Sugar Wars!

Nothing New

If the media is always to be believed then I’m pretty sure no-one would ever eat anything ever again! It seems like the public is constantly bombarded with the latest health food crises and foods that are certain to kill us all. In my relatively short lifetime there has been a war against:

  • Butter- switch to margarine instead…
  • Fat- Only buy low fat products…
  • Red meat- Only eat chicken and turkey…
  • Eggs- You’ll certainly get Salmonella…
  • Carbs- You’ll be fat for life…

And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head! The latest war is aimed at sugar. This time, however, it seems to be a pretty sensible one. If you stop and look at those low fat and fat free products, more often than not, sugar is the second ingredient on the list. It doesn’t stop there either. Even products like ‘natural’ breakfast cereals such as Weetabix and Bran Flakes contain added sugar!

And Your Problem Is…?

Sugar seems to be responsible for all kinds of health problems; some of which were once blamed on perfectly innocent food groups. Other than the obvious ’empty calories’ argument (that sugar doesn’t contain anything useful to our bodies other than pure energy) and it being bad for your teeth, I didn’t really know all that much about why it was so terrible. I didn’t need to research too heavily either. The internet is rife with sites proclaiming that sugar will kill you. Whilst sensationalised, there does appear to be some truth in what they’re all saying. I found this site that explained a lot of it in Layman’s Terms.

Sugar, Fructose in particular, has potentially devastating effects on our vital organs. It begins with the liver. Eating too much of it overloads the liver, meaning it has to convert the excess Fructose into fat, which is then stored in our bodies. If you persistently consume too much sugar, you are at an extremely high risk of developing Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease which is closely linked to Type 2 Diabetes.

Sugar is also being investigated as a potential factor in causes of cancer, with many scientists now believing that sugar can directly contribute. This coupled with the common acceptance that it is also linked to heart disease, obesity and addiction, and sugar is not looking so favourable.

It is for these reasons and seeing just how much sugar his family were consuming that Richard from Freedom Cereals developed Keep Me Going.

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Keep Me Going is a surprisingly delicious cereal, jam packed full of goodness. It’s wheat-free, low GI, low salt, reduced sugar, low fat and high fibre. Usually products that are this good for you don’t taste much better than the box, but this is quite tasty. Richard also states that:

Compared to Special K Original (often advertised as a healthy cereal), Keep Me Going has 8 times less salt; 60% less sugar; twice the fibre; and a low Gi, similar to traditionally made porridge (instant porridge has a high Gi). The Gi testing was conducted by Hammersmith Hospital and involved around a dozen volunteers having their blood-sugar levels checked at regular intervals after eating the cereal over a two week period.

Pretty impressive! Currently available from Ocado, Keep Me Going is preparing to take on the supermarket and cereal industry giants soon. With statistics and nutritional benefits that good, I think it’ll stand a good chance of being seen on shelves everywhere!

What Else Can Be Done To Reduce My Sugar Intake?

A lot of it is common sense. Good old fashioned cooking from scratch (and no, it’s not the first time I’ve said this!) so you are avoiding those overly processed ready made options and checking the labels of things you buy. If sugar ranks highly on the ingredient list, avoid it.
I don’t necessarily think sugar should be completely cut from our diets, I think it would be pretty difficult to do. I do think we need to be much more aware of what we are consuming, not only for ourselves, but for our future generations.

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