Now, Im not just talking about table sugar, Im talking about all the hidden sugars in processed foods. As a whole it seems like everyone is on a diet, trying to go to the gym, yet we seem to be getting bigger every year.
I was at the supermarket the other day and thought it would be nice to buy a soup, I usually make my own from scratch but I was feeling a bit lazy and thought it would be nice to let someone cook for me. I grabbed one of the healthiest looking soups from the shelves and found to my horror they had added in sugar, rancid vegetable oils and refined salt. This is common for pretty much all processed foods even the ones you deem healthy choices.
Of course this is a small amount of sugar but it adds up. Today we eat more than a kilo of sugar a week. Just 150 years ago we ate next to none.
Facts About Sugar:
The really nasty sugar is fructose! Ever molecule in our bodies has a hormone that responds saying ‘thank you – we are full now’ when you have reached your required dose, every molecule except when it comes to fructose. Your body has no limit in terms of how much fructose you can eat, that is why is is so easy to wolf down sugary desserts and copious amounts of sweet fruit. So by reducing and cutting out sugar you will find yourself reducing the amount of overall food you eat, because you wont be craving more fructose and your body will naturally know its limit for other molecules. Even Agave is 90% fructose, so although it does not raise your G.I levels as much, use it sparingly. It is also sweeter than sugar anyway so you only need a touch if you want to sweeten something.
When fructose is digested in our body is not used as upfront energy instead it gets directly converted into fat, which is stored in our body (usually around our waists). It also clogs our arteries, which can be the start of cancer forming cells.
Quitting hidden sugar is hard and I recommend that you do it slowly. Read labels carefully. It really is all about taking the time to check what has been put into your food. Even some labels say no added sugar but have disguised sugar in another form. Or even better – make things from scratch. My food philosophy is if your grandmother couldn’t make it in her kitchen, don’t eat! Lets get back to basics.
words by Nutritionist, Madeleine Shaw