Backlash after report claims saturated fats do not increase heart risk?

butterI remember the very first course I ran in 2003: a lady being openly criticised by her work colleagues for following my advice to snack on nuts instead of a 2-finger KitKat (as advocated by WW) and losing 11 lbs in 3 weeks – she showed them!!

But the serious point is we’ve been bucking the trend for 14 years because we bother to do our research, and then implement the findings of the best quality trials and studies without delay – to the benefit of our clients. Nothing that we teach or advise is anything odd, or made up for commercial purposes. We advised good fats and nuts in 2003. We talked about inflammation way before it was a trendy thing to do. We have said sugar and excessive carbs are a big problem for over 14 years. I’ve watched the mainstream advice slowly coming round to our way of nutritional thinking in recent years. While it’s great that they are finally catching up – because that means people are generally getting better advice – I can’t help but think of all the people who have been given the wrong advice for decades, and the effects that wrong advice will inevitably have had on the health of so many.

It’s with a level of sadness, therefore, that I read about this “backlash” today. Here in this article we can see the “establishment” putting up their barriers, and spinning their defence of old views.

When doctors and scientists speak out against the mainstream they surely know there will be a backlash. The precedence is there! In the 1970s John Rudkin published “Pure White and Deadly”. His message was clear. Sugar is the problem. The establishment denied this for 40 odd years, first having discredited Rudkin! We now know we’ve been let down by that same establishment. Doctor James Le Fanu pointed this out in no uncertain terms in his column in the Telegraph just a few days ago.

Putting their heads above the parapet invites castigation. Therefore, when highly qualified professionals speak out regardless, it’s time to listen.

The words that have sparked the controversy are innocent enough:

“[key previous research] showed no association between saturated fat consumption and all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, CHD mortality, ischaemic stroke or type-2 diabetes in healthy adults”.

This message does not suggest we can eat saturated fats with impugnity. It does not suggest we advise people to eat a “high fat” diet. Yet the tone of its critics alludes to this.

So, the Rebalance advice on fats? NO trans or hydrogenated fats under any circumstances; saturated fats are nothing to worry about in moderation (we’re not advocating a “high fat” diet); watch your balance between anti-inflammatory omega-3 and pro-inflammatory omega-6 (many vegetable oils have the wrong balance – sunflower, rapeseed contain more omega 6 than 3); olive oil is good!

Designer sugar? Why my heart sinks.

In a bid to make foods taste just as sweet, but using less sugar, the food industry proudly presents…”designer sugar”!

What exactly makes sugar “designer” is being kept a secret – alarm bells should already be ringing right there!! – but in broad terms it means “tinkering with the shape of sugar molecules to deliver the same sweetness but with a lower amount of actual sugar“, reports The Guardian.

Nestle are spearheading the “tinkering”. Where other cheap-chocolate manufacturers have mooted making bars smaller, Nestle are looking to use a new Frankenstein sugar. We are told we can expect to be consuming the stuff as soon as 2018. Oh joy!!

I have to tell you – if you haven’t already spotted the obvious – I’m not treating this as good news.

We are emerging from a decades-long experiment with trans fats, otherwise known as “hydrogenated” fats. Creating a hydrogenated fat means binding hydrogen molecules into an oil, liquid at room temperature, to make it saturated, solid, spreadable. Hydrogen is a natural molecule. It exists as the most abundant element in our universe. So it’s surely safe? Scientists might have thought so at the time they began developing the technology, but in just a few short decades we’ve come to know it as one of the most dangerous things to have happened in food technology. So dangerous, in fact, that the American government under President Obama ordered trans/hydrogenated fats to be removed from all processed foods in just 3 years. We are now eating into that 3 year time period, and already we can see the difference. Reports published just this week, in the Journal of the American Medical Association Cardiology, show that removing trans/hydrogenated fats from the human diet is already leading to lower rates of heart disease and strokes. Yes, trans/hydrogenated fats have been causing heart disease, strokes and more – collectively termed “cardiovascular events”. They’ve been a major contributor to the epic levels of heart disease in the developed world!

