Monthly Archives: December 2017

Festive food – watch out for those sweet treats!



At this time of year, it’s very tempting to throw caution to the wind when it comes to what you eat.

From Christmas puds and yule logs to mince pies and candy canes, Christmas treats often come packed with sugar.

However, simple sugars are a source of calories that provide little in the way of nutrition or satiety (the feeling of fullness). As a result, it’s quite easy to consume sugar foods in excess, especially as they have an addictive quality and especially during the festive season. Simple dietary sugar can cause blood glucose highs and lows, the latter causing poor concentration, fatigue and of course sugar cravings, starting the cycle all over again.


This overconsumption of sugars can lead to weight gain while being overweight or obese elevates the risk of type 2 diabetes development. Latest research has also indicated a link between higher levels of glucose in the brain and worsening symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
While sugar is not the sole cause of diabetes, it is a large contributing factor, but thankfully it’s something we can do something about.

Dietary considerations

The World Health Organisation has recommended that daily sugar intakes should be no more than 5% of total calorie intake (approximately 25g/day for an adult). Starchy carbohydrates (wholegrain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice ,etc.) are generally more slowly absorbed than their counterparts, making you feel fuller for longer and steadying blood sugar levels.

Adequate fruit and vegetable intake is vital, but the emphasis should be on vegetables. Vegetables offer a high density of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and typically low instrinsic sugar. Fibre-rich foods, healthy fats (such as oily fish) and lean protein are all healthy additions to a diet.


Type 2 diabetes and obesity

If you’re overweight or obese, you may be at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, as the pancreas struggles to produce enough insulin for the body’s needs. Fat tissue stored around the abdomen especially contributes to diabetes risk as it is considered highly hormonally active.

This tissue has been shown to produce pro-inflammatory compounds known as cytokines, which can cause pancreatic issues including diabetes. Working towards reducing this excess weight through exercise and healthy eating choices can significantly lower your diabetes risk.


What else can you do to reduce your risk?

There are natural steps that can be taken to control blood glucose levels and to ensure that we can make the most of available sugars in our foods.

Research published in Panminerva Medica in June 2014 showed that an extract of maqui berries (known as Delphinol) can assist in the control of blood glucose, by reducing the rate at which glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream from the digestive tract. The active ingredient delphinidin was shown to inhibit the sodium glucose co-transporter (SGLT), which facilitates the uptake of glucose from food into the intestinal tissue and the blood, thus avoiding the sharp spikes in blood sugar which can result following eating.


Chromium and blood glucose

The role of the trace mineral Chromium (found in small quantities of green leafy vegetables, poultry and nuts) in blood glucose management is well established. High blood sugar can also be a sign of chromium deficiency, and it can even resemble diabetes.

Adequate chromium intakes are necessary for optimum function of insulin and therefore, blood sugar regulation. When choosing to supplement with chromium, chloride or picolinate forms are common and typically have very low bioavailability (0.5-2%), meaning poor absorption from tablet to bloodstream.

ChromoPrecise® (an organically bound chromium yeast) demonstrated up to ten times the bioavailability of chloride or picolinate forms and has been approved by The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) after extensive investigation. It has also been confirmed that ChromoPrecise helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Be sugar smart

Controlling blood sugar can have a massive impact on health, beyond reducing the risk of developing or furthering diabetes. Good sugar control can be useful for:

· The maintenance of healthy weight
· Stable energy and concentration levels
· Controlling sweet and sugar cravings

So while it’s tempting to sink your teeth into some sweet Yuletide treats, being sugar smart could help you enjoy yourself way beyond Christmas and into the New Year.


Photos by Tiina Arminen

The temptations of Christmas


By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
Nurse- & Health specialist,  Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

EspañolEnglishSuomi * Dansk

December has arrived once again. Most of us associate the month of December with coziness, candles and delightful gatherings. Christmas initiates four Sundays before the 25th of December, where the lord and with him, Christmas can be expected. Advent Sunday is traditionally welcomed with advent wreaths, candle light, decorations and many lovely Christmas gatherings of different kind. Christmas is celebrated by Christians, as the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The church has placed the birth of Jesus on the 25th, but in Denmark we celebrate the birthday on the 24th, in the evening. The actual birthday of Jesus, has never been definitively proven, but authorities decided to gather the celebrations of the winter solstice and the birth of Jesus, into one event. However, it was not always like this. It was forbidden in England to celebrate Christmas. The English parliament adopted a law in 1647, which forbade Christmas. The leader, Oliver Cromwell, saw the celebrations as amoral. The Christmas days should be sacred. If any priests preached about the birth of Jesus, they could risk getting send of to jail. The law was only in effect while Cromwell was in power. December is in our era, a time where friends and family come together, and with the gatherings come indulgence and cozy times, with extra food and, often of the traditional kind, which doesn’t normally appear in our everyday lives. This can easily lead to overeating, however you should be aware of it, and still be able to enjoy the delightful Christmas foods.

I love the traditional Danish Christmas food, and I think it’s wonderful to try other Christmas dishes than just the Danish ones. However, I certainly don’t enjoy feeling as if I have overeaten, and I have gradually figured out, that I don’t have to over indulge, just because I enjoy the food. I have for many years abandoned health and wellbeing in the month of December. This unfortunately came at a steep price, where the following months came with increased weight, a troublesome stomach, and blood sugar imbalances etc. By the help of some small tricks, can I enjoy Christmas and feel great afterwards. I am mentally present when I eat my food. When I have the food in front of me on the plate, I sit for a moment and look at it, and just enjoy it with my eyes. By doing this, my digestive system starts to prepare itself, and it becomes easier for the pancreas and the intestinal system to absorb the food. The food is eaten slowly, and every mouthful is enjoyed. Remember that there have been people, whom have put fort a great effort to make this delicious meal, so it would be a shame and a bit impolite, to just through the food in. Put down your cutlery, whilst you talk with the people at your table. When you eat, chew slowly, and you will easier feel full. When the first feeling of fullness arrives, then stop eating, even if there is still food left on the plate. If it’s possible, then think of the food that will be served and decide which foods and how much you want to eat, before you sit down at the table. That is a tremendous help to me personally.

