We have heard of ‘go sober for october’ and ‘stoptober’, which are all public health challenges to improve our health. However, you may not smoke and although you may have the odd alcoholic drink don’t see it as a huge problem. So what can you do to join in the public health movement, in addition to increasing your energy levels, slow down ageing and reduce the risk of illness and disease?
‘Those who consume the least sugar globally, live the longest’ Raymond Francis 2011
There are many factors to health and I write about many of them, yet sugar is something that I have written and campaigned for in an education setting most. You do not have to be a scientist to know that sugar is bad for you, and now that Jamie Oliver (love Jamie!) is working his magic to increase awareness and campaign, we are all a lot more clear on the danger of consuming too much of the white stuff.
Consuming sugar causes a spike of insulin and put very simply too much insulin in the body is a major factor in cause of overweight, general inflammation leading to ageing, illness and disease, including heart disease and many types of cancer.
You may be thinking that reducing sugar and giving up free sugars may be too difficult to contemplate, however I hope you feel your health and that of your children is worth a 30 day trial. I did this same challenge last year and although the first week was the most difficult I have never had the sugar cravings I had pre challenge. These are some of the benefits you can expect after a few weeks of cutting out free sugars:
1. Reduces the brain fog – your brain just works better!
2. Improves energy levels – unexpected huge improvement in energy – no more crashes!
3. Improved moods – stabilised blood sugars resulting in reduced mood swings.
4. Helps your healthy gut bacteria to grow and to decrease the risk of illness and disease.
What are free sugars?
‘Free sugars’ are those sugars added into foods by manufacturers or ourselves, including in tea, coffee, sugary drinks in addition to sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. This does not include whole foods which include natural sugars e.g. fruit or lactose (the natural sugar found in milk).
How much total sugar can I consume within the 30 day challenge?
The World Health Organisation recommend a total of 50g for an average adult of healthy weight. For the purpose of this challenge we will cut as many free sugars as possible, this means no adding sugar to beverages and no sugary drinks. The aim is for you to consume no more than 50g of total sugars per day.
How can I make sure I stay within the limits for the 30 days?
The best way is to download the myfitnesspal app or something similar and input your food and drink each day for 30 days. Alternatively you can check the labels of foods and the internet for fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose foods that have no more than 5g per 100g of sugar per product.
Join me and find out more about the dangers of consuming sugar
If you want more detail on free sugars, natural sugars and dangers of fructose you can find a link to my previous blog posts and information from Jamie Oliver’s sugar rush campaign, at the end of this article. I recommend you do this when you are deciding wether to take up the october sugar challenge.
Enjoy the journey,
lots of love and health
Is fructose the real villain? (December 2013)
What do the healthy eating guidelines mean for you? (all about carbs and sugar)
Information from Jamie Oliver’s sugar rush campaign
I quit sugar by Sarah Wilson
Sweet Nothing – Why I gave up sugar and how you can too by Nicole Mowbray
The sugar podcast
who to follow:
Dr Aseem Malhotra