False advertisment – Gluten free products

Do people really know the truth behind a gluten free diet? Like fashion, diet trends come and go, but currently one that has become a bit more popular is the gluten free diet. Are people following this diet for what they think is a healthier lifestyle, or do they purely need to follow this diet due to health reasons?

To begin; what is gluten? Well, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and spelt grain. Gluten is mostly used in products such as bread, cereals and pasta. It acts as a glue that holds food together to help maintain their shape. They also contribute health benefits such as fibre, vitamins and calories which are lost when you switch to a gluten free diet. People have been lead by the media to believe that the diet helps you lose weight, treat autism and boost energy to generally feel healthier, though there is no proven evidence to support this. Gluten free products are also substantially more expensive, therefore people that are doing the diet for these reasons are purely wasting their money (and it tastes worse too, if I may add). So what are you really eating when following a gluten-free diet? Whilst ditching wheat, rye and barley, gluten free bread typically subsidises these with four main starches – corn starch, rice flour, tapioca starch and potato flour. “They have the highest glycaemic indexes (an index of how high blood sugar rises over the 90 minutes after consumption) of all foods. So high, in fact, that gram for gram, ounce for ounce, such gluten-free foods raise blood sugar substantially higher than table sugar and higher than wheat products” said by Dr.William Davis, author of Wheat Belly Total Health.

Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disorder, and when people who suffer with it eat gluten, their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks are very damaging to the villi, which are small finger like projections that line the small intestine which then leads to lack of nutrient absorption. Therefore, a strict gluten free diet is compulsory for someone suffering with celiac disease, as this is currently the only treatment with effective results.

This diet is also beneficial for those who suffer with a gluten intolerance which causes similar symptoms to celiac disease, but has different implications for your health. Have you ever wondered whether a gluten free diet would benefit you? Do you suffer from symptoms such as painful cramps, gas, bloating or diarrhoea? Maybe this is the solution for you. As a sufferer of a non-celiac gluten intolerance, cutting gluten out of my diet has completely changed my day to day life and has eliminated all my symptoms. I was constantly told by doctors and nutritionists that I suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and from talking to other individuals they were also told the same. Gluten intolerance is hard to diagnose therefore many doctors tell their patients that the symptoms sound like IBS. The only way to find out if it is gluten that is causing your symptoms is to eliminate gluten from your diet completely for a minimum of 4 weeks, and see if your symptoms have improved or hopefully disappeared. And you don’t need to worry about the convenience of where to get the products, as most stores including your local supermarket have a wide range of choices e.g Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and M&S. You may have to try a few different brands to identify which one you prefer as they do have a particularly different texture and taste to your normal loaf of bread.


Have we been falsely advertised with other diets and supposedly healthy products? Yes; one of the biggest juice companies in the world ‘Naked’, is mostly associated with the current craze of ‘juicing’. Juicing comes from most people’s perception that eating healthy is to indulge in fruit and veg. The company have used a clever method when naming their different types of juices by using motivational words such as “green”, “acai”, “power”, “fresh” and plenty more that attract the more gullible customers. The company have to be honest when labelling their products but people see only what they want to see, therefore your eyes are attracted to the never ending list of fruits that are claimed to be inside the juice drink. Essentially, when looking at the label that says “no sugars added” which could very well be true, you need to pay attention at the amount of sugar that’s already introduced through the fruit. Within some of the juices such as the ‘pure fruit’, that adds up to about 61 grams of sugar which is 20 more grams of sugar than a can of regular Pepsi. Where the sugar comes from is really no concern to your body, whether you’re drinking a Mountain Dew or a Naked juice (which both have the same sugar content), you are consuming more fructose than you should consume in the course of a few days.

If you’re worried about your waistline, stay away from Naked Juice or any other fad juice diets.

The truth about knitting and crochet

Studies show that knitting and crochet Is actually good for you, physically and mentally, who knew?!


“Is knitting therapeutic? Heck yes. It’s a proven scientific fact, just like we know chocolate and red wine are good for us. Since turning my life over to yarn, I’ve talked to thousands of knitters who claim it’s cured everything from gout to their weight problems. I can’t speak to all cures, but it can certainly improve one’s mental health. I know it helps mine.”

                                                                               says Clara Parkes, author of the just-released book The Yarn Whisperer: Reflections of a Life in Knitting. Personal testimonies, anecdotal evidence and medical studies back up Clara’s claims.


Knitting consists of rhythmic and repetitive movements once mastered. Many knitters reported feeling happier, calmer, less sad, less anxious and more confident when knitting. It gives you a sense of pride when achieving a finished piece, teaching you patience and perseverance whilst encouraging active creativity. Some have even compared the benefits of knitting to the welfares of yoga, research shows that knitting and crocheting share a common ground with meditation and mindfulness which people are referring to as ‘the new yoga’. All these benefits have a positive impact on a healthy mind set and well-being. Knitting is not only an individual activity its also very beneficial to do with a group of friends, this teaches the mind to improve problem-solving and development of hand-eye coordination, also a great excuse to get together! Doing a craft that makes you focus your attention on the present moment and has you engaged in an enjoyable task does wonders for your psychological well-being. Carrie Barron, a psychiatrist at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons stressed that craft, especially knitting, are all wonderful tools for alleviating anxiety and depression.


Using your hands meaningfully triggers healthy engagement and activity in about 60 percent of your brain, said Alton Barron. The rhythmic, mathematical nature of knitting and crocheting keep the mind absorbed in a healthy way, proving an escape from stressful thoughts but allowing for internal reflection.”


If you are an individual experiencing anxiety, stress or depression knitting will help you focus on the present and not something that happened in the past or that may or may not happen in the future. Others have likened knitting to entering a state of “flow” which positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes as “a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter”


Therapeutic knitting is known as a healthcare tool – unravelling the neuroscience behind its cross midline, automatic movement and the complex combination or physiological, behavioural, social and creative benefits experienced when knitting. A book by Betsan Corkhill called ‘Stitchlinks’ which is a non profit, community interest company set up in 2005 that talks about therapeutic knitting in depth and the work she is doing is pioneering ways to help people address various issues and improve their general wellbeing. It’s raising awareness that health and wellbeing is about much more than isolated symptoms and medication, its about the whole person and the environment they live in. Even if you are fit and healthy Therapeutic Knitting is provided to help you manage the ups and downs of day to day life whether its stress, anxiety, worry, low self esteem or social isolation.


“I realised I’d stumbled across something potentially very important. Something that could change the way we treat long-term medical conditions”



Here are 10 different benefits from crafting with friends that may improve mind and brain wellness:


Mental challenge and problem solving

Social connection


Development of hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness and fine motor dexterity

Learning and teaching

Focusing attention and thoughts on a task

Encouraging active creativity

Gives a sense of pride and achievement

Teaches patience and perseverance

Facilitates memory formation and retrieval