Have Sugar But Not Too Much

Introduction

A week or 2 ago we mentioned diabetes and ways we could help prevent it. The best and most effective way is to cut sugar out. The recommended amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis should be no more than 9 teaspoons. Just a can of soda has 8 already. So you see for the sweet tooth’s out there (including me) we should really watch out how much sugar we consume every day as it can be very easy to consume more than recommended. There is no doubt that sugar can definitely give us more energy instantly every day and make us feel happier but there are more serious side effects apart from diabetes when consuming too much sugar on a regular basis.

 

Sugar and the issue of weight gain

Sugar has been shown to lead to weight gain. This is because sugar is an empty calorie. Despite it having so many calories it is not high in nutritional value at all and is not very filling. A higher calorie intake equates to more weight gain. Another reason why sugar leads to weight gain is that it is the first source of fuel the body uses. As a result, they do not offset hunger for very long in the stomach. This leads to more regular eating thus increasing the calorie intake. Sugar also has the ability to affect biological pathways that regulate hunger. Our body produces a hormone to regulate hunger depending on energy output. This hormone is called Leptin. Studies have shown that excessive sugar intake disrupts the function of Leptin in our body by making our body more resistant to it. This means we end up consuming way more calories than we need in order to meet our body’s fulfillment.

 

Sugar and the issue of obesity and heart diseases

Consuming too much sugar on a regular basis increases the likelihood of some sort of heart disease. One reason as to why it increases the chances of heart disease is that excessive sugar causes obesity. Sugar leads to obesity due to the increased intake of calories. Obesity is one of the main causes of heart disease. Sugar also stops triglycerides from breaking down. This puts more pressure on the heart as there would be more blockages. This will cause the heart to pump harder leading to high blood pressure. Another reason why sugar leads to high blood pressure is that it increases LDL while decreasing HDL. LDL is known as bad cholesterol. This is because it sticks to your arteries leading to narrowing of the artery. While HDL is known as the good cholesterol and it removes all other bad fats such as triglycerides and LDL that’s floating in the bloodstream. As the artery is narrowed there will be less blood being able to flow through thus leading to increased blood pressure.

 

Sugar and the issue of oral and dental health

Finally, too much sugar leads to poor oral and dental health. As you’ve probably heard every mother says ‘stop eating sugar it’s bad for your teeth. There is plenty of bacteria that live inside the mouth. Some of the bacteria are good and protect your oral health but some are not. These bacteria thrive off sugar. They love it as much as you do. But as these bad bacteria grow out of control they release acids. These acids released can dissolve the enamel of your teeth leading to cavities. This acid also causes bad breath. This is why it’s important to brush your teeth and decrease the amount of sugar to stop these bacteria from taking over your mouth.

 

Conclusion

Sugar is great, it tastes great, makes you have more energy, and helps you out mentally. However, they have so many side effects if over consumed. Weight gain, heart disease, and poor oral health are just some of them. Make sure to cut out as much sweet food as you can and try to keep under the recommended daily amount!

 

Negative effects of sugar on kids

 

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Health… Expectations Vs. Reality

What is health? What is perfect health? Is it possible to achieve perfect health? If so, how long does it take? Are these all expectations that social media has set or is it the reality? These questions are often questions I ponder about as a well-being practitioner. Some people ask me that too, but it’s just such a long answer. I think people should read this instead of me answering it verbally.

Health according to the World Health Organisation, is “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. This is completely true; many people think just because they do not have pain they are in good condition. The definition also includes ‘mental and social well-being’. I feel too many people in the world now only focuses on the thing that they can see or feel when exhibiting physical health. The expectation is because someone has rock hard 6 pack or has an amazing body they must be in perfect health. In reality, it does not necessarily reflect their state. The person with an amazing body may have reached peak physical health but that same person may always be conscious about their own body image that it causes mental disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). This neglects the aspect of mental health.

 

Cont.

