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Dealing with Sugar

Reducing Sugar Intake and Its Negative Impact on Our Health.

The ingestion of excess sugar in our diet can lead to many health issues including obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, just to name a few.  

According to the American Heart Association 
(AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are:

  • Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).
  • Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).

To put that into perspective, one 12oz can of coke contains 140 calories from sugar, while a regular sized snickers bar contains 120 calories from sugar.

According a 2017 article published in the Globe and Mail, data from the  most recent Canadian Community Health Survey suggests that  kids consume 33 teaspoons of sugar a day, far above the World Health Organization’s recommendation that sugars ideally make up 5 per cent but no more than 10 per cent of a person’s daily calories.

The health consequences are troubling, to say the least, including an increased likelihood of everything from high blood pressure or heart disease to type-2 diabetes, sleep apnea and depression, as well as bone and joint problems. Obesity rates for children in Canada between the ages of 2 and 17 have tripled in the last 30 years, according to Statistics Canada.

Gulping down 33 teaspoons of sugar a day isn’t a direct route to any one of these conditions, but certainly gets kids pointed in the wrong direction.

The article goes on to share that  a single glass of apple juice contains the same amount of sugar as four or five apples do, without any of the fibre. “Have an orange for breakfast, don’t drink orange juice.

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. In its strongest language yet on the subject, the organization declared that fruit juice has absolutely no essential role in healthy diets. “Essential means something you need to have. You simply don’t need fruit juice in your diet,” says Dr. Steven Abrams, chair of the AAP’s committee on nutrition.

And while fruit juice is most easy for parents to mistake for a smart choice, other drinkable sugars are also big problems: Don’t be fooled into thinking that “vitamin-enhanced” energy drinks, sports drinks, flavoured waters or drinkable yogurts are ever a better choice than water or milk.

Sources – https://www.theglobeandmail. com/life/health-and-fitness/ health/canadian-children-are- consuming-five-times-more- sugar-than-they-should/ article35207835/

Sugar Incognito:
Learn To Identify Various Sugars On A Food Label

Many processed foods are laden with sugar adding surplus calories to today’s meals. Soft drinks, fruit juice beverages, confectionary products, baked goods, breakfast cereals, and yogurt can all be culprits of calorie overload due to sugar.
High caloric intake is a known contributor to obesity and Canadian waistlines continue to expand.  The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that the rate of obesity in Canada is close to 25%.  Statistics Canada confirms that one in every five calories consumed by Canadians comes from sugar. 
Despite such concern, Health Canada has yet to recommend a limit on sugar consumption. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for Canadians to gauge – how much is too much?
Food labels present additional challenges that are far from sweet
  • Many different names identify added sugars. Some are more obvious, such as brown sugar and icing sugar, however, many are unassuming such as barley malt, evaporated cane juice, and agave nectar;
  • Sugars are rarely grouped together in the ingredient list. Listing them individually disguises their true prominence within a product and means they may appear further down in the list of ingredients where they may go unnoticed;
  • The total amount of sugar on the Nutrition Facts table does not differentiate between ‘naturally occurring’ sugars (i.e. sugars found in fruit, vegetables and milk) and ‘added’ sugars. Foods that contain ‘added’ sugars are typically higher in fat and/or calories and lower in nutrients than foods containing naturally occurring sugars;
  • In some cases, sugars may be completely hidden from an ingredient list due to loopholes in Canadian labelling regulations making the total amount of sugars declared on the Nutrition Facts table an important source of information. 
Shopping tips to help you identify sugar on labels:
  • Look for ingredient names that actually incorporate the word ‘sugar’ (i.e. liquid sugar, invert sugar, brown sugar, golden sugar);
  • Realize that ingredient names ending in ‘ose’ indicate sugars too (i.e. glucose, sucrose, fructose, glucose-fructose, lactose, sugar/glucose-fructose);
  • Note that honey, molasses, maple syrup and corn syrup are also added to sweeten foods;
  • Don’t be fooled by ‘concentrated fruit juice’ that sounds healthier than sugar but is typically added to processed foods as a sweetening agent;
  • Beware of the ingredient names ‘glucose-fructose’ and ‘sugar/glucose-fructose’ that are typically used in Canada for high fructose corn syrup;
  • Keep in mind that although cane sugar and organic cane sugar may sound more enticing, both contain 4 calories per gram – same as regular sugar.
  • Be cautious of ‘No Sugar Added’ claims. True – the product has no added sugars, however, it still can contain a lot of sugar (i.e. fruit juice). Products that display this claim may also contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame-potassium;
  • Look for the claim ‘Unsweetened’ to indicate a product is void of both added sugars and sweeteners;
  • Bear in mind that ‘Reduced in-’ or ‘Lower in-sugar’ claims simply indicate that a product contains at least 25% less sugar and at least 5 grams less sugar than a similar product that could be very high in sugar. Always reference the amount of sugars on the Nutrition Facts table for more accurate analysis. 

