Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, fruit is a whole food where the naturally occurring sugars are packaged with beneficial fibre, water and nutrients. These extra goodies positively affect the way the naturally occurring sugars are processed by the body.
Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar found in dairy products and not something we need to worry about.
This depends on the individual, but for most, a gradual reduction often results in sustained change. Be kind to yourself. Try fruits to quench the desire for something sweet, and eventually your palate will become more sensitive to the subtler sweetness in whole foods like fruit and vegetables.
Processed and packaged ‘low-fat’ foods are often laden with added sugars to make up for the taste lost when the fat is removed. Whole foods containing healthy sources of fat should be a part of every diet. These include extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut, good quality dairy and oily fish.
Added sugars are not needed in children’s or adult diets, and are used purely to make foods taste more appealing. Naturally occurring sugars in whole foods like fruit and vegetables are all we need for healthy day-to-day function of the body and brain.
The American Heart Association states children under two years should not have any added or ‘free’ sugars. Everyone else should limit their intake to 6 teaspoons/25 grams per day, as endorsed by the World Health Organisation.
Avoid cutting out or removing something from the kids diet. Our advice is to crowd the pantry with other things that are healthier: provide good options instead of taking something away. We have lots of recipes on our website to help transition from a high sugar diet, as well as our books and e-books.
The occasional treat is fine. We don’t recommend cutting out sugars altogether; just be aware that we may be consuming much more added sugar than we realize. Some people can consume a little sugar without feeling its effects. Some are the opposite. And some feel the urge to have more whenever they eat something sweet. Find out what works for you.
Importantly, naturally occurring sugars, like those in fruit and vegetables, are packaged with fibre, water and beneficial nutrients so these are good for us.
Although it’s high in fructose, a little honey certainly won’t hurt. A good quality honey can also have therapeutic benefits.
Artificial sweeteners are fine if weaning off a very high sugar diet for the short-term, but not something we recommend consuming regularly or long-term. The only sweetener that seems okay is stevia, though it’s often only available in a heavily processed form. It comes from a plant that is native to Paraguay. Some people even pick a leaf straight from the plant and put it into their tea.
By reducing our intake of sugar and sweeteners, our sensitivity to the sweet taste from whole foods will eventually increase.
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The occasional treat containing a source of added sugar is fine (for most). To sweeten naturally, choose whole foods like fruit, a little dried fruit, spices like cinnamon or vanilla, or veg like sweet potato or pumpkin.