Getting smarter over sugar intake

Swap fruit juices and sugary drinks for water.
Swap fruit juices and sugary drinks for water.

How much sugar did you consume over Christmas? You might be shocked to learn that just one mince pie is enough to exceed your recommended daily sugar allowance at a whopping 25g.

Even more surprising is the fact that you don’t have to consume chocolate, sweets and biscuits to reach your limit.

‘Hidden’ sugars are found in many foods and drinks, including soup, sauces, yoghurt and fruit juice. In fact, nearly a quarter of the added sugar in our diet comes from soft drinks, fruit juice and other non-alcoholic drinks, and 80 per cent of processed foods contain hidden sugars.

In a recent Pharma Nord health survey, 62 per cent of adults said that reducing sugar from their diet is a priority for 2016, and 75 per cent were concerned about ‘hidden’ sugar.

Michelle Winspear from Advanced Nutrition in Sanderson Arcade discusses the health impact of consuming too much sugar and gives some advice on how to reduce your intake naturally.

Health

Last year the World Health Organisation recommended that we reduce our added sugar intake to no more than five per cent of daily calories — around 25g per day or six teaspoons for an adult of normal weight.

High dietary sugar has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity. One in three of us is classed as pre-diabetic, meaning we are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Not only that, the pattern of blood sugar highs and lows that results from high sugar intake can leave us feeling tired, irritable and craving more sugary foods and carbohydrates.

Sugar smart

In many cases it is an imbalance in blood sugar levels that leads to cravings and low energy. There are simple lifestyle changes we can make to help to control our levels naturally.

These include eating more wholegrains, such as brown rice, nuts and seeds, which can help to sustain energy levels and leave us feeling fuller for longer, and swapping high sugar drinks for water.

We can help our bodies to process the sugar we do consume more efficiently. Exercising has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels.

There are also natural substances that can play a role. For example, the mineral chromium works with insulin to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells where it can be used as energy. Very little chromium is found in the modern diet so you may want to consider a supplement. The organic chromium yeast ChromoPrecise, found in Pharma Nord’s Bio-Chromium, has been shown to be easily absorbed by the body.

A relatively new discovery is a maqui berry extract called Delphinol. This is the only naturally occurring substance known to slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream from simple sugars and complex starch carbohydrates. You could try Pharma Nord’s Bio-Gluco Control, combining ChromoPrecise and Delphinol.

For more advice on how to manage your blood sugar levels naturally visit Advanced Nutrition or see www.bloodsugarcontrol.info