Absolutely saturated or dying of thirst?

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Saturated fat, unsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat…..the list goes on. We are constantly told about the benefits and drawbacks of these fats day in, day out. What has been highlighted most recently in the media is the possible risk of being literally saturated with water.

We are regularly advised to drink more of the stuff, and its one of the rare things we can put in our bodies without worrying about calories- after all, it can only do us good, right? Well apparently not.

The death of a woman in the US after taking part in a water-drinking contest shows you can have too much of a good thing. Jennifer Strange had taken part in the ‘Hold Your Wee for a Wii’ game which promised the winner a Nintendo Wii. Afterwards she reportedly said her head was hurting and went home, where she was later found dead. Initial tests have shown her death is consistent with water intoxication.

That was back in 2007. More recently more and more people have come forward to say they have experienced symptoms associated with the condition. Joanne Jarvis wrote an article in The Daily Mail which highlighted the effect that drinking excessive quantities of water can cause.

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                                                  Nigella Lawson has also admitted she is an ‘Aquaholic.’

So, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be dangerous, and in some cases, fatal. I first heard that drinking too much water can be detrimental during my sports nutrition lectures. However, the term I came familiar with was ‘hyponatremia’ – a metabolic condition in which there is not enough sodium (salt) in the body fluids outside the cells. It has been known to be common among athletes such as long distance runners.

The actual process of taking toobmuch water into the body is quite complex. The simplest way to explain would be to say that when you run, you sweat. When you sweat, you become thirsty. You then take on more water because you have sweated.
The cycle continues until excess body water dilutes the serum sodium in your body which causes low blood serum. When this happens, your body’s water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. This swelling can cause many health problems ranging from mild to severe.
Sodium is an electrolyte, and when the levels of electrolytes in your body become unbalanced, symptoms can arise. These symptoms can range from a headache, or as has more recently been highlighted, death.
With the media loving this new conflict of interests, my worry is that people will take the warnings far to literally.
Once again, I believe it is that old mantra that everything should be consumed in moderation. If you stick by this you can rarely go wrong. If you are thirsty…drink. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day, because as I was always told, if you are thirsty, you are actually already dehydrated.
The individuals who have suffered from water intoxication (or hyponatremia), have consumed enormous quantities of water which in my opinion, would be hard to achieve without considerable effort.
For a more detailed debate on the subject, have a look at these links which include conflicting professional opinions and some really useful information.
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FoodBev.com – A world of food and drink

End of an era…an exciting new venture

I am lucky enough to be starting a new job as editorial assistant for the food and beverage company, FoodBev.com. Both an online magazine and in print, Foodbev.com provides everything you need to know about functional foods, nutrition, water products and global news, to name just a few.

Check out this website for food and beverage news, innovation news, podcasts and interviews discussing the latest food and drink products and much more!

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Check out this website for all foodie news…

http://www.foodprocessing.com

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Under pressure

New mums feel under pressure to be a ‘super mum’ as celebrity’s baby regimens get more and more extreme

Celebrities have been put under the scrutiny spot light, with star  mothers like supermodel Miranda Kerr and singer Rachael Stevens photographed already back to their pre-baby bodies just weeks after giving birth.Today, new mums are expected to have natural births, breastfeed without a hitch, and get back into their jeans within weeks. The pressure to be perfect has never been greater…

Waistline worries

A recent study of over 1,000 mothers with children under the age of six months revealed that the majority of mothers said they wanted to lose the weight they had gained during their pregnancy, yet over half hadn’t succeeded, and 36% had managed to lose ‘some of the weight.’ Shockingly, a tenth of mums hoped it would take a meagre two weeks to lose their baby weight.
Maybe even more significantly, when mothers were asked to respond to the post-pregnancy celebrity phenomenon, well over a third admitted that they felt pressured by celeb mums who had lost their weight at a ridiculous rate. As a result of the media and the influence of these celebrity dieters, mothers have now got high and unrealistic expectations of shedding the excess weight at break neck speed post pregnancy.