The idea that we are lurching from “tinkered with” fats to “tinkered with” sugars makes my heart sink. What have we not learned from the trans fats debacle? Do we think somehow this will be different? Apparently so! At least the technicians working on designer sugar declare it to be safe: John Coupland, professor of food science at Pennsylvania State University and president of the nonprofit Institute of Food Technologists, says: “It’s not dangerous, just not common.”  (Quote taken from the Guardian article linked above.)

Until Mr. Coupland and his colleagues shown me a plethora of long-term studies showing the health effects of human consumption of their designer sugar I will remain unconvinced by their claims of safety. The moment Nestle start selling products containing their tinkered-with-sugar-molecule will be the moment they lose my custom I’m afraid – and, as they are one of the biggest employers in my home city of York, I say that with true regret.

Let’s wind forward, and assume designer sugar does prove to be safe – having no detrimental effect on our health…

…are there other reasons to be cautious? Sadly so. We already know that other artificial sweeteners have had a detrimental effect on our health. Designer sugar is, despite its name, just another artificial sweetener. Once the tinkering scientists have changed the molecule it is no longer as nature intended, and by definition no longer a natural foodstuff.

Artificial sweeteners are now known to cause weight gain, and are increasingly linked with obesity and all its concomitant diseases. Medical research has been telling us this for several years already. Whilst they can’t actually raise blood sugar levels, chemical sweeteners have been shown in research to cause our bodies to produce insulin nonetheless, just as though we have consumed actual sugar. The problem is there is no sugar for that insulin to act upon, and we are left with excess circulating in our blood. Ask a diabetic if excess insulin is a good idea – they’ll give you an emphatic “no”.

Is designer sugar a good idea? Time may tell. But, in this rush to maintain a market share in the profit-driven food industry, time is not being allowed! Right now, my answer simply has to be, likewise, an emphatic NO!

Losing weight on 3300 calories per. day – yes really!

Let me tell you a little about my new client’s weight loss. After just 2 weeks on a Rebalance programme, he’s lost 5lbs, has literally had to tighten his belt, and feels great. Here’s the best bit…he’s eating 3300 calories per. day!

It’s not – and never has been – about calories. It’s about what those calories are made of – and always has been.

Fad diets come and go. I read this morning that the 5:2 Fasting Diet is trying to re-enthuse dieters by offering 200 calories per. day more. All those poor folks who have restricted themselves to just 600 calories for 2 days per. week, are now being told they could have achieved the same benefits on 800 calories, according to this report. Dr. Mosley, the chap advocating this joyless approach for some 5 years now, admits it makes people feel cranky and irritable, and that, actually, he’s been wrong about just how restrictive a diet needs to be.

The problem with fasting, and long term calorie restriction is that it puts your body into a “starvation mode” that makes it hang on to fat. Have you tried to diet and found by week 3 or 4 it gets harder and harder to shift just a little weight? The fallacy of fasting is made clear in a new study at the University of Sydney in Australia. The research team confirms:

“Having a few ‘days off’ from a diet can help stop your body from going into starvation mode, where the body slows down its natural burning of kilojoules, desperate to survive what it believes to be a famine.”

So if 600, or even 800, calories are too restrictive to enable someone to lose weight without finding themselves entering into starvation mode, how many calories are right? There is no single answer to that. MemeThe number of calories right for an individual is the number of calories right for that person! There is no-one-size-fits-all where nutrition is concerned. This is where Rebalance excels. We help you identify your own unique needs, and develop your own unique eating plan to meet those needs. Every time someone does this properly it works – that’s 100%. My client’s body requires 3300 calories per. day: this avoids starvation mode; delivers all his nutritional needs; encourages his body to release 2 lbs of fat per. week consistently. How many calories are right for YOU?

Click here, and start working it out. Our programmes work, are easy to follow, and are free to you.

Smoke, mirrors, statistics, damned lies?

