These 4 Foods Accelerate AGING (beware!)

These 4 Foods Accelerate AGING (beware!)

 

Do you eat these harmful foods that AGE you faster?  Some are even deceptively marketed as “healthy”

Avoid or minimize these and look 5-10 years YOUNGER

 

I’m not particularly bothered about getting older, but that’s probably because I think I’m ageing OK.  I’m fit enough to have a go at most things, my lean muscle is good and I keep my body fat% is under control. I feel able to keep up with girls half my age and wouldn’t worry about the prospect of a swimsuit beach holiday..  BUT I think that’s down to the choices I make when it comes to exercise, smoking and alcohol and especially food…..
Due to biochemical reactions in your body that occur with every type of food you eat on a daily basis, some foods age you FASTER than your real age, while other foods help to FIGHT aging.

Eat the wrong foods regularly, and you can look and feel 10 or more years OLDER than your real age (not fun!) … but eat the right foods, and over time, you can start to look 5-10 years YOUNGER than your real age.

 

Three of the processes that go on inside your body that have a MAJOR impact on your rate of aging are called “glycation”, “inflammation”, and “oxidation”.  When we talk about aging, we’re not just talking about wrinkles on your skin or how thick your hair is… we’re also talking about factors that you can’t see, such as how well your organs function, and whether your joints are degrading.

 

Yes, I’m sure you’ll agree this is much more important than just how you look superficially (although improving BOTH IS BETTER!)

So let’s see how your rate of aging can be directly related to the foods you might eat every day, and how to protect yourself…

 


Food #1 that ages you faster: 

Wheat (yes, even “whole wheat”)

Before I tell you why wheat can actually speed up the aging process in your body, let’s clarify some simple biochemistry in your body…

This deals with “glycation” in your body, and substances called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).  These nasty little compounds called AGEs speed up the aging process in your body including damage over time to your organs, your joints, and of course, wrinkled skin.

So with that said, what is one of the biggest factors that increase production of AGEs inside your body?  This may surprise you, but high blood sugar levels over time dramatically increase age-accelerating AGEs in your body.

This is why type 2 diabetics many times appear that they have not aged well and look older than their real age.  But this age-increasing effect is not just limited to diabetics.

So, let’s get back to how “whole wheat” relates to this…

Here is a little-known fact that’s often covered up… but the fact is that wheat contains a very unique type of carbohydrate (not found in other foods) called Amylopectin-A, which has been found in some tests to spike your blood sugar higher than even pure table sugar.

 

In fact, amylopectin-A (from wheat) raises your blood sugar more than almost any other carbohydrate source on earth based on blood sugar response testing.

 

This means that wheat-based foods such as breads, bagels, cereals, muffins, and other baked goods often cause much higher blood sugar levels than most other carbohydrate sources.  As you know now, the higher your average blood sugar levels are over time, the more AGEs are formed inside your body, which makes you age FASTER.

 

You’ve probably heard about the potential health-damaging effects of gluten (also found in wheat) in the news recently, but this blood sugar aspect we just covered is not talked about that often, and is yet another reason to reduce or eliminate wheat-based foods in your diet.  Your body will thank you by aging slower and looking YOUNGER!

 

Another problem with wheat-based foods and aging…

As it turns out, baked wheat products contain carcinogenic chemicals called acrylamides that form in the browned portion of breads, cereals, muffins, etc.  These carcinogenic acrylamides have been linked in studies to possible increased risk of cancer and accelerated aging.  Note that acrylamides are also found in high levels in other browned carbohydrate sources such as french fries or any other browned starchy foods.

Don’t worry though… There’s a trick that you can use to protect yourself from these carcinogenic acrylamides, and it has to do with eating the RIGHT foods that COUNTERACT damage from these nasty chemicals.
Food #2 that ages you faster:  Corn-based foods

 corn syrup, corn cereal, corn chips, corn oil

 

This is quite a variety of stuff that you might eat every day… we’re talking corn chips, corn cereals, corn oil, and also the biggest health-damaging villain that gets most of the media attention, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

We already talked in detail in the last section about wheat regarding the blood sugar process and it’s relation to age-accelerating formation of nasty “AGEs” in your body.

Well, corn-based starchy foods such as corn cereals, corn chips, etc also have a big impact on blood sugar levels and therefore can increase AGEs in your body and accelerate aging.

 

But here’s another nail in the coffin for corn… it turns out that scientists have found out that the fructose in HFCS causes 10x more formation of AGEs in your body than glucose!  Yes, that’s right… that means the HFCS you consume daily in sweetened drinks, and most other processed foods (yes, even salad dressings and ketchup) contribute to faster aging in your body… as if you needed yet another reason to avoid or minimize HFCS!

