Infertility

Low-calorie sweeteners, or sugar substitutes, can allow people with diabetes to enjoy sweet foods and drinks that do not affect their blood sugar levels. A range of sweeteners is available, each of which has different pros and cons.

In this article, we look at seven of the best low-calorie sweeteners for people with diabetes.

1. Stevia

Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. To make stevia, manufacturers extract chemical compounds called steviol glycosides from the leaves of the plant.

This highly-processed and purified product is around 300 times sweeter than sucrose, or table sugar, and it is available under different brand names, including Truvia, SweetLeaf, and Sun Crystals.

Stevia has several pros and cons that people with diabetes will need to weigh up. This sweetener is calorie-free and does not raise blood sugar levels. However, it is often more expensive than other sugar substitutes on the market.

Stevia also has a bitter aftertaste that many people may find unpleasant. Some people report nausea, bloating, and stomach upset after consuming stevia.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classify sweeteners made from high-purity steviol glycosides to be “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS. However, they do not consider stevia leaf or crude stevia extracts to be safe, and it is illegal to sell them or import them into the U.S.

According to the FDA, the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of stevia is 4 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of a person’s body weight. Accordingly, a person who weighs 60 kg, or 132 pounds (lb), can safely consume 9 packets of the tabletop sweetener version of stevia.

Various stevia products are available to purchase online.

2. Tagatose

Tagatose is a form of fructose that is around 90 percent sweeter than sucrose. Although rare, tagatose does occur naturally in some fruits, such as apples, oranges, and pineapples. Manufacturers use tagatose in foods as a low-calorie sweetener, texturizer, and stabilizer.

Not only do the FDA class tagatose as GRAS, but scientists are interested in its potential to help manage type 2 diabetes. Some studies indicate that tagatose has a low glycemic index (GI) and may be beneficial in the treatment of obesity. GI is a measure of a food’s potential to affect a person’s blood sugar levels.

Tagatose may be of particular benefit to people with diabetes who are following a low-GI diet. However, this sugar substitute is more expensive than other low-calorie sweeteners and may be harder to find in stores.

Tagatose products are available to purchase online.

3. Sucralose

Sucralose, available under the brand name Splenda, is an artificial sweetener made from sucrose. Sucralose is about 600 times sweeter than table sugar but contains very few calories.

Sucralose is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners, and it is widely available. Manufacturers add it to a range of products from chewing gum to baked goods.

Sucralose is heat-stable, whereas many other artificial sweeteners lose their flavor at high temperatures. This makes sucralose a popular choice for sugar-free baking and sweetening hot drinks.

The FDA have approved sucralose as a general-purpose sweetener and set an ADI of 5 mg/kg of body weight. A person weighing 60 kg, or 132 lb, can safely consume 23 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of sucralose.

However, recent studies have raised some health concerns. A 2016 study found that male mice that consumed sucralose were more likely to develop malignant tumors. The researchers note that more studies are necessary to confirm the safety of sucralose.

A range of sucralose products is available to purchase online.

4. Aspartame

Aspartame is a very common artificial sweetener that has been available in the U.S. since the 1980s. It is around 200 times sweeter than sugar, and manufacturers add it to a wide variety of food products, including diet soda. Aspartame is available in grocery stores under the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal.

Unlike sucralose, aspartame is not a good sugar substitute for baking. Aspartame breaks down at high temperatures, so people generally only use it as a tabletop sweetener.

Aspartame is also not safe for people with a rare genetic disorder known as phenylketonuria.

The FDA consider aspartame to be safe at an ADI of 50 mg/kg of body weight. Therefore, someone with a body weight of 60 kg, or 132 lb, could consume 75 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of aspartame.

Many different aspartame products are available to purchase online.

5. Acesulfame potassium

Acesulfame potassium, also known as acesulfame K and Ace-K, is an artificial sweetener that is around 200 times sweeter than sugar. Manufacturers often combine acesulfame potassium with other sweeteners to combat its bitter aftertaste. It is available under the brand names Sunett and Sweet One.

The FDA have approved acesulfame potassium as a low-calorie sweetener and state that the results of more than 90 studies support its safety. A 2017 study in mice has suggested a possible association between acesulfame potassium and weight gain, but further research is necessary to confirm this.

