Sugar described as ‘new tobacco’ by doctors and health campaigners

I won’t state the obvious and lecture you on how bad sugar is for your health; I love sugary treats and often choose to forget about what it’s doing to my body when I’m indulging (and trust me, when I indulge, I indulge). But recent studies show that people are becoming increasingly concerned about sugar levels and it is now being described as ‘new tobacco’ by doctors and health campaigners.

Last week a campaign launched by health experts declared that people who consume a sugary drink a day not only risk diabetes and obesity but also increase their chances of heart disease by a third.

This idea is being turned away by the food and beverage industry, with Gavin Partington, The director general of the British Soft Drinks Association saying: “If these campaigners were genuinely interested in public health they would be seeking to educate all consumers about the importance of a balanced diet and physical exercise rather than erroneously targeting one product category and making claims not supported by the evidence.”

But the Food Standards Agency (FSA) conducted a recent study which revealed that the concerns about sugar levels by the population as a whole have increased to 47% since past research in November 2010 which was 38%.

Organisations including the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, British Dietetic Association, CitizensUK and Faculty of Public Health are now proposing the idea of taxing fizzy drinks which would put prices of standards cans up by around 7p.

This isn’t the first time this idea has been suggested by health experts, as this video from 2013 shows.

They believe that this will reduce consumption, especially from youngsters, which could prevents thousands of people from suffering with deadly diseases in the future.

 Despite this what I think we all need to remember is that everything is about balance. I cannot drink a cup of tea without sugar and am probably the biggest chocolate fiend I know, but like fats and carbs and protein, sugar is a necessity for our diets and it would be bad for you (and pretty much impossible) to live without it. As long as you do not overdo it, it’s not going to kill you.
I personally do little things to keep my diet balanced. For example, I have 2-3 sugars in my tea. So if I have more than 2-3 cups of tea a day I won’t eat chocolate that day. Similarly, if I have a fizzy drink I will make sure I am going to be active for the rest of that day. Or, if I decide I just want a really fat day where I return from the shop over the road with a carrier bag full of sugary treats, I’ll just ensure that for the rest of the week I’m extra active and healthy.



Supermarket ready meals withdrawn after nuts used as substitute for cumin

People suffering from nut allergies are being advised to take extra precaution when buying supermarket ready meals such as curries, after it is feared that almond and peanut proteins have been used as a replacement for cumin in certain products.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a testing programme and are presently investigating cumin imports across the UK after traces of the nuts were discovered in make- your-own dinner kits, despite not being evident on the labels.

Lindsey McManus, deputy CEO of Allergy UK said: “If you want to be cautious, just avoid anything with cumin in it until we know more – ready meals, spices that you use yourself or anything that’s flavoured with cumin such as curries.

“It’s used in lots of things, but it will be in the ingredients list, so if people want to be cautious they can check the label and avoid it.”

Supermarkets including Aldi and Morrisons withdrew certain products from their shelves after being warned that the seasoning mixes may contain almond and peanut protein.

Staff at Aldi said that the safety of its customers was its ‘number one priority’.

Proffessor Chris Elliot, who led the government’s inquiry into the horse meat scandal back in 2013, said that this case was much more serious as it threatened the lives of allergy sufferers.

Read more:


Food Art!

Blogger Amber Locke, who turned vegan 18 months ago, has her own unique style of creating art using real fruit and vegetables.

She says she feels ‘fantastic’ after turning began and ‘loves the beauty of natural foods and how each ingredient had its own back story’.
Combining complementary shades of greens and reds and bright, vibrant hues from similar shades, chopping up fruits and tearing up lettuce leaves, Amber creates these amazingly detailed 3D pieces of art, layering the objects on top of each other and presenting them symmetrically and randomly, giving each piece a personal edge.
She said: “To me, fruit and veg are not only really good for you nutritionally they also have a wonderful aesthetic appeal too.

“It’s a joy to use beautiful ingredients and my work aims to showcase their unique qualities, reflect the changing seasons of the year and also be a celebration of healthy living.”
Her inspiration to start creating these beautiful images emerged after she dropped some vegetables onto her front doorstep. Autumn leaves blew into them and she thought it looked so appealing she herself began deconstructing pieces of food and arranging them to produce eye catching designs and I don’t think healthy food has ever looked so delicious!

Check out this video for Amber’s raw vegan Spaghetti Bolognese recipe!

Check out Amber’s blog for yourself:


Healthy cocktails?!

Being a student and being enthusiastic about living a healthy lifestyle at the same time can prove difficult, especially when it comes to drinking. I love going out and having a good time but always feel guilty about consuming one drink (or five) too many when I wake up the next day. But this brand new concoction is about to wipe me of this guilt. It is the creation we have all been waiting for; healthy cocktails.

Claire SmithBelvedere Vodka‘s UK brand ambassador, has replaced coconut cream with coconut water and added kale juice with basil leaves to create delicious low-fructose and low alcohol cocktails, priced on average at only £8.50, the standard price for a cocktail in a London bar.

