What are you about to give your loved one for Valentine’s Day?
If you are thinking about a box of chocolates – maybe think again if you really care about your loved one! Think about these ideas that have gained momentum over the past few years regarding sugar and its effect on our health.
- White sugar has absolutely NO nutritional value – no proteins, no essential fats, no vitamins or minerals – it contains calories and NOTHING else.
- When you eat chocolates, insulin carries the excess glucose that your body doesn’t need from the blood and stores it as FAT. Our bodies can cope with 1 – 2 teaspoons of glucose circulating around the body at one time. Look at the table below to see how many teaspoons of sugar are in a lot of foods we eat every day! Eat enough sugar often enough and you can eventually overload your system at which point type 2 diabetes results.
- Over the past 40 or so years the food industry has been gradually increasing the amount of ‘hidden’ sugar we eat. That is why a box of chocolates can just push our bodies ‘over the edge’. In the 70’s, the medical establishment believed that there was a link between eating fat and heart attacks. Therefore, the food industry cut back on fat providing us with low fat yoghurt, low-fat ready meals, low-fat sauces, low-fat everything – to make us feel that we were eating ‘healthy’ foods. The problem is that when you take the fat out of food, you lose flavour so they added SUGAR in the form of high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose. Even slimming foods were full of sugar – did you know that 60% of a Slimfast drink is made up from sugar?
- Year after year, we are buying less and less actual bags of sugar but since 1990, consumption of sugar in Britain has increased by 31 per cent – now we eat 1.25lbs per person a week. We are eating sugar in most things we eat without even realizing it! There are seven spoonfuls of sugar in a can of cola. In a so called ‘healthy’ organic yoghurt you may find either glucose-fructose syrup, organic sugar or organic invert sugar syrup. There is fructose in Müller Light. There is sugar in Hovis bread, sugar in healthy-looking Burgen bread, dextrose in Warburton’s wholemeal bread. There is fructose syrup in some dried berries. There is sugar in a steak pie. There is sugar in smoked salmon. There is sugar in the seafood sticks. There are sausages with sugar.
- Why is there sugar in all these things? Partly, it’s because we, the consumers, want it. We want everything to be sweeter these days; we wouldn’t like to go back to eating unsweetened food – we would complain it was ‘tasteless’. The food writer, Felicity Lawrence, recently conducted a study of fruit. She found it was getting sweeter. That’s how farmers are breeding it. We want our apples, strawberries and grapes to taste sweeter — partly because everything else does. When you add sugar to one thing, you have to add it to other things, too, so they won’t be left behind. Have you got a headache? Take an ibuprofen. It’s probably sugar-coated too.
- “The food industry has learnt the tricks of the tobacco industry. Confuse the public. Produce experts who disagree. Try to dilute the message.”.
SO – if you really love your Valentine – give them something other than a box of chocolates … but not a box of low fat biscuits!!!