|Photography by Joluise|
I grew up in an age where most mums (whether they worked or not) made almost everything from scratch and rarely bought processed food (excluding for baked beans and tinned spaghetti which we ate on toast on Saturdays!). It was also an age where it was rare to see overweight or obese people. I am talking about the 1970s.
We ate simple meals, often meat and three vegetables followed by dessert (fruit and ice-cream in summer and pudding in winter). Mum didn’t get hung up about the latest fads and without the internet or TV she wasn’t bombarded with misinformation.
And we ate sugar.
Mum made cakes every Saturday and they all contained sugar. For dad she made fruit cake and for us kids, we often had cupcakes with yummy icing.
We always took a cup cake (or slice of cake) to school and had a biscuit (cookie) when we got home. Whilst we were allow to eat cake, we weren’t encouraged to eat large or multiple slices as mum was determine to make the cake last all week. This wasn’t because it was bad for us, it was part of mum’s frugalness.
But most importantly, we were taught to eat in moderation.
Life was much simpler.
Moving forward to 2014 — we have made our lives far too complicated. One of the complications of the variety of food available at the supermarket we are completely spoilt and no longer no what is good for us and what isn't. And secondly, we are overwhelming with information about food. The mountain of food is not what we need and the mountain of information is often misleading. It’s confusing and unnecessary.
One moment we are told that chocolate is bad for us, then its coffee, fat and the latest is sugar. And this gets me to the point of this story!
There is nothing wrong with adding sugar when cooking from scratch— it won’t make us fat.
All these books about “I quite sugar” are all missing the point. Sugar used correctly is fine, in moderation, one cup in a cake will not make you fat. However STOP buying processed foods that are laden with sugar (fats and all sorts of chemicals) and return to eating the old-fashion way like grandma once cooked. It really is that simple.
My mother use to make us puddings in winter, they contained sugar, not a lot, but enough to make them yummy. This isn’t bad for you – in fact we shouldn’t deny ourselves these simple and enjoyable pleasures. My message — stop following the latest trends and get back to the way our grandmothers cooked — simple and enjoyable and don’t feel guilty about adding sugar to a dessert – it won’t hurt you. It never did.
It all comes down to common-sense.
- Cook from scratch
- Eat real foods
- Buy in-season
- Eat in moderation
- Eat a balanced diet (variety)
- Don’t eat huge portions
- Don’t go back for seconds
- Don’t believe everything you read
- Don’t eat half a cow per meal
- Sugary snacks, lollies and fizzy drinks are for special occasions only — they aren’t for everyday/every week treats
- Keep snacks simple and occasional (not continuous throughout the day)
- Drink water, avoid fizzy drinks
- Waste not (want not)
This is the way I was brought up – simple home cooked meals. Let’s get back to the way our grandmothers cooked and stop getting hooked up to the latest fads.