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Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

Most of us are aware that sugar is not that great for our health.
Too much sugar can lead to illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol issues and obesity. Watching the amount that you eat can be a tricky thing to do. If you aren’t skilled at label reading how do you even know how much you are consuming? The World Health Organisation recommends an intake of around 6tsp of sugar per day, however the average New Zealander consumes a whopping 37tsp per day! An alarming statistic, especially because many people aren’t aware that so many products contain a lot of hidden sugar.

These common culprits come to mind when I think of hidden sugars in our food. Pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, canned corn, tomato sauce and breakfast cereals. I could go on and on. Then there’s the more well known sugary soft drinks, including fruit juice, most of which contain between 10-16tsp per drink. The problem with sugar is that the more we have the more we crave. It’s addictive!

What about Kombucha?
Kombucha requires sugar to ferment and produce the organic acids and good stuff for your gut. The sugar actually feeds the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) and activates the fermentation process by eating the sugar. Mama’s Brew Shop Kombucha for example contains just over 1tsp per 375ml bottle.

Over my years of consulting there’s been a recurring theme where I listen to people complain of afternoon fatigue. That all too common 3pm energy slump that often sees them reaching for a sugar fix like fizzy drinks, chocolate, the dreaded corporate lollie jar or cakes and muffins with coffee and sugar.

My advise. Have a decent lunch! Make sure there’s plenty of protein in the mix, get outside for some sunshine and daylight. Fatigue may actually be a result of not enough serotonin being activated in the retina of the eye. Stay hydrated and pack some snacks that are nutrient dense to get you through the afternoon. Boiled eggs, nuts and seeds, hummus and veg sticks are all great.

Finally, to help you understand the impact of sugar here’s some sugar basics for label reading.

4.2g = 1tsp So if a product contains 33g of sugar that’s almost 8tsp of sugar in a glass of your average fruit juice. Eek! So, educate yourself by starting with the ingredients list and sugar information panel. Remove hidden sugars and see how much better your energy is for it.