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Is Sugar the Real Enemy?


New Year is typically the time that we make all sorts of resolutions for the coming year relating to our physical and emotional well-being. We take out expensive gym memberships and promise ourselves we will attend no less than three times a week. We decide to lose weight by joining one of the weight loss classes in our area and clearing our cupboards of all junk food and alcohol and generally start the month full of good intentions. Its all good…  

But fast forward a fortnight or so and the majority of us have fallen off the wagon all together and the gym membership is being used more for the spa facilities than the treadmill if it’s being used at all. The realities of life have settled back in and our day to day lives often don’t hold the time needed to make these resolutions work. So what can we do then to encourage a healthier lifestyle?

Something we have all been talking about a lot recently at the Eloise office is sugar. Media headlines like the one below from the Daily Mail have really caught the attention of many of us who are concerned about healthy eating and lifestyles. The headline “Sugar in fizzy drinks and junk food increases chances of breast cancer and its spread to other organs, scientists claim.” was based on studies performed over six months on the effects of sugar fed to mice measured against a non-sugar and higher starch diet fed to another group over the same period. US academics fed mice a sugar-rich Western diet and claim they found increased levels of tumour growth in the breast and more potential for that cancer to spread to the lungs. You can read the story here

The headline is not the only one in recent months to have identified sugar as the real baddie in the cupboard. Many nutritionists such as Zoe Harcombe (  have spoken extensively about the need to reduce our sugar intake and also about the hidden sugars in our food that we are probably not even aware of.

A quick check through the store cupboard reveals sugar included the list of ingredients in just about everything we buy from the supermarket in a box, tin or packet. If you check your cupboards you will be shocked to discover that there is sugar in breakfast cereals (even the so called healthy ones), bread, tinned foods, packet ham and cooked meats (could be listed as dextrose, fructose etc…), tomato sauce, soups, pickled onions as well as the obvious culprits  like fruit juices, biscuits cakes etc.

Sugar is a relatively new ingredient for human consumption as Zoe Harcombe quite succinctly puts here If we have been eating food in the form that nature intended for 24 hours, agriculture (large scale access to carbohydrates) developed four minutes ago and sugar consumption has increased twenty fold in the last five seconds. I wonder which food is more likely to be responsible for obesity, diabetes, or indeed any modern disease…”

With scientific research increasingly linking sugar consumption to cancer perhaps a better and more realistic New Year’s resolution for us all should be to reduce our ‘hidden sugar’ intake. This can be easily achieved by checking in the ingredients list of everything we buy, take an extra hour as you go round the supermarket to check the labels on everything, and be very wary of any processed food. Even stock cubes can contain sugar!!!!

Let us know how you get on.

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap at