Just reading those words, how does it make you feel? Is your tongue salivating from remembering one of your favourite desserts? Does an angel on your shoulder remind you that you’ve been trying to avoid sugar? Or perhaps you’ll be humming an old song that asks you to be your ‘candy girl’…
So what should we make of sugar these days?
In March 2015, the World Health Organisation released new guidelines with a strong recommendation that adults and children reduce their daily intake of sugar to less than 10% of their total energy intake, in order to help prevent obesity. There was an additional recommendation for a further reduction to below 5%, or about 6 teaspoons a day (25 grams), which would help reduce tooth decay in both kids and adults.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a steady increase of news articles and reports about reducing sugar intake, going on no-sugar diets or trying to swear off sugar forever.
Most of us are going to find it difficult to make changes in our diets without support, and cutting out all sugars entirely might seem a very big ask. And hey, some of us like a sweet treat now and then! Because of this, I think the WHO guidelines are helpful in guiding Australians to reduce the amount of added sugar they’re consuming, while also keeping in mind the important messages of moderation, mindful eating and the enjoyment of all foods.
At Jenny, all of our menus are planned by Accredited Practising Dietitians, and based on the Dietary Guidelines for Australian adults. Our philosophy is about providing tasty, nutritious and delicious menu items for our clients, and ensuring our clients don’t feel like they’re on a ‘diet’ or are being deprived of their favourite foods. Our aim is to take away any sense of guilt associated with eating foods, and moving the focus to the enjoyment of meals, nourishing the body and helping our clients develop a positive relationship with food.
Do you know what’s also sweet and great to eat? Fresh fruits and vegetables! Even with the naturally occurring sugars that make apples, carrots, beets and pears so satisfying, they have so many other nutritional benefits. Their fibre allows their sugars to be metabolised in a different way to other sugars. It’s one of the reasons that we encourage our clients to supplement their Jenny Craig meals with their own fresh fruit and vegetables.
All in all, if I had to sum it up, I’d advise you to not get too obsessed about sugar, but don’t eat too much of it either. We think you’re sweet enough. You can always talk over topics like this with your personal consultant too, for example, that birthday party you’re going to or a night out with the girls. Chat to one of our amazing consultants about how they can help you make the best choices and keep you motivated and on track to achieve your weight loss goals.