 

We’re not finished yet… it gets even worse…

Another major issue with corn-based foods and corn oils is that these foods contribute excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids to your diet, which causes an imbalance in your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio and leads to inflammation and oxidation within your body. Another example of corn-based foods aging you FASTER.

 

My advice:  Avoid or reduce corn-based foods like corn chips and corn cereal as much as possible. These aren’t as bad as wheat in relation to blood sugar, and they don’t contain gut-damaging gluten like wheat does, but they are still bad for you.  Corn syrup or corn oil, avoid as much as you can if you want to stay lean and young looking.

 

 

Food #3 that ages you faster:  

Sugar, sugary foods, certain starchy foods
Again, we get back to the relationship between your average blood sugar levels and blood sugar spikes over time, and how that can increase those age-accelerating compounds called AGEs in your body.

Sugar is an obvious one to avoid.  You’ve heard how bad it is for you 1000 times before for many other reasons, including your waistline and developing type 2 diabetes.

But now you also understand the aging effect of sugar.

Instead of sugar, consider using a natural non-caloric sweetener like Stevia in your daily coffee, tea, in baking, and other sweetening needs.  This dramatically helps you control your blood sugar response and thereby help slow aging.

This also means that you should think twice about sugary desserts, sugary cereals, chocolates, and other sweets that are contributing to aging you faster.

 

A good trick to satisfy a sweet tooth is to have 1-2 squares of dark chocolate after dinner instead of a normal full dessert that most people choose.  You only get about 2 grams of sugar in 1-2 squares of dark chocolate as opposed to 40-80 grams of age-accelerating sugar in a typical cake, ice cream, or brownie type of dessert.

 

Keep in mind that some starchy foods like white rice, oatmeal, and white potatoes can also have significant impacts on your blood sugar and thereby can increase formation of AGEs in your body.  These foods are best kept in small portions if you decide to eat them, and balanced with healthy fats and protein to slow the blood sugar response.

 

 

Food #4 that ages you faster:  

Soybean oil, canola oil, or other “vegetable oils”
I know these have been marketed to you over the years by giant food companies as “healthy”, but if you understand the biochemistry and how these highly-processed oils react inside your body, you would quickly see how false that is.

First, anything labelled soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, or cottonseed oil (these are in a LOT of processed foods you probably eat) have usually been refined under extremely high heat and use of chemical solvents such as hexane.

This leaves you with an oil where the polyunsaturated fats have undergone a lot of oxidation and are therefore VERY inflammatory inside your body, producing free radicals, damaging your cell membranes, contributing to faster aging, heart disease, and other possible health problems.

 

If you want to avoid the health-damaging effects of soybean, canola, corn and other “vegetable oils”, make sure to avoid them as much as you can, and instead opt for truly healthy oils and fats such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, virgin coconut oil (a healthy source of MCT fats), and grass-fed butter (a great source of healthy CLA fats).

 

 

Start you De-Ageing Process Today !!

Three Step Plan to Shed Pounds of Unwanted Body Fat

3 weeks-7days-24hrs

Three Step Plan to Shed Pounds of Unwanted Body Fat

These 3 Steps Will Shock Your Body Into Losing Fat By Eliminating Toxic Foods, Re-gaining ‘Muscle Control,’ & Telling Your Body That You’re Ready For Change.

If you really want to lose weight and/or bodyfat, it’s time you try something a bit more ‘logical,’ where all of your bases are covered and no stone is left unturned. Diet or exercise? Both of course! (don’t trust anyone tries to convince you otherwise – long term you’ll gain more fat than you had before)

Step 1: Stop thinking about ‘fat content’ or ‘calories.’

 

You’ve been misled. ‘Nutrient density’ is far more important than ‘caloric intake’ — choosing the right foods results in greater energy, less cravings, and a clearer mind. As for ‘fat content,’ choose non-fat or lo-fat foods and you’ll consume way too much and end up depositing extra body fat because they don’t satisfy your need for nutrients or flavour.

You see, your body will deposit any food as fat if you eat the wrong ratio. As backwards as it seems, your body doesn’t simply deposit ‘dietary fat’ as body fat.

On the other hand, there may be certain foods you’re eating right now that get broken into sugars, which ultimately lead to greater fat storage and weight gain.

Step 2: Exercise LESS, not more — quality over quantity.

 

You’ve been taught to watch the calorie counters on machines while you do cardio, but they aren’t even close to accurate. In fact, they have no idea how many calories you’re burning.  Just think about it – how many people do you know that control their calorie intake, go to the gym and pedal, step, jog and row away hundreds of calories 4 or 5 days a week – EVERY week.  You know the ones – same time, same machine, same body shape…..

What’s more important is your body’s response after exercise.

