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Posts Tagged ‘nutritional therapy’

Butter bean with turmeric tomato sauce

Ingredients:
1 Carton or Tin of Organic Butter (Lima) beans
2 x tbsp of organic tomato puree
2 heaped tsp of turmeric spice
Splash of olive oil
A little water
Pinch of pink salt and ground black pepper
Handful of Fresh organic watercress.

Strain butter beans add to pan on low heat. Add tomato puree, splash of olive oil,stir in, add a little water and then add the turmeric and seasoning. Stir until heated through but not over cooked.

Serve with watercress. You can add a dressing if you like but the flavours are so clean and strong you don’t really need to. If you want to make a more substantial lunch, toast some home-made brown Rice and Gram Flour flaxseed bread (recipe to follow this)

Health benefits / supports:

Liver, digestion, colon, blood sugar, reduces inflammation, joint health, cardiovascular.

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years to support all round health and studies have shown that the extract from turmeric called curcumin is the part that plays a huge role in reducing inflammation.

I try to use turmeric everyday, and find ways to get it into my cooking and food prep.There are many ways to do this. You can also Take a supplement of the extract curcumin, which does help avoid the yellow fingers!

I made a bone broth and vegetable soup laced with turmeric for a friend who had an injury that required good nutrition for bone and joint healing. She loved the soup but wasn’t so sure about the yellow tongue. To me this just assured me that the curcumin was really getting into her tissues.

You can buy organic Turmeric from “BuyWholeFoodsOnline” https://goo.gl/jNPzWz, which may be a little cheaper as you can buy in larger amounts.
You can also buy the extract curcumin in food supplement form from health stores.

 

 

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I wrote this guide for a talk I did with a group of mums, that were just past their first or second pregnancy or thinking of having another baby.

The organiser was Jenny Scott from http://www.mothers-meeting.com –  check out her site it’s full of helpful support and details on various meetings and talks specially designed for mothers.

In my time as a Nutritional Therapist I have met many mothers who do not look after their own nutritional health due to the main focus being the children and family.

Are you looking after your nutritional health pre, during and post pregnancy?Sarah Preg

Pregnancy is highly demanding on the mother and can have a profound effect on nutritional status during and after.
The baby will draw on the mother’s reserves as these nutrients are vital for growth. If the mother does not consume enough nutrients that can balance these needs she may feel more tired during the pregnancy and suffer even more afterwards.
New mothers can feel the effects of depleted nutrients well into the first couple of years. In some cases women with children that are 10 year or older may still be affected by nutrient depletion.  It’s why we Nutritional Therapists like to do a full case history to be able to assess nutrient requirements.

As we get older our digestions get less efficient, so even if the mother is eating a healthy, natural and well-balanced diet she may not be absorbing enough from those foods. Add stress, lack of sleep and  medications like pain killers and antibiotics then it’s easy to see how even after your body gets back into shape, you may not feel as vital and healthy as you did prior to pregnancy.

Iron – Cannot be absorbed without sufficient Vitamin C
It is not unusual to become iron deficient in pregnancy and after. B
e careful about taking cheap or pharmaceutical iron as this can cause constipation and nausea. The more natural liquid form is easier on the stomach. You can also squeeze lemon juice onto greens, red meat or any iron rich food and this will increase your absorption. Minerals can also compete for absorption, so take mineral supplements apart from each other –
I.e.: Calcium in morning and magnesium at night. Iron and zinc should be taken separately too.

Iron rich foods: Molasses, Rapa Dura sugar, red meat, dark meat from chicken and turkey, muscles, sardines, eggs, Mackerel and sea food.
Plant sources are not so easily absorbed but are still important: Beetroot, Spinach and all dark green leaves, Tofu. lentils and beans, tomato puree, figs, dates, Watermelon, raisins, prunes, pumpkin seeds, whole grains.
Prunes smaller

Other minerals are:
Magnesium – important for all aspects of health but vital for: healthy bones, healthy muscles, energy and stress.
Good sources: Green vegetables, nuts and seeds, figs, whole grains, avocados, raisins, basil, mint, parsley, pumpkin
and pumpkin seeds, barley, oats, dairy and fish.
Calcium – Vital for healthy bones but should not be over consumed, so if you are eating dairy and lots of green vegetables you don’t need a supplement.
Trace minerals – a healthy diet and good digestion should supply all you need, however adding a green drink, or kelp and using pink Himalayan salt
should supply your requirements for trace minerals.

