Sugar? Why is everyone always talking about cutting down on it? Is it really that bad? What can we do about it?
Sugar can be broken down into 2 categories, natural sugars and added sugars.
Natural sugars are the ones that appear naturally in nature, in fruits and vegetables, when we consume them they always come with added vitamins and minerals that help the body to process sugars and keep us healthy, such as fiber and proteins.
Added sugars are processed sugars that are added to produce,usually for flavours, these include syrups. Added sugars don’t come with any added vitamins or minerals, they are known as empty calories, they are known as such because they have no benefit to the body at all, past a point they become detrimental to a person’s health.
The average consumption of sugar is roughly 60g per day, which doesn’t seem a whole lot, but when you consider that the recommended consumption is only 25g for women and 35g for men, then it becomes quite real. Excess consumption has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and to strokes.
So we all know how bad sugar can be for us, so why do we all still consume so much of it? The answer is when we eat sugar it releases dopamine, which can be addictive.
So to combat it, we can do some of the following tips:
1- Avoid carbonated drinks
2- Avoid fruit juices as they tend to have a lot of sugar in them, stick to the whole fruit
3- Avoid sweets, seems like a no brainer
4- Avoid baked goods, you can try substituting sugar with cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract, vanilla, ginger, lemons and other fruits
5- Check labels on items, if they claim to be low fat, they sometimes have high sugar.
6- Cut sugar in teas and coffees
Below I have attached a fun cake recipe that is sugar free!
• 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
• 60g yogurt (full-fat dairy or unsweetened non-dairy)
• 125 ml coconut water
• 3 eggs, beaten
• 5g vanilla extract
• 210g plain flour
• 115g ground almonds
• 10g baking powder
• 5g bicarbonate of soda
• 5g ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
2. Beat the bananas, yogurt, coconut water, eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl until as smooth and combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until combined and there are no more visible flecks of flour.
5. Pour into 12-hole muffin tin lined with cupcake cases and bake for 20 mins or until slightly golden in appearence.
Happy sugar swapping.
Bakery students from around the UK and Ireland sharing their experiences