So, we are all aware of the dangers of sugars in our diets aren’t we? And we all know that sugars come in all shapes and forms, yes? And because of this we know what foods are ok and which are just a massive no-no, Right? WRONG!
Oh how wrong we can be? In fact we are still teaching some of our oldest members here at The Shredquarters just how wrong some of their choices can be when it comes to sugar intake in their daily diet. I can honestly say a good 80% of people I talk to about their diet have no idea that they are taking on sugars without even knowing it. So, with this in mind, here starteth the re-education……come on my journey won’t you?
Let’s start at the very beginning. Sugar makes you fat. Yep we are going straight in there! There is no way of getting around this fact……it just does. Even the ‘Good’ sugars if eaten in excess can be just as bad for you. Too much sugar converts to fat, increases your insulin levels and leads to a greater fat storage…….and we are all on the merry go round because studies have shown that most of us (me included at one time of my life) are highly addicted to sugar.
It’s been proven that sugar effects and stimulates the same area of the brain as narcotics and just as we don’t endorse the use of such illegal things neither can we endorse the overuse of sugars in any form. It really is very simple, the key to a healthy body and lifestyle means we must dramatically reduce (if not totally CUT) the intake of processed sugars and sweeteners in our food choices.
But WHERE DO WE START? We hear the cries for help; this is where we are going to make life simple for you, you have to go ‘Cold Turkey’ – it’s absolutely the only way to start this journey. Will it be easy? Absolutely not but then the right way usually isn’t.
So, the first week can be really rough, we need to make you aware of that from the outset, it can feel like you just can’t fill yourself up and if you are anything like me that after dinner sweet craving just WILL NOT GO no matter how hard we try to ignore it, if that’s not bad enough other symptoms of cutting the sugar can be but not limited to:
- Lack of energy
- Mood swings
Sounds delightful doesn’t it? Honestly stay with me here because I guarantee this will be the best thing you can do for your body.
Sugars can damage your heart, have toxic effects on your liver, cause 100’s of chronic diseases as well as being dubbed ‘Cancer’s best friend’ in the health industry. While I can spout on for hours about each issue I found this site really useful and easy to understand https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-disturbing-reasons-why-sugar-is-bad take a look!
Right, so now we know why we shouldn’t eat them, do we all know where sugars are found? And what different terms spell out ‘Sugar’? No?…..ok then, here we go………..
Sugars are simple carbohydrates that are easily absorbed by the body providing an instant boost of energy, this is why many of us ‘crave’ sugars however once the quick rush of ‘Sugar Hit’ is gone we are usually left with the same hunger which leaves us reaching for more sugar rich foods or subsequent snacks. There are lots of different types of sugars, not just the ‘added’ kind that we all seem to think of straight away, for example; Milk and Milk products naturally contain sugar just like fruit and veggies. Types of sugar in order of sweetness are:
- Fructose: In fruits and Honey
- Sucrose: In table Sugar
- Galactose: In honey, Fruit and Veggies
- Glucose: In fruit and Veg
- Maltose: In Barley
- Lactose: In milk and milk products.
Great info I hear you all say, but still none the wiser……..how about Free Sugars and Total Sugars?
‘Free Sugars’; those added to foods and drinks by manufacturers, cooks and consumers. They also include those found naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates – these are the NO’s!!!!
Sugars found in fruit and vegetables, milk and milk products are not considered ‘Free’ sugars, while in excess these are not amazing for our bodies, in moderation and healthy levels our body can cope and even thrive.
If you are looking at food packaging you may see the term ‘Total sugars’ this is exactly how it sounds, it will equate to free, non-free and natural occurring sugar content of that food/meal/drink etc.
So, how do we know what is in our food? There are three main ways you can check the food that you buy for its sugar content:
Front of Packet Labelling: This is a relatively new way of showing the levels of Fats, sugars, carbohydrates, calories etc of a food. Red = High, Yellow = Medium, Green = Low. While this has been adopted by many manufacturers it still is not found on everything you might put into your food basket. So the other ways of tracking are:
Back of Pack Labelling: Legislation states that all manufacturers must list ‘Total Sugars’ in the nutritional panel on the back of food packaging, we must remember this is ALL sugars found naturally and added (Free).
Ingredients Panel:- This Panel can be found on all food packaging and it lists all ingredients in decreasing order, so the lower ‘Sugar’ is down the list the better, however it is key to be aware of the sugar description because that catches a lot of people out, rule of thumb, if it ends in’ Ose’ then sugars are present……and not good ones!!!
And there end’eth the lesson for today I hope it has been a little helpful for you – please feel free to come and have a good natter down at The Shredquarters when you are next in, I can talk for HOURS on this subject!
Happy and Healthy shopping guys!