Tuesday, 6 November 2012

We need to talk, sugar.

Well, my friends. I have been doing a lot of research on sugar. I've been talking about sugar alternatives for a while, and we all know that sugar is bad for us, but I really want to know what the deal is. So I've been reading and watching some stuff. And it's all bad news. Bad news.

We are eating far too much sugar. It's making us fat. It's addictive. Some even call it poison. Bad news.



I have been thinking for a long time about reducing my sugar intake. I've done it a long time ago, and I'm thinking about doing it again. And I want you to start thinking about it too. I'd like you to join me. Once I've got my head around the research (it's taking a while) I'm going to give you a summary of what I've learnt. I think it may freak you out. For me, making changes like this takes a bit of thought and build up. So I'm giving you a bit of warning. All I want you to do for now is start thinking about it. Not worrying, not taking action, just thinking. So that you are prepared when I hit you with the facts, and the challenge. But don't worry, we'll do it together, and work out a way.

Women, if you have men in your life that you care about, they need to get thinking too. They need to get on board. It's a matter of life, if you know what I'm saying.

And may I suggest that there is one action you may be able to take. If you have any soft drink/fizzy drink or fruit juice in the house, go and pour it down the sink. I just did (leftover party stuff). A horrifying waste, you say? Well I say, I can't think of anyone I dislike enough to give it to.



Pebble Biscuits - a First Birthday treat.

21 comments:

  1. Wow! I'll give it some thought... I always like a group challenge!

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  2. Fizzy drinks and juice dont appeal to me in the slightest, but to give up all sugar ... Eeek! All things in moderation?

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  3. Feeling a little bit bad about the fudge I made yesterday .... Although it was a present for someone, does that make it better? No, probably worse.

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    1. I'm feeling conflicted now. I really know that Angela is right. But I also really want to learn how to make fudge... I had that all lined up for my next 'project', but hadn't settled on a recipe yet.
      Now, is it totally morally wrong of me to hijack a comments section of a blog post about cutting sugar to ask for a fudge recipe?!

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  4. I definitely need to lessen my sugar intake but the fact is - I like sweet stuff and I love to bake. Baking makes me happy, it is my creative outlet. So now I just need to control myself not to eat *all* the baking, and to find more healthy options for my baking.

    We don't drink fizzy drinks and I dilute juice for the boys and I - I find it way too sweet and strong if I don't.

    I am interested to see what your facts and challenge are, and I hope to get on board!

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    1. Hear hear. Apart from the diluting juice bit - but we do keep it to meal times only; water or milk otherwise. We stopped buying squash (cordial?) a while ago, and don't drink fizzy either. I can't bring myself to pour apple juice down the sink though. Sorry.

      Will be reading the follow-up posts on this with interest.

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  5. Well one thing we will talk about is prioritising your sugar. Decide when you want it and when you are happy to eat it, but don't let it just slide past in to every snack and every meal and every drink all the time without you even realising it's happening. So make and eat the fudge if that's your number-1-want, but look at reducing sugar somewhere else. Choose a cheese scone instead of a muffin when you're at the cafe tomorrow. Or don't put jam on your toast. Or whatever.

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    1. That I can live with. As a start, we are going to choose Sweet Freedom rather than syrup on our porridge this morning. An obvious switch I'm ashamed I hadn't thought of making yet. Thank you for the nudge.

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    2. Yes I've been using it on my breakfast (I've gone from brown sugar to honey to Sweet Freedom on my WeetBix).
      Good start.

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    3. Well that certainly makes for a more do-able challenge. Most days my only added sugar would be chocolate (yep, most days right now include a little Trade Aid dark chocolate - good for the, um, something). Fresh juice or hot chocolate sometimes at a cafe, pudding if someone's making it. Luckily I don't like jam!

      I'm keen to hear (was thinking this at the organic shop today) if you're talking largely about refined white sugar, or whether all sorts of other sweet things are on the hit list. I guess my question is really whether we can bake our own healthier sweet treats on the challenge or whether we need to switch to savoury muffins full-time.