The FDA have set an ADI for acesulfame potassium of 15 mg/kg of body weight. This is equivalent to a 60 kg, or 132 lb, person consuming 23 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of acesulfame potassium.

6. Saccharin

Saccharin is another widely available artificial sweetener. There are several different brands of saccharin, including Sweet Twin, Sweet’N Low, and Necta Sweet. Saccharin is a zero-calorie sweetener that is 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar.

According to the FDA, there were safety concerns in the 1970s after research found a link between saccharin and bladder cancer in laboratory rats. However, more than 30 human studies now support the safety of saccharin, and the National Institutes of Health no longer consider this sweetener to have the potential to cause cancer.

The FDA have determined the ADI of saccharin to be 15 mg/kg of body weight, which means that a 60 kg, or 132 lb, person can consume 45 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of it.

People can purchase a range of saccharin products online.

7. Neotame

Neotame is a low-calorie artificial sweetener that is about 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar. Neotame can tolerate high temperatures, which means that it is suitable for baking. It is available under the brand name Newtame.

The FDA approved neotame in 2002 as a general-purpose sweetener and flavour enhancer for all foods except for meat and poultry. They state that more than 113 animal and human studies support the safety of neotame.

The FDA have set an ADI for neotame of 0.3 mg/kg of body weight. This is equivalent to a 60 kg, or 132 lb, person consuming 23 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of neotame.

Considerations when choosing a sweetener

When choosing a low-calorie sweetener, some general considerations include:

  • Intended use. Many sugar substitutes do not withstand high temperatures so they would make poor choices for baking.
  • Cost. Some sugar substitutes are very expensive, whereas others have a cost more comparable to that of table sugar.
  • Availability. Some sugar substitutes are more widely available in stores than others.
  • Taste. Some sugar substitutes, such as stevia, have a bitter aftertaste that many people may find unpleasant.
  • Natural versus artificial. Some people prefer using natural sweeteners, such as stevia, rather than artificial sugar substitutes.

Summary

Many people with diabetes need to avoid or limit sugary foods. Low-calorie sweeteners can allow them to enjoy a sweet treat without it affecting their blood sugar levels.

There is a range of sweeteners to choose from, each with different pros and cons. Although the FDA generally consider these sugar substitutes to be safe, it is still best to consume them in moderation.

Gain weight
Gain weight
Doctors usually recommend gaining weight to people who consistently weigh too little, which can cause a range of health problems. Bodybuilders and other athletes may also hope to gain weight by building muscle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, the number of underweight adults aged 20 to 39 years in the country decreased from 3 percent to 1.9 percent between 1988 and 2008.

A person who is underweight is likely to experience health issues, including:

  • infertility
  • developmental delays
  • a weakened immune system
  • osteoporosis
  • an increased risk of complication during surgery
  • malnutrition

While gaining weight can be a struggle, the following foods may help. They can also increase muscle and boost overall health.

Foods to gain weight quickly

The following nutrient-rich foods can help a person to gain weight safely and effectively.

1. Milk

Milk offers a mix of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins.

It is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium.

The protein content of milk makes it a good choice for people trying to build muscle.

One study found that after a resistance training workout, drinking skim milk helped to build muscle more effectively than a soy-based product.

A similar study involving women in resistance training showed improved results in those who drank milk following a workout.

For anyone looking to gain weight, milk can be added to the diet throughout the day.

2. Protein shakes

Protein shakes can help a person to gain weight easily and efficiently. A shake is most effective at helping to build muscle if drunk shortly after a workout.

However, it is important to note that premade shakes often contain extra sugar and other additives that should be avoided. Check labels carefully.

3. Rice

A cup of rice contains about 200 calories, and it is also a good source of carbohydrates, which contribute to weight gain. Many people find it easy to incorporate rice into meals containing proteins and vegetables.

4. Red meat

Limiting the consumption of red meat has been shown to help with building muscle and gaining weight.

Steak contains both leucine and creatine, nutrients that play a significant role in boosting muscle mass. Steak and other red meats contain both protein and fat, which promote weight gain.

While a person is advised to limit their intake, leaner cuts of red meat are healthier for the heart than fattier cuts.

