January 20, 2020
Sugar is the devil, we’re told on an almost daily basis. Numerous studies have unearthed alarming findings on the sheer amounts of the stuff lurking in our favourite foods, while excess consumption has been linked to plenty of nasty health issues, too. Everything from dental decay to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The Truth Behind Honeys Health Halo – Plus 6 Other Sugar Myths Busted
But among all this knowledge and awareness of sugar – obviously a good thing – potentially harmful misconceptions can grow. Here are some myths that well and truly need busting – and what better time to do so than Sugar Awareness Week?Myth #1. Fruit is bad for you because it contains sugar.“I try to avoid fruit, because of the sugar” is something US-based registered dietitian Carrie Dennett often hears from clients – an issue, because most people don’t actually eat enough fruit and veg. In the UK, we should be eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. But most of us are lucky if we get that in a week.
There’s an idea that ‘all sugar is created equal,’ says Dennett, who runs Nutrition By Carrie, “but that’s not exactly true”. Context is key.
“To some extent, sugar is sugar, but when you look at the broader context, there’s a big difference between ‘natural’ sugar that comes in a fibre-rich, nutrient-rich ‘package’, and ‘added sugar’ that comes in a ‘package’ that contains few nutrients, and may also contain excess sodium and low-quality fats, as with many highly-processed snack foods,” she explains.
Dennett explains that when eating a piece of whole fruit, our digestive system has to break down all the fibre surrounding the sugar before we absorb it, “so it’s not going to just spike our blood sugar”.
Eat your fruit with a meal, or with some protein and fat from nuts or cheese as part of a snack, and you’ll digest it even slower, she adds. “Even a small glass of 100% fruit juice, consumed as part of a meal once a day or less, is fine.”Related... The Best Healthy Meal Delivery Kits For 2020 Myth #2. Honey is automatically healthy.Sorry to break this to you as you’re slathering honey across your porridge, but honey’s health benefits are non-proven, says Katharine Jenner, campaign director for Action on Sugar and a registered public health nutritionist. 
“Honey has a ‘health halo’ surrounding it, so that although it is incredibly sweet, people erroneously think it doesn’t count as ‘added sugar’ in the same way that, say, table sugar does,” says Jenner.  But Public Health England defines honey as an added sugar. As Jenner says: “Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.”
Bahee Van de Bor, a specialist paediatric dietitian and British Dietetic Association (BDA) spokesperson, says even though some types of sugars like honey contain antioxidants or other nutrients, you’d need to consume a large quantity to benefit. “This sadly would negate any potential proposed benefits of consuming the organic variety of sugar,” she explains.
If you are caught in the dilemma of whether to have sugar or honey on your porridge, the latter is probably slightly better, but there’s not much in it.
As nutritionist Keith Kantor explains: “Sugar is sugar. And honey is (mostly) sugar. But if you’re choosing between the two from a health perspective, err on the side of the sticky stuff.”Related... This Is Your Body On Intermittent Fasting Myth #3. You should try and quit sugar completely. Moderation is everything when it comes to diet, and that includes in the realms of sugar. It’s widely agreed that added sugars – sugars which are added to foods, either by us or manufacturers – aren’t good for us. 
“That doesn’t mean that if eating less is good for us, that eating none is better,” stresses Dennett. “I see this disturbing idea online, in books and in the media that we can ‘disease-proof’ ourselves, that if we eat perfectly that we will enjoy perfect health.
“I think sugar avoidance is part of that. The fact is that many factors contribute to health, and nutrition is only one part of that. There’s a big difference between eating or drinking large quantities of sugary foods and beverages – perhaps mindlessly, perhaps as a desperate grab for an energy boost or some stress relief – and mindfully enjoying a portion of a thoughtfully chosen dessert or other sweet treat in the context of a balanced, nutritious diet.”Related... What Happens To Your Brain And Body When You're Stressed About Money Myth #4. Fruit juice is good for you.When buying those massive cartons of juice from the supermarket that go past their best in the space of a week, it can be tempting to chug the lot in the space of a few days. And that’s a really bad idea. Juice provides some vitamins, but it also contains ‘free sugars’.
As Action on Sugar’s Katharine Jenner explains: “Whole fruit is good for you.  So are vegetables. You do not need to worry about the sugars in whole fruit or vegetables. However, when fruit is processed (ie. juiced), the cellulose structure containing sugar breaks down and becomes ‘free’ of its fibrous cell – hence we call these ‘free sugars’ – and becomes as harmful as any other added sugar.”
This goes for fruit and vegetable juices, concentrates, smoothies, purées, pastes, powders and extruded fruit and vegetable products such as kid’s fruit snacks, says Jenner.
BDA spokesperson Bahee Van de Bor suggests it’s always better to eat your fruit whole. Once it’s juiced, she says, you can end up consuming far more fruit than you intended or realised. “The fibre in whole pieces of fruit also helps you to recognise when you are full,” she adds.Myth #5. Cartoons on kids’ food mean it’s healthy.Nope, sorry. Parents should be really aware that fun cartoon packaging doesn’t give a nutritional green-light for products to be given to kids.
“It is widely assumed by parents and grandparents that if packaging is designed to appeal to children – such as cartoons, mascots, characters – that they are somehow ‘approved for use’ by children,” says Jenner.
Yet half of over 500 food and drink products using cartoon animations on pack are so high in fat, saturated fat, sugar and/or salt, they couldn’t even be advertised on TV during kids programmes, an Action on Sugar report found.
“There are no regulations, restrictions or even watchdogs to control what manufacturers put on their packaging, which is why we are calling for a ban on cartoons on unhealthy foods,” she adds. Related... Is Banning Cartoon Characters On Unhealthy Food Really Going To Do Anything? Myth #6. ‘No added sugar’ means it’s healthy.Not necessarily, says Van de Bor. Look closely at the ingredients list at the back of food product packaging. It’s important to be mindful that ‘natural’ free sugars may have been used instead. These can include fruit juice concentrate; honey; syrups like date, agave or maple; fructose or coconut sugar.Scientific names such as dextrose, fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose are also types of added sugar or free sugars, “but many people don’t realise that these words actually mean sugar”, she adds. So keep an eye out for them.Myth #7. All sugars are terrible.Not everything is doom and gloom – there are better sugars out there. Naturally occurring sugars found in whole fruit, vegetables and milk-based products are not considered harmful for health, says Action on Sugar, although they still contain calories.Related... Do You Really Need To Floss Every Day? We Asked Dentists What Causes Dark Circles Under Your Eyes And How Do You Get Rid Of Them? Burnout Is Bad For Your Heart. Here’s How To Prevent It
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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