Is Sugar as Deadly as Cigarettes?

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 NikkenWellness™ products as evolving science informs us. That’s why 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.

What’s the big deal about being overweight?

Aside from simply not wanting to be described as obese or fat, most of us are somewhat aware of the health risks associated with carrying around a few pounds too many. In general, “when men put on a few pounds, they don’t tend to become emotionally tortured about it. Studies have shown that women and girls who are overweight tend to blame themselves, while men and boys blame outside factors.1

Overweight is defined by the dictionary as “above a weight considered normal or desirable.” Synonyms for overweight are fat, obese, stout, corpulent, fleshy, portly, rotund and many more. But different people have different opinions on what is considered overweight, so researchers depend on measurement tools such as the Body Mass Index (BMI) to make a general assessment.

Obesity is complicated. It can be hereditary, but genetics are not completely responsible. Some obese people remain healthy while others do not. But what are some of the serious health consequences of obesity for adults? People who are obese are at increased risk for many diseases and health conditions, including the following: 2, 3,4

According to the World Health Organization, obesity is an international epidemic of escalating proportions and the “most significant contributor to ill health.”6 But the battle against obesity can be dangerous—overexercising, starving and taking over-the-counter diet pills can cause dehydration, cardiac arrest and an overall imbalance between body, mind and spirit—and in dire situations, even death.

When trying to lose weight, we need to remember that the excess baggage we carry on our bodies didn’t get there overnight, and it’s not going to disappear right away. Having a Nikken exercise buddy and being on a well-thought out regimen is the key to successful weight management. Maintaining a healthy weight can even help us save money by eliminating frequent medical appointments and filling expensive prescriptions!

It takes patience, discipline and mindfulness to eat sensibly, exercise moderately and consistently, drink lots of water and believe in Active Wellness—belief that we can do it is the first step!

1 Emily Senay, M.D. and Rob Waters, From Boys to Men: A Woman’s Guide, Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, 2004, p. 400.

2,3 NHLBI.2013. “Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adults: Systematic Evidence Review from the Obesity Expert Panel.” “Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults

4 Bhaskaran K, Douglas I, Forbes H, dos-Santos-Silva I, Leon DA, Smeeth L. “Body-mass index and risk of 22 specific cancers: a population-based cohort study of 5•24 million UK adults.” Lancet. 2014 Aug 30;384(9945):755-65. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60892-8. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

5 Luppino, Floriana S., et al. “Overweight, obesity, and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.” Archives of general psychiatry3 (2010): 220-229.

6 Caballero, B., “A nutrition paradox—underweight and obesity in developing countries,” Engl.J.Med. 2005

What are MCTs?

MCTs are medium chain triglycerides. That’s the scientific name for a group of partially man-made fats. These fats deserve attention because they’re good for us and as more research continues to be conducted, MCTs are being used more frequently for their therapeutic value.1

MCTs are most commonly derived from either coconut or palm kernel oil that is extracted in the laboratory. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic contend that they have been shown to lower weight and decrease metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity and inflammatory markers. Their value in weight management is attributed to their unusual chemical structure that allows the body to digest them easily. Absorbed intact, MCTs are taken straight to the liver and used directly for energy. In this way, they are processed more like carbohydrates than like other fats. 2 The result is that instead of being stored as fat, the calories contained in MCTs are efficiently converted into fuel for immediate use by organs and muscles.3

MCTs have also been shown to suppress appetite. In one 14-day study, six healthy male volunteers were allowed unlimited access to one of three diets: a low MCT diet, a medium MCT and a high MCT diet. Caloric consumption was significantly lower on the high MCT diet. The researchers noted that substituting MCTs for other fats in a high-fat diet “can limit the excess energy intakes and weight gain produced by high-fat, energy-dense diets.”4 

These findings are of particular interest to nutritionists and dieticians who work with clients in need of weight loss. Calorie-restricted diets are often associated with lethargy or a decline in energy. Studies support the benefits of using MCTs in weight loss programs to boost energy levels and increase fatty acid metabolism to help in reducing fat deposits. In one eastern European study, researchers had 60 obese patients consume MCT oil. They concluded that MCTs offered benefits that “improve the long-term success of diet therapy of obese patients.”5

