Sweet News

by Philippa Duchastel de Montrouge

Imagine eating 26 teaspoons of sugar a day. If this sounds like a lot, think again. That’s what the latest Statistics Canada report reveals. And since 26 teaspoons is just what the average Canadian consumes, this means some eat less and some more. Much more. Teenage boys consume 41 teaspoons. And, considering these findings are based on a 2004 survey, things may have changed. Probably increased, if the obesity rates are anything to go by.

Once upon a time a spoonful of sugar helped the medicine go down. Twenty-six teaspoons of sugar a day is 21% of daily calories. And one-third of those are from what nutritionists label as empty calories: added sugar as opposed to what is naturally found in fruits and vegetables, grains and milk products.

While these figures may seem an odd start to a series glorifying desserts, they open the door to reflection. People often look at desserts as extra calories and as such, decide whether or not to have dessert.

Not me.

My point is that if we are all consuming that much sugar, why not eat desserts that are worthy of their calories? Nine teaspoons of sugar in a can of Coke seems like such a waste of sugar. Two Cokes a day and you’ve passed the daily average of added sugar. A whole Sachertorte Cake (sorry: secret family recipe) uses 40 teaspoons! And serves 12 at least. Do the math.

Or just eat the cake. And enjoy every last crumb.

While experts seem to agree overall that high sugar consumption can lead to all sorts of health problems (obesity, diebeties, and tooth decay) no one really knows what the recommended daily dose should be. The American Institute of Medicine of the National Academies which advises the government on health policy, recommends a maximum of 25 per cent of a person’s daily calories. The World Health Organization sets a much lower standard of 10 per cent.

There’s a Tim Hortons on every other corner so they are hard to miss. And then, inevitably the doughnut-craving hits. Thankfully we’re in Montreal where every other building is a restaurant. Greek, Italian, French, Austrian: we’ve got it all. And something every culture has? Desserts.

Look forward to discovering alternatives to fast food sugar. Wawel‘s doughnuts give Tim Horton’s a run for its money.


Categories: Dessert for supper, Food


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