4 min read

HitPoint Health Weekly 6/25: Don't Starve Together, Science Ideated, Artificial Sweeteners and more

HitPoint Health Weekly 6/25: Don't Starve Together, Science Ideated, Artificial Sweeteners and more
Photo by Alexander Grey / Unsplash

Good morning and happy Sunday! This is going to be a relatively quick and easy one today. Next weekend I'll get you guys a longer one for the fourth. I'd say for the extended weekend, but it falls on a Tuesday this year. At least it'll break up the week I suppose.

Stuff I Did This Week

Don't Starve Together: A Feast of Fun

Remember when I was raving about the Kids on Bikes RPG? Well, I've found another gem that's worth your time - Don't Starve Together. It's a multiplayer game where you and your friends try to survive in a wilderness filled with strange creatures and dangers. It's like being dropped into a Tim Burton movie, and it's as fun as it sounds. The thrill of gathering resources, building a base, and fending off monsters with friends is something else.

I've been trying to play this game enough to get to the end game stuff but I'm still not good enough, especially to do it alone. Well, I'll try to get my friends in on the action and see how long we can survive and how many bosses we can defeat. This is a game that I've played off and on for many years, and with the release of some new content, I've decided to come back once again.

Bernardo Kastrup and the Fabric of Reality

I've been diving into the work of Bernardo Kastrup, and it's like stepping into a whole new dimension. Kastrup proposes that consciousness is fundamental in the universe, a theory that turns the traditional scientific worldview on its head. It's a bit like saying the chicken came before the egg, but in this case, the chicken is consciousness and the egg is everything else. I'm still wrapping my head around it, but my experience with Materialism is Baloney, another book of his, has been a good one, so I'm hoping that his writing will continue to walk that line between very scientific and fun to read. That is my ideal genre.

There isn't much these days that can present such complex and metaphysical topics with such scientific vigor and verbiage, and I think that is why I have been drawn to Kastrup's work, even if I don't necessarily agree with a lot of it.

Stuff I recommend

Probiotics vs Fermented Foods: The Gut War

Last week, I talked about D L-Phenylalanine and its potential benefits. This week, I'm turning my attention to our gut, the unsung hero of our body. The debate between probiotics and fermented foods is like the clash of the titans. Both promise to boost our gut health, but which one takes the cake? Probiotics come with scientific backing, but fermented foods have been part of human diets for centuries. It's like choosing between a shiny new gadget and a trusted old tool.

So, even though there are benefits to both probiotics and fermented foods both, I have seen some studies that show that overall, probiotics seem to have less long term benefit when compared to fermented foods. For whatever reason, it seems that the fermented foods seem to take root in the gut with new and beneficial bacteria. Perhaps this is because they are more alive, as instead of being capsulized they are currently alive and eating. Or perhaps it is because of the fiber that is included when consuming fermented foods such as kimchi.

Either way, they both have their benefits, and it seems to me that doing either of them long term is good, but the ideal might be both. The probiotics can add good short term gut residents, and the fermented foods and provide them a long term home.

HitPoint Hacks

The Sweet Debate on Artificial Sweeteners

You know how we've been going back and forth on the healthiest artificial sweetener? Well, I've been doing some digging, and it's like opening a can of sugar-free worms. Each sweetener, from Aspartame to Sucralose, has its own fan club and naysayers. But if there's one thing that's clear, it's that moderation is key. Just like you wouldn't want to drown your pancakes in syrup, you wouldn't want to overload your system with artificial sweeteners either.

Another thing that has been becoming clear to me is that natural sweeteners, such as stevia and monk fruit are the best, and need less direct monitoring for moderation. It's because of this that I try to avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible. But, what I've seen from my research is that the best two, at least the most common and on some level, would be erythritol which is actually a sugar alcohol, and sucralose. You might have heard some mixed things about sucralose over the years, and for good reason really. It isn't shown to effect the blood sugar which is why I wouldn't mind the occasional consumption, but it has been shown to effect the gut biome, likely in a negative way.

So, when considering a sweetener I'd stick with natural sweeteners, although between the artificial sweeteners, I'd likely stay away from the aspartame, and even the sucralose where you can. I think erythritol might be the best on that category, although the research coming out on this sweetener isn't exactly promising either when it comes to heart disease. So just remember, natural sweeteners, or moderation!

Photo by Aaron Burden / Unsplash

Thanks Again

So thanks again for stopping by and giving my writing the time.

I hope that you have a good rest of your weekend and a good week before the holiday weekend!