Dietary supplements which can prevent overeating

When you consume all this delicious food, which isn’t a part of your normal eating habits, such as duck, roasted pork, caramelized potatoes, risalamande, and Christmas cookies etc. not to mention the unusual drinking habits, then you can easily get constipated.

Prevention of constipation
It can make all the difference, if you make sure to take some long lovely walks in the fresh air, where you make sure to take in as much oxygen as you can, before you are seated at the table. If there is fruit and vegetables at the table, then make sure to eat plenty of it. Make sure to drink enough water, but not together with the food, that will just make you eat faster. Make sure to drink large quantities of water before and after the meal, it will make you feel full, and of course chew slowly.

Dietary supplements

  • Carbon tablets can be a great solution, if you know that you are going to eat different foods. The tablets work as a filter, that protects.
  • It’s important that your intestinal bacteria are functioning properly, and make sure to take a quality supplement of intestinal flora tablets.
  • You should also take a supplement of enzymes, to make it easier to digest the food. These are especially important if you feel bloated.
  • If you just cannot rid yourself of constipation, then try eating prunes, or drink prune juice.
  • Products that contain psyllium husks, can be a great help, but remember to consume large quantities of liquid afterwards.
  • Molkosan might also be a great help.
  • You should try your best to avoid dairy products and cheese, if you feel constipated.
  • Make sure to get your vitamin-B, and maybe even an extra supplement of B1.
  • Take omega-3 oils.
  • Extra vitamin-C is also important.

Alcohol addiction, unfortunately destroys Christmas for many families. If too much alcohol is consumed, then what should have been a lovely gathering, can often end in bickering or even in fights. If you know that you tend to drink too much at Christmas gatherings, then try your best to discipline yourself before you start. Even if you think that everything is more fun and that you feel happier when you drink, then remember that it doesn’t take much, before that all turns around. If you are an alcoholic and can’t control your drinking, but would still like a peaceful Christmas with the family, then take an Antabus diet. It can be the best Christmas present that you can give your family, who loves you dearly.

Useful supplements

  • Make sure you get a strong and high-quality vitamin/mineral supplement.
  • Extra vitamin-B. Make sure that you get your essential oils, preferably in capsule form, together with omega 3/6/9. Bring the oil capsules with you, and take them whilst you are underway, or as the last thing you do before bed.
  • Make sure you follow a blood sugar stabilizing diet.

If you want to avoid being hungover, then it’s a good idea to stop smoking. Smoke and alcohol together, can have the effect of making you more hungover. If you don’t want to be hungover, then it’s important, that you make sure to consume sufficient water between drinks. Alcohol is highly diuretic, and dehydration can affect your hangover. 2 hours before you head home, you should start drinking nonalcoholic drinks – this makes it easier to wake up. It is important that you have had plenty of sleep and feel well rested, before you start drinking. if you are unlucky, and you wake up the next day with a massive hangover, then it’s always good to have some first aid ready. Again, I can’t stress how important it is with plenty of water, perhaps with some salt added. It might be a good idea, with a single beer, but stick to one, or you might start all over again. If you can eat something, then eat a good omelet with beacon or sausages. Do not workout the day after drinking too much, leading scientists have discovered that it’s unhealthy.

Dietary supplement that protects

  • It can be a really good idea to take a high-quality supplement of vitamins/minerals in times, where you know you are going to have a larger consumption of alcohol than usual. This helps absorb the alcohol better, and in turn reduces the hangover.
  • Take an extra supplement of vitamin-B.
  • Make sure you get enough selenium and zinc.
  • Different amino acids, such as cysteine and taurine, can be helpful. Lots of great oils, for instance omega-3 and/or coconut oil can be good to take afterwards, or as a preventive measure, if you have already decided that you are going to drink a lot.
  • Milk thistle, which is lever cleansing, is good before and after, is available both in capsule and liquid form.

Make sure to create great Christmas memories
I think that most of us are very bound by tradition, when it comes to Christmas. Christmas eve can almost seem magical for children. Christmas is a time that you never forget, you will always remember how Christmas felt when you were a child. I was a child of busy parents, that loved me dearly. The stores were always open until 16:00 on Christmas day, and I remember most of all how tired my mom and dad were on Christmas eve. When the days’ sales were finally done, they just wanted to pass out in their chairs. The Christmas decorations at home were quite poor, there simply weren’t enough money, however the decorations in the store, radiated and glowed with angels, candles, and elves. 25% of their yearly turnover, was generated in the month of December, so there were plenty of work to do. Therefore my most precious Christmas memories, are in the time leading up to Christmas eve, where we decorated the store, usually on the first advent Sunday. And when we have finished, we would celebrate, and all the local shopkeepers would gather in the middle of the night, to enjoy traditional Danish sandwiches and beer. There the atmosphere was happy, expectant, and cheerful. I would like to point out how important good Christmas memories are for the little ones. They will remember them for the rest of their lives and carry them on to their own children.

To everyone in all ages, I wish you a merry Christmas!