Thursday, October 06, 2016

This may shock you, but I support Jaime Oliver

I believe that people eat too much sugar. I believe there is an obesity problem, and I believe it's getting worse. No I haven't decided to retire from Candy Critic, and this isn't written to be sarcastic or ironic. I truly believe that we have to worry about our weight and sugar is one of the biggest enemies.

So how can I say this without being a hypocrite? I believe that candy is not the biggest enemy in this battle, at least not always. Neither is junk food, at least not always.

Let's start with candy. Candy is sugar, or at the very least it contains a lot of sugar. Candy (most of the time) does not hide this fact. You don't walk into a store called "Sugar Mountain" and not know what you're getting yourself into. I believe that enjoying an indulgence now and again is not a problem. Eating an entire king sized chocolate bar is not enjoying an indulgence, that's pigging out. I believe that it's fine to enjoy something sweet, as long you exercise portion control.

Junk food (things like hamburgers and pizza) are another indulgence, but one where you can eat, as long as you know what you're getting. I support fast food restaurants giving out information about what's in their food and whenever possible using less sugar and saturated fats. While these places aren't perfect, some are getting better.

So where is the problem in my book? Hidden sugar. Walk into any grocery store and you will find "healthy" foods that are loaded with sugar. Cereals, granola bars, and pre-made meals loaded with sugar, sometimes more sugar than the candy bar in the next aisle. Worse yet, many of these foods claim to be healthy because they don't contain fat or other "bad" ingredients. It's as if they're saying it's OK to eat a lot of sugar, as long as you don't know about it.

I also believe that healthy low sugar options have to be available everywhere. Schools and workplaces need to offer quick healthy food such as nuts and vegetables. They can offer something for the quick indulgence, but healthy options must be available as well. We must also educate kids and adults about healthy eating. Your first lesson, 90% of what I feature on this site is full of sugar and should be eaten in moderation.

I believe enjoying candy responsibly is fine, and responsibly depends on you and your lifestyle. Between the occasional sweet treat you must get balanced meals and even a few healthy snacks. Celebrate sweet treats and junk food the same way you celebrate a birthday, not every day. Get the best sweet indulgence you can because you shouldn't do it all the time.

The Candy Critic supports Jaime Oliver and his #FoodRevolution.


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