you have liver or kidney problems, are on medications, or have any chronic disease or compromised immune system.

This blog was written by Judd Handler and originally appeared at: http://www.miraclenoodle.com/t-fasting_benefits.aspx?

 

Wouldn’t it be so much easier to live like a caveman?

 

Wake up, forage for some berries, hunt some wild game, eat, nap, shape and sharpen tools, perhaps procreate, tend to the fire, eat leftovers, call it a day.

 

The only two stressors our Neolithic ancestors faced, granted they were big ones: finding/hunting enough food and getting devoured by potential food sources like sabertooth tigers.

Now think about how many stressors you have: paying the bills, taking care of kids, going through a divorce or trying to save a tenuous marriage or relationship, getting sick or being chronically ill from poor dietary habits and lack of exercise, long commutes, being too overworked and underpaid….

Bedding down with the clan in a cave on a Wooly Mammoth skin, warmed by a fire … sounds pretty idyllic now, huh?

We all face stressors of some sort. Not all stress is bad. There’s what’s called eustress, or ‘good’ stress. On a blind date? That’s an example of eustress, unless of course, your date turns out to be a psychopath, in which case, eustress turns into DIStress.

Meet Your Stress Hormone

Exercising, sex, getting a promotion … these are other examples of eustress. But whether it’s good stress or bad, your body releases the hormone called cortisol when faced with stress. Some people who have heard of cortisol automatically assume that cortisol is bad, especially when faced with distress. A common misconception is that cortisol can make you fat.

Although this is indirectly true (more on this, shortly), it’s a good thing your body makes cortisol. When faced with stress, your body needs the extra energy production, whether it’s to fight off the sabertooth tiger or your spouse, or to run away from either … so cortisol directs more of your internal sugar into the bloodstream to prepare for “fight or flight”.

Some people, especially those in stressful jobs, such as emergency room surgeons, ‘hotshot’ firefighters, cruise ship entertainers (maybe not so much the latter), rely on cortisol to help their bodies deal with stress.

It’s unrealistic in this age to have no stress, but knowing how to manage stress can make the difference between a healthy, lean person and one who is chronically ill and overweight.

Take the ER surgeon who has just come home after a 10-hour life-saving operation. The surgeon will likely feel depleted of energy because the cortisol has largely depleted the body’s storage of glucose (blood sugar). The surgeon can either binge on junk food and watch a few hours of mindless TV, or, the surgeon can practice stress management techniques such as meditation and yoga.

Stress Can Make You Either Lose Weight or Get Fat

Now here’s where it gets interesting: some people can actually lose weight when under chronic stress. In addition to blood sugar, cortisol also directs fat and protein out of the tissues into the blood to serve as alternative energy sources.

Your adrenal glands, which rest on top of your kidneys, release cortisol. Before you go on a high-stress diet in hopes of losing weight, realize that you’re actually potentially wasting away muscle tissue. This is not a healthy form of weight loss: excess cortisol caused by too much stress can potentially lead to the following conditions, just to name a few:

  • --compromised immune system

  • --kidney function

  • --insulin resistance

Three sure-fire lifestyle habits that can lead to your adrenal glands being overtaxed in an attempt to release cortisol include:

  • --excess caffeine consumption

  • --excess alcohol and drug consumption

  • --excess strenuous exercise

Losing Sleep Can Make You Fat

Even though cortisol can use stored fat as an energy source, excess cortisol can also lead to an increase of so-called ‘visceral’ fat, the deep layer of fat well beneath the skin’s surface in and around the organs, which tends to accumulate around the abdomen. Visceral fat can lead to metabolic disorders such as diabetes and chronic disease like heart disease.

Going through excessive stress can make you fat simply by increasing your appetite or triggering emotional eating patterns. Emotional stress, such as getting dumped, can lead to bingeing on bon-bons or finishing off a tub of ice cream.

Another stressor, sleep deprivation, can lead to weight gain. Studies (such as this one) prove that chronic sleep disturbance can throw off the regulation of the appetite hormones, leptin and ghrelin, causing you to eat more than you normally would.

If you have intense food cravings, try eating zero-calorie Miracle Noodle.

