News You Can Use
Janet Alexander and Chris Maund
June/July 2015
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Welcome to our June/July newsletter! In this issue we discuss sugar intake, 50's alcohol consumption and touch on female hormones. 

  BEWARE of the FDA's added sugar guidelines and new 
'sugar content' labeling. PLUS .....
Are you up for the 'sugar intake' challenge? 

The current bad boy of nutrition for most people is eating too much sugar. Sugar is bad for our teeth and bad for our overall health with over consumption linked to weight gain, obesity, immune suppression, liver problems, insulin resistance leading to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Yes...cancerous tumours feed on sugar....this has now been well documented. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugar men should eat per day is 150 calories/37.5 grams (9 teaspoons) as opposed to women with 100 calories/25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day. The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) on the other hand recommends that adults and children 4 years and older should not consume more than 50 grams of added sugar per day (12 teaspoons) and that children 1-3 years old should only consume 25 grams per day (6 teaspoons).


We think all these guidelines are RUBBISH as you shouldn't need to add more sugar and if you did it would only be raw honey! PLUS...look at the numbers...the FDA guidelines have children 1-3 eating the same amount as what the AHA has for women i.e. 6 teaspoons per day. What's even worse is that children over 4 are "allowed" to eat 12 teaspoons of sugar per day...the same amount as adults. That is just plain wrong!


The distinction between added sugars versus natural sugars is exactly that, sugar that has been added compared to sugars that occur naturally in real whole food. Regular table sugar or sucrose, agave nectar (which claims to be healthy but is not) and high fructose corn syrup are the usual culprits added to foods. To put the above guidelines into perspective know that a Mars bar has 8 teaspoons of sugar, an 8.3oz can of Red Bull has 7, a 12oz can of coke has 10, a Starbucks 16oz mocha frappuccino has 12 and a McDonald's 21oz chocolate shake has a whopping 27 teaspoons of sugar. If we followed the guidelines in terms of grams per day the only item children over 4 could not eat is the McDonalds shake as all the others are under 12 teaspoons! Can you see our frustration? With the average American currently consuming 126.4 grams of sugar per day, 25-50 grams would be better BUT the bottom line is that children should not be eating added sugar in any form.


Last week the FDA also announced their proposal to change nutritional labels to not only include the amount of added sugars in grams but also to list the daily value percent of those added sugars in the hope of educating consumers. The example they gave was a 20oz sugary drink would now have a label showing 66 grams of sugar which would equate to 132% daily value of sugars. From this label you as a consumer are supposed to deduce that the sugar content is WAY too high and so you should not buy it! Will this new information change consumer consumption habits? We doubt it as the biggest challenge we find is to get consumers/clients to read the food labels in the first place. 


As for thinking that you now have a free license to eat a bottomless pit of 'natural sugars' ...woah...hold that thought. Just know that if you have belly fat, it may be because you are eating too much fruit and/or fruit smoothies and fruit juices. Yes - fructose (the type of sugar found in fruit) raises triglyceride levels and ends up as belly fat. Fruit can make you fat!


So...moving forward. Do you know how much sugar YOU consume?

Why not take on the sugar challenge? Cut ALL sugar from your diet for 14 days and see how you feel. This sugar free challenge means that you wont be eating anything sweet i.e. no sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, jam, fruit etc... Many of you will be shocked at how much better your energy levels are when you go completely sugar free. A word of warning...if you are currently doing 60mins or more of strenuous physical activity every day we don't recommend that you try this need simple carbohydrate in order to keep your energy levels up. The sugar free challenge works best for people who are not competitive athletes. Let us know how you get on.

50's plus news.....something to think about!

Summer is here, kids have flown the nest, time for you to travel, lots of social gatherings, weddings, birthdays, barbecues or just kicking back with family and friends. Fun times celebrated with good food and a glass of wine or beer. Sound familiar? Hold that thought.


According to a recent British study of 9,000 participants if you fall into the 50's category, are successful, healthy, active, social and have accumulated $$$, are more affluent than other peers and you still drink alcohol then you may also run the risk of drinking too much of it. Researchers warned that 'harmful drinking is a 'middle class phenomenon' which may be a hidden health and social problem in otherwise successful older people'. Age UK's Chief Economist, Professor Jose Iparraguirre who did the research said, "Our analysis challenges popular perceptions of who is drinking too much. It suggests public health messaging is not reaching high income groups who are most at risk. Because this group is typically healthier than other parts of the older population, they might not realize that what they are doing is putting their health in danger". may's not me, it's those Brits BUT do yourself and your health a favor and if you are going to drink alcohol then double check your intake against the current NHS (National Health Services) weekly guidelines:


1. Men: drink no more that 21 units a week (roughly 10 pints of beer) 


2. Women: are advised to stick to 14 units (around 7 glasses of wine). 


3. The researchers defined harmful drinking as between 22-50 units a week for men and 15-35 weekly units for women. 


4. Higher risk was quantified as 50 units for men and 35 for women.


The researchers also stated that this demographic, if they developed an alcohol related illness, tend to require the most complex and expensive health care due to the mental and physical problems caused by excess alcohol.


So peeps...enjoy your summer but do keep an eye on your alcohol intake. We want you back in OUR studio throwing weights above your head and not attending sessions on the top floor of our building!

Female Hormone Update

If you are a female who suffers from PMS/PMT make sure your magnesium levels are sufficient. Magnesium can decrease common PMS/PMT symptoms such as cramps, constipation, insomnia, headaches, water retention, anxiety, and swollen or sore breasts.


 The need for magnesium increases between ovulation and menses and the body looks to replenish its stores by craving foods high in magnesium such as cocoa beans yes you guessed it - chocolate. The hormonal cascade with menses approaching also increases hunger pangs and cravings for carbohydrates so make sure to eat protein and fat to reduce the sugar cravings. Iron loss during menses can create an increased risk of iron deficiency so much sure your diet includes iron rich meats, red bell pepper, broccoli, dark leafy greens and vitamin C to enhance iron absorption.


Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking good quality water but keep your mineral status in check by adding sea salt to your water, eating sea vegetables, water rich vegetables and foods high in the full spectrum of minerals. Bone broth should be a dietary staple during this time. Being female doesn't have to be a hormonal war every 28 days. If you need more help with this topic please do not hesitate to email Janet.


Happy Hormones=Happy Female!


 That's all for now. Enjoy the rest of summer or winter for the 'down-unders'. If you would like to read back issues of our newsletter these are now archived on our website:


 Cheers Janet and Chris xxx