The Quality of Your Questions Determines the Quality of Your Life

An old wise doctor once told me. The quality of the questions you ask yourself day to day determines the quality of your life. I have some great examples of these questions at the end of this blog.

One question I have asked myself about my health is, what choice do I make everyday that can influence my health the most? I have found the answer. The most influential choice I can make for my health occurs in the grocery store. Once I put something in my cart, good or bad, it is likely to end up in my stomach. Even if you feel remorse in the grocery store, when you get home, your will power stands little chance. Number one, you paid for it and it’s only a few steps away from your mouth once it is in the house.

Any time I visit the grocery store, I try to stay out of the middle of the store because that is where most of the dangerous foods are that can sabotage my health. They are usually filled with unhealthy and addictive foods. If I don’t see soda pop and chips there is no way they will end up in my cart. So I learned by NOT walking down the junk food aisles and precommitting to not putting that stuff into my cart is a very wise idea. If it is out of sight it is out of mind.

I do try to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store because that is where the healthy foods tend to be. I spend most of my time in the fresh produce and seafood sections. A wise elder once told me that fish can make you smarter. I believed them when I was a child and now science confirms this. Fresh fish is healthy for your brain and heart.

So please don’t test yourself at home, make up your mind and have will power before and while in the grocery store.

 Another question I have asked myself is how do I get more of my patients to be more active? After all we only have one body to live in our entire life and without health there is no wealth. Exercise will bring us health, lower our blood pressure, release brain derived neurotropic factor (a fertilizer for memory formation), and decrease the chance of being diagnosed with diabetes or a cardiovascular disease.

So I quickly went to do my research and found that in medicine there is a common theme. What gets measured gets better. The more the doctor and YOU measure your blood pressure, check up on YOUR blood sugars the more we tend to get better results with what we are measuring. There are some famous medical clinics around the world known for their patient outcomes, they live longer and healthier lives. The one reason they do better then other medical clinics is because they are measuring everything they do with their patients and constantly trying to make things better.

In one simple study I found in my research, they wanted to know how people could increase their activity. So they gave them something to measure their activity by, a pedometer. When people are assigned to wear a pedometer as a part of a randomized control trial, they walked at least one extra mile per day on average. In summary overall activity levels go up by 27%. Body mass Index (BMI) decreases, and blood pressure goes down!

Answer: Simply having a pedometer results in people walking an EXTRA MILE every day! (Just Awesome.)

 At the beginning of this blog I shared with you that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself everyday.

 After much reading and reading from people like Tony Robbins. Here are some examples of questions I like to ask my self at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day.

  1. The Morning Questions

 Answer the following questions every morning to set yourself up for a positive day. 

  • What am I most happy about in my life right now?
  • What about that makes me happy?
  • What am I most excited about in my life right now?
  • What am I most proud of in my life right now?
  • What am I most grateful for in my life right now?
  • What am I enjoying most in my life right now?
  • What am I most committed to in my life right now?
  • Who do I love? Who loves me?
  1. The Evening Questions

 Ask yourself these questions at the end of each day before sleep.

  • What have I given today?
  • What did I learn today?
  • How has today added to my life?
  • How can I use today as an investment in my future?
  • What did I do today towards reaching my goals?

Have a blessed week and I hope some of these questions help in making your life happier and filled with satisfaction. #Love my life #Aboriginalteensuicideprevention

Love my Life and yours,

Dr. Peter Eppinga M.D.

 

Is sitting the new smoking?

It is good to move our DNA and restore our health through natural movement. The sitting itself isn’t really the problem; it is the repetitive use of a single position that makes us literally become ill in a litany of ways.

For example, muscles will adapt to repetitive positioning by changing their cellular makeup, which in turn leads to less joint range of motion. This muscle and joint ‘stiffness’ can lead to a stiffening of the arterial walls within these muscles. The positive news is that, because we’ve all been sitting (static) the same way for decades, changing our static positioning (i.e., standing more) can improve our health. However moving intermittently throughout the day is still the best for our health.

We need to see that it’s the constant STATIC nature of our sitting position throughout the day that is causing the bulk of our problems.

The solution isn’t to simply stand more. If we do, we’d be swapping out one STATIC position for another—not solving the root of the problem and potentially creating other challenges.

What we want to do is create a DYNAMIC workstation such that we’re moving more—in TINY ways—throughout the day.

Now, is sitting the new smoking?