Protein – Eating enough protein could be the single most important
thing you do for pregnancy and post pregnancy.

Protein requirement in pregnancy
is weight in kilos x 0.8g then add 25g,
so if you’re 60kg x 0.8g = 48g + 25g = 73g of protein per day.
Protein post pregnancy is weight in kilos x 0.8g then add 10g while breast-feeding and recovering.
Protein for general health weight in kilos x 0.8g. If you do a lot of exercise then you may need to revise this.
Example Foods: organic eggs = 6g protein, 4oz Chicken Breast = 26g protein, 134g Asparagus = 3gegg -  in shell small
For sources of foods and to help work out how much you are eating please send me your email address and I will send you some useful information: sam@foodspa.org.uk
Caution – protein should not be over eaten, it can create a high acidic environment within the body and put strain on the kidneys.
Be aware:
Oily fish is important but should not be over eaten during pregnancy or breast-feeding. The high oil content allows dangerous heavy metals
especially methyl mercury to accumulate in the fish. Salmon, Sardines,
Mackerel and white fish can be eaten in moderation, but tuna, swordfish, king mackerel and other large oily fish should be avoided. During breast-feeding these toxins are passed into the baby.

Vitamins – can be depleted during and after pregnancy and are vital for growth and energy.
B Vitamins, especially folic acid or folate are very important for pre pregnancy to build up reserves and for the baby’s development.
B Vitamin supplement – take in the morning as can be too stimulating at night and cause sleeplessness. B Vitamins are vital for nervous system and energy – a deficiency can have an effect on how mothers feel.

Vitamin C – gets depleted really easily, especially when the body is stressed and tired. Keeping blood levels of Vitamin C up during pregnancy and post pregnancy supports immune function, tissue health and energy. It also supports hormone health. Use the buffered form to take higher doses, as ascorbic acid can cause loose stools.
500mg capsules of buffered Vitamin C can be taken 3-4 times throughout the day in pregnancy and more post pregnancy if you feel you need a boost to your immune system.
Foods high in Vitamin C: Broccoli, cabbage, red peppers, sprouted seeds, berries, organic strawberries, lemons. Many fresh fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C especially the organic varieties.

Vitamin D – Vital for immune health and healthy development of bones.
Many women are low in this substance which actually is a hormone.
You can get tested for Vitamin D deficiency. It is not found in many foods and is only in Dairy if it has been fortified. The best way to get Vitamin D is to be in the sunshine. During the winter you can take a supplement in the form of Vitamin D3, around 2000iu per day. You can sign up to the Vitamin D council’s News letter here: newsletter@vitamindcouncil.org, where you will find more information.

Fats & Oils – It is important to consume enough good fats during pregnancy, breasting and later.
Omega3 is generally missing in our diets, or only in small amounts. As it is not advised to eat a lot of oily fish in pregnancy or breast feeding,  yoCoconut 2u can take a highly purified fish oil supplement and/or use a good Flax oil. Some nuts like walnut, or organic eggs or even hemp seeds can contain Omega3 but in small amounts. Other oils that contain Omega 6 and 9 are Olive oil, Avocado oil, Cold Pressed Coconut oil, Organic sunflower, Organic Rapeseed oil as well as nuts and seeds.
Eat nuts in moderation during pregnancy. walnuts 2 small
These fats are really important for health cell membranes, brain and nerve development and function in growing foetus and children.
Also verFlax oily important for mum’s brain (which we all know falls apart post birth!) Fats and oils are important for helping to balancing blood sugar and give sustained energy – do not cut out fats to lose post pregnancy weight! Omega3 oils make sure that cholesterol is used correctly in the body and helps stop the blood from thickening.

Carbohydrates – Important for energy levels, using a variety of
grains/root vegetables and fruit in moderation should help keep you
energy levels up and support getting back normal weight after having a baby. Cutting right back on gluten containing foods like wheat or eating
bread and pasta very occasionally can also help with weight loss and water retention.
Good carbs: Rice, oats, quinoa, root vegetables, fruit

Foods to avoid 

Pink meats, smoked foods, highly processed foods, high sugar foods, damaged fats (overheated, hydrogenated or old fats) too much animal fat
(Dairy, fatty meats) Too much bread and pasta (Try different grains like Quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, arrow-root, kamut)
Alcohol – once you have stopped breast-feeding, drinking alcohol is very tempting, but do so in moderation and allow your body to recover from the huge trauma that is pregnancy and birth.

