Thursday 30 July 2015

Cut the Crack #2

So this has not been a weekly post in July. My apologies. I had to spend a significant time in hospital. None of which had to do with anything I was eating. I had an abscess which needed to be drained.

Interesting trying to cut down on sugar and salt in hospital. Especially on a clear fluids diet. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s all pretty much the same – broth accompanied by jelly and custard. The salty and the sweet. I managed some broth, after I had begged the kitchen staff to please reduce the salt (I think they thought I was mad). But I couldn’t have more than two spoons of the jelly. It was just so sweet. I eventually persuaded them to replace the jelly with yoghurt (which isn’t exactly a clear fluid, but I was desperate), but they brought flavored yoghurt, which was almost as sweet! Thank God for tea.

But what I had intended my next food story to be about was how much sugar gets into the things we eat, without thinking about it. Ironically, it’s often added to counterbalance the saltiness that is also unnecessary. Or, even worse, it’s added to the low fat versions of the food we eat – to make it taste better. So be careful, you may be cutting down on fat and unintentionally increasing your sugar intake. So again, we need to check labels for sugar. And it’s found in the most unexpected places.

A recent article that I read, shared, and then my husband, clearly having missed my sharing of it, shared back to me was about Damon Gateau who after pursuing a sugar-free diet for three years, decided to consume 40 teaspoons of sugar  per day to see what happened. The results were shocking. Most interesting point about the article for me though, was how easy it was for him to find 40 teaspoons of sugar per day, without adding sugar to anything. He did it by eating “‘hidden sugars’ found in foods like low fat yoghurt, cereals, muesli bars, juices, sports drinks and assorted condiments.” Amazing that you can find 40 teaspoons of sugar in that stuff – not even chocolate, ice cream, sweet treats and fruit juice was included in his diet.

But reading the labels for sugar is a little more complicated than reading for salt – when it comes to dairy, that is. So again, you look for the grams of sugar per serving, or per 100g of food, and you want to achieve less than 5 teaspoons per day  for females (less than 9 for males). But in terms of dairy, you deduct (or don’t count) the first 4.7g of sugar, because that is lactose, not sugar.

So there are a few things you need to check out, because you may change your mind about the amount of sugar in them:

·         Low fat flavoured yoghurt
·         Tomato sauce
·         Sweet Chilli sauce
·         Salad dressings

The good news is that plain yoghurt is fine, and it’s actually far healthier to make your own salad dressings and sauces, and it’s not all that hard, either. Here’s a link to Tomato Sauce from the I Quit Sugar site, and barbecue sauce, without the sugar. Salad dressings – the oil based, flavoured with herbs and spices ones are best, but experiment with these – here are some ideas to get you started

You may also enjoy - Cut the crack #1 or Cut the crack #3

Here is the page with links to all recipes.

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