Don’t let added sugar in your diet sour your health and wellbeing. Simply follow these practical steps for a healthier lifestyle where you can still have your cake and eat it.
1. FIND YOUR VOICE
One of the first things you need to overcome is the fear of being seen as a fussy eater. It’s a far cry from a toddler’s ‘eat your greens’ tantrum to someone who wants to know the ingredients of a dish in a restaurant dish. Your health matters and very few people quibble when you ask them a question, so if you’re not sure then speak up.
2. PLAN AHEAD
Being out and about is one of the biggest challenges we face when there is far less control on what’s available to eat and drink. To combat this, brush off your Tupperware. Whether you’re going to be snacking on crunchy carrot sticks or filling up on sourdough sandwiches, taking some time to plan ahead helps you take control of both your health and your finances.
3. LOW FAT FOODS
To tackle a lack of taste in certain low fat products, manufacturers will often increase the sugar content as well as the price.Ensure you check the labels, not the marketing message to decide if something’s good for you. It’s sometimes better to have a little of something, than a lot of a substitute often high in sugar.
4. BE INFORMED
Naivety is not an option when it comes to understanding the implications of your own health. The good news is that we have plenty of support available for free in Islington. Check out NHS Whittington Health’s free ‘Diabetes Self Managament’ programme.
The programme runs from 2 August at Holloway Health Care Centre 1.30-4.30 for 7 weeks. Places are limited and must be booked in advance. Contact Frances Neate by calling 020 7527 1189, or email Whh-tr.Self-Management@nhs.net
5. PORTION SIZE
Simple solutions are always the best way to achieve positive change. Adjusting portion size is hard when your plate looks empty; that’s why we suggest swapping your fine china for smaller plates, dishing out your vegetables first and separating out food types on a plate instead of piling them up.
6. GET BAKING
If you don’t want to dissect every food label, why not cook your own healthy treats. To get you started, here’s a tasty fat free, diabetic cake to try:
- 500g mixed dried fruit
- 450ml strained tea
- 2 x eggs
- 300g self-raising flour
- Put the dried fruit in a bowl, stir in the tea.
- Leave overnight.
- Stir in eggs & flour.
- Turn into a 1kg greased loaf tin.
- Bake for 170°c / Gas 3 for 1.5-2hrs.
- Turn out & cool on wire rack.
7. SWEET TALK
Sugar and its potential negative health implications are in the thoughts of most older people. One of the easy ways to relieve the stress and get some helpful ideas is to start talking to your friends, family or neighbours. Why not share this article as a starting point.
8. PIMP YOUR PILL BOX
Many people who have developed a sugar related illness like diabetes will inevitably find themselves on medication. To keep pill popping away from becoming a complete chore, we recommend setting up a routine to help you do it on autopilot or why not cover your pill case with a Tabtime Tapestry Wallet. Available from various retailers or direct from the manufacturer for £6.99+P&P.
9. GET ACTIVE
The simplest, cheapest way to tackle the negative effects of sugar is to get up and go out for a walk (see Walkaholics on Thursdays in the Drovers Centre listings). Burning more calories than you consume keeps the weight down. And getting out and about during the long summer days keeps us all feeling younger. If getting out and about is difficult you can learn some exercises at our Chair Based Exercise class every Monday (see Chair Based Exercise on Mondays in the Drovers Centre listings).
10. KEEP LIVING A SWEET LIFE
Sugar isn’t evil, no one is telling you to sit at home and suffer savoury snacks every day. If your sweet spot is a slice of cheesecake or a 99 ice-cream, why not think about opting for a smaller portion or drop the chocolate flake. After all, we all know happiness is the best tonic for life, a little treat every now and then keeps our wellbeing up.