The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend that we have no more than 6 tsp of sugar a day. This is refined sugar found in processed foods/sweat treats/drinks etc and not natural sugar found in fruit. Sugar in fruit doesn't count towards your daily allowance.
When sugar is refined it goes through a process which makes it more concentrated. All fibre and roughage is stripped away to produce pure energy. By refining sugar it allows the body to consume a large amount of calories very quickly without making us feel full. As it doesn't keep us feeling full then we consume more calories in the long run! If we were to have 6 extra teaspoons of sugar a day over the recommended amount then that would lead us to put on 1/2 stone of fat a year!
It also looked at the effects sugar had on the brain and what caused cravings. Our DNA is hard wired to seek and enjoy food, which back in hunter gatherer days this was fine as food was sparse. However with food and sugary foods easily accessible to us then it becomes a habit rather than a necessity to eat these foods in large amounts. When eating sugar it stimulates the part of the brain which gives us a reward which makes us crave more. It is a case of breaking the having and having strong will power!
The answer for those sweat cravings is to have a piece of fruit.....that way you are getting your natural sugars along with vitamins, minerals and fibre :)
One thing that was covered in the programme was the amount of sugar that is included in savoury foods and cereals......
- Bran Flakes - 3 tsp in a bowl
- Baked beans - 6 tsp
- Bottle of ginger beer - 20 tsp
- Bottle of orange juice - 8 tsp
- 1/2 litre of flavoured water - 18 tsp
- 1/2 litre sport drink - 15 tsp
Now taking all this into consideration we are probably consuming more sugar than we realise! So remember in this case you CAN'T HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT!