Australian actor and super healthy guy Damon Gameau has embarked on a one-man “super-size-me’ type experiment to document to impact of eating 40 teaspoons of sugar a day as part of a new documentary. Why 40 teaspoons? Apparently that’s the amount the average Australian consumes a day with nearly all of it coming hidden in processed foods – so that’s how Gameau will be eating it too. This is from I Quit Sugar…
At the time of this interview Damon is 21 days into his sugar binge. We’re catching up with him to find out a little bit more about the film and what he hopes to achieve from this potentially harmful experiment. His insights are very much in line with I Quit Sugar’s experiences and we’re excited to see the final results.
What was the catalyst that started your sugar crusade?
I noticed an immediate shift in my moods and mental clarity when I cut down on sugar. This has HUGE implications on us as a society. If we’re constantly “coming down” from a substance that we don’t even know we are consuming (i.e. hidden sugars), it certainly helps explain the grumpy man at the local deli or the odd road-rage incident.
Then there’s the figures: every day 274 Australians are diagnosed with diabetes. Twenty years ago one in 14 Australians were obese; today it’s one in five. We have eaten a low-fat diet for the past 20 years and the figures have gotten worse. Something isn’t right. Maybe it’s the sugar… I want to find out.
Why is making this film so important to you?
I am already 21 days into this experiment and I can categorically state that I am a calmer, more understanding and better person when I don’t eat sugar. What’s scary is that because most of the population have eaten sugar since childhood, they have no clue as to the type of person they might be when not under its influence.
Can you take us through an average day of meals before you started the experiment vs an average day during the experiment?
Before the experiment I would have poached eggs with avocado for breakfast, a salad sandwich and green smoothie for lunch and some chicken and vegetables for dinner. Now I’ll eat a packaged cereal and low-fat yoghurt for breakfast, Subway and an apple juice for lunch, and the same chicken and veg for dinner but add a jar of Chicken Tonight or Teriyaki sauce to get my sugar count up for the day.
I am also snacking a lot more on muesli bars and “healthy” fruit bars. I never used to snack. Sugar has increased my appetite, so it’s difficult to feel full and satiated.
Your focus is on added sugar rather than the obvious sugars. Why?
The public intuitively understand that too many ice-creams and cans of soft drink aren’t healthy, but people have no idea of just how much sugar is hidden in the foods they’re eating every day. Most people say “I don’t put sugar in my tea or coffee anymore”, what they don’t realise is that they are only eliminating two teaspoons out of a potential 30 or 35 teaspoons they are consuming in other foods and drinks…
More at: That Sugar Film
Follow Damon Gameau’s experiment on his blog