As with most things in life, it’s quality over quantity — it’s all about training the muscles that will burn the most fat, change your shape, and speed your metabolism so you’re never married to a CV machine ever again.

Our workouts are varied, quick, interesting, taxing, fun, hard work and DEFINITELY work… just ask some of the clients ….

Like Julia – who lost 4 or 5 pounds in a week;

Yas who proudly showed off her 6 pack this Summer;

Ellie who is mistaken for her daughter’s sister ALL the time;

Mike & Mark who definitely needed new suits after 4 weeks training.

Karen who has lost 2 stone and looks like a trainer in her slinky kit

And me – 5 lbs of belly fat gone in 3 weeks on one of our simple plans.

Step 3: Self-communicate — your body has no idea what you’re trying to do.

 

Signaling fat loss is as important as your method. Your body tries to stabilize, as a means of survival. You hit your body with intensity, and it fires back with fatigue and hormonal destabilization; however, let your body know why you’re being intense, and it will help you lose fat.

It’s essential to be ready, prepared and motivated for every workout.

 

Have ABSOLUTE TRUST that you WILL get results.

 

Be Confident in YOUR ABILITY to succeed

 

UNDERSTAND what you are going to achieve each session

 

ASK questions – Learn how to prepare, how to recover, how to acknowledge results

 

ALWAYS RECORD your progress – don’t avoid the tape measure or the camera

 

BE ACCOUNTABLE for your journey.

 

NO EXCUSES – only YOU can put in the effort

 

80 – 90% EFFORT every workout

 

Its SIMPLE – It WORKS – for ANYBODY and EVERYBODY!!

 

 

Join Us on January 7th – for a 7 Day Detox – FREE to members

 

It’s included in our 14 Day for £14 Plan which runs till 14th February.

 

You can attend classes in the studio with me or join us online for daily workouts.

 

A private blog will give you daily instructions, food lists, and much more.

 

Menu suggestions, articles and access to back ground information so you understand why you’re making the changes and getting the results.

 

Our plans are all tested on real people, backed by REAL science and NOT promoted by any manufacturer or supplier – in other words no hidden sales pitch.

 

If you live locally you can come to the studio on a Friday night or Saturday morning to be weighed, measured and photographed.

 

Our machine will analyse your scale weight, body fat%, hydration levels, BMI, Metabolic Age, Internal Fat% and Muscle mass for each Limb and Torso.  So you’ll know if you’re eating enough and heading in the right direction.

 

This 14 Day Package makes an Ideal Gift for a friend or relative – or if you’ve been out of training for 3 months or more you can treat yourself.

 

 

 

 

FITCAMP Classes Run –

Monday to Friday       06:30 – 07:10

Saturday                   08:30 – 10:00

Monday, Wednesday & Friday  09:00

Tuesday & Thursday               09:30

Monday – Thursday                19:10

Friday                                   18:10

 

We also run 7 weekly Pilates, Pilates Fusion and Yogalates sessions to complete your training.

 

Our 5 week training cycle will challenge your fitness, shock your metabolism and help you recover and relax.

NO Repeating programmes

NO Boring Cardio

LOTS of fitness toys – Med Balls, Kettle Bells, TRX, Bands & Balls

 

Small group training is a great way to get individual attention, get support from the group and have fun.

 

‘It’s like Personal Training only better – ‘cus I can afford to do it often enough for it to work!’

 

WARNING: These plans require effort on your part….

With respect:

  • If you’re not willing to do a bit of work, remain disciplined for a short period of time, or believe that you can actually hit your goals, you’re lost already.
  • If you think you are different to everyone else,  then you’re not even giving yourself a chance to succeed.
  • shock my clients, but I shock them into shape, safely. If you want to be my client, it’s best you prepare yourself. Fair enough?

These Fat Loss Plans will test you — with A TON of effort in the next few days, you’ll see a measurable results – no matter how fit or unfit you are. However, it’s not easy coasting, and it WILL require a lot of self-control, but only for a limited-time.

 

Are You ‘Truly’ Ready To Succeed?

You can decide in the next few minutes, you can booked up ready for Day 1 of 14, or 7% done with this program.

Your body can change rapidly, and you will be able to surprise yourself — but it all starts with you.

 

What’s The Catch?

No Catch, we even offer a Full Money Back Guarantee – does your PT or Gym do that?…

Get In Touch Soon… You Deserve a Healthy start to 2013

JaxAllenFitness@gmail.com or by text 07831680086

 

 

Get In Touch now to register, receive you welcome pack or gift certificate….

 

Jaxallenfitness@gmail    email me direct for more info.

Or text me on 07831 680086

 

 

 

 

Caffeine Friend or Foe?

Caffeine, Stress and Your Health: Is Caffeine Your Friend or Your Foe?

