Sunday, February 8, 2009

Losing weight NATURALLY!

I didn't start my fast solely to lose weight, but to cleanse my body in preparation for returning to a raw vegan diet. I liked the idea of detoxing my body from a year and a half of consuming cooked and junk foods ... or stuff like Velveeta which doesn't even classify as food as far as I'm concerned. It looks like PLASTIC!!

Anyway, a dear friend of mine sent out an invitation to try Tru Chocolate, a weight loss gimick designed with the chocolate lover in mind. The thought of losing weight on chocolate sends up red flags right from the get-go.

Their website claims, "Tru Chocolate™ may be the most healthy and tasty chocolate ever created. This delicious treat is ideal for the entire family; it's a snack that can be enjoyed by everyone at any time. The benefits of eating Tru Chocolate are so tremendous that many call it, "Guilt Free Chocolate". It tastes so good and is so good for you that it is beyond the normal chocolate experience."

I'm sorry, but I just have serious doubts about the validity of this statement so I did some investigating.

The ingredients in this "most healthy chocolate" are Organic Cocoa Liqueur, Organic Cocoa Butter, Xylitol, Proprietary Herbal Formula, Natural Vanilla Extract and Organic Lecitin. A proprietary blend containing Momordica, Charantia, Dehydrated Noni Fruit, Bioflavonoids (Citrus Extract), Ellagic Acid (from pomegranate), Green Tea Extract, Fabanol®, and Bioperine® (from black pepper).

A proprietary blend containing Momordica? Seems a bit vague to me, but what about Xylitol? I did some research and came across an article that explains how Xylitol is made. Check this out from Natural News.


How is Xylitol Made?

A search of patents online explains one process for making xylitol, tell me if this sounds healthy? You begin with some source material containing xylan. One commonly used source is corn imported from China.

1. First the xylan needs to be broken down in a process called acid hydrolyzing. The results of this process leave us with xylose and acetic acid. The process of hydrogenation is carried out at higher pressures and temperatures ranging from 158 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. Hydrogenation needs a catalyst, so a substance called Raney nickel can be used which is a powdered nickel-aluminium alloy.

2. The acetic acid needs to be removed as the material safety data sheet describes it as, "Very hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. Hazardous in case of skin contact (corrosive, permeator), of eye contact (corrosive)."

3. Then the hydrolyzing acid and organic residues must be removed, this is done by heating the mixture and evaporating it.

4. The resulting syrup, now free of acetic acid, hydrolyzing acid, nick-aluminum and other residues.

5. The syrup is crystallized by stirring ethanol into it.

6. The crystalline xylitol is now separated in a centrifuge from the ethanol and from the sorbitol remaining in solution.

7. Viola, you have xylitol.

I don't know about you, but mmmmmm, yummm... that sure sounds most healthy for my body! NOT!!! I think I'll stick with my lemonade fast!

But there's more. Check out the rest of what
Natural News has to say about Xylitol:

Health Claims

It is obvious to me, as it might be to you, that xylitol, in addition to killing bacteria, will probably kill just about anything. This clearly explains why it is only recommended to be used in small doses. Yet if you go to a health food store, you will see larger sized bags of xylitol on the shelf, promoting its many health uses.

Health Concerns

In lab tests, xylitol will kill a rat 50% of the time in a dosage of 16.5 grams of xylitol for every 1000 grams of rat. Medium rats weigh 100-120 grams, or say .25 pounds. That means, to kill a 100 gram rat, you need only to get the rat to consume, 1.65 grams of xylitol.

A typical xylitol piece of gum contains .7 – 1 gram of xylitol. About half the amount needed to kill a rat. I read of a study stating that humans consumed up to 400grams of xylitol per day without any ill health effects. I find that hard to believe that such a study is accurate in comparison to the lab tests done as indicated on the material safety data sheets. If 1.65 grams can kill a rat, consuming 400 grams would be highly toxic to humans.

A more detailed look gives cause for even more concern, there seems to be no long term safety data about the long term health effects of regularly consuming xylitol. The data sheets state:

"Epidemiology: No information found

Teratogenicity: No information found

Reproductive Effects: No information found

Mutagenicity: No information found

Neurotoxicity: No information found"

Critics will claim that lethal doses on material data sheets are not conclusive proof. But I must ask this question, has xylitol been proven conclusively to be safe or effective?

What About Cavity Fighting Power?

Let's assume you don't mind your liver being poisoned or the diarrhea side effects that are possible from xylitol gum or mints, because you want to fight the cavities. While one would assume that there is a huge body of evidence showing that xylitol prevents cavities, an article published in 2006 in the Journal of the American Dental Association volume 137, states, "Some studies claimed that xylitol-sweetened gum had an anticariogenic effect, though these claims need further study." This basically says that any evidence that xylitol sweetened gums stops cavities is not conclusive and requires further study.

Conclusions About Xylitol

Xylitol is a processed sugar. After being hydrogenated and having toxic chemicals added to xylan from corn or other plant material, and then removed, you get xylitol. For anyone who wants to be healthy, the first thing that is pretty much unanimous about any diet or protocol to restore your health, is that you need to avoid processed sugars. While there is a variety of opinions on what foods to eat in replacement of processed sugar, it is blatantly clear that processed sugars, like xylitol, are extremely harmful to humans. Perhaps, xylitol has special uses in special cases; as a regular part of your diet, it is clearly a poor idea.

Xylitol might inhibit bacteria growth, but so does white sugar. Xylitol's dirty little secret is that even in moderate doses of larger than 15 grams, which is approximately 3 teaspoons, xylitol's own promotional material says it is not safe for everyone to use. Children being smaller and less developed than adults, will obviously be much more sensitive to xylitol's effects.

The way to prevent and control cavities is not with a processed sugar chewing gum or mint, but rather with a good diet. A good diet that is capable of preventing cavities is generally low in sugar, and high in absorbable vitamins and minerals, particularly fat-soluble vitamins in foods like avocado, coconut, the germ of wheat, raw/unpasteurized milk, pastured organ meats, and sea foods.

If you want healthy teeth and gums, you need to avoid processed sugar's like xylitol. Avoiding other processed foods like processed sugar, white flour and other foods not made from freshly ground grains, cheap low quality vegetable oils, soft drinks and artificial flavors and preservatives, soy milk, pasteurized milk, and other non-organic, non-wholesome foods will help increase your immunity to cavities.

I have found that there is no short cut to good wholesome whole foods for health.

Is xylitol safe or effective? The answer is clear.

Amen!! I totally agree with Natural News. I'm certianly not cleansing my body to put Tru toxic Chocolate in it! I love my friend to pieces, but I'll pass on this offer! I've got to go make my herbal laxative tea now and go to bed! Just three more days left on my fast.

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