If you would like a more accurate idea of what you personal nutritional status is you can arrange to be tested.
The Personal Nutritional Evaluation test is called Nutrition ’One’ Test from Genova Diagnostics Laboratory. It tests urine for metabolic by products that can accurately show nutritional deficiencies.
If you are interested in this test or have any other questions please contact: info@foodspa.org.uk.

Please note that the information above is not intended as medical advice, if you have any health concerns you should contact you doctor, and if you are taking medications always check for any contraindications with your doctor or health care provider.

 

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I am glad this has come to light (Not glad that it’s happened) as it makes my job a lot easier in persuading people to take more care about what they eat.

Cooking properly at home is 100 times better than buying convenience foods. The health benefits are so obvious: less salt, no sugar, quality ingredients and NO additives.  It is NOT more expensive than buying ready meals or large amounts of refined foods. You can make 10 burgers from one pack of £2 turky mince (500g) or £4 organic beef mince (500g) – this is much cheaper than buying 4 cheap burgers! They are easy, quick and taste much nicer and you can add healthy ingredients like onions nad herbs to increase the nutrient value. Really it’s the retailer and manufacturers that fool you into thinking that buying ready-made foods are cheaper. There’s a bit of consumer laziness involved too, if we are really honest, as far as having time is concerned – there is no other way, you have to make time if you want to be healthier.
This ‘Scandal’, has not only highlighted the problem with meat and ready-made meals, it shows that you never really know what’s in any foods that are mass-produced. Manufacturers legally don’t have to put all ingredients in, and even if you do read the ingredients list – do you even know what half the ingredients are?

Vegetarians have to be very careful, manufacturers use a lot more flavourings, additives and salt to make bland foods more palatable and some of the derived protein foods contain substances that humans (or any animal) were never meant to eat.

There is huge pressure on manufacturers to sell cheap food by the consumer, especially meat. Perhaps if we treated animal product with the respect it deserves, after all it was a life, we should be supporting farmers that treat animals well, eat less meat but higher quality and eat more plant-based foods, the costs would balance out and the nation would reap the health and environmental benefits.

Flicks bookThere is a great book written by a friend of mine called ‘Not on The Label’ by Felicity Lawrence.  It caused a big stir when first published back in 2004 and is well worth reading if you are interested in the where food comes from.

http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780141015668,00.html

For information and keeping up to date with food news join the Soil Association, it doesn’t cost much, but you will get a great book, and regular magazines and have access to wonderful recipes and food advise, and you will be supporting the environment and organic sustainable farming.

Soil ass

http://www.soilassociation.org

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Isn’t it great to indulge in wonder Christmas treats! Unfortunately most of them are what I would class as super unhealthy, but there is a way to indulge without feeling quite so guilty – plus some of these treats deliver a lot of nutrients that help balance up the ‘bad’ side of indulging.
There is no escape from the fact that even healthier treats contain sugar and fat, or lets face it they just wouldn’t be treats!

The little bit healthier Christmas Cake

Christmas cake 2012In this cake there is less sugar, and no white sugar. Only molasses, Rapa Dura and some dried fruit – all packed with minerals and vitamins. I have use sulphate free and organic dried fruit so less toxins, and spelt and Kamut flower – less gluten and easier to digest grain. I have used the icing for decoration only and not to eat, and no high fat, high sugar marzipan.

Ingredients

Icing

Ready to roll white icing, Silver or pearl balls
Decorations-I bought these in a gift shop but there are so many to choose from

Or you can just make lots of snowballs from the ready-made icing and build a snowman scene on the cake on the cake.