Benjamin Disraeli said: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Then we have “smoke and mirrors”, leading us implicitly to believe something is true when in fact it isn’t. This morning, you decide…

I’ve just seen a TV advert for a new breakfast drink product. Always one to know what goes into these things I put the sniffer dog to work. What I found was a great lesson in why we should treat food labels with a dose of healthy scepticism!

Apparently this product contains 8.1 grams of sugar per 100 grams of product – that’s just 9% of your daily advised amount according to the manufacturer’s information panel.

The problem here is the product is sold in 250ml bottles. Well done Sainsbury for therefore pointing out that really means you get 20 grams of sugar in an individual sized bottle equating to 22% of your daily advised amount in their product information panel.

The BIG problem with both sets of information? If 8.1 grams sugar equates to 9% of our recommended intake, or even if 20 grams equates to 22%, it means the actual daily recommended intake is somewhere between 90 and 91 grams sugar. Hmmm – in who’s world?

Well certainly not in WHO’s world! The World Health Organisation recommends limiting free sugars to just 25 grams per. day. The NHS have yet to catch up, and still recommend limiting free sugars to 30 grams per. day. So in my world that means one individual-sized bottle of this new product actually delivers 88% of our sugar intake as recommended by the World Health Organisation, or 73.33% as recommended by the NHS.

weetabix

Keeping Pandora in her box

If Pandora’s Box is a proverbial phrase meaning a source of endless trouble arising from a single miscalculation it begs the question “what miscalculation”? From the point of view of our health I guess that’s about pushing our luck too far. We might live that unhealthy lifestyle just a day too long and then…?

Then we get tImage result for those who don't have time to eat healthily will have to find time for illness memeo find out just what Pandora has in store. And as the story goes, once we’ve allowed her out of the box, getting her back in there is a whole heap of trouble, even if it’s possible at all! All too often there’s a point of no return.
All very gloomy huh? So let’s turn Pandora into our positive!

Whether we like it or not, it’s highly unlikely that any of us can ride our luck indefinitely and that we will at some point have to deal with the consequences of our unhealthy diet
and lifestyle choices. So ask yourself, how far will you push your luck? What will be your own personal wake up call?

Will you take notice when the bathroom scales hit a certain number? Will it be when you get breathless? When you can’t do the things you could before?

Will you take
notice when you are told you are at risk of developing a lifestyle disease? When you are diagnosed with a lifestyle disease? When you develop the first complications associated with that disease?

The longer you ride your luck the more devastating Pandora could be. We already know that 12 million adults in the UK are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. We already know that women Image result for those who don't have time to eat healthily will have to find time for illness memeare facing a tide of cancer diagnoses due to obesity. With diet and lifestyle linked to
diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, some cancers, and more, we are gambling, literally, with life and limb.

Let’s leave Pandora in her box. Don’t give her the chance to get out to play. Enjoy our lives without looking over our shoulders for fear of her.

Good food actually tastes great. Feeling well makes life great. I can’t begin to tell you how great you’ll feel. But I really hope you decide to find out for yourself!

 

Ready to change? (It’s OK to say no!)

Image result for who wants change memeI don’t do new year resolutions. I used to. But like most people I have never stuck to one. Even when I told myself things would be different this year I fell off the straight and narrow all too quickly.

So you won’t have seen The Rebalance Foundation jumping onto the bandwagon of promising a “new year, new you”. No new year promotions. No wanting to make the most of your “membership” for just a few weeks. No setting you up to quickly fail.

That’s because I understand that the best time to make meaningful change isn’t in the immediate guilt-ridden aftermath of festive over-indulgence. Rather, the best time to make meaningful change is when you are ready. Simple as that. Change will only happen when you are ready to make change.

I’m sure you’ve probably already seen the popular little cartoon I’ve shared above? Whoever penned that – good job! We all want change. We’re not all prepared to make change…yet.

At The Rebalance Foundation we’re on a mission to make sure that the best information is at your fingertips, ready and waiting for the moment the switch trips in your mind and you’re off on your own mission too! Take our information with pleasure. Take our advice when you’re ready. Take our support when you need it.

If you are one of the people reading this all ready to get started – fantastic! Let’s get going!!

