As a public health professional I need to help change people's attitudes to sugar. Because if as a country we don't address our love of sweet food and drink, obesity levels will keep rising and the human and financial cost of ill health will also keep rising.
In this video I talk about a very popular and sometimes confusing topic. CARBS! I explain the difference between simple and complex carbs aka fast and slow. I also explains the do's and don'ts of adding this vital nutrient into your diet and why TOWIES 'No carbs before Marbs' motto is NOT the long term answer to your best body.
After a full month of not drinking caffeine I've just been and had my first coffee - a tasty, bitter black Americano. Relishing the first, piping-hot sip in slow motion, I sat down to chat to a colleague about existential copywriter stuff and what stuff means and stuff.
With Valentine's day upon us it can be easy to overdose on an array of refined sugar products disguised in cute little heart shape packages and gift...
Ah but time and education is a great thing, when we all began to think and saw past the multimillion dollar advertising and marketing campaigns that helped us to choose low fat and literally cut the fat, it was not good to finally learn what we were putting into our bodies.
Sugars are added to the majority of processed foods that we eat every day, such as breakfast cereals and ready meals. Worryingly, many consumers are unaware they are used in such large quantities.
All the scientific research shows that no matter what size you are, diets make you hungry and create powerful cravings for the very things you're trying to avoid. As well as these cravings, dieters feel deprived.
The problems occur when children come home, bloodstreams pumping with sugar overload. When those sugar levels rapidly drop the tantrums and meltdowns begin, and mum and dad suffer through the fallout. This is what irks parents most: the fallout.
Well on the face of it, up against a can of coke, fruit juice seems a great 'natural' alternative - and the image of breakfasting on a bowl of cereal with a glass of orange juice is ingrained in our nutritional psyche as a 'healthy start' to the day. Yet even this seemingly virtuous beverage is under attack from the 'Sugar Police' in the latest headlines - but why?
Sugar can often feel very addictive, and many believe it is. When we eat sugar, dopamine is released, the 'reward' brain chemical. Sugar essentially hijacks the brains reward system, which hard wires us to want to eat sugar again and again. The more of it we have, the more we need to get the same rewarding feeling.
The sugar-less trend seems like it might have long running implications on the way we sell, shop and eat. Things that were once put onto our health barometer, we're now advised to stay clear of. Yogurt, fruit, cereal and so forth are most certainly off the menu. Advised that cereals were the healthy option to start of our day, the healthiest at present, has to be cartoned egg whites.
One in 10 parents in Britain believe that drinking cola counts towards their five recommended portions of fruit and veg. Not only that, one in 10 of those surveyed also believed that chips contributed to the five-a-day health campaign, while one in five thought that fruit-flavoured sweets counted towards this target.
I always thought education alone could solve diet-related health crises. Given the right information, people make informed, healthy decisions, right? But what if truly effective solutions require more than just education? What if they require government intervention? My conversation with Dr. Schmidt nudged me to consider this possibility.
Carbohydrates tend to increase our hunger due to the insulin-stimulating effect of blood sugar. Also our ability to binge on them is much higher than on fatty foods. How much pure butter could you eat compared with an unlimited supply of cakes, ice cream, chips, chocolates etc? Is this where we are going wrong?
Imagine going to a doctor in Sweden. You are overweight or perhaps borderline diabetic and you are worried and want to know what to do.
Everyone knows fruit is healthy, but surely not all fruit is created equal. From a nutritional perspective, when deciding which fruits to eat, we should favor those with more of the good stuff and less of the questionable stuff. The good stuff is vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. The questionable stuff is sugar.