Will You Make a Change4Life with Sugar Swaps?

Those of you living in Wales might have noticed that your TV's, street billboards and the sides of buses have been taken over by some friendly looking characters who represent the Change4Life sugar swaps campaign. Change4Life is a public health programme designed to help us make smart decisions when it comes to our diets and living a healthy and active lifestyle. As an athlete I understand how important it is to have the right balance of nutrition in your diet in order to perform. But as someone with diabetes I also fully understand how difficult it can be to avoid high sugar foods in your diet, as it can often feel like they're everywhere. This is the reason why I sent off for my Change4Life sugar swaps pack, to get some inspiration for some tasty low sugar food alternatives that don't contain heaps of sugar but that are still enjoyable to eat.

(Image: Sugarswaps.change4life.co.uk)

You might be wondering why if sugar is in so many of our foods it's such a big problem? But when we eat more sugar than we need to and this is something that applies to both people with diabetes and without, the sugar we don't use as energy gets stored as excess fat in our bodies which can lead to further complications including putting on weight. Obesity is one of the key indicators for someone who is at risk of type 2 diabetes, which can be preventable with the right diet and exercise. At the time of writing this blog 353,124 people had already signed up for the sugar swaps programme so this is definitely a concern at the heart of the nation. Signing up to start sugar swapping is a really easy process, you can sign up online and on doing so you also get a fantastic free pack sent to you in the post to help to get you started.

When I signed up my pack arrived within days and I was really impressed by what came with it. Inside my pack I received money off vouchers to help me save whilst shopping for my new 'lower sugar' products which was something I wasn't expecting. I got a fridge magnet to put on my fridge which has a whole list of foods and drink suggestions about what to swap from and to. I should also mention that when you sign up for Sugar Swaps you get to choose which type of sugar swaps you'd like to try. For example, I decided to put down that I'd like sugar swap suggestions for a healthier school day meal plan. The reason I chose this swap was because having mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks can be an important part of the day for someone with diabetes, as a healthy snack between meal times can help keep your blood sugars stable, helping to prevent hypos.

My Change4Life Sugar Swaps Pack

In my sugar swaps pack I also received a brightly coloured and well illustrated booklet to use as a 'family friendly guide to eating less sugar'. I enjoyed reading the booklet because it tells you exactly what you need to know about making sugar swaps and it also included tasty looking recipes to try making for myself. It's also got some interesting pictures which could be used to talk to children about sugar, which show how many sugar cubes go into one of their favourite snacks. Which is especially important because helping children understand why they're sugar swapping now, could help them avoid conditions such as type 2 diabetes in the future. I've also been really surprised about all of the support Change4Life sugar swaps provide in helping you to make the switch. I get emails asking me how I'm getting on and they're on Twitter and Facebook where they share posts with helpful hints and tips on sugar swapping too. So good luck with your sugar swapping and I'll keep you updated on my sugar swapping progress!

                                   Other Ways to Help You Make a Healthy Change4Life
(Image: Change4life.co.uk)


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Meet The Author

My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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