      Great conversation happening here, Angela!

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    4. Dark chocolate = good for the soul, if nothing else, surely?!

      I haven't added sugar to my cereal for years - other than porridge, which seems to be becoming a daily request from my two littlies now that autumn's well and truly here. Glad I thought of reaching for the alternative this morning. It tasted just fine. On days when we have porridge with added sweetness I refuse my son's request for jam on the toast (thankfully my daughter doesn't like it anyway) - so we have started prioritising, gently.

      I don't have sugar in tea and coffee anyway, and try to use the less refined sugars in my baking wherever possible, and routinely ignore instructions to add sugar to anything savoury. The problem is principally that I do a lot of baking. And that my children love apple juice.

      Anyway, I should probably sit back and patiently wait for further information and instructions, rather than getting all my excuses and self-defences in early! ;-)

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    5. What is Sweet Freedom? Some kind of artificial sweetener I am imagining. And I am liking the sound of prioritising one's sugar - I'm sure I can manage that! I already hunt high and low (and stock up on jars when I find them) for sugar-free peanut butter, which is hard to find here. Does anyone actually like the sugary stuff?? IMHO, it's gross!! As I'm trying to cut back on the amount of bread I eat anyway I don't consume much jam or honey - but it always comes back to that gosh darned home baking...

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  6. Ah yes, I've been mostly sugar-free (along with dairy & gluten free) for a few months now... and it's really not that bad :)

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    1. Perhaps we need you as a Patron Xx

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  7. ok, i'm with you. for me to give something up, it always takes a little overindulgence, a small telling off, then i can commit. yesterday afternoon i got hungry, and instead of choosing a small muesli bar, i asked the vending machine to instead give me a bag of lollies. now here i am, publicly shaming myself by telling you what a glutton i was, eating the whole bag in five minutes flat, so i can now fully join you in this challenge. i have two allowables: creme brulee (or equivalent), and wine.

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    1. Yes I'm a bit the same with what it takes to make me change. Only those two allowables - that's amazing!

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  8. Angela- have you read "the end of overeating" in your research? I would recommend.

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    1. Thanks, this fits in well with what I have been learning about sugar (specifically fructose).

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  9. Yes, what is sweet freedom??

    I stopped sugar from one day to the next last week when I started my diet. Also stopped carbs. Was a lot harder to stop carbs than sugar. I reckon if you've decided to do it in your head, then you can. I'm using stevia to slightly sweeten my joghurt or dessert :-)

    Looking forward to reading your finding :-)

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  10. Hi Angela, I've been lurking on your blog for a bit, after seeing Thalia's FB posts about it.
    This is right up my alley! I'm keen to hear about your research.
    I've heard people say a couple of interesting things lately. I can't vouch for the truth of these statements, but thought I'd share them to see what people think.
    One was that apparently we are hardwired to want to eat fat, salt and sugar, because in their natural forms these foods provide us with important nutrients. Unfortunately we refine them in such a way as to lose most of these nutrients.
    The second is that the main issue is fructose. Other types of sugar (glucose, dextrose etc) seemingly don't affect us in the same way as fructose.
    The third is from an american doctor, Terry Wahls. She has MS, and has reversed a lot of her symptoms through diet. She essentially promotes a paleolithic diet, really high in non-starchy vegetables and meat with certain types of fats and some fruit. No sugar, no grains, no dairy, no eggs, very little starchy veg. She's studied what or cells need for maximum performance and put together her diet based on this. She reckons that people overeat because our bodies are craving nutrients they are not getting from the standard western diet, so keep sending us the signal to eat. She lumps sugars together with white flour and potatoes in terms of the harm it is doing to our bodies.

    We don't eat a lot of sugar in our house. Being gluten and dairy free and needing low levels of sat fat excludes a lot of baking! I wouldn't say we are entirely sugar free though, we would have a dessert once every couple of weeks, and Iain eats a reasonably sugary cereal. Lachie (18months) gets no sugar at all except for fresh and dried fruits, and even those I tend to limit.
    Oops - long post!!!

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