 

About.com Guide

Updated August 27, 2012

Caffeine is a drug, popularly consumed in coffee, tea, soft drinks and, in smaller doses, chocolate. While we seem to have a love affair with these products, there’s been quite a bit of confusion and even controversy surrounding caffeine lately. Is it good or bad for us? Here’s a brief tutorial on caffeine, and some surprising answers to these questions.

Effects on the Body:

  • Hormones- You can feel the effects of caffeine in your system within a few minutes of ingesting it, and it stays on your system for many hours—it has a half-life of four to six hours in your body. While in your body, caffeine affects the following hormones:
  • Adenosine- Can inhibit absorption of adenosine, which calms the body, which can make you feel alert in the short run, but can cause sleep problems later. (More on this below.)
  • Adrenaline- Caffeine injects adrenaline into your system, giving you a temporary boost, but possibly making you fatigued and depressed later. If you take more caffeine to counteract these effects, you end up spending the day in an agitated state, and might find yourself jumpy and edgy by night.
  • Cortisol- Can increase the body’s levels of cortisol the “stress hormone”, which can lead to other health consequences ranging from weight gain and moodiness to heart disease and diabetes.
  • Dopamine- Caffeine increases dopamine levels in your system, acting in a way similar to amphetamines, which can make you feel good after taking it, but after it wears off you can feel ‘low’. It can also lead to a physical dependence because of dopamine manipulation.

These changes caffeine makes in your physiology can have both positive and negative consequences:

  • Sleep Caffeine can affect your sleep by keeping you awake longer, thereby shortening the amount of sleep you get, and giving you less time in the restorative stages of sleep, which takes a toll on your level of alertness the next day and overall health.

Interestingly, though, caffeine doesn’t affect the stages of sleep the way other stimulants do, so it’s a better choice than speed or other ‘uppers’ to use if you need to stay awake.

  • Weight Many experts believe that increased levels of cortisol lead to stronger cravings for fat and carbohydrates, and cause the body to store fat in the abdomen. (Abdominal fat carries with it greater health risks than other types of fat.) Also, if increased cortisol levels lead to stronger cravings for caffeine-laden foods, the body goes into a cycle that leads only to worse health.

The good news, though, is that caffeine can speed up metabolism. Also, it can help the body break down fat about 30% more efficiently if consumed prior to exercise. (You must be exercising to get this benefit, though.) Additionally, caffeine can keep blood sugar levels elevated, leaving you feeling less hungry.

  • Exercise If caffeine elevates levels of cortisol and other hormones for a temporary boost, after caffeine wears off, the body can feel fatigued and feelings of mild to moderate depression can set in. This can make physical activity more difficult.

On the positive side, caffeine has been found to enhance physical performance and endurance if it isn’t overused. This, combined with its effect of fat burning during exercise, can actually enhance workouts and enable you to get in better shape if you take it at the right time.

Caffeine and Stress

Because caffeine and stress can both elevate cortisol levels, high amounts of caffeine (or stress) can lead to the negative health effects associated with prolonged elevated levels of cortisol (which you can read about here). If you ingest high levels of caffeine, you may feel your mood soar and plummet, leaving you craving more caffeine to make it soar again, causing you to lose sleep, suffer health consequences and, of course, feel more stress. However, small to moderate amounts of caffeine can lift your mood and give you a boost.

The Verdict on Caffeine

With potential negative and positive health consequences, caffeine can be your friend, but in controlled doses. Here’s what you should remember about caffeine:

  • Don’t Take Too Much Because of the health risks (above) associated with higher levels of caffeine, as well as the risk of physical dependence that can come with four cups of coffee or more each day, it’s wise to limit your caffeine intake. (Withdrawal symptoms can include cravings, headache, fatigue and muscle pain.)
  • No Caffeine After 2pm Because sleep is important to proper physical functioning, and caffeine can stay in your system for 8 hours or longer, you should cut off or limit your caffeine intake to the first part of the day to ensure that your sleep isn’t disrupted.
  • Enjoy Caffeine With Physical Activity Caffeine is best ingested before exercise—that way your performance is enhanced and the stress-management benefits of exercise can keep you healthy and feeling less stressed throughout the day.

Female Hormones in Tap Water

Is tap or bottled water best for our bodies?

Carole Caplin

Last updated at 16:41 13 April 2004

 

Bottled water is now a Pounds 1 billion-a-year business. Millions of us buy it because we assume that bottled water is purer and healthier than ordinary tap water. But is this assumption right?

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) controversially asserted recently that tap water was not only just as good as the bottled variety, but frequently a great deal fresher. Pointing out that bottles can sit in warehouses and on supermarket shelves for up to two years, the deputy chief inspector, Claire Jackson, even went so far as to describe bottled water as ‘a fashion accessory’.

