It was a popular song in the sixties, and one we sing to ourselves subconsciously every day, perhaps the words have been rearranged slightly to ‘sweet for my sweet tooth and sugar in just about everything’. Our love affair with sugar started in the fifties but was really ramped up in the seventies with the reduction in cost to manufacture processed foods and sweet treats. In particular, the food industry found a way to mass produce a cheaper source of sweetener for our foods (high fructose corn syrup – HFCS) foods became much sweeter (yummy) and because the products were cheaper to make the portion sizes got bigger too.
We are 3 stones heavier today than our counterparts were in the fifties; this is because of the huge increase in daily calorie consumption combined with a more sedentary lifestyle. Sugar has a great part to play in this weight gain. It’s in our cakes, biscuits, savoury snacks, breads, sauces, salad dressings, toppings, pizzas and soft drinks; the list goes on – just about every processed food.
Too much sugar causes weight gain, diabetes, cavities, increased hunger, high blood pressure, an impaired immune system, liver damage and risk of cancer. I’ll stop there because I’m not trying to give you or myself nightmares. No one is saying we have to give up sugar all together, a little of what you fancy is o.k. the trouble is according to studies the average person in the UK consumes 238 teaspoons of sugar each week and this is way too much. “A draft report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) says sugar added to food or naturally present in fruit juice and honey should account for 5% of energy intake.” (BBC News June 2014 - Call to halve target for added sugar). Interesting right?
Let’s all make a promise to ourselves to cut down on our
sugar intake. This is one New Year’s resolution that will be worth keeping.
If you haven't watched this informative BBC documentary, it's worthwhile:
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