January is one of those times for fresh starts and one of the most significant things we can all do to get into shape and feel much healthier is to cut back on our sugar consumption. I remember in 2017 I was fortunate to be invited to the Action on Sugar - Sugar Awareness Week event in Parliament where I heard a talk all about the hidden sugars in lunchtime meal deals.
I personally follow a low carb, most of the time, keto diet but I was really shocked to hear how much hidden sugar is actually in the average person's diet every day, and yet they have no clue. Here is the research on sugar by Queen Mary University. It turns out some meal deals in a number of our supermarkets contain up to 30 teaspoons of sugar. One of the biggest areas of hidden sugar is fruit juice. How many times do I hear people tell me that ‘a glass of orange juice is the healthy way to start the day’? I can understand eating an apple, as the intrinsic sugar is slower to be realised because of the fibre of the apple. However drinking it’s juice is a massive infusion of fructose and this is not at all healthy for us, despite the vitamin content of the fruit.
Sugar is clearly making us sick, and in many cases fatter too. In 2015 Public Health England wrote a report called ‘Sugar Reduction, the evidence for action’ It states clearly the link between sugar and weight gain, increased risk and heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer. Cancer Research UK have urged action for a massive reduction of sugar consumption after their study found that “700,000 new cases of cancer linked to being overweight or obese could be diagnosed in the UK during the next 20 years.
So in 2020 I am urging all my family and friends to cut back on their sugar and to think about the amount of hidden sugars they are ingesting every day without even knowing.
I understand that starting a keto or low carb diet can seem difficult for many but a great first step would be to cut back on these sugars and to see how you feel after a few weeks. I personally feel much more energised now that I am sugar free and find drowsy afternoons a thing of the past.