We were watching Food Unwrapped last night and you could say that our teenage son Kyle was shocked by how much sugar is hidden away in processed foods.
In our world it’s rather alien to us because we eat very little proccessed foods and try and keep refined sugar to a minimum.
For those of you that are not aware of the refined sugar in our foods here is some more information:
It is recommended that women have 90g (22 teaspoons) of sugar a day and that men have 25% more with 120g (30 teaspoons) of sugar per day. Then when you put this into your favourite foods imagine that just one portion of your favourite muesli has 22g in just one serving and is 50% sugar.
You expect this in certain foods such as smoothie drinks, chocolate, crisps and yoghurts but what about everything else?
What shocked me most when watching it was the reference to a supermarket lunch!
You know that moment when you don’t have time to make anything nice, you go to the supermarket and get a ready made sandwich, crisps, yoghurt and a drink. Then you add it all up and it turns out that the lunch works out at 120g of sugar and this is what a man should have in sugar for the entire day.
It just doesn’t bear thinking about does it?
But there are so many reasons why I don’t eat processed foods – not just because of the sugar content, but because of the other bits in food that I don’t like. Such as salt (it’s my pet hate) and saturated fat I tend to avoid it.
Plus I absolutely love cooking and couldn’t imagine living off freezer food or ready meals. Also, in the world of healthy eating and being slim, just look at how much healthier our grandparents were and back then there was no such thing as processed foods.
Then when you think of how much sugar you get naturally through fruit and other produce if you are eating refined sugar too then you are going well over your sugar limits.
I blame the industry and the obsession with low calorie and low fat foods – it literally resulted in things being high in sugar just to make them taste nice and before you know it we have become a nation that has way too much sugar in their day to day lives.
Kyle (our teenage son) is super slim and doesn’t need to count calories, but I count sugar instead. I don’t worry about him having a lot of calories because he burns them too fast, but I like to keep a lid on his sugar. When kids see the bright packaging on processed foods it’s hard to keep him away from them all.
I am just glad I eat very little in refined sugar considering I cook a lot of fresh foods and eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. I am planning on doing my own experiment of going a week without refined sugar just to see how much I miss it and how much I am really having – so watch out on the blog for when I do that!