During my journey to clear skin I discovered one of the main culprits for my constant breakouts was sugar! Managing my blood sugar levels, and ultimately quitting sugar has been my toughest challenge yet and I didn't realise just how addicted I was until I began the quitting process.
It's everywhere. In foods you'd never imagine - take a look at the labels on things like pickles, sauces, yoghurts and cereals. And remember, it can be hidden under a whole range of different names so you might not notice it right away.
It is Friday lunchtime, and my family have joined the throng of holidaymakers piling onto an aeroplane preparing to leave London for Bangkok. We're laden with backpacks, pillows, teddy bears and tantrums as we battle our way back towards row 37.
I'm not here to be the Scrooge of Christmas treats, everyone deserves a little indulgence during the festive season. However, I do want to make you aware of how much sugar is in these festive beverages, before you make them a habit.
Let's get one thing clear - fruit contains sugar - but so do lots of healthy foods - beans, vegetables, whole grains - all contain sugar. Even blogger's beloved quinoa has a glycaemic load higher than the grapes they go to such lengths to avoid!
My alarm went off at 6am this morning and I was extremely tired after having a very restless nights sleep dreaming about cream cakes, biscuits and chocolate. Now this is not a normal occurrence for me, I don't have a particularly sweet tooth but also do not unnecessarily restrict my intake of such things if I fancy them, but I guess I can take them or leave them.
While a sugar tax would certainly help to improve the public's health, it is only one measure, and will not be enough on its own. We shouldn't be tempted to see it a magic bullet answer to the high rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes that we are seeing.
Being an athlete for most of my adult life, I have been asked for my advice on eating healthier and making changes to diet on an almost daily basis. Most people are shocked to learn that I've been a sugar addict my whole life...
It's important to pick the right snack at the right time, to keep energy levels up and bridge the gap properly. A snack made up of a complex carb, a healthy fat, and clean protein will increase your energy levels for a longer period of time.
Halloween is one of the few occasions throughout the year where it's considered socially acceptable to overindulge on chocolate and sweets; for kids and parents alike. But social tradition doesn't make your body any better at coping with such a high and fast influx of sugars.
Our Government should follow the French example and send a clear message to restaurant chains that piling pounds into pockets by piling pounds onto waistlines is simply not acceptable, and that action must be taken to ditch the sugary drinks and include fruit-based pudding options. It's time that high street restaurants cleaned up their act and prioritised our children's health.
Sugar is and will always be a treat, just like a glass of wine or the occasional cigarette but when there are equally bad effects on the health then surely its time that we call a cut on the amount that we consume. It may taste sweet initially, but the long term effects which aren't being showed to us should make you feel bitter.
In modern day society where sugar has become readily available, this craving has lead to mass over-consumption. It doesn't help matters when the food industry is geared towards making money from creating foods that stimulate the reward centre in our brains, driving us to crave more.
The soft drinks giant has seen a growing movement around the world against consumption of sugary beverages and is now recruiting prominent scientists as part of its fight back. Their message is that obesity is not caused by the foods or drinks we are consuming, it is caused by our failure to balance those foods with exercise. This is a transparent attempt to confuse people about the real drivers of the obesity epidemic.
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.