Now the new shock findings about sugar and fat in our diets Scientists are warning that the amount of sugar we eat is responsible for a host of serious illnesses and in Australia we eat a lot of it! The worst part about eating sugar in certain food combinations can not only have dire health effects on you, but you can also pass those sicknesses onto your children. Helen Wellings with the latest warnings on sugar's damage and the remarkable stories of people who quit the habit
Gold Coast Sarah Wilson, journalist and author of I Quit Sugar, an 8 week program of eating without sugar said "One of the big things I noticed when I quit sugar was that I got clearer in my head, my energy was more even and I guess I became a nicer person."
Australians are pigging out on more and more sugar-laden fatty foods. Now the new scientific evidence we're not just damaging OUR health, but future generations.
Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis, Garvan Institute of Medical Research "The high levels of fat and sugar we are consuming in our diet today affects our DNA and this can be passed onto our progeny. Our children and our childrens' children"
Two in three adults are overweight, one in five obese - the rates have actually DOUBLED in 7 years. And we're passing on that sugar and fat addiction to our kids and illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, hormone imbalances, liver damage.
This is what we're filling up on everyday - sugar and fat-filled foods like these biggest sellers in the supermarkets - sauces, confectionary, cakes, pastries, cordials, soft drinks, fruit drinks. In the 19th Century, our diets included about 1 kilogram of sugar a year, mainly in fruit. Now we're eating this much - 50 kilograms a year, that's about 1 kg a week
Matt O'Neil Nutritionist of Metabolic Jumpstart said "The average person is eating about 28 teaspoons of sugar a day. It's a phenomenal amount. A healthy target you can achieve with a balanced diet is about 10 teaspoons of sugar - that's 50 grams a day."
Nutritionist, Matt O'Neil of Metabolic Jumpstart "There is no doubt sugar is addictive like a drug. People need their sugar fix and their hit."
Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research is calling for regulations controlling our over-consumption of fatty sugary foods because of the changes they cause to the DNA chemicals... which can be inherited.
Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis, Garvan Institute of Medical Research "Even if your children eat the healthiest diet in the world they can have a higher predisposition towards problems such as excess weight, diabetes and athrosclerosis"
"We've got the emotional addiction and of course the physical addiction and both have been proven as existing. I found that it took about 6 to 8 weeks to break both sorts of habits." Said Wilson
Journalist and author Sarah Wilson suffered an auto-immune disease but transformed her life by quitting sugar. She wrote this 8 week program, followed by 15,000 others.
The biggest thing that most people would notice is the clearness in the head. They wake up with a clear mind and it continues for the whole day." She said
Matt O'Neil Nutritionist of Metabolic Jumpstart DEMO said "You have a nut bar which there is a teaspoon and a half of sugar in that. There's a handful like 50grams of dried fruit which has 4 teaspoons of sugar. Then for 5 snakes you've got 5 teaspoons of sugar - that's a teaspoon in every snake. If you add all those snacks, you get 10 and a half teaspoons of sugar."
Matt O'Neil Nutritionist of Metabolic Jumpstart "That's 250ml glass of juice. It's got 5 teaspoons of sugar just in that alone. So you should limit juice and try to eat your fruit instead of have it as a liquid."
Go for 2 to 3 pieces of fruit a day, but what we keep craving is fructose, the added sugar in sweets, some yogurts and cereals. The danger is fructose can only be processed by the liver and stored as fat.
"When you drink a glass of apple juice, it's going to your liver as pure fat the instant that you actually put it in your mouth. On top of that your brain, body and metabolism isn't actually registering that you're drinking or eating something so we keep eating."
"Sugar is toxic to my system it causes digestive problems, gives me headaches." Said Apple
For Teresa Apple, Natvia was the answer, a natural sweetener made from plants, stevia and nectars. Just 0.6 calories per serve, you only need minute amounts for sweetness.
"It doesn't have the aspartame, the chemicals, the artificial colours and flavourings, the things that I want to avoid in my diet. With sugar you can get the high sugar high but then you get the crash afterwards. You avoid that when you use Natvia."
I can use it in baking, cooking. We use it in our coffee and tea. I feel lighter, I don't get the headaches. I don't have all the digestive issues
Matt O'Neil Nutritionist of Metabolic Jumpstart "We need some sugar in our diet - it gives us energy and it fuels our brain. But if you overdo it, the consequences are a bigger waistline and obesity."
Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis, PhD
Associate Professor UNSW and
Senior Research Fellow
Neuroscience Research Program
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
384 Victoria St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia
Journalist and Author of I Quit Sugar