Why reducing your sugar intake is important (and practical advice for making it happen

With celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, championing the need for a tax on drinks and sweets in recent weeks, the spotlight is once again on the subject of healthy eating.

The TV chef appeared at a meeting of the health select committee at the House of Commons on October 19 to speak about his latest campaign – a sugar tax on fizzy drinks.

The move comes after growing widespread concern about the damaging impact sugar can have on health, such as the fact it can lead to tooth decay and obesity and cause type 2 diabetes. (For more information about type 2 diabetes, read our blog, Diabetes: How physical activity can help prevent and manage the condition).

Sugar is classed in two ways:

  1. There are ‘free sugars’, which includes sugar that’s added to food and drink, as well as sugar that’s found naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.
  1. There are also ‘naturally occurring sugars’ that are found in fruit and milk.

According to the Government’s daily guidance, adults should have no more than 90g of sugar a day while the Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommend that children aged:

  • Four to six should have no more than 19g or five teaspoons of free sugars per day
  • Seven to ten should have no more than 24g or six teaspoons of free sugars per day
  • 11 years and upwards should have no more than 30g or seven teaspoons of free sugar per day

Sugar is added to all sorts of food and drinks to make them taste sweet or to preserve their flavour, which can make it trickier if you’re looking to cut down on the amount of sugar in your diet. However, that’s no reason not to reduce your sugar intake and follow a healthy, balance diet, where possible.

Believe it or not, it is possible to cut your sugar intake and still enjoy tasty meals. Take a look at this tasty recipe, it’s a prime example of how you can rustle up a delicious, healthy treat and avoid refined sugar:

SUGAR-FREE BANANA COOKIES

(Serves 8)

Ingredients:

2 very ripe large bananas

50g gluten-free porridge

25g chopped walnuts

25g chopped dates

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180c (160 fan) /350f/ Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease a baking sheet with a little coconut oil.
  3. Mash the bananas in a large bowl.
  4. Mix in the porridge oats, walnuts and dates.
  5. Once combined, drop the batter on to the baking sheet to make eight cookies.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes and remove from the oven.
  7. Allow to cool and then enjoy!

Note: Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 to 3 days.

Want more healthy recipe ideas like this? Contact us for a copy of The Studio’s recipe book, Revive. Available for just £15, it’s packed with more than 100 quick, tasty and clean-eating dishes that are ideal for all the family, all year around. Call us on 07890 978531 or email us at nicolacarless@aol.com