This blog, written by Judd Handler, was originally published online at: http://www.miraclenoodle.com/t-manage-stress-for-weight-loss.aspx?

 

 

 

 

Are you carb crazy? Does one serving of pasta never satisfy? Do you frequently crave high-carbohydrate meals, even though you frequently crash after eating them?
 
You’re certainly not alone. Many of us love high-carb foods, but it’s not only because of the taste. Think about it: when you eat spaghetti or any other noodle or rice dish plain, it doesn’t taste that good, right?
 
If it’s not the taste of the food by itself, what is it about high-carb foods like noodles and rice that quickly convert into sugar?
 
[Click here for all-natural, zero-carb noodles.]
 
Picture this perfect, simple Italian meal: angel hair pasta cooked al-dente with chopped fresh grape tomatoes, a subtle but pungent mix of freshly crushed garlic, a satisfying squirt of lemon juice, and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
 
Salivating yet? Maybe it’s the fresh ingredients--most of which are usually healthy vegetables, herbs and spices--added to rice and noodles that make these tasty morsels impossible to turn down?
 
Substitute high-carb dishes with calorie-free and carb-free noodles
 
It’s not only the fixings we add to noodle and rice dishes that make them so mouth-watering. After all, it’s possible to enjoy Italian, Asian and Indian-style dishes with low-carb noodles and rice, thanks to noodles that contain a Japanese flour called 'konjac', which can be found in health-food stores. I recommend MiracleNoodle.com for all-natural zero-calorie konjac noodles. Kelp noodles are another example of very low-carb noodles.
 
If you’re still drooling, thinking about the angel hair pasta dish from above, one example of how you can enjoy a noodle-rich meal without the guilt of adding hundreds of extra love-handle packing calories to your diet, and spiking your blood sugar in the process, is by substituting regular pasta with konjac flour or kelp noodle products.
 
The secret to low-carb recipes is that the low-calorie, low-carb noodle and rice offerings must easily soak up the texture and taste of whatever sauces, spices, herbs or other accents you’re cooking with. For the average American pressed for time, meals have to be prepared quickly.
 
Both konjac and kelp noodles meets both criteria. In fact, how does not having to cook sound? Simply remove the product from the eco-friendly packaging, rinse, drain and add to a stir-fry.
 
Both konjac and kelp noodles are loaded with soluble fiber, helping keep you regular and feeling full.
 
When your belly expands
 
Another secret to low-carb noodles and rice is that they should, after being consumed, slightly expand in your belly. This is not to be confused with bloating. Many people typically feel lethargic and bloated after eating a high-carb meal.
 
This will not happen after eating konjac or kelp noodles (as long as you’re not eating any other high-carb foods or allergenic foods along with it); the fiber in these noodles will ever-so-slightly expand in your stomach, leaving you feeling full without feeling stuffed.
 
The highly addictive nature of high-carb foods
 
Although rice and pasta and other noodles don’t physically resemble the bottle of white sugar you would pour into a cup of coffee, these foods are all broken down by the digestive process as simple sugars much like table sugar.
 
What does this do to the body? It’s like pouring gasoline refined and intended for use in a million-dollar race car into a clunker sedan. The fuel gets burned up way too fast and ruins the engine. Eating high-carb foods ruins your engine as well. The fuel burns up too quickly and in a couple hours we feel the need to refuel, and we often refuel with the same high-carb foods that caused us to feel tired, bloated, or in the aggregate, perhaps led to diabetes.
 
Why the love, then, for high-carb foods if they are generally bad for our health? It’s because high-carb foods are scientifically proven to be highly addictive. Numerous studies, such as this meta-analysis published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, (a review of dozens of studies) provide ample evidence of sugar’s addictive nature.  
 
The meta-study concludes, “Access to sugar can lead to behavior and neurochemical changes that resemble the effects of a substance of abuse.... According to the evidence…access to sugar...is capable of producing a ‘dependency’.”
 
It’s not necessarily the running-on-empty sensation that causes us to binge on high-carb meals; trytophan, the same amino acid responsible for making you feel sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal, is elevated in your bloodstream after a high-carb meal, producing a tranquilizing, sedative effect.
 
