Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Month: September 2016 (Page 2 of 2)

Are You Addicted to Sugar?

sugar addictionThe American Psychiatric Association has a manual entitled the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and it suggests that the following list indicates the type of behaviours that could indicate an addiction.

Run through this list and look at your behaviour over the last year, when it comes to eating sugar and sugary foods.

• Tolerance.

• Withdrawal.

• The substance is often taken in larger amounts than intended.

• A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down substance use.

• A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance.

• Important activities are given up or reduced because of substance use.

• Substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.

21 day sugar detox

Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced

keep your blood sugar levels balancedEat little and often.

To keep your blood sugar balanced and to avoid the dips (low blood sugar, hypoglycaemia) that will send you racing off to get a quick fix with a chocolate bar or a packet of biscuits, make sure that you are eating little and often.

My recommendation is have a good breakfast, lunch and dinner and also to include a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack. Don’t go longer than three hours without eating (this is especially vital for women) or your blood sugar levels will drop too low and your body will give you a craving for something sweet to rectify the drop quickly.

21 day sugar detox

Diabetes: Type I and Type II

diabetes-sugarType 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in childhood (although some people can be diagnosed later in life). It is classed as an auto-immune problem because the person’s own immune system kills the cells (beta-cells) in the pancreas that produce insulin.

This means that a type 1 diabetic needs to have insulin injections (or an insulin pump) for the rest of his or her life in order to survive.

Type 2 diabetes is often called middle-aged onset diabetes, because it develops later in life and is often associated with being overweight. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does produce insulin but the body stops responding to it and the person becomes insulin resistant. So the pancreas will try to produce more insulin to overcome this resistance. The first line of treatment in type 2 diabetes is insulin sensitising medication. But if the pancreas keeps having to overwork then the beta cells in the pancreas may fail and insulin injections or a pump will be required.

Having too much sugar in your diet can cause you to become insulin resistant.  Your insulin receptors do not open in response to insulin and the glucose from your blood is not moved into your cells.  This means you are not getting the energy you need from your food and also that you end up with high blood glucose (sugar).

21 day sugar detox

Sugar increases risk of heart disease

The Link Between Sugar and Heart Disease

21-day sugar detoxWe now know that fat does not cause heart disease. So where does the sugar connection come in?

It all comes down to insulin, the hormone released when your blood sugar rises. When you have a meal, insulin normally sends a signal to your liver not to release fats into your bloodstream because your body is dealing with fat from the meal.

However, if you are living on that roller coaster of blood sugar swings, too much insulin is being released too often and your liver then ignores the message about not releasing fats and releases triglycerides (stored fats) into your bloodstream.  These triglycerides are contained in VLDLs (very low density lipoproteins), which are usually rendered harmless by enzymes in your blood. But the enzymes at that moment are dealing with the fat from your food so the VLDLs can end up forming plaque on your artery walls.

In 2009, the American Heart Association published a scientific statement in their journal Circulation entitled ‘Dietary sugar intake and cardiovascular health’ in which they expressed concern that sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase triglycerides (a known risk factor for heart disease) while lowering levels of HDL (‘good’ cholesterol’).

21 day sugar detox

the effects of stress and inflammation on health

High Fat Diet Link to Breast Cancer

the effects of stress and inflammation on healthEating a lot of unhealthy fat as a teen could increase the risk of breast cancer in later life.

A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention looked at the link between diet in adolescence and breast cancer.

The researchers analysed the diets of 663 children, 301 of them were girls aged 8-10. They then carried out a follow-up study when the participants were between 25-29 years old. It was discovered that a higher intake of saturated (less beneficial) fat and lower intakes of mono and polyunsaturated (more beneficial) fats in adolescence was linked to a higher percentage dense breast volume linked to a raised risk of breast cancer.

If you are in your teens or have teenage children, it is worth paying attention to this study and make sure that you are enjoying plenty of healthy fats in your diet from nuts, seeds and oily fish.

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