You're probably not going to like me after this because my message this month is "Ditch the Sugar!" Seriously though, with the festive season coming up we’re in grave danger of indulging in an abundance of sweet treats and drinks and then in January we’ll no doubt take frantic measures to shed the weight we’ve gained. But, perhaps if we can make informed choices we’ll be able to enjoy the festivities without the evidence piling up on our hips! Planning ahead NOT to put on weight is a whole lot more effective than trying to lose it later.
Information can be core to taking action about your health!
You know what is wrong with most dietary advice for managing weight? Firstly, the simplistic notion that all we have to do is control calories in and calories out, and secondly, the belief that sugar and sweets are relatively benign foods. Many diets allow the intake of refined sugars in sweets and desserts as long as the overall caloric intake is controlled. The rationale is that by allowing yourself to eat a small amount of sweets, you won't feel deprived.
There are many factors that influence our ability to avoid weight gain, and one that is often overlooked is stress. Stress reduces serotonin (the happiness hormone), causing low moods and carbohydrate cravings, which of course, make us dive into the candy. However, many recent studies attest to the dangers of over-consumption of sugar, one being that sugar raises triglycerides - blood fats that are deposited as fat in our fat cells.
Elevated triglycerides is now known to significantly raise risk for heart disease. Even children can have high triglycerides which puts them at serious risk of cardiovascular events in adulthood. All sugars consumed in excess of our caloric needs are quickly converted to triglycerides, however when more than 50% of the sugar is in the form of fructose, the production of body fat increases significantly. Fructose from corn is now the cheapest form of sugar and is used in most soft drinks.
Sugar also depletes chromium and magnesium, two minerals that are needed to properly process glucose. Without them our insulin receptors simply don’t function properly. (If you crave carbs, especially sugar, you will greatly benefit from 400mcg of chromium polynicotinate taken with meals. Apart from reduced cravings you will experience improved mood and energy.)
So, the more sweets you eat, the more you deplete the very nutrients that are needed to help your cells metabolize the sugar in them which could indirectly lead to insulin resistance. Elevated triglycerides are seen frequently in people with diabetes. But you don't have to be diabetic to have high triglycerides. Anytime you take in carbohydrates in amounts that exceed the body's requirements for energy, the excess glucose is converted to fat which may lead to raised triglycerides.
The current American Heart Association recommendations for lowering triglycerides is to reduce intake of fats but these measures will have limited impact if a person's carbohydrate intake (not fat intake) remains too high. The research is pretty clear that it is carbohydrates, not fats, that have the biggest impact on triglycerides and the sooner dietary recommendations are updated, the better.
Low sugar and starch diets are the most effective for lowering triglycerides and managing weight. So, if you want to be a weight-watcher this festive season you do need to take it easy on the sweet stuff. Watch for hidden sugars like sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup and HFCS on labels in processed foods. Starchy foods like bread, potatoes, rice and pasta are also high in glucose and need to be avoided too if you’re serious about not packing on the pounds.
Remember this Christmas - it’s not so much what’s on the table that counts – it’s what’s on the chairs! But not wanting to be a complete killjoy and because I can’t resist a bit of chocolate either, here’s an amusing quote that is also very forgiving:
“Research tells us that fourteen out of any ten individuals like chocolate”.Sandra Boynton "Chocolate: The Consuming Passion"
Busting the cholesterol myth
"Cholesterol in the diet has no bearing on cholesterol in the blood!" Just one of the profound statements made by Jonny Bowden in a recent interview. He also tells you more about why you should ditch sugar. To get the full story you simply have to watch this: Heart of the matter.
An interesting perspective on vaccinations
If you’re still not sure about vaccinations for your children you need to do more research so that you can make an informed decision. Here is an interesting argument against vaccinations. Take your time to click on all the links given so you can get a proper grip on his argument.
If you have chosen not to have your children vaccinated, the response alongside may come in handy should you ever be judged on your decision:
The evils of our adulterated foods
I recently joined a Gluten Summit and over 10 days I watched some amazing webinars revealing just how prevalent gluten sensitivity is. Due to the modification of our grains most of us are probably struggling with health issues relating to gluten intolerance and also genetically modified grains.
Q: Which lettuce leaves give you highest nutrient density? A: The looser red and bronze leaves as apposed to the light green tightly packed leaves.
Blueberry and Apple Pie in Pecan Crust
I have recently been introduced to coconut flour and the other day tasted the most delicious cake made from it. Here is a recipe that uses it in the pie crust.
For the crust you need:
2 1/2 cups pecan nuts roasted till crisp and ground to a nut butter in a food processor, 2 T coconut oil, 1/4C honey, 1t vanilla extract, 1/2C coconut flour, 1 free-range egg, 1/4t salt and 1/2t baking powder. Mix all the above together well and line a pie dish. Bake at 180deg for about 30 mins till golden brown.
For the filling you need:
3 cups blueberries, 2 green apples, peeled and sliced, 80ml fresh lemon juice, 1t grated lemon zest, 3/4 C honey. Place all these ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered until liquid has thickened - about 20-30 mins. Refrigerate this mixture in a covered bowl for at least 3 hrs till set. Spoon mixture into the pie crust and serve with cream. Yummy!
All that is left for me now is to wish you a wonderful festive season with family and friends. If you are travelling - be safe. See you in 2014!
PS: I am not available for consultations until mid-Jan however I will be here to fill your supplement orders should you need. Latest product list attached. Note there will be a price increase on AIM products in Jan 2014.
Nutritional Therapist (BSc (Hons) HDE, Dip Clin Nutr) The Orchards Nutrition Centre - Somerset East Tel: 042 243 0339 Cell: 084 531 0786 Email: email@example.com
The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. It is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or in any way replace qualified medical supervision. For any medical conditions, consult with your healthcare provider before using any products. Abundant health to you all.