May 2016 Extra

On May 23rd Crantock Memory CafĂ© welcomed Dr. Richard Greenwood, a retired physician and diabetes specialist (who is also our treasurer) who gave a talk on diet.  Richard’s subject was “We are what we eat”.

He listed the various components of food: carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals and then looked in more detail at sugar and its significance for health. Glucose is our bodies’ essential energy source, especially for the brain. It is pleasant to eat, but too much can lead to obesity and diabetes, whilst too little can cause faintness and even collapse. The body can adjust itself to variations in intake unless an individual suffers from diabetes, which is due to a lack of, or a resistance to the hormone insulin which is necessary for glucose assimilation.

Type 2 diabetes, the commonest sort, is mostly caused by overweight due to over eating and insufficient exercise although there is often a genetic component as well. Initially attention to diet usually improves the condition. Interestingly, during and after the Second World War, the period of food rationing was associated with a marked fall in cases.  Since then, numbers have increased dramatically in the UK and other developed and developing countries and this is making major demands on health services.

Richard also talked briefly about the health problems caused by too much cholesterol and salt. The general public is confused by frequent changes in medical advice and media stories. He advised ‘moderation in all things’ and to avoid special or fad diets unless there is a medical need.

Guests and volunteers then enjoyed tea and moderate amounts of excellent home made cakes. The afternoon concluded with an entertaining game of Musical Bingo.

Our next meeting will be on June 6th when the theme will be Classic Cars with the chance to meet some owners and examine their cherished motors.