For much of the last 30 years the focus in nutrition has been on fats. This is changing. More recently there has been much more focus on the problems with too much sugar in our diets. It seems that sugar is in everything and that many of us consume too much, sometimes without even knowing. This is because not everything with lots of sugar is sweet. The sugar that the body does not use gets converted into fat and stored on the hips.
Can we reduce our sugar intake without missing out on good taste? The answer is yes. And it is easier than you might have been led to believe.
First though, lets sort out the problem with jargon. Whilst nutritionists can wax lyrical about good and bad carbs, glycaemic index, sugars and complex carbs the rest of us wonder, “What does it all mean”?
We need to go back to the basics. It may come, as a surprise, to learn that not all food with “sugars” is sweet. “Sugars” is the term used to describe simple carbohydrates, which are quickly absorbed by the body. This is in contrast to complex carbs, also called fibre or resistant starch, which are not readily absorbed. You will see the breakdown when you look at the labels on foods.
There is an easy way to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. It starts by reducing the amount of food that you eat that actually has labels! Real food, which comes from nature rather than factories, does not have a label. As Jamie Oliver says, “real food does not have ingredients – it is ingredients”.
So what can you eat that is delicious, easy to prepare, low in sugar and that the kids will love? The answer is fresh potatoes. Many of us mistakenly believe that potatoes are high in sugar – they are not. In fact they have one quarter the sugar of sweet potatoes.
That’s right – regular potatoes have one quarter the amount of sugar of sweet potatoes.
It gets better. Potatoes are a good source of fibre (the good or complex carbs) as well as B group vitamins, potassium, folate and vitamin C. And we know that the humble spud is versatile. It can be a meal by itself or a great addition to just about anything.
We all want to be healthy and make sure our children are healthy. We also want our lives to be as stress free as possible. The humble spud, is low in sugar provides us with good nutrition, is easy to prepare and is loved by all the family.
What could be better?
Dr Joe Kosterich M.B.B.S is an author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, who wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life. Dr Joe also gives practical, motivational health talks for the general public and organisations where he is known as “An independent doctor who talks about health”. He is also health ambassador for locally grown fresh potatoes.
His latest book “60 minutes to Better Health” is available on Amazon.