Our intake of sugar is often much higher than we realise, and this includes those who consider themselves to be eating a healthy diet, even with the knowledge that this type of eating is causing us problems it is still too high.
We all know we need to reduce our sugar intake, the research clearly supports the fact that it increases the likelihood of type 2 diabetes and inflammation. Sugar comes in so many different forms that the only way to avoid added sugars is really to keep to whole unprocessed foods.
For some of you that will be easy, for others, you potentially are wondering what you will be eating.
The problem with sugar isn’t just that it’s bad for us, it’s that it’s in all the easy to get attractive foods that make our lives easier to live. I remember my partner saying to me years ago how long it was now taking him to shop in the supermarket now he had to read all the ingredients. I told him shopping can be very easy, just visit the fruit and vegetable department, then the herbs and spices, and finally the whole foods department, and leave the rest because it’s mostly not helping you to have good health! It can be a simple habit that is easy to install.
We all love the taste of sugar, that sweetness is so important to us, a food high in energy would be prized at one time when that was incredibly important for our survival. That odd treat that would have been eaten seasonally and would have been significantly less sweet than it now is, has become a daily ‘treat’, to have with our tea, or coffee, and particularly when we are eating on the run.
And we tend to eat on the run a lot, the school runs, between meetings, on the way to work, school or college, in the car.
Sweet foods should be a rare treat, they would have come with all the minerals and vitamins needed to unpack them into the body unlike our processed alternatives that are now so readily available. Surrounding ourselves so readily with high energy food has been one of the most detrimental things we could have done to our health. The processed alternatives unpack themselves quickly into the body, the sugar is immediately available to use, great if you are an endurance athlete, not so good if you’ve spent your day at your desk or on your sofa.
We naturally want our lives to be easier, we like it that way, easy is attractive when we are tired and short on time. But a lot of the healthier people I see who are looking to just tighten up their diets often don’t realise the amount of sugar they are actually taking in via the faster foods they are choosing. They, like the rest of us can be quite reliant on processed foods, often these processed foods look and have the feel of naturally home cooked or handmade, but the ingredients can be enlightening in regards to how much sugar is taken in. A glass of orange juice at breakfast can add a lot of sugar, and in particular fructose, that natural bar they grab instead of a biscuit can be adding up to 25g of sugars, the wrap they eat with French Salad dressing can have sugar in it, the stir-fried sauce used will include sugar, in fact it’s become hard to get away from sugar if you are eating processed foods in any way.
Our busyness is killing us, it’s increasing our waistlines, and reducing our health, when we are too busy to look after ourselves with the one thing we need to get right, we are out of balance. We need to get back into our kitchens and make the time to cook for ourselves and take back control of our health and make our kitchen a health regeneration zone. Making good wholesome foods for ourselves should be a habit not a hindrance in our lives.