Monday, April 27, 2009

Let's Be Real

Genesis 1:29 And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed: to you it shall be for food.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast to what is good.

I did an email to subscribers of my website last week about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, specifically aspartame and sucralose (Nutrasweet and Splenda). One reader raised a question. I mentioned that aspartame breaks down in the body into methanol (wood alcohol), formaldehyde (embalming fluid) and Phenylalanine. This reader noticed that this same substance (phenylalanine) is also listed as an ingredient in his whey protein and was concerned that this could create problems. I appreciate questions like this!

Phenylalanine is an amino acid - a building block of protein. That is why it is an ingredient in whey protein, as well as chicken, eggs or other sources of protein. However, in these real foods it is found in combination and proper ratio with the other amino acids. In diet soda, this synthetic chemical breaks down and there is a large amount of just this amino acid. The warning on the label is for people who lack the necessary enzyme to process and digest it. Since people drink large amounts of diet soda, this can pose a health risk (aside from just consuming diet soda itself!) Most people do not consume liters of whey protein daily. And if you lack this enzyme, you would have to monitor all your protein consumption as well - not just what is found in diet soda.

This illustrates the principle I advocate - eat your food in a form as close to how God created it as possible and you can't go wrong! There have been other, similar instances where people are misled. For example, years ago a study, commissioned by the cereal industry, said eggs raise cholesterol and should be limited. Those results have been disproved. That study used powdered (synthetic, artificial) eggs, not real, fresh, whole eggs which are a nearly perfect food! More recent studies have refuted those findings and show real eggs do not raise cholesterol.

Let's look at synthetic vitamin C as opposed to natural sources of vitamin c - the synthetic form has been shown to suppress immune function whereas natural sources do just the opposite.

Studies using synthetic vitamin E were shown to be harmful to heart health whereas natural sources of vitamin E are extremely heart protective and should not be avoided.

So, whenever you question some nutritional information you read - be sure to dig a bit deeper - and find the real truth. You can't go wrong when you keep it real - the Father says so!!

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