One study found that adding lean red meat to the diets of 100 women aged 60–90 helped them to gain weight and increase strength by 18 percent while undergoing resistance training.

5. Nuts and nut butter

Consuming nuts regularly can help a person to gain weight safely. Nuts are a great snack and can be added to many meals, including salads. Raw or dry roasted nuts have the most health benefits.

Nut butters made without added sugar or hydrogenated oils can also help. The only ingredient in these butters should be the nuts themselves.

6. Whole-grain breads

These breads contain complex carbohydrates, which can promote weight gain. Some also contain seeds, which provide added benefits.

7. Other starches

Starches help some of the foods already listed to boost muscle growth and weight gain. They add bulk to meals and boost the number of calories consumed.

Other foods rich in starches include:

  • potatoes
  • corn
  • quinoa
  • buckwheat
  • beans
  • squash
  • oats
  • legumes
  • winter root vegetables
  • sweet potatoes
  • pasta
  • whole-grain cereals
  • whole-grain breads
  • cereal bars

Beyond adding calories, starches provide energy in the form of glucose. Glucose is stored in the body as glycogen. Research indicates that glycogen can improve performance and energy during exercise.

8. Protein supplements

Athletes looking to gain weight often use protein supplements to boost muscle mass, in combination with resistance training.

Protein supplements are available for purchase online. They may be an inexpensive way to consume more calories and gain weight.

9. Salmon

It also contains many nutrients, including omega-3 and protein.

10. Dried fruits

Dried fruits are rich in nutrients and calories, with one-quarter cup of dried cranberries containing around 130 calories.

Many people prefer dried pineapple, cherries, or apples. Dried fruit is widely available, or a person can dry fresh fruit at home.

11. Avocados

Avocados are rich in calories and fat, as well as some vitamins and minerals.

12. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is a high fat, high-calorie food. It also contains antioxidants.

A person looking to gain weight should select chocolate that has a cacao content of at least 70 percent.

13. Cereal bars

Cereal bars can offer the vitamin and mineral content of cereal in a more convenient form.

A person should look for bars that contain whole grains, nuts, and fruits.

Avoid those that contain excessive amounts of sugar.

14. Whole-grain cereals

Many cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

However, some contain a lot of sugar and few complex carbohydrates. These should be avoided.

Instead, select cereals that contain whole grains and nuts. These contain healthy levels of carbohydrates and calories, as well as nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants.

15. Eggs

Eggs are a good source of protein, healthy fat, and other nutrients. Most nutrients are contained in the yolk.

16. Fats and oils

Oils, such as those derived from olives and avocados, contribute calories and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. A tablespoon of olive oil will contain about 120 calories.

17. Cheese

Cheese is good source of fat, protein, calcium, and calories. A person looking to gain weight should select full-fat cheeses.

18. Yogurt

Full-fat yogurt can also provide protein and nutrients. Avoid flavored yogurts and those with lower fat contents, as they often contain added sugars.

A person may wish to flavor their yogurt with fruit or nuts.

19. Pasta

Pasta can provide a calorically dense and carbohydrate-rich path to healthy weight gain.

Avoid bleached pastas, and opt for those made with whole grains.

Takeaway

The foods above can help a person to increase their calorie intake in a healthy way. This will help a person to gain weight safely and efficiently.

Infertility in women above the age of forty can almost always be contributed to menopause, but if you’re in your twenties and thirties and struggling to conceive, there are a number of other causes.

Menopause can’t be ruled out. Premature menopause, while uncommon, does occur in certain women. This is usually genetic. If close family had premature menopause, that trait is likely to be passed along.

Premature menopause will have all the normal symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness. Women with premature menopause can no longer conceive with their own eggs, but can still have children using donor eggs. In cases like this, IVF can be used with a donor egg and sperm before being placed into the menopausal woman’s body. This will result in a normal pregnancy. Women interested in this procedure can visit a fertility clinic to learn more about IVF.

The most common cause of infertility is a condition known as anovulation. This means that the ovaries do not release any eggs. This condition is easily treated using ovulation inducing medicine and is often not a serious health concern. Roughly forty percent of infertile women have this condition.