Maybe when we’re stressed, that’s why we reach for a high-carb option: we want to be tranquilized. The next time you’re tempted with a high-carb option, do two things: look at the high-carb option the same way you would an illegal drug and avoid at all costs. And switch from high-carb noodles and rice dishes to Miracle Noodle!
 
Reduce your calorie intake by the thousands every week
 
One cup of pasta contains at least 200 calories. And how many of us stick to one serving? Very few of us, right? Supposing you ate a conservative estimate of two cups of noodles or another high-carb dish every day, that would be 400 calories per day or 2800 per week. Ditching the high-carb fare and instead saving time and calories with konjac or kelp noodles will improve your health and perhaps decrease your physiological dependency on high-carb foods.

 

 

 

 

 

New research from the Harvard School of Public Health concludes that the one in five U.S. adults who regularly skip breakfast are at greater risk for heart disease. 
 
The researchers interviewed over 25,000 people about their eating habits and tracked them for 16 years. Those who often skipped breakfast were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who regularly ate breakfast. 
 
Studies don't often account for enough variables such as lifestyle factors. But this study, the researchers concluded, didn't matter if those that ate breakfast regularly smoked cigarettes, exercised little or frequently overate. 
 
In other words, eating breakfast everyday, it seems, is one critical aspect of healthy living. 
 
Why does skipping breakfast put you at greater risk for a heart attack or stroke? 
 
It doesn't take a Ph.D. to figure out that skipping breakfast stresses the body; any armchair nutrition hobbyist can tell you that. Not eating in the morning slows metabolism, raises blood pressure and throws our body's rhythm flow--circadian rhythms--out of whack. 
 
What the research did not account for, however, was how eating three balanced (containing lean protein, slow-burning starches and vegetables and natural fats) meals, taken at the same time every day provides a steady-running metabolism and energy flow. 
 
Eating breakfast (and not going more than 4-5 hours before eating again) is vital to achieving balanced mental well-being. For those who unfortunately suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental imbalances, skipping meals will only add fuel to the fire. 
 
And does this mean you can eat donuts and endless plates of bacon for breakfast  and not worry about your health? Of course not. But having a donut and some bacon for breakfast is better than eating nothing at all!
 
It doesn't take a Harvard scientist to know that skipping breakfast is bad for you, but if anybody that you care about frequently does, at least you have the research to back it up. 


image courtesy of dreamstime.com


Water—the ultimate thirst quencher for most, but for some people, water, water everywhere and plenty a drop to drink fails to provide relief from a parched palette. Some people are just always thirsty, thirsty, thirsty.

 

If you’re one of those people, and wonder, “Why am I always thirsty—even though I drink plenty of fluids?” here then are a handful of likely chronic-thirst culprits:

·         Symptoms of diabetes

·         Water intoxication (hyponatremia)

·         Sinus infections

·         Prescription drug side effects

·         Excessive caffeine intake

·         Electrolyte imbalance

Drinking the right fluids
It’s most likely extremely rare for someone who it fit, eats a diet rich in all-natural foods and drinks plenty of water to experience chronic thirst. However, for those that form the bulk of the U.S. population— infrequent exercisers who consume much processed food—sugar is often a major ingredient in beverages. Satisfying thirst with sugar-soaked drinks instead of healthy beverages spikes blood sugar levels (especially if they are not consumed at the same time as protein and natural fat), potentially leading to diabetes (more on that shortly).

If you’re always thirsty (Read: Why am I always tired), avoid drinking seemingly healthy beverages like 100 percent fruit juices or smoothies, as these drinks may contain 30 grams or higher of sugar per serving. Also avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine intake (up to three cups of coffee a day will not severely dehydrate), as both can dehydrate.

Reasons for diabetics to dump sugar
Diabetes, especially the more-common Type 2 variety is a major contributor to chronic thirst. Think of sugar as an illegal drug: you need more and more of it to elicit a desired feeling. The hormone, insulin, is released by the pancreas and controls blood sugar, carrying it to your trillions of cells.

