Updated: Jan 8
Its January and many of us have overindulged a little over the Christmas Holliday. Perhaps you are feeling bloated and sick of eating sugary foods and treats. January can be a time of faddy diets that can leave you feeling miserable and deprived and putting back on all the weight you lost an more come February, March.
When all that is needed are a few small changes that can make a big difference to your energy levels, health and weight.what better time for me to write a blog about reducing sugar.
Why we should reduce the amount of sugar we eat?
Did you know, that the U.K has the worst obesity level in Europe, as many as 6 out of 10 adults are classed as obese. Over eating on sugar can cause weight gain and tooth decay. The type of sugars most adults and children eat are What the world health organisation call (FREE SUGARS) .
Over eating on sugar can lead to fat gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke and coronary heart disease. Just making some small changes can make a huge difference to your health, your energy levels and your weight.
FREE SUGARS are sugar added to foods either by the manufacturer or by a person at home in foods like..
Biscuits, cereal, yoghurt, bread, fizzy drinks, chocolate, chocolate drinks, fruit juice.
Most people are aware of these sugars but what about these?
Jam, marmalade, syrup, so called healthy cereal bars..
Whether sugar comes naturally from fruit or a soft drink or sweets, they will give us the same amount of calories, The problem is as a nation we eat too many free sugars.
SUGAR FROM FRUIT
It can be confusing because on one hand we are told to eat less sugar but also told to eat more fruit. Fruit contains natural sugars, a mixture of sucrose, fructose and glucose. Fructose isn't bad for you unless you consume large amounts which is extremely difficult to do when eating whole fruits.
the sugar added to the list of free sugar food listed above do include fructose, glucose and sucrose but they have been take away from their natural source, rather than being eaten as a piece of fruit or veg.
There are many fruit juices in the shops all claiming to be super healthy and good for you.
The problem is that when fruit is turned into juice, the sugars coming of their natural form turn into free sugars. The fibre that is naturally occurring in the fruit is lost and its much easier
to ear more more sugar without realising it!
If you have ever squeezed a fresh orange you will know to get a whole glass you would need to squeeze quite a few oranges, you wouldn't think of eating all of these oranges now would you? Orange juice or apple juice or whatever, is extra sweet and tasty and if you drank a glass of this you wouldn't give it another thought.
HOW CAN I EAT LESS SUGAR? WHERE TO START?
Sugar is everywhere you go, the temptation and the pull to eat it is incredibly strong when you are trying to cut down or give it up. we don't realise how addicted we are to it until we are giving it up.
We have to try and take small steps, to change the way our brains think about food. It takes approximately 2 months to change a habit but it will be so worth it.
1/ don't wait until you're hungry to eat, when you are hungry the body craves sugar as a fast pick me up and it will do that but then leave you feeling sleepy and craving more.
2/ Choose a sugar free version of your soft drink or try sparkling mineral water instead. don't add sugar to your tea and coffee or if its just to hard to drink it without and go cold turkey, start by cutting down on one tea spoon every week.
3/ When you crave sugar chose a piece of fruit instead.
4/ instead of adding sugar or honey or syrup to your cereal mix in some delicious fruit instead, frozen berries from the supermarket are cheap and will keep in the freezer, or mix in a chopped apple or kiwi or banana.
5/ if its too much to cut out sugary sweets straight away chose a smaller packer or a single
sweet or try sweets with no added sugar or try choosing some chocolate that is 70% coco like Lindt or Bournville or Green and Blacks.
6/ chose wholegrain cereals instead of sugary cereals ( manufactures are crafty and make many cereals seem healthy, labelling them as low fat or high in fibre, double check the label for sugar information) and fresh fruit to sweeten it up instead of sugar.
7/ Change the juice or squash for no added sugar kind or try herbal tea
8/ Avoid low fat fruit yoghurts these contain high levels of sugar, instead eat plain yoghurt and add your own fruit, much tastier and much better for you.
ADULTS and children over 11 years of age should eat no more than 30g a day. A standard sized chocolate bar contains 25g of free sugar, that's nearly all of your allowance for the day. See the link below for more information on foods and the amount of sugar they contain.