Not surprisingly, mineral water companies hit back, insisting that the seals on bottles protect against any bacterial contamination, regardless of storage time. They also reiterated their products’ superiority to tap water, which, they claim, can be contaminated by bacteria, pesticides, lead, nitrates from fertilisers and chlorine.

Sadly, confusion about this subject often results in putting people off drinking water completely. And there’s nothing more essential to good health than an adequate intake of water.

Most people don’t drink nearly enough as it is. Each day, the body loses up to five litres through the skin, lungs, gut and kidneys. In this process, water plays a major role in the elimination of toxic substances.

That water needs to be replaced. When the body burns glucose for energy, it makes about one-third of a litre of water a day as a by-product. More is contained in the foods we eat, particularly fruit and vegetables. In addition, we need to drink at least a litre a day, or ideally, 1.5 to two litres. If you do rigorous exercise, you may need more than this.

Water performs five vital bodily functions: it lubricates and cools; it transports things around the body and it is also a solvent and dispersant.

Drinking plenty of water – which, of course, contains no calories – is also one of the best things to do if you want to lose weight. Cold water speeds up the body’s metabolic rate, due to the body’s need to heat itself up afterwards. So, by drinking cool water, you can actually increase the amount of calories your body burns.

Weight loss is further promoted by water’s ability to flush out toxins, reducing water retention in cells. This, in turn, enhances energy levels. If you want plenty of energy, your body must be properly hydrated. A two per cent loss in the water surrounding your body’s cells results in a 20 per cent fall in strength and energy levels. When energy is affected like this, the body’s ability to lose weight – and function in all ways – is significantly reduced.

Within a living cell, each molecule of protein is surrounded by thousands of molecules of water. DNA – the essential protein for life – is held together by a hydrogen bond, the same one that holds the water around it.

That means we can’t look at DNA as a free-standing molecule; it is an integral part of a huge water cluster. The communication between these clusters is what is called life. No life processes can take place without water.

Doctors and nutritionists unanimously agree that pure water is the best drink for optimum health – but the crunch word is ‘pure’. Is our water up to the enormous job that we require it to perform? And if so, which is more pure – tap or bottled water?

Actually, both forms can be sources of significant chemical contamination and toxicity. Most bottled water comes not in glass but plastic containers, and that plastic is the most toxic plastic around – plastic number one. Lift any plastic water bottle and look underneath, and there you’ll see a small triangle with the figure ‘1’ inside it. This plastic is particularly toxic because, over time, it leaches chemicals and bacteria into the water.

The problem with these plastics is that they contain a chemical substance called xenoestrogen. A synthetic female hormone, xenoestrogen can seriously disturb a woman’s hormonal balance. Hormones have to work in synergy with every other system in the body, so the whole body is thrown out of balance if this contamination occurs.

As older lead water pipes are slowly being replaced by plastic ones, if you refill a plastic water bottle with tap water, chances are you could be doubling your intake of this harmful substance.

Xenoestrogen is also present in every area of the home – in cleaning products, bleaches, polishes, garden fertilisers and pesticides. The net result is that we are now almost unable to avoid it.

Men are also at risk – scientists believe that a worldwide drop in sperm counts is due to xenoestrogen exposure. There is also evidence that endometriosis and other fertility problems in women can be blamed on the synthetic hormone.

So my first recommendation would be that if you prefer bottled water to tap, if possible buy it in glass bottles.

Then there is the water itself. Some bottled waters often have such high sodium levels that they can be a risk to people with high blood pressure or heart disease. Fluoride levels are also high, even though in Britain it’s not compulsory to state the content.

Calcium levels are too high in many bottled brands, particularly if there is not enough magnesium present to allow the calcium to be absorbed properly, leading to calcification in soft tissues and arteries. This, in turn, can adversely affect bone density.

So, my second recommendation would be: check the fine print on the labels of bottled water. Only buy those brands with very low sodium and calcium levels and a high magnesium content. Also, check how long there is to go before the use-by date, and try to buy water that’s as fresh as possible. And finally, don’t buy carbonated mineral water, because it deposits a lot of unwelcome gas in the stomach.

You may conclude from all this that it’s definitely better sticking to tap water. It’s certainly much cheaper. But there’s bad news here as well, I’m afraid.

Shockingly, more than 350 synthetic chemicals have been detected in some samples of tap water. The level of water contamination varies depending on where you live, but a certain number of chemicals are found across the board.

These include pesticides, heavy metals, solvents and nitrates.

The DWI carries out regular checks, and says that 99.87 per cent of all samples pass its purity tests. Nevertheless, there are more than 1,400 potential contaminants in British water, from parasites to residues from hormone and contraceptive pills.

