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Which Sweetener Should You Use?

Which Sweetener Should You Be Using?

Hello All!!!

You have numerous choices when it comes to choosing your sweetener today. A while back, the only options you had to sweeten your food or drink was sugar. With people becoming health conscious and more inclined towards fitness, sugar substitutes became a rage. There has been a recent influx of natural, artificial, zero calorie, low calorie, low GI and many other types of sweeteners.

Majority of us choose foods that have a sweet taste but at the same time also want to ensure that the health of the family is not compromised. Zeroing on to which sweetener should you be using can be pretty overwhelming when you have so many options to choose from.

sweetener

Types of Sweeteners

Nutritive and non-nutritive are the two types of sweeteners available.

Nutritive sweeteners are the ones that have calories in them and they are white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey and agave. They all have 4 calories in every gram just like how other carbs and sugar alcohols have.

Non-nutritive sweeteners – These sweeteners are free of calories and include sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin, aspartame and stevia. These are often sold under different brand names, so you need to read labels carefully.

Stevia

Non-nutritive sweeteners are further divided into natural and artificial. As the name suggests, the artificial ones are created in the lab by scientists, whereas the natural ones are sourced from Mother Nature, such as from fruits and plants.

All of the sweeteners mentioned have been tested (to some extent) and deemed safe, except for saccharin that is linked to causing cancer in lab animals. With that, the choice of your sweetener natural vs. artificial is rather personal.

Choosing a sweetener

From the point of view of nutrition, the decision of which sweetener to use is a bit complicated as both nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners have their own pros and cons. In order to make it the best choice for you, here is some info from research studies and manufacturers regarding the yays and nays of different sweeteners.

Nays of nutritive sweeteners

  • Consuming high amounts of foods and drinks with nutritive sweeteners can cause dental cavities.
  • Something of even greater concern is that they lead to weight gain.

Yays of non-nutritive sweeteners

  • You get the sweet taste without the calories
  • No impact on blood sugar levels

Nays of non-nutritive sweeteners

However, it is not that simple when we talk about non-nutritive sweeteners. Research has different things to say even after these sugar-substitutes have been rendered safe. Certain studies show that they can increase the risk of various diseases including several kinds of cancers. Additionally, most of the sweeteners have not been there for very long, which means that more research is required to effectively demonstrate that there is no health risk in the long term.

The confusion…

Do calorie free sweeteners really lead to a reduced overall calorie intake? Will it be helpful in preventing weight gain and aiding weight loss?

Research has been done in this regard and the focus has been on beverages sweetened with sugar and the ones with zero calorie sweeteners. The results are mixed. It has been found that beverages may make us feel full, but that does not make us eat less food throughout the day just because we consumed more calories through fluids. So, regardless of the caloric content of the drinks consumed by us, we end up eating the same amount of food all day long. This might make you replace your sugar-sweetened drinks with calorie free sugar—substitutes to lower daily caloric intake.

Coke Zero vs diet Coke

The other side of the story is that even if you replace sugar-sweetened drinks with no calorie drinks, you will lose weight but that weight loss will not be similar to the one that involves going completely calorie free. The reason is that artificial sweeteners do give the sweet taste but since liquid calories don’t satiate like solids, you begin craving for more sweets and feel satisfied only when you get some real sweet foods.

You also need to see if sweeteners work in how you need them to when it comes to taste. Sugar when used in baking, promotes browning, turns baked goods tender and moist. This is something that all sugar-substitutes don’t do. Additionally most of the sweeteners are far sweeter than sugar and the amount to be used needs to be altered. One more thing to make note of is all sweeteners are not heat safe. They lose the sweetness at high temperatures.

Making the choice is difficult but you should make the right one.

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Walking Injuries – What Are They?

What are the common walking injuries?

Hello All!!!

You must be under the impression that running, weightlifting and playing football can cause injuries and not walking. In spite of being a low-impact exercise, walking can also cause injuries if you are not very careful.

women walking- How To Walk 10,000 Steps A Day

Injuries can range from blisters to tendinitis but that does not mean that you should give up walking. Experts are of the opinion that the benefits of walking as an exercise outweigh the risks.

Have a look at the common walking injuries and tips on how to manage or avoid them.

