Posted in Kafevend Blog

Welcome back to the Kafevend blog. Those with us last week may remember our look at the less than salubrious past of sugar and its role in European colonisation. Today we are taking a more recent angle on the topic of sugar, and how it is viewed in modern society.

We put sugar into all sorts of things these days- it sure is tasty. If it's not in the latest batch of baked cakes and cookies, then it'll probably be in the lotta chocha mocha syruppino- or just a spoon or two in a less extravagant cuppa. Something this tasty can only be good for us, right?

As with anything, too much of a good thing can be bad for us, and that is certainly the case with sugar. Sugar has been shown to have a number of bad effects on our health. Obesity is one of the obvious ones, but this in turn leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Even if obesity is kept at bay, sugar can have a detrimental effect on our teeth. One of the biggest causes of children having to attend hospital is to have teeth removed due to decay, often as a result of a high sugar diet- and it is not a pleasant experience, we can assure you! As if these weren't bad enough, anyone who is trying to give up sugar, or simply have less of it in their diet, may have a hard time of it, as sugar is an addictive substance.

It is perhaps important to point out that sugar isn't strictly a wholly bad thing- it can serve as a handy source of energy, such as snacking on fruit before lunch to keep us going, for example. It can also be found in various foods such as milk and bread.The problem is that we are consuming far too much of it in things like soft drinks, sweets, and treats such as cakes and biscuits. Even if we otherwise eat a good spread of foods that provide carbohydrates, protein, (a little bit of) fat, vitamins and minerals, an excess of sugar can render an otherwise balanced diet moot.

So how can we go about reducing the amount of sugar in our diet? It's probably not worth just cutting every instance of it out at once, as it may come as something of a shock to our systems! Instead, we could try gradually reducing it over a number of weeks. For instance, for those of us who take a spoon or two of sugar in our tea or coffee, we could try adding one less, or even just half a spoon less for a week. At the end of that, reduce it again and so on every week until there's no need for any at all, the added bonus being that we can enjoy the taste of our favourite brew as it should be!

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