Hidden sugar in your food - be warned!

It appalls me that sugar is added to supposedly healthy cereals such as weetabix. This was meant to be a healthy first weaning food for babies for goodness sake!

Last year, following a conversation with two food journos, I spent a month checking the sugar content of everything I bought. Sliced bread, ham - you name it, almost all supposedly savoury food has sugar added. No wonder people are getting fatter and fatter! We have never eaten much 'processed' food but I've stopped buying lots of stuff like ketchup, mayo, taramasalata, Dijon mustard....and if I do occasionally crack, I am now at least aware that it contains sugar.

Interestingly, Lidl products fared better than most with less added sugars than the branded products and other supermarkets own brands.

Are you aware of what you are eating and the potential health issues raised by excess sugar consumption? Do you check labels or is this my own personal obsession?!

I got up early and took a look at the news. Lo and behold, food is bad for us and 99% of water is actually hydrogenated fats and sucrose ;-)

Sorry Ian, that was last week!

Now it's salt and red meat that is killing us - hard to keep up....... ;-}

I'm not sure if this belongs here or in the slimming for the summer discussion.

Has anyone read the book Wheat Belly? Very interesting, and somewhat scary. It seems that modern wheat is 70% carbohydrate by weight, and that 75% of that is amylopectin which is easily digested by the body into glucose. It therefore gives you a large sugar hit, and causes the peaks/troughs of blood sugar leading to being hungry every two hours.

This also gives whole grain wheat bread a higher glycemic index than sucrose at 72. A Mars bar has a GI of 68!

I'll read the book and then look at what the spousal unit and I want to do about it. But he says clearly and repeatedly that eliminating wheat from the diet leads to better health and weight loss without needing to control what you eat beyond that constraint and without needing to exercise. Indeed he makes the point that many people who exercise like crazy still manage to be and to remain overweight or obese.

David, John will do, no need for too much formality, I was told that by an industrial chemist but as you say it seems the stuff of urban legend. I should really have known as my Cousin was the head of Unilever "I can't believe it's not butter" but it's not a conversation we have had.

I fear you are in error Mr Withall. The Walls company was indeed founded by a Mr Walls of Acton London who was a producer and purveyor of pork products; pies sausages and the like. His venture into ice cream was prompted by a seasonal downturn in such products in the summer and thus he turned to making ice cream.Having perhaps an excess of capacity in his refrigeration capacity. I doubt that he ever used lard to make his ice cream. however both his sausage business and his ice cream business was bought out by Lever Bros; progenitor of Unilever. The last having easy access to a variety of non animal fats; palm oil, coconut oil etc were able to produce the frozen margarine which today we enjoy as British ice cream. Disgusting it may be but it has always been almost Kosher and almost Halal. Sorry no lard.

It seems ironic that as children many of us may have received a spoon of milk of magnesia but now with modern medical science to find anything like it... Magnesium oil, which we have had for our older daughter, is easy to buy, as a rub in relaxant for cramped muscles also seemed to help with aches and pains of rheumatism. As Ian is saying, in combination with calcium it is great. Too much of one and too little the other and muscles get flabby because they relax too much, so tofu is actually a wonderful food because it has both and the Japanese have been eating it for many centuries without detrimental effect as far as we know.


Actually I don't know, what happened was I discovered nigari at a Satoriz health food store. Its magnesium chloride crystals, and its used in Japanese (?) cooking to coagulate milk to make tofu. But you can make a solution of it to drink, or a far stronger solution which is magnesium oil. Very inexpensive too. Then since I wanted to see if mine was like the real thing I bought a bottle online from betteryou.co.uk. It was about £10 for 100ml, I think, or 25 cents for the homemade version.

Magnesium chloride can also be used in swimming pools to stabilise pH so maybe an additional benefit too.

Thanks, Ian, will go and get some magnesium, at once. It's odd because I've always had low b/p but recently it's very high. Can you get mag oil in the pharmacies, here?


Ian is probably right. Mainstream medicine seems to accept that magnesium is helpful.

Here is a lot of information from a reputable USA source - http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

Diana, yes it does, because of the way muscles work. Calcium is important in the contraction of muscle fibres, and magnesium in the relaxation. If the two aren't in balance then your muscle fibres aren't able to relax properly, and they can remain in a contracted state. This leads to such things as cramps. But also more importantly, given that there are smooth muscle fibres surrounding blood vessels that are used by the body to control your blood pressure, an imbalance can lead to hypertension.

