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  1. Dear ALL, I returned home from a five day stay at Kripalu (the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, a Yoga resort in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts). As usual, it was a delightful experience: Yoga every morning and evening, Kripalu Yoga dance every day at noon, and the CR friendly foods available at every buffet meal. One of the talks that I went to was VERY interesting. It was given by the head nutritionist at Kripalu. To my surprise and delight, for the first time, the value of Calorie Restriction was strongly noted and praised. (Alternate day fasting was extolled as well.) Also, it was noted that the SAD diet includes much too much protein. And that the (old) idea of being on a low fat (but high carb) diet was utterly wrong -- it was noted that the obesity epidemic sprouted as this incorrect notion was promoted. The fact that Americans eat far too much protein was also noted -- so a low calorie, low protein, very low carb, high fat diet was identified as being highly desirable . The speaker noted that it was highly desirable for your muscles to be using ketones for fuel rather than glucose -- i.e., to be on a ketotic diet. Also noted: The importance of the gut microbiota -- and, to a lesser extent, of the skin microbiota. The speaker noted, in response to questions, that she didn't use soap when she showered -- wanting to maintain the healthy microbes on her skin. All of this was delightful to hear. The negative (although not very important): As usual, the speaker -- and probably all attendees (except I) -- were strongly opposed to the use of artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame sweetened soda) as well as sugary drinks. Interestingly, the same nonsense was presented by the first speaker at the last CR Conference. The argument against sucralose: It was correctly noted that, although humans cannot metabolize sucralose, undesirable gut microbes that thrive on sugar can, and do, metabolize sucralose -- encouraging their undesirable increase. This is, of course, true. However, of course, it's virtually irrelevant -- since sucralose is (something like) 200 times as sweet as sugar -- so you consume so little sucralose, that the effect on your microbiota is insignificant. The argument presented against aspartame: It is an artificial sweetener, and therefore must not be consumed, since it is not natural. Similarly for neotame. (Of course, this is a religious belief; no argument except concensus of the audience.) Wierdly, even steviosides (the sweet molecule in stevia leaves) was deprocated -- since it is a "refined" substance. I should note that, the nonsense deprocating artificial sweeteners and stevia was not emphasized; it was a response to a question. Aslo, I should note that I personally have simply gone off all sweeteners -- although I sometimes drink diet soda. For example, my morning carefully brewed Chinese white tea is dleiciosly consumed, with no sweetener -- it tastes best without. The only sweet things that I consume is perhaps an apple. Anyway, I'm delighted by the new emphases of the Kripalu nutritionists. -- Saul
  2. sirtuin

    Thoughts on sweeteners?

    From an optimal health / longevity stance, I'm curious which sweeteners might work best. There's honey, which contains a fair amount of free fructose and is basically pure sugar + some minor antioxidants (although, my diet is generally packed with antioxidants.) There's coconut sugar / dark brown sugar / maple syrup, which are fairly similar to honey (or high-fructose corn syrup), but a bit more processed. Then, there's date sugar and molasses, which seem fairly similar to honey, but contain much more in the way of antioxidants and micronutrients. And finally, there's the more interesting sweeteners like Stevia, Monk Fruit, Xylitol, Erythritol, and others ("Just Like Sugar", Trehalose, etc.) For a while, I was fairly anti-sugar / anti-fructose in an attempt to maintain very low levels of small dense LDL, very low levels of triglycerides, and support metabolic health / insulin sensitivity, although lately I'm coming around to a higher intake of fructose+sucrose from fruits along with a higher intake of glucose+starches as I'm finding ways to attenuate their effects on blood sugar. I don't usually buy into zero calorie sweeteners, but I've been experimenting a bit with sugar alcohols / stevia and they seem to work fine for my purposes as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daf-2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynthia_Kenyon#Personal_diet Am I better off sticking to sugar-based sweeteners (like honey?), or including some mix of sugar alcohols (xylitol or erythritol?), or including some stevia, for my health / longevity goals?