The Healthiest Year of Your Life Interview with Mike Adams, founder of the Consumer Wellness Center and on-line retailer, Better Life Goods. An author and speaker, Mike’s mission is to spread the message of natural nutrition and healing.
Kevin: Let’s talk about fake food. I want to talk a lot about artificial and chemical sweeteners. I was working with a personal training client of mine who is very well known doctor in the area and he loved diet soda. He just couldn’t get over it and couldn’t get over the fact. I gave him a book. I think it was Sweet Poison. I think it’s a Janet Starr Hull’s book and he wouldn’t even read it.
Mike: Oh, man.
Kevin: What are some of the best natural sweeteners that people can use with confidence?
Mike: All right. Well, my number one recommendation a natural sweetener that has basically zero glycemic index is called, stevia. This is from the sweet leaf herb and grows in Paraguay and grows in the high Andes in South America and it’s 300 times sweeter than sugar. It’s been used all over the world now for many, many years actually and it’s a great choice, but it does have a little bit of a bitter aftertaste. Some people don’t like that. The key is to blend it in with other low glycemic natural sweeteners, such as, for example, brown rice syrup is actually a pretty good sweetener to use on the natural side.
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Mike: There’s nothing wrong with that. Another one to consider is molasses. Why molasses? Because if you think about it, when they’re refining cane sugar out of the field, they take it into these big processing plants and they squeeze out all the minerals and the vitamins and they put that in kind of a waste pile. Then the white nutrient depleted sugar comes out the other side and that’s what they ship off to the food factories to use for human consumption. The waste pile, that’s molasses. Everything they took out of the sugar cane that’s supposed to be there, the vitamins, the minerals, the phytonutrients, that’s in molasses and that’s why it’s dark. That’s what you should be eating. When you eat molasses, you’re actually eating concentrated nutrients from cane sugar without all the calories.
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Mike: Yeah. Again, some people say well, I don’t like the taste of molasses. Well, get used to it. I’m tired of people whining to me all the time about I don’t like the taste of this or that. Well, you know what? Your tastes changes. If you just stop eating sugar for 30 days and stop eating salt and MSG and fried foods for 30 days, your tongue will change.
Mike: You will be able to experience the subtleties of nutrient rich foods, but it’s never going to taste like a bag of Doritos, because it’s far better than a bag of Doritos.
Kevin: I guess the counter question would be do you like the taste of 1500 calorie diabetic diet that the doctor will put you on?
Mike: Yeah, or even worse, how do you like the taste of vomiting after you have chemotherapy? Sometimes I’m kind of blunt about these issues.
Kevin: Yeah. That’s kind of blunt.
Mike: But it’s true. People are like, well, I’m not willing to make these dietary changes to prevent cancer. Sometimes they say, “I don’t want to eat my greens. I don’t want to take these medicinal mushrooms. I don’t want to eat spirulina.” But then they get diagnosed cancer and they will go to 8 to 12 weeks of hell and hair will fall out. They’ll undergo chemotherapy. They’ll be nauseous and they can’t eat anything and they’re losing weight, diarrhea and feel terrible and many of them die, but why is that okay. People are willing to do that, but they’re not willing to eat their grains. Are you kidding me? I don’t understand that, but like I said, everybody’s at a different stage in their own personal journey. Sometimes people will wake up sooner than others and sometimes people don’t wake up at all. I’m not judging anybody for that. We’re all in a different place and that’s fine.
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Kevin: Yeah. What about agave nectar? It’s popular now, in supermarkets and you can even find it in some supermarkets.
Mike: Yeah. I like the fact that is really low on the glycemic index, although that varies a lot based on the manufacturer. I’ve seen anywhere from 13 to 35. A lot of variation there and it depends on where comes from.
Kevin: Okay. Now, do things like honey vary like that, as well?
Mike: Yeah, they do. The darker honey is actually lower on the glycemic index. So actually, whether you’re dealing with agave nectar, or honey, or molasses the darker the better.
Mike: The other thing to keep in mind is that if you drink fresh juiced vegetables at the same that that you’re eating honey or any other sweetener you will stabilize the blood sugar effect in a big, big way.
Mike: So it’s kind of like you’ll be able to reduce the sugar hit from any other food by drinking vegetable juice with it. You can also use culinary herbs, like cinnamon. Cinnamon lowers blood sugar very powerfully, better than diabetes drugs, in fact. So you can use a lot of things together with your sugar intake to stabilize that and not have such a big spike. Of course, the best thing I’d say long-term for longevity is to eat a very low glycemic diet and that means more vegetable juices. Not so much in terms of sugar intake and certainly not liquid sugars. I think high fructose corn syrup is like liquid sugar crack.
Mike: That stuff is so dangerous and it is, I think, a big part of why our nation is so overweight and obese right now.
Kevin: What’s the difference between something like a high fructose corn syrup and a brown rice syrup?
Mike: Well, the glycemic index is very different on it and brown rice syrup is more of a whole foods syrup, whereas the high fructose syrup is really just an isolated extract from corn.
I was actually contacted by the Corn Refiners Association of America after one of my articles about high fructose corn syrup and they said – it reminded me of big tobacco swearing that nicotine is not addictive. They said to me, “Mike, how can you do this? How can you say these things? We think that high fructose syrup is a wholesome ingredient made by hard-working Midwestern farmers who are growing corn.” It was like they made this thing look like it was the healthiest food you can possibly consume.
But wouldn’t that be great if those farmers were instead growing far more profitable hemp. For example, we can get hemp seeds, which are very rich in omega-3 oil and we can be enhancing our health and enriching farmers growing hemp instead of growing more corn to create high fructose corn syrup.