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It's that time of year again—holiday parties, celebratory meals and extra sweets loaded with sugar. Those special occasions easily become sweet deceptions once you understand the health-depleting effects of what you consume in the way of sugar.

Years ago we had little, if any, choice for tasty natural sugar alternatives. Today with new discoveries and technology, your health food store or grocer's natural food section offers several choices to satisfy even the most demanding palette. You may find one that you like for anything that isn't baked, as I have. And another that is substituted cup for cup for baking. The choices are vast as are their health benefits. Natural sweeteners I prefer are made from a combination of either LoHan, or a patented blend of fruit sugar-table sugar-milk sugar that offers an amazing 60 to 80 percent lower glycemic index, 75 percent lower calories, and 75 percent lower net carbohydrate than sugar.

Speaking of sugar, below are examples of why specifically caffeinated soft drinks are so readily contributing to the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and immune system disorders; and this list is for real sugar, not artificial chemical sweeteners whose list of side effects would fill this volume. The following facts are worth digesting:

  • If you consume a Coke right now, it's equal to 10 teaspoons of sugar that immediately hit your system.
  • Within 20 minutes, your blood sugar spikes and causes an insulin burst—the liver responds by turning any sugar it can into fat.
  • Within 40 minutes, caffeine absorption is complete—your pupils dilate; your blood pressure rises; as a response, your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. Now, the adenosine receptors in your brain are blocked, preventing drowsiness.
  • Within 45 minutes, your body increases dopamine production
  • stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain, physically the same way heroin works!
  • Within 60 minutes, phosphoric acid binds to calcium, magnesium, and zinc in your intestine . providing further boost in metabolism and increasing urinary excretion of calcium from your body.
  • Within 61 minutes, caffeine's diuretic properties come into play. Now you'll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium, and zinc that were headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolytes, and water. In other words, it's sucking your body dry of nutrients that are vital.
  • Within 62 minutes, the "high" inside you calms down and now you begin to have the sugar crash. You become irritable and/or sluggish as you find your way to the bathroom again to dump more nutrients that your body needs for hydration and building strong bones and teeth.

Note: Coke itself is not the enemy here. It's the dynamic combo of massive sugar doses combined with caffeine and phosphoric acid—found in almost all sodas. If you add a Coke to a high carbohydrate meal and dessert, you have a toxic combo of health-depleting ingredients that literally sabotage your overall health.

Researchers believe that consuming 10 grams (2.1 teaspoons) of sugar suppresses the immune system for six to eight hours—is it any wonder viruses are rampant from October through January?

If the above facts arenft enough to encourage you to watch your soda and sugar consumption and find a natural sweetener that feeds your sweet tooth, maybe the fact that sugar causes loss of skin elasticity and contributes to premature aging will. Making poor nutrition choices eventually leads to compromised immunity—making you susceptible to a variety of illnesses, minor and major. The old cliche, "You are what you eat" has never been more on target than during times of stress and high sugar consumption!

Gloria Gilbere, DAHom, PhD

Dr. Gloria Gilbère (CDP, DA Hom, ND, PhD, DSC, EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist, Certified HTMA Practitioner) is Founder/CEO of the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – after 22 years of owning/operating two health clinics in Idaho she relocated her Health Sciences/Research/Cooking Institute division to Cotacachi, Ecuador, S.A.

Her worldwide consulting via phone and Skype continues as does the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation in Idaho. Visit her website at or call (888.352.8175) to schedule a consultation or register for her post-graduate courses.

NEWS FLASH: Ready to learn more about simple recipes that can give you what I call the Anti-Inflammation Advantage? Download your free 40+ page cookbook The Anti-Inflammation Recipe Sampler at