Travel and sugar

So holiday time means time to exit Jakarta and head away for a breath of fresh air.  These holidays we headed off to Bali.

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This is our first family trip to this favourite holiday destination. After arriving and unpacking our first job was to go in search of breakfast.  It was only at this point I paused and thought about eating during our holidays and how this would affect my sugar intake. Luckily though, as I looked through the breakfast menu I decided that it wasn’t going to be too hard to select something  that had low processed sugar. Eggs! Always a great breakfast option!  So this is what I had most mornings and just mixed it up with different ‘extras’ like – tomato, mushroom, spinach, bacon – yum.

The other meals during the day actually turned out to be not too hard either.  I was just careful in choosing options that were not too processed and, of course, avoided sauces as these are often laden with hidden sugars.  Some of the choices I enjoyed included a chicken fillet hamburger, sweet potato fries, a Vietnamese salad and a Lebanese tasting plate. We were lucky enough to find plenty of healthy and organic restaurants in Bali so that made the choice much easier. For me, it really helps that I now understand where hidden sugars are most likely to be found and so it makes it much easier to stay away from those types of foods when eating out. 

No holiday would be complete without allowing yourself a treat or two.  For this trip my treat was beautiful fresh juice every morning and a refreshing apple cider as the sun went down. So there was I thinking that a couple of juices a day wasn’t really that bad. It seemed like a healthy option and even though I knew that all the good fibre had been stripped away, surely all the other good stuff was still in the juice, right? So I was feeling pretty good about my healthy option treats. But….

The Truth about ‘Healthy Juices’

I think many people are now aware of the high sugar content in pre-made store bought juices, but I was having lovely fresh juice with no added gula! It wasn’t until I got home and was looking through my accumulated emails that I saw one from Sarah Wilsons ‘I Quit Sugar’ blog.  It was only after reading this that I realised perhaps my juice treats in Bali may have not have been as healthy as I thought.  Sarah Wilson wrote in this post about the 5 biggest health questions . The one that particularly caught my eye was the question “Smoothie or Juice?” Here is her answer – 

One hundred per cent, smoothies. Juices chuck out perfectly good, satiating fibre, contain more sugar and can even lead to constipation. They also need blooming great big contraptions to make. Smoothies can be made of whatever you like – fruit, protein, healthy fats, vegetables – and can be literally whipped up at the touch of a button.

It then got me thinking about what was said in “That Sugar Film” about juice. In this small exert – httpmaxresdefaults://www.youtube
.com/watch?v=vntLlBjOEAU – Damon tells of his juice experience in America where he drinks a ‘Strawberry Surf Rider’ juice.  This juice contained 139 grams of sugar – a staggering  34 teaspoons of sugar! If he had to ‘eat’ his way through the equivalent fruit Damon would have to consume 4 peaches, 30 strawberries, 30 lemons and 9 limes.

This really brought home to me the potential hidden danger fresh healthy juices can contain. Nature has conveniently wrapped fruit up in these sugar treats for us and included the perfect amount of fibre so that when we eat enough we feel full.  The sugar is then absorbed slowly into our bloodstream and bodies.  We would probably never sit down and consume what we could easily drink in just one fresh juice. 

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I still love juice and will treat myself to a small one every now and again. But once again it has shown me how I need to stop and think about what I am eating and drinking. SI need to sop and look beyond the hype and advertising and make sure that my healthy choices are truly healthy. And when they are not so healthy that then are seen as a treat.

 

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