When it comes to losing weight and getting their lives back to the pre-pregnancy state, celeb mothers always seem to be one step ahead of the game.  

Rachael Stevens, one week after giving birth

One minute women such as Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez are walking down the street in their third trimester, and yet in no time at all they are strut meagre ting their teeny bodies down the red carpet in a barely-there dress. 

 But what effect is this having on the ‘real’ women who are not in the public eye, and are seeing these images on a daily basis?

Emma Prescott from London who is 32 weeks pregnant admits that the pressure to be the ‘perfect’ mum affects her confidence and self esteem as celebrities continue to portray an almost impossible image of parenthood. “I know it shouldn’t affect me but it does. You start to compare yourself to them, and it can make you feel inadequate as a pregnant woman, when you should be embracing your pregnancy,” Emma says.

Emma Prescott, in her third trimester

Bad role models?

Not only are celebs slimming at an extraordinary rate but they are returning to work just weeks after giving birth. Victoria Beckham, who is due to give birth to her fourth child, has maintained her infamous style throughout her pregnancies. She has made an art out of concealing her bump with customized designer maternity wear. 

But while she is looking forward to the birth, the designer is also said to be thinking about getting back into shape post-pregnancy, and has already hired trainer-to-the-stars Tracy Anderson. It has been claimed that Mrs Beckham wants to lose 20 pounds in four to six weeks with Anderson’s help.

The speed at which celebrities have their children and return to their normal lives is rife in the media, which can make women feel they should be following suit. Lauren Angel from Manchester admits that her decision to go back to work shortly after giving birth to her baby Jack, was influenced by what she thought was assumed to be the right thing to do, “Victoria Beckham is always in the press and barely seems to put on any weight when she is pregnant. Then when she does give birth, it seems that within days she is back to her size zero self and back working again! It is sort of expected from her as well, so it becomes normal. It should be up to women to decide when and if they return to work, and when to lose the weight. I know that now, but at the time I did feel pressure to get back to work.”     

Television star Ivanka Trumo has already got work dates booked just two weeks after the birth of her baby girl, due at the end of the month. Rachael Stevens who gave birth earlier this year is already back to her pre-pregnancy body and back in front of the camera. As a result, it seems that women are placing unnecessary pressure on themselves to reflect the images seen in the media.

Back to reality

There tends to be a significant gap between a mother’s perfect expectations for herself and the imperfections of reality. Women tend to set impossibly high standards for themselves based on an image they see in the media, but a lot of the time celebrities have a team of people working for them to reach an ideal. New mums should focus on being healthy and happy and not rush into anything too quickly whether that be to lose weight, or go back to work.

Women should feel comfortable in their own skin and embrace motherhood, it’s understandable that women feel under pressure to look good after giving birth, but it is important to do only as much as you can.

No woman should ever feel inadequate either when pregnant or after giving birth. So ladies embrace your bodies, embrace your pregnancy, and be confident in your own skin.

 

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Want to try it French styley ?

Un autre très bon régime alimentaire?

I know this the third celeb-diet related blog in a row, but once again the mad world of restrictive eating habits has hit the headlines this week.

Experts are adamant that celebrities can cause long-term health problems by sticking to their fave diet; however, other organisations are arguing that obesity is the real health risk. Have you ever wondered why most French women appear to be so effortlessly chic and slender, whatever their age? The answer may lie in the food they are eating on a regular basis. Today, more than 1.5 million French women swear by The Dukan diet which claims to have dramatic – and long-lasting – slimming results.

The Dukan diet has been named the French diet that may have helped the Duchess of Cambridge fit into her teeny weenie wedding dress, and Jennifer Lopez to shed the pounds. Super model Gisele Bundchen has reportedly stuck to the eating plan to lose her post pregnancy pounds.

The Dukan diet has swept across both Europe and the US, and is now one of the top choices for the rich and famous. This may be due to the creator, eminent French nutritionist Dr Pierre Dukan claiming that up to two stone can be lost in only a few weeks by eating pretty much as much as you like. Sounds good right?

The only catch is that the only thing that can be put in your mouth is meat, fish, and fat-free cheese.

