Tag Archives: healthy eating

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!

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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!

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!

 

 

 

But aren’t they natural sugars?

Mince pies? Christmas cake? Christmas pudding? Tis the season to be jolly – and of dried fruits!

And fruit is healthy, right?

So if you find some of these lovely seasonal foods with no added sugar, it necessarily follows they are, if not actually good for you, OK at least doesn’t it?

Sadly it doesn’t necessarily follow.

There is ongoing debate about fructose – the sugar naturally occurring in fruit.  We know now that fructose is processed differently in the body compared with other sugars. Almost ALL the fructose we eat ends up being stored directly as body fat. Belly fat. The kind that settles in and around the internal organs. Visceral fat. Linked with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease, strokes etc.

If you want the scientific explanation – here it is.

The issue with these Christmas delicacies, is that, even without added sugars, they contain whopping amounts of fructose because it’s so concentrated in dried fruits compared to fresh fruits. One small portion of Christmas pudding might deliver 50 or more grams of sugar. Add to that the sugar in a mince pie or two, a piece of Christmas cake at tea time, nibbling on the occasional seasonal date, and you might be racking up a considerable amount of sugar – just from naturally occurring fructose found in dried fruits.

All things in moderation, so they say. When it comes to Christmas fayre the crux is knowing how little actually constitutes moderation.

I wish you the happiest festive season, but most of all good health!

Elaine x

 

 

 

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!!

 

Don’t get depressed. Get motivated!

edison

Day 29 International Diabetes Awareness Month: as ever new stats are released each year about now.

The seventh and latest “Diabetes Atlas” will be released for download by the International Diabetes Federation on Tuesday 1st December.

Again this year they will make depressing reading – the figures are continuing to look worse.

I have a preview to share with you:

  • 415 million people are now diagnosed with diabetes
  • That’s 1 in 11 adults now living with diabetes
  • By 2040, it is predicted the number of cases will rise to 642 million
  • That will be 10% of the adult population
  • Deaths are now running at 5 million a year
  • One person dies from diabetes every six seconds.
  • 1 in 7 births is affected by gestational diabetes

It’s crucial we don’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend these figures don’t matter or will go away if we simply ignore them.

Let’s harness our feelings about them to generate a motivation to turn them around. What about if next year we can say there’s an improvement?

It’s only impossible if we collectively decide it’s impossible! We will not give up!

 

Innocent Type 1s? How divisive!

are-you-an-angel-or-a-devilI found an article yesterday. You might already have seen it by now. It’s entitled, “Call for healthy eating and exercise on World Diabetes Day neglects innocent Type 1 patients“.

I hate, actually hate, that title. “Innocent Type 1 patients” says what about people living with Type 2 diabetes? That they are not innocent it can only be assumed.

This awful article, published in the Inquisitr, and penned by Dawn Papple goes on to say,

Type 1 diabetics are innocent sufferers of an autoimmune condition. These patients haven’t necessarily eaten too much sugar or failed to exercise.

True on the one hand. The problem being that on the other Ms Papple alludes that people living with Type 2 diabetes are guilty sufferers? Guilty of having eaten too much sugar or failed to exercise?

Well I am writing today to inform Ms Papple, and anyone who has applauded her article, that not everyone with Type 2 diabetes has overindulged in sugar or sloth either. Whether through ignorance or intention she fails to show any understanding of Type 2 diabetes, or to represent Type 2 patients with the same consideration she demands for people living with Type 1 diabetes. Her article laments the lack of understanding about Type 1 diabetes, whilst showcasing her own acute lack of understanding of Type 2 diabetes!

She writes:

Many people have come to associate diabetes with obesity, but as this new campaign shows, people who appear physically fit can be fighting for their lives against Type 1 diabetes.

Well here’s the shocking truth – people who appear physically fit can be fighting for their lives against Type 2 diabetes!

Research shows there is a genetic aspect to Type 2 as well as Type 1. Like it or not, research shows there are some food links with Type 1 as well as Type 2. Research also shows that it’s such a common phenomenon for older people with Type 2 to be lean (estimates suggest 20%) that another recent article proposes a new label – Type 4 diabetes. One of my own clients is a lady, aged 61 years and weighing just 55kg, or 120lbs, or about 8 and a half stones – HbA1c 45 and heading north in consecutive tests! Not yet diabetic, but on her way. On her innocent way!