 Sitting and smoking are different: sitting itself isn’t the creator of ill effects the way smoking a cigarette is. Sitting–the position—is perfectly harmless when ‘consumed’ appropriately. It’s not like putting your butt into a chair makes you ill; as they say, it’s the dose that makes the poison.

So, short answer: No, it’s not.

Language can also get us into trouble when we’re seeking solutions, because we keep equating sitting with not moving, but in many cases, the physical effects of sitting are just as much created by repetitive geometry (always sitting in the same way) as they are by the metabolic changes that come with being sedentary. So sitting differently can improve your health in the same way that standing can—which is great news for the millions of people who aren’t yet quite fit enough to stand for considerable amounts of time. Yes, even you—who want to change your risk profile for disease but feel trapped by your current physical limitations—can change how you sit and improve your health on a cellular level.

So don’t just sit there, keep moving through out the day. Stand and do some emails.

Have a blessed day and stay healthy,

Dr. Eppinga

Lose Weight in 6 Simple Steps

Most people who need to lose weight DO NOT NEED to go on a diet. They need to make a few, likely simple, changes in the way they live and they must make them consistently. The more simple these changes are, the more likely it is that you can be consistent in making them. The typical patient who will benefit from these instructions is someone who is in reasonable health and anywhere from 10-70 lbs over their ideal weight. This does not mean you can’t make these changes in your lifestyle if you aren’t overweight or if you’re overweight by more than 70 lbs; anyone can benefit. If you make changes to your lifestyle in a controlled and consistent fashion, it will soon become a habit. Once things become habitual it hardly requires any thought to live in this way.

Step 1: Spend some time evaluating WHAT YOU EAT AND HOW MUCH. You will most likely need to significantly decrease your intake of simple sugars like candy, cake, cookies or pop, high fat treats like potato chips, alcohol, and excessive amounts of high starch foods like bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta. You must be conscious especially of the snacks that you eat between and after meals and especially how much.

Step 2: After making a general evaluation of what and how much you are eating, make some decisions regarding CHANGES you will make especially for HIGH CALORIE FOODS like some snacks or alcohol. You might decide to eat apples and oranges only for snacks and water or flavoured water in place of pop. Diet drinks can be substituted for the original variety.

Step 3: Start knowing EXACTLY HOW MUCH YOU WEIGH. Ideally you should weigh yourself daily first thing in the morning and keep a record of it. This will give you extra incentive to make consistent changes in your lifestyle when you see its positive results. A digital scale is often most helpful for this.

Step 4: Start using PORTION CONTROL at regular meal times. You can buy a portion control plate or you can change your regular plate size to one that is close to 8 or 9 inches. Divide your plate into 4 quarters and make a decision to fill your plate only once per meal with half of the plate being vegetables, a quarter starch, and a quarter meat. Vegetables should ideally include things like greens, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and salads; but should not consist of corn or potatoes as these are starches. Single course meals should probably cover no more than half the plate depending on how many vegetables they contain. Remember that starches like rice, potatoes and pasta may cover no more than one quarter of your plate.

Step 5: Evaluate how much EXERCISE you can do. If you do not have trouble WALKING, you should walk at least 10,000 steps per day at a brisk pace. Whatever exercise you can do however, is better than none at all. A pedometer can be essential for many people to monitor how much they walk. It allows you to monitor and record how much walking is actually being done. Even if you can’t walk much, most people can try walk just a little more every day by forcing it a little and will build strength over time. The more weight you lose, the easier the exercise will become.

Step 6: You will LOSE WEIGHT as you make the lifestyle changes detailed here. Depending on how significant the changes you make are, most people will be able to lose from 1 to 2 pounds per week. The longer you live like this, the more likely it will become a habit. After some time you will no longer be able to eat a standard meal at a restaurant, it will just seem like too much. Because you will continue monitoring your weight you will be aware of just how much the lifestyle changes that you make affect your weight. It won’t be stressful however, because now you know what changes to make to cause the extra weight to go away.

Love my Life and Yours,

Dr. Peter Eppinga M.D.

5 Health Tips on Keeping Your Mind and Brain Healthy

book-cover-500

 

1. Keep well hydrated. Your brain needs water to survive and perform at its best. Any signs of dehydration, your brain will not be functioning at its optimum level.

 

2. Eat healthy with lots of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish, avocados and walnuts are good examples of food with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain uses omega-3 fatty acids in its structure and for its neuronal function.

