"There's No Such Thing as a Good Sugar!"
My first time writing an article...ever...here goes!
There's No Such Thing as a Good Sugar!
I don't know about you, but when I read the above for the first time, I was heartbroken. Being a sweet addict for 30-something years, I had searched for ways to curve or cut down my sugar habit...and here's me thinking that switching to brown sugar (because white sugar is bleached) and then onto honey, would be a great health benefit and give me a gold star! But, I was seriously naive.
Now don't get me wrong, some sugars are better than others (the lesser of two evils as it were), honey has more vitamins and nutrients than maple syrup, where maple syrup is lower in calories and contains less fructose than honey, but at the end of the day, all sugars are bad for you.
One important thing to note, is that our brains are addicted to sugar. This is because it's been proven that this sweet substance activates the brain's reward system, which can result in having cravings or addictions; so for all of you out there who have been able to cut out refined/added sugars from their diet completely, I tip my hat to you, because that is one mammoth task!
In today's busy environment, where we strive for convenience in almost everything (because, who wouldn't want to make their life easier), especially in what we eat, this 'convenience' can come at a price. The ease and cheap cost of pre-packaged, frozen, ready meals and takeaways can sometimes be too tempting to turn down, even though this is where a lot of the 'hidden added sugars' are lurking, without us even knowing it, or even told/or forewarned upfront by manufacturers.
It takes, time, effort and absolute dedication to prepare all natural and healthy breakfasts, lunch and dinners...it's not impossible, but if you're like me, insanely busy and to be honest, always looking for the easier option, there's other ways to help reduce your sugar intake.
In conjunction with National Sugar Awareness Week, I wanted to flag how important and key it is to realise the impact of what excess sugar can do to your health and how we can help ourselves just a little bit.
1. Go fresh and natural as much as you can, starting off gradually. Going cold turkey and cutting out sugar abruptly, can be a sure fire way to crack and eventually binge back onto sugar, as well as making you extremely moody and irritable. (no-one likes a moody pants!). As the natural sugars and fibres in fruit and vegetables are digested by our bodies a lot slower than refined sugars, this gives our digestive system time to turn this into energy our bodies can use, instead of it being instantly turned into fat (because our body doesn't know what to do with it). Less fat, means less strain on our bodies, in our arteries and overall, can lead to better health.
2. Read and check food labels to ensure you know exactly what's in your food. You'll be surprised how many food products have added sugar in them. My video (Top 5 Shocking Pre-Packaged Foods with Hidden Added Sugars is testament to that - you won't believe what's No.1!).
3. Try sugar free alternatives. The food industry is continually being disrupted by small independent companies launching new, healthier and surprisingly tasty products which are free from the added, excess or refined sugars. (Ahem, shameless plug - Sweet Clarity's sugar free sweets!). Teaching us that we don't necessarily need excess sugar for something to taste great.
4. Last but not least, anything you eat must be in moderation! Fruits still have sugar, so even overeating on these can have serious health consequences and don't get me started on binging on spinach. (For more info on overeating on healthy foods, checkout this article form Womens Health here),
I hope the above helps provide some useful tips and more importantly, provides key awareness in order for all of us to build and maintain good health.
*I'm not a medical professional or health practitioner. The above content is derived from my own independent research and experiences.
Founder - Sweet Clarity Ltd