I was astounded to learn two particular facts when recently viewing “THAT SUGAR MOVIE.”
The average consumer ingests a colossal 40 teaspoons of sugar a day!
Only 20 % of food on our supermarket shelves does not contain sugar !
According to statistics, 36% of New Zealand children are obese. This figure rises to 60% for Pacific Island and 40% for NZ Maori kids.
Ok we may not be adding 40 teaspoons of sugar to our daily meals, but the quantity is clocked up by sugars hidden in foods we innocently purchase; ready-made, processed meals, jars, cans, bottles, packets.
The quickest way to figure out what’s in a product when purchasing is to look at the Food Label, scan the ingredients panel which are listed by order of quantity. If sugars, numbers and words you don’t know are on that label – put it back on the shelf, it’s not a food! If sugar is in the top five ingredients in that list, you can guarantee its high!
If you want to know how much sugar is in a food product, go to the “Nutrition Information Panel,” then across to PER 100g, scroll down to grams of SUGAR. Say its 30 - Divide this by 4 = 7.5 tsp of sugar in TWO muesli bars, (I’m looking at!) and you thought these were healthy!
One concern with refined cane sugar is that it’s super fast burning, spiking blood sugars, leaving us craving more, often reflected in children (and adults) as behaviour/learning challenges, compromised immunity. If we are sedentary these sugars are laid down as fat.
Fruit juice is quite a misnomer. Containing fruit sugars these are super concentrated - juices need to be diluted half with water. Eating a piece of fruit is different; fruit contains fibre and nutrients to slow the release of natural sugars.
As an alternative to regular sugar try using Coconut sugar, Pure maple syrup, Raw honey next time you are preparing food. If a recipe states 1 cup of sugar, go for half the amount, (raw organic,) and sweeten with a little fruit, you will be surprised what you can get away with. Christmas Cake is a classic example!
We can’t go too far wrong by choosing fresh foods close to their natural state, pure water to drink. Remember - where do you find REAL food in the supermarket? – the outer aisles - Fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, nuts, seeds, pulses and whole grains.