In recent years MCTs have gained in popularity with athletes who want to increase energy levels and enhance endurance during high-intensity exercise. These athletes are generally on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. According to webMD, athletes sometimes use MCTs for nutritional support during training, as well as for decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.1

Another promising use for MCTs is in support of cognitive function. Here’s how: When brain cells lose their ability to process glucose, the main source of energy, those brain cells die. PET scans show that areas of the brain that are weak in breaking down glucose, are able to use ketones (what the body produces when it breaks down fats for energy) as an alternative source of energy. Ketones easily cross the blood-brain barrier to provide instant energy to the brain. MCTs conveniently raise blood levels of ketones!6

MCTs are fats that are our friends. And we’ve made it easy to access these valuable fats by making it our second ingredient in the high-protein, low-carb Kenzen® Vital Balance Meal Replacement Mix. MCTs are usually high in calories, but in our nutritional shake, they’re part of a 125-calorie serving, so you reap big benefits with a great low-calorie formula and enjoy the Nikken Active Wellness lifestyle.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-915-medium+chain+triglycerides.aspx

2http://www.clevelandclinicwellness.com/Features/Pages/MediumChainTriglycerides.aspx

3 Kaunitz, H. ,Dietary use of MCT in “Bilanzierte Ernaehrung in der Therapie,” K. Lang, W. Fekl, and G. Berg, eds. George Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, 1971.

4 Stubbs RJ, Harbron CG. ,“Covert manipulation of the ratio of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men,” Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1996 May;20(5):435-44.

5 Hainer V, Kunesova M, Stich V, Zak A, Parizkova J. ,“The role of oils containing triacylglycerols and medium-chain fatty acids in the dietary treatment of obesity,” “The effect on resting energy expenditure and serum lipids,” Cas Lek Cesk 1994 Jun 13;133(12):373-5.

6 Constantini, Lauren C, Barr, Linda J, Vogel, Janet L, Henderson, Samuel T, “Hypometabolism as a therapeutic target I Alzheimer’s disease,” BMC Neurosci., 2008; 9(suppl 2): S16.

What is BMI?

Have you heard body builders at the gym comparing their BMIs? Or do you know someone who is body-obsessed and talks about BMI in every conversation? Here’s why knowing your BMI can be useful to you.

BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is the ratio of a person’s weight to height squared. BMI can be used as a screening tool for body fatness but is not diagnostic. Because the calculation requires only height and weight, it is inexpensive and easy to use for clinicians as well as the general public.

BMI is not a perfect measure because it doesn’t assess body fat directly. Muscle and bone are denser than fat, so an athlete or muscular person might have a high BMI but not have too much fat. For the majority of the adult population, measuring BMI is considered by researchers to be a reliable way to determine whether a person has too much body fat.1

The most basic definition of overweight and obesity is having so much body fat that that it “presents a risk to health.”2 Measuring BMI is a widely used method for clinicians to determine who is overweight or obese. BMI is strongly correlated with metabolism rates and disease risks, which are more direct measures of body fatness.3

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides a body mass index calculator on their website. 4  

According to the NHLBI, here are the BMI categories:

Underweight = <18.5

Normal weight = 18.5-24.9

Overweight = 25-29.9

Obesity= 30 or >

Whether your BMI shows you to be underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese, check with your physician before undertaking any drastic changes to your diet.

Maintaining an Active Wellness lifestyle that incorporates exercise and organic nutritional supplements is the natural way to support fitness, boost energy levels and ignite your metabolism.

Support your overall goals for a healthy body and healthy mind with an assortment of Nikken Wellness™ products. Kenzen® Vital Balance Meal Replacement Mix and Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix are just a couple!

1 Gallagher D, Visser M, Sepulveda D, Pierson RN, Harris T, Heymsfield SB. How useful is body mass index for comparison of body fatness across age, sex, and ethnic groups? Am J Epidemiol. 1996; 143:228-39.

2 World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight. Fact sheet Number 311. September 2006. Accessed January 25, 2012.

