After years of fat being health enemy number one, we now know that sugar is the main cause of obesity and the overweight epidemic. And it’ a highly addictive substance that the body has very little use for it. The World Health Organisation has lowered its recommendations for daily intake for both adults and children.
Some key takeaway from The Truth About Sugar Podcast:
One. We don’t need sugar. There is no nutritional value in sugar. It provides empty calories and we already get sufficient calories from our food.
Two. Reactive Hypoglycaemia. A lot of Motivation clients, when they start, will say they have a problem with sugar. They don’t realise that physically what they are doing is taking a drug every day and by consuming sugar they are feeding their addiction.
What happens is their blood sugar soars through the roof. They feel a bit better which is then followed by a crash and they don’t realise they when they are experiencing a low that it’s their body craving sugar.
Three. Many products in our supermarkets are pumped fill of sugar. We now know that this is a significant contributor to obesity but on top of that, heart disease as well where the arteries are hardened.
The average Irish person downs about 100 grams of sugar per day. This equates to 25 teaspoons of sugar and the WHO says, at most, we should only be consuming 6 teaspoons per day.
For a child, two Weetabix biscuits contains about half of one teaspoon of sugar but a bowl of Frosties contains about 9 teaspoons, already above the recommended daily intake.
There are ten teaspoons of sugar in a tin of coke.
There are thirteen spoons of sugar in a large tin of Red Bull.
All this excess sugar is a significant contributor to heart problems, issues with immune systems and it accelerates ageing.
Scientific research and evidence support the claim that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Sugar hijacks that part of our brain that deals with dopamine and reward. So, basically, what happens is our brain gets a lovely little pleasure kick after the sugar and it feels good (like cocaine). You get that kick and the body gets used to that amount of sugar and the brain craves more of the same drug to get the same effect.
We hold our client’s hand as they come off sugar and we’ve lots of helpful tips:
One. Sugar is sugar so don’t replace it with other forms such as honey, for example. Have replacements that we know are very low in sugar such as our own Motivation protein bars.
Two. Anything that has 5g or less per 100g of sugar of product on the labels is a low sugar product item.
Three. Alcohol. If you are going to go sugar free you need to park alcohol for a while. It would be a disaster and will lock you into your sugar addiction.
Four. Exercise. It’s one of the best things to do when you are coming off sugar. Even a little bit on a regular basis.
Five. Forget processed foods in jars or tins. They are very high in sugar. Use natural products where possible.
Six. Eat often so you don’t get the blood sugar dips.
Please note, it’s only a matter of a couple of days and you’ll feel so much better.
Our advice is to take step back today and make a conscious decision to tackle your sugar habit. It will be one of the best short-term and long-term health decisions you will make.