Furthermore, a new test is being developed to distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes at the point of diagnosis – precisely because the boundaries between the two are not so clear cut!

All this highlights is the uselessness of labels. Type 1 and Type 2 and, potentially, Type 4 are all man-made constructs of language. They should not be used divisively, discriminatingly, or to the detriment of anyone with diabetes.

Mahatma Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. May I suggest that if you want understanding and compassion for yourself, it would be appropriate to first show those same considerations to others?

I am thoroughly sick and tired of “diabetism”. Sick of any notion of innocent Type 1 v. self-imposed Type 2. The issues of pathogenesis are far more complex than this – for all types of diabetes.

At the start of November, I called for all people affected by diabetes to #standtogether. As we approach the end of International Diabetes Awareness Month 2015, I am again asking for ALL PEOPLE AFFECTED BY DIABETES TO #STANDTOGETHER!

Reflections on Paris for #WDD

14th November 2015 – World Diabetes Day, as it is every year to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who discovered insulin and in doing so has saved many many lives.

Today, however, all anyone is talking about is the awfulness of the terrorist atrocities in Paris yesterday.

I’m in New York for #WDD, and I’ve picked up the Paris story on every one of about 20 news channels available on the TV in my hotel room. The international shock, fear and outrage is palpable!

I’m reflecting on the parallels I’ll be drawing today when my film “The Silent Killer” is being aired on the big screen in Times Square – and feeling how much weight Paris brings to my message today. Every one of those lives lost in Paris yesterday is being mourned across the world. Quite rightly so! Well over 100 people killed by terrorist guns is too appalling to contemplate, but today we are still stunned that it has happened! Here in NYC, Americans are bracing themselves, and I suspect people all around the world are feeling equally vulnerable.

Diabetes kills someone every 6 seconds. Every 6 seconds a life is lost – 24/7! That’s not tens of lives. It’s not hundreds of lives. It’s millions of lives every year. What puzzles me is where’s the outrage?
1 in 1 outWhen I posted on Facebook recently  that in the time taken to watch my film 10 lives could have been lost some bright spark wrote “and 10 could have been born 1 in 1 out”.

Why are lives lost to diabetes considered to be so cheap and worthless? Why are governments not mounting a crusade against one of the biggest killers in the world today?

If you have diabetes, at least until we generate enough outrage against this killer to get it stopped, it’s largely down to you.

Today I am asking every person living with diabetes to value your own life. Your life is not a statistic. Your death might not be globally mourned but it would nonetheless be a tragedy. Possibly a perfectly avoidable tragedy.

I created The RebalanceDiabetes Programme because I care. No bullshit!

https://www.udemy.com/the-rebalancediabetes-programme/

Elaine x

 

 

Diabetes diet dilemma?

health choicesThe World Health Organisation are calling for action. The International Diabetes Federation are calling for action.

The number of adults being diagnosed in the UK has increased by 65% in just 10 years. The number of adults headed for diabetes in the USA is almost 3 times that of the number of people diagnosed at this time – a massive 86 million people!

Governments around the world will not tax sugar. David Cameron, we know, has opposed a sugar tax, saying he believes there’s a better way.  Do you know what? I think he could be right. I think there probably is a better way – BUT it would still risk him falling out with his chums at Tate and Lyle. So all in all I’m pretty certain he isn’t looking for another way! And it seems the International Diabetes Federation are also sceptical about world leaders’ determination to do anything, according to this article at least!

And then it seems that ordinary people living with diabetes are so confused by conflicting or unclear dietary messages that they don’t know what to do to help themselves.

I’ve spent years building The RebalanceDiabetes Programme. It’s helping people just like you take control and improve their health and wellbeing. You don’t have to be confused. Simply pick a way that has been already shown to work and follow it! Don’t be distracted by other people’s confusion – just get your head down and do it for you. You’ll be glad you did!

Click here right now and get started!