We are all becoming increasingly aware that sugar is not good for us and it has been said that if sugar was discovered today, it would be banned! The Government is waking up to the effects of sugar as in George Osborne’s Budget of March 2016, a sugar tax levy was outlined on the soft drinks industry to combat obesity effective from 2018.
According to The Telegraph, a recent report claimed the NHS could save almost 80,000 lives in a generation by weaning the public off its sweet tooth. Today, we are, on average, consuming three times the recommended level of sugar.
However, it is not easy to cut out sugar completely from our diet!
Yes, with a bit of effort, we can stop taking sugar in our tea and coffee or give up fizzy drinks but sugar is an ingredient found in so many foods that it is difficult to cut it out completely.
I noticed that Cancer Research has launched a campaign called ‘Sugar Free February’ which is to encourage people to gain sponsorship whilst they give up all sugar for a month. Their guideline sheet suggests you Lock Up fizzy drinks, cordial, chocolate and sweets and replace with water, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds.
This is a brilliant idea in principle but is a huge ask for a lot of people to kick sugar in one hit. My feeling is that people should be weaning themselves off sugar gradually for a long-term result i.e. stop taking sugar in hot drinks and give up fizzy drinks as an initial step and then to start to look at labels on foods as it is surprising that sugar appears in so many foods where you would least expect it i.e. savoury sauces, some breads and granola bars.
At least it is now a legal requirement to display percentages on packaged foods of fat, sugar, salt etc but we also need to remember that fruit contains fructose which, even though a natural sugar, the body still accepts as sugar so it is better to load your diet with more vegetables than fruit.
As a practicing therapist, I would always recommend that people have a health check before embarking on something as drastic as completely cutting sugar out of their diet as there may be a reason why you perhaps crave sugary snacks or lots of carbs. During a treatment, I would do a full body check to ensure that you are in balance, looking at all the systems of the body and test for fluctuating blood sugar etc.
If you are experiencing tiredness, mood swings and reach for a sugary carb fix, it could be that your blood sugar is out of balance and that your adrenal glands and pancreas are under stress which would need addressing before you could progress onto a successful sugar-free diet.
There are some great cook books to support you to live your life without sugar and enjoy feeling better such as Deliciously Ella and Hemsley Hemsley which introduce you to healthier sweet alternatives such as Medjool dates, pure maple syrup and honey.
There is also a product which I recently came across called 7 Day Sugar Detox by Viridian which provides a brilliant 7 day meal plan and supplements which will help support your blood sugar fluctuations and this will certainly be useful in helping you to get started cutting out sugar. An accompanying free app provides a selection of recipes. This product is available to buy for just £7.00 from Natures Corner, Northbrook Street, Newbury.
Let’s embrace kicking the sugar habit but let’s also appreciate that this will not be easy for everyone and you will probably need support. However, you will be rewarded for your perseverance by feeling and looking healthier!
For a full discussion about your health, contact me for a free consultation. I am offering 20% discount on all my treatments for January at The Wellbeing Centre, Pound Street, Newbury.