Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Best Way to Eat

I believe the best way to eat, to avoid premature ageing and promote good overall health – is an Anti-Inflammatory diet, rich in Antioxidants and Low Glycaemic Load (GL). First of all let’s explain Inflammation – this is a process that robs the skin of its youth, although inflammation is a natural healing reaction, it easily gets out of control and many researchers believe it is proving to be the basis of virtually every disease process from heart disease, cancer and dementia to skin problems including skin ageing. UV, pollution, ozone, smoking, all cause Free Radicals to be produced in the body – this triggers inflammation.

The GL Way of Eating
The GL diet has received a lot of media attention and lots of books have been written on the subject – fortunately it’s not hype, and here to stay. It has many positive medical benefits such as reducing adult-onset diabetes and heart disease. The benefit of eating low GL is weight loss and a slim body and loads of energy – it is above all Anti-inflammatory. GL is a ranking system for Carbohydrate content in food portions based on their Glycaemic Index (GI) and portion size.
The Glycaemic Index is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels, foods are rated to whether they are low (0-10), medium (11-19) or high (20+) GL. A high Glycaemic Load food, i.e. – white bread, croissants releases sugars into the blood stream very quickly (known as a sugar spike) – this spike in insulin sets off a cascade of inflammation in the body. Low GL foods release sugar into the blood stream more steadily, resulting in a slow release of Insulin with very little inflammation. The Italian/Mediterranean diet is very low Gl and rich in Fish, fruits and vegetables with beneficial oils and herbs, it also helps that the food is delicious.

Increased blood sugar causes chemical reactions in the body which create inflammation, this leads to a damaging effect on skin cells and Collagen fibres and can result in inflexible collagen and wrinkle formation. To improve and protect our skin we need a low Glycaemic Load diet – rich in Antioxidants. One of the benefits I have found in this way of eating is a huge increase in energy levels, also by keeping blood sugar levels stable, you not only feel better but you’re not tempted by a high sugar treat or snack high in fat. We should aim to have something to eat every three hours to help keep blood sugar stable.

Eat plenty of fresh, untreated foods essential for the health of your entire body, the bonus is healthy, smooth, glowing skin with less skin problems like acne, eczema and sensitivity – and definitely less wrinkles. Variety is the spice of life – and eating a varied diet is the best way to stay looking younger and prevent disease. Eat fresh wholefoods like – Oily fish, chicken, grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, oils, herbs and spices. Wholefood basically means it hasn’t undergone any processing and is as unrefined as possible; Wholefoods do not contain any added sugar, salt and fat – unlike the many food choices in the western diet today.

Avoid the following; 

  • Burnt, brown or fried foods – these produce Free Radicals in the body 
  • Pesticides on fruit & veg - use organic where possible or grow your own 
  • Processed Foods 
  • Sugar – try Xylitol instead, available at your health food store. Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate. It is found in fibrous vegetables and fruit.

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