 

3. Exercise is my number one prescription for anyone – exercise makes you feel good by releasing endorphins in your body. Exercise does a lot as you can read by clicking on my previous post here: http://drpetereppinga.com/?p=135

 

It also releases Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, (BDNF for short) which aids in memory formation. By having your heart pumping and your lungs breathing at a good pace it brings lots of needed oxygen to your brain cells and gets rid of all the toxic chemicals and free radicals your brain produces. Exercise prevails over any medication.

 

4. Focus on the good things in your life and don’t focus on the bad things. If you’re alive you’re going to experience pain. The only people with no problems in this world our in the graveyard. So you have a choice when you wake up in the morning to focus on the good or the bad. The more you focus on the negative your going to apply negative meaning to your life and you will not feel good about it. Your emotions for the day are mainly going to be gloomy and pessimistic which nobody wants, and soon you will be in the doctor’s office asking for anti depressant pills.

 

A good way to focus on the positive is to tell yourself positive affirmations in the morning and through out the day. I have a list that read from in the bathroom and a list on my phone that I read through out the day. I also use scriptures from the book of proverbs in the Bible. As I find the writers of the Bible are very positive in what they have to say about their outlook on life.

 

5. Have fun in life and get plenty of sleep. Take time to schedule fun time in your days and when experiencing happiness enjoy it and focus on that instead of negative things for the rest of the day. What you focus on will expand whether it be good or bad.

 

A human brain is 75% water and has the consistency of tofu or gelatin. The human brain consists of approximately 100 billion neurons (which is as many cells as there are stars in the Milky Way). Each neuron has somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 synapses, equaling about 1 quadrillion synapses. If all the neurons in the human brain were lined up, they would stretch 600 miles. Keeping your brain healthy is keeping your mind healthy. Let your brain experience something fun today!

 

Love my Life and yours,

 

Dr. Peter Eppinga M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

Health Tip – Being Food Fit – 10 Tips to a healthier U

1. When at the grocery store, fill your basket with vegetables and fruit to prevent chronic disease. Pick the dark green, orange, yellow and red fruits and veggies. Research has shown that vegetables and fruit are packed with vitamins and minerals that are important for good health. (If you are over 50 it is recommended to have 7 servings/day).

*Also did you know that the healthiest foods in the grocery store are on the perimeter, that’s right, the junk food is usually in the middle, staying on the perimeters of the grocery store keeps you food smart.

Here is a really good link to Health Canada’s Website and the Canada Food Guide for Healthy Eating – http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php

2. Health tip number two is water and U – On average your body is 60 – 70% water according to different resources. Water helps you think clearly, regulates your body temperature and keeps your bowels healthy and regular. It is recommended that women have 9 ounces of water and 12 ounces for men. Staying hydrated is so important for good health.

*Please discuss your recommended water intake with your doctor first especially if you have heart, kidney, liver or adrenal disease.

3. Pump up your protein is tip 3 – Protein not only repairs your muscles, skin, and nails it also maintains your immune function. Protein also helps you if you have been ill or just had surgery. Adults over 50 should have 2.5 ounces or 75 grams of protein/day. Refer to the Canada food guide for serving size and examples; it is downloadable from the links that I have provided.

4. Keep your bones strong – If you keep them strong it prevents osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is when your bones are fragile and have lots of porous holes in them, this puts you at increased risk for a bone fracture.

Your bones grow until early adulthood that is why it is so important to eat healthy as a teenager especially if you’re female. Living in Canada according to Dieticians.ca puts us at risk for not having enough vitamin D. You need enough Vitamin D and Calcium to prevent osteoporosis.

Examples of food with calcium are: milk, yogurt, cheese, and salmon with bones.

Vitamin D from comes from sunlight, egg yolks, fatty fish, fish liver oil.

Dieticians.ca is a great resource for videos and information from dieticians about recommended Vitamin D and calcium intake.

Here is a specific link to our Canadian Dietician Views – http://www.dietitians.ca/Dietitians-Views.aspx

5. Fill up on Fibre – it has been shown to decrease your cholesterol and keep you regular. It also decreases heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Most Canadians get half the fibre that they need.

It is recommended for women to get 25 grams of fibre per day and 38 grams/day for men.

Some good examples of fibre would be whole wheat breads, wheat cereals, oatmeal, barley, beets, and carrots.

6. The facts about Fat – One good strategy to decrease heart disease is to decrease your saturated fats (fats that come from animals). Processed trans fats come from vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated; these are good to stay away from as well.

