In men, the risk of heart disease increases after age 45. In women, the risk increases after age 55. In people who have diabetes, the risk of heart disease increases after age 40. * US Department of Health and Human Services

You don’t have to have diabetes to put your heart at risk. the more refined sugar we eat over the age of 40 the more likely we are to develop heart disease, high blood pressure and a greater risk of stroke.

Even though the flavour for a healthy Stomach/Spleen in Traditional Chinese Medicine is sweet, too much of a good thing can weaken these organs. It is the spleen (pancreas) that is responsible for insulin production which enables the absorption of glucose (sugars) into the cells of the body.

Too much sugar means either the spleen cannot produce enough insulin or insulin that works (diabetes type 1) or the body becomes insulin resistant (diabetes type 2) Glucose that is unprocessed by insulin remains in the bloodstream damaging arteries causing high blood pressure and heart disease.

High glucose levels also inhibit the digestion of fats and triglyceride levels within the blood rise. Triglycerides don’t dissolve in the blood they move around the arteries where they can cause hardening, increasing the risk factor for stroke and heart disease.

So what can you do?

Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta give quick sugar hits but are missing the fiber and minerals of whole-grains. In Chinese Medicine to keep the Stomach/Spleen and Sugar levels healthy we would use whole grains such as brown rice, millet and quinoa and starchy vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips. Perhaps you think these foods are boring, that they won’t meet the needs of your sweet tooth? but healthy food doesn’t mean boring food – with my recipes it means the opposite – it means delicious, sexy scrumptiousness – if you consciously love your food, you love yourself. One tip from Chinese Medicine is to CHEW CHEW CHEW your food. This is where the sugars are released into the mouth, broken down by the teeth and saliva, sending signals to the brain that this is sweet, tasty food.

 Stop Sweet Cravings 30 Day Programme includes 2 online consultations and a copy of my cookbook sent to your door

If you want more ways to lower your sugars, your risk of diabetes and your blood pressure, come and visit my online kitchen table and watch me prepare delicious dishes full of healthy ingredients that help to tone and heal the Spleen, balancing blood sugars and stopping the addictive cravings that refined sugars bring. The online programme to Stop Sweet Cravings is full of videos demonstrating how to make dishes that are sweet, satisfying and healthy. They can reduce blood pressure, the risk of stroke and heart disease.

By finding healthy alternatives, to refined sweet foods such as pasta, bread and chocolate, that taste REALLY GOOD we are more likely to make a change to a nourishing, wholesome, healthy life. This is especially important as we progress through life and our bodies repair and regeneration takes a little longer.

So be sugar smart, keep your blood sugars healthy, blood pressure down and your heart pumping strongly