There have definitely been some ups and some downs!! You can view our video HERE where my husband and children discuss their experience so far.
In order to be (refined) sugar free, you HAVE to be organised. In fact, I would say you need to take planning and preparation to another level and this is probably where most people will struggle!
The sad truth is that it is very hard to just go out and be able to pick up sugar free options.
During the school holidays, the type of places you tend to visit will be aimed at kids and this means sugar is EVERYWHERE!!!
It is specifically targeted at kids. In nearly all of the places we’ve visited the kid’s meal option has been completely off limits. This is such a shame because this also presents a cost implication.
Having said that, we must assess the true cost to our kids if we continue to choose the convenient and cheaper option. I appreciate that
I am in the privileged position that I can pay a little more for better quality food and not everyone can do this. However, it is also possible to choose healthy options on a budget and I would like to see the supermarkets promote healthy food as part of their deals and offers.
There is still a long way to go here.
In my last blog I specifically outlined the true cost of eating a diet loaded with sugar and devoid of important nutrients. You can read this here.
Imagine what would happen if everyone reduced and limited their sugar intake to the recommended amount. There would be a huge reduction in sugar related disease which would free up a tonne of money to the NHS. There would be a shift in behaviour and mood especially amongst children and teenagers. We would basically be a fitter, healthier (both physically, mentally & emotionally) and wealthier country.
I think most people will be aware cakes, biscuits, sweets etc are all high in sugar and are not good for you! The biggest problem is the amount of hidden sugars in EVERYTHING!
We have changed our bread to one that doesn’t contain added sugar, but did you know that nearly all packaged foods contain sugar. I really love the peppers stuffed with ricotta cheese, but these contain sugar. Mayonnaise contains sugar, stock cubes contain it, pesto has sugar added, all sauces contain sugar and even some brands of coconut water have sugar listed.
You have to be really aware to avoid it. You have to READ THE FOOD LABELS!
Breakfast cereals and yoghurts aimed at children have some of the highest levels of added sugars.
Can a family really give up sugar during the school holidays (or at any time?)
A recent news story identified the findings of a study which highlighted the increase in sugar intake during the school holidays. Sugar intake was up 5 times during this period. You can read the article HERE.
In his documentary The Men Who Made Us Fat, Jacques Peretti argued the point that food companies have invested heavily in designing products that use sugar to bypass our natural appetite control mechanisms, and in packaging and promoting these products to break down what remains of our defences, including through the use of subliminal scents. They employ an army of food scientists and psychologists to trick us into eating more than we need, while their advertisers use the latest findings in neuroscience to overcome our resistance.
So, you can see that we really have to be on our guard and actively make the right decisions when selecting the food, we choose to eat.
Having now completed 16 days without refined sugars, I fully believe it is possible to keep sugar low if you are willing to do so.
So the question is – Are you willing to do so?