Water in this country is not boiled but chemically cleaned. This means that more chemicals are used to clean out the ones already present. These secondary chemicals include chlorine, which is added as a disinfectant, and aluminium, which adds clarity to the water.

But hormones used in HRT and the Pill, which are excreted by humans into the sewage system, are not removed through chemical cleaning. Rather, we end up drinking them in our tap water.

Every time we take a shower or bathe in contaminated water, chlorine enters the body through the skin and lungs. That’s why my recommendation would be, if you can possibly afford it, to install a tap water filtration or purification unit.

For example, one unit on the market, Aquathin, results in water that contains less than 0.1 parts per million (ppm) of nitrates, sodium, magnesium, calcium and chlorides. This compares with 15ppm of nitrates in Perrier bottled water; 34ppm of sodium in Malvern water; and 42ppm of chloride in Buxton water. Tap water also contains far higher levels of nitrates than fully purified water.

If you can’t afford a filtration or purification system for your water (they can cost several hundred pounds), then on balance, I think that it is healthier to drink bottled water, as long as you take account of my recommendations.

If you do prefer to stick to tap water, though, there are a few simple rules for ensuring it’s as good for you as possible. Before using water for any purpose, let the cold taps run for a few minutes to flush out any lead or toxins that have leached from the plastic.

And only use water from the cold tap for drinking and cooking, as there is a greater probability that hot water contains lead, asbestos and other pollutants from the hot water tank.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/columnists/article-229386/Is-tap-bottled-water-best-bodies.html#ixzz2FE9x8He8
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Which Water Should You Choose?

Switching from bottled to tap water

Tap vs bottled water

Which? Archive

This article, Switching from bottled to tap water , was last updated on 18 August 2010 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Home & garden articles.

Bottled water productionMost of the bottled water we buy is still, so could be replaced by tap water

Britons splashed out £1.68bn on 2.275bn litres of bottled water in 2006, but there are signs that our thirst for bottled is drying up. In our survey, nearly a quarter of Which? members said they’re drinking less bottled water than a year ago and according to one market research agency, sales of bottled water dropped by 9% in 2007.

There are plenty of good reasons to choose tap water instead:

  • Cheap: Tap water costs just 0.22p a litre – much cheaper than bottled mineral water.
  • Taste: Half of Which? members say they can’t taste the difference between bottled and tap water, with 18% actually preferring it from the tap.
  • Eco-friendly: 84% of Which? members in our survey believe tap water is better for the environment than bottled.
  • Safe: UK water is some of the safest in the world.

Cost

There’s no contest when it comes to cost. At 0.22p a litre, tap water is 141 times cheaper than the bestselling mineral water, Evian, which, even if you buy it in a supermarket, costs 31p a litre.

The costs of tap water against bottled water
Type of water Average cost
per litre
How many times more
expensive than tap water
Tap water 0.22p n/a
Supermarket own brand 8.5p 39
Evian water, average price 31p 141
SEI water at Selfridges £5.58 2,536
Berg at Claridges £30 13,636

Table notes

Where possible we collected prices of one litre bottles, or the nearest available size. We then converted prices to one litre for easy comparison. Smaller bottles of water are likely to work out more expensive. We checked prices in supermarkets – water is likely to be more expensive if you buy it from high-street shops or railway stations. The price of tap water is from Ofwat and based on average water rates in the UK

Quality and taste

Checklist

  • If you choose tap:

  • Plan ahead and take a bottle of tap water when you go out
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for tap water when you are in any food or drink establishment
  • If your employer provides only water coolers in the office or bottled water in meetings, ask it to provide tap water, too
  • If you choose bottled:

  • Opt for a UK brand, such as Abbey Well, Highland Spring, Brecon Carreg or Buxton. Some supermarket brands are UK sourced, so check the bottle
  • Consider an ‘ethical’ brand but check what they are offering to do before deciding to buy. Some are better than others

Bottled water is marketed as pure, healthy, natural and clean, but that doesn’t mean tap water is unsafe or unhealthy. In fact, the UK has some of the best drinking water in the world. In our survey, half of our members said they didn’t think there was any difference between bottled water and tap water in terms of quality and taste.

Taste test

When we asked 48 Which? staff members to blind taste three waters – Evian, Tesco spring and London tap – about half couldn’t identify the tap water. Overall, the Evian scored highest, closely followed by the tap water and the Tesco spring water, which were rated the same.

Many tasters liked the fact that the tap water was ‘tasteless’. One described it as having ‘no taste at all’ and another said it had a ‘nice and pure taste’.

Regional differences in taste

UK tap water contains safe levels of chlorine to make sure it’s clean. But placing a covered jug of water in the fridge for a few hours before drinking can reduce the chlorine taste. Replace any leftover water in your fridge every 24 hours to keep it fresh.