3 Flegal, K.M. & Graubard, B.I., 2009. Estimates of excess deaths associated with body mass index and other anthropometric variables. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 89(4), pp.1213–1219.

4 The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

 

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What are Brown Rice Solids?

Most health enthusiasts know it is more beneficial to eat brown rice than white rice. Brown rice by itself is rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. It also contains natural fibers that help digestion. Brown rice fits in perfectly with an Active Wellness lifestyle. But have you heard of brown rice solids?

Brown rice solids are basically functional protein ingredients that are processed from sprouted brown rice following organic methods. When the rich protein content that is distributed between the bran and endosperm layer is concentrated and dried, brown rice solids are generated. They provide a high level of naturally occurring nutrients, such as potassium and magnesium.

But what is the significance of the brown rice solids in the new formulation of our Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix? When a formula contains only four ingredients, each one plays a vital part in the efficacy of the product. Brown rice solids play an important role in the drink mix, not only for taste but to replace synthetic vitamins.

  • Brown rice solids are hypoallergenic, have a mildly sweet taste and are easily digestible.
  • Brown rice solids contain essential and non-essential amino acids and are a quickly oxidized natural energy source.
  • Brown rice solids provide a sustained supply of energy without experiencing the symptoms of low-blood sugar that can impede performance.
  • Brown rice solids contain a wealth of vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (folate) vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and vitamin K. Vitamins B and E are known for their energizing properties and vitamin K is important in its support of bone health.

Only four ingredients make up Kenzen Ten4®. As with labeling protocol, ingredients appear in descending order: Organic matcha green tea powder, organic brown rice solids, kiwi powder (fruit), organic stevia extract (leaf).

Even if you’ve never heard of brown rice solids before, Nikken has done the research to ensure you have access to the best in food technology.

Earn a $1,000 Bonus at Nikken!

You can earn money at Nikken. Become a Nikken Consultant and you can generate a home-based income either part time or full time. You can earn commission checks in addition to a 20 percent retail profit on sales of Active Wellness products. And, there are cash rewards and bonus incentives.

For example, this December is unlike any other December! Why? Because you are eligible for a one-time cash bonus of $1,000 when you achieve the rank of Silver Consultant with Nikken during this particular month of December.

No matter when you attain the rank of Silver Consultant, you jump into an exciting new world of entrepreneurship where your part-time income can turn into something much more. At the rank of Silver, you begin to maximize the Nikken Compensation Plan. At Silver and all higher ranks, you are eligible to earn the highly rewarding Leadership Bonus that is based on six percent of sales volume on your personal group’s commissionable volume down through two levels of qualified Silver or above Consultants.

You still have a few weeks left to qualify for the $1,000 bonus! If you are already a Senior or Executive, talk to your sponsor or an upline leader, review your game plan and ramp up your efforts to find and sign up new Consultants and Registered Customers!*

*See the Consultant’s Average Income Sheet at www.nikken.com/join-nikken

Stylish or Sporty Magnetic Jewelry: Choose Both!

Throughout human history, jewelry has been worn as an art form and way to show wealth and social status. The materials and techniques used to manufacture jewelry have evolved since the very first forms were worn about 90,000 years ago. From wooden beads to shells, twine to thread, pebbles to metal, the same components are still available today—sold as primitive and contemporary art.

Dramatic improvements in technology mean that present-day jewelry is made with a huge range of materials, both natural and synthetic. But what about jewelry that is worn not just for artistic expression or as a status symbol but also for a purpose?

That’s where Nikken excels. From the Marquesa Collection to Milana to the Kenko Perfect Link® silver plated and gold plated necklaces, Nikken helps everyone make an artistic statement while imparting the benefits of magnetic technology. Who would think that neodymium magnets could look so stylish!

If you’re serious about Active Wellness, looking good and feeling even better, the sporty look of Kenko PowerBand® magnetic jewelry for neck and wrists will suit you. You virtually never have to take them off—they’re fine in the pool and in the shower.

When you wear Kenko magnetic jewelry, you help maintain health and beauty. Feel the Nikken difference every day!