Learning to Cut Out Sugar


Looking for tips on how to reduce your sugar intake?  Read through MINDBODYGREEN’s January 2018 article for some tips –

Eating lower sugar is an easy, obvious health commitment that many of us make in the New Year. The only problem? With sugar lurking behind every corner, it can be tricky to discern when you’re actually eating sugar. Beyond that, even if you have the willpower of an ox, you will, at some point in your low-sugar journey, find yourself unable to think about anything but sugar. Sugar is a real addiction—according to holistic psychiatrist Dr. Ellen Vora, it’s 20 times more addictive than cocaine—so step one is to allow that it’s a real struggle and forgive yourself for not easily letting go of the white stuff. After that, try these seven easy steps to make sure you’re aware of your sugar consumption and help you kick your cravings for sweets when you do have them:

1. Read labels.

The easiest way to break your sugar addiction is to know when you’re actually consuming the stuff. Even food that looks healthy and organic can pack a whopping amount of sugar. The shorter the ingredient list, the easier it is to find hidden sugars and know exactly what you’re getting, which is why we love brands like SKYR’s, which have simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar (plus a ton of delicious flavors to satiate any cravings you’re having).

2. Limit artificial sweeteners.
A huge part of cutting back on sugar is resetting your taste buds, and beyond health concerns about artificial sweeteners (including Stevia!), their powerfully sweet flavor makes it hard to acclimate your palate. While it’s tempting to go high-sweet, no sugar, try to just cut back on the amount of sweetener generally—you’ll be thankful at the end.

3. Add more fat.

Hopefully, in recent years, any fear of fat you’ve had has subsided, but beyond being a reborn health food, fat is a powerful ally in your fight to cut back on sugar. Fat fills you up, turns off your hunger hormones, and satiates you so that you’ll be able to say no to a plate of cookies in front of you. Go for full-fat food when given the option, add healthy fats like avocado and hemp seeds to your smoothie, and keep a stash of fat balls in your freezer to nosh on when sugar cravings strike.

4. Eat fermented food.

Photo: Jill Chen

Not only does fermented food help balance your gut bacteria, which will ultimately help you crave less sugar in the long run, the tangy flavor resets your taste buds in a way that instantly eliminates cravings. Reach for low-sugar, simple ingredient yogurts like SKYR’s, or keep a stash of your own fermented vegetables in the fridge. When sugar cravings strike, simply eat a tablespoon or two of your fermented food of choice and wait 10 or 15 minutes to see how you feel. You’ll be surprised by the difference!

Get Educated! Get Inspired! Take Action!

Dr. Will & Dr. Erin

Snow Shoveling Tips!

