24/07/2014 08:17 BST | Updated 23/09/2014 06:59 BST

A Balanced Diet Is Low in Sugars....Surely?

All things in moderation. All things in balance. Right?

But what if our balanced diet, as suggested by official dietary guidelines, was actually not that balanced but high in sugars?

Well, if we accept that all carbohydrates are broken down into sugars by digestion then our balanced diet is starting to look a bit unbalanced.

NHS dietary guidelines begin with the recommendations to eat:

"Plenty of fruit and vegetables,plenty of starchy foods, such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta"

All the above, if the vegetables are starchy, are broken down into sugars. Add fruit juice and cereals, which are sugars too and you might start to question the effective balance in your diet.

If, at the same time as eating these sugars you are cutting back on meat and fatty foods ( which is the accepted pattern), it is very likely that your diet is anything but balanced. It would be high in sugars. Eating less of one thing usually means we eat more of another, we naturally compensate. The plate of food must not have a gap!

This is where moderation gets even more difficult.

Carbohydrates tend to increase our hunger due to the insulin-stimulating effect of blood sugar. Also our ability to binge on them is much higher than on fatty foods. How much pure butter could you eat compared with an unlimited supply of cakes, ice cream, chips, chocolates etc?

Is this where we are going wrong?

An official 'balanced diet' packed with hunger inducing sugars.

Is this a recipe for obesity?


We could continue, it has been about 25 years now, to suggest to the overweight that they exercise more and eat less.... but for how long?