Mother was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day-and this is especially true for people with diabetes. That’s because skipping breakfast can lead to problems regulating blood sugar levels throughout the day. Missing the morning meal can cause an increase in the body’s insulin response, which may result in weight gain. And extra pounds, as we all know, is something people with diabetes want to avoid. Eating a healthy breakfast can also help you control your appetite and lead to better food choices throughout the day. Nourishing your body in the morning means you won’t be famished by lunchtime, which can make it tempting to grab the most convenient and calorie-laden foods.
As new labour-saving devices are invented, and as the digital world continues to expand, we are sitting more and moving our bodies less. Recent studies have pointed to the dangers of sitting, going so far as to suggest that even regular exercise is not protective.
“Secretarial spread” is the old-fashioned term for weight gain that occurs from hours of sitting. Unfortunately, this term doesn’t begin to describe the harms that actually arise. Studies have shown that excess sitting causes:
We live in a fast-paced society which interferes with many important aspects of life. We don’t get enough sleep, exercise, or leisure time and we rely on processed/fast foods. Indeed, this pace may cause us to lose touch with what our bodies really need for optimal health, and that can include losing touch with how, when, what and why we eat.
When was the last time you grabbed a fast food meal, or ate in front of the computer, television, or in the car? Have you ever skipped meals because you were too busy? Have you ever let yourself get so hungry that you ate too much? On the other hand, do you find you overeat at buffet restaurants or find yourself dialing for pizza after seeing the television advertisement? Have you ever eaten because you were angry or sad?
Most definitely a mouthful, yet something you don’t expect to be eating when you sit down to a meal. Advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, are compounds that are found in food and in our bodies. In fact, this term includes thousands of compounds; many are being studied for their role in health and disease.
AGEs are formed naturally in the body, by the normal “running” of our systems. The process is very complicated, but simply put, AGEs are complexes of sugar and fat or protein. The body has several methods to remove AGEs and generally keep things in balance. What is being suggested, however, is that excessive intake of AGEs, mainly from foods, is upsetting the balance and contributing to poor health.
There is plenty of talk about the perils of sugar and indeed, most health experts think we consume too much of it. What is the evidence that we are eating too much, and if so, how much is safe? Is any amount of sugar OK?
Sugar is a concern because it is a source of “empty” calories, that is, calories that contribute to one’s body weight without providing any nutrition. Furthermore, empty calories may displace more healthy foods, leading to deficiencies. Sugar is also a concern as it is a contributor to the increase in obesity being observed around the world. In 2009 the American Heart Association (AHA) drew links between sugar and cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, insulin resistance and diabetes. The recent EPIC diet and cancer study linked added sugars to brain, uterus, prostate and pancreatic cancer.
Cancer is a complex disease with many contributing factors. It is essential to know, however, that a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of getting cancer by up to 50%. This powerful statement is based on research that has been accumulating over the past 60 years.