Sugary drinks and advertisements

Soft drink is widely advertised in the US market.

colorful bottles of soda pop on store shelf
Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

There is a high rate of sugary drink consumption for adults and children. In 2018 Pepsi Max was responsible for the soft drink advertising. The American Heart Association says that teens and young children should consume 25g of sugar. Most soft drinks have about 30g of sugar in there.

Now that we are in the Coronavirus times, it is time to think about how much sugary drinks we consume. Advertisers should ban all soft drink ads.

The sugary drink market in the US

The sugary drink market is quite large in America. Here they have the Dr Pepper brand, Snapple, iced teas, sports drinks, coke, soft drinks and flavoured juices.

The 24 beverage companies in the US had spent $1038 million on advertising alone in 2018. TV was the main media that the sugary drinks were advertised on. Advertising for children’s drinks were $21 million in that year alone. Advertising for regular soda was $568 million dollars. Coca-cola and PepsiCo remained the biggest companies to spend money on their advertising. The ads on TV were viewed a lot by children and teens. Diet soda’s advertising costs were $296 million. From 2013-2018 total advertising for sugary drinks increased by 26%.

Advertising for iced tea cost a lot and it had the biggest spending increase in 2013-2018.

The impact of sugary drinks on your health

If you drink them everyday for a long time you would get

  • Tooth decay- they have so much sugar that it can damage your tooth enamel.
  • PMS issues- women in particular. Too much sugar can lead to this.
  • Obesity would skyrocket- you would be overweight
  • Diabetes would be on the rise

Should sugary drinks be banned from TV advertising?

My answer is yes. In order for us to be a healthier nation, we must stop the overconsumption of soft drinks and that means fewer TV ads. The TV ads for these things could be taken up by ads for healthier products such as healthy snacks and protein bars. The sugary drink ads should be done at an appropriate time such as after children are in bed or at school.


High cholesterol

Too many us have diets which are high in cholesterol. High cholesterol is in things like butter, cream, deep fried foods and saturated fats. It is very common in Australia and other parts of the world to have this issue.

We also don’t exercise enough each day. We are too sedentary.

Your body needs cholesterol for many functions like a healthy heart. But it doesn’t need a lot. Your body can quite readily make its own.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is the fatty acid that you need to perform most functions in the body. There are two types of cholesterol, good cholesterol (that is all your good omega three fats) and the bad cholesterol (this is your from processed foods and trans fats).

What happens if you have high cholesterol?

High cholesterol happens when someone gets 3.6 mnol/L in their cholesterol levels. Sometimes its genetics that cause the high levels, but most of the time its our lifestyle (being overweight)

You could:

  • Have fatty liver disease
  • Have pulmonary disease
  • Heart and organ failure
  • Put on weight around the lungs and the heart

To avoid high cholesterol

  • Limit your servings of processed foods to just treat foods
  • Have meat no more than three times a week
  • Eat more fiber. The more fiber you eat the fuller you’ll get and it also helps to get rid of the bad waste in your body
  • Drink Apple Cider Vinegar. It is said to help lower cholesterol levels
  • Exercise. You should aim to get in 150-300 mins of vigorous activity a week. And for muscle building, you should include two strength sessions in a week
  • Be happy. Having too much stress is not good for you

NB: if you have high cholesterol, you should go and see your doctor and don’t wait.


What Covid19 is doing to our food habits

Covid19 has changed our food habits and not for the better.

I read this article on Food Politics and wondered if Australia is doing the same thing. We probably are.

Photo by eric montanah on Pexels.com

The isolation period during Covid19 has seen us cooking more and baking more in iso. As such people have gained weight by doing that. Our physical health has declined a bit. We did a bit of research on Instagram and found that there were 19.7k + posts on iso baking and 43.5k+ posts on isolation baking. Covidbaking got 28.3k posts. Lockdown baking got 83.9k posts. This says that a lot of people did baking during these times because they were so bored at home

The tag covidtakeout has 500+ posts on Instagram. Many Australians got takeaway during this time and that has contributed to weight gain

Also the biggest change would have to be the cooking. Many people have taken up cooking and buying their food locally.

People are snacking a lot more out of boredom. Some of us think about food more and we try to make that change to eating more healthy foods.

So what do we need to do to get out of this mess?

We need to regain our self control over food and do other things like learn some new exercises. There are lots of new exercises on Youtube.

We also need to make more soups and things other than baking.

Now that things are open up again such as the gym, why not go there once a week? Or you could train for that marathon that you always wanted to do next year!

Oh and you can still have that cake, but only as a treat!


Wholegrain week

Wholegrain week was from June 15-21 2020. It is a week where we are encouraged to swap all the processed food for whole grains and legumes. Eg we could have oats for breakfast instead of cereal.

It was started by the Grain and Legumes council. They are a not for profit organisation which helps to promote eating wholegrains and legumes. We don’t get enough of these and that’s what this week is all about.

