The Baseline Blog….
SUGAR IS THE ENEMY!
Sugar gives you a quick high. We all know that when we’re really tired and hungry only a chocolate bar will do the trick – and it does, briefly. But then we crash and feel worse than before, so we want more and more sugar to help pick ourselves up again. The trouble is that it’s not as simple as just giving up sugar in our coffee or lunchtime chocolate bar. The big problem is the hidden sugar in foods.
The sugar in our system doesn’t just come from bars of chocolate and sweet cakes. It comes from foods that release energy quickly, including processed refined carbs, such as white flour, rice and pasta. These foods cause our blood sugar to rise and to give us a quick boost – but that boost doesn’t last, and eventually these highs and lows cause damage to our systems. Foods that contain lots of fibre, such as green vegetables, release energy more slowly which is much better for our bodies and our digestion.
Cutting out the sugar-rich, empty calories from your diet will give you more energy (honest!) and you will see a noticeable difference in the way that you look and feel about yourself.
Here are a few suggestions to help you kick that sugar addiction:
1 - Cut out sugar in drinks
Not just the sugar in your tea and coffee, but all soft drinks (squash and fizzy drinks), sweetened waters, energy drinks, fruit juice (yes fruit juice!)….
2 – Cut out junk food
Most likely the unnecessary sugars in your diet are fuelling your sugar addiction so cut them out. Avoid not only the obvious sources of sugar like cakes, biscuits, chocolate bars, sugary sweets (we all love Haribos and Percy Pigs but they’ve got to go) and ice cream but also the seemingly healthy items like breakfast cereal, granola, energy bars, fruit bars, rice cakes, popcorn, raisins etc
3 - Reduce complex carbs
Complex carbohydrates include white breads, pastas, and rice. Your blood sugar zooms up shortly after you eat these carbs, and then once your body has digested them (and it does so quickly) your blood sugar comes crashing down and you’re hungry again. Either replace your carb intake completely with vegetables or, if you do have to eat carbs, reduce your portion size and have wholewheat or brown variations.
4 – Find and avoid those hidden sugars
Mayonnaise, ketchup, canned soups, sauces and ready meals are all laden with sugar. Some of the worst offenders are low-fat foods. Many foods labelled as ‘diet’, ‘low-fat’ or ‘fat free’ replace the fat content with carbohydrates and so are usually high in sugar. Fruity yoghurts can often contain five teaspoons of sugar! Even a glass of fruit juice or one of those healthy looking smoothies contains as much sugar as a fizzy drink – far better to eat the fruit itself.
Cutting back on sugar also means not eating ready meals and processed foods such as ready-made sauces. Yes, they are convenient, but many are packed full of sugar to make them taste better.
5 – A word about fruit….
Fruit is good for you, but some types of fruit (pineapples, bananas, peaches etc) contain a lot of sugar. Better stick to berries – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries for example, or kiwi fruit.