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Newsletter 12, November 2007

This issue of the Good Diet Good Health Newsletter includes...

  1. Christmas and New Year - a testing time for diets
  2. Top tips for avoiding food sensitivities
  3. Latest recipes in the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook
  4. Did you know?
  5. Your successes, requests and questions
  6. Tell us what you think
  7. Visit our newsletter archive

1) Christmas And New Year - A Testing Time For Diets

Christmas and New Year are fast approaching and while we may be looking forward to the celebrations, they present special difficulties for dieters. Those of us who are watching our weight have a choice, but for many of us, that choice often amounts to an 'all or nothing' decision. Some dieters can restrict themselves to eating 'a little of everything', but that requires a lot of willpower!

For people who are particularly sensitive to carbohydrates, just a taste of the high GI, refined carbohydrate-rich foods that abound at holiday time can send blood sugar and insulin into overdrive. This can trigger cravings for more that are almost impossible to resist. Speaking personally, that way leads to disaster!

But there is another way. We can still have our favourite foods. Most Christmas recipes can be converted to low GI or low carb surprisingly easily. For instance, wheatflour can be substituted by ground almonds (almond flour) or soya flour mixed with protein powder; dried fruits can be substituted by apple or rhubarb; chocolate frosting can be made by mixing cream cheese and sweetener with the cocoa powder instead of butter and icing sugar (confectioner's sugar).

Low carb and low GI versions of traditional favourites such as trifle, chocolate log, mince pies and even Christmas Pudding can be made in this way. Recipes for these can be found in the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook. I especially like to make these treats at holiday time because they satisfy me without triggering the hunger and cravings I would get from eating the 'real thing' - and I don't get to feel left out or deprived, either!

And for those who decide to relax their diets slightly over the holiday period, there may be no need for the usual rush of guilt about 'breaking the diet'. When we're on weight-loss diets, we're usually made to feel that we should keep to a consistent number of reduced calories each day. But there is now evidence to support the notion that this might actually hinder weight loss by signalling our bodies to go into 'starvation mode'. I explain more about why it is so important to avoid this dieting trap and how to do it in Why Can't I Lose Weight.

Of course, diets are not always about losing weight. Many people need to follow a diet which excludes a certain food or group of foods, such as sufferers of food allergy or food sensitivity. If you're going to be on a wheat free diet, or even the Stone Age-style diet often used by allergy specialists through the holiday period, then finding substitutes for traditional holiday fare will present more of a challenge but you can still enjoy bread and cookies by making the recipes free of wheat, corn, soya, sugar, yeast and additives in the Stone Age Diet is Easy Cookbook.

2) Top Tips For Avoiding Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities are more common than many people realise, and can cause a wide variety of symptoms from headaches and water retention to depression, hyperactivity, fatigue and inability to lose weight. You can reduce your risk of being affected in three main ways:

  • Eat a wide variety of healthy foods to ensure that your intake of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fats and other nutrients is optimal
  • Avoid eating any particular food repeatedly, as this carries a high risk of sensitisation
  • Replace the foods which are most commonly involved in food allergies or sensitivities such as wheat, corn (maize), milk, hen's eggs and soya either partially or entirely with alternatives such as those used in the Stone Age Diet is Easy Cookbook.

3) Latest Recipes In The Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook

For those of our readers who are subscribers to the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook, two new recipes have just been released: 6-26 'Spaghetti' bolognese and 5-22 Aubergine and courgette bake. You will find these recipes already in your Cookbook next time you log in.

4) Did you know?

Did you know that ...

  • ... Although calcium is what everyone first thinks of in terms of preventing osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones, it's useless without magnesium. Many people are deficient in this mineral even if they eat a healthy diet, because the soils in which our food is grown are most often depleted of magnesium.
  • ... Moreover, calcium is not absorbed unless Vitamin D and fat are present in the intestine. This means that only about five per cent of the calcium in skimmed milk is absorbed compared to around fifty per cent from full-cream milk.
  • ... This poor absorption of calcium is reduced still further if the skimmed milk is eaten with a high-bran breakfast cereal.
  • ... Calcium-enriched milk may seem worth the extra expense but if it does not contain the milk fat or cream, all that extra calcium just goes down the toilet.

5) Your Successes, Requests and Questions

This is your spot. Whether it's your dietary success story, a request to cover a particular topic in a future newsletter or a question you would like answered, we would love to hear from you. Please do contact us.

Here is a question we answered recently:

  • Q My low GI diet is not working for me. What can I do?
  • A It sounds as though you may be one of those people whose level of carbohydrate tolerance is too low to lose weight on a low GI diet. I'm the same! It is also true that losing weight gets more difficult on each successive diet. There are lots of other reasons why you might not be losing the weight, but my advice would be to try out a low carb diet first to see if that helps. You might also find it helpful to read Why Can't I Lose Weight - the Real Reasons Diets Fail and What to Do About It.

6) Tell Us What You Think

Your opinions matter to us. If there is something you particularly like or don't like about our newsletter or website, please let us know.

7) Visit Our Newsletter Archive

Did you miss an issue? Want to review an issue you really enjoyed? Be sure to check out our newsletter archive.

With best wishes for your continued good health

Jackie Bushell
Founder Director, Good Diet Good

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