THE (NOT SO) SWEET FACTS ON SUGAR

 

White sugar is one of the world’s most pure foods.
Now before you get excited about it because it’s ‘pure’, read on.

White sugar is 99.9% sucrose, refined from the natural sugars that occur in the sugar cane but with all impurities such as mineral ash completely removed.

Raw sugar is made from cane juice and is golden in colour. It is virtually identical to white sugar and is 99% sucrose. Raw sugar does have a few minerals but not enough to give a huge health advantage over white sugar.

Another few that may be of interest are:

Brown sugar contains 95% sucrose and 5% molasses, which adds a toffee flavour and sogginess but no great nutritional benefits over white sugar.

Caster sugar has the same composition as white (granulated) sugar, but the crystals are smaller so it dissolves faster. It’s best for baking, especially light sponges and meringues.

Icing sugar is also just white sugar ground to a fine powder so it dissolves quickly and makes smooth icing.

Despite their different colours and flavours, the nutritional value of these sugars is very similar. (Sadly,) Sugar is sugar, whether white, brown or raw. One teaspoon of any has around 68 kilojoules (16 calories).

Any sugar can be hazardous when consumed in excessive amounts; and though not many, raw sugar does have a few minerals, so I suppose it is technically a better alternative to white sugar.

And while you don’t need to avoid or cut out sugar completely, it would be sensible to cut back on foods that are high in sugar AND low in nutritional value.

For example: soft drinks, lollies, pastries or sweets.

HOW TO AVOID POST – WORKOUT BINGES

 

You’ve sweated it out in a huge session and now you’re starving! Suddenly the idea of a burger is very appealing.

Here are some hints on how you can avoid the ‘post-workout binge’ and stop yourself from undoing all your hard work!

For some people, exercise inhibits appetite or at least acts as a distraction from eating. Others are tempted to eat more because they believe they have burned off excess food calories and they deserve a reward for all the hard work they have done.

Feeling hungry at any point in the day, not just after exercise, is not ideal. When the body is hungry we tend to eat as much as we can to satisfy ourselves mentally and forget about how full we physically feel.

If you are planning an intense workout session, try one of these healthy snack options (keep your snack small because eating too much before exertion may trigger nausea and cramping)

> Small handful of fruit & nuts
> Low fat yogurt
> An apple with a teaspoon of nut butter
> Small bowl of low GI cereal with low-fat milk

If you are hungry following your session, have a small snack that includes wholegrain carbs to replenish your stores of muscles glycogen and lean protein to repair and build muscle.

> A teaspoon of peanut butter on wholegrain bread
> Egg, ham or tuna on a slice of wholegrain bread
> A fruit smoothie
> Low-fat yogurt with a piece of fruit

Eat within 1 hour. Timing is important because if you wait too long to eat after exercising, intense hunger could trigger overeating or poor food choices.