Sugar Blues

Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) results in hunger, shakiness, weakness, dizziness, irritability and depression. I should know; for years I suffered on a daily basis. The cause – too much sugar. High blood sugar stimulated my body to produce insulin, which took the sugar back out of my blood (and made me fat). I didn’t understand the problem so I tried to control my symptoms with regular biscuits, bananas and chocolate. It was a disaster. At archery competitions, I ate sugar even more frequently. I just got headaches and felt awful.

My first inkling of the cause

Cereal - a poor choice for breakfast

Cereal – a poor choice for breakfast

was at work. Biscuits were provided in meetings; if I ate one I got hungry but if I abstained I was OK. My second clue came when dieting to lose the weight I’d gained eating so many biscuits; I was less hungry eating a little cereal for breakfast than a lot.  Also I noticed the low-fat yoghurts I bought weren’t satisfying, they just increased my appetite.  Now I know it’s because of the sugar they put in low-fat products to make them palateable.

 

Sugar has a toxic effect on the body and causes myriad health problems besides hypoglycemia. For centuries doctors have cured their patients of many ailments by replacing sugar with quality vegetable and whole grain carbohydrates and for centuries consumption has increased sweeping aside all resistance. In the 11th Century, brewers caught adding sugar to beer were dragged through the City of Chester in a cart with the overnight refuse of the privies. In the early 1900s, America had laws against “substances injurious to health” (like sugar) being added to food. Manufacturers (including Coca-Cola) opposed this, got the government on side and the health of the whole nation deteriorated as a result of the adulterated products that are now their main food. In the 1950s, Dr Gyland wrote papers to warn and help others but couldn’t get them published.  In Britain, Professor John Yudkin tried to fight Ancel Keys and his lipid hypothesis having found a stronger corrolation between sugar and heart disease than there is with fat – he was sqashed.  Even Keys himself couldn’t get published a paper he wrote late in his life against the direction nutritional advice has taken.  Little has changed.  Those reaping the profits still don’t want you to know the truth – sugar wrecks your health.

Top Tip – Stop eating sugar

NB Diabetics will need to balance their medication with their sugar intake.

To learn more about the sorry history of sugar in our food, read Sugar Blues by William Dufty and Pure, White and Deadly by John Yudkin.  Here’s a Daily Telegraph artcle on the latter; we still have the same sugar-industry-led problem today.

 

Quote of the month

What good fortune for men in power that people do not think.

Adolf Hitler

The ‘men in power’ these days include those who profit from the processed food industry.  Joanna Blythman has been undercover in the food industry to find out how true this is.  If we really knew what was in all the artificial food we’re eating and the damage it is doing to our health, we’d stop and go back to cooking from scratch.

 

 

Fluoride and the EU

Whist my main concerns regarding fluoride are for people’s health, that doesn’t seem to be a high priority for those who make decisions.  Money speaks loudest.  However here comes an impact on trade that could have a powerful effect.

A recent change in European food law forbids the use of fluoridated water in food or drinnk preparation.  Water is of course used in virtually all food preparation, supply, and importation so this is causing serious concern in international marketing circles. The deadline for using unauthorised sources of minerals – including fluoride – in foods under EC Regulation 1925/2006 expired in January this year. This closed the final loophole on which proponents of water fluoridation have relied to claim that it is subject solely to food law. Public opposition to fluoridation is growing rapidly around the world, with hearings before High Courts in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland now in progress.

This will effect any businesse or individual involved in food and drink preparation or trading, from the smallest trader to the largest supermarket, anyone who sells coffees and teas in a corner cafe, bakes bread in a high-street bakery, or sells imported food and beverages in a local supermarket.

Caterers in one community in Ireland have already taken action to protect their business.  The demand by Cork County Council, the largest in the Republic of Ireland, that fluoridation be abolished in Ireland, is supported by four County and forty other Town Councils, and moves to abolish the practice have full cross-party support in the Irish Parliament. The Councils argue that fluoridation constitutes a severe barrier to export trade in Irish food products, so the passing in the UK of the Health and Social Care Act last year brings our own Local Authorities directly into the centre of this controversy. The developments in Ireland are a clear warning of the implications for the continuation of this practice here in the UK.

Enforcement of the prohibition on importing any such foods by even a single EC Member State would trigger a landslide in confidence that could cause a dramatic fall in the export of UK foods from fluoridated water areas to the rest of the EC. So the recent resumption of fluoridation in West Cumbria is a wake-up call to Members in this sector of commerce in the North West.

 

Cumbria Business Growth Hub Join Cumbria Food & Drink Growth Network has organised an open meeting to discuss this issue, led by UK and EU legal expert Doug Cross (BSc. CSci, CBiol, FSB) at the Sheep and Wool Centre, Cockermouth, 10am to 12 noon on 3rd April.

To book your place(s) on this free event please email catherynn@cumbriachamber.co.uk or call 0845 226 0040. Cumbria Food & Drink Growth Network is part of the Cumbria Business Growth Hub aiming to help businesses in Cumbria unleash their potential. To find out how you can be involved and start benefitting, have a look online at www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk or join them on Twitter @FoodDrinkHub.

Fluoride

A piece has appeared in The Lancet this month on neurotoxicants.

