Saturday 04 April, 2015 0 Comments

Recently the World Health Organisation (WHO) findings have confirmed what we all knew - we're eating far too much sugar.

Kiwi's are consuming, on average, 37 teaspoons of the stuff daily! That's 31 teaspoons over the amount recommended by the WHO, and about 34 teaspoons over the amount I recommend.

In this article I'll be discussing sugar in all its forms, where it's hidden and what it really does to your body - and of course, how you can avoid those nasty cravings and cut back on the sweet stuff.


I think we all know how addictive sugar can be, but there's more to that addiction than you think. Eating sugar triggers the release of opioids in the brain, this makes you feel good and want more and more sugar.

Your cravings can also be due to an overgrowth of candida in your gut which feeds off sugar. Candida is a form of yeast bacteria and has no health benefits whatsoever. When you do cut your sugar intake, be wary of the 'die off' period which can cause various symptoms such as nausea and headaches.

Keep at it though, the symptoms will only last 4-7 days - pretty soon you'll be feeling better!

What about Artificial sweetners?

Artificial sweetener is the worst kind of 'sugar' you can consume, even worse than white processed sugar!

Packed into soft drinks and various other foods and marketed as a dieting aid, artificial sweetener increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the same way sugar does.

My advice is stay as far away as possible from artificial sweeteners. You won't be gaining any benefits and will only be adding unnecessary chemicals to your diet.

What are the sweetest options?

I'd prefer you to cut down on all sugars, regardless of how 'good' they are, but it's important to know what options you have if you really need something sweet.

As I've said, artificial sweetener is the absolute worst and you should stay away from this at all costs. Next is refined sugar. It's not quite as bad as the artificial sweetener but contains absolutely no nutritional content and is still terrible for your health.

Raw sugar is a slightly better option, but better still are natural sweeteners like natural maple syrup and honey. Ensure your maple syrup isn't the synthetic 'flavoured' kind though, because this hasn't got the mineral content that natural maple syrup has. Honey should be as unprocessed as possible, try to find a good raw honey so as to not miss out on the health benefits!

Your best option is blackstrap molasses. This is packed full of minerals and much better for you

How much sugar is in this average kiwi breakfast?

 It's all well and good to stop putting sugar in your coffee, but what about all the hidden sugar in our food?  

The breakfast pictured below, which is classic in many households, contains 51.2 grams of sugar! That's 8.5 times the amount the WHO's recommendation of your daily sugar intake!

Make sure you read those packets and stick to whole, low GI foods where possible to help reduce the risk of developing diseases like Type 2 diabetes.

Sneaky sneaky sugar

Have you ever flipped over a packet and read the ingredients list? A good thing to remember: the ingredient that is in the highest quantity is listed first. Often you'll see things like 'wheat flour', which metabolises into sugar in the body, or maltose, dextrose or any other word ending in -"ose", which all end up meaning the same thing - SUGAR.

By naming it in its various forms, companies avoid having the word 'sugar' too high on the ingredients list! It's no wonder we consume too much.

Try to stick to whole foods, but if you absolutely have to have something in a packet, make sure you read the ingredients list and stay away from the -"ose"

How much sugar do you think is in this spirulina? 
This spirulina smoothie has 38.5g of sugar!

Why don't you give our Green Smoothie a go at home?

½ cucumber, chopped small or grated
1 pear, chopped small or grated
1 kiwi fruit
1 stick of celery
2 large kale leaves, roughly chopped
6-8 leaves of mint
Knob of ginger
Juice of 1 lemon
Enough water to blend ingredients to a desired consistency.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.