Kick your sugar addiction

It’s 2013 - a new year, a new Australia?

As a country, Australia has record levels of obesity (67 per cent of adult Australians are overweight), record numbers of type two diabetes and, unfortunately, the next generation is following in these oversized footsteps.

We have a duopoly that accounts for over 75 per cent of retail food sales. We have large food corporations that encourage us to buy excessive amounts of food that we could never consume. And we have row upon row of foods within these supermarkets that are over processed and contain nothing but large amounts of sugar and salt.

Next time you are in the supermarket, glance at the packet. What do you see? Maybe some items are easy to spot, like they may list sugar as an ingredient. But there may be some other names you do not recognise. For example, other names for sugar include (but are not limited to) barley malt, corn syrup, dextran, dextrose, fructose, high-fructose, sucrose, maltodextrin and maltose.

Looking at a popular box of what seems to be a healthy cereal, it states no added preservatives, no artificial flavours or colours and says it is a good source of vitamins. At first glance it would be a 'good' pick for any parent. It even says in its title “honey” and “cornflakes”.

But on closer examination of the ingredients we have sugar, molasses, honey, glucose syrup and malt extract - all forms of sugar, and this is how a large percentage of people start their day!

So let’s make 2013 the year we kick our addiction to sugar. Let’s look at the list of ingredients and let’s make our family meals healthier.

Instead of cereal, like the one mentioned above, why not start the day with some natural pot-set yoghurt? Add some fruit, nuts and maybe some oats. Drizzle with some honey. This is a healthy breakfast and one that will give you energy all day long.

And on the weekend start growing some vegies and visit your local food shops and farmers’ market.

Going forward into this year, expect some great recipes and gardening tips, and maybe the occasional piece of commentary.

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