The regimen starts with a dramatic loss of weight, leading onto a structured routine that ensures ‘you never gain the weight you have lost.’

Similar to the Atkins diet, throughout the four stages high quantities of protein are consumed. In contrast to the deceased Mr. Atkins’s dietary regimen, oil and butter are not permitted.

Other fans include Carole Middleton and the beautiful Katherine Jenkins. Despite the strict rules, the svelte-like celebs have not had one damning word to say about the Dukan way.

All seems to good to be true…well to be honest it probably is.

Like with most restrictive diets, cutting out whole food groups for long periods of time can never satisfy all of your bodies’ requirements. Each of the food groups, protein, carbohydrate, and fat all have their individual roles to play, whether it is for hair growth, memory, mood, skin repair etc. So if all you are feeding your body is meat, obviously a healthy, and varied diet isn’t on the cards, and your body will suffer as a result.

Potential risks with this diet include; infertility, sleep apnoea, high blood pressure, type-two diabetes, liver disease or cardiovascular complications. So a yummy cocktail of health complications there then.

Getting hungry eyes…

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Weight loss diets: weird or wonderful?

 The bad the ugly and the downright dangerous

It is often wondered how us mere mortals only have to look at a pork pie to pile on the pounds, while the A-list clan grace us with their sylph-like figures on the red carpet throughout the year.

Naturally, a good friend named Mr. Plastic surgeon goes a long way in correcting the effect of one too many roast potatoes at Christmas, but some celebs are prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to stay slim, and many of us are following in their path towards taste fatigue and bizarre eating habits to resemble the Cheryl Coles’ of this world.

As promised, here are a few of the new freaky ways people are trying to lose weight, and the odd ‘helpful tip’ many celebs use to curb those ever so unnatural hunger pangs.

The principle being, if you’re asleep girls, you can’t eat. It claims to allow the dieter to ‘sleep off the pounds’ while lying in your place of slumber for several days. Elvis was reportedly a supporter of the regimen. Not sure this is a winner in my eyes.

§   The chew chew diet-

Also known as the Fletcherizing diet, each mouthful you take must be chewed 32 times, and not swallowed. The idea is that fewer calories are absorbed, but you still are lucky enough to enjoy the food’s flavour! Not sure you would be able to dine out much using this one – but each to their own.

§   The  Caveman Diet

This is a more modern diet regimen, which is also referred to as the Palaeolithic diet. It is based on the hunter-gather principles of the presumed diet of the stone-age cave men. It consists of mainly lean meat, fish, vegetable, fruit, roots (not so sure about that one), and nuts, but excludes grains, legumes dairy products, salt, and refined sugar.

So, some positives to this diet regarding the lean meat and fish, and incorporation of vegetables, but the exclusion of healthy legumes and calcium rich dairy products was a downfall for these hairy beasts.

§  The maple syrup diet

Beyonce was the first bootylicious celeb to bring this one to the fore. The ex-Destiny’s child singer truly spilled the beans on how she lost over a stone in two weeks for a film role. The diet consisted of eating nothing for two weeks, and only drinking the strange concoction of syrup mixed with lemon juice, water and cayenne pepper.

The syrup, made from the sap of palm trees, has the potential to aid weight loss and cleanse the body of toxins. There are four different variations of the detox plan to choose from, so you are basically completely spoilt for choice…

Of course this diet has hit the headlines on numerous occasions due to it’s extreme nature, and the risk that as soon as a consumer of the regimen starts eating ‘normally’ again – the pounds will simply pile back on.

Verdict on this one: Beyonce, your body is just too bootylicious for me babe.

§  The lemon juice diet

Similar to Miss Knowles’s choice of extreme dieting, the lemon juice diet aims to cleanse the body of toxins (presumably the enemy that is solid food?). Naomi Campbell is an avid fan of this one –  a strict diet plan that is difficult to stick to, and dangerous to maintain for long periods of time. Calorie intake is severely, and absolutely minimized, involving a mixture of fresh lemon, laxative tea (good god), pepper, and our good friend maple syrup.

