Britain’s biggest diet survey defines optimum nutrition

Today we publish the 100% Health survey, based on over 55,000 people who have completed our on-line questionnaire. The survey defines what kind of diet is associated with high level health.

Sugary foods are by far the worst but other foods with negative health associations include wheat and milk, as well as salt, caffeinated drinks, red meat, and refined food. The best food groups are nuts and seeds, followed by fruit, oily fish, vegetables and water, although oily fish only becomes positive once you are eating at least two servings a week.

Alcohol did not come up as negative. Results showed that those drinking a unit of alcohol a day, a small glass of wine, were less likely to be in poor health than abstainers. The positive effect of moderate drinking is consistent with a growing body of research. Other studies have shown that your risk of having a heart attack, stroke or developing Alzheimer’s is less among light and moderate drinkers than abstainers. Of course, excessive alcohol is bad news, but a relaxing drink in the evening may not be so bad after all.

Consumption of sugary snacks was by far the best predictor of poor health for every health factor we looked at – energy, digestion, immunity, hormonal and mental health. This survey confirms that sugar is the worst bad food – much worse than alcohol or salt.

This is consistent with a large body of evidence to show that high sugar intake, much of which is hidden in foods and drinks, is driving obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even violent behaviour. Our survey suggests that cutting back on sugar has even more impact on your health than eating more fruit and vegetables. With one in six people over 40 now diabetic, and the obesity epidemic out of control, it’s time the Food Standards Agency got tough on sugar.

100% HEALTH SURVEY – KEY FINDINGS The average person in Britain is tired, grumpy, constipated, stressed and sleepy. Our love of sugary snacks, salt, meat, wheat and dairy products may be a contributor. • Two thirds of the 55,000 people who completed the 100% Health survey online were found to have abdominal bloating • Constipation affected 83%, with only one person in ten going to the toilet every day. • Almost two thirds of women suffered from PMT • Eight in every ten admitted to being frequently tired, with the highest caffeine consumers having the lowest energy levels • Those who complained most of tiredness and sugar cravings were the most likely to struggle with their weight • The best foods for your health are fruit, vegetables, fish, water, nuts and seeds. The worst foods are sugary snacks, sugar and refined foods, salt, meat, wheat and dairy products.

By studying the diet and health habits of the healthiest people alongside those in average or poor health, we have found some simple secrets to staying super healthy. I explain these more in my new book Ten Secrets of 100% Healthy People and will be giving the blueprint for becoming and staying 100% healthy in my regional seminars across Britain, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland starting on 1st February. If you would like a copy of the survey click here.