 

So to answer the question is it possible to achieve perfect health; the short answer is yes but there is always a catch to it. In my opinion, being physically perfect is to be in a balanced state of ‘physical, mental, and social well-being’. Some may be already in that realm if you are I congratulate you. However, if you are there already, are you taking it for granted, or are you actively trying to improve or maintain it? This is where the wellness model comes in. To achieve even a higher state of health is to actively pursue maintenance. We can accomplish this through regular chiropractic care, a continuation of healthy habits (mentally, physically, and socially) and self-reflection. Unlike the allopathic model of health where we seek help or therapy after if a breakdown occurs. The reality of perfect health is for us to maintain the standard, this way, we can enhance our own body’s ability.

If you are not in ‘perfect health’ how long will it take you? You might expect it overnight just by suddenly going to the gym, quit smoking, or stop drinking excessively? Unfortunately, it does not work like that, otherwise, everyone would have perfect health in no time and there would not be a profession in health. The famous saying: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, is particularly applicable in scenarios like these. The reality is that good things take time, our body takes time to change. Research has shown that even working out consistently at the gym, results will not be seen until 3 -6 months later. Additionally, a healthy diet is just as important as working out! You must include all aspects to actually see results! Health is the same, consistent social, physical, and mental habits are the right way to go to develop perfect health. Be patient, trust in the process and everything will fall in its place.

 

Concl.

 

The expectation these days for health is focused on physical appearance. However, having a visually pleasing body doesn’t equate to being on top of things. Being healthy is achieving a balance between social, mental, and physical health. In this modern society, we are expected to do things in a flash and be successful right away. However, in reality, things take time. In the end slow and steady wins the race.

 

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The Next Big Thing In Health

Perspective and Health

 

Once again another Covid-19 is dominating the news again. But did you know this is not the first time a deadly virus, flu, bacteria, or disease that has caused the world so much trouble? In recent history I can already name 5 deadly virus that has caused problems; the 1918 Spanish Flu, 1957 Influenza Pandemic, 2003 Sars, 2009 Swine Flu and 2012 Mers. Seems like in the last 100 years these problems have kept on arising and we have been extremely reactive to each situation. Of course, the medical team is doing a great job in finding constant cures and other ways to help the human body when we are affected by these nasty viruses. But surely, we can’t be so reactive to every situation that arises. Yes, I understand how quickly viruses mutate. So I believe, the next big thing in health will be how we can enhance our current health and be more preventative to prepare ourselves against the next big thing.

 

To prepare ourselves for the next big pandemic, there must be a shift in mindset in society. We must work on our inner wellness. To do that, I believe that education on good health habits should start at an early age. To increase inner health, ingrain a couple of ideas in early childhood so that they can be formed as habits. These ideas are simple; eating healthy, getting a good amount of regular rest, and being active as much as possible are a few simple ideas that can easily be implemented in healthcare education. I believe that after this lockdown, we should all be all looking at ways to improve our inner health. This may sound easier said than done, but hopefully, if everyone starts being more aware of their own health and take environmental issues seriously, to prevent future events like this to stop happening again.

 

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Diabetes Prevention

In the last blog we discussed the physiology of diabetes what happens to insulin and some of the symptoms of diabetes. Quick recap, insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is when the body does not produce enough insulin due to an autoimmune issue (this type is often due to congenital issues). Type 2 is when there isn’t enough insulin or insulin becomes less sensitive due to the increased in take in sugar which is often caused by dietary problems. Today we are going to discuss how we can take preventative measures to avoid having diabetes.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing type 1 diabetes. However, there are ways to check for it at an early age. The best way is to do blood test. As for type 2 diabetes, it often stems from dietary issues and lifestyle choices. So the best way to address the issue is through alterations in those aspects.

