Tag Archives: is sugar bad

Nutrition gone crazy?

Sugar. Saturated fat. Salt.

Dietitian UK: Sugar.Salt.SatFat

 

 

Eye catching nutrients that have been in the media spotlight recently. All of which has caused great confusion for pretty much everyone. 

I completely agree that people need to be educated about nutrition. Science needs to be shared. However what I’ve seen is a media frenzy and the wrong messages being shouted out, whilst the key message are swallowed up. 

It very much feels like we have started focusing more on single nutrients instead of looking at our diets and lifestyles as a whole. It doesn’t add up to me. If we focus on reducing sugar then will this lead to not eating yoghurt and calcium levels dropping? Personally I do not sit down and add up how much sugar I have in a day. At least not on a regular basis. What I do look at is the balance of my diet. How many portions of fruit and veggies I eat, oily fish, whole grains, high fibre foods. Then I focus on eating whole unprocessed foods when possible and cooking from scratch. I drink water, tea with no sugar or herbal tea. Sugary snack foods are a treat food. For me it works.

I have clients who have spreadsheets detailing all their nutritional intake for the day. Pretty time consuming and confusing as when you try to make one nutrient balance the books another one slips up. 

I’m not sure there is a perfect diet. I think it’s all about choosing sensible, achievable goals and working towards a sustainable healthier lifestyle. Small changes you can stick to. 

Such as :
Eat another 2 portions of veggies a day. 
Step away from the cereal bars and back to the fruit bowl with some nuts and seeds.
Swap sugary soft drinks for a sugar free version, homemade fruit water, herbal tea or no added sugar squash. 
Build activity into your day, everyday. 

Rant over. 
What are you doing to make achievable steps toward a healthier lifestyle? 

How to cut down on sugar

Ok so first things first. Sugar is NOT the enemy. (Runs and ducks under cover). Seeing any single nutrient or food as the baddie However I completely agree that eating less sugar is something to be encouraged for MOST people. Notice I didn’t say ALL people. For some who are focusing on weight gain eating food that contain sugar can be useful and necessary. 

Dietitian UK: Top 3 myths about sugar

The new WHO guidelines are that we shouldn’t be eating more than 10% of our total energy intake as free or added sugars. These are sugars that are added to foods as well as sugars naturally found in honey, fruit juices, fruit concentrates and syrups. So it does not include the sugar naturally found in foods such as fruit, vegetables, milk and some yoghurts for example. 

Why do we need to reduce the sugar? The research shows a link between sugar and obesity. This makes total sense. Too many calories = weight gain. Sugar = calories. This is  not saying that sugar is the main or only cuplrit in the obesity crisis, it is one of them. Sugar is also linked to dental caries. Again, it’s a widely known fact and yet we still eat it.

Personally I don’t jump on the band wagon of “sugar cleanses” or completely cutting out sugar. I wouldn’t find that sustainable. What I promote is reducing your sugar intake alongside finding a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable in the long term. If your meals taste horrible you won’t stick to it. Cooking from scratch, steering away from jars of sauce, snacking on fruit and veggies, switching to a sweetener, altering how you bake and drinking unsweetened beverages are all things I’m in favour of. 

Cut down on:

Adding sugar to drinks and cereals/food.

Using honey.

Fruit juices and soft drinks.

Jars of sauce and condiments such as tomato sauce – look at the labels and see how much sugar is added!

Ready meals, soups and desserts. 

Cereal bars, biscuits, cakes, sweets and processed foods.

Sugary breakfast cereals.

 

Instead :

Check the labels of foods and look for a lower sugar option. 

Get creative in the kitchen and bake up some low sugar treats. You can use fruit to sweeten baking in cakes and flapjacks and make main meals such as lasagne without any need for sugary sauces.

Switch to a sweetener. Many now come from natural sources and can be used in baking.

Wean yourself off sugary foods. If you have sugar in your drinks try gradually adding less over time. Go from 2 tsp, to 1 tsp to 1/2 tsp to 0 tsp for example.

Choose a wholegrain, low sugar cereal and add some fruit to bring in the sweetness.

Make your own versions of sauces, they are not only lower in sugar but usually cheaper too.

Try not to have sugary foods to hand or you are more likely to eat them!

Allow yourself to have sweet treats on occasion, it is impractical to cut things out entirely. Even dietitians eat cake and chocolate 😉