I watched Jamie Oliver’s sugar rush last night and the first 5min alone scared the shit out of me. The amount of children going to hospital because of sugar and the unnecessary pain they are going through is just heart breaking!
The amount of children suffering at the hands of sugar is scary, but what’s more scary is where the sugar is coming from. Cakes, lollies – we all know these have sugar. How about some all bran flakes, Greek yoghurt and berries with a nice glass of orange juice to accompany – 14.1tsp of sugar just there! What we would normally perceive as a healthy breakfast we find 14 teaspoons of hidden sugars, that’s DOUBLE the daily-recommended amount just in your breakfast. The amount of meals, snacks, drinks, sauces etc. that we perceive as ‘healthy’ that are riddled with hidden sugars is growing by the second.
The recommended daily intake of sugar is set at no more than 7tsp per day – the average at the movement is 40tsp 0_0 more than 5x what we should be having.
As a society we are getting busier and as a result more and more people are turning to fast, easy options for their meals. Whether it is fast food or packaged meals the amount of sugar in these fast, easy options is incomprehensible. From this we are seeing a rise in obesity, diabetes and other diseases/conditions directly related to sugar intake.
I’m not saying you need to cut sugar out of your diet completely, everything in moderation has always been my motto – but the truth is the more sugar you consume, the more you will want to consume. It is a substance that you will crave and that will provide you with no nutritional benefits. It is next to impossible to cut it out completely, but can you get it to the DRI of no more than 7tsp per day? Make a point of tracking your sugar for one day. I’m sure that’s all it will take. How much did you consume? 30, 40, 50tsp of hidden sugars? If you are aware of where the sugar is hiding you can control your intake, you can make better, more educated choices.
Only a few weeks ago I started the IQuitSugar diet by Sarah Wilson. Still trying to shake the last 10kg of post baby weight I was up for anything! I was already working out regularly but needed to control my diet. After 2 weeks on the plan the headaches that I had always considered normal had stopped. The bloating I had always ignored, was gone. My skin felt amazing, my energy levels were rising and I was 3kg down. I was eating full fat, wholesome, fresh food minus the sugar (fructose). I was still getting plenty of lactose so there was still sugar in my diet; I was just cutting out the crap! My fast food addict husband and unadventurous kids LOVED the meals (bonus!!) it was a winner all round. So why doesn’t everyone do it? The answer – it requires effort.
The number one excuse for eating poorly and not exercising is ‘I don’t have the time’ – the TV program I saw last night showed children as young as 4-5 going into surgery to have a handful of rotten teeth yanked out, middle age men with diabetes having body parts amputated and a young girl only 15yrs old with type 2 diabetes who has to check her blood morning and night, after every meal. Who has time for that? THAT is the reality – all those people said ‘no it will never happen to me’ but it did. Taking a little time just once a week to organise and prepare meals could save you having to watch your nearest and dearest or even yourself suffer this pain.
I know what busy feels like. I run a business, I study, I run a household and have two young girls that require my constant attention. Everyone knows what busy feels like. You have to consistently make time. Have your meals organised and prepped in advance so there is no reason to pick up the phone and order a pizza when you walk through the door at 6pm. Take the family out for a 30min walk – get active – not only will this increase your energy levels but you will be spending quality time with the family, getting some fresh air and providing a positive influence for your family.
It’s not as easy as grabbing a freezer meal and sitting in front of the TV, but it is so, so worth it. Your quality of life will improve dramatically. We are not here for long, so make the time you have got the best it can possibly be!
The amount of sugar we as a nation are currently consuming is killing us. Something HAS to change.
I will leave you with a simple quote I heard on ‘That Sugar Film’ – “Sugar is not the devil, but life is SO much better without it!”