Sugar cravings!! My guess is we’ve all had them and on many occasions we’ve probably succumbed to them and reached for the nearest chocolate bar! Why have we become so beholden to sweetness in our food? My take is that it’s happened gradually over time. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect the amount of sugar added to the foods we eat has gradually increased over the decades as food has become increasingly processed and packaged for easier storage and transportation. We spoke about food additives in a recent post, but sugar is probably the most common additive there is.
I read recently that sugar is addictive. Not sure whether that is the case, however what is certain is that we do find sweet foods more enjoyable, mostly I think because our tastes have been diverted from nourishment towards ‘comfort’ and easy access as more and more sugar has been added to the food we consume. Of course, this can have significant implications for the pancreatitis sufferer. With diminished pancreatic function comes the greater risk of diabetes mellitus. So, it’s important for people with pancreatitis to be particularly mindful of their sugar intake (as well as the fat content in the foods they consume!). The extent to which one must do so of course depends upon the severity of your individual pancreatitis, but it is our belief that everyone with pancreatitis (in fact probably everyone in the western world!) can benefit from keeping sugar intake in check.
Reviewing food labels becomes essential though for anyone with pancreatitis. Sugar seems to be in everything! And, you can’t rely on your taste buds. Things that taste bitter, such as tomato sauce, can have a high sugar content. As we mention in the ebook, ‘Cooking Hints and Recipes for Pancreatitis’, when checking labels, look out for anything with ‘ose’ in the ingredients. Glucose, fructose, sucrose are all forms of sugars and all have the same effect in the body – they make the pancreas work harder! Something we certainly don’t want or need. The same goes for ‘syrups’. Oh, one other thing to watch for is when sugar is listed as one of the first three ingredients. In Australia (and perhaps in other countries – can anyone confirm?) ingredients in foods are listed by amount with the largest ingredient coming first and so on down the list of ingredients.
So, make sure you check those labels! More on how to tame the sugar beast in future posts. Please let us know if you have any thoughts on this. Leave a comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill & Jenny