7. Decrease your salt intake – this will help in decreasing your blood pressure, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. Recommended salt intake is 5ml per day (1 teaspoon). I personally struggle with decreasing my salt intake. Some things I have tried that have helped are experimenting with other seasonings such as garlic, lemon juice, and dried herbs.

8. Tip 8 is try to avoid calorie dense/empty foods to snack on such as potato chips, sweets, and baked goods. Avoiding fast food is best but if you find yourself at a fast food restaurant, you can still choose from the healthy menu.

9. Don’t cope with strong feelings using food. Emotional eating can damage your body. Eat to fuel/strengthen your body and not to satisfy your cravings.

10. The final tip 10 is to take control of your portion size. Monitor your food portions. Tell yourself that I am not concerned with clearing my plate and I will stop eating when I am full.

Once again here is Health Canada’s website and the Canadian food guide (They also have a guide for First Nations, Inuit and Metis in the link below)

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php 

Love My Life and yours especially when we are eating healthy,

Peter Eppinga M.D. (AKA Dr. Pringles to some 4 year old girls lol).

Health Tip – Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding your baby is an experience to enjoy. It is the ultimate bond between a mother and her baby. Starting out right helps to ensure breastfeeding is a pleasant experience for both you and your baby. It should be trouble free and natural for most mothers.

In this short blog I am going to talk about the 5 benefits of breast feeding and link you to a website that I recommend to all my patients who want to learn more about breast feeding.

I know many mothers will choose to formula feed their babies and that is okay. I am not trying to make anyone feel bad for not breastfeeding their babies. I only want to give you information and you can decide for yourself on what you want to do.

5 Reasons to Breast Feed

1. Nutrients and Protection from Infections – Breastfed babies from the research have decreased rates of infections including respiratory infections, ear infections and diarrhea. Infections also tend to be worse for anyone with poor nutrition.

2. Provides a bonding relationship – you get a lot of cuddle time with your baby. Who can ask for anything more!

3. Benefits to Mom – Research suggests that breastfeeding provides a measure of protection against breast cancer, ovarian cancer and weak bones later in life.

4. Benefits to Not Stopping – Research shows that breast milk is so important that it is the only food or drink your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. Beginning at 6 months of age babies need a variety of foods in addition to breast milk, which continues to provide nutrition and protection. As recommended by Health Canada “Any amount of breast milk is always good for babies”. I have met many mothers who continue to breastfeed their babies until they are two years old or more.

5. Convenient, Portable and Easy on the Budget – the milk is the perfect temperature and your milk is always with you. Well I guess “easy on the budget” can be a 6th reason but I wanted to keep it to 5  ….  sorry!  🙂  …. breastfeeding can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars!

Unfortunately breastfeeding doesn’t always go perfectly. The difficulties you may experience can be difficulty attaching the baby to the breast. This can be for many reasons including lack of practice, confidence or knowledge. Remember breastfeeding is a learned skill and practice makes progress. If you are experiencing difficulties seek help early from a health care professional. There are many people who have experience and expertise in positioning and attachment/latch difficulties. Please speak to your doctor or health care provider if your experiencing difficulty as they can direct to the right place to get help in your local area.

Learn from the best at the International Breast Feeding Centre  – Jack Newman – He is a world leader on the topic of breastfeeding. Information on his website is available in most languages. Here is the link below:

https://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=5&Itemid=17

Doctors, nurses and health care professionals are here to assist you…..YOU are making the journey.

Love My Life, Your Life and Your babies too!

Peter Eppinga M.D.

The 3 ABC’s of Diabetes

A stands for “A1C” which is a test that looks at your control of blood sugar over the last 3 months.

B stands for “blood pressure”. High blood pressure puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

C stands for “cholesterol” Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood. High cholesterol is another factor that increases your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious problems.

The second set of ABC’s

A stands for “activity” – increasing your activity, walking, biking, swimming, running, or doing whatever you love to do.

B stands for reducing your “belly” and weight. We know with diabetes weight around the tummy is especially important even a few percentage lost can make a really big difference.

C stands for “change”. Your belief and ability to change can have a big impact on diabetes also creating new social contacts with people who want to change.

The third set of ABC’s

A stands for “appointment”. Schedule a regular visit with your clinic every 3 to 4 months so you can review how you are doing over time. We need to measure you so we can tweak your medications or lifestyle choices to improve your chances of staying healthy.

B stands for “BMI”. Body mass index is a measure for human body shape based on an individual’s mass and height. The target range for diabetics is 18.5 – 24.9.

