Portions, servings and slices
Some labels give nutrient amounts by portion size. This can be helpful, but be careful because the manufacturer’s idea of a portion size may be deliberately small and different to yours.
Some supermarkets use this quick referencing system. Normally it refers to the content of Fat (total fat) Saturates (saturated fat) Sugars and Salt in a product. Green is low, amber is medium and red is high. There is no traffic light for fibre. Traffic light labelling is a useful guide, but it is always best to check the proper label as well.
Consequences Life’s one long feast
Your hunter gatherer ancestors led a very different life from yours. They experienced both periods of plenty and periods of famine. Like you, their bodies evolved over many hundreds of thousands of years, developed hugely sophisticated ways of ensuring they could survive famine as well as times when food was scarce. It had a reward system that encouraged them to eat when food was plentiful, and an energy storage system that squirreled away surplus energy into their fat cells as a reserve they could call upon when food was scarce. One thing you can be sure of is that with a life punctuated by feast and famine, they didn’t have a weight problem.
Actually, lean times and periods of famine were important for their health and survival. Why? Because when there was a shortage of food and there was little or no food to process, their bodies were programmed to carry out repairs and maintenance. Famine or lack of food, switched on a repair gene. Faulty cells were repaired, bad cells were disposed of and new ones created, and their immune system regenerated. This process of creating more cells and regenerating the immune system increased their ability to resist infections and reduced the risk of developing diseases, including cancer.
This wasn’t something that happened just because the body had nothing else to do. It had developed to become an essential part of how the body kept itselfin tune, making sure it was working as efficiently as possible, keeping healthy and free from disease.
Your body is no different. In evolutionary terms your body is the same as your
ancestors. Nothing has changed. What has changed though, is your lifestyle and your behaviour.
Your reward system and your energy storage system work perfectly well.if they are not compromised by what you eat. And your repair gene? It still exists. But it needs to be activated to do essential repairs and maintenance. Does this happen? No! Why? Because you do not let it. There is never any famine or any time when you have very little to eat. you never give it a chance to get to work.
Constant eating, snacking or gulping down sugary drinks means there’s never a sufficient gap when you are not eating for your repair gene to get to work, to do essential repairs and maintenance. Cells are not repaired or replaced as they should be, and your immune system is not regenerated. In these days of perpetual feast, the essential process of repairs and maintenance just does not happen. And the consequences? Weight gain and the prospect of bad health.
Get in sync!
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