Tag Archives: dieting

Obesity – who deserves the blame?

einstein

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!

 

 

 

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Whatever is next – RebalanceDiabetes is right here for you!

shelovesyork2December 1st 2015 and – with International Diabetes Awareness Month 2015 closed – I’m reflecting on what we’ve achieved and, crucially, what’s next.

I started the month calling for everyone affected by diabetes to #standtogether. And I ended the month repeating that call because, as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter whether you have Type 1, Type 2, gestational diabetes, take insulin, or not, are prediabetic, care for someone living with diabetes, or are just interested, there is an awareness mountain to be climbed.

Throughout November I’ve shared my awareness film The Silent Killer, shown on Times Square on World Diabetes Day; a fabulous offer to enable you to join The RebalanceDiabetes Programme (the first comprehensive diet and lifestyle programme for diabetes available online) at a massively discounted rate; brand new RebalanceDiabetes success stories to motivate and encourage; breaking news stories; and I shared a preview of the latest stats around diabetes. These latest stats are available for download today – get your copy of the Exec Summary of IDF’s latest Diabetes Atlas – click here.

The new diabetes years starts here. RebalanceDiabetes is ahead of the game, has always been ahead of the game, and I plan to stay there. You can be assured I’ll be doing everything I can to help YOU get the best from your health, feel great about yourself, enjoy life.

I genuinely don’t believe that diabetes has to win, I don’t believe the gloomy predictions have to come true, I do believe RebalanceDiabetes is the best solution. I’m with you every step of the way!

Here’s to a great year – starting NOW!

Elaine x

 

 

 

To tax or not to tax?

sugar writingToday marks the final day of International Diabetes Awareness Month 2015.

Today the sugar tax debate is hitting the media again in a big way.

Whether you are for or against a sugar tax it seems a fitting time to give more attention to this debate, and to turn the spotlight again on sugar: the dangers of sugar, the role of sugar on public health, the economics of sugar.

Is this the first time in living history that a Government has resisted such public calls for a tax? Resisted an opportunity to boost the chancellor’s coffers, with strong public support? The political stance is curious to say the least.

Here is a selection of the articles I’ve come across this morning:

MPs back sugar tax and ban on junkfood ads during X-factor

Jamie Oliver’s right! MPs say it’s time for a 20% tax on sugary drinks to tackle childhood obesity

Ban Junk Food Ads And Tax Sugary Drinks – MPs

UK MPs seek tighter measures on sugary drinks to tackle childhood obesity 

MPs back sugar tax endorsed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

Breakfast Briefing: Pressure grows on Gov for sugar tax

Tax sugary drinks and restrict TV adverts for sweets, MPs urge

MPs to call for ‘sugar tax’ and tighter controls on junk food ads

Introduce tax on sugary drinks, say MPs

MPs call for sugar tax to combat obesity

Radical Overhaul Needed To Beat Obesity – MPs

MPs demand 20% levy for fizzy drinks and blitz on junk food deals

Sugar tax: MPs join call to cut £5bn a year cost of obesity

Commons health committee puts weight behind UK sugar tax

Commons chiefs to demand ‘sugar tax‘ and tighter controls on junk food ads

Despite all those calls for the sugar tax, there is an “against” view point also reported this morning. It’s a minority of the British people who believe such a tax would be effective in combating obesity and disease – including diabetes:

British public unconvinced by soft drinks tax

I am throwing my hat onto the side that says there probably is a better way – regulate the food industry, restrict the amount of sugar permitted in processed foods, education, more transparent food labelling…

I am grateful this topic is working its way up political agendas. Let this debate rage!!

 

The first principle of healthy eating for diabetes

There has been so much in the press and news recently about healthy eating / weight loss: the most effective diets, the healthiest things to eat and the best things to avoid. It strikes me that what applies to non-diabetics isn’t always the wisest advice for people with diabetes, and actually people with diabetes have a more tenuous path to walk to achieve both weight loss and good health. I’m not talking about out-there whacky fad diets here. There’s some quite mainstream, some might say “sensible”, advice that doesn’t quite hit the mark for people with blood sugar issues.

I suppose the thing that got me thinking was a strap-line in an article in The Times recently. It read: “The debate over fat and carbs obscures the truth that consuming fewer calories than we burn is the only way to slim“.

Well the truth is, that the debate about fat and carbs is crucial for people with diabetes, and it matters very much what form of calories you consume. The reason being of course that what the calories are made from has a huge impact on their effect on blood sugar levels. The difference between carbs and fats or indeed proteins is vast in terms of their effect on blood sugar.

But it isn’t just the number or nature of your daily calories that impact on blood sugar. The timing and size of meals is also a key factor in keeping your blood sugars balanced. Just these 2 factors could be the difference between burning body fat or storing more of it!

The two diagrams below illustrate what might happen if you eat fewer larger meals compared with smaller more frequent meals. Though they may involve the same actual foods overall, you can clearly see the different effects timings and meal sizes would have on your body.

InsulinGraph

InsulinGraph2

Blood sugar balance is one of four major principles underpinning the RebalanceDiabetes programme. I explain all of them in the FREE RebalanceDiabetes seminars that I hold each month. I would love to explain the other 3 to you in person and if that sounds good to you too why not book your place at the next event on Monday 23 March – here’s the link.

