Sugar is our number one enemy. Apart from the obvious detrimental effects on our health, sugar is also affecting our mental state as many people today are addicted to sugar.

This should not come as a surprise to you as there is sugar in almost every single processed product available today. I invite you to go and have a look in your pantry – peanut butter, coconut milk, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, fish sauce, Worcester sauce, salad dressing etc etc – they all most likely contain sugar. You can however find some of these products that do not contain sugar. Before you buy consumables, have a look at the ingredients list. If sugar is listed as an ingredient, search for an alternative without sugar or sweeteners. If there is a long list of unrecognisable ingredients (including chemicals, fillers and preservatives), chances are that you are much better off without it. Small changes (like buying the right products) can have a huge impact on your overall health.

We often consume a lot more sugar than we think. Fruit juice is a good example of a “healthy drink” which really is not so healthy because of the amount of sugar it contains. Many people have multiple cups of tea or coffee per day with one or more teaspoons of sugar. At the end of the day, it all adds up! Coffee and tea tastes much better without sugar once you get used to it – give it a try.

o Why sugar is bad for you:

Honey is a natural alternative to sugar. I will talk about this more comprehensively in a future post, but everything in it’s natural state is bound to be better for your body. Sugar granules are processed and often bleached. Honey has more calories per tablespoon than sugar – so use it sparingly. It’s also naturally sweeter than sugar, which is why you can use less of it when substituting sugar.

o Why honey is better than sugar:

Beware of artificial sweeteners and anything artificial for that matter. Our bodies struggle to recognise artificial ingredients and it can cause numerous problems like diabetes, weight-gain and cancer.

Try to eliminate sugar from your diet as much as possible. I love baking, which makes this quite a challenge for me. I try to stick to having a sweet treat only over a weekend and rarely during the week. I believe that part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not to be obsessive about it. Have some general rules, but don’t beat yourself up if you break one of them once in a while.

An interesting thing that you might notice once you start eliminating sugar is how good everything tastes! Once you reprogramme your body, everything changes. All of a sudden coffee tastes so much better, a grapefruit is so sweet that you can’t imagine that you ever thought it needed extra sugar, you can’t drink fruit juice without diluting it with water and some products like breakfast cereal tastes so overly sweet that you don’t even like it anymore.

Am I saying that you should forget about birthday cake? Absolutely not. Ultimately, moderation is key. Yes, you may have sugar. Yes, you may eat something that contains artificial sweeteners. Just be careful not to overdo it and be aware of what you are consuming on a daily and weekly basis.