The global community is becoming more aware of the health risks posed by hidden sugars in our diets. The near-ubiquitous ingredient found in everything from pasta sauces to mayonnaise has made headlines and been discussed. This seemingly harmless sweet treat has raised eyebrows among community groups and policymakers alike. Change is in the wind.
Review some of the headlines that have been sugar-coated in the last 12 months.
More than 2/3 of Australian adults and 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese.
Sugary drinks are now associated with obesity, diabetes type 2, heart disease, dental caries, and even lower fertility.
Sugary drinks are responsible for up to 15% of the health costs associated with obesity.
Around the world, many countries have taken sound policies to reduce sugar intake in their citizens. France, Belgium, Finland, Chile, UK, Ireland, South Africa, South Africa, and many areas of the United States have implemented, continued, or planned to implement pricing policies for sugary beverages.
The overconsumption and abuse of sugar has become a global public health issue. It’s now time to turn big words into action. Here are seven tips for breaking up with the sugar addiction in 2017.
Sugar can be confusing. Here, I’ll clarify some of the most common misconceptions about sugar. But first, let’s review it in its simplest form.
Sugar is a refined carbohydrate that provides calories to our diet. Our body uses sugar and other sources as energy. Any sugar not used will be stored as fat either in the liver or our stomach.
“Free Sugars” are sugars that we or the manufacturer add to the product or concentrate in it. Sugars from whole fruits and veggies are not included, but we’ll get to that later. World Health Organization advises that we only consume 5% of daily calories as sugar for a variety of reasons. This translates to an average adult man or woman consuming no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. That’s about six teaspoons. Women are allowed a bit less.
If you consume more than that, your risk of developing health problems increases.
Quit soft drinks
Soft drinks are not “soft”. They contain 16 teaspoons of added sugar per bottle – more than 64 grams. Sugary drinks include all carbonated beverages, flavored drinks, and energy drinks that contain added sugars, as well as juices and fruit drinks. Sugary drinks are high in calories and have no nutritional value.
Evidence also suggests that our brains do not recognize calories from sugary drinks in the same manner as they would with food. These drinks don’t help us to feel “full” and may even make us more hungry. Liquid calories are more harmful than junk food in this regard. Additionally to this, studies suggesting that sugary drinks are hard to stop drinking because of the sugar rush and pleasure they provide. It’s easy to understand why we drink more and consume larger portions. It also makes it harder to cut back.
Sugary drinks could account for up to a seventh or more of the total public cost of obesity. Cut out Sugary Drinks and You’ll Do Yourself a Favor – as well as the Health of Our Federal and State Budgets.
- Fruit is best eaten, not juice
Fruit sugars that are wrapped in a skin or peel do not pose a health risk. Nature uses sugars to encourage us to eat fruit. Oranges, apples and pear contain fibres that are important. This fibre, also known as “roughage”, is good for us in many ways. I’ll focus on three of them. It slows down our eating. It is easier to drink the juice from seven apples than to eat them whole. It makes us feel satiated or full. Third, it allows our bodies to use energy and react appropriately by slowing the release of sugars from fruit.
In contrast, juice removes most of these fibres, and some important vitamins. We don’t lose the sugar, which is 21 grams in each glass.
Eat fruit with confidence as a snack. Enjoy whole fruit and not juice.
- Sugar by any name
sugar is what high-fructose Corn Syrup, malt Sugar, invert Sugar, and molasses all refer to.
Sugar companies are finding new ways to confuse the public and to make it difficult to break up. The industry uses alternative names to sugar instead of using the word’s.’ Look out for:
Fruit juice concentrate, dextrose, golden syrup and more…
- Whole foods are best when possible
Many foods, including tomato sauce, mayonnaise and salad dressings as well as taco sauces, biscuits, breakfast cereals, gravies, salad dressings and even salad dressings are now laced with sugar.
research revealed that 74% packaged foods sold in an American supermarket contained added sugar. There is no evidence that Australia’s situation would be any different. The sugar is added to food in order to make it more tasty and appealing. To avoid this