Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) Facts

Used as a substitute to sugar due to its sweetening ability. Contains several sweetening compounds of which stevoside is the most potent. Has a sweetening effect that is 300 times that of table sugar with near zero calories. Documented ceremonial use by Indians in the 1400s. We have found a special use for it when treating patients with certain digestive problems.

Why Am I Eating This Stuff?

As a society, we are tempted and even encouraged to indulge in addictive and stimulatory practices. The diet is a prime example. Most people think of their diet only when trying to lose weight or lower their cholesterol. As a result of our fast paced, highly stressed life-style, the modern diet has given us epidemics of obesity and heart disease as well as cancer, chronic fatigue, allergies, and a long list of degenerative diseases.

Rather than spend precious leisure time cooking wholesome meals, we are encouraged to start the day with Captain Crunch and Frosted Flakes, then "Have it your way" at Burger King for lunch. We wash this down with soda or a "10 % real" fruit juice drink and finish with Ring Dings, Devil Dogs, or Twinkies. Over the last hundred years, our diets have become sick, inundated with refined and synthetic ingredients. Instead of healthy grain and fresh vegetable based meals, we are encouraged to substitute highly processed, refined foods replete with "anti-nutrients". Supplementing poor diets with handfuls of mega vitamins, stress tabs & supplements guaranteed to give you energy is not the solution. No drugs or vitamins will ever completely undo or negate the physiologic abuse created by a junk food diet or a high stress life-style.

Fad diets come and go. The best diets are those that stay as simple as possible. They put the least amount of stress on the body and are full of fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Unlike your mind, your body likes monotony and regularity. The more you stray from this concept, the more you'll get into trouble with your health.

To reverse this trend, we must simplify our diets and our lives. But how? One simple way is to eat as much of your food in its natural state as possible. The biochemistry of the body is such that it can only use real , whole foods with all the minute enzymes, elements and cofactors intact. The farther away your food is from its natural state or the more processed foods that you eat, the less nutritive value you will be receiving. To take the best care of yourself, you need to be aware of these 3 groups of foods:

Synthetic - The least desirable foods which consist of hydrogenated fats, preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, etc.

Refined / Processed - Overall, the greatest problem causing foods. Prime examples are white flour, white rice, white sugar, homogenized milk, etc. The most abused and by far the biggest trouble makers in the diet are refined sugars ( e.g. white sugar, high fructose corn sweetener, etc. )

Whole - The most beneficial foods consist of fresh fruits, grains, vegetables, meats, etc. Raw foods are more nutritious than cooked foods (with the exception of certain foods which are indigestible when raw, such as soy or avidin in eggs). Raw foods (including meat ) are easier to digest than cooked foods (most people are not aware of this) because when foods are uncooked, they contain enzymes that help digest themselves. Heating foods above 116 degrees Fahrenheit begins to destroy important enzymes and nutrients.

Nuts, popcorn, and hot spicy foods are also trouble - not for nutritional reasons but because they create digestive problems due to their abrasiveness on the stomach, bile duct, and intestines. This group is included for anyone who has any type of recurring digestive complaints. We believe them to be inappropriate for veryone!

However, some people seem to have "cast iron stomachs" and never seem to have any digestive difficulties.

Our diets consist of many foods produced from nutritionally starved soils. It is practically impossible to find foods grown in a pollution and pesticide free environment and able to nourish your body naturally with the complete vitamins and minerals needed for healthy survival. So, due to the generally poor quality of the modern diet, some supplementation is necessary. Since your nutritional supplements are also foods, make sure that they are natural and whole complexes, not synthetic or refined additives. Synthetic and refined supplements create health problems with long term usage, just as refined and synthetic foods do. If high doses of vitamins are to be used, they should be used in the short term only. Contact our office for a copy of "What Vitamins Should I Take Every Day" if you are not familiar with our recommended supplements.

I can't tell you how many times I am asked "Dr. Bloom, what do you eat every day?" People think that if you eat vegetarian (which I don't advocate for everyone) and if you don't eat desserts, there is nothing left to eat so I am including a brief list of my favorite foods hoping that you will try them and get addicted: cashew butter, almond and peanut butter, Eden and Westsoy brand soy milk (some other brands are sweetened with cane sugar which, as you know, can promote yeast growth in the gi tract), Cedar's brand hummus, Amy's and Celentano's brand vegetarian frozen foods. If you aren't used to shopping in a health food store, why not give these a try first!