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  • Writer's pictureDale Folland

Low Fat or Not to Low Fat? That is the question

The happy season is upon us - time to drink, eat and be merry. But what comes with that is also some over-eating, increased social outings, Xmas parties and more time spent on our rear-end and less time outside moving. It doesn't help when we're in a rush at the supermarket and we are plagued with a decision. Low fat or Not to low fat?

The photo in the blog is contributing to how, as a nation, 1 in 4 are now classified as pre-diabetic and 1 in 3 children overweight. Check out some of the facts:

** Most blokes under 30 drink 15kg of sugar a year, this equates to 3.3 tonnes of sugar in a lifetime or about 4 All Black forward packs.

** A small drink of Ribena contains 3 x the recommended sugar intake for a child

** It would take 60 mins of exercise to burn off 600ml of a fizzy drink

** Acid is bad. A car battery acid has a pH of 1. Fizzy Drink pH2.3. Water is pH7

** Average kiwi consumes 29 teaspoons free sugar a day.

This is one reason why. Looking back up at the image. If I asked you super-fast to make a decision. What option would you choose?

I've asked my clients - most chose the 'Light' option.

But what if I told you that the low fat, or Light mayonnaise has 271% more sugar in it than the full fat one! Quite alarming to some, not surprising to others.

Either way you look at it. It's a big difference! There are 3 main macronutrients in food. Protein, Carbohydrate and Fats. Your body, funnily enough, knows how to deal with these main macronutrients and incidently what upsets the balance is the artificial ingredients, additives, flavours and preservatives that food manufactuers allow to place in there to increase taste, texture and shelf life. But that's another blog.

Back to the truck loads of sugar in products. In my opinion...we simply need to reduce the volume of sugar that enters the body. Consumers are aware now through media channels that we are an over-consumer sugar but the reason many don't make changes, is because they still do not know how to read food labels.

Back in the 1950's the average child had 5lbs of sugar per year. Today, that same aged child on average consumes the same volume every 2 weeks.

One of the reasons is because when the parents shop, they are believing they are making the better choice by buying the lower fat product where in fact in most cases, you're increasing your sugar intake; and in this case by 271%.

Fat is a great source of sustained energy and when we eat sugar in excess, and we don't expend it through exercise, it not only stresses our body, increases aging, promotes disease and feeds cancer cells but also increases our fat storage. This in turn doubles back and when we are overweight, this stresses our body and joints, increases aging, promotes disease and increases the cancer risk. Not a win-win is it!

When you choose a food or a drink and you suspect is has high sugar then do this:

1 x teaspoon of sugar weighs about 4 grams. On the label you will see two columns. Per serve and per 100 grams. Take the per serve size number...lets say a label says 26g (average cup of OJ) Divide 26 by 4 = 6.5g. So you are drinking 6.5 tspns sugar in that cup of OJ.

Another example is Calci-Yum Yoghurt Pottle. Label says 15.9 per serve. 15.9 / 4 = 4. So your child has consumed 4 teaspoons of sugar in 1 serving of yoghurt. Which is the TOTAL amount of sugar they should eat for the entire day.

Sheesh! We're in trouble - don't rely on food companies to sort their stuff out. They don't care if you or your child is overweight, gets sick or was one of 34,000 kids that required teeth to be removed last year as a result of sugar decay - who paid for that extraction?? Not them! They need their product sold and will ensure it tastes nice in order to do it.

Get smarter and choose wisely. Your health depends on it.

Committed to your Health.

Dale Folland

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