I used to be a fruit acholic. I could eat fruit every meal of every day because I LOVED it. However, after ACTUALLY reading about sugar I realised that the fructose in fruit is just as damaging as sugar in a packet. There is now so much evidence showing that too much fructose is literally killing us.

I don’t want to blab on about sugar and how it’s not great for anyone, so be sure to do some research for yourself. (There are some links down the bottom to help you out).

For the meantime, here are some facts:

  • Fruit is great as a treat- only ever whole and not dried or juiced

  • According to the latest science, sugar reacts with the proteins in our bodies, changing their structure to form toxic advanced glycation end-products, which accelerate the ageing process

  • We need glucose, not fructose.                                    

  • 58% of protein and 10% of fat changes into glucose once in the body which can be used IF needed

  • New research drawing on nearly 80 studies involving more than half a million people, shows there is no evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease

  • High-fat diets may prevent or slow cancer growth

  • Sugar increases your risk of diabetes

  • Sugar is NOW found in over 80% of the foods we eat

  • In the cave man days, finding a piece of fruit or honey was very rare and when humans did eventually find some honey or a berry bush, they would indulge because our body would store the fructose as fat to use later for when they were hunting

  • A new study shows us that it doesn’t matter how many calories you eat, if you eat fructose, weight gain will happen!

  • Compared to the same amount of glucose, fructose increases liver mass and dangerous visceral fat

The effect of sugar has been proved by Australian documentary maker Damon Gameau as he highlights the refined sugars hidden in so-called ‘healthy’ packages foods. Damon consumed the typical Australian’s 40 teaspoons of sugar a day, maintained exercise and the same kilojoule intake of his regular diet.

He’s trying to make people become aware of labelling. Of course, if he had eaten confectionary, then everyone would have been like ‘duh’. But the point was to show the rest of the world how labelling and advertising are changing the way we think about products. For example, people think the ‘low fat’ option is healthy, but usually, this will have 4 or 5 times as much sugar as the ‘full fat’. Check out the trailer here

If you’re trying to lose weight, please don’t crash diet because this will 1) not be healthy for you and 2) once you stop,  the weight will come back. You are honestly better to just make a lifestyle change and anyway, healthy food is SO DELISH!

Also, since quitting sugar I have definitely noticed a positive change in my body and it’s crazy how something as simple as this can make such a difference. You’ll notice that all my recipes are sugar-free, except for the few which contain fruit (I use only low fructose fruits, a small portion, and these are occasional, treat recipes)

Fat

  • Advertising has basically told us that ‘low-fat’ is better and that saturated fat is bad for our cholesterol levels

  • Eating good fat can actually make you lose weight because it has a corresponding appetite hormone that tells the brain that we’re full. Hence we get full quicker and eat less.

  • The way fructose is converted to energy in our bodies means that it skips the fat creation control mechanism in the liver and is changed to fatty acids and then body fat. This doesn’t happen with anything else we ingest, including glucose.

  • In cavemen days, fructose was rare. So when we found fructose it was in our interest to eat as much as possible so we can store it. There was little danger of having too much of it because it was so rare and so our bodies naturally have evolved to have no ‘off switch’ so that we could gorge on it when we had the rare opportunity

  • The human body regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose stimulates the pancreas to secrete the hormone insulin which helps to remove excess glucose from the blood which suppresses hunger. Fructose does not do this and appears to raise the level of the hormone ghrelin which keeps us hungry. Some researchers have suggested that eating large amounts of fructose encourage people to eat more than they need.

  •  Virtually all plants have glucose, fructose and sucrose—not just one or another of these sugars. Although some fruits, such as apples and pears, have three times as much fructose as glucose, most of the fruits and veggies we eat are more balanced. Pineapples, blueberries, peaches, carrots, corn and cabbage, for example, all have about a 1:1 ratio of the two sugars.

DID YOU KNOW

  • Our bodies have not changed the way they digest and metabolise food in the 130 000 years we’ve been around.

  • Between 1980-2000, fitness gym memberships more than doubled around the United States yet. During that same time, the obesity rate also doubled.

  • Turns out, all sugars are the same. Honey, brown sugar, white sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup etc. are all just as bad as each other, and have just been processed in different ways.

Just so you know, I”m not trying to scare you. Fructose is natural so I was wondering why it is so bad. And the truth is that it’s not ‘bad’ it’s just that we are designed to eat VERY LITTLE of it. As studies say 1-2 pieces of fruit. Which is what we used to eat prior to the ‘invention’ of sugar in the 1800s.

The power of advertising and marketing:

  • The heart foundation gives Milo Cereal a ‘tick’. It contains 27.3% sugar. This adds a nice 7 teaspoons of sugar to the average breakfast bowl of a teenager. Yay!

  • They also gave Kellogg’s Just right the ‘tick’ which has 28.7% sugar. Would you like some cereal with your sugar?

  • Not to mention Uncle Toby’s quick sachets – creamy vanilla contains 24.9% sugar in a bowl of it. And yes this is porridge. Makes Z. E.R.O sense. Trust me my quick recipes are MUCH yummier and takes less than 5 minutes (here)

  • Kellogg’s K-time twists – strawberry and yoghurt might be a ‘healthy’ morning snack especially when it contains 36.2% sugar! Your liver will enjoy this baby! (FYI this is more than a fair chuck of dark chocolate which I would defs prefer if I’m gonna have THAT much sugar)

How to keep to 5-9 teaspoons of sugar a day:

Avoid these:

  • Table sugar (50% fructose)

  • High-fructose corn syrup (55% fructose)

  • Agave (70-90% sugar)

  • Honey (40% sugar)

  • Maple syrup 35% fructose

  • Coconut and palm sugars (35-45% fructose)

Substitute with these:

  • Stevia. This contains stevioside (300 times sweeter than sugar) and rebaudioside (450 times sweeter than sugar). Stevia comes from the leaf of a stevia plant and contains no fructose.

  • Rice malt syrup. It is made from fermented cooked rice and is a blend of carbs, maltose and glucose. It doesn’t dump on the liver as much as pure glucose does because it is a slow-releasing sweetener. But make sure the ingredients are only rice (and water) as some companies will add extra sugar to it that contain fructose.

As sugar is in legit everything these days … make sure you choose packaged products from the supermarket with less than 4.7g of sugar per 100g. Or 5% sugar. Just a heads up that this wipes out 90% of processed foods.

If it is dairy, remember that the first 4.7g of sugar /100g is lactose which is fine to consume but anything on top of 4.7g is added sugars.

To calculate the sugar content in teaspoons, divide the sugar content by 4.2.