Highfields' Own - - DECADENCE -

While the en­emy for years has been fat, it turns out that the num­ber one en­emy in our di­ets is sugar. Mak­ing small changes to your diet will add up over time and be­fore you know it, you’ll be con­sum­ing less kilo­joules ev­ery day

You can cut down on sug­ars by eat­ing fewer sug­ary foods, such as sweets, cakes and bis­cuits, and drink­ing fewer sug­ary soft drinks.

Sug­ars oc­cur nat­u­rally in foods such as fruit and milk, but rest as­sured that even though these do con­tain sugar, they don’t need to be cut out of our di­ets.

Sug­ars are also added to a wide range of foods such as sweets, cakes, bis­cuits, choco­late and some soft drinks and juice drinks.

These are the sug­ary foods that we should aim to re­duce in our di­ets.

Ev­i­dence shows that most adults and chil­dren consume more sugar than is rec­om­mended as part of a healthy, bal­anced diet.

Many foods that con­tain added sug­ars also con­tain lots of calo­ries, so eat­ing these foods of­ten can con­trib­ute to you be­com­ing over­weight.

Food and drinks that have a lot of added sug­ars con­tain calo­ries, but of­ten have few other nu­tri­ents.

To eat a healthy, bal­anced diet we should eat these types of foods only oc­ca­sion­ally and get the ma­jor­ity of our calo­ries from other kinds of foods such as starchy foods and fruits and veg­eta­bles.

Sug­ary foods and drinks can also cause tooth de­cay, es­pe­cially if you eat them be­tween meals.

The longer the sug­ary food is in con­tact with the teeth, the more dam­age it can cause.

The sug­ars found nat­u­rally in whole fruit are less likely to cause tooth de­cay, be­cause the sug­ars are con­tained within the struc­ture of the fruit. But when fruit is juiced or blended, the sug­ars are re­leased. Once re­leased these sug­ars can dam­age teeth, es­pe­cially if fruit juice is con­sumed fre­quently.

For a healthy, bal­anced diet, cut down on foods and drinks con­tain­ing added sug­ars.

These tips can help you cut down:

■ In­stead of sug­ary soft drinks and juice drinks, go for wa­ter or unsweet­ened fruit juice (re­mem­ber to di­lute these for chil­dren to fur­ther re­duce the sugar)

■ If you like soft drinks try di­lut­ing fruit juice with sparkling wa­ter

■ Swap cakes or bis­cuits for a piece of fruit

■ If you take sugar in hot drinks or add sugar to your break­fast ce­real grad­u­ally re­duce the amount un­til you can cut it out al­to­gether, or try us­ing a nat­u­ral honey

■ Rather than spreading jam or honey on your toast try a low-fat spread, sliced ba­nana or low-fat cream cheese in­stead

■ Check nu­tri­tion la­bels to help you pick the foods with less added sugar, or go for the low-sugar ver­sion

■ Try halv­ing the sugar you use in your recipes — it works for most things ex­cept jam, meringues and ice-cream

■ Choose tins of fruit in juice or wa­ter rather than syrup

■ Choose whole­grain break­fast ce­re­als, but not those coated with sugar or honey

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