Women who suffer from endometriosis will often suffer from terrible pain during their menstruation and the effects of this condition can lead to infertility as well. Many women aren’t diagnosed with endometriosis because they believe the pain they feel during their menstruation is normal. When left untreated, endometriosis can cause scar tissue and lesions to form outside the uterus, leading to a decrease in fertility and even more pain. It’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible to prevent damage, but most of the effects of endometriosis can be alleviated with surgery.

Another cause of infertility is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This is a hormone disorder that hinders the ability of the ovaries to release eggs. This disorder can be treated with medication, but studies have suggested that a healthy lifestyle can work just as well. Overweight women are prone to this disorder due to their unhealthy lifestyles and most fertility doctors would recommend a diet plan and regular exercise before they would resort to prescribing medication.

Another reason for this is the risks involved with being pregnant while overweight. The risks are numerous for mother and child in the case that a heavily overweight woman does manage to conceive.

Still not sure what might be the cause of your infertility? Visit a fertility clinic to be properly diagnosed. In many cases, the problem isn’t with your uterus, but with your partner’s sperm. Most infertility problems can be solved with IVF treatment (with your own egg or with a donor egg). There are treatments or medication available for each of the causes mentioned above and others that were not mentioned. The best way to know what steps you need to take is by talking to a medical health care professional. Don’t attempt to self-diagnose.

Healthy food means to eat clean and organic while keeping you away from the chemical and sugar rich foods. However, without even realizing their presence, our diet includes a major portion of artificial food content and high calories that claims to be significantly low. Such foods forms acids in the body and they are required to be eliminated as soon as possible. The foods creating inflammation disturb the hormonal balance in the body, congest the liver, and higher the blood sugar levels, as result, it nullify the efforts of restoring the good health.

Foods You Should Avoid While Losing Weight:-

Low Fat Ice Creams

Even when your ice creams are low on calories and loaded with the fruits, there are still lots of sugar content and harmful trans fat hidden inside the cup that makes you gain weight. Moreover, the artificial colours and flavours are nothing to do with your than worsening the situations. Instead, make your own ice cream at home with the natural fruit flavours less of harsh chemicals.

Thin Crust Veggies Loaded Pizza

People used to think that not all pizzas are bad for your health, however, even the thin crust slices are loaded with cheese that contains saturated fats and processed so heavily to make you gain those extra pounds easily. Go for homemade whole wheat crust, healthy sauce, superfoods pizza along with the right cheeses.

Zero Calories Drinks

All that fizz drinks claiming zero calories in the cans are the way to distract you from eating healthy. It is extremely acidic, hence; it takes more than 30 cups of water to neutralize the acidity of a single can. Such residues are hard on the body and make an evil impact on your kidneys.

French Fries

The trans fat and acrylamide present in the food cause inflammation in your body. It is also a greater cause of many other serious problems in the body including heart diseases, weight gain, cancer, etc. Try out finding how to cook them to maximize the nutrients and eliminate the formation of acrylamide.

Potato Chips

When the white potatoes are deeply fried it produces the highest level of toxic acrylamide which is the main reason of accumulation of the fat. As they are loaded with the healthy herbs, it doesn’t mean it will save some calories for you. Instead, try indulging in the crispy sweet potato chips and you will not miss the original chips for sure.

A gynaecologist at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Dr Omuku Samuel, has said women at menopause can still bear children with the aid of Invitro- Fertilisation.

Samuel in Yenagoa on Wednesday explained that the oestrogen of such women that were lost could be regenerated medically to keep them healthy and strong to bear children again.

She said, “The IVF process is not difficult. It is normally carried out with the help of doctors.

The process is by joining the female and male sperms together; this can help the persons to have many kids as they want.

Menopause does not start suddenly, it occurs gradually and it can take up to five years before it can be noticed.

Menopause starts between the ages of 45 and 55 in a woman. Yes, there are some components that make the woman look younger like the oestrogen hormones.

Once a woman lacks such component, her breast and vagina become dry.

It is the oestrogen that maintains the woman’s private part; signs of menopause include waist and back pain, heat and hot flashes.

I am advising women with menopause not to lose hope because IVF can make them reproduce children again.”