As for cramps, a story. I was discussing the subject with a friend of mine shortly before christmas. She has always been athletic, a very keen and talented swimmer, and for the past four years has suffered from leg cramps every night that have her leaping from the bed to try to stretch the relevant leg. As a result of our discussion she started spraying magnesium oil on her legs every night before bed. Since then, and that's four months now, cramp free. She can't believe it, and her husband is also happy not to be woken every night!

The oil (actually a solution of magnesium chloride) is absorbed through the skin and has a pretty quick local effect. This is necessary mainly because we are very probably all deficient, and so she is boosting her levels locally with this method and preventing the cramps. You could also try soaking your feet in a solution of Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) before bed, the effects are probably similar.

Ian, I get cramp! Does the magnesium help?

Agree on that final point John. The changes are sometimes so contradictory that it probably tells us science has very far too go so do not rely on the latest scientifically proven anything. Remember how many diet gurus have used the word science as if by using it all wisdom was on offer. If science had actually reached the desired endpoint then there would no longer be the need for the gurus and all would be hunky-dory.

Ian, I have the first edition and know that there is a revised one already and presumably another on the way. Things change so fast.

Mike, because OH sells houses part time we get to see some classics. House with rooms (agent forgot the number of rooms clearly, but put it up anyway). Luxury ruin needs renovation (picture of some walls, no roof and trees growing inside it. Luxury?) Original former monastery, completely rebuilt in 1978. How about: Ideal house for people wanting a quiet rural life. Immediately next door to airport for second home buyers (Quiet?)

Brian, I agree about strict regimes, I don't believe I said anything to the contrary as we are all variables. The issues in the past have been government employed experts also recommended their real employers products, like Tate and Lyle advising the government we should eat more sugar cos it's low in fat. My BIL with diabetes and high cholesterol went mad for product that lower cholesterol as seen on TV, 18 months later not really any change and statin doses were to be increased. He switched to butter and normal animal fats but in slightly lower amounts and his cholesterol lowered and hes saved a few quid too. Look at eggs etc which is where I think we were in this thread several weeks ago, once bad, no more than 2 a week now good. Personally I believe our more modern practices are far more accurate than the old which included some guesswork but unfortunately money speaks loudest.

Brian, thanks for that, I presume you have read Death By Modern Medicine?

I got around to researching magnesium because of trying to find a solution to late night leg cramps, and I found that it seems to play a part in an enormous number of processes in the body. There's lots of very interesting information about it on the web, and again it appears that since it's too cheap for people to make much money from it and not possible to patent, much like vitamin D, that mainstream medicine isn't very interested.


We used to have a lot of laughs reading and interpreting estate agents' write-ups.

A small stream crosses the property = A raging torrent passes dangerously close to your front door for half the year.

But my all-time favorite was -

Free, fresh, never-failing private water supply = No mains water!

Life is a risky business - normally proves fatal.....!

John, there are problems with 'strict' regimes. Take the recent pronunciation by a medical scientist who now says butter and cheese are perfectly healthy, useful sources of nutrition. Up until then we had believed they belonged in the same 'basket' as margarine, saturated fats, etc. Experts change views and have new research data that turns over previous findings almost constantly. Diets need, probably, to suit individuals rather than the 'go by numbers' approach of any regimed diet.

Ian, we need magnesium. Most of the enzymes in our bodies need it to function at all. But look at another metallic element, aluminium. For some people it is an absolute poison. It can paralyse, blind, kill or do other damage. The number of people it affects is still in the minority but the ratio is increasing. It is included in many vaccines. So MMR, 5-in-1, meningitis C and flu jabs as a small across ages sample have it in. Some research has shown an increased rate in autism in countries where MMR is given, bearing in mind it is now considered compulsory in some, but the medical establishment denies it. The same with flu vaccinations, some people go blind, are paralysed, go into comas or a few die. Some chemical autopsy analyses have shown high accumulations of aluminium in the body, particularly in the brain. Will medics have it? Now people are looking at aluminium in diet. It is claimed that alu packaging is fine, so too baking foil and other things, it is still not processed out of a lot of mineral waters and does not count unless the concentrations are high in potable water. All the time the association with it is coming up with some nasty details about what it can do. the establishment argues it may be the case, but such a tiny majority, even less than die of bee stings every year for instance. The point is, what is really 'safe'?