What I Ate Wednesday #5 – why is sugar bad?

Time for another WIAW! Although this one is actually what I ate on Tuesday…..

Breakfast:

Post cycle into work, it was the usual – porridge with water and dried bananas.

Snack:

I was going to a yoga class that started at 1pm so I knew I’d need a little morning snack to get me through. Again – standard green smoothie with spinach, apple, avocado, ginger, banana and coconut water with a tiny drizzle of honey and lemon juice.another smoothie

Lunch: Lasanga! And salad. It’s the 6th May today and this is the fourth lasanga I’ve had since the beginning of May…. Can you blame me? Lasanga is super-good.

more lasanga

chocolate

Afternoon snack:

I did ‘well’ today – I didn’t gorge on lots of food as I occasionally do when the afternoon is seeming very long at work! I had two squares of this dark chocolate Divine Bar. It’s really so good and completely fills my sweet cravings. Plus dark chocolate is good for you. Win!

 

Dinner:

For once, this was my dinner – my idea, my choice (although obviously James still helped/did a lot/ all of the cooking). Lebanese chicken with mini roast potatoes. The chicken was actually chicken legs that our butcher de-boned for us. I think we might go down this route in future as it tasted very like chicken breast but obviously was cheaper.

lebanese chicken

In my blender I whizzed up an onion, garlic, knob of ginger, tbs and a half of lemon juice, half a tbs of pomegranate molasses, half a tbs of honey, drizzle of oil, then added in half a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of allspice and half a teaspoon of nutmeg.

James browned the chicken then we poured this mixture over the top of the chicken. Sat it on a baking tray surrounded by mini roasties and then put the whole thing in the oven for 20 minutes whilst we made a simple salad of spinach and cucumber. And then of course topped the whole things with those wonderful pomegranate seeds. Yum!! This dish is from the Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage. It’s a fantastic cookbook, one of those where you want to cook every recipie.

Now time for a slight ramble out loud….. today I was thinking about added sugars. It’s relatively easily if you eat healthily not to eat any added sugars but difficult not to eat any sugar at all. So today I had (probably quite a bit of) sugar in my dried bananas with breakfast, and in my smoothie. There was sugar in the pasta sheets used to make my lasanga (but only a very small amount – round about 2g in every 100g – anything less than 5g in a 100g is considered low), sugar in my chocolate bar, sugar in the honey and I presume in the potatoes at dinner. Probably sugar in pomegranate molasses as well.

But none of that was ‘added’ sugars. So is that good or bad? What would the anti-sugar brigade be saying? The Times has really gone crazy over this since Christmas and this weekend posted this piece in Style. Although the headline refers to ‘No Added Sugar’, the rest of the article is all about no sugar, being sugar-free – these writers are very evangelical in the words they use, describing the “sugar free warriors“and suggesting that we should “redefine what breakfast means to you by ditching the pervasive sugar”. But then almost all her alternative breakfast suggestions involve fruit, nakd barfrom porridge topped with blueberries to running out of the door with a bag of nuts and an apple. I just think it’s really unclear and misleading. In fact, I think the whole anti-sugar brigade is really unclear and misleading. One suggestion in the US is that women should be eating a max of 25g of sugar a day. For reference, this ‘healthy’ whole foods Nakd cereal bar contains 14g of sugar – it’s almost half sugar! But that’s all ‘natural sugars’ so therefore they’re okay? Does it count towards the recommended daily allowance? But then what is meant by ‘natural‘ any way? Sugar is a natural ingredient… it comes from sugar cane. Chocolate is a natural ingredient. But healthy food bloggers don’t tend to suggest we eat chocolate!

All very confusing… So what I end up doing is following what I think of as common sense. I eat pretty much what I want – which, in general means eating little / no processed foods and tends to involve very little ‘added sugar’. I see fruit as a healthy snack, but still have a little bit of chocolate most days. I’m just not sure who has said that sugar, in and of itself, is unhealthy. Is it not just like everything else – too much is bad, a balanced diet is best?

Sorry for my little rant / thinking out loud. Genuinely would be interested if anyone has any strong views / knowledge / any opinions whatsoever about the subject!

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