She has even given them twists on their names, from Pina Colada to Pina- Kale- Ada.
Smith said: “We recognise that enjoying a well-made cocktail is part of the social fabric of life, and we wanted to celebrate this by demonstrating fantastic cocktails made with a variety of alcohol levels as well as different, 100% natural flavours and sweeteners.

“Great drinks don’t just have to just be about how much alcohol they contain, but should be judged by how delicious they are. Today we are aware of the harmful effects of overindulgence not just from alcohol but from sugar and artificial flavours and Belvedere want to show that there are ways to drink ‘better’, when armed with just a little bit of knowledge.”
BoBo’s Juicery will be teaming up with Marcus Wareing’s Tredwell’s restaurant to create these new and healthy concoctions, made from a base of Bobo’s fresh juice and containing Strength-Giving Gimlet (gin, ginger, pineapple, wheatgrass) and the Hail Mary (vodka, beetroot, carrot, coriander, fennel, lime, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and celery stick).

I love you Claire.
And I love you Vodka.

To read more and view some recies for coktails you can make at home, click here:


Earthlings is the most powerful documentary regarding the treatment of animals I have ever watched. Directed by Shaun Monson, this multi-award winning film by Nation Earth exposes the truth about the treatment of animals all over the world.

Monson said: “I hope people can “make the connection” between all expressions of life – human, animal, tree, because we all share the same planet, and one life form is connected to another.

“One thing Earthlings shows is animals clearly experience fear and pain, as do humans. When we use them, we are causing them tremendous fear and pain, right up until their death. So we ask people to make that connection between animal products they use, how they are obtained, and so on.”
Skip to 17 minutes and 45 seconds to watch the section focusing on food, revealing what really happens in the slaughter house and how the food you are consuming has ended up on your plate. Not only is it not fair but it is not good for your body to consume this meat, after the trauma the animal has experienced, hormones they have been pumped with and disease they have suffered.

These images are extremely disturbing and unforgivable, however it is not right for us as the consumer to be blinded from the truth and this documentary is definitely worth a watch. Every living being deserves a place on this planet just as much as we do.

“The images you are about to see are not isolated cases. These are the industry standard for animals bred as pets, food, clothing, for entertainment and research. Viewer discretion is advised.”


The Secrets of food Marketing

Food marketers do not only use certain terminology on their labels to fool us into buying their products, but sometimes to disguise where the food has come from and what it really contains. This food marketer in particular exposes some of their techniques through a presentation to a small audience and once she reveals their ‘secret weapon’  they are left so speechless they don’t even applaud her.

It is very easy to look the other way and blind ourselves to the things we would rather not know. However by doing this we are not only neglecting other forms of nature, but we are not being kind to ourselves either. If there are any food marketers out there, I’d love to hear your comments below. 🙂


Secrets in your stomach- Cow’s Milk

I never understood people that don’t like milk. How could you not enjoy a glass of creamy deliciousness? How could you live a life without proper cups of tea and cereal? My perspective on this calcium containing supposedly healthy beverage changed, however, when I learned about the aspects of milk the label doesn’t tell you.
So what really goes on behind the scenes? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re not just drinking a perfectly white, healthy drink like the label implies, but a fluid containing blood, pus, and even feces. And that’s not the worst part.

Cows are much like humans in the sense that they have similar basic needs (food and water), have a range of emotions and their own personalities, play games with each other and nurture their young, which is the reason they produce milk in the first place.

However, cows that are born and raised into the dairy industry live in too confined spaces to do any of those things, therefore they are unable to look after their young, and are bred purely for their bodily fluids. These cows are being treated like factory machines and expected to produce such an extreme and unnatural amount of milk per day, that they are continuously being pumped with hormones and antibiotics, making them produce about 20,000 pounds of milk a year, when they’re only supposed to produce 16 pounds a day for their calves.
As a result of this the cattle pick up nasty diseases and their sore udders dispose blood and pus which ends up straight into the cartons on the supermarket shelf, then straight into the stomach of the consumer. In fact, humans who drink cow’s milk increase their chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and so on.

The mothers are inseminated repeatedly, spending their days in a concrete, overcrowded prison. And when their new born calves are born they are stripped away from them when they are just one day old, leaving the mother heartbroken whilst the babies get chained up for a matter of weeks to be raised for veal, suffering from diarrhea, pneumonia and desperate for their mothers.

Milk is a very hard substance to cut out of your diet, especially as it is used in so many other products like cheese and chocolate. As a substitute, I personally recommend sweetened hazelnut milk, but almond milk and Soy are also tasteful. These products work just as well, if not better, in cakes, coffee, milkshakes and pretty much anything!

After discovering these facts I accepted that this is not a product I can give up completely. But learning this information alone has put me off of milk in general and I have started gradually wiping out products containing milk in my diet.