By Guest Contributor Vicky Thorby of Nourish Me
Sugar, oh sweet sugar. What would we do without you? There are so many different answers to that question!
Is sugar good? Is sugar bad? Should I cut it out of my diet? What about natural sugars? Let’s get back to basics.
Sugar comes in many forms and is one of the easiest ways our body can get energy - that’s why we reach for it when we are tired. As a nutritionist (and a woman!) I am all for sugar – but only in moderation. Sorry to say it, but I am definitely also an advocate for reducing our sugar intake where possible.
Let’s run through some examples:
- You’re on the run, you’ve skipped breakfast, you’re starving and have a meeting in 15 minutes so you grab a coffee and a cookie or chocolate bar – is this nourishing your body? No, you don’t want to be relying on sugary food as your sole energy source. With the stress your body is under from missing meals, rushing around AND with your constant source of caffeine, added sugar is going to be detrimental to your health and you will be likely to store excess fat.
- You’re literally out running – this is a completely different story. Athletes need sugar in their diet to perform. Endurance athletes in particular will have a high sugar diet pre and during exercise, and then less post exercise. This is to make sure their muscles have the fuel they need to perform as well as to aid recovery. So in this case is the sugar nourishing the athletes body? Absolutely!
- You’ve been eating a well-balanced diet, and you feel like a sweet treat – is that bad? Absolutely not! We all need treats in life, but make sure your treat is portioned wisely and is just that, a treat – not a regular daily occurrence. Oh, and don’t forget, ENJOY IT! What’s the point in having a delicious treat if we scoff it down super fast and then just feel guilty about it?? If that’s the case, that isn’t nourishing your soul, and we are all about that!
So there is no simple answer about sugar, but rest assured that if you have it in moderation (unless you are diabetic!) then you should be fine. Try not to stress about “bad foods” but do make sure you focus on healthy options, healthy alternatives, and getting a wide range of nutrients into your diet. If you’re doing this with regular exercise and plenty of water, a treat here or there should be enjoyed!
From our guest contributor:
"Hi I'm Vicky!
I'm a mum of one beautiful wee boy and of course a nutritionist too. I first studied Biomedical Science at Victoria University, and followed that up with post-graduate study at Otago University in Human Nutrition. I pride myself in being a "realistic" and relatable nutritionist. My passion lies with helping people find their healthiest, happiest selves in a way that provides accountability and is long lasting!
I offer online one-on-one nutrition coaching as well as hair testing for food sensitivities, to help people be their best selves."