  • Firstly, cut out most if not all processed sugars and refined carbohydrates. As we have discussed, diabetes is caused by increased blood sugar level. This causes a decrease in insulin sensitivity or the body is not able to keep up with insulin production.
  • Secondly, drink water as your primary beverage. Chances are if you have diabetes, you probably don’t drink a lot of water. As a recommendation, we should not have more than 9 teaspoons of sugar every day. However, 1 can of a regular size soda already consists of 8 teaspoons of sugar! This is why if you want to prevent yourself from having diabetes, drink mostly water as your primary beverage!
  • Thirdly, cut out processed foods. A study showed that a diet that consists mostly of processed food increases the change of diabetes by 30%. Yes, that can of spam, corned beef or that packet of two minute noodles is easy to make and tastes pretty good. But if you want to decrease the chances of getting diabetes, throw that stuff out. This is because during the processing, many preservatives are added to it and a common preservative is sugar!
  • Finally, complete more exercise! Exercise has many benefits, one of the benefits is that it increases insulin sensitivity. If insulin is more sensitive, your body will be more efficient at handling and processing sugar and there will be less stress on the body when it comes to producing insulin. Additionally, exercise can help you lower body fat and body fat actually lowers the effectiveness of insulin detecting sugar.

 

If you have type-1 diabetes, you can’t do much about it. All you can do is watch out for your diet and live a healthy lifestyle as much as possible. If you want to prevent yourself from getting diabetes following the 4 tips that was mentioned above is a great start. Remember what you do with your body is up to you. You feed your body with good fuel only good results will appear.

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Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 4 Immune System

By Dr. Jennifer Barham-Floreani: Tip # 4: GET DIRTY – Benefits to the Immune System

Many of us have been led to believe that germs are the root of all evil. And that we should go to great lengths to avoid them…

Anti-bacteria hand creams, sprays, and wipes, fill our handbags and counters. Yet, compelling research tells us that we have gone too far. Some exposure to pets, dirt, and other children, for example, are vital for stimulating the immune system to work effectively. In experiments where we grow animals in completely sterile (germ-free) environments, their immune systems do not develop normally. In a conclusion, they develop severe immune diseases, including allergy and autoimmunity.

When our “microbiome” (our internal network of helpful and harmful bacteria) becomes imbalanced, our digestion, immune function, state of mind, and general health and wellbeing in time become compromised. Scientists now believe, an imbalanced microbiome to be one of the primary causes of several diseases and disorders. Such as:

  • Chronic infection
  • Inflammation
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Cancer
  • Neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s, autism, and schizophrenia.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal just a few months ago stated that “the disruption of the gut balance [is linked] to an increasing number of diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, allergies, and asthma.”

Studies now tell us that exposure to dirt and germs is incredibly essential. We need regular exposure to bacteria and viruses to strengthen our immune system. In our own homes, among our own families, we want to take the opportunity to build up our immune systems.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Letting children crawl on the floor is fine, playing in the dirt is a good thing; we encourage having family pets and sharing a spoon with your sister is, again, fine.
  • Cleaning away visible dirt or grime on any surface — sinks, floors, or door handles with thorough washing and cleaning products that are free of harsh chemicals — is usually enough without constant sterilizing. And also using disinfectants such as bleach (which probably kills everything in the air around it, too!).
  • Washing our hands with simple soap dislodges and removes surface particles without stripping everything on the skin. Antibacterial soaps kill both good and bad bacteria. They also strip the skin of the environment it needs to sustain good bacteria.
  • Be less concerned about germs but instead focus more on considering how strong is your child’s digestive power and immune system.

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How To Flight Proof Your Body

Going on a long flight? Bus ride? Car ride? You may have experienced the unpleasant experience of being crammed in a seat for hours. You get agitated, your muscles begin to ache, and there’s nowhere to hide from the pain.

We came up with these tips to reduce the physical stress on your body that comes with travel. This applies to all situations where you find yourself stuck sitting in one place for hours.

  1. Pump your ankles.

    • Sitting for long periods means that the muscles that are used to pump blood and fluid up your legs aren’t active. This leads to swelling and blood pooling over time. While the swelling isn’t dangerous, blood clots can form a deep vein thrombosis, which can be a dangerous and life threatening condition. So be sure to keep your ankles moving!
    • Fully extend your legs out in front of you (if you have the leg room, if not, extend out as much as you can) and move your ankles side to side as well as up and down. This can help with ankle stiffness, swelling and pain.
  2. Keep hydrated.