Like an illicit drug, it becomes less potent and effective over time as someone constantly chases a sugar fix. The cells are already saturated with glycogen (blood sugar); they can’t handle any more insulin knocking at the door. Like an unwanted drug pusher at a party, the cells refuse entry to the extra sugar-carrying insulin cells.

The extra sugar has to go somewhere. So in an effort to carry the excess sugar out through the urinary tract, the cells signal thirst to the brain so more fluids are consumed in an attempt to rid the body of the excess sugars. (But some diabetics can’t help it: in the case of ‘diabetes inipidus,’ the kidneys struggle to conserve water, leading to insatiable thirst.)

Water can be intoxicating
With triple-digit temperatures fast-approaching this summer, some people, especially endurance athletes and children, will guzzle water, perhaps gallons of it, in an attempt to stymie the brutal heat.

Excessive sweating causes blood sodium levels to precipitously plummet, potentially leading to nerve synapses misfiring and muscle weakness. Drinking too much water and not replacing electrolytes like sodium may cause ‘hyponatremia’ aka water intoxication.

Hyponatremia is a serious, potentially-deadly electrolyte imbalance. It’s theorized that in some people with hypnoatremia, when low sodium levels occur, it signals thirst by the brain in an effort to alleviate chronic dry mouth.

You lose sodium when you sweat. Drinking water—even copious amounts—will not rehydrate the body with necessary trace minerals like sodium; try sprinkling a few tablespoons of unprocessed sea salt (grey or pink in color) per four cups of water to ensure you resupply the body with enough electrolytes and trace minerals.

Other reasons for being always thirsty
Medications such as phenothiazine can sometimes produce a side effect of dry-mouth and lead to an insatiable thirst. Sinus infections and congested noses force you to breathe out of your mouth, another reason for being constantly thirsty.

 

Judd Handler is author of "Living Healthy: 10 Steps to Looking Younger, Losing Weight and Feeling Great" and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Copyright 2013, Judd Handler.



 

 

photo courtesy: expatoasis.com

 

Millions of people suffer from headaches every day. With so many people experiencing them, one would think that it's normal to get a headache, at least every now and then. But just because something is common does not mean it's normal. 

In addition to headaches, other common syptoms include:

  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling tired
  • Lack of sex drive

Due to the ubiquity of these symptoms, one would think it's not normal to never get a headache or feel sluggish. 

Feeling 'normal', however, means that you feel absolutely fine. It's actually quite possible to never get a headache and to reverse chronic lack of energy.

Obviously, nutrition has a lot to do with it. And hydration. 

If you get headaches from time to time, start off by drinking at least two cups of water first thing in the morning. 

Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day, at the same time, eating a slow-burning carbohydrate, lean protein and natural fat source at every meal. For example, 2 scrambled eggs with spinach and a piece of gluten-free toast with a dab of butter or nut butter at 8 a.m. for breakfast; brown rice with salmon and brocoli at noon; and a salad with nuts and olive oil at 7 p.m. 

Eat a snack that also contains protein, carbs and natural fat (like apple slices with almond butter) at 4 p.m. to hold you over until dinner. 

Stay hydrated by drinking a cup of water half an hour before every meal. You'll also feel fuller, thereby eating less calories. 

For an overwhelming majority of the population, sticking to these simple principles of eating real food at regularly scheduled times throughout the day and drinking nothing but water (one or two cups of coffee and fresh veggie juices are OK) with eliminate headaches for good. 

Following these simple nutrition guidelines will also reduce cravings and energy fluctuations, which again, might be common but are far from normal.

Normal is the absence of disease. Normal is not feeling hyper. Normal is not feeling sluggish. Normal is not feeling overwhelmingly stressed. 

When you go several hours (usually more than five) without eating, your blood sugar levels can dip precipitously. Though the science behind what causes headaches is murky at best, a plethora of anecdotal evidence suggests that eating too much sugar or not eating enough real food and going too long in between eating is a recipe for a tension headache.

Eating the right foods at regular times every day, and daily moderate exercise, though as simple as it sounds and no matter how many times you've heard it, is the best medicine for feeling normal.

 

 

 

 

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