C stands for “control” – you are in control of looking after your health and taking your medication and knowing what they are used for. We are here to help you but ultimately it is up to you to keep yourself healthy.

What should my ABC levels be? — The levels you should aim for will depend on how severe your diabetes is, how old you are, and what other health problems you have. Ask your doctor or nurse what your target levels should be.

In summary from above many people with diabetes aim for:

A1C levels below 7 percent

Activity – aerobic activity (30minutes) most days of the week and resistance training three times per week

Appointment – Schedule a regular visit every 3-4 months.

Blood Pressure below 130/80, (or lower in some cases, your doctor may help you set a different goal).

Belly –waist circumference, Male <94cm and Female <80cm

BMI – targeted to be 18.5 – 24.9

Cholesterol – LDL = level below 2.6 mmol/L (LDL is one type of cholesterol, often called the “bad cholesterol” or “lousy cholesterol”)

Change and Control – you can change and you are in control. We are here to help you along the way to better health.

How can I control my ABC’s? — You and your doctor will work together to create a plan to keep your ABC’s under control. Remember to write down all the numbers so you can keep track of where you are and where you are going.

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.  ~Jim Rohn

Love my life and your life,

Peter Eppinga M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Take an Accurate Blood Pressure Reading

Did you know that approximately 4.6 million Canadians aged 20 years and older (19% of the population) have high blood pressure? That is why it is so important that we get our blood pressure checked and do our best to make it accurate.

The first part of accuracy is to choose the appropriate blood pressure cuff size. Cuffs that are too short or too narrow may give a falsely high reading. Using a regular sized cuff on a large arm may lead to a false diagnoses of hypertension. This means that heavy or very muscular people with thick arms need a larger bladder, while children need a smaller bladder.

* Ask your doctor to make sure they are using the appropriate cuff for your arm.

– The width of the inflatable bladder should be about 40% of the upper arm circumference (about 12-24 cm in the average adult).
– The length of the inflatable bladder should be about 80% of upper arm circumference (almost long enough to encircle the arm).

Here are some things that you should do before taking your blood pressure:

-You should not smoke, drink caffeinated beverages, or exercise 30 minutes before your blood pressure is measured.

-The room should be quite and comfortably warm

-Your arm when taking the blood pressure should be at mid chest level, or your elbow at the level of your heart

-Remove excess clothing that might interfere with the BP cuff or constrict blood flow in the arm.

-Your legs should not be dangling or crossed over. It’s better if you rest for 5 minutes in that position before the measurement.

-Try not to talk during the measurement.

– When the doctor is deflating the cuff. It is recommended that the pressure should fall at 2 – 3 mmHg per second, anything faster may likely result in an inaccurate measurement. This means when the doctor is letting the pressure come out of the cuff that it should take at least 10 seconds.

-If you need to check the pressure again for accuracy wait about five minutes between readings. Typically, blood pressure is higher in the mornings and lower in the evenings.

-If the blood pressure reading is a concern, masked or white coat hypertension is suspected, a 24- hour blood pressure study may be required to assess your overall blood pressure profile.

Below is a table for blood pressure measurements (Canadian Guidelines):

Category (Systolic / Diastolic)
Normal            (120-129 / 80-84)
High – Normal (130-139 / 85-89)
High blood pressure (measured in a doctor’s office) (140 / 90)
High blood pressure (measured at home with home monitoring device) (135 / 85)
High blood pressure for people with diabetes (140 / 90)

* One high reading does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure. If you have one high reading, you should have it measured at least two more times on separate days to check whether it is consistently high.

To summarize the table above:

Normal blood pressure is between 120/80 mm Hg and 129/84 mm Hg.

Blood pressure that is consistently more than 140/90 mm Hg when measured in the doctor’s office or 135/85 mmHg when measured at home is considered high. If you have diabetes, 140/90 mm Hg is high.

* If your blood pressure is between 130/85 mm Hg and 139/89 mm Hg, you have “high-normal” blood pressure, which is more likely to develop into high blood pressure.

Because hypertension is a “silent disease” many people are not worried about it. However hypertension can cause much harm to the body if untreated, some of the harms it can cause include the following: stroke, vascular dementia, hypertensive retinopathy, left ventricular dysfunction, angina, heart attack, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and intermittent claudication.

The good news is that you can try lifestyle changes to make it better. One of the best treatments is to loose weight, you can also try a DASH diet (dietary strategies against hypertension – talk to your doctor about this). It is also important to have low sodium intake, increase your physical activity (discuss with your doctor), use alcohol in moderation, stress management and please (pretty please) stop smoking.

