healthy diet

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My Sugar Concerns

Posted by on 18 Oct 2012 | Tagged as: healthy diet

sugar concernsOver the last few months, I’ve become more and more concerned about the consumption of sugar. I’m not talking about whole populations at large, at least not in this paragraph. I’m talking about myself. You see, over the last few years, while my main, staple diet has always remained very good and I very rarely ever eat foods that you would call “processed”, I had included some foods that were high in sugar.

Now, they never really gave me any problems and my weight has always remained fairly stable over the last 10 years. I put that down to not overeating, not drinking any soda and getting some daily exercise to counterbalance the fact that I spend several hours at the computer to do my job. But as I read more into the potential time bomb that is refined sugar, the more concerned I became until I decided it was time to call “Time” on the sugar!

Toxic Sugar

In a previous post where I talked about the importance of eating more fresh fruit in our diet, I also mentioned some things about refined sugar and pointed to a controversial article published a while ago on the New Your Times calling sugar “toxic”. I’ve added a link to that article at the bottom of this post so you can read it if you like. That and some other things I’ve read lately have really gotten me thinking about the whole sugar debate.

I suppose I really became interested on a personal level when I last had a checkup with my doctor earlier in the summer and a blood test revealed a higher than normal PSA reading. For those that don’t know what that is, its an indicator of an enlarged prostate gland. Now when men of my age (over 50) get that kind of news, it’s time to sit up and listen.

Research Time

If I ever wanted to know anything about prostate cancer, that was the time. I delved into recent research and a lot of information pointed to the way in which tumor cells are enriched by our old friend, refined sugar. That means sucrose or fructose, at the least the version found in high fructose corn syrup or HFCS for short. Add to the potential danger the now known fact that cancer cells don’t just grow when you feed them sugar, but they also divide and multiply faster the more sugar they get.

I wasn’t so concerned about HFCS as I rarely consumed anything that contains it. But I was consuming stuff with plenty of sucrose, namely chocolate, home baked cake and cookies. Remember, I’m only referring to reined sugars here. Not natural fruit sugars or carbs or anything else. Just the refined stuff!

Anyhow, I thought to myself, why don’t these findings ring very loud alarm bells for the researchers and anyone with any authority? Am I the only one to see the very obvious link here?

Sugar + tumor = bigger tumor!

Wait. More research has revealed that when a tumor is starved of its main source of fuel, namely sugar, it stops reproducing and actually shrinks. Isn’t this obvious too?

No sugar + tumor = smaller tumor!

Is this not an already documented fact? I read about it, so I guess it must be (see references, below). Well. I decided I’m not waiting for some caring government official to break the news. I decided to act.

No More Sugar

chocolate cakeSo for me, no more chocolate, no more home baking and cold turkey on anything that has sucrose or HFCS in it. Was it tough? Nope! It was and still is surprisingly easy. I just decided to stop eating that stuff and I did.

A couple months later another blood test showed PSA levels normal. Whew!

Whoa… hold on there boy! Did I just write something significant? I believe I just did.

Now, before you go out and start lynching your doctor for not telling you this, you have to understand this is only my own little experiment on little old me. What I did was break an old habit and in the process staved my body of refined sugar and I got a happy result. It doesn’t mean anyone else will and it doesn’t prove anything.

Just for the record, its been about 3 months into this new anti-sugar eating regime for me. I first noticed I was more tired and lacked energy, but this soon passed and now I feel more awake and alert and I also feel like I have more energy. I lost a few pounds too. Nice by-product!

More kinda interesting stuff:

My total blood cholesterol levels dropped, with a slight drop in LDL and a slight rise in HDL, so all good there. My blood pressure is normal (no change). My levels of visceral fat has dropped significantly. Yea! Well, no real surprise there.

It’s worth noting here that visceral fat is also believed to be a potential cause of colon and breast cancer (just saying). Excess sugar causes greater visceral fat levels unless its burned off with excess exercise. I guess my daily dog walking wasn’t enough to do that. Now it is!

What can someone take away with them from reading about my own experience?

That you can certainly lose weight by cutting out all foods that contain refined sugars. Duh. I doubt I’ll get any argument on that point. That you can potentially reduce your risk of prostate cancer if you’re a guy over 50. Not saying that’s a given, just a possibility.

ALWAYS check that one with your doctor. It is NOT something you should leave to chance.