Cake

200grams Spelt whole grain flour
200grams white spelt flour (or you can substitute flour with coconut flour, potato flour and any other gluten free flour – the texture will be slightly different and may be heavier)
320grams soft organic butter, or goat’s butter6 x large eggs whisked
3 x large tablespoons black strap molasses
100grams molasses sugar, raw cane or Rapa Dura sugar
200grams soft (or soaked) de-stoned dates
2 x cups Sultanas
100gram or one pack of glace cherries – optional
Rind of 2 x organic oranges (needs to be organic for the rind)
Juice of the oranges
Rind of 1 x organic lemon
3 x large handfuls of pumpkin seeds, Almonds or Walnuts
Half a standard pack of ground cinnamon
Half a standard pack of mixed spices
2 x teaspoons of baking powder
Optional: Splash of brandy

Directions

Soak the dried fruit in the juice from the lemon and orange. Peel the oranges and lemon right back to the actual fruit inside so you get all the pith – this contains major antioxidants. Put the peel into a blender or food processor and pulse the power carefully until the bits are small but not too small. This can be chopped too.
Take the dates and prunes and blend in a food processor or chop by hand, add two-thirds of the pumpkin seeds semi blend so not too smooth.
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees (this lower heat will still cook all of it, but does less damage to the fats – which is vital as damaged fats are detrimental to health.
Cream the butter, sugar and molasses syrup together. Then add the whisked eggs and mix in, add the flour a third at a time along with baking powder and spices.
Add the blended fruit mixture and mix in, you can add the juice of the oranges to create more moisture. Add the orange and lemon peel, along with the glace cherries sultanas and the rest of the pumpkin seeds.
Lastly add the brandy and mix in.

Place in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on your oven being a fan one or conventional. Dip a skewer in the middle to check if cooked, if not uncooked cake mixture will appear on the skewer (or sharp knife) When cooked take out of the tin and turn upside down onto a grill or something where it can breath

When it is completely dry and cooled, you can use ready rolled or roll out the white icing place on the top and cut with a knife all the way around leaving the sides free or you can cover the whole cake – it’s up to you. Decorate as you wish.

Delicious Mince Pies with  a Healthier Bite

Below is a recipe for you to make healthier minces pies (Meaning less sugar and more minerals). They are so easy to make and really delicious, everyone I have tried them on has loved them.Mince pies 2012

You will need a cooking tin with the correct size wholes for mince pies

Ingredients

Pastry

150 grams Whole grain or white spelt wheat flour
150 grams Kamut flour (creates a slightly crisper pastry- plus very low gluten)
2 x tspns of cinnamon
2 x dessert spoons of Rapa Dura, molasses or raw cane sugar

Filling

2 x large handfuls of soft dates
2 x handfuls of apricots or figs
1 x handful organic sultanas
2 x grated rind of un-waxed preferably organic oranges plus the juice of one of the oranges
(use large-holed grater to get the white pith – this contains health promoting antioxidants)
1 x grated rind of un-waxed preferably organic lemon + juice
2 x teaspoonfuls of ground cinnamon
1 x small teaspoon of coconut butter (optional – it is better than the normal suet that is used)

Other options: Dried Cranberries, Almonds. Walnuts, Blueberries.

A little Rapa Dura or raw can sugar to sprinkle over top before serving

Directions

Mixture

Soak all dried fruit in water for approx an hour. Using a blender or food processor (or chop finely) put all ingredients for the filling together and blend in short bursts – don’t blend for too long or it will have no texture

PastryMince pie

Rub the flour together with the butter in a mixing bowl, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs (or use food processor) add the molasses or Rapa Dura sugar and the cinnamon mix in thoroughly. Add a little water a bit at a time whilst kneading into a dough. When the dough is no longer crumbly spread some flour onto a work surface and place dough in the middle. Kamut flour is good for rolling: Cover a rolling-pin in flour and roll out dough. Roll out until approx 3mm deep. 

Using a larger cutter and a smaller cutter – depending on the size of your cooking tray (or two different sized glasses) cut out the rounds of pastry and place the bigger one in the tray ready for the mixture.

Place these in a preheated oven (160 degrees) to semi cook the base – for 5-8 minutes

Place the mixture is inside each cooked pastry cup and place the smaller one on top and squeeze down at the sides. You can make little festive leaves out of the left over pastry. Moisten the back before sticking on the smaller round as the lid. Place in oven at 160 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Sprinkle with a little Rapa Dura sugar when cooked

These pies contain lots of minerals, fibre and much less processed sugar, carbohydrates and fats than shop bought or some other homemade ones.

But best of all they taste SOOO much nicer!!