Blisters

The chief cause of blisters is friction due to ill-fitting shoes and sweaty socks. Blisters are small but these sacs filled with fluid can ruin a walk hike or run. The other important thing to note is to ensure that you don’t pop the blisters. It may seem very tempting but popping blisters is a strict no-no. Experts say that puncturing the skin can open up the door for bacteria and worsen your condition.

What to do: For a minor blister, you can simply tie a bandage and continue to walk. However, when the blister is larger, you should switch to another activity till it heals up completely. If you want to avoid blisters, it is suggested that you wear shoes that fit you properly and choose socks that absorb moisture.

Plantar Fasciitis

The inflammation of fascia, a tissue that connects your heel bone to the base of your toes can cause a lot of pain. In milder cases, the pain is known to disappear during a walk. Walking may initially be uncomfortable for several minutes but then the pain will go away for the remainder of the walk. If the condition is more severe, you may feel the symptoms escalating during the walk.

What to do: The doctor will prescribe you medicines and externally you can apply ice to the area for 20 mins for a minimum of 3 times day. This way your pain will get eased. Regular stretching or physical therapy can also ease the pain. You can also support the arch with the help of arch supports.

Shin splints

Pain and inflammation in the inner edge of the shinbone is diagnosed as shin splints. The pain can either be sharp or dull and throbbing. It can occur both during and after working out.

Most often, shin splints are associated with running but walking can also cause them. Shin splints occur due to overuse or doing too much too soon. Ill-fitting shoes are another common cause of shin splints. The pain is common with those who have flat feet.

What to do: Combine rest with ice and medicines prescribed by the doctor can help in calming the inflammation and getting rid of the condition. In order to ensure that your pain does not return, be easy with your exercise program (walking included).

Tendinitis

An inflammation in the tendon is called tendinitis. The condition can be due to tight calf muscles, walking too far or very fast. It can trigger swelling, pain and irritation. Depending on which tendon is affected, tendinitis can make your walking workout almost impossible.

What to do: Do not walk with the pain. Take rest and apply ice. Consult the doctor and take anti-inflammatory medicines to ease the pain.

Metatarsalgia

This condition occurs when there is pain in the five bones in the area under your toes around the foot’s ball. The pain can be burning or sharp. The causes of metatarsalgia can be anything from torn ligaments and joint inflammation to ill-fitting shoes and calluses. If the pain gets worse, you need to stop and take rest.

What to do: Treatment is based on the cause. So, you need to buy shoes that fit you properly or insert arch supports or soak your feet to soften and remove the calluses. It is suggested that you switch to swimming, biking or use the elliptical machine when you have this problem as the pressure will be off the ball of the foot.

Foot-pain

The bottom line

Preventive measures will ensure that you stay protected from walking injuries and can enjoy long walks but if you ever get any kind of injury, head straight to the doctor.

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Simple Home Remedies To Treat A Sore Throat

Home Remedies To Treat A Sore Throat

Hello All!!!

Having a sore throat is something very irritating. It can be the initial sign of cold, the side effect of strained vocal cords or a throat infection!

No matter what the cause is, your main aim is to get relief from a sore throat, that too quickly, isn’t it? Here are some home remedies to treat a sore throat fast.

Saltwater gargle

Drink More Water

Studies reveal that gargling with warm salt water several times a day can help in reducing the swelling of the throat and loosen the mucus. It helps in flushing out the irritants or bacteria.

It is usually recommended by doctors to dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Remember that you must spit out the water after you gargle and not swallow it.

Lozenges

Sucking on halls and vicks or any other lozenges helps in stimulating the production of saliva and keeps your throat moist. Choose lozenges that have a cooling or numbing ingredient such as eucalyptus or menthol.

Fluids

All-Day-Drink-More-Water

You should stay well hydrated, especially when your throat is irritated or inflamed. Keep drinking water to ensure that your urine is either light yellow or clear. This helps in keeping the mucous membranes moist and fight bacteria or allergens. This way your body will be able to fight back against the ailment better.

What you drink is totally up to you. Water is the best but you can always go in for a diluted fruit juice or chicken broth.

