Sugar is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons at the moment. It’s the reason for the rise in type 2 diabetes, obesity and child tooth decay – which all puts a massive strain on the NHS – let alone the fact that it’s ruining far too many lives. Anyone who’s watching Jamie’s Sugar Rush will know that the problem also effects very young children too, which is just barbaric.
Even Great British Bake Off introduced a ‘free from sugar’ challenge recently where contestants had to bake a cake using honey as an alternative. But here’s the thing. Honey is still high in fructose and calories. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver and can’t be used for energy by your body’s cells. It’s therefore not only completely useless for the body, but is also a toxin in high enough amount because the job of the liver is to get rid of it, mainly by transforming it into fat and sending that fat to our fat cells.
What concerns me is that viewers watching the programme would be inclined to think that using honey in baking is completely healthy. What Bake Off is not addressing is that honey is still sugar and will trigger an insulin response. It’s also highly addictive and it won’t help our current crisis.
The Times published an article about sugar alternatives a few days ago – which gives great insight into the reason why the alternatives aren’t any better than the real thing. The main thing to draw from the article is Moderation is key: relegate puddings and sweets to the occasional treat. If you must use sugar, choose one to complement what you’re cooking, even if it’s white sugar. As Norman says: “If white sugar means your cookies will be crunchy rather than soggy, then use it.”
The World Health Organization is dropping its sugar intake recommendations from 10 percent of your daily calorie intake to 5 percent. For an adult of a normal body mass index (BMI), that works out to about 6 teaspoons — or 25 grams — of sugar per day.