Food plays such a big role in our lives when it comes to socialising and showing our appreciation. Children get rewarded with sugary treats, biscuit, cakes, chocolate, you name it. The emotional connection is build in childhood and it can be extremely strong as well as hard to break. Sugar is the 'feel good' ingredient. We feel happy (for a little while) when we get a buzz from eating sugar caused by the spike in insulin in our body.
Back in the days, sugar used to be called the 'White Gold' because it was such a precious commodity. Until the 17th century, the average person did not consume more than 4lbs of sugar a year. Yes, you did read this correctly.
By the late 18th century, commercial sugar production rocketed and people began to eat sugar as candies, cakes, in beverages such as tea and coffee, among other things. Within the space of 100 years, sugar consumption increased to 90lbs a year per person.
The advances in technology in the 1970s meant that refined sugar could easily be extracted from corn and high fructose corn syrup was born. Cheap and cheerful, it made its way into many products that we eat on a daily basis. Our desire for cheap food meant that many companies developed products containing a high level of sugar to cut costs. However, these cheap sugar-laden foods put a heavy price tag on our long-term health and well-being. Sugar remains one of the most heavily subsidised food in both Europe and the US.
Today, the average person consumes ca. 75 grams or 19 teaspoons of added sugar each day. The recommended daily intake is about 6 teaspoons for women or 9 teaspoon for men. So there is a significant gap to bridge if we want to turn a corner on obesity, heart disease and even mental health issues.
However, a sugarfree life does not have to equal 'no fun'. Once you started looking into options, you will find that there is a lot of good alternatives out there to make the transition easier.
I absolutely love the blog by The Sugarfree Londoner (http://sugarfreelondoner.com). Katrin provides a host of recipes on her website that are easy to follow and can be made to feed the whole family. Her recipes are innovative and fun and use ingredients that are natural, have been used throughout the ages.
If you are new to this lifestyle or just want some inspiration, then check out her website. I personally love the Paleo bread she made recently as it goes particularly well with our sugarfree jam (http://sugarfreelondoner.com/rustic-paleo-bread-seeds).
I would love to hear your comments below on this topic, so please leave a message if you have a spare moment.
Loads of love
The Jam Goddess