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Being aspirational does not have to be a sweet story.


'M not reading the news obsessively like I did before the election.

I think I'm in the "denial" stage of post-election grief, dreading that, every time I tune in, the Conservatives will have done something even worse like bringing back workhouses or banning acts of kindness in public places or something.

I presume I didn't imagine what I've heard about housing association tenants being given the right to buy.

What, with how we've got such a surplus of homes in the North East for people on lower incomes (not), and really need something to make those of us in "Generation Rent" feel even more hopeless about our chances of getting secure and affordable housing.

Still, I suppose Tristram Hunt and the like in the Labour Party will be pointing the new owners in the direction of John Lewis to buy all their aspirational furnishings. Anyway, that was all so depressing I decided to cheer myself up by giving up sugar.

No, really. Although I'm someone who could eat a chocolate bar for breakfast with a chaser of a king-size chocolate bar for afters, I have gone cold turkey.

Cold, not even covered in a honey marinade turkey, because honey is just pure sugar.

I'd been put off the no-sugar thing because it looked like yet another dietary fad. Davina McCall had even brought a book out about it.

But then I read more about how the population of the Western world is getting fatter despite us eating less fat, and how it's not fat that is the culprit but sugar.

It's specifically fructose, which our body can't even recognise in order to process it, so our liver keeps on pumping out insulin and the sugar cells wander around for a bit, as lost and confused as a Geordie Shore cast member drunk after midnight in the Bigg Market, then turn to fat.

We actually only need about six teaspoons a day of the stuff but are consuming 22.

A typical fizzy drink has nine teaspoons in one can.

However, it's the things that you don't think it's in that are scary.

Many low-fat foods have lots of sugar added, so a low-fat yoghurt can have six teaspoons on its own.

Ditto most "healthy" breakfast cereals. Once you start reading labels, it's in everything. However, after the initial withdrawal, I am feeling good. Apparently, it's eight times as addictive as cocaine.

I certainly felt cravings and a bit weak for the first few days, but now my tastebuds are changing. Even peas taste almost too sweet, and I've been getting very excited about avocados.

I'm also free of the mid-afternoon brain fog I used to get, and have lost a few pounds without trying.

Unfortunately, this also means I have become the sort of annoying person who wanders round the supermarket really slowly, reading everything and tutting, then walking out with a bag of organic spinach and some chia seeds.

Sugar has been called the working class woman's addiction.

But the tools suggested to treat it seem quite middle class. I found myself saying the actual sentence "I'm just letting the chia seeds soak and then I'll put the hemp powder in", this week.

I have become aspirational after all.

Oh dear.


We only need <Babout six teaspoons a day of sugar, but are consuming 22

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 29, 2015
Next Article:We're not the world's heroes; Letters.

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