Winter weather can pack a punch and, with the season’s heavy snowfalls, injuries often result. Improper snow shoveling is often to blame. The Ontario Chiropractic Association has outlined some key tips to help prevent injury – 

But shoveling out after a storm doesn’t have to leave you stiff and sore. With a little know-how, you can clear your driveway without the all-too-common back, neck and shoulder pain cramping your style. Here’s how:

Before You Start

  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is just as big an issue in the winter months as it is in the summer.
  • Dress in several layers so you can remove a layer as you get warm.
  • Wear proper footwear. Shoes and boots with solid treads on the soles can help to minimize the risk of slips and falls.
  • Pick the right shovel. Use a lightweight, non-stick, push-style shovel. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body. An ergonomically correct model (curved handle) will help prevent injury and fatigue. Also, if you spray the blade with a silicone-based lubricant, the snow will slide off more easily.
  • Before beginning any snow removal, warm up for five to 10 minutes to get your joints moving and increase blood circulation. A brisk walk will do it.

All Set to Go – Push, Don’t Throw

Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing it. If you must throw it, avoid twisting and turning — position yourself to throw straight at the snow pile.


Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.


Be careful on icy walkways and slippery surfaces. Intermittent thaws and subsequent freezing can lead to ice building up underfoot, resulting in nasty slips and falls. Throw down some salt or sand to ensure you have a good footing.
Once you’ve mastered safe snow shoveling techniques, you’ll be free to have fun and stay fit all winter.

Get Educated! Get Inspired! Take Action!

Dr. Will & Dr. Erin



The Ketogenic Diet

In one of his 2017 articles, Dr. Mercola shares information on the ketogenic diet.
Last year, the British National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration issued a joint report based on the analysis of 43 obesity studies, warning the policy to promote a low-fat, high-carb diet is having a “disastrous impact on health.” In conclusion, the report issued a strong recommendation to overhaul dietary guidelines to recommend a low-carb, high-fat diet instead, along with intermittent fasting or skipping meals, as chronic grazing or snacking between meals is a significant contributor to obesity.

Read the full article below –

Your body is designed to have the metabolic flexibility to use both fat and glucose for fuel — not just one or the other. The reason conventional dietary advice has failed so miserably is because eating a high-carb diet for a long period of time results in the loss of this metabolic flexibility, making you unable to effectively burn fat for fuel.

Last year, the British National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration issued a joint report based on the analysis of 43 obesity studies, warning the policy to promote a low-fat, high-carb diet is having a “disastrous impact on health.”1,2,3 In conclusion, the report issued a strong recommendation to overhaul dietary guidelines to recommend a low-carb, high-fat diet instead, along with intermittent fasting or skipping meals, as chronic grazing or snacking between meals is a significant contributor to obesity.

In short, most people not only eat the wrong foods and too much of them, they also eat too frequently. Lately, the ketogenic diet has become increasingly popular, and its popularity is largely driven by the sheer number of success stories. A recent article4 by CNBC, for example, notes how Silicon Valley has embraced the ketogenic diet in hopes of reversing type 2 diabetes and living longer.

Efficient Fat-Burning Is Crucial for Optimal Health and Longevity

When your body is able to burn fat for fuel, your liver creates water-soluble fats called ketones that:

  1. Burn far more efficiently than carbs, thereby creating fewer reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals that can damage your cellular and mitochondrial cell membranes, proteins and DNA
  2. Decrease inflammation, as they are histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors
  3. Mimic the life span-extending properties of calorie restriction, which includes improved glucose metabolism and reduced inflammation5
  4. Have a similar structure to branched-chain amino acids, thereby aiding the building of muscle mass and promoting longevity6

Healthy dietary fats also play an important role in maintaining your body’s electrical system — an area I’ve recently started delving deeper into. All cellular membranes are made of fats, which act as insulators and are connected through a conductor. This arrangement sets up a biological capacitor to store electrons — but only if the fats are healthy.

If you consume damaged fats, or worse, heated and hydrogenated oils, the fatty acids in your cell membranes become functionally impaired and have limited capacity to store body voltage, thus increasing the risk for disease. This is yet another reason why it is so vital to eat healthy fats.

Conventional advice suggests attaining an ideal weight is a matter of balancing the calories you eat with your exercise, i.e., the flawed calories in/calories out hypothesis. Tens of millions have failed to achieve long-term results following this advice.

The real key to both weight management and optimal health is to properly feed your microbiome and mitochondria, and that requires eating fewer net carbs and more healthy fats and fiber. This can be relatively easily achieved by following the principles outlined in my new book, “Fat for Fuel.”

