This is such a ‘hot’ topic at the moment. For me this is great because the more people who talk about sugar, the more questions they ask, the more we can all raise awareness. The sugar tax came into play on 6th April 2018 and this is only for a specific band of fizzy drinks and is aimed at the manufacturers. So some have responded by reducing the amount of sugar in their products, in an attempt to reduce the tax they have to pay. Now there we were thinking they cared about us the consumers. They will also most likely pass any cost on to us as well so prices will go up. You may think this will help to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks but seriously think about the cost of cigarettes; they are extortionate to the non-smoking community, but ask a smoker and he or she will say well that’s not necessarily a sticking point to make them give up. Besides the main point is that manufactures have us over a barrel; we are addicted to sugar so like nicotine or other drugs, once we realise that sugar is addictive, is poisoning our bodies and that manufactures are using it in everything to make us buy more, we see the vicious cycle we are in. So you will spend what you need to to get your next fix of sugar.
The hard part is that highly processed sugary foods and drinks are every where, literally staring at you all the time, so to try to reduce your sugar intake is extremely difficult. Now we are coming to the real problem; firstly we are addicted. Second, we we try to wean off our addiction, temptation is everywhere, even hidden in foods and drinks that claim to be healthy! So we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Finally to add to this sad story is that most of the population actually know very little about how to read food labels and to decipher between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and also are at a loss of how to begin to make changes.
A common start is to eat lots of fruit, dried, and fresh, drink lots of fruit juices and smoothies or use ‘coconut sugar’ or other such ‘healthy’ sugars instead of refined white sugar. However too few people actually understand what impact too much sugar, added or naturally occurring, is having on our bodies and minds.
You may think ‘well its fairly simple’; if we eat too much sugar our body cannot process it and it is stored as fat, leading to obesity; or our body cannot process it because we have overloaded our system and we end up with Type 2 diabetes. And it may seem as simple as that, but what I am discovering, as I continue my own exploration with sugar and food, is that there is a fundamental lack of understanding of what food is and what is does. Without this knowledge we are feeling our way in the dark. Our body needs sugar and can get the sugar it needs from whole, good, natural ingredients.
My feeling is that we need to be educated at a very basic level and at a very early age as to what food is, what is looks like, what we need it for, and how to cook and eat simple food made from scratch using whole ingredients. We need to look at seasonal foods, mixing carbohydrates, move a way from over processed ingredients. This will take time. Think about how long it takes to kick a habit; and once a user or addict you are always one, therefor it may be a lifelong battle.
I, myself, a huge sugar addict, still struggle and have to tell my brain constantly, ‘NO I don’t want that chocolate or cake or two spoons of sugar in my espresso. It’s bad for me. I WANT and I LIKE this tea without sugar, this home made cake with reduced sugar’. It is a challenge but one I feel we need to start. We need to change our mindset, our psychological relationship with processed and convenience foods, our understanding of lifestyle and foods and we need to start it now.
As a parent, Nursery owner, an employer, and a member of society, I feel, I and everyone, has a responsibility to do what they can to try to turn the bleak statistics around; 1 in 5 children are obese, within that range the risk of getting cancer is increased by 30%. That is avoidable and very sad!
I have some useful videos about sugar on my YouTube channel. Please watch them, leave a comment below and let me know what you would like to know more about! How can I help you to make those changes.