Where you live can also affect the taste of your water. As water journeys through the ground it picks up minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

A man choosing water in supermarketHalf of Which? members can’t taste a difference between tap and bottled water

Water with lots of these minerals is described as ‘hard’ water. This does not pose any risk to health but, if you don’t like the taste, using a water filter can help reduce these minerals.

Environmental issues

There has been plenty of media coverage about the environmental damage caused by bottled water. The industry’s carbon footprint is made up in the following ways.

Production

Energy and resources are used in obtaining mineral water from source and bottling it, as well as in manufacturing the actual bottles. As an example, an estimated two gallons of water are wasted for every gallon of water purified to put into a bottle (purified water is different to natural mineral and spring water and accounts for a very small proportion of the bottled water sold in the United Kingdom).

Transportation

A bin with empty bottlesPlastic bottles take up to 450 years to decompose in landfill

Three in 10 Which? members who buy still bottled water make a point of choosing UK-sourced brands. Many waters are imported from abroad. Some, such as Evian, come from France, but others come from as far away as Fiji or New Zealand, accumulating thousands of ‘water miles’.

Packaging

Some 83% of the water we buy comes in plastic bottles. Although these bottles can be recycled, most of them go to landfill where they can take up to 450 years to decompose. The number of plastic water bottles sent to UK landfill sites each year would fill Wembley stadium twice over. See ouressential recycling guide for advice on recycling plastic.

Ethical water brands

In response to growing environmental concerns several ethical water brands, such as Belu and Thirsty Planet, have been developed. They claim to donate money from each bottle sold to fund clean water projects in places that need it, such as Africa.

Kids in Africa showing "thumbs up"‘Ethical’ water brands fund clean water projects in places that need it, like Africa

Volvic’s ‘1L for 10L’ campaign provides Africa with 10 litres of drinking water for every litre of Volvic sold. Schemes like this, while very commendable, don’t actually reduce the environmental impact of producing and transporting bottled water.

Which? research

We surveyed 3,039 members of the Which? online panel in April and May 2008 about their water-drinking habits. We asked 48 Which? staff members to see whether they could differentiate between Evian mineral water, Tesco spring water and London tap water. The tap water was chilled overnight to bring it to the same temperature as the bottled water.

In April 2008 we collected prices of Evian and five own-brand waters in Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. We obtained Selfridges and Claridges water prices directly from them.

The Top 3 Ways To Instantly Improve Your Breakfast

The Top 3 Ways To Instantly Improve Your Breakfast

For some horrible reason, today’s breakfast has turned into a sugary, processed-carbohydrate, empty-calorie, fat-promoting mess.
Typical breakfast foods that most people now eat include:

•  Skim Milk and a Sweet Cereal
• Toast and Jam
• “Breakfast Biscuits” (thank you Kellogs – NOT!!!)
• “Breakfast Bars”

Yoghurt usually flavoured and FULL of sugar
• Pancakes and Syrup (often sugar-free/artificially flavoured)
• Instant Oats packets and pots

Eggs, Bacon & Veggies

In most of these meals (other than the one with the egg), the primary ingredient is fast-digested carbohydrate, which does nothing to help you lose weight or have the energy you need in the morning.

Rather, instead of eating whole balanced food for energy, people today rely on coffee (often with fat-free creamer and artificial sweetener – you don’t get more artificial than that), which is not good at all for long-term health or body composition.

In order to have the body you’ve always wanted and the health status that others are jealous of, you need to know what you should eat for breakfast. These types of foods will help you feel good, curb cravings throughout the day, and allow you to have lots of energy for exercise and other physical activities you enjoy doing (which helps you look better in and out of your clothes).

So, here are 3 Top Ways to improve your breakfast and make your body a happy, healthy, fat-burning machine.

1. Add high-quality complete Protein
Most breakfasts are sorely lacking in protein – and no, oatmeal does not have enough protein in one bowl. This is even despite numerous studies showing that including protein in your breakfast meal, such as having 2 or more eggs, keeps you feeling fuller, and prevents hunger much better than having simple carbohydrates (like a bagel). Higher-protein meal plans are also well studied for their ability to promote greater fat loss and a quicker metabolism than less protein.

So, at your next breakfast, ensure you include a complete protein choice on your plate such as:

•  Eggs – 2 eggs a day actually keeps the doctor away. Eat them scrambled with fresh spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms and a side of fresh fruit and your day is going to be great! Or boil them for a quick meal on the go.

• Whey protein – mix a scoop of whey protein with milk or water and pour this over your favourite bowl of rough oats or wholegrain no sugar cereal.