Healthier Sausage Rolls – with Christmas flavour Sausage roll turkey

Ingredients for Turkey Sausages

1 x 400gram pack of Turkey thigh mince
2 x red onions or 2 x medium leeks
Freshly chopped sage and / or thyme
Olive oil
Pinch of pink salt and black pepper

Pastry

200 grams of white spelt flour100 grams of kamut flour
Virgin olive oil
1 x tspn of pink salt
2 x dessert spoons of ground or chopped or dried rosemary (option)

Directions

Place flour and oil in a large mixing bowl or food processor, Use fingers or food processor to mix olive oil into flour until it becomes like breadcrumbs (pour a little oil in at a time – you will need approx half a cup, but if it seems dry add more. Add some water ( a small amount at a time) until the mixture becomes a dough. separate the dough into 2 or three sections as it will be easier to roll out.
Sprinkle flour on to a work top and roll out pastry, cut uneven edges off to re-roll later on and cut into strips of pastry according to how big you want you end product to be.

Filling

Place turkey thigh mince into a food processor or blender with the onion, herbs and seasoning, add a little olive oil. (You can add a little flour, ground oats to thicken the mixture – or potato flour -optional) Blend until it becomes quite smooth.Spoon the mixture onto the pastry strips and roll up, you can seal with a little water or egg.

Cook in a preheated oven of 170 degrees

Vegetarian Option – filling

Use Lots of Portobello Mushrooms, blended with onion, egg, sage and seasoning. Thicken with flour.

Turkey and Sage balls

You can easily make these with the same ingredients for the turkey sausage roll filling, take some of the mixture, roll into  medium-sized balls place them on a greased tay and sprinkle with olive oil – cook in oven for 20 – 25 minutes depending on the size. They make delicious finger food at parties.

 

Merry Christmas! & a Happy Healthy New Year

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This dish is a super healthy dish for digestion. They do contain some starch like potatoes so supply some calories (approx 100 calories in a one cup serving) Jerusalem artichokes are also high in polysaccharide sugars (Inulin). This means that we do not absorb the calories from these sugars, as we cannot use them. Inulin promotes the growth of vital human strain bacteria, your gut flora feeds on this and produces many nutrients that we need to fuel and heal the gut lining. By increasing good gut flora other disease-causing organisms are prohibited or at least kept in check. (See Digestion section on my website for further info on gut health)

They are high in minerals (Iron, potassium, molybdenum and magnesium) and B Vitamins, which we can use. They are particularly good for people suffering with blood sugar problems like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. BUT they are also very healthy for everyone, they help the gut recover after antibiotics and aid weight loss as they make you feel fuller with fewer calories Ideally take an enteric coated probiotic (meaning more chance of surviving through stomach acids) capsule with this meal if you are working on gut healing.

Jerusalem artichokes may also promote immune function.

Note: A high content of inulin can cause flatulence by the very nature of feeding bacteria. As a professor specialising in gut flora said at a seminar I attended – “If you’re passing non smelling wind the gut is doing its job and supporting old friends’. You can’t produce good gut flora without a bit of wind – so start with small amounts. It does settle down after a while of eating them.

Cooking – Inulin can be leached out if you boil in water or steam for a long time. I like to sauté them in either a little water or olive oil on medium heat. They shouldn’t be too soft. You can bake in the oven, I don’t recommend microwave for any foods. The skin contains lots of iron – just scrub and cook. The flesh can go a bit grey – apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can help this.

Recipe

Can be a side dish or can add: chicken, duck, fish or tofu to make into a complete meal. I had chicken with mine for lunch. Serves one

2 x Jerusalem artichoke tubers – scrubbed and sliced

4 x Carvelo Nero leaves (in season) or can use Savoy cabbage or fresh spinach leaves -destalked and shredded

Olive oil

Black pepper

Pinch of Himalayan pink crystal salt

Directions:

Sauté the Jerusalem artichoke pieces in a little water at first stirring and keep adding small amounts so it doesn’t dry out. When they are softening add some olive oil and black pepper, pink salt stir for a few minutes until they semi soft, add a little more water and place all the green leaves for 30 seconds, Serve immediately.

I added a small amount sautéed chicken

Enjoy

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The other day I overheard someone explaining to a lady who wished to get fit and lose weight that she should eat a diet that is 60% carbohydrates. If these carbohydrates include all root vegetables, fresh fruits and things like honey, dried fruits, preserves and sweetened foods like yoghurt, ready meals, processed meat etc., then maybe for someone working out regularly this could be nearer the truth. However, I know, because I have been talking to people for years about their eating habits, that this simply isn’t how people perceive carbohydrates.

