Yes, who doesn’t like sweet things. But the problem is that sugar is hiding in almost every processed food in the supermarket-from cereals, low fat dairy foods, salad dressings, sauces ,breads, tinned fruit and vegetables. I recently purchased the book, ‘I QUIT SUGAR’ by Sarah Wilson. This is a great book – easy to read and it explains clearly what sugar does once it hits our bodies, how sugar is hidden in many foods and we don’t even realise, and it offers a complete 8-week detox program and cookbook. 

iqs-print-book

The reason I want to share some of Sarah’s thoughts, is I do worry about the effects of sugar and the risks it has on our health and well-being. It is so easy to go through your day, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in between and not have any idea of how much sugar you are actually consuming. Before reading the book, I was guilty of this and was abit like Sarah, consuming ‘healthy sugar snacks’, thinking it was ok. Sarah was consuming 25+ teaspoons of sugar a day, and she didn’t drink coke, or put sugar in her coffee and had never eaten a creme donut and ice cream bored her. She actually ate the so called ‘healthy sugars’- honey, dark chocolate, and fruit. The American Heart Association recommends women 6 teaspoons and men 9 teaspoons of sugar a day. Sarah is an Australian, and from her worldwide research, she believes, we are designed to eat 5-9 teaspoons of sugar a day. Eating too much sugar can cause weight problems, decreased immunity, some chronic infections and autoimmune diseases, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, pain syndromes, irritable bowel syndrome, ADD, chronic fatigue, candida. Consuming lots of sugar puts you on a roller coaster of sugar highs and lows. I know personally, around 4pm, I am craving something sweet, to boost my energy  levels, only to grab something sweet, have a sugar high and then crash again. The bottom line is we eat far too much sugar and it is addictive. Still not convinced? Sarah asks us to consider this which I found very compelling:
We’re eating more low-fat food than ever before.
We’re joining more gyms.
Yet we’re putting on more weight.

Then consider this-Today we eat more than a kilo of sugar a week. Just 150 years ago we ate next to none.(you read more about this at the beginning of the book, very informative and interesting.) Low-fat food often contains more sugar than the wholefood version.(Sugar is added to make a food taste more like the original.) MAYBE I AM HAVING A BLONDE MOMENT, BUT I DIDN’T KNOW THIS!) The low-fat industry is big business. Hmm, the money factor raises it’s ugly head again.

So should you be quitting, here are the questions Sarah asks
Do you get an energy slump in the afternoon?
Do you need something sweet after meals?
Does your stomach get bloated after eating?
Are you unable to eat just one piece of cake and walk away?
Are you ‘podgy’ around the middle, perhaps even slim everywhere else?
Do you often feel unclear? That you’re not always sharp and on-form?

Sarah ticked ‘yes’ to most of the above and me too. I will leave with a couple of considerations about how much sugar is in certain foods and drinks.
A banana= is about 4 teaspoons of sugar
A handful of raisins or dates or sultanas on your muesli=about 5-7 teaspoons of sugar
A glass of fruit juice= 8-12 teaspoons of sugar
Fruit Toast= 6-7 teaspoons per serve(two pieces)
A Fruit Muffin= up to 11 teaspoons
A Dollop of tomato sauce= 1-2 teaspoons
Kellogg’s Just Right cereal=4-8 teaspoons(depending of serving size)
A small tub of low-fat yoghurt= up to 6 teaspoons
As serve of pasta sauce(from a jar)= about 4 teaspoons

So, I am reading Sarah’s book and learning a lot. Will I do the 8-week detox? I am still deciding, but I have already started to cut back on my sugar intake, so that’s a good start. I would like to take the 8 week detox challenge, because, that way you are getting your body back to a balanced state and free from sugar cravings, but we will see if I am brave and strong enough!  All I ask of you, is to be informed with how you live your life and how you treat your beautiful self. I suppose for me, as I turn 50 next week, well being and being healthy is important to me as I do want to have energy to live a long life and to be able to enjoy it!