Here we swapped white bread for wholegrain and included barley in our soup. We loved Abbott’s wholegrain bread as it keeps us fuller for longer. For snack on Monday we had Carmen’s protein plus bar which has a source of fiber. For breakfast we either had oats or the Arnott’s clusters. My flatmate also bought some other granola from Sam’s pantry which is wholegrain. One day for morning tea we had the Natures Valley peanut butter cup which was nice.

I felt much fuller for longer going on whole grains rather than processed food. The museli bars I used to buy were full of just crap. Now I buy ones which have no added sugar and are full of whole grains.

I also felt much cleaner that week too. I think I’ll keep up the wholegrain eating and not eat that processed food crap anymore.

For meat eaters: you don’t need to take out meat. Instead just add some whole grain foods or legumes to your meals to make them hearty. When going out swap your white bread roll for wholegrain and normal pasta for wholegrain if you can.


Are you constantly trying to lose weight?

Then you need to read this!

I was inspired by JH Health and Fitness who wrote up about taking a break every once in a while. They say that you need to take a break from your gym and diet routine and just enjoy food.

Pre Covid19 I was going to the gym too much and therefore my hormones were out of wrak. I was trying to train for a marathon and learn spin cycle as well as doing weights.

These days I just enjoy being outdoors and my Body Combat at home.

Say you want to lose 20-50kgs of bodyweight. Now you know that its not going to happen overnight and some weeks your weight will plateau. If you go to the gym every single day with no breaks, you will get tired and very irritable. A 4 week small but manageable period is just what the doctor ordered. During the pandemic most of us are thinking about whether or not we should head back to the gym and do back to back workouts. I think not as the pandemic was a good time to rest and recover. I also found that I slept better as my hormones recovered.

We are always hungry whenever we try to diet. This is the biggest failure of sticking to the diet. So hence it is ok to enjoy that treat once in a while.

After the pandemic I won’t be going to the gym as often as I would like. Instead I would spend that time outdoors and just enjoy outdoors and my runs. I run for pure enjoyment not competition.

You should try and accept your body for the way it is and find one good thing that there is to like about yourself rather than trying to lose all that weight. You would lose some of that weight by incorporating some more rest days and eating the right foods.


How to incorporate a healthy diet during Covid

Most of you will be in lockdown right now (or part lockdown) which means staying at home and not doing a lot of exercise. Where I live I can still do exercise outside.

Your daily intake of food should be around 1800-1900 calories each day. Make sure that you get in your 30-35 servings of vegetables a week and about 14-21 servings of fruit during the week. Add in your lean proteins and carbs and you’re good to go.

Ideally this should be five meals a day. This should be two snacks and three meals in a day.

Plate sizes- how big should my portion be?

For ladies- no bigger than one palm for meat and grains and no bigger than half the plate full of vegetables. Your fats should be one thumb size

For males- no bigger than two palms for carbs and two of meat (but if you’re trying to lose weight, just go for one) and half your plate should be full of vegetables. Your fats should be one thumb size.

Sugar

Its best to avoid added sugar at all costs if you can. Added sugar just adds fat to your waistline. Eat too much of it and you’ll feel the effects of sugar such as tooth decay and weight gain. Not to mention insomnia. Eating fruits is ok as they are natural sugars and they are good for you

Hydration

Its important to stay hydrated throughout the day. I would go for 3-4L of water which can include herbal tea. If you don’t like plain water why not add a bit of fruit to it? Or you could drink it with apple cider vinegar.


Our 100 days of less sugar Part 10

We’ve come to the end of that and have learned lots about added sugar and why it is bad for you. Moreover I have not gotten any of those PMS issues and can sleep better now.

Day 90

Today I had a milo flavoured yoghurt that was really sweet. But still I enjoyed it. For dinner we had hotpot and loads of seafood.

Day 91

I had no sugary treats which is good. But I love my Liddells yoghurt that has no added sugar to it.

Day 92

Today I went into the city and treated myself to a donut to say thanks for staying home and staying the course of the pandemic and helping others. It felt great to be treated.

Day 93

Today was Biggest Morning tea so I had a bit of cake. Afterwards I was all good

Day 94

Today I had a cookie for the Red Shield Appeal and to promote it in hopes that people raise some money

Day 95

Today I tried a few squares of the Green Black’s chocolate and it was enough to satisfy me. I was feeling PMSY this time.

Day 96

Today I had a snickers bar for Red Shield Appeal. It was $1 from 7/11 so I thought why not?

Day 97

No sugar as per usual but I did have a bliss ball.

Day 98

Went out for greek lunch but other than that there was no sugar in the house. Also enjoyed a beer after three months of not going out due to the lockdowns.

Day 99

I had a sugarless chocolate chip cake from Woolworths which was alright the day that it was bought which is today. But then a few days afterwards my flatmate had it and said that it was dry.

