Tuesday, February 27, 2018
We don’t have to go looking for added sugar. It’s practically everywhere and comes in many forms, such as sucrose, maple syrup, fructose, molasses, brown sugar, cane sugar, honey and high fructose corn syrup. You can and will find added sugar in desserts, candy, sodas, and covertly in processed foods such as ketchup, canned sauces, cereals, energy bars, energy drinks, bread and so much more. If you read Gary Taube’s latest book, “The Case Against Sugar,” you’ll see why a sugar habit can easily be compared to a nicotine habit.
Gary Taube is the co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative. In his 2010 best seller, “Why We Get Fat,” he argued that carbohydrates like grains and starchy vegetables were the true culprits behind the obesity epidemic. His new book, “The Case Against Sugar” takes this argument a step further by zeroing in on the harmful effects of sugar.
In a recent article he wrote for the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Taube posited, “How often can we smoke cigarettes without doing at least some harm to our health? Doctors these days answer ‘never,’ thus redefining the concept of moderation. We don’t say smoking too much causes lung cancer, although that’s surely true. We say smoking does. The same hard line may also make sense for sugar. If it takes 20 years of either smoking cigarettes or consuming sugar for the consequences to appear, how can we know whether we’ve smoked or consumed too much before it’s too late? Isn’t it more reasonable to decide early in Iife (or early in parenting) that not too much is as little as possible?”
Research continues to grow with regard to the evils of sugar. Evidence is being amassed that may soon prove that sugar is the cause of metabolic syndrome, a disorder that afflicts 75 million Americans, as cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Metabolic syndrome is the group of risk factors that raises the risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Risk factors include traits, conditions and habits that increase the chances of developing a disease. One major habit contributing to metabolic syndrome is the consumption of sugar that results in insulin resistance. This occurs when the pancreas responds to high volumes of sugar by producing more insulin and the cells that normally use glucose for power, fail to respond. The vicious cycle often ends up in type 2 diabetes.
If we understand why not smoking is important to good health, we can see why not consuming added sugar may similarly decrease our risk factors. At Nikken, we push for the Active Wellness lifestyle and pledge to improve our Nikken Wellness products as evolving science informs us. That’s why (hyperlink) Kenzen Ten4 energy drink mix has no added sugar. Consumers can add their own sweetener, if they please, but our commitment is to promote Active Wellness through healthy eating, drinking and sleeping.
Monday, February 26, 2018
Generally speaking, an adult dog sleeps about 12 to 14 hours a day, depending on breed and age.1 Cats can sleep as much as 16 hours a day and elderly feline companions spend as many as 20 hours sleeping!2 With so many hours spent laying down on their stomachs, sides or backs, it’s really imperative that our pets are supported during rest.
A true pet lover is never an “owner” but always “dad” or “mom” or some other relative of the family. With this in mind, Nikken created the Kenko PetPad—because who wouldn’t want a treasured member of the family to have the best rest and relaxation available?
The Kenko Pet Pad (hyperlink) provides a cozy 48” x 30” pad that accommodates most large breeds of dog. With the smaller breeds, both canine and feline, more than one can fit on one PetPad. Some people put the Kenko PetPad right into a baby crib. Here’s why the Kenko PetPad is so comfortable:
- Ceramic reflective fibers are permanently infused into the fabric. They release excess heat to help the PetPad maintain a comfortable temperature range regardless of the weather.
- The cover of the pad is soft for maximum comfort and “breathes” to minimize odors.
- The strong, durable backing helps minimize slippage, keeping the pad in place.
- Nine 750 gauss magnetic disks are inserted into the polyurethane foam. The use of magnetic technology in the Kenko PetPad replicates the earth’s magnetic field that all animals live with when in the wild. The PetPad helps pets sleep in the kind of natural environment they were intended to live in.
It’s well known by both veterinarians and pet lovers that elderly animals are especially prone to arthritis in their necks, shoulders and legs. Sleeping on a supportive PetPad can help alleviate their discomfort. Kind, loving pet parents can help their four-legged family members benefit from restful and restorative sleep, and even help extend their lifespans. Just as skin renews itself during sleep, so does every part of the body.
Personally, my two chowbradors (half chow, half lab) lived to be 15 and almost 17 respectively, and during their mature years, I learned about the Kenko PetPad. Since I loved them even more during their senior, rickety years, I had more than one PetPad around the house. I never introduced them formally to the Kenko PetPad, but simply placed one in the kitchen and one in the den. The older they got, the more they circled either PetPad and chose it over their other doggy beds and blankets. Feral dogs and cats instinctively know the best places to sleep and have to find their own safe spots in nature. When they have loving homes, it’s up to us to provide them with the best for their health!
Why is it so hard for so many of us to get rid of added sugar in our diets? It makes us gain unwanted weight, it’s bad for the teeth and it virtually shortens our lifespans. And, more research continues to show how bad it is.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a number of studies on fructose and its impact on heart health. One large study found that people who drank two or more servings of sweet beverages a day had a 35 percent higher risk of developing heart disease, and people who drank at least one serving daily had a 16 percent greater chance of stroke, when compared to those who had none.1 In addition, research showed that people who drank one or two sweet drinks a day also had a 26 percent increased risk of developing diabetes.2
As explained by physicians, sugar calories provide no nutrients yet contribute to weight gain and even obesity, which puts consumers at a greater risk for heart issues. According to Robin Miller, MD, “Fructose is dangerous to the heart because of the way the body metabolizes it—in the liver. This can cause fatty liver disease, higher levels of fat in the blood and insulin resistance. I urge all my patients to stop drinking them.” 3
Carbonated sugar-filled sodas aren’t the only beverages that add to the risk of heart problems, stroke or diabetes. Every type of sugary drink contributes to the risk factors. These include sports drinks, sweet teas and fruit juices with or without added sugar.
According to Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics and member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco, about 10 percent of the U.S. population are true sugar addicts and research indicates the cravings are similar to those induced by addictive drugs.4 Lustig says, “There is not one person who wouldn’t benefit by eliminating added sugar from their diets.” His research revealed that when obese children eliminated added sugars from their diets for only nine days, every aspect of their metabolic health improved.
Registered dietician and co-author of “The Sugar Detox: Lose the Sugar, Lose the Weight—Look and Feel Great,” Brooke Alpert is a proponent of going cold turkey off sugar, even if it’s just for three days. Speaking of her clients, she explains, “It was just ineffective to ask people to eat less of something when they’re struggling with this bad habit. When they would go cold turkey, the number one positive effect was that it recalibrated their palate. They could now taste natural sugars in fruits, vegetables and dairy that they used to be so dulled to.” 5
Alpert’s sugar detox takes place over 31 days. During the first three days on a sugar detox, she recommends no fruit or starchy vegetables, no dairy, no grains and no alcohol, in addition to no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Different foods are gradually re-introduced into the diet, with the exception of sugar. Dairy, grains, fruit and vegetables are all incorporated and by the fourth week, you are allowed five glasses of red wine per week.
“Depending on how intense your addiction is, you can experience withdrawal symptoms, such as brain fog, crankiness and fatigue…but if you can push through and stay well-hydrated, you can really break your cycle of sugar addition,” Alpert concludes.
In support of Active Wellness and sugar-free eating, Nikken has several nutritional supplements that are especially helpful during a sugar detox: ...check out the following hyperlinks for your convenience: Kenzen Cleans & Detox, Kenzen Ten4 energy drink, to replace sugary drinks and KenzenClarity to help with brain fog.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the human body. It helps to form and maintain healthy teeth and bones. By maintaining a proper level of calcium in the body over a lifetime, we can help prevent osteoporosis.1 In addition, calcium is used throughout the body to help with blood clotting, sending and receiving nerve signals, flexing and relaxing muscles, releasing hormones and other chemicals and keeping a regular heartbeat—all important functions.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the human body, but as we age, we absorb less and less calcium from our diets. This results in our bodies taking more from our bones, which can contribute to osteopenia or osteoporosis.2 How much calcium we need depends on age and gender. Adolescents, especially girls, postmenopausal women and the elderly often have a high risk of calcium deficiency.3
Recent research shows that a diet high in calcium and also high in protein and other essential nutrients can positively impact bone health by aiding in more calcium absorption. Most of these nutrients can be found in high-quality dairy products like organic whey protein, raw unpasteurized milk, organic goat cheese, and kefir.4 Other sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables, salmon and sardines, nuts, blackstrap molasses, tofu and calcium-fortified foods, such as orange juice, soy milk, cereals and seeds.
Although the calcium found in dairy is considered the most readily absorbed, these foods are not eaten by various segments of the population, including vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. When dietary calcium is not sufficient, a supplement may be needed, and there are many kinds. Some of the common calcium supplements include Calcium carbonate, Calcium citrate, Calcium gluconate, and Calcium lactate. It’s recommended that not more than 500 mg of calcium be taken at one time.5 No matter how much we take of any supplement, if it cannot be assimilated by the digestive system and used by the body’s systems, it will not support an Active Wellness lifestyle.
Kensen Calcium Complex stands out specifically for its high bioavailability. That means it is easily absorbed: The complex mimics the mineral composition of our bones. In addition to 400 mg of Calcium derived from whey isolates of milk, vitamins and minerals that enhance calcium absorption are added, including vitamin D, phosphorus, zinc, boron and copper. (Magnesium and potassium are found in the TruCal® blend itself and not separately listed.) Furthermore, Kenzen® Calcium Complex is produced with sensitive filters that purify and separate out the calcium-rich minerals used in the formulation from the lactose and proteins, so that it may be tolerated by virtually everyone. Nonetheless, if you are severely allergic to milk and milk byproducts, we recommend consulting your physician.