As addictive as COCAINNE, hidden in our foods and causing an amount of health issues including Obesity.
What if I told you that it was sugar – not necessarily fat that is causing our weight gain. Traditionally those who wanted to loose weight or fat went on low fat diets. And unfortunately many of the “Low Fat” foods or meals available are loaded with sugar.
Increasing evidence suggests that it’s the sugar rather than the fat in our diets that is the major contributing factor to our obesity epidemic. As addictive as COCAINNE and often hidden in processed food.
What is sugar?
Sugar is a carbohydrate found naturally in a number of different foods, from lactose in milk to fructose in fruit and honey. There are two types of sugar: naturally occurring sugars, such as lactose and fructose , and added or ‘ processed” sugars that include refined table sugar (sucrose). Health organisations advise we cut back on these ‘processed sugars.’ These sugars are often hidden in processed food and we don’t even realise we are over consuming.
Why is sugar bad for me?
Eating too much sugar on a regular basis leads to:
• Energy slumps: a high intake of sugar causes our blood sugar levels to shoot up, giving us that feel-good ‘high’, which is followed by a crashing slump that leaves us tired, irritable and craving more sugary foods.
Weight gain: over-consumption of sugar leads to extra pounds and may in turn increase our risk of chronic health conditions.
• Diabetes and heart disease:
• Tooth decay: a common problem and with its incidence increasing, sugary snacks and fizzy drinks are major contributors.
Where is the hidden sugar in food?
The instant ‘fix’ we get from sugar is one of the reasons we turn to it at times of celebration, or when we crave comfort or reward. However, even those of us without a sweet tooth may be eating more than we realise because so many everyday shop-bought foods – from cereals and bread to pasta sauce and soups – contain sugar. And unfortunately the Low Fat options are often just as sugar heavy. Here are some common examples:
• ‘Low-fat’ and ‘diet’ foods unfortunately often contain extra sugar to help improve taste and palatability and to add bulk and texture.
• ‘Ready off the shelf savoury foods, like ready-made soups and sauces, may contain added sugar, please check the label – same type jars or sauces can vary from 22g per 100g to just 7g per 100g.
• Breakfast cereals, bread and even yogurt may contain high levels of added sugar.
• Fizzy drinks – on average one can contains the equivalent of seven teaspoons of sugar.
Find out how much sugar is in your food by doing these simple checks:
• Look at the ‘carbs as sugars’ on the nutrition panel. This includes both natural and added sugars. Less than 5g per 100g is considered low, more than 15g per 100g is high. As a rule aim for no more than 10g per 100g. Check the ingredients list – any items ending in ‘ose’ (glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose) are all forms of sugar, as are honey, agave, molasses and syrups like corn and rice syrup. The higher up the ingredient list these are, the more sugar the product contains.
• Manufacturers are increasingly using what they describe as more ‘natural’ sugars like coconut sugar. These are still ‘processed ‘ sugars and carry the same health risks, despite the healthy perception.
How much sugar is considered ok to consume each day?
The Recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO) is that only 5% of our daily calorie intake should consist of added ‘processed ‘ sugar. This means:
• Adults should have no more than 30g a day (approximately six tea spoons .
• Children aged 7-10 years old should have no more than 24g a day (five teaspoons ).
• Children aged 4-6 years old should have no more than 19g a day (four teaspoons).
• Know your substitutes. Xylitol, sorbitol, Steeva and mannitol occur naturally in small amounts in plants and fruits and are often used in low-calorie products to provide sweetness, but with fewer calories.
What can I do to minimise my sugar intake?
It can be hard to spot added sugar, because the figures (carbs as sugars) on the label include both naturally occurring sugar and added or processed sugar. The most effective way to minimise your sugar intake is to avoid highly processed foods, buy whole foods and cook from scratch where possible. When you do buy off the shelf – check the ingredient list carefully. In addition to this add less sugar to tea or coffee and choose water instead of sugary drinks.
We offer affordable options for all your fitness needs.
– Building Strength – Losing weight
– Personal Training – Fitness Classes