Strangely, individuals on this diet can suffer from headaches and feel fatigued – a shocker right there. Anyone still wondering why Naomi tends to be on the tetchy side…

§  Blood group diet

According to the founder of this of this plan, a chemical reaction occurs between your blood and the food you eat. In simple terms, when you eat a food that’s not compatible with the food you consume, blood cells can agglutinate in certain areas of your body leading to weight gain. Martine McCutcheon apparently chooses her nosh according to her blood type. Just in case your interested, blood type 0 is know as the hunter, A the cultivator, B the nomad and AB the enigma. I will just have fish and chips then please.

§    The facial analysis diet

The Facial Analysis Diet was created by celebrity nutritionist Elizabeth Gibaud. The Facial Analysis Diet commences with a two-day detox that is specific for your facial type. This is followed by a two-week core diet that is the same for all of the types.

Kate Winslet, known for not conforming to the celebrity obsessions with diets is an avid fan of this one, after she took drastic action to drop the pounds following the birth of her daughter. The theory is that the lines, colour and texture of your face can detect deficiencies in your diet, and food intolerances. Good to see another celeb not conforming to the pressure.

If you want to see how to make your very own tantilising detox drink, check out this video.

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BABY FOOD BOOM

THE BABY FOOD DIET – GLAMOUROUS OR JUST CHILDISH? 

I could murder a burger…

I am pretty sure most people have heard of the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet and the ever so dull grapefruit diet. Oh, and not forgetting the famous and unfortunate side-effects of the cabbage soup diet. This week though, a new one has come to the American stage.

Baby food sales have soared in Hollywood, with the lovely mushiness creating the new fad for weight watchers and calorie counters alike. Has the idea got your tummy juices going?

What could be nicer than your favourite Sunday dinner and roast spuds blitzed within an inch of it’s life, and pumped into a small glass jar to present the appearance of something found on a side street at 3am? I’m not sure my belly is rumbling…

But hey, the celebs are lapping it up. Lady Gaga, Cheryl Cole and Reese Witherspoon are claimed to have lived on this infant-style diet in a bid to lose weight. Sales of wet baby food are up 20% compared to figures reported by Ocado last year, with one of the most popular choices being Heinz pasta varieties.

 

Lady Gaga is known for her aquired tastes

With the Summer approaching, women (and men) are switching to panic mode and seeking out anything that can help them to lose the pounds and look fab in that elusive two-piece. It is claimed that when combined with exercise, the baby food diet can result in a weight loss of 20 lbs in just six weeks – that is a hell of a lot of mush, unless of course you have the will power of a bull, and the pallet of an alcoholic heavy smoker in order to cope with so-called ‘food’ which has the consistency of warm vomit, for over a month.

There is however method to this apparent madness – baby food products are subject to strict nutrition controls, which limit salt, sugar, and additives. Each portion of the delightful pots contain a mere 100 – 150 calories. The Jennifer Aniston regime include up to 14 pots per day, and one meal of fish and vegetables in the evening. Trainer of the moment Tracy Anderson can take credit for the new craze, known for her ability to sculpt the figures of both Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Her justification for this particular diet choice being, “I wanted something where you can eliminate toxicity, but still have your digestive systems going.”

Of course nutritionists believe any form of ‘crash diet’ which can not be maintained in the long term is not an ideal life choice, yet they have no justification to prove it can cause actual harm. The British Dietetic Association take a stronger view, highlighting the fact that it is simply another ‘fad diet’ which is based on portion control, and therefore results in restricted calorie intake and subsequent weight loss.

BUT, just in case the idea has tantalised your taste buds, and you want to add this diet regime to your repertoire, here are a few variations of baby food yummyness chosen by the pallets of the slimming stars-

Cheesy tomato stars (made for infants aged 7 months)

Pork and apple cassrole (made for infants aged 7-10 months)

Apple crumble and vanilla custard (made for infants over 7 months)

Next time…the weirdest diets from the very old and bizarre, to the new and ridiculous. Excuse me while I go and grab my very solid meal out of the oven – such little will power I possess.

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