Tea

ways to drink green tea

 

If you are bored of drinking plain water, a warm cup of herbal tea can provide a soothing relief. Even non-herbal teas with black, green or white leaves have antioxidants and help strengthen immunity. You can add a spoon of honey for that extra boost.

Chicken soup

Chicken soup recipe

This is an age-old home remedy for treating colds. Chicken soup can also sore the throat as it has sodium in the broth with anti-inflammatory properties. By the way, anything warm is welcome when you have a sore throat. The benefit of sipping on a soup is that it isn’t painful to swallow it and you get some sort of liquid nourishment too.

Rest

Getting enough rest is the world’s best solution to battle the infection that made you end up with a sore throat. Make sure that you are well rested if you want to get well sooner.

Use the humidifier

With a sore throat, it is difficult to sit in a room with dry air. It will only make matters worse. You can always go in for a humidifier which is a handy machine that fills the air with moisture. This makes breathing easier. It will calm your symptoms too.

Honey

Honey benefits nutrition facts

A spoonful of honey can do wonders to a sore throat. The thick and syrup like texture of honey coats and soothes the throat. Not only that, honey has antimicrobial properties that help you heal yourself faster.

So, try these home remedies to treat a sore throat!

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Top 5 Causes Of Cancer In India

Top Causes Of Cancer In India

Hello All!!!

‘Cancer’ – the word itself is enough to scare the wits out of you! It is one among the leading cause of death in India currently. Estimates say that every year over a million new cases of cancer are reported in India. What is even more disturbing is that experts feel that cancer cases are on the rise and can cross 5 million new cases a year by 2025.

The treatment of cancer is very expensive and the mortality rates are high. Thus prevention and early detection of the disease are essential to fight it. It is important to be well informed about the possible causes of cancer that you can control. It is essential to minimize exposure to those risk factors.

pill and breast cancer

Cancer in India – Common Causes

While several forms of cancer are not preventable due to genetic reasons or hormonal conditions, the vast majority of cancer cases in India can be prevented. They are linked with lifestyle, dietary and environmental conditions.

Top 5 causes of cancer in India

Air pollution

Rising air pollution in New Delhi can lead to respiratory problems

Poor air quality is a leading environmental risk factor for cancer in India. It kills more than a million people every year. Air pollution is most often the cause of lung cancer instead of smoking, especially in young females.

It may appear that you cannot do much to avoid air pollution. However, you can reduce airborne particles indoors by making sure that there is better ventilation, avoiding burning mosquito coils and incense sticks. You can also ensure that your kitchen is well ventilated so that you don’t inhale the fumes of cooking oil.

Viral infections

People don’t think of infections as a potential cancer cause. But infections with viruses like the HPV or human papilloma virus can lead to cervical cancer in women whereas Hepatitis B infection is linked with liver cancer.

There are immunization drives in India to prevent infection from both types of viruses. If you have not taken the immunization shots yet, you should consult your doctor.

Tobacco

Tobacco both smoking and chewing is the biggest cause of cancer. It is responsible for about 30% of all the cancer cases in India. Smoking and chewing tobacco is directly responsible for lung, oral, throat and esophageal cancers.

Passive Smoke

Just by quitting smoking and chewing tobacco you can make these cancers preventable. Second hand cigarette smoke also increases the risk of cancer. Hence, you should steer clear of smoking areas and not let anyone smoke in the house.

Alcohol abuse

4% of global cancer cases have alcohol behind them. Alcohol is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen (cancer causing substance) that can cause cancers of the breast, liver, esophagus, mouth and many more.

This risk can be avoided easily as studies hint that alcohol poses a cancer risk when it is consumed in excess. It is recommended that men should restrict alcohol intake to only 2 glasses a day and women to single glass.

Alcohol for the calorie conscious

Paan

You must be under the impression that chewing paan is risky only when tobacco is used. However, this is not true. You are at risk even if you chew a paan containing areca nut and betel quid. Chewing paan with any of the mentioned ingredients increases cancer risk. You can suffer from the cancer of the mouth, pharynx and oesophagus. So, quit chewing paan right now!

Other cancer causing factors

  • Excessive red meat
  • Processed foods
  • Fried foods
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Lack of rest

To protect yourself, you need to eliminate the chief causes of cancer and modify your lifestyle.

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