My daughter informs me about what she is told at school:

Carbohydrates are bread, pasta, sugar, rice etc. Proteins and fats are: Meat, fish, eggs, dairy and nuts and seeds. Fruit and vegetables are: All fruits, vegetables, pulses. Fluids are water and other drinks.

Everything that schools teach and doctors tell you has some truth but is very misleading:

  • Nearly all fruits and vegetable contain carbohydrates in the form of starches and sugars.
  • Some fruits and vegetable contain fats
  • Many vegetables contain protein.
  • Some fruits contain protein.
  • Dairy contains sugars, proteins and fats
  • Whole grains have a high content of protein – some even have complete protein, meaning all essential amino acids.
  • White refined products like pasta, rice or bread are basically sugar.
  • Nearly all processed proteins (ready meals and cooked meats) contain sugar.
  • Meats like sausages, burgers, pies etc can contain a lot of carbohydrates and sugars as well as fats.

Today’s Western diet can be complex due to the way it is made and presented, but ironically there is little variety. It is true that the Western diet is made up of around 17 foods (as opposed to the thousands of foods available in the world) and even then we choose just 3 foods to be our staple diet.

In all the years I have been studying, researching, practicing and eating, I am totally convinced that the way carbohydrates are consumed is one of the biggest health issues and even now a time bomb waiting to explode.

Everyone’s carbohydrate needs are different. Two friends or even siblings may have completely different needs: For example friend A has a higher metabolism because she was born that way or she is very active, or she may have less nutrient deficiencies (which can have an impact on metabolism) Friend B is smaller frame, less active, and maybe less muscle mass but more fat tissue. Friend B will have different carbohydrate needs than Friend A. She may also have different protein needs.

  • If weight loss is required – Your carbohydrate intake has to be addressed.
  • If blood sugar balancing is needed – Carbohydrates need to be addressed
  • If your hormones need balancing – Carbohydrates need to be addressed

In fact all health issues need carbohydrate intake to be considered.

The ratio’s of Carbohydrates to other foods for a normal diet. If training you may need to amend this – but in general it is relative.

If you think of your plates/dish as a pie chart this would be a healthy guide to follow:

Breakfast

Carbohydrates 50% (Includes fruits, grains and sugars)

Proteins: 35% (Includes milk, grains, eggs, meats, nuts and seeds)

Fats: 15% (Includes fish oil, flax oil, butter, coconut butter, nuts, seeds, yoghurt, fats from meats)

Lunch

Carbohydrates 25% (Grains, sugars)

Vegetables: 30% (Root veg are high in carbs so can be treated as carbohydrates – greens and other veg apply)

Proteins: 35% (Meat, fish, pulses, nuts, seeds, eggs)

Fats: 10%: Olive oil, oily fish, butter and other fats

Dinner

Carbohydrates 5-10% (Grains, sugars)

Vegetables:40%

Proteins: 45%

Fats: 10%

Importance of slow release carbohydrates: Foods which release glucose slowly into our bloodstream avoids sudden blood sugar highs then lows therefore keeps energy levels, moods, and hunger in balance. There is a lot of information on the internet about low GI foods and plenty of books which can be very helpful. A lot of the time it is common sense, if a grain is refined (white) or a food is sweet (even healthy carrot juice) it will be released into the blood quickly causing a blood sugar spike.

The rate at which carbohydrates affect our blood glucose levels are determined by the following factors:

Refined carbohydrates

These have been processed so that they produce a fine texture. The starch grains are partially broken down, increasing their surface area and the fibrous layer has been removed. This reduces the work of the digestive enzymes and gives them a greater area to act on in order to obtain the simple glucose molecules. Therefore refined carbohydrates release glucose quickly into the blood stream giving a sharp rise in blood glucose.

Wholegrain unrefined carbohydrates have not been processed, therefore their starch grains are still intact. It takes longer for our digestive enzymes to break it down, as there has been no help with the digestive process, therefore glucose is released into the blood stream at a slower rate.

When Can Fast Release Carbohydrates can be consumed?