Whey protein – add a scoop or 2 to your blender with flax seed oil, almond or coconut milk and berries, for a high protein smoothie. You can also add a scoop of whey to plain oatmeal after cooking to give it a boost.

•  Natural nitrite-free sausage – enjoy this with steamed vegetables, or toasted sprouted grain bread and piece of fresh fruit for a satisfying meal.

• Organic cottage cheese – mixed with fresh pineapple or tomatoes is a perfect start to your day!

• Organic plain Greek yoghurt – combine this with organic fresh or frozen berries and slivered almonds and maybe some seeds give you a perfectly balanced meal.

•  Natural nut butter – paired with sprouted grain bread, 2 Tbsp of natural nut butter provides 8-12 grams of complete protein and plenty of healthy fat.

2. Embrace Fibre
Another important aspect missing from most breakfast plates is fibre. And no – whole wheat bread is not always a good source of fibre. Neither are specialty fibre breakfasts bars that are so loaded with sugar that any fibre they do contain (usually from wood pulp) is not worth it. High-fibre meals are more satisfying and filling than low protein options. Fibre is also associated with lower rates of cancer and diabetes.

Here are ways to include body-beautifying, belly-filling fibre into your breakfast:

•  Beans – add 1/3 cup of beans to breakfast eggs – toss with scrambled eggs to add 5 grams of fibre to your plate.

•  Berries – organic berries are a great addition to oatmeal, smoothies, low-sugar cereal, and yoghurt and can add 2-3 grams of filling fibre.

•  Oatmeal – the problem with most oatmeal is all the added sugar, but 1/3 cup of oats has 3 grams of fibre and no sugar! It’s perfect paired with eggs, organic cottage cheese or whey protein for a complete meal.  Add fruit to flavour.

•  Sprouted grain bread with nut butter – found only in the freezer section of your grocery store, sprouted grain bread has 3 grams of fibre per slice, and nut butter has 2 grams for a total of at least 5 grams of fibre to start your day.

•  Fresh Fruit paired with a higher protein dish (yoghurt, eggs) – one apple provides about 5 grams of fibre, ½ a medium grapefruit provides 6 grams of fibre, and 1 kiwi provides about 2 grams of fibre.

•  Ground Flax Seeds – toss a tablespoon or two in with your breakfast protein smoothie, or add to hot cereal. Two tablespoons have 8 grams of fibre, and can help balance your hormones while lowering your bad cholesterol levels.

•  Avocado – this “skinny” fat food is great on eggs. When cut in half, it packs in a whopping 5 grams of fibre and plenty of healthy monounsaturated fat that help promote a flat belly and a healthy heart.

3. Include Vegetables
Unless you have a vegetable omelette, most breakfast dishes include little to no vegetables at all. However, vegetables are low-calorie, nutrient-dense and prevent many, many diseases that are around us today.

Weight Loss Fact:

“You can eat as many vegetables as you can fit in your body and you’ll still lose weight.”

Try these easy ways to add more vegetables to your meal and make your breakfast perfect:

•  Spinach – add spinach to your eggs while cooking or stuff a large handful in with your favourite smoothie; it may make your smoothie green, but it also makes it thicker and more satisfying without ruining the taste.

•  Tomatoes and cucumbers – add chopped to a bowl of organic cottage cheese for a crunchy, high- fibre breakfast.

•  Baked squash – gourds such as acorn squash and butternut squash are delicious vegetables to include at breakfast. Just sprinkle with cinnamon once cooked and eat with eggs and you’ll be in breakfast heaven.

So – plenty of ideas to think about…

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day ….

Unless you are trying Intermittent fasting to reset your sugar/starch addiction….. but that’s another story.

 

Jax Allen                                                              290511

NEWS SHOCKER – Fruit Smoothies

NEWS SHOCKER

This week on National TV

“Don’t use fruit smoothies as they have as much sugar as a can of Coke”

What message are we trying to get out to people?

Are we really telling people that calories are all that matters when you’re deciding how to stay healthy?

Are we really expecting people to understand that this sort of knee jerk reporting is NOT to be taken seriously….

The message should be .. If you rely on counting calories you’ll be making lots of bad choices.. YES – a can of Coke may have the same calories as a fruit smoothie

BUT – the calories in the smoothie come from real fruit, they bring healthful nutrients and important fibre that a can of coke cannot offer.

The hidden end comment of the news Package was .. Eat fresh Fruit Of course everyone will immediately swap from Coke to fruit! The 5-A-Day message has continued for years and has made very little change to our eating habits.

However, these miss-leading, headline grabbing stories help NO-ONE.  I’m very used to calming worried clients down when the Daily Mail runs it’s weekly ‘Health Horror Story’

Come on BBC you can do better….                    Jax Allen Fitness 50/2012