Day 100

I tried Dairy farmer’s milk- the no sugar version of this and I got to say that I like this version better. It does have 275 calories and 21g of sugar but most of that sugar is lactose

Coming to the end of this I have to say that I learnt a lot whilst doing the experiment. I learned not to trust my flatmates in buying things and instead rely on myself. I learnt that I’m a lot happier and sleep much better without sugar.


Could a vitamin D deficiency lead to more Coronavirus cases?

I read an article by Bodybuilding on Vitamin D deficiency. We know about vitamin D deficiency. Runners world said that countries with a Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a higher mortality rate. The elderly people at this time are being advised to stay indoors and that decreases their vitamin D.

We did some research on the English and Irish diets and found them to be lacking in many nutrients such as Vitamin D. And they were some of the most highest countries to have a lot of people contract the Coronavirus.England has over 281,000 cases and their cases is rising daily. Ireland has over 25,000 cases. People in those countries are very sedantary. Their winters are really harsh with no sunlight.

In the USA there is over 1911,339 cases and the amount of cases rises daily. Their diet is high in fats and this has caused for the coronavirus rates to grow rapidly.

If you are Vitamin D deficient you could be at risk for many things such as Type 2 diabetes and other illnesses. Actually Vitamin D is a hormone and it not only absorbs calcium, it also provides mood support.

Coronavirus is a respiratory disease so researchers are trying to find the link with low vitamin D. If you are deficient in Vitamin D and have been for a while you may get Cardiovascular disease which is a respiratory disease involving the heart.

So where is vitamin D present?

In foods such as dark leafy greens, salmon, eggs, trout, fortified milk, mushrooms, meat, liver, cheeses, sardines. If you don’t have enough you can also try a supplement such as cod liver oil.

Its also present in the natural sunlight, so try and get some sunlight every day.

But what happens if I take too much?

If you take too much according to WebMD you could have Vitamin D toxicity which means vomitting, weakness, frequent urination and irregular heartbeat.


Why carbs are not the enemy

I got the idea for this article from Snap Fitness Airport West’s Facebook page who says that not all carbs are bad for you.

People seem to think that carbs are the enemy and that to lose weight you must eliminate all carbs. We see it all the time at the gym where people talk about going on a diet. But I think not. Often I eat carbs at the gym to encourage everyone to do the same.

Carbs are a essential nutrient for your body. Carbs help you maintain your energy needs for your body. Without carbs you cannot function. Being a runner who is female I do need lots of carbs, especially when I’m doing 4 training sessions a week.

But there is a difference between bad and good carbs.

Not all carbs are created equal.

Good carbs are your vegetables, fruits, natural sugars, brown and white rice and pasta etc. These carbs usually have fiber which is another macronutrient that we need to function. Vegetables are carbs.

Bad carbs are the refined ones found in processed foods. These are your meat pies, alcohol, candies, chips, burgers, some cereals and other takeaway foods.

The message is this, it is okay to a few bad carbs here and there and carbs are not the enemy. It is how much of the bad carbs that you eat per week.


Our 100 days of less sugar part 9

This time I bought my own snacks instead of relying on my flatmate to buy them.

Day 80

Today I was at home and I bought a protein bar and enjoyed no other sweet things except for the Oh Sparkling drink which had a lot of sugar in there

Day 81

Went to my sisters place and enjoyed her homemade cinnamon bun which has minimal sugar in there. Her husband is a diabetic so everything she makes has not a lot of sugar in there

Day 82

Today I finished the cake which my flatmate left in the container and didn’t want. I hate food waste

Day 83

Today I had no added sugar and it felt good. Next time I have to know not to trust my flatmates in buying snacks for me and instead just do it myself. He often buys the wrong thing and we are too polite to tell him that.

And I avoided the cake in the fridge and had a peanut butter sandwich instead for a snack.

I researched “elderly and nutrition” online and it is said that they should not consume too many foods with added sugars in them.

I also found out that the average American eats waaay too much added sugar.

Day 84

I still don’t trust him to make the right food choices for me and I do it myself. But still they brought home a cinnamon scroll and I only had a little bit and it was quite enough for me. Oh and I had two sickly sweet ginger snaps

Day 85

Today we had lamb for dinner yummy with all the vegetables. This time he gave me more. He normally doesn’t give much.

Day 86

Today I had a small mini sized chocolate and my Aussie Bodies protein bar

Day 87

Today we had Chicken Kiev which was homemade and very nice for dinner. It was filling.

Day 88

Today there were no sweets in the house which was awesome. Apart from the Ginger cookies and the homemade Apple Pie there really wasn’t much.

Day 89

Today I had no sweets except for the Chewy museli bar. I have been pretty good about swapping the sweet snacks for the more savoury ones. Instead of the ginger snap cookies I went for the sweet potato.