Does Jamie Really Understand?

Last week, the nation was gripped by Jamie Oliver’s latest documentary “Sugar Rush”. Jamie revealed the shocking truth that some of us are still oblivious to - that sugar is bad for our health and that it is an irreversible damage in some cases. However, whilst it is great that Jamie Oliver is raising the issue of sugars, hidden or not, we feel that it is also adding to the confusion about what constitutes the right nutrition for overall health.

 

Don’t get us wrong, we are in complete agreement with Jamie that excess sugar is indeed bad for our health and that it has found its way into a lot of unsuspecting products on the supermarket shelf. However, advocating that sugar from soda drinks is bad, whilst sugars from fruit and honey are good is still not getting away from the problem - sugar is still present.


Whether it be added sugar to drinks and to stir fry sauces, natural sugars are still sugars and they will still have the same impact on our teeth and on our health when consumed in excess. The counter argument to this is that natural sugars such as those in fruit and honey come with a host of other nutrients. True, but for the body to obtain any benefit from these, you need to eat your way through A LOT of fruit and honey. The sugar will play a negative role in your health, before you achieve any of the health benefits associated with the other components of these foods.


Honey is 95% sugar whilst fruits such as apples and bananas contain 11.6g and 18.1g per 100g (roughly 1 apple and 1 banana portion) of sugar. This is still sugar and will have the same impact as white sugar to your teeth and to your body.


It is also worth mentioning that starchy foods such as bread, rice, pasta etc, will be digested into sugar and will exert the same pressure on your body. Starchy foods are made up of a series of sugar molecules linked together in a long chain. Once in the gut our digestive enzymes break these links releasing these individual sugar molecules. It is these molecules that are then absorbed into the bloodstream and have a direct impact on your blood sugar levels.


So what are our final thoughts?


Minimising sugars in the diet is always a positive and your body will thank you for it.


However, starchy carbohydrates will still have the same impact on your body as sugary foods, so we are not moving away from the villain that is sugar.


We believe that by focusing on fruit and vegetables that are naturally higher in dietary fibre, but lower in sugar and starch content (think green vegetables) will help to ensure that you are meeting all the vitamin and mineral requirements for optimal health and most importantly moving away from sugar and the negative impact it has on health.

 

 

 

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