    • Especially if you’re in an airplane, the cabins have very low humidity and can lead to accelerated dehydration.
    • Drink plenty of water the day before your flight as well as during your flight.
    • Avoid drinks that tend to dehydrate, such as caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, before and during your flight.
  3. Move as much as you can!

    • It’s a bad idea to be sitting for long periods of time in any context. On top of that, you’ll end up in uncomfortable sleeping positions if you decide to doze off.
    • This can lead to pain and dysfunction in your hips, back, shoulder and neck, so it’s a good idea to address this by getting up and walking around every 30 minutes if you can.
  4. Stuck sitting? Try some Pandiculation.

  • Pandiculation is basically stationary stretching. You’ve already done it naturally upon waking up when yawning and stretching your body.
  • It can be done to every part of your body.
    • Reach your hands upward to the sky.
    • Extend and stretch your legs.
    • Move your neck in every motion. Look side to side, up and down. Bring your ears towards your shoulders side to side.
    • Expand your chest while bringing your shoulders back.
    • Move your body in all directions where you feel restrictions.
  • Do these movements slowly and feel where your tension lies and focus on stretching out those areas. Just be careful not to bump your neighbour.

Movement is medicine, so just remember to do what you can with what you’re given. Happy and healthy travels!

 

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Core: Curl-Ups (2/7)

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Don’t Follow The Crowd

The other week I was giving some lifestyle and diet recommendations to a client who commented on how hard it is to avoid certain foods, especially when going out to socialise. Of course, he is absolutely correct. This conversation spawned a realisation of the truth that making healthy choices and taking care of your body requires a level of commitment that might make you stand out or narrow your choices. This doesn’t mean you can never go out for dinner or to social gatherings, in fact keeping our social lives active is very beneficial for our health and longevity.  It means you may have to alter your choices or be more prepared beforehand.

Making choices that are commonplace and popular will get you the same results that most people have. Look at the health statistics of the general population like the rates of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, not to mention things like fatigue, headaches, and mental fog so common amongst people and decide if you want those outcomes too, don’t follow the crowd.

Most of our health and the way our body performs comes down to the choices we make each day like the amount of alcohol we drink or choose not to drink, the type of foods we eat, how much water we drink and how active we choose to be.

Most people choose to be far too sedentary; choose not to be one of them.

Most people choose not to drink enough water; choose not to be one of them.

Most people choose to eat too much; choose not to be one of them.

Most people choose not to eat enough fruit or vegetables; choose not to be one of them.

We know that making healthy choices isn’t always easy but we are here to support your efforts to become a healthier and stronger person!

Don’t follow the crowd.

This blog is sponsored by Little Ninja & Priorityfitness.

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Vitamin D

With a beautiful summer coming to an end the temperature is already dropping and the days are getting shorter. Sadly this means you will be getting less outdoor activity and time in the sun which means less opportunity for your body to make vitamin D.

Good levels of vitamin D are important for heart, brain, lungs and muscles function. Vitamin D is also important in regulating calcium levels so has an impact on bone health too. Low levels are linked with depression, low immunity and even cancer!

While most of the vitamins we need come from our food, it also is unique in that your own body can make it from sunlight. Which is why we need to pay closer attention to it in as winter approaches.

Although you can get vitamin D from foods, especially cod liver oil, raising your levels of vitamin D through food alone is not adequate according to the vitamin D council (find a link to their website below to get more information on vitamin D). Sun exposure and supplementation are the most effective ways to bring your levels up and maintain good health.

Tips for vitamin D this winter

1) Try and get as much sun exposure as you can while still being sun smart.

AND

2) Supplementation.

Most people can supplement vitamin D without any problem but if you have high blood calcium levels it may not be a good idea to take high doses. If you are taking certain medications it may also affect your ability to take high doses, whereas other medications may require you to take a higher dose than normal. This being the case it is best to consult your doctor to have some simple tests done to find out what dosage is right for you.

Reference:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 87, Issue 3, March 2008, Page 794,

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

 

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