As part of Staffordshire’s Big Fat Chat, we want you and your family to try and go sugar-free for a week.
The idea is that you and the people you live with don’t eat anything that has ‘added’ sugar.
Some of us taking part will be sharing our experience on this blog and on social media.
We’d love to share your stories too, so either post your comments and experiences right here on the blog or if you prefer, write or video your own blog entries and send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org for us to post for you.
Here’s our brief guide to what “no added sugar” means and some useful tips to help make your week a success.
What does ‘no added sugar’ mean?
‘No added sugar’ means cutting out any sugar that has been added to what you eat.
This includes sugar that is added to items by a manufacturer or by you or the cook in your family when they prepare something to eat.
It also includes not eating anything with added honey, fruit nectars and syrup as well as sugar.
What doesn’t no added sugar mean?
You don’t need to worry about sugar that is contained in milk, fruit or vegetables.
The sugars in these are present in the normal growing or production of the items and are not ‘added’ at a later stage, so they can be eaten. (They also contain loads of vitamins and minerals and these are good for you).
Be careful though about eating too much dried fruit, as the drying process tends to increase the sugar content. If you do want to eat dried fruit, try and only eat it with a meal, that way it’s kinder to your teeth.
5 tips to get you and your family through a week of eating no added sugar
- When you do your shopping look at the ingredients of all pre-packed items. It’s amazing how many things have added sugar in them. Even some stock cubes have added sugar! Anything that lists ‘sugar’ or ‘honey’ in its list of ingredients is banned this week.
- It’s pretty obvious, but biscuits, cakes, sweets, jam, honey and chocolate are all banned
- Try cooking things like pasta sauces from the raw ingredients, that way you know that no sugar has been added.
- If you need a snack in between meals think about carrots, celery, peppers, seeds or nuts. These are all sugar free and really good for you.
- Remember – it’s only for a week and whilst it may feel like going ‘cold turkey’ it’s just a way of getting you started on a reduced sugar diet. Having done it for a week you can then alter it a bit to suit your lifestyle.
Useful websites to help cut down on sugar
- Public Health England: Sugar Smart
- Public Health England: Change 4 Life
- NHS Livewell: How to cut down on sugar in your diet
THE BIG FAT CHAT
Staffordshire’s Big Fat Chat is a public debate around obesity and whose responsibility it is to do something to about it. Yours? Governments? Retailers? Employers?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Leave you thoughts and comments here and join in on social media. Our Twitter hashtag is #bigfatchat