Westmeath Examiner – Whelehans Pharmacy:Want to eat more healthily?

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Want to eat more healthily?

Take a look at your sugar intake

With Caroline Masters, Nutritional Therapist, Whelehans Pharmacy

Pearse Street 086 -3994615 – email nutrition@whelehans.ie

If you would like to get more healthy in 2018 why not take a serious look at your daily diet and look at the habits you have acquired. We often normalise eating habits which are causing us daily damage. Too much caffeine, sugar, saturated fat and alcohol is no good for the body and also too little exercise is not going to help with long term mobility, flexibility and good health.

How much sugar am I “allowed” daily?

Keep your resolutions simple and start with your sugar intake. The maximum recommended intake of added sugar is 6 teaspoons a day (24g). If you are adding sugar to your tea and coffee you will reach this amount very quickly. Try taking an artificial sweetener as it does not affect your blood sugar levels in the same way as refined sugar and has zero calories.

Familiarise yourself with sugar content of foods

How can you tell how much sugar a product contains? Look at the food label relating to 100g of the product and anything under 5g of sugar per 100g is a low sugar product. To see how much sugar the actual product contains i.e cereal bar – look at the details relating to the bar and it will give you an amount of carbohydrate in grams and just below it will state ‘of which is sugars’ in grams also. Each teaspoon of sugar weighs 4g so if it states 8g per bar you know that the bar contains 2 teaspoons of sugar.

The main part of your diet should contain natural, unprocessed foods with their own enzymes to aid digestion and provide the body with the nutrients it requires. There is a lot of hidden sugars in processed food so take a look at what you are consuming. Also there is a lot of food we consume that has obvious sugar – a can of coke contains over 8 teaspoons and an average portion of most cakes contains between 7 and 10 teaspoons. Sugar contains empty calories as it provides the body with zero nutrition. The sugar in fruit is natural and does not affect the blood sugar levels in the same way as refined sugar.

It is important that we keep our blood sugar level stable with our food choices. You should choose to snack on foods that contain protein and carbohydrates in preference to sugary snacks to keep blood sugar levels stable. If we constantly snack on sugary foods there will always be a high level of insulin in the blood which can cause many problems. Exercise naturally brings down your blood sugar levels so exercise regularly.

It is time to put thought into your food choices so as not to have the regret afterwards! If you would like help with your routine and healthier eating for weight loss and well-being call the Nutrition clinic for a one to one consultation. Call Caroline Masters, Nutritional Therapist on 086 3994615 or email nutrition@whelehans.ie to make your appointment today!

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