It was a very good choice for me to make. A good decision. A very good decision, I think. It also proved something to me: that I could break a habit just like that, not by exerting any power of will… but by making a firm and positive decision. And sticking by it.

Now, that’s real power!

Terry Didcott

References:

Here’s the link to the toxic sugar article in the NYT: Is Sugar Toxic?

Here’s a link to an article on prostate cancer you might find interesting: Food for Thought

Fruits With More Vitamin C Than Oranges

Posted by on 18 Oct 2011 | Tagged as: healthy diet

It is widely recognized that oranges are packed with vitamin C. It’s definitely true that they’re a good source of this vitamin. But did you know that there are other fruits that contain even greater quantities?

I was quite surprised myself when I found out. Now, I’m in no way suggesting that we shouldn’t eat citrus fruits. What I am wanting to make clear however is that if you feel like you’re coming down with a cold, in addition to oranges, there are some other great options that are available to you.

The USDA Nutrient Database is an excellent resource. It’s where I go when I want to get accurate information on the nutritional values of the foods I eat.

In the case of raw Navel oranges, the amount of vit C that they contain per 100 grams is 59.1 mg. If we compare this to say a raw apple, it has more than 10 times the amount of this vitamin. So while the humble orange is a great source of vitamin C, it just is not the best.

Some of the other well known fruits that have high levels of vitC are:

Strawberries: 58.8 mg

Papayas: 60.9 mg

Kiwi fruits: 92.7 mg

Blackcurrants: 181.0 mg

Acerola, (west indian cherry), raw: 1677.6 mg

As you can see, we do have a choice when we need a nutrient boost. Oranges are a good choice, but they’re not the only choice!

Choosing to purchase a juicer and make a fruit juice is a great method to consume high levels of vitamin C. Just think about it for a moment. How many oranges do you think you could eat in one sitting?

Whatever the number, you’re bound to be able to drink the juice of more of this fruit than you could eat. This is why juicing fruits and vegetables is seen as beneficial for our health.

In addition to this, it is also worth noting that you can maintain a good level of health by keeping up with your daily intake of nutrients by simply eating a healthy, balanced diet. That means staying away from all processed foods and those that contain high levels of sugars.

As long as you are able to do that you can keep your body in better balance without the need to supplement with pills or even juiced fruit. And while you are about it stop drinking fizzy drinks like soda or popular brands that shall remain nameless here! Stay with plain water and your body will be eternally grateful to you!

Buying a Juicer in the U.K.

Posted by on 29 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: healthy diet

For a long time, Americans have always had the best choice when it comes to consumer goods and groceries. The choice and price in the States is simply wider and cheaper than in the U.K. At the same time, health enthusiasts in Britain can actually get hold of the best juicers and blenders as long as they know where to look.

Omega are a well known company in the U.S. Their juicers are regarded as some of the highest quality and best value models available. While U.K. customers might not be able to find these machines in department stores at the moment, they can be ordered online for specialist retailers.

Picking a juicer is an exciting process. There are different styles which each have their own particular features. The owner of the Juice Fiend U.K. Juicer Store recommends the Omega VRT350HD as the best juicer.

This is a somewhat subjective judgement. Although this is understandable because we all have varying needs when it comes to juicing. The beauty of this particular machine is its marriage of speed, ease of use and versatility. Not to mention the fact that the juice it makes, tastes great. This particular model is a masticating juicer.

As people become more aware of the need to eat a healthy diet if they are to enjoy the best of health, it is likely that more and more of us will turn to juicing as a way to improve the quality of the nutrition consume. The way these appliances work is to give us a concentrated dose of vitamins and minerals.

Eating fruits and vegetables is best. Getting whole food nutrition means we get all the goodness that fruits and vegetables have to offer. However juicing does have some unique advantages. While eating ten oranges might seem somewhat extreme to many people, drinking the juice from ten oranges, about one litre, is a lot more realistic. In fact, juicing is a great way for us to consume lots of fruit and vegetable goodness.

Picking a juicer needn’t be a difficult process. There are a few variables that you have to think about:

  • how much can you afford?
  • what sorts of juices would you like to make?
  • is speed an issue?
  • do you require a quiet juicer?

Even though it may be easier for people to find juicers to buy in the U.S, if you know where to look, you can find a great choice of the best products on sale in the United Kingdom. Don’t you owe it to yourself to invest in your own health?

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