PlayPennies is all about saving money and keeping an eye on the deals and the bills, so this week I decided to look at another issue that is costing us all a lot of money – our weights. A recent article by Jacques Peretti in The Guardian looks at why our food is making us fat and points out that our children are as active today as they were 50 years ago. So, if we are all that active, how come we are gaining weight as a nation?
The answer is both complex and simple, but for now the simple option = it’s the amount of sugar in our food. And there is a lot of it. Most people think that low fat or fat-free food is the diet friendly version when, in reality, those products are packed with sugar and it is that sugar which is adding to our waistlines. So how can you eat healthily and avoid the crap and keep your kids healthy?
The answer is easy – look at the sugar content and avoid processed foods. White bread is so full of sugar that you might as well eat a bowl of it instead of a slice. Replace it with wholemeal bread and you’ll soon feel a difference. In fact, replace everything white with brown – and that includes tortillas, wraps, pasta and rice. All these foods are far better for your system and you will notice that your gut is happier too.
Every parent wants what’s best for their kids and an overweight child is no fun for either parent or child. You could be feeding them tons of vegetables and fruit every day, really watching their diet and limiting sweets and cake, and still have a problem. This is likely due to all those hidden sugars in food that you need to avoid.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up on the, ahem, Fun Food of life, you just need to save it for those special occasions. By eating cleanly and avoiding toxic foods packed with sugar you will find you have more energy, that you sleep better and that you suffer from fewer health problems. It can transform your life.
The average person in America eats around 92 grams of sugar a day. That’s a ton when you consider that the human body only needs about eight grams in order to cope with your energy demands. Much of that sugar is hidden – it doesn’t mean that they are scoffing cakes 24x7 – but if you replace that chocolate bar with fresh fruits or homemade smoothies, you’re getting brilliant natural sugars and fibrous carbs that do your body the world of good.
If you ever wondered why you seem to get sick a lot, another reason for it is refined sugar. It has a direct impact on the effectiveness of your immune system. I can completely relate to that. I used to eat really healthily, then I somehow fell off the wagon and started to eat a lot of rubbish and I got every, single bug that was going. Now that I have sworn off the sugar (with a treat or two here and there), I have fought off almost every bug going. You can’t say better than that!
As you start to remove refined sugar from your life, look at the food labels. Anything that says sugar, corn syrup, cane juice, added sugars, agave nectar, barley malt syrup, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, maltodextrin, maltose, rice syrup, or sorghum, is going to be full of unnecessary sugars your body doesn’t want or need.
If you just type the words “sugar-free life” into Google, you’ll see that there is something of a revolution going on. More and more people are realising that refined sugars are making them unhappy, unhealthy and fat. Yes, it’s addictive and tasty and delicious, but it is slowing you and your system down. Most people say that they stop craving after about two weeks, others have said that when they do give in and have cake it makes them ill, all of them say that they no longer feel sluggish, tired and fat.
It’s no picnic removing cakes and sweets from a child’s life, but it will give their bodies the freedom to grow healthily and well. Andyou will save plenty of money on dentist and doctor bills too. Of course, the sugar issue is far more complex than I have outlined here. There are different kinds of sugar and natural alternatives and ways of incorporating it that are healthy. I have just scraped the surface and there is plenty more to discover.