See you there?

How many calories?

So how does a diet of about 1100-1200 calories a day sound to you? Possibly a bit restrictive? Like you might go hungry? Impossible? Whatever it is for you HOLD THAT THOUGHT!

Did you see an article in the press recently about foods and snacks that contain a massive 2000 calories? If not here it is! We are now surrounded by readily available foods and snacks that contain so many calories it’s mind-blowing. And we have completely lost sight of what is normal/reasonable/do-able?

Take a ‘treat’ at Costa as an example – you have to love that they are very open about the calorific values of their productsmenu attached here:

1 Chai Latte massimo size (667 calories) and 1 portion Layered Carrot Cake – well carrots are vegetables right? (617 calories) – that’s a whopping 1284 calories and it’s only a snack!!

1 Raspberry & White Chocolate Cooler medio size (517 calories) and 1 Raspberry & Almond Square – well fruit and nuts are good right? (445 calories) – that’s a calorific-budget-blowing 962 calories!!

1 Long Jing Green tea (5 calories) and 1 Mini Rhubarb & Custard Tart (133 calories) – a manageable now-and-again-treat at 138 calories!

It’s all about choices…and being a little bit savvy.

So that 1100-1200 calories-per-day-diet? What’s it to be?

This?:

(actually one large burger & fries blows the budget slightly at nearly 1300 calories!)
Slide1

Or this?:

Slide2

Because, believe it or not, these menus are both about the same number of calories.

To begin to find out how you can enjoy 4 or 5 plates of food, together with a hot chocolate drink, each day sign up for the next FREE RebalanceDiabetes seminar – click here!

Is honey better than sugar for diabetics?

Honeycomb sliceRecent news tells us that honey sales are up. And up. And up. And the driving force for that is the perceived health benefit of honey over sugar.

The problem is that essentially honey IS sugar – with over half the contents of your honey jar being fructose. Whilst that means that it is a slightly lower GI value, and therefore spikes blood sugar marginally less, it is nonetheless still an unnecessary sugar-load in your diet. On top of that it carries more calories than jam. So, sorry to say, it’s hardly a truly ‘healthy’ alternative for spreading on your toast or sweetening your tea.

Also, I’m sorry to say, that the corporate food manufacturers are jumping onto the band wagon – well now that sugar is falling from grace they have to get you addicted to their products with something! In a really cynical move, it is reported, that the makers of Sugar Puffs are going to change the name of the product to Honey Monster Puffs. The stuff in the box is exactly the same as it ever was, so that’s a dead giveaway that sugar and honey are essentially one and the same.

Added sugar, including honey, really has no nutritional benefit. The NHS controversially claims that added sugar can safely make up 10 per cent of a daily calorie intake – which is the equivalent of 50g or 12½ tsp a day for women, and 70g or 17½ tsp a day for men. Thankfully this was exposed by cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra earlier this year. Dr. Malhotra is also science director of Action On Sugar, a body campaigning to reduce levels of sugar in our foods, who said the World Health Organisation recommends limiting all added sugars (including honey) to just six teaspoons a day. That’s not saying that 6 teaspoons is a good idea – it’s the absolute upper limit!

I completely agree with Dr. Malhotra that contrary to what the food industry, and, it seems, the NHS, wants you to believe, the body doesn’t need any carbohydrate from added sugar.

So that’s no nutrient value, more calories, it WILL still spike your blood sugar – clearly NOT the healthy alternative for anyone with diabetes. The news today reports it could even be worse than sugar!

And it’s not just honey we need to look out for in food products. There are over 50 different names for sugars that enable them to be effectively “hidden” in your food. Here’s the list – and see honey is included:

1. Barley malt
2. Barbados sugar
3. Beet sugar
4. Brown sugar
5. Buttered syrup
6. Cane juice
7. Cane sugar
8. Caramel
9. Corn syrup
10. Corn syrup solids
11. Confectioner’s sugar
12. Carob syrup
13. Castor sugar
14. Date sugar
15. Dehydrated cane juice
16. Demerara sugar
17. Dextran
18. Dextrose
19. Diastatic malt
20. Diatase
21. Ethyl maltol
22. Free Flowing Brown Sugars
23. Fructose
24. Fruit juice
25. Fruit juice concentrate
26. Galactose
27. Glucose
28. Glucose solids
29. Golden sugar
30. Golden syrup
31. Grape sugar
32. HFCS (High Frustose Corn Syrup… Very Bad!)
33. Honey
34. Icing sugar
35. Invert sugar
36. Lactose
37. Malt
38. Maltodextrin
39. Maltose
40. Malt syrup
41. Mannitol
42. Maple syrup
43. Molasses
44. Muscovado
45. Panocha
46. Powdered Sugar
47. Raw sugar
48. Refiner’s syrup
49. Rice syrup
50. Sorbitol
51. Sorghum syrup
52. Sucrose
53. Sugar (granulated)
54. Treacle
55. Turbinado sugar
56. Yellow sugar

Shop safely!

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…