NATIONAL NEWS - There’s something sweet hidden in your food, and its out to get you and your waistline.
According to the Human Sciences Research Council, the average South African consumes 25 kilograms of sugar and similar sweeteners a year, the bulk of which is concealed in processed foods and fizzy drinks. It’s no wonder rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease are skyrocketing.
In the spirit of spring and new beginnings, meal delivery service FitChef has laid down a challenge to “dump the BS” – that is, the bread and (added) sugar, from our diets.
Those willing to brave the cravings are being encouraged to sign up for a 21-day ready-to-heat meal plan that contains no added sugars, refined carbs, artificial sweeteners, man-made chemical additives or refined salts.
“Most of us know that we need to cut out the crap from what we eat. By sourcing, preparing and delivering delicious and healthy meals, smoothies and snacks directly to your door, our meal kits make this easy,” says Wayne Kaminsky, founder and CEO of FitChef.
“Once you retrain your palate with a kickstart challenge, your desire for very sweet foods will reduce and eating healthier will become a habit.”
For those who want to break it off with bread and sugar, Kaminsky offers some healthy tips:
1. Eat clean
Banish processed foods and ingredients, and opt for food in its most natural form whenever possible. Simple things like orange juice have added sugar, colourants and flavourants. In more complex foods, such as cereals, and sauces there can be even more artificial additives.
2. Do not drink away your health
Most added sugars we consume are in juices, fizzy drinks, flavoured coffees and iced teas. Tasty alternatives include herbal teas, mixing sparkling water with a freshly squeezed juice pulp and, best of all, water.
3. Skip artificial sweeteners
Sweetness is a hard addiction to quit and while artificial replacements can cause a temporary high, they feed your palate’s bad habit.
4. Learn the code names
Added sugars are often well disguised on ingredients list, labelled as sucrose, corn sweetener, fruit-juice concentrates, fructose sweeteners, dextrose, or other words ending in “-ose,” – the chemical suffix for sugars. Give these products a pass.
5. Add flavour, not sugar, to your cooking
Spices and herbs can deliver an amazing taste without the kickback of sugar – add cinnamon or vanilla in your morning coffee instead.
6. Have ready-made meals or snacks on hand, always
Have a frozen FitChef ready-to-drink smoothie, nuts, dates or plain yoghurt on hand for when a craving strikes.