It’s by far the most important book I’ve ever written, as it addresses what appears to be at the very heart of virtually all chronic disease, namely mitochondrial dysfunction. If your mitochondria are not functioning properly, your entire metabolism will be seriously impaired. I provide important details you need to understand to improve your mitochondrial health in the book.

It is my sincere belief that this book has the potential to save many lives. More than half of all Americans struggle with chronic illnessand 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. are obesity-related. It doesn’t have to be this way, and my book details the way forward, out of chronic disease into optimal health.

Three Keys to Nutritional Ketosis

A cyclical ketogenic diet focuses on the three keys to achieving nutritional ketosis:

  1. Minimal net carbohydrates, to prevent inflammation and facilitate the burning of fat as your primary fuel
  2. Adequate amounts of high-quality protein, to give your body just enough building blocks to maintain tissue health and muscle without overactivating the mTOR pathway, which plays a crucial role in the aging process and cancer formation
  3. High amounts of healthy dietary fats, to prevent inflammation, nourish healthy cells and optimize mitochondrial health and function

As a general guideline, a dietary intake of 20 to 50 grams (or less) per day of net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber) while also keeping protein low-to-moderate is usually low enough to allow you to make the shift to nutritional ketosis. Nutritional ketosis is the metabolic state associated with an increased production of ketones in your liver; i.e., the biological reflection of being able to burn fat, and is defined as having blood ketones in the range of 0.5 to 3.0 millimoles per liter (mmol/L).

Remember that once your body starts to burn fat for fuel you need to switch to a cyclical ketogenic diet, as long-term continuous ketosis is unhealthy. This is why we call the program a cyclical ketogenic diet.

The Many Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

The health benefits of this type of diet — which basically involves turning the conventional food pyramid upside-down, although there are several different variations on the ketogenic diet to choose from — include:

Weight loss

Switching from a high-net-carb diet to a fat and adequate protein diet will help rebalance your body’s chemistry, and a natural side effect of this is weight loss and/or improved weight management once you’re at an ideal weight.

In one study, obese subjects were given either a low-carb ketogenic diet or a low-fat diet. After 24 weeks, the low-carb group lost nearly double the amount of weight than the low-fat group (20.7 pounds compared to 10.6 pounds).7 Low-carb, high-fat diets also reduce hunger and carb cravings, thereby reducing your risk of overeating and weight gain.

Less inflammation

When burned for fuel, dietary fat releases far fewer ROS and secondary free radicals than sugar.

Reduced cancer risk

While all cells (including cancer cells) can use glucose for fuel, cancer cells lack the metabolic flexibility to use ketones for its energy needs, which your regular cells can. Once your body enters a state of nutritional ketosis, cancer cells are more susceptible to be removed by your body.

Increased muscle mass

Ketones share a close structural similarity to branched-chain amino acids and seem to be preferentially metabolized. In other words, ketones spare those branched-chain amino acids, leaving higher levels of them around, which promotes muscle mass.8 However, it is important to use a cyclical approach, otherwise your muscle mass will decrease.

Lowered insulin levels

Keeping your insulin level low helps prevent insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and related diseases. Research has demonstrated that diabetics who eat a low-carb ketogenic diet are able to significantly reduce their dependency on diabetes medication and may even reverse the condition.9

Lowering insulin resistance will also reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. Recent research strengthens the link between insulin resistance and dementia even further, particularly among those with existing heart disease.10,11,12

Increased longevity

As noted by Jeff Volek, Ph.D., a registered dietitian and professor in the Human Science Department at Ohio State University, one of the reasons you can survive a long time without food is due to the process of ketosis, which spares protein breakdown.

A fairly consistent effect seen in people on a ketogenic diet is that blood levels of leucine and other important structural proteins go up, allowing these proteins to perform a number of important signaling functions.

As mentioned, ketones also mimic the life span-extending properties of calorie restriction13 (fasting), which includes improved glucose metabolism, reduced inflammation, clearing out malfunctioning immune cells14 and reduced IGF-1.

