The hidden killer lurking in Australian pantries

Sugar is widely positioned as enemy No.1. However, there are other killers in our pantries.

Pantry items

The average Australian ingests up to 14 teaspoons of free sugar per day, which is five to eight teaspoons more than the recommended amount, according to a study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. While sugar is widely positioned as enemy No.1, there are other products lurking in our pantries that can cause just as much damage.

Some of the foods we choose that contain sugar substitutes and other refined carbohydrates are just as dangerous, according to Elanya van Heerden, the editor of Wisdom magazine.

Some of these ingredients lead to an array of health problems, including digestive issues, mood instability, hair loss, joint problems, a lack of mental clarity and many more.

The ingredients that could cause serious health problems are some artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, refined carbohydrates and products high in sodium.

“To reduce our dangerously high sugar intake, artificial sweeteners are often considered an easy substitute,” Ms van Heerden said.

“Refined carbohydrates, such as pasta and breakfast cereals, are thought to be healthy, and high sodium products including frozen dinners, soups and processed meats are quick and easy options we often turn to.

“Each of these has the potential to wreak havoc on our health and wellbeing. Fortunately, there is a lot of easily accessible information that can assist in cutting out or replacing these items with healthier choices.”

The majority of Australians have access to healthy, fresh food. However, incorporating it into the daily diet is not as widespread a habit as it should be.

“We’re fortunate enough in Australia to have access to delicious, and usually locally grown, produce – and many of us do take advantage of that,” Ms van Heerden said.

“We’ve become aware of the negatives of a diet loaded with sugar, and while a lot of us are consciously cutting it out, we need to be aware of the other nasties lurking in our cupboards.

“Every household has its staples that are easy to whip up on a busy weeknight, but it’s time to make a change and look into how they can be replaced with something just as easy, equally delicious,” she said.

How do you ensure you have a healthy balanced diet at home? What meals would you recommend to others?

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    9th Aug 2019
    Its all just a roll of the dice.....
    80 plus
    9th Aug 2019
    Where can the info be found, also what additives are not healthy??
    Robert Henry
    9th Aug 2019
    I'm a great fan of Michael Mosley and his TV program on health and his segment on sugar and diabetes turned up an amazing finding. A large percentage of the group that substituted a sugar sweetener for aspartame were at high risk of developing diabetes after only a very short period. Far better to cut down on the amount of sugar you use for sweetening until eventually you may not require it at all. Honey is low GI so that may be a substitute. Give up the processed food is a good start and limit carbs. Another regular habit of mine since I was sixteen and working in the mines was a full physical once a year. This may turn up any problems you can then act on. I'm 6' 2" 115kilos 18 stone and a bit overweight, but I take no medications what so ever, do my exercises every day for 30 minutes and at 82 I'm looking forward to 90 plus. Well maybe. Hope this helps 80 plus.
    9th Aug 2019
    Too much of anything is bad for something.

    SO>>> enjoy whatever you like but just not too much of it. I believe that if you can't eat or drink some of what you want, and what you do have might kill you, then a shorter happy life might be better than a longer life of angst and worry.

    We only get one chance, so enjoy what you have.

    9th Aug 2019
    I don't know what the answer is but my wife serves up the main meal of the day which normally consists of meat or fish and up to 6 vegetables. She is a great cook and the food is both tasty and healthy. We have been following this regime for the past 50 years and, given the usual aches and pains associated with aging, live a comfortable life.

    I might add that during the past 50 years we have read of what causes cancer and is dangerous to health. There have been BBQ's, undercooked meat, overcooked meat, soft drinks, alcohol, vegetables overcooked, too much sun, not enough sun and the list continues. I agree with turtle that it's all just a roll of the dice.
    10th Aug 2019
    Will beg to disagree OM.
    Fish is good but meat is looking increasingly bad. We've cut down substantially on meat over the decades and now try to have 2 meat free meals a week.
    Think about how hard it is for your system to break down meat. The think about the biggest cancer killer: bowel cancer.
    Good you have done ok so far.
    9th Aug 2019
    I have always had healthy lifestyle, eat fresh food, drink red wine (in moderation), exercise at the gym (for last 20 years) and I still have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. My siblings are both overweight and eat and drink what ever takes their fancy and both have managed blood blood pressure and low cholesterol. There are other factors ie genetics and "roll of the dice" etc, other than sugar.

    9th Aug 2019
    I enjoy a beer and that is full of sugar. Ah well I don't want to live forever but do want to enjoy life. See you all later I'm off to the Pub.
    9th Aug 2019
    Drop the known or likely carcinogens especially meat. Avoid dairy. Eat fresh vegetables and beans and pulses.
    Yup I Know
    10th Aug 2019
    That was a big fat nothing article

    Tags: health, food, nutrition,

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