Sugar!

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I just watched, That Sugar Film. It’s a rainy Melbourne summers day and I had some time to chill so instead of catching up on the latest episode of Suits, I decided that this is a film I needed to see.

The production value and the entertainment contained in this film made it different from the regular food documentaries I subject myself to so sitting through it was actually a joy. I want to watch it again.

But that’s not what is propelling me to write about the film.

The film paints a fairly dire picture of the situation we find ourselves in with increasing rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and general un-wellness, let alone a society that is a slave to a product that is unfortunately everywhere and marketed to our kids.

It sounds like I’m sitting atop my soap box when I write this and say that we’re all doomed if we don’t make changes to the way we eat but I’ll take that risk and say it anyway. Seriously, we’re screwed and it’s all preventable.

I’m a personal trainer but you could pay me a million dollars a week, we could train all day and I still couldn’t make you healthy if you didn’t address what you ate. Currently I see some of my clients for 30 minutes a week. That leaves 167.5 hours where they are left to there own devices. I actually can’t do that much to help you apart from rant on this blog about the choices you need to make at home, by yourself.

OMG there is so much info out there on how to get healthy that’s it’s overwhelming and often contradictory so instead of yo-yoing on this diet that doesn’t work and that diet that starves you of essential nutrients I’d like to offer you my opinion. (Sorry about the OMG but YOLO and I have a big FOMO)

I feel that you trust me enough to give you honest and relevant information but I would like to stress that I’m not a dietician and if it’s scientific evidence you are looking for well I’ll leave that up to you to research and pass that info onto me if you strongly disagree with my opinion.

Scientific evidence is a crock anyway. I can’t trust it. Who knows who paid for the study and how the information is contrived to suit certain factions. I rely on the people I trust who have worked with loads of people and seen the results first hand.

That Sugar Film had basic enough information in it for everyone to understand what goes on in your body when you consume sugar in all forms. It had a balanced argument but the evidence is overwhelmingly clear to everyone that sugar is killing us.

Some people can refrain from eating sugar but I don’t think I’ll go down the zero sugar in my diet pathway. I like it. But I don’t eat much of it. I definitely do not go anywhere near the 40+ teaspoons full most of us eat per day, 20 of that being in our breakfast alone. Scary huh?

The important message to remember is that sugar is everywhere and if you read the info on the back of most products you find in the middle isles of the supermarket it’s not hard to figure out exactly how much you are consuming. Approximately 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams. So in something that has 16g of sugar you are looking at 4 teaspoons of sugar.

With this in mind I have some advice.

Cutting out sugar from your diet will make you feel fantastic, eventually. You’ll feel like shit for 2-4 weeks because it takes that long for the ‘addiction’ to settle. So do it slowly.

Keep this in mind….if you eat really well the majority of the time then the odd sugar hit is ok, in my opinion. If you are close to a diabetes diagnosis or if you have a fatty liver I’d probably make more more drastic changes.

The key to all this really is what ole mate Sean Croxton says…..JERF! (Just Eat Real Food). 

I don’t do diets. I don’t stick to them and they frustrate me as well as the people around me. I hate the fact that certain things are off limits. I won’t do it. So to get around this I make sure that the majority of the time I eat organic food that is not processed. I eat food that I can trust and food that sustains me. I buy meat from the butcher, I but veggies from the grocer, I don’t use sauces and I aim for 3 vegetarian dinners per week. If I do this I can have a burger or some ice cream now and then….or some blue cheese and crackers, or corn chips and dip, or chocolate scorched almonds….

So to finish up I’d just like to drop a few points that I think are important. Maybe we can discuss these in more detail in a later post but for now I’ll leave them as points.

  • Don’t trust anything that says ‘low fat’. The low fat movement is actually making us fatter because food companies add sugar to make it taste better.
  • Do some research into good fats and how they can be a better source of energy than sugar. You’ll find that fat could actually be your saviour. There is a lot of literature out there to back this claim up.
  • Good ole meat/protein and vege are making a comeback. Keep your dinner simple. Make sure your plate is 1/4 meat/protein, 1/4 starchy veggies like sweet potato and 1/2 non starchy colourful veggies. I swear to you that you will not only loose weight but your health will be propelled.
  • Don’t get caught up in the super food fad. They are often a lot more expensive and you can get similar results from regular foods. Eat kale if you like it but then you’ll lose all your friends.
  • Remember if you buy a smoothie or a fruit drink that you’re actually consuming way more fruit than you need. For example….nature designed apples so that when you eat 1-2 you feel full and you get the right amount of fructose but if you chuck 4-5 in the juicer you don’t get the fiber to tell your body that you’ve had enough plus you get an overdose of unneeded fructose.  Fructose in high doses is bad!
  • That Sugar Film has its critics so don’t take what they say as gospel….question question question!
  • If you are serious about your health I recommend seeing a dietician/nutritionist, or my favourite, a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist. Form a team around you and don’t be tempted by money making fads.
  • and lastly you don’t get healthy by going to the gym alone…you need quality sleep, hydration, you need to move and to manage your stress levels. Don’t focus on weight loss, instead get healthy first and then you’ll lose weight, you’ll move better and your mood will improve along with your brain function.

Its a confusing world out there. Good luck. Keep it simple and JERF!

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Talk soon

C

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