After Exercise and sometimes during prolonged exercise: After training the glycogen levels in the muscles must be quickly replenished to avoid the break down of protein from the muscles for energy. Foods, which cause a rapid increase of blood glucose levels, should be consumed as soon as training ends. There are healthier fast release carbohydrates compared to energy drinks and sports bars, which are full of refined sugar. Carrot juice, white potatoes, ripe bananas and rice cakes all provide fast release sugar.

Slow Release Carbohydrates: Oats, basmati brown rice, brown rice, wild rice, whole grain spelt and other whole grains, apples (especially eaten with a few nuts or seeds), pears, blueberries, strawberries and other whole fruits, nuts, beans and pulses.

Cooked carbohydrates

Reducing cooking time for vegetables and grains means they will release their sugars more slowly, so rice should be slightly hard and pasta should not be too soft.

Natural Fast Release Carbohydrates: Sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnips, carrots, dried fruit, sugar, honey, watermelon, fruit juices.

Fibre –Whole grains are high in fibre as well as beans and pulses; this slows the rate at which the food is digested slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream. The fibre pectin found in apples slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream, however when this is removed through juicing, the apple juice releases glucose quickly into the blood stream.

Presence of Fats, Protein or Acid

The combination of fat, protein or acid with carbohydrates can slow release of glucose into the bloodstream as it increases the transit time of food in the stomach.

Stimulants: such as coffee, tea, cola drinks and cigarettes affect blood sugar, as they stimulate a ‘fight or flight’ response, causing a sudden surge of glucose to be released from stores into the blood, ready for use by the muscles and brain. When the blood glucose is unused, insulin must be released to stabilise the blood glucose, this causes a blood sugar low.

 

Reduce your carbohydrate intake and look after your blood sugar – you will automatically have more energy and less health risk now and in the future. 

 

 

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Type II Diabetes was in the news again yesterday. The Public Accounts Committee are claiming that ‘Diabetes Care is depressingly poor’ and recommend that the NHS should be doing a lot more preventative and educational work with potential sufferers AND those that are diagnosed. There are at any one point in the UK (let alone the rest of the world) 1 million people who have no idea that they are suffering from either Type II Diabetes or pre-diabetes or even metabolic syndrome (which may affect even more people)

Type II is mainly self-inflicted through diet and lifestyle (Genetics may play a part but you are not born with it – it has to be expressed through lifestyle). The body becomes desensitised to sugar, insulin resistance ensues which means the body cannot work to get the sugar from the blood quickly enough, eventually not at all and it then becomes life threatening. 90% of all Diabetes cases are Type II.

I listened to an MP for Leicester East, Keith Vaz, speaking on breakfast radio yesterday morning claiming that doctors diagnosed diabetes and supplied medication, but there is shockingly no dietary advice and no real explanation as to why high blood sugar causes so much damage. This came from his own personal experience, when he found out that his symptoms of fatigue, thirst, frequent urination, lack of good sleep patterns and stress, were in fact symptoms of type II Diabetes, he was shocked that he had such little knowledge. Other symptoms can be blurred vision and skin pigmentation.

It is a wonder why the NHS and doctors don’t campaign to educate and inform the masses.

We all know that sugar is bad for you – but many people don’t want to believe it.
It seems that because manufacturers are able to continue to promote their sugary and refined products (some even claiming to be healthy) that somehow it won’t affect health. It does. It really does. That bowl of refined cereal with milk sugars you had this morning. That piece of white toast, the jam on top, the croissant, the juice, the sugary yoghurt, the sugar in your tea or coffee, the toasted tea cake, the pancake, the high sugar muesli – all this even before you had some chocolate or a biscuit mid-morning washed down with a
can of sugary drink.

In moderation or very occasionally it is okay to have some sugar, the body can cope. But the Western diet is loaded with refined carbohydrates: white bread, white cheap pasta, white products, sugary foods and drink, fruit juices, sweetened foods ready meals and foods. The sugars in dairy and all sweet fruits are implicated too. And don’t get me started on alcohol! No wonder more than half the population feels unwell at anyone time.

Sugar – I dare to say it: Does more damage than fat!. Sugar makes you put on weight more than fat does! (Good fats and eaten in moderation that is) Products that claim to be ‘Fat Free’ are not necessarily good for you – they are normally loaded with sugar – take yoghurt and cereals for example. What’s is the point of being fat-free when it’s laced with sugar?