If you’re not quite there yet I hope you’ll stay with us and just keep collecting all the great information we share. We’ll be here, ready and waiting. When you’re ready we’ll be here, ready and raring to go!

Your Christmas Survival Guide! (Or “How to have the most Merry, Enjoyable, Jolly Christmas ever!!”)

Survival? Seriously? Is that a word we should even associate with Christmas? What about Merry, Enjoyable, Jolly? Well that’s exactly what we’re aiming for! How to have the most Merry, Enjoyable, Jolly Christmas ever!!

Let’s get the reason why we need this guide out of the way from the outset: if you have insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2), you live in a body that doesn’t deal well with sugar. That doesn’t change at Christmas. It isn’t in your best interests to pretend otherwise. Denial doesn’t change the facts – it puts you at risk. The secret to your best ever Christmas is to work with your body, not against it. Here are my 10 Top Tips to ensure a “treat” for you is the right way to treat your body!

  1. Gotta think carbs! Remember it isn’t just sugar itself that’s going to raise your blood sugar. Every bit of carbohydrate you consume will eventually add to your blood glucose levels. Any glucose that you don’t burn off will have to be stored – mainly as body fat. The wrong kind of body fat. Visceral fat. So do a deal with yourself – think about all the carby foods you might consume, and then choose just a couple of favourites to keep in and plan the rest out of your Christmas menu. There are some easy and delicious alternatives to any of the usual Christmas foods. Let’s go…
  2. Make your breakfast as carb-free as possible: you’ll possibly be indulging later, so get off to the best start. Keeping your blood sugars level at breakfast time means you’ll maintain your energy, focus and enjoyment of the rest of your day. Some of the most luxurious breakfast choices fit into this very well: think smoked salmon; scrambled eggs; poached eggs on a bed of spinach with a dollop of Hollandaise on top; kippers; a middle eastern breakfast of feta, hummus, olives, cold meats… You’ve a lot of choice to go at!
  3. Keep bread off your table – even if you’re having a soup starter. Let’s face it, bread has no place in fine dining (ask Giles Coren, food critic, who says “Lay off the bread. Bread is not a first course, it…will ruin your whole damn meal. And make you fat.” Same goes for that Yorkshire pudding by the way!
  4. There’s nothing much to argue about where a good old roast is concerned – except perhaps the amount of starchy root vegetables that find their way to your plate. Those starches will turn to sugar and your blood glucose levels will be affected! Swap out potatoes for sweet potatoes – superb roasted! Then limit carrots, parsnips and beets to just one or two pieces. rebal-ball-2016-38Go mad for the Brussels sprouts though! Cauliflower, broccoli, peas, mangetout all have a place on your festive plate. And spiced braised red cabbage – oh yum!! Just find a recipe that doesn’t call for sugar – or simply miss it out – it isn’t necessary for health or the taste of the dish. Sign up for my latest newsletter to see my favourite festive red cabbage recipe! I served turkey in this way (above) at The Blue Ball in November – it went down a treat. One of the guests rang later to say how great he felt – not sluggish or sleepy the way he normally does after a roast – lively and up for a spot of dad-dancing to boot!!
  5. OK now, pud. There is a ton of natural sugar in anything made with dried fruits, so puddefinitely choose one – or make your own – without added sugar. They’re well worth hunting out, and, again, you won’t be compromising on flavour! The same goes for Christmas cake. Sign up for my latest newsletter to see my no-added-sugar celebration cake recipe!
  6. Serve your (small piece of) pud with cream. Make it a good quality organic cream. Pouring, whipped or clotted according to your personal preference. There’s no added sugar in pure cream, so it makes a better choice compared with a sugary brandy, rum or custard sauce! For the even better option try it with a full-fat no-added-sugar organic natural yoghurt: the sharpness of the yoghurt beautifully compliments the richness of the pudding. If Christmas cake is your chosen treat a small piece of my no-added-sugar celebration cake (see above) with a piece of traditional Wensleydale cheese is the way we do it in Yorkshire!
  7. Get out!! Christmas happens outdoors too! Research has shown that going for a walk after a meal is beneficial. It helps to regulate blood sugars – by burning off some of that free glucose now roaming around your blood stream – and promotes weight loss. All good then! Make a breath of fresh air a part of your day – you’ll find kids out on their new bicycles, scooters, skateboards, skates; people walking their dogs. Maybe that could be you? 30 minutes steady or brisk walking will set you up for the rest of the day – you’ll be awake, alert, full of life for more fun and games.
  8. It’s snack time? Hmmm. Sounds like the opportunity for a carb-fest, but it doesn’t have to be. Choose nuts. Good healthy fats and plenty of protein. A handful of nuts a day has been shown to benefit blood sugar levels and be a good choice for people affected by diabetes. Why not get the ones with shells? Volunteer to be the person in charge of the nutcrackers – you’ll be nibbling rather than scoffing! 
  9. What about the chocolates? We both know you are not expecting me to give you a green light here! Unless you are into 100% chocolate of course! But assuming you are not, then find a way to keep it to just one or two. Instead of the big box of cheap choccies, why not buy a small box of something really expensive and luxurious? You’ll see every single chocolate as a treat in itself. Last year my lovely hubby bought me some amazing truffles – just 9 in a box. He couldn’t resist telling me the price! At over £2 per. truffle I savoured each and every one: just 9 chocolates lasted 4 days!
  10. Alcohol? Ditto! No authentic green light here either. Sip don’t guzzle. Wine and soda for a longer lasting smaller measure? A nip of something special rather than a bottle of something cheap? Alcohol is especially dehydrating so be sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Hydration is especially important to anyone living with diabetes, as you will already be at increased risk of dehydration as your kidneys may be working overtime to pee out excess glucose today.