It considers the increase in recent years of conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia.  Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence.

They have identified 11 developmental neurotoxicants including lead, arsenic – and fluoride.  They propose a global prevention strategy.

My previous post Fluoride – not my choice invites you to join Cumbria’s petition.

Fluoride – not my choice

I want to add my support to Paul Carr’s excellent letter to The Cockermouth Post on the public health issues related to water fluoridation in Cumbria (February edition).

I encourage people to drinkS/W Ver: 85.83.E7P water rather than fizzy drinks, juice, alcohol etc.  We’re blessed with very good water here and I don’t want people to feel that their water is tainted.

Fluorine is not a nutrient; it is a toxin and it builds up in your body over time (dependent on your age and kidney function). It’s added to water to improve teeth but with European coverage of only 2%, is it necessary? Too much may lead to fluorosis. Possible symptoms include:

  • Bone and joint pains

  • Muscle weakness

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Lowered thyroid function (fluoride is used in medication to slow over-active thyroids)

  • Lowered child IQ, dementia

Ironically, too much fluoride can also stain and damage your teeth!

Many of us do the best for our bodies by exercising choice.We can avoid pesticides and herbicides by buying organic. We can avoid chemicals by using natural care products. We can avoid additives by cooking our own food. We can filter chlorine out of our water (NB most standard water filters don’t remove fluoride). We can look after our teeth with simple regular brushing.

When I had anaemia once, it was my choice to take the iron my doctor prescribed. Doctors cannot force patients to take medication. They certainly cannot force a general group of people to take drugs that they do not need as individuals. Where is our choice with fluoridating the water supply? It’s like a blanket prescription made compulsory on the whole population, to help the teeth of a minority, at the cost of possible health detriments to everyone.

The world is so polluted we sadly cannot avoid all contaminants but I don’t accept that we have to meekly drink water that has been deliberately dosed with a toxic chemical. Communities around the world are halting this practice by campaigning. You can join Cumbria’s petition here:

http://councilportal.cumbria.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=24

Even if you don’t live in Cumbria, it’s worth supporting the campaign – if we lose, you might be next!

Not such a sweet smell!

One of the sessions on my Eat for a Better Life course is devoted to the subject of toxins (poisons). It’s is a timely topic for this column with the surge in promotion of highly processed party foods for Christmas. You can avoid herbicides and pesticides by buying organic meat and veg. You can cut down your intake of antibiotics and steroids by buying free-range meat. You can avoid chemical additives and damaged fats by buying fresh ingredients and doing your own cooking.

The huge number of chemicals now in our lives is causing many problems. A lady I know suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and can be laid low for several days if she goes near people who wear perfume or who have used the new long-lasting fabric softeners. I accidentally bought this type of softener when my usual brand was changed (no doubt ‘improved’). The new scent was not only nauseating but clung relentlessly to my clothes, my skin and whatever the clothes had laid next to in the drawer or wardrobe. I got rid of it pronto and sought a less toxic alternative.

Perfume is a major theme in the Christmas adverts. There is great secrecy around the recipes for famous fragrances so they do not have to list the ingredients. That doesn’t mean they are harmless. Other ‘smellies’ sold in abundance at this time of year are room fresheners, scented candles and bathing products. Natural essential oils are fine but commonly the scent is created in a lab from chemicals and can be irritant to the respiratory system.

Many beauty products contain chemicals but there are some good companies around that use natural ingredients.  I like Neal’s Yard, Weleda and Burt’s Bees.  There’s also Pure Lakes, a family company in Cumbria, with a great ethos and gorgeous products.

Top tip – take care when buying presents – or do your loved ones some good with a Learn to Eat Well gift voucher.

Make these nifty little boxes out of old Christmas cards!

Make these nifty little boxes out of old Christmas cards!

I wish you all a very merry chemical-free Christmas!

Antibiotics in factory farming

Does it matter whether your sausages come from a free-range farm like Louise’s?

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health worldwide.  The primary cause is their widespread over-use which occurs in medicine and also in food production. In America about 80% of antibiotic use is in farming.

Animals are often fed antibiotics at low doses for disease prevention.  In America, but not the EU, they are also used for growth promotion. Those antibiotics are transferred to you via meat and through manure used as fertilizer for crops.

Antibiotics are needed in factory farming because of the crowded, unsanitary living conditions – yet another reason to buy free-range.  Of the ~9 million pigs slaughtered each year in Britain, only about 1.5% are organic.Factory farmed pigs. Credit: Compassion in World Farming

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention4 (CDC) estimates 22% of antibiotic-resistant illness in humans is linked to food and recommends that antibiotics use in livestock be phased out.

American researchers have found MRSA in pigs and workers at factory farms but not in pigs on antibiotic-free farms.  Once MRSA is introduced, it could spread to other animals and the workers, as well as to their families and friends.

Over-exposure to antibiotics takes a heavy toll on your gastrointestinal health.  Your immune system is mostly down to the good bacteria in your gut so you can become more vulnerable to diseases.  We can support the Soil Association’s ‘Not in My Banger‘ campaign against the escalation of industrial pig farming in the UK for the sake of our own health as well as to oppose the keeping of wonderful, intelligent pigs in such unnatural conditions.

Not in my banger