There’s been a lot in the news about sugar recently.
Finally, it’s coming out that it’s all the sugar in our food that’s making us fat…not the fat! Fat has had such a bad rap for so long and while everyone has been desperately trying to eat low fat and keep their cholesterol as low as the docs say they should, lots of people are getting fatter and sicker!
Some eye opening stats from a UK public health survey state that in 2013, 56.4% of women and 72% of men aged 35-44 years were classified as overweight or obese! And the figure gets higher for 45-54 year olds of both sexes. And the trend is getting worse year on year.
And obesity leads to a whole host of really unpleasant diseases.
England’s chief medical officer is actually making the direct link between sugar, obesity and life shortening illnesses.
The challenge has been laid at the food industry’s door.
But shouldn’t we be taking responsibility for our health, rather than relying on the food industry? Isn’t our good health our priority not theirs?
Carbohydrates are sugar. Our body uses sugar (technically glucose) to produce energy for everything we need to do to stay alive and live our lives.
All carbs breakdown into single sugar molecules in your gut. Some carbs are packaged by nature with lots of nutrients and fibre in them, like vegetables and, to a lesser extent, fruit. Others, like all things made with refined white flour, aren’t. This means they break down and convert to sugar in your gut at lightening speed.
When this happens you get a tidal wave of sugar hitting your blood stream, it can overwhelm your body before things are brought back under control. Doing this several times a day, day in day out, ends up with all the excess sugar being turned into fat - and stored (as fat)!
Which we don’t want.
There’s no easy way to give up sugar. As someone who’s tried it – and is very partial to bar of chocolate come 7pm - just as with salt, you do lose your taste for it.
The secret is to make sure you’re eating really well – plenty of good fat and protein - as this is what’s going to make you feel full and contented (and not crave carbs or sugar as much), along with platefuls of rainbow coloured veg for nutrients and fibre. It needn’t be boring, bland or tasteless – lots of colour, herbs and spices can make things delightfully delish.
Sometimes it’s a shocker to see a visual as an incentive. Here’s one showing how much sugar is in everyday foods you might eat – scary huh?
Blood sugar balancing is something I work on first and foremost with my clients, as it has major benefits, which are felt immediately. It’s also a great way of reducing or coping with stress.
To head towards sugar free or less sugar in 2016, check out the workshop I’m holding on 13 January - great if you want a plan to kickstart good habits and health. I also regularly update my facebook page with healthy, yummy, satisfying and often sugar free recipes, plus more tips and info on healthy living. Do hit like below or share with a friend.
I'm also curious about what concerns you in your health, what confuses you about food and what would you like more of in these newsletters, so I can write about what's relevant to you. Post it on my facebook page.
Before leaving you, I’d just like to wish you all a marvellous and healthy 2016. Over the holidays, remember to schedule in time for yourself and also time for some light exercise, even if it's just going for walks – it’ll help keep you saner!