Monthly Archives: June 2014

Misleading food labels

IMG_20140621_163541IMG_20140621_163527Have you noticed the hoohaa in the press this week (quite rightly by the way) about misleading food labels?  Labels which purport to describe a healthy food, which is actually anything but?

I came across a brazen example in the supermarket this weekend – a “diabetic ice-cream”.  Bizarrely this product contains no cream at all. Even more bizarrely it contains reconstituted skimmed milk powder – a product with fat removed – together with an unspecified (and therefore probably very cheap type of) vegetable fat.  Can you explain the logic because for the life of me I can’t? Hmmm?

And is it suitable for diabetics?  Well it contains fructose – the type of sugar being increasingly linked with causing obesity, diabetes, and other inflammatory illnesses.  It also contains maltodextrin, and dextrose.  So that’s three different kinds of sugar.

For my money I’m sorry to say this product is totally unsuitable for diabetics.  It isn’t ice-cream either!

Is it necessary to give up sugar?

Have you read the article by a lady diarising her quest to give up sugar?  It’s enlightening because it highlights the extent to which a person can become addicted to sugar.

So is it actually necessary to give up sugar?

I would say it really depends on whether or not you are truly addicted too.  Can you imagine a heroin addict, a habitual smoker or an alcoholic improving their lot without completely kicking the habit?

On the other hand, we all know people who don’t succumb to the temptations of the deadly white and sweet stuff.  People who would have no trouble at all contemplating a future without sugary foods.

Like everything else dietary and lifestyle related – there really is no one-size-fits-all answer.

So here’s my recommendation: put yourself to the test.  See if cutting down works for you.  Test whether or not you can adapt to less without having to cut it out all together. For me it’s definitely all or nothing – giving in to a little temptation inevitably means giving in to a lot more very quickly!

One thing that really helps is knowing which foods can help to make you feel satisfied for longer, or help to banish sweet cravings or the need for other carbs – but that’s the next stage.  The first step is always the hardest to take, and i this case that means learning your own limitations.

Can you comfortably limit yourself to just one chocolate, one biscuit, one piece of cake? Let me know how you get on…


Diabetes is a problem. What’s the solution?

tonightWas it just me, or was anyone else not just a little disappointed by the Tonight program about Diabetes on Thursday?

It had some good points – and nicely got across the rising tide of obesity related Type 2 diabetes in the UK.  It highlighted the good work being done by Diabetes UK to identify people with the disease or courting it by being at risk.  It highlighted the horrible complications such as amputation and loss of limbs.

It did nothing, however, to suggest a realistic solution to the problem.  Sure it featured the good work being undertaken by Newcastle University to show that a restricted 600-800 calorie diet will reverse the symptoms at an early stage following diagnosis.  But there was nothing on offer for the majority of people living with the disease or at risk in terms of good long-term nutritional and lifestyle advice.

And I have to conclude today that that’s because the mainstream medical profession continues to bury it’s head in the sand, along with the food industry and our government, about what really needs to be done.  As we hit the all time record high of 4 million diabetic people in the UK isn’t it time for a sea-change?

What do I mean?

  • Real education about how the body uses food – it’s not OK for a hospital dietician or nurse or doctor to suggest you can continue to eat pretty much as “normal”, as in the case of the recent ex-CE of the NHS.
  • Hard hitting evidence about the consequences of not dramatically changing the way in which we eat.
  • Personal responsibility – because we need to change our eating habits!
  • Corporate responsibility – because the food industry is knowingly feeding you the stuff that will make you fat, sick and tired!
  • Stretch targets for the medical profession – rather than government incentives for the bare minimum as the QOF framework currently provides.

Is it just me?  Let me know!