Drug and alcohol worker at Buoyancy, Guna Green, gave a demonstration workshop called “The ‘Standard Drink’ Game”, the aim of which is to sharpen up people’s sense of what a standard drink actually is. The term ‘Australian Standard Drink’ has been devised to indicate a drink that has 10 grams of alcohol. Obviously the size of different kinds of alcoholic drinks that will contain just 10 grams of alcohol will vary greatly. One regular pub glass of mid-strength beer will contain about 10 grams of alcohol, whereas a single nip of spirits will contain about 10 grams of alcohol.
During the demonstration, we discovered that when people hear the term ‘standard drink’, they initially assume it means ‘normal drink’, that is, the size of drink that one normally gets served in a pub or bar. In fact, one regular pub glass of full strength beer and one glass of wine, as normally served in a resturant, both contain considerably more than 10 grams of alcohol, thus each is more than the Australian Standard Drink.
Thus there may be a conceptual difficulty with having people grasp the term ‘standard drink’ and its intended use. Thus, in the ‘Stardard Drink Game’, we found that people attempted to pour a drink similar in size to that which they were accustomed to receiving in a pub or restaurant, rather than one that might have just 10 grams of alcohol.
Listen to interview with Guna Green and Adam Forbes>>
In this world of refined sugars, many have lost an appreciation for the natural sweetness of some whole foods.
Hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar, is quite prevalent among people who abuse alcohol and drugs. The brain functions on glucose, and an inadequate supply affects mental processes.
Refined sugars act as strong stimulants, but as insulin floods the system to rapidly draw the sugar out of the bloodstream, a crash occurs, where energy and mood can drop dramatically.
Excessive consumption of meats fuels a craving for sugars in an attempt to re-establish the protein/carbohydrate ratio in the body. Consumption of animal products generates prostaglandins, which trigger pain, inflammation and even depression. Sugar and alcohol (a form of liquefied sugar) can temporarily help to alleviate these symptoms.
Consumption of too much salt reduces blood sugar. Only small amounts of sea salt should be used. Seaweeds and celery have a natural salty flavour, with other health benefits.
Chromium, Zinc & Manganese, factors which control blood sugar, are removed in the refining process which produces white sugar, white flour, refined salt and many other highly processed foods. These, along with Silicon (thought to improve pancreatic function) are contained in the bran of whole grains
Eat whole fruits as opposed to juices, as these provide the benefit of fibre. Citrus fruit lower blood sugar quickly, so should be eaten sparingly.
Whole grains and carbohydrate-rich vegetables including winter squash, carrot, swede, parsnip, turnip, chickpeas, black beans, peas, sweet potato, yam, pumpkin
Pungent vegetables and spices: onion, leek, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, garlic, nutmeg
Small amounts of certain sweeteners and fruit: rice syrup, barley malt, molasses, cherries and dates can be tolerated
Chew food thoroughly, as digestion, particularly of complex carbohydrates, begins with saliva. Thorough chewing is essential for their complete breakdown so that adequate minerals and other nutrients are absorbed.