But I Don’t Eat Much Sugar


About once a week I have this conversation with my mother.

“I keep putting on weight. I can’t seem to keep it off my stomach.”

“You need to eat less sugar.”

“But I don’t eat sugar!”

She wont’ tell me if she genuinely forgets that we’ve had that conversation 20 times, or if she’s winding me up. I guess she doesn’t want to admit to either.

Last week the “I don’t eat sugar” conversation was juxtaposed on a “What shall I write about in my blog next week?” conversation and she said “Well write about how much sugar I eat.”

This week, of course, she had forgotten that she’d said that and was outraged at the suggestion I should write about her sugar intake, but I managed to cajole her into telling me her daily diet. It goes like this…

Breakfast: Vogel fruit and nut oven crisp muesli and physi-cal milk.

Morning Tea:  1 square of 70% chocolate and a 5cm piece of licorice.

Lunch: 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 orange, homemade fruit cake and 150g of Ski D’lite yoghurt.

Afternoon Tea: Dry biscuits and cheese.

Dinner: Stir fry and rice. Berries and ice cream.

She wouldn’t tell me what she puts on the stir fry, so I’ve had to leave out the sugary sauce she no doubt adds.

The total, according to my calculations, is 113g of sugar, and 37g of “free”, or added, sugar. The WHO now recommends that free sugar should be no more than 5% of total calories, which for a woman of my mother’s size and age would be 80 calories, 5 tsps, or 20g of sugar. The UK government suggest that total sugar should be no more than 90g.

I’m surprised the recommendations are so high. My diet (if I don’t cheat) contains only 1g of free sugar, and 34g total, mostly from my banana and prune.

I suggested to my mother that she could get close to the recommendations if she made the following substitutions:

  • Replace the commercial muesli with the homemade muesli she used to make.
  • Replace the super sweet Ski D’lite with unsweetened Greek yoghurt and a tsp of maple syrup.
  • Replace the ice cream with a tbsp of low fat cream and 1/3 tsp of sugar.

Her diet would be essentially the same but she would then be under the 20g of free sugar and almost down to the 90g total.

To see some graphic evidence of the effects of a high sugar diet, check out That Sugar Film and Jamie Oliver’s Sugar Rush documentary. The UK government have announced a sugary drink tax to be introduced in the next two years. What an amazingly powerful man Jamie Oliver is!

Anyway…back to me. My weight has resumed its steady downwards trend. Today I am 56.2kg.

Stand by for a special post on Friday with my progress photos.




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