If the lifestyle management is not working to control your blood pressure (follow up should be in about 3 – 6 months) you may have to talk with you doctor about trying some medications to get your blood pressure under control.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”.

Love my life and your life,
Peter Eppinga M.D.

Order Your Brain 3 Pounds of Fat Equals Your Life and Destiny

I am so excited to announce the release of my book available in June 2013 it is titled:

YOUR BRAIN – Three Pounds of Fat Equals Your Life and Destiny

All of your thoughts, beliefs, opinions, theories or dogmas are in your mind, which is contained in YOUR BRAIN. In other words whatever you impress in your mind will become expressed in your physical life. Your brain has the ability to change your life and this book will teach you how to look after your brain and maximize its potential.

You can now Pre order your book and we will send you a copy in June when they are available. You can purchase by clicking the buy now button under the book. 

I recently graduated from medical school and during my medical training I became deeply fascinated with the brain. I loved everything about it and how it works. We know little about it and it is responsible for our life. Your mind is housed in your brain, and it is your mind that will determine who you are.

In this book, I give many interesting facts and insights to your brain. There are several ways in which we need to take care of it, including proper sleep and exercise, in order to reap all its benefits and for it to function optimally. This 3 pound piece of fat truly does contain your destiny and you need to learn about it and look after it. Just like maintaining a car, you have to understand how it works and look after the engine, the same is for your brain and mind. As you look after it properly you will get the best results for your life and reap all of its benefits.

I wrote this book with the intention to help you find your destiny in God. There is a reason as to why you are here. God sees your life from the end. From the moment of conception to the end, he knows your life. God never starts anything that is not already complete, including YOU. My desire and hope is to make God’s vision for your life clearer to you. There are many tools in this book to help you see this vision and complete your destiny.

I am sure when you are done reading this book your life will not be the same. A wise doctor once told me, “There are two things that will change your life, the people you meet and the books you read.” This is a book that will change your life and will draw you closer to the Creator of the Universe. The electronic version for kindles and iPads will be available in mid June.

Love My Life and My BRAIN!

Peter Eppinga M.D.

 

Stay Away From the “White Stuff”…..SUGAR

We consume a lot of refined sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup and table SUGAR. According to the new Statscan report, which used data from the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, one in every five calories that Canadians consume comes from SUGAR. Canadians consume an average of about 110 grams of sugar per day (the equivalent of about 26 teaspoons). About a third of that intake is derived from normal sugars that come from vegetables and fruit.

Calculating that out, the report showed us that 35% of the sugar we consume is coming from the “White Stuff” we should stay away from…namely that includes sweets and soft drinks. This means the average Canadian consumes about 38.5 grams (10 teaspoons) from the bad “White Stuff” per day!

We have come from consuming a little bit of SUGAR in our diets to now having a large portion of our daily diet complimented with SUGAR.

SUGAR is one of the causes of the Obesity Pandemic in North America. About 31% of Canadians (and about 30% of Americans) are obese and the number is growing and has been growing for the past 20 years in addition to this we are now dealing with the childhood obesity problem.

Our holidays are associated with SUGAR. Halloween (sweets), Easter (chocolates), and Christmas (candy canes) have the culture of SUGAR built around them. Even at birthday parties the birthday cake is covered in SUGAR and the drinks are full of it as well.

Science tells us if our body has too much SUGAR it will react negatively to it (especially high fructose corn syrup). It can lead to obesity, which we know that obesity leads to certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The good news is you can eliminate it from your diet.

How to avoid the SUGAR problem:

1. Try not to buy it – the more sugary treats that are close to you….you will eat it. Don’t buy SUGARY soft drinks (pop), the sugar or pop will always win if it is in your house.

2. Take small steps to slowly wean it from your life. Find creative ways to eliminate refined SUGAR from your diet.

3. Have good support from your friends. Share your goals with them and the people in your home. Tell them, “If you see me eating SUGAR….remind me I want to stop it”.

4. Reward yourself with all of your efforts. Enjoy your life and fun!

5. Eat more fruits, vegetables, decrease SUGAR intake and exercise and you will loose weight. Talk with your Doctor or medical health professional about your goals and ask them for their help.

I have many things I tell myself in the morning and one quote that has changed my life is,

“I eat food to fuel my body and NOT to satisfy my appetite, I only have one body and I need to look after it”.

Cheers to eliminating refined SUGAR from your diet. “Love My Life” and my one and only body 🙂