You’re special, and you can make your Christmas extra special. Try something a little different and see just how well you can feel this year – and how much more that sense of well-being enhances your day!

 

Why Remembrance Sunday Matters to The Rebalance Foundation

slide7-2I first became aware of diabetes in the 1960s, when my Gran was diagnosed with Type 2. In those days it was simply “late onset diabetes”. It was an older persons disease.

She was kind of lucky to be diagnosed at all because she first realised she might have a problem by accident. Her friend had been diagnosed and given Uristix to monitor her condition. For those who might not know what that is – you can still get them – it’s a bit like a litmus test. You pee on the stick and if the little coloured square changes colour it indicates you are passing glucose in your pee. That’s not a good thing!

So one day, my Gran and her friend May were peeing on sticks and having a girly laugh, when surprise surprise my Gran’s little stick turned brown – the most severe level on the test. My Gran was diabetic. It became a source of fun! Any visit to my Gran’s house involved playing at peeing on sticks (yes we were poor!). My Gran always won because her stick was the only one that ever changed – blue to green to khaki to brown. My stick was so boring!

Skip several years to 1974. I was leaving school when I was met by a neighbour with a message from my mum. Could I go to the local library and do my homework, she would pick me up later, she was at the hospital with my Gran.

I never saw my Gran alive again. She slipped into a diabetic coma, never regained consciousness, and died 4 days later. She’d never had any of the classic complications. True she had a dicky ticker – but she always had it seemed. She had no dodgy limb pain, no threat of amputations, no patchy blurred vision. She bypassed all of that and moved straight to coma and death. It was Remembrance Sunday: 10th November 1974.

Diabetes stopped being fun. It suddenly became what it actually is for everyone who develops it – it’s a game changer. It threatens lives, limbs and the happiness of adolescent granddaughters! I have never stopped missing my Gran, and 42 years later it still hurts. Especially on Remembrance Sunday!

November, every year, is International Diabetes Awareness Month. November 14th is always World Diabetes Day. The international symbol for WDD is the blue circle you see on this booklet. At The Rebalance Foundation, we’ve  named our “Blue Ball” to mark it every November.

It’s also the time I get to remember, and talk about, and honour, Ivy Moore, my beloved Gran.

Elaine x

NHS deny obese patients surgery

The Rebalance Foundation was launched just 2 days ago, and already the BBC has highlighted exactly why we are needed, relevant, stepping up!

