Sugar – why is it always in the news?!
For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/
There is now a war on sugar and probably for good reason. But the type I mean is the white stuff, either in its pure form or added in large quantities to cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolates, tomato sauce, soups, cereals in fact in many, many mass produced foods. The manufacturers euphemistically call it ‘free sugar’. A high sugar diet could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer
Many of you have already decided to say ‘No’ to sugar and are looking at ways to reduce it. As a nutrition coach some of my clients are coming to me and asking the same question and looking for quick ways to cut back on sugar. They often decide that cutting out fruit is the answer. I don’t think so; fructose is the natural sugar present in fruits and vegetables. These are also sugars but come with vitamins, minerals and fibre and therefore should form part of a healthy balanced diet
This article has featured in the West Bridgford Wire
So what’s out there to help us make sure our families don’t consume too much sugar? Change4Life, part of Public Health England have recently launched a ‘Sugar Smart’ App. A new campaign that highlights the high levels of sugar found in children’s everyday foods and drinks, that hopes to encourage parents to get “Sugar Smart” and take control of their children’s sugar intake
Have you downloaded the App yet; If so what do you think?
A local journalist, Jenny Thomas contacted me to get my views on the App, here’s an extract of the interview; it’s just over a minute long
We also talked about how difficult it is to understand food labels
Try these simple tips and swaps for helping to reduce the sugar intake of the whole family
- Instead of sugary fizzy drinks or sugary squash, go for water, lower fat milks and no added sugar drinks.
- Remember that even unsweetened fruit juice is sugary, so limit the amount you have to no more than 150ml a day, and if possible add water.
- If you prefer fizzy drinks, try diluting fruit juice with sparkling water.
- Swap cakes or biscuits for malt loaf with mashed banana or rice cake with peanut butter.
- If you take sugar in hot drinks or add sugar to your breakfast cereal, gradually reduce the amount until you can cut it out altogether.
- Rather than spreading jam, marmalade, syrup, treacle or honey on your toast, try a sliced banana or lower-fat cream cheese instead.
- Check nutrition labels to help you pick the foods with less added sugar, or go for the low-sugar version.
- To convert grams to teaspoons divide by 4 i.e. 20g = 5 tsp
- Try halving the sugar you use in your recipes – it works for most things except jam, meringues and ice cream.
- Choose tins of fruit in juice rather than syrup.
- Choose wholegrain breakfast cereals, but not those coated with sugar or honey.
Another tip is to be mindful, by that I mean be aware of what you are doing. Before you automatically reach for a biscuit to go with your tea ask yourself do you really need it or is it just a habit. Have you always added sugar to your porridge or would a mashed banana be just as good. Do think consciously and you may find you don’t need all that sugary stuff
I explain more about mindfulness in this little clip when Jenny Thomas interviewed me
(Its 2 ½ minutes long)
A sugar tax
This campaign is gathering momentum and will probably reach a decision after the much awaited obesity strategy is published next month. If products that we buy have a high sugar content should a tax be paid by the individual, shops and supermarkets or manufactures?
What do you think; would a sugar tax work, and who pays?
Is a tax necessary? Personally I think something needs to be done to tackle the obesity epidemic
One in five children is obese by the time they finish primary school. Include those classed as overweight and the figure jumps to one in three.
Children consume three times as much sugar as they should – with a third of that coming from fizzy drinks. Sugar taxes have been applied in other countries and there is evidence it will work here.