Shaun’s Real Story

Shaun is a 56 year old man.  He works in healthcare and was quite busy so I saw him infrequently.  He turned up for a general health check one day because he was “tired” and because we had a good relationship I told him fairly directly that I noticed he has put on a bit of weight.  His blood pressure was mildly elevated and his weight was 108kg, up from 92kg one year previously, with quite a bit of weight around his abdomen, the typical “beer gut”. He said he couldn’t figure out why because he “ate well”.  So asked him to do a 2 day food diary, recording everything he ate and drank over 2 days and come back and see me. We also did some baseline bloods including his blood sugar levels, liver tests and cholesterol.

I saw him 2-3 weeks later.  His blood tests indicated he now had diabetes and fatty liver disease changes.  His cholesterol was also up with lots of bad cholesterol and little good cholesterol.

He was shocked.

We reviewed his food intake.  Whilst it was not ideal, the food he was taking in did not account for the weight gain and blood results.  I noticed he had written “tea” and “coffee” at least 4 times a day. I asked for more detail. He was surprised and said “tea and coffee can’t be bad! I have that to keep me awake!”

It turned out by “tea” he was having a common commercial “iced tea”.  I did a quick google search for the nutrition table (which you can now read!) and found that each bottle had 26 grams of sugar in it, which is ~6 teaspoons!  In his coffee he was having milk and 2 sugars as well. So all up he was having ~24 teaspoons of sugar a day and 2-3 glasses of milk in his coffee. That is a lot of sugar and milk equating to about 700-850 calories a day extra on top of everything else!  Plus, of all the foods, sugar is not a good choice.

Interestingly, what was causing his fatigue was this poor “food” causing diabetes and other metabolic diseases, and he was trying to fix his fatigue by having more sugar, tea and coffee. And this was just creating more disease and fatigue.

Oh, the irony.

He had no idea there was this much sugar in his iced tea.  He thought it was a healthy option. I advised him that the same is true for soft drink, energy drinks and juices.

We stopped the iced teas and moved over to real green tea as it has caffeine to keep him alert and is very good for him (as you will soon learn in a later video), and to have the coffee either black (very good for the liver) or if he must have milk then with only a small dash of milk but no sugar.  We also made some basic changes to his diet which we will cover next week.

In 3 months we repeated his bloods. He felt much better, his diabetes had reversed, his liver returned to normal, his blood pressure went to normal and he had lost ~15kg.

So – read those labels!