Obese patients will be denied surgery by the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group – either they must shed 10% of their body weight, get their Body Mass Index (BMI) below 30, or wait, the BBC reports this morning.

I note the report doesn’t say obese patients will instead be offered an effective nutritional and lifestyle programme tailored to meet their own individual needs. Of course not! Since attacks on the out of date, ineffective NHS dietary guidelines were mounted by The National Obesity Forum in May this year exactly nothing has changed! In fact the NHS website defends why their out of date, ineffective dietary guidelines will not be changed. Public Health England are equally, and in our view irresponsibly, defensive about inadequate official guidelines.

The NHS will not be revising their dietary guidelines to help prevent or treat obesity; our Government have sidestepped the crucial issue of childhood obesity in their much-criticised, overdue, “inexcusable” Childhood Obesity Strategy report; and obese patients will be denied surgery. The Royal College of Surgeons has described the restrictions as “some of the most severe the modern NHS has ever seen“. While this particular move has been taken in my own home area, The Daily Telegraph reports Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers, saying: “I think we are going to see more and more decisions like this.

So let’s get this straight:

  • food manufacturers continue to produce and promote low-fat foods that cause obesity
  • official NHS and Public Health England stick with dietary guidelines that recommend obesity causing low-fat foods
  • the Government fails to tackle either of these problems
  • having already failed obese patients, the NHS now punishes them by with-holding surgical treatments.

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The Rebalance Foundation cannot answer for the decision or actions of others, but we can provide realistic, effective, tried and tested advice – simply click here to get started!

Obesity – who deserves the blame?

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After Susan Jebb, the Government’s former diet tsar, said obesity is mainly caused by a person’s genes and the prevalence of junk food, other experts have hit out saying fat people should be told their size is their own fault. So just who SHOULD carry the blame for your obesity, asks a news article this weekend?

It comes down to the difference between ignorance and insanity.

It’s true that the food industry, Public Health, and the NHS in the UK have all mislead the public for years. Sadly knowingly for some time too. They ALL sold us the “low-fat myth” for decades. They ALL overlooked the fact that there was no real evidence against saturated fat. They ALL overlooked the weight of evidence against sugar for 40 years.

We became a fat nation! And I say obesity was encouraged because the organisations who should have protected us kept us in IGNORANCE. Ignorance about why we were really gaining weight. Ignorance about why  a whole host of chronic diseases have been burgeoning. Ignorance about the “unrelenting march” of diabetes reported last week.

But we know now! We know sugar is deadly. We know it has raised our levels of inflammatory disease to crisis point: diabetes, heart disease, vascular disease, some cancers and more. And we can no longer claim ignorance. We can no longer claim to being kept in the dark.

The food industry is showing very little sign of change. In the many months now since we lifted the lid on the nonsense that is “low-fat”, I’ve watched in near despair as more and more fat-free and low-fat products have been unleashed into the market-place – still claiming health-benefits. It sucks, it really does. But we are no longer ignorant to the truth. We can shake our heads in disbelief that they care so little. But we no longer have to fall for their dishonest hype!

I started speaking out against low fat as long ago as 2003 – and I have never knowingly put a low-fat-sugar-laden version of food into my body since. But I still do occasionally eat something with added sugar: a bite of chocolate, a slice of birthday cake, the occasional dessert maybe. And every time I do I know, and accept, that my behaviour is INSANE. Insane because there is enough information to enable me to make a better choice. Insane because I have enough knowledge to enable me to make a better choice. Sometimes I make insane choices, but I have to face the fact they are MINE!

I am at the point of awareness that any weight gain is certainly now my own fault, and I carry 100% responsibility.

Historically Susan Jebb is right – the past 40 years have largely been not our fault. But from here on in we are all responsible for our own food choices – as these experts suggest! And only when we accept our own responsibility, embrace our own dietary and behavioural change, take control over our own choices will things improve.

RebalanceDiabetes is ready and waiting to help anyone willing to help themselves. Give me a shout!