Why is sugar bad for you?

coffee cup and sugar dispenserWhen I was a child the only bad thing I ever remember hearing about eating sugar was that it would give you bad teeth. Occasionally someone might say you would get fat if you ate too much, but not very often.

Now it seems that sugar is about the worst thing you can eat. We constantly hear about how toxic sugar is, and how it can cause all kinds of health problems, including diabetes, liver disease and cancer.

So what is it about sugar that is so bad for you? Let’s start with a look at some different types of sugar. [Read more…]

Six ways you can start to be healthier right now

Woman with clockWhen we think about trying to be healthier it sometimes seems like it will be a hard job.

You may think of a detox or other strict diet, cutting out alcohol, running for miles, or whatever. It can seem like there’s a lot to do, so you do nothing.

But does it have to be like that?

I don’t know if you follow cycling (I don’t really), but when I was watching the cycle races at the London Olympics a couple of years ago I kept hearing the phrase “marginal gains”.

The British cycling team seemed to win more medals than anyone else and these marginal gains were said to be the key.

The idea behind this marginal gains approach is that rather than producing a big improvement in one aspect of a process, very small improvements in several areas add up to a massive overall improvement.

I’ve been thinking about this as an approach to improving health. Rather than focusing on one thing, why not just do a little better in lots of areas and let all the small health improvements add up?

So what should you be doing to produce these marginal gains in health? How can you start to be healthier today? [Read more…]

What is diabetes?

Diabetes means “syphon”?

diabetesWhen we think about diabetes we usually think about it as a problem with the way our bodies deal with sugar.

This is true, but the name of the condition, “diabetes”, comes from the Greek word for “syphon”.

Why syphon? Well, syphon is another name for a tube or pipe that a liquid flows through. Diabetes is defined as a condition that causes people to produce a lot of urine. In the past diabetes has been known as the “pissing evil”. [Read more…]