Many of us consume sugar on a daily basis, in a variety of different forms. Not only is this bad for our health, but processed-sugar tends to be imported, linking sugar with large food miles. The sugar industry has been regularly linked to land grabs, the violation of workers’ rights and environmental damage. Buying Fairtrade or British sugar is one method of avoiding these unethical practices. Cutting sugar out of our diets is another.
The idea of a sugar-free diet is perhaps daunting to most of us, but a number of dedicated individuals have taken on this mammoth task.
This week Sarah Dawson talks about her sugar free lifestyle, and why she has chosen to cut out the sweet stuff.
“When our family gave up sugar in September, it was as much a protest against the food industry as a health choice.”
“Big Sugar companies know how addictive sugar is and how disastrous it can be for our health, but who cares when there is money to be made and the white stuff laces all our food? ”
“The low-fat/slimming industry, worth £5 billion, also takes advantage of society’s sweet tooth. You know how it goes; you’ve tried to be careful – all things in moderation, but you just keep putting on weight. So you join a slimming club, count your calories, buy low fat food, exercise and feel hungry all the time. In two years’ time you have a couple of stressful months, and all the weight comes back again. The only thing that’s thinner is your wallet.”
“So, how do we manage?”
“Part of the battle is psychological: if you have the mentality that you are depriving yourself of something nice, you will feel miserable. If you know the facts, and remind yourself continually that sugar is a poison, it’s much easier to go cold turkey.”
“If you don’t fancy going completely sugar free, great things to cut out of your diet are fruit juices (there’s more sugar in a glass of orange juice than in cola), and flavoured yoghurts.”
“Buy sugar-free chocolate from Health n Brew on North Road and try to make locally sourced vegetables a higher proportion of your ‘five a day’.”
“The Sweet Poison Quit Plan by David Gillespie has useful lists of the sugar content of various food products, such as cereals, biscuits and condiments.”
“After a few weeks obsessing over food labels you will be ready. There will be whole aisles in the supermarket you need never frequent again!”