This is one of the factors that regulate growth pathways and growth genes and is a major player in accelerated aging and cellular/intracellular regeneration and rejuvenation (autophagy and mitophagy). As noted in a recent study on this topic:15

[E]xtension of life span results from decreased signaling through the insulin/insulin-like growth factor receptor signaling (IIS) pathway … An effective method for combating free radical damage occurs through the metabolism of ketone bodies …

A dietary ketone ester also decreases circulating glucose and insulin leading to decreased IIS … [K]etosis results in transcription of the enzymes of the antioxidant pathways. In addition, the metabolism of ketone bodies results in a more negative redox potential of the NADP antioxidant system, which is a terminal destructor of oxygen free radicals.”

Feast and Famine Cycling Is an Important Component of Nutritional Ketosis

In my book I also explain why cycling through stages of feast and famine, as opposed to continuously remaining in nutritional ketosis, is so important. Once you are able to burn fat as fuel, having a day or two each week where you eat more net carbs and protein is important, especially when you’re doing strength training, to prevent sarcopenia.

After a day or two of “feasting,” you then cycle back into nutritional ketosis (the “fasting” stage) for the remainder of the week. By periodically pulsing higher carb intakes, consuming, say, 100 or 150 grams of carbs opposed to 20 to 50 grams per day, your ketone levels will dramatically increase and your blood sugar will drop.

Paradoxically, long-term uninterrupted use of a ketogenic diet can trigger a rise in blood sugar by driving your insulin level too low. The reason this situation can occur is because the primary function of insulin is not to drive sugar into the cell but to suppress the production of glucose by your liver (hepatic gluconeogenesis). Cycling in and out of nutritional ketosis will prevent this situation from occurring.

Refeeding Phase Is Where the ‘Magic’ Takes Place

Additionally, from a metabolic perspective, clearance of damaged cell and cell content occurs during the fasting phase (much in the same way exercise produces damage to your muscles) while the “metabolic magic” of rejuvenation occurs during the refeeding phase. This is when cells and tissues are rebuilt.

As just one example, recent research shows fasting actually triggers the regeneration of the pancreas in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics.16,17 But again, these regenerative effects are largely triggered during the refeeding phase. If you don’t pulse in and out of ketosis, you end up missing out on many of the benefits that occur during this rebuilding and rejuvenation phase.

The rejuvenation that occurs during refeeding is also one of the reasons intermittent fasting is so beneficial. Put another way, the fasting phase helps your body clean out toxic debris, while the refeeding phase builds your body back up. The cycling can also make this type of diet easier to maintain.

Yet another important factor is avoiding late-night eating. Feeding your body at a time when it needs the least amount of energy encourages cellular damage due to excess production of free radicals. For this reason, I suggest limiting your eating to breakfast and lunch — a “Peak Fasting” strategy that allows you to fast for 16 or more hours each day.

How to Implement a Ketogenic Diet

To implement a ketogenic diet:

1.Eliminate packaged, processed foods. The emphasis is on real whole foods, plenty of healthy fats and as few net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) as possible. This typically involves dramatically reducing or temporarily eliminating all grains and any food high in sugar, particularly fructose, but also galactose (found in milk) and other sugars — both added and naturally-occurring

2.Monitor your nutrient ratios. As a general rule, you’ll need to reduce your net carbs to 20 to 50 grams a day or less; restrict protein to 1 gram per kilogram of lean body mass; and get anywhere from 50 to 85 percent of your daily calories from healthy fats.

To make sure you’re meeting your nutritional requirements and maintaining the ideal nutrient ratios, use a nutrient tracker such as www.cronometer.com/mercola, which is already set up for nutritional ketosis. Based on the personal parameters you enter, such as height, weight, body fat percentage and waist circumference, it will automatically calculate the ideal ratios of net carbs, protein and fats to put you into nutritional ketosis

Say Yes to More of These Fatty Foods

Selecting the right fats is crucial to your success on a cyclical ketogenic diet. One of the reasons many ended up experiencing health problems on the Atkins Diet was because no distinction was made between healthy and harmful fats. As a general rule, any fat found naturally in animal foods and plants is good for you.

