We are all eating way too much sugar. I believe eating excess sugar is worse than smoking cigarettes. Yep, really.
Just check out these stats and you might agree; Every day, 280 Aussies are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese, and this is the first generation of kids who wont outlive their parents due to health complications.
Australia is in crisis, a sugardemic, and most of us don’t even know it. The worst thing about sugar is that unlike cigarette advertising, sugar is targeting our children. The evidence of the dangers and effects of too much sugar consumption on children is everywhere – just google it.
When the doctor for the Australian Cricket team, Professor Peter Brukner asked me to join his crusade (www.sugarbyhalf.com) to halve the consumption of sugar in Australia within 5 years, I didn’t hesitate. Australia has always led the way in terms of health, a healthy lifestyle and clean living, but not on this one. We are way behind the rest of the western world, and it is not good.
You see, the problem is not so much that we all eat too many cakes and drink too many soft drinks, although that is part of it. But the bigger issue is that so many of us don’t even realise when we are eating sugar as there is so much hidden sugar in regular every day foods. Many Aussies are trying, and eating so-called healthy foods not knowing they are actually full of sugar.
Take my quiz: How many added teaspoons of sugar are there in a 180ml bottle of BBQ sauce? Up to 45 teaspoons! Tomato sauce is not much better, and don’t get me started on cereals, juices, bread and health foods such as muesli bars, and crackers. It’s extreme and so are the effects of too much sugar. Breakfasts are a big challenge in my household now that we know cereals are full of sugar dangers.
Most marinades are loaded with sugar, and almost anything that is fast food or a quick meal is full of sugar. According to The World Health Organization, we should be consuming around 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day, but most of us are eating at least 18. Three times that amount. Many of our children are eating even more, which is why we have an obesity problem in our children in this country.
We can’t blame ourselves. So many of us are overwhelmed with too much information when it comes to diets and health. Many of us don’t know what it truly means to be healthy. Plus, we are bombarded with sugar advertising everywhere we look.
Check out Jamie Oliver’s jaw dropping movie Sugar Rush for more detailed insight of just how big this problem is here.
Here are my tips to reduce sugar in your life: The easiest way to be healthy is to drink water as often you can, so cut ALL juices, smoothies and soft drinks. Put some milk, a banana and vanilla essence into the blender, and have a smoothie the natural way. Cut out your sugar in your tea or coffee. And for meals, just eat real food whenever you can manage it. That means nothing out of a jar, can or box as often as possible.
It does take some getting used to, and as a mum of two 9-year-olds, I have to be super organised and think in advance. But now that I am used to it, it really isn’t that hard.
This week Sugar By Half have launched #sugarswap week, where we are asking everyone to swap just one thing in their diet for something with less sugar to see how it feels.
For me, I have swapped my daily mocha for a cappacino, and my sugar-loaded peanut paste for a much lower sugar version, (Reading labels is another great habit to get into).
It’s not easy, and it’s not much, but it’s the first step to getting healthier. And guess what the great news is? Eating less sugar helps you look younger, and lose weight fast, and will totally 100% help our children. So there’s nothing to lose but your waist line.
Check out the sugar by half site here for more: www.sugarbyhalf.com.