Good news story: A palm full of nuts four times weekly lowers your risk of acquiring diabetes by 12% and improves lifespan, irrespective of your weight (1). Do it!
Bad news story: Calorie for calorie Fructose (2) is one of the worst sweeteners on the market. Why? It has a negative impact on the body’s ability to handle your caloric intake. It impairs insulin sensitivity and impedes liver function. The result: increased lifestyle related diseases.
Advice: Read labels (ingredient list) and avoid products that have fructose (sugar) listed in the first 4 ingredients.
Bad news story: Today 60% of calories in North American diets come from sugar and few come from fibre; almost exactly the opposite of a century ago. Throughout human evolution we’ve never faced such high proportions of dietary sugar. Lifestyle related diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes) continue to climb in epic proportions; mirroring the epic rise in the proportion of sugar in our diet (2). This is the major contributor to the rapidly climbing rates of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease syndromes, and premature death seen today.As a result of our increased sugar intake, our biological systems that are meant to regulate our behaviours, such as eating, have become disrupted. This leaves us with the on-going march of unchecked diseases that we are currently facing.
What can you do? Eat more Fruits and Veggies –Look for and avoid sugars at one meal daily, starting today, for the next seven days. . . If you can do that, next try and reduce sugar in at least two meals a day.
Bad News story: “Fresh versus Processed.” Throughout human history digestion had the advantage of fresh foods gathered from the earth. The microbiome in one’s gut, that is the healthy gut bacteria, thrive on being fed unprocessed and mostly uncooked foods. Like cattle in a herd needing fibre from hay and fresh grasses to maintain healthy digestive bacteria, we likewise need high fibre foods. Unfortunately, the processed foods we are eating are not good for our gut health. Processed, cooked and prepackaged foods significantly eliminate the necessary nutrients and key probiotics that feed healthy gut bacteria. Allergies, premature aging and increased disease burdens are all attributable to poor processed food diets.
Advice: Add 2-3 fresh veggie snacks to each meal. Minimize the cooking of veggies (destroys fibre). Regarding Vegetables: Keep them Crunchy-- Limit Cooked and Avoid Mushy.
Avoid processed foods for gut health!
Good news story: “Are You Really Hungry?” Your body commonly confuses thirst for hunger and reaching for a glass of water can generally prevent you from reaching for that sugary drink you were going for initially. So thirst … or hunger pains …rewire your reaction -- reach for that glass of water first. Wait a few minutes. And take note how you feel. If you’re still hungry, now you can go for a snack. It’s an easy and sustainable change to make and can completely change how you feel. Water is free. Water is necessary. Water is healthy.
Feeling thirsty or hungry? Go for a glass of water first.
1. Stanhope, K. et al. Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2673878/
2. Mozaffarian, D. Foods, obesity, and diabetes-are all calories created equal? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28049747
Microbiome - The collection of microbes that live in and on the human body is known as the microbiota. The microbiome refers to the complete set of genes within these microbes. Microbial genes significantly influence how the body operates and even outnumber human genes by a ratio of 100:1.
Ursell, Luke K, et al. “Defining the Human Microbiome.” 70.Suppl 1 (n.d.): n.pag. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
“The Human Microbiome.” Utah.edu. n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
Processed Food- A processed food is any food that has been altered in some way during preparation
Eating processed Foods https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/what-are-processed-foods/