Sugar sugar

29 Sep 2014

Many people don’t realise how much sugar they are actually eating, and that’s not just the amount they add to their cereal or to their cup of tea but the amount that’s hidden in processed foods and drinks.

Around 80% of all processed foods contain added sugar. Of those, fizzy drinks, fruit juices, and desserts make up 50%. Other culprits include breakfast cereals, tomato ketchup, bread, soups and ready meals.

There are those people that seem to just eat sugary junk food all the time and never gain any weight. They think that they are not damaging their health as you can’t see it but too much sugar can lead to high levels of blood fats called triglycerides, which increases the risk of heart disease.

As we know sugar can also ruin your teeth, and it’s not always the way your teeth look, as teeth and gum problems can cause mouth infections and if untreated can lead to certain cancers and again, heart disease.

Most people that eat a lot of sugary foods do carry too much weight and are heading down the road of diabetes and obesity. Sugary foods should be just an occasional “treat”. If you feel the need to have something sweet try breaking off just a few squares of some organic chocolate and add some chopped dried fruits and nuts to make up a little goody bag.

I have a sweet tooth and I do enjoy a cake every now and then, but to replace the added sugar when baking I use almond milk, coconut shavings and dried fruit to help stick the cake together.

Research shows that on average we have 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day, and the recommended maximum amount is 12 teaspoons (50g) for women, 17 teaspoons (70g) for men and 8 teaspoons (30g) for children.

Just to get you thinking about how much sugar you have per day, a regular can of coke has 35g of sugar, which is 9 teaspoons and equals 75% of a female adult’s daily amount and 117% of a 10 year olds limit.

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