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December 01, 2023 | NATIONAL Dee Dee DiMino, Correspondent

Be mindful of what you are putting in your body. Think:

- Is this nourishing me?

- Is this harming me?

Let’s talk about sugar. Presently, most of us are aware that sugar is not healthy. It really impacts our immune system in a rather negative way. Sugar is the most abused legal substance. It can increase our risk of  heart disease, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune and neurological issues. Most sugar is fluorinated, chlorinated, and often contains aluminum. 

Something we must all consider is that just because a product is sold in a grocery store, it does not mean it is healthy. Any processed sugar will cause a decrease in our white blood cells for up to six hours after ingesting. So, our immune system can be compromised. Our immune system is our first line of defense against influenza and other such issues. If we are ingesting sugar all day long—coffee, donuts, soda, candy—our immune system is basically on vacation.

Furthermore, what could be worse than sugar? Sugar substitutes. An example is high fructose corn syrup. This product can cause the onset of diabetes, high blood pressure, fatty liver and neuro degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Check food labels carefully, because this product can be found in juices, sodas, candy, cereals, and frozen dinners, to name a few of our favorite foods.

Another of these sugar substitutes to be aware of is aspartame—it is a sweet poison. Aspartame was taken off the market years ago because of its detrimental effect on our health. However, for monetary reasons, it was later brought back as a viable, artificial sweetener. Still, be aware that aspartame has been known to be a cause of lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), brain lesions,  dizziness, headaches, lupus—and the list goes on and on. Often, when doctors are not aware of the effect of aspartame, they only treat the symptoms. Aspartame can be found in most diet and sugar-free products, including vitamins.

I am of the opinion that all sugar substitutes should be totally avoided. I am also of the opinion that sugar should be used cautiously. The American Heart Association recommends the following daily usage:

- Women – 6 teaspoons (24 grams)

- Men – 9 teaspoons (36 grams)

- Children – 2-3 teaspoons (8-12 grams)

Instead of sugar, what would be some healthier alternatives?

- Organic, raw, unfiltered honey—it has been around for thousands of years as a medicinal superfood.

- Molasses—loaded with nutrients such as antioxidants, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and B6. 

- Organic maple syrup—with beneficial minerals for heart and brain health.

- Stevia (a good choice is organic pure green leaf)—which controls and balances blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

I invite you to be aware of how much sugar you are consuming and to eliminate all sugar substitutes. Knowledge is power and when we know better we can do better. Have fun creating a healthy life. Take fun seriously!

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Dee Dee DiMinoCorrespondent

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