It’s really the processed fats and vegetable oils used in processed foods and fried restaurant meals that wreak havoc and should, ideally, be eliminated altogether. That said, examples of high-quality healthy fats include:

Olives and olive oil (make sure it’s third party certified, as 80 percent of olive oils are adulterated with vegetable oils.

Also avoid cooking with olive oil. Use it cold)

Coconuts and coconut oil (excellent for cooking as it can withstand higher temperatures without oxidizing) Animal-based omega-3 fat from fatty fish low in mercury like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchoviesand/or krill oil
Butter made from raw grass fed organic milk Raw nuts, such as macadamia and pecans Seeds like black sesame, cumin, pumpkin and hemp seeds
Avocados Grass fed meats MCT oil
Ghee (clarified butter); lard and tallow (excellent for cooking) Raw cacao butter Organic, pastured egg yolks

Cyclical Ketosis Is the Answer for Most Ailments

To improve your mitochondrial function through diet, the key is to eat in such a way that your body is able to burn fat as its primary fuel rather than sugars. Ketogenic diets are very effective for this, as is intermittent fasting and longer water fasts for those who are overweight.

Switching from a high-carb diet to one high in healthy fat with adequate protein and low in net carbs helps rebalance your body’s chemistry. A natural side effect of this is weight loss, and improved weight management once you’re at an ideal weight.

It’s really important to understand that you will not get fat from eating healthy fat. Nor will you lose weight simply by eating fewer calories and exercising more. Obesity stems from eating a high-carb diet, which over time leads to an inability to burn fat for fuel — and exercise alone cannot correct this metabolic dysfunction.

To correct it, you need to alter your nutrient ratios, making healthy fats the largest source of calories, not net carbs. Add just the amount of protein your body needs and no more, cut way back on net carbs and chances are you’ll be amazed at the health improvements you will gain.

Source – https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/05/15/ketogenic-diet-increasing-popularity.aspx

4 Ways to Manage Stress

In a world that never seems to stop, the Canadian Chiropractic Association has outlined 4 techniques to help manage stress. In a recent publication, the CCA has shared that according to the World Health Organization, stress, particularly work-related stress, is the second-most common health problem.  Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, diabetes, headaches, musculoskeletal pain, and clinical depression, just to name a few.

It is important to take a bit of time out of your busy schedule to unwind and relax, otherwise, your body will suffer both physically and mentally. Learning how to manage stress can take time, and everyone usually has their own unique way of relieving it. Here are a few ways to help get you started:

  1. Yoga: Yoga is not only used for pain management—studies have shown that practicing yoga regularly can help reduce stress and decrease the risk of injury in the workplace.
  2. Belly breathing: “Belly breathing” (or deep breathing) has been shown to reset the nervous system. Studies have shown a decrease in fatigue and anxiety with deep breathing exercises. In order to see the benefits of deep breathing, it should be done 3–4 times per day for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR): This technique involves engaging the muscles—actively contracting (for 10 seconds) and relaxing (for 20 seconds) muscles of the legs, arms, and abdomen with the eyes closed, focusing separately on each muscle group as you move up (or down) the body in full.1When practising PMR, it is important to mentally focus on contraction and relaxation. To maximize on its benefits, try doing the exercise 2–3 times per day (for as much as 15–20 minutes, if you can manage it). Studies have shown a decrease in stress hormones, anxiety, and blood pressure with the use of this technique.
  4. Meditation: Mindfulness meditation is a common technique used to combat stress, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and headaches. Check out this blog to see some tips on how to add mindfulness to your everyday routine.

Stress, although often viewed as a negative entity, can often be managed appropriately. Keep these tips in mind to help with your stress management and self-care routine. Should you want further tips, please consult Johnston Health & Laser Center  the office or book a consultation.

Source – https://www.chiropractic.ca/blog/4-techniques-to-help-you-manage-stress/