Friday, 8 May 2009


............sugar! Bain of my life at the moment because I can't have it (see last blog post). At all, not one little bit, and when you can't have something what happens? You want it more!

I never let it take over my life but I was extremely partial to the odd bit of Green and Blacks with my peppermint tea, and as for Hotel Chocolat - don't even get me started.

Todays blog is a little rant from me at all the foods in the supermarkets that contain sugar, and you know what, there are lots and lots of them. In fact, turn it the other way around and trying to find foods without sugar becomes a challenge.

Even in my health food shop, most of the products contain sugar in some guise or other.

Dessicated coconut with added sugar, why? Baked beans, with added sugar, why? Chicken pieces, glazed with sugar, why? Prawns in chilli and garlic, with added sugar, why? Guacamole even, with added sugar, why?

Why, because it is undisputably a flavour enhancer. And so addictive and that's the problem. We are primarily a nation of sugar addicts, and that's not good. Alot of the time we don't even realise we're ingesting it so until it has to be taken away it becomes a way of life.

Corn syrup, brown rice syrup, fructose, lactose, maltose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, palm sugar, sucrose, galactose, dextrose, stevia, honey, agave syrup, xylitol, rapadura are all forms of sugar - some much more refined than others. Try reading labels for a while and you'll see it in all its guises.

Sugar equals carbohydrate and yes, we need carbohydrates in our bodies to a certain extent. After all, the brain and working muscles primarily use glucose as their energy source . However, we really do not need as much as most people consume in their diets hence the increase in obesity, diabetes etc. etc.

Too many carbs particularly refined ones will upset your blood sugar levels leaving you feeling flat/lacking in energy and in need of more, which becomes a vicious circle as you eat more and more to create some kind of false homeostasis. Insulin levels go haywire over time which can lead to diabetes - more common than you think.

The best way to avoid too much sugar is to stop eating processed foods. If you only eat foods in their most natural state they haven't been 'tampered' with and so are unlikely to include added sugar (not guaranteed!).

I work (or did before the candida diagnosis) to the 80/20 rule. If I eat well 80% of the time I figure my body can cope with the 20% of foods which may challenge it in some way or other.

Alcohol is another carbohydrate/sugar which places major challenges on the body. It is the bodys preferred energy source, so it will use up the alcohol first leaving all other foods to potentially be turned into fat. A tip from my first trainer on a night out, was to have one glass of alcohol, followed by a glass of water and keep this up all evening. Lessens the hangover, and reduces the damage. Try it.

So, whilst sugar, in any form, is good in moderation, keep an eye on how much you consume a day by checking the labels on your food. If sugar is one of the first two ingredients it's likely to be very high and should potentially be avoided unless it's a 20% food.

If it is then you just enjoy it, I'm only a teeny, weeny bit jealous!

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