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13 June 2016

Sugar, who’s to blame?

A clean and shiny teaspoon hanging over a heap of clean white sugar means one thing and one thing only, another monotonous snippet of information highlighting the warning signs “SUGAR IS BAD”, “EVERYONE MUST HATE SUGAR”. I think by now we’re all pretty up to date on the effects of sugar. We know it has an effect on your blood sugar levels and pancreas, and depending on your genetics and lifestyle, over consumption may lead to a number of diseases such as type II diabetes and obesity.

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Despite this information it’s still pretty difficult to say no to a digestive biscuit right? But why? With warnings at every turn, surely it shouldn’t be too difficult to walk into a supermarket and pick up your essentials without being lured into a sugary trap. If we all know the warnings signs then why do we still find these products so readily available? Why are they pushed on us despite the wealth of research documenting the negative effects and how can anybody legitimise the creation of a product that contains more than one full day’s worth of sugar in just one serving? I guess the real questions is, who is actually to blame? After all, the demand for sugar in production is mirrored in the evolutionary demand for energy (sugar) in survival.

The producers:

Surely it must be these guys? They make the food, they put the sugar in and they design the label, it must be them. Some producers are even snaking their way around the government’s traffic light system (red, yellow, green markers on foods and drinks to indicate % in relation to a daily intake) by unrealistically decreasing the portion size to reduce “intake per portion” – when was the last time you drank ½ a can of a soft drink? With the “sugar tax” looming, sugar-free soft drinks are becoming more prevalent in drinks fridges around the country in what seems like a last ditch effort to offer a tax-free alternative (why wasn’t this done before?). There’s is a lot of responsibility with the producer that will likely come under increased scrutiny over the next few years as the demand grows for products that do not just tick your taste bud’s boxes (usually sugary) but also uphold quality nutrition.

The supermarkets:

These guys really know how to play on your cravings! If you dare, take a look down the “deals aisle” of a supermarket or the items that are at the top of each aisle. If it’s placed in this area of a supermarket in most circumstances, it’s full of sugar! We’ve evolved to use sugar for quick and easy energy, when it’s put there in front of our face on a ‘buy one get 3 free’ low price extravaganza it really does take 5 star self-restraint to turn a blind eye. Although supermarkets do hold a lot of responsibility (and it’s very rare you see fruit & vegetables in the sale sections) they are acting as a middle man from producers to customer and generally place products in areas of the store based on margins and sales rather than nutritional quality.


As previously mentioned it’s very hard to avoid articles and posts to inform you that reducing your sugar intake is a good, healthy thing to do!

Sugar is avoidable and invariably it is you that purchases the products. One major recent finding has shown that sugary products are much more tempting when you’re hungry. This would not be related to product branding or placement, but solely based on your previous diet and the amount of time since purchasing sugary products. In simple terms, if you walk into a supermarket feeling hungry it’s very likely you’re going to come out with a snack you didn’t intend to purchase!

Want to know our top tip to avoid this? Simply eat balanced quality meals in small regular doses mirrored in the meal plans we provide through our 30 Day Challenge.