Some people are even more susceptible to Type II diabetes; it may run in the family, it may be connected to ethnic background. For example diabetes is an even bigger problem in India than in Western countries.

The figures – £9 Billion a Year!!!

Did you know that £1 Million per hour is spent on treatment and care for Diabetes sufferers in the UK alone – that’s 10% of the NHS budget! £9 Billion a year! Think what we could do with that money for the homeless, the jobless, the economy etc. It would only take a fraction of this money to create better education and help with diet and lifestyle. More laws on food manufacturing and retailing of such products are needed. Some retailers have now signed up to putting more about the content of foods on pack.

Everybody needs to understand what sugar does to the blood and therefore the tissues and why it does so much damage – and why every time you consume sugar, coffee (causes a blood sugar rise) or alcohol your body goes into crisis management. When the insulin response is set in motion it puts a strain on the whole system.

Although Obesity is said to be one of the main causes of Type II diabetes, it can affect people who are not obviously overweight and even slim people can suffer blood sugar imbalance.

Sugar in the blood is dangerous, it damages and hardens arteries and destroys the smaller blood vessels.

In people with metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes and diabetes, it can seriously damage the bloods vessels in the eyes and the peripheral vessels in toes and fingers. This can lead to eye problems even blindness. Damaged vessels can lead to gangrene in feet causing sores and even lead to amputation. Heart disease is very much implicated as well it affects all vessels.

As a person ages this becomes more and more serious with many health issues linked to a lifetime of consuming sugar and refined carbohydrates.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Firstly if you have any of the symptoms or are concerned – see your doctor, get tested.

When accessing your blood sugar levels in the general term you can easily get an idea from your energy levels during the day. If it fluctuates, you feel tired, then eat something are fine, then later feel tired again until by mid afternoon you are even sleepy – you need to address your blood sugar.

It applies to all ages as low or high blood sugar can affect everyone.

When simple sugars are eaten a blood sugar boost happens giving immediate energy, but the body removes this quickly as it will cause serious damage if left in the blood, then low blood sugar levels are experienced, causing a tiredness, sleepiness or fatigue – this is generally when we crave carbs.

The answer is to reduce or even remove all sugary and stimulating foods and substances and then work to balance your blood sugar levels. This will also balance hormones for men and women.

Balancing blood sugar is one of the most health promoting things you can do.

It doesn’t just improve health but also the quality of life as you will have more energy and feel more vital, you will be protecting yourself against many diseases including cancer and heart disease.

The following is a guide to reduce your exposure to high blood sugar and what you can do if you have been diagnosed with a blood sugar problem.

  1. Avoid sugary foods, sugar, white refined carbs, alcohol, coffee, and too much dried fruit.
  2. Eata substantial breakfast that contains – slow release carbohydrates (whole grains, oats, brown spelt, millet, brown rice), proteins and fats. This combination takes a lot longer to digest and the sugars from the foods are released slowly – an insulin response is avoided.

    Porridge with flax oil and cinnamon

  3. Eat healthy snacks that contain some fats and proteins like nuts and seeds, avocado, whole grain spelt bread dipped in olive oil, a handful of pumpkin seeds with some goji berries or raisins, an apple with a few fresh almonds, a spelt cracker with avocado, try my ‘Power Cookies’ recipe.
  4. Eat a slow release carbohydrates (Brown or wild rice, whole grains, some pulses, quinoa, spelt) lunch that contains some fats and protein
  5. Avoid too much dairy like milk and cheese as this can play a big part in blood sugar spikes
  6. Eat a moderate evening meal with just proteins and vegetables (i.e.: Salmon and kale with shiitake mushrooms and ginger, chicken and vegetable casserole, Or Legumes and whole grains)
  7. To keep blood sugar balanced through the night, eat a snack of home-made/ or bought spelt toast and avocado, oatcakes with a tiny smear of coconut butter. You may need to do this for first few weeks until your body adjusts.
  8. Avoid ‘Grazing’ – even on healthy foods – your digestion MUST have arrest
  9. 8 Drink herbal teas and filtered water

If you have to use sugar for anything use one that is high in nutrient so it isn’t empty and can protect you from the sugar response: Rapa Dura, Molasses, Prunes or Sweeteners like Stevia.

Please be aware: The information and advice provided in this website is not
a substitute for medical advice. If you are concerned about your health or
have any symptoms you should see your GP/healthcare provider.

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