News article

Action on Sugar sketches sugar reduction plans

Posted:  Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reducing the quantity of added sugar to your daily diet can decrease the craving for it. Much like the way UK’s salt reduction initiative has helped reduce the craving for salt. As a result of the initiative, average consumption in UK fell by 15% from 9.5g in 200-01 to 8.6g in 2011, also a 30% decrease in added salt in the food industry was achieved through this campaign over a ten year period.

“A 30–40% reduction in the amount of added sugar with no substitution would reduce calorie intake on average by 100 Kcals per day per person and would help to prevent obesity and diabetes,” wrote MacGregor and Hashem. “Ideally, such a reduction could be achieved in the next 3–4 years by gradually reducing sugar by about 10% each year.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has emphasised the need to reduce added sugar consumption and that not more 10% calories should come from added sugars. There are additional health benefits to further reduce the consumption of added sugar to less than 5%.

The Action on Sugar group has proposed to restrict the maximum limit or an average/sales weighted limit on the amount added sugar in food and soft drink category.

“Importantly, there would be no substitution with artificial sweeteners, so that the taste receptors would adjust, and, in solid foods, no addition of other foods to make up for the reduction in sugar content. In some food products this will cause a reduction in weight or serving size.”

On the other hand, sugar besides being a sweetener is also used as a preservative along with being ingredient that adds texture to the product, asserted Julian Cooper, AB’s Sugar’s head of food sciences.

Countless sugar addiction studies have proven that sky-high sugar intake can lead to obesity, type-2 diabetes, increase in triglycerides and LDL cholesterol and a decrease in HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Furthermore, people whose sugar intake was between 10-25 percent are far more likely to die due to heart problems. The sugar buzz interferes with brains capacity to accurately send signals to the brain to tell you are full.

A sugar reduction plan, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up sweets or carbs all together, that holds true for diabetics also. If eaten in moderation, sugar can be part of the diet. Oatmeal, broccoli , spinach, green beans, lean meats, salmon , water instead of soda and cinnamon to the diet can help reduce diabetes are all diabetes reducing foods. Incorporating these foods into the diet and doing away with foods that contribute to empty sugar calories will help in reducing overall sugar intake. Also, substituting rice with brown rice and corn with peas or leafy green vegetable can further contribute to the sugar reduction plan. Along with a shift in diet, exercise is also an important aspect for better overall health.