Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A week of intensive learning

I'm on vacation (holiday) this week. I was supposed to be writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing month. Instead, I have been learning a LOT about different aspects of diet and nutrition. Oh boy! There's a lot of information available, and a lot of misinformation. The challenge for anyone is to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

My biggest take away, the most striking thing I've learned, is just how evil refined table sugar is. Artificial sweeteners are just as bad, which makes me sad since I was a faithful user of stevia for years. And, even though the government says it's safe, I'm more convinced than ever that Aspartame is really evil and dangerous, and I'm redoubling my effort to eliminate it from my diet altogether.

I've been reading a lot, and watching YouTube videos, on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is gaining in prevalence in the population as a whole and, frighteningly, among young children. The number one culprit: sugar-laden drinks, whether they are sugary colas or "sports drinks" or even fruit juices (and most of those contain very little actual fruit).

I've been learning about the benefits of chewing gum after meals. Not as substitute for brushing and flossing teeth, but as an extra thing. The American Dental Association has information on its website: about how the mechanical act of chewing increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. If you chew gum for 20 minutes after eating, the increased saliva flow can help neutralize and wash away the damaging acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria on your teeth. Now my dilema is, do I use gums that are made with synthetic plastic and use Aspartame (No!) or go for something more natural, with the old-fashioned and more natural chicle as its base?

Since your mouth is the gateway to your gastrointestinal tract, it has an underrated importance in your overall health.

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