Why We Need To Stop Adding Sugar!

It's Day 3 for me with our No Added Sugar challenge and I have to say it's all mind over matter. As long as I train my brain not to go for those sweet snacks in the pantry (that my husband tends to buy),  as we snuggle up beside the TV to watch a movie. I have opted for my natural sweet treats, that won't create the muffin man or donut ring around my waist so here's an example of what I like to make when I start to crave something sweet;

Apple Lychee slices with peanut butter & chia seeds

A photo posted by Dani Stevens (@1danistevens) on

 

Ingredients

1 apple thinly sliced or in wedges 2tsp peanut butter (no added sugar, my fave is Mayvers)

1/2tsp chia seeds 3 lychees

Directions

Open up lychees and allow the juices to drip over the sliced apples, spread peanut butter, place a slither of lychee on top and sprinkle chia seeds! Enjoy.

Back to sugar....We all know that sugar is ‘Public Enemy No 1’ right now – thanks in part to the ‘Sugar Movie’ and also Sarah Wilson’s popular book series ‘I Quit Sugar.’ Most of us agree it’s not a good thing to add extra sugar to our food, nor is it healthy to fill your body with lollies, cakes and other sugar laden foods. But what many people don’t realise is the sugar in food that we all assume are healthy; particularly the natural sugar in fruit. And there are other things we might consumer every day that we have no idea are full of sugar, such as tomato sauce! Who’d have thought?

As part of my No Added Sugar challenge, I’d like to enlighten you all about some simple sugar facts and what you’re doing to your body when you over- indulge. It’s believed the average person consumes about 30 teaspoons of sugar per day. But do you really know what sugar is and why it’s not great for you? Sugar can be found naturally in foods such as in milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). It’s also a carbohydrate and a source of energy (kilojoules).

Sugar is refined from sugarcane or other plants before its added to food and drinks when processed. It’s referred to as several different names when it appears on a food or drink label, such as sucrose, glucose, corn syrup, maltose, dextrose,  raw sugar, cane sugar, malt extract, fruit juice concentrate and molasses – but they are all just sugars no matter what you like to call them!

The good news is that small amounts of sugar and high-sugar foods, such as a spread of jam or in fruit yoghurt, are not harmful. But if you constantly eat high sugar food with little nutritional value it makes life more difficult. It’s not easy to live a healthy, active life when you’re consuming extra kilojoules which lead to putting on weight and, eventually the risks of heart disease and Type-2 diabetes.

If you’re serious about cutting down on sugar, join me on No Added Sugar! And Check out my No Added Sugar meal planner and Instagram page – guaranteed to make you feel great! There are several simple ways to cut down your sugar intake.

A photo posted by Dani Stevens (@1danistevens) on

 

Follow a diet that includes lean meat, chicken, fish, legumes and low-fat dairy foods. Have more wholegrain breads and cereals, fruit and veggies.

Cut down the amount of sugar you add to cereal, tea, coffee – try natural sweeteners like fruit or yoghurt.

While one jam doughnut has 3.5 teaspoons of sugar in it…did you know a mango also has 3.5 teaspoons of sugar? A banana contains 3 teaspoons of sugar and a bowl of Cornflakes for breakfast contains 2.4 teaspoons of sugar.

A simple thing to do is to stop keeping high sugar food at home – this includes chocolates, soft drinks, fruit drinks, cakes, biscuits and ice-cream. But you need to carefully check the labels on other food you use on a regular basis such as tomato sauce and various fruit juices. Focus on drinking water and not sugary drinks.

When you’re doing the grocery shopping check the sugar amounts on the labels – also look out for those ‘no added sugar’ alternatives.

Instead of grabbing a biscuit or chocolate or cake as a snack, force yourself to have some yoghurt, fresh fruit or a handful of nuts instead. Most Australians eat only half the amount of fruit and vegies recommended for good health. Adults need to eat at least 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegies each day.

What are some of the things you’re doing to Eat Less Sugar? It’s not as difficult as you think so let me know what steps you’re taking to rid your body of unhealthy sugar!

Please keep sharing your recipes and tag #NASwithDani as the gallery is giving us motivation and inspiration to create meals that don't need any added sugar!

xxDani

Your Everyday Fitness Food Motivator