You may have noticed in recent weeks, much information in our newspapers to say that sugar is becoming dangerous to our health. With warmer months hopefully not far around the corner when we are notoriously more body conscious we probably are wanting to reduce the amounts of sugar we intake. The question is, is this over the top? Is sugar really as dangerous as smoking? We at Chase Lodge Hospital don’t think so. It’s just a question of monitoring how much sugar is in your diet. Yes, we agree that all consumers should be more aware of just how much sugar goes into the food that we buy, food labelling needs to be absolutely spot on and we should understand what a suitable daily intake is – for a normal, healthy person – approximately 70g for men, 50g for women but this will depend on your size, age and how active you are.
The food industry may well be to blame for using what we may call “unnecessary” sugar in our products and they are possibly about to be challenged in re-considering what is needed to make their meals/snacks tasty without so much sugar. However, artificial sweeteners also have their own hazards. As responsible adults, it is up to us to monitor what we eat, when we eat it and how much we eat. This shouldn’t just refer to sugar, it should refer to all food types and this is the way to curb a growing problem in the UK, obesity.
While there is some link to obesity through eating too much sugar, evidence shows that a diet high in calories from whatever food source, sugar, carbohydrates, fat etc., is the main reason people become obese as over eating any food type to excess will contribute to weight gain. So, as far as we are concerned, it is our responsibility to watch what we eat and eat well, as well as the responsibility of food manufacturers to educate us properly as to what is in the products they manufacture. The best advice we can give is to eat a good variety of foods and you can also include a small amount of sugar. Remember that a diet high in sugar can impact on weight, diabetes and heart disease but a well-balanced diet full of nutrient rich food should not mean that you should avoid eating the occasional sweet treat.
For more information on diet, please contact us on 020 8358 7100 and we can book an appointment with Lana Pinshaw, our Nutritional Consultant and Dietitian.