Reducing sugar can make you feel more energised and full of vitality, both mentally and physically. Alessandra Toft, the Home Economist from Perfect Cooks, has some great, easy tips on how to reduce sugar in your diet.
Did you know that a can of cola contains the equivalent of a whopping 9 cubes of sugar? Would you be happy to put 9 sugar cubes in your morning cuppa? Probably not! And a typical chocolate chip muffin could contain up to 10 sugar cubes! This is how easy it is to consume too much sugar in your diet and all before lunchtime.
And you may think, I’m OK since I don’t drink cola or eat muffins, but there is a lot of added sugar hidden in foods that you wouldn’t suspect, from cereals, savoury ready-made meals to pasta sauce and soups.
The recommendation from NHS Choices is that the added sugar, apart from what is naturally present in fruit and dairy should be no more than 7-8 teaspoonfuls per day for 11 year olds and over. Most people are eating 22 teaspoonfuls. And children are eating even more. Compare this to the average consumption of sugar in the year 1822, which was just 2 teaspoonfuls per day. (An easy way to calculate how many teaspoons of sugar are in a food is to divide the number of grammes by 4.)
Eating this much sugar is thought to lead to a variety of health problems, not only obesity, but also Type II diabetes, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, inflammatory disorders, low mood, depression, anxiety, ADHD poor quality of sleep, increased risk of having a stroke and speeding up the ageing process. It is also suggested that sugar is even more additive than cocaine, so once you have a taste for sugar, it can be difficult to kick the habit but here are my 6 steps to help you.
1) Feel fuller longer by including protein and good fats, such as nuts, oily fish, avocados and extra virgin olive oil.
2) Get into the habit of reading food labels. Avoid foods with red sugar ratings.
3) Avoid snacking on too much bread, cakes and sweets.
4) Reduce the amount of sugar you add to your food, drinks and baking.
5) Aim to eat more freshly prepared food.
Feel Great by reducing sugar in your family’s diet” cookery demonstration with a 2 course meal will be held in March.
Check out perfectcooks.com for tips, ideas and information about courses on how to start eating healthily
You can download a copy of Sweet Poison – ‘Why sugar is killing you and how to quit it for good’ by Alessandra here