Well, it would be okay if it was JUST a spoonful of sugar, but according to today’s media, it isn’t. In fact, a contributing factor in the rise of obesity is that sugar is hidden everywhere, in lots of the things we eat and drink, thinking they are healthy for us or they are an acceptable occasional treat. Here is a link to one article, but to be fair, it is EVERYWHERE today. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/09/obesity-campaign-cut-sugar-processed-foods They are even saying it is as dangerous and as addictive tobacco.
There is a new group of high profile of scientists and doctors who have launched a group called Action on Sugar. They are campaigning for the food companies to reduce the amount of sugar that is in everyday products, like the soup, like cereals, like soft drinks. A similar group had great success with the campaign to reduce salt in food. Apparently, if the food manufacturers reduce the sugar slowly, then people won’t notice. Our taste buds will adapt themselves.
Sugar causes more problems than just extra calories, leading to excess weight. We all know that sugar causes tooth decay, but eating a lot of sugar in childhood increases the risk of those children developing fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes later on in life. In fact, some of the scare stories in the tabloids have stated that there are more children developing these before adolescence. If you take in a lot of sugar, in any form, you can build insulin resistance and that means you are on the path to getting type 2 Diabetes, unless you change your diet. It is sometimes called Metabolic Syndrome, or Syndrome X. Insulin Resistance means losing weight is INCREDIBLY difficult, among other things.
I was horrified to learn that there is the equivalent of 4 teaspoons of sugar in Heinz Tomato Soup. Good grief. When I make tomato soup from scratch, no sugar enters the mix. No wonder my soup tastes different, despite my best efforts. Needless to say, sugar will NOT feature in my recipe going forward. I do not need to eat any more calories!
So sugar is scary, and addictive, and the fact there is so much sugar in manufactured foods means that they need to reduce the amount they use. Okay. I can understand that argument. I have a slightly more radical suggestion though. Why don’t we eat food which hasn’t been manufactured?
If you eat food which your Great Grandmother would have recognised as food, then chances are you will be eating well. You will probably also be eating fewer calories. Fewer calories in (and more calories out when you are chopping stuff up and moving around the kitchen) means you will lose weight, or at least not put more weight on. Eating fresh fruit instead of milk chocolate, eating salads instead of chips/French fries, eating butter instead of margarines and other manufactured spreads – it has got to be better for you. I am not saying you can’t eat chips. You can. Just make them yourself and bake them in the oven. Delicious!
I know, from personal experience, it is not as easy as that. I have struggled for years with obesity, and at the moment, I am considered by the medical community to be morbidly obese. That is down to my Body Mass Index calculation, and that is another argument for another blog post, but still, I know I am overweight and I need to lose a significant amount of it. The way I am doing it, is to cook from fresh, reduce my portions, increase my exercise and count my calories. It will be a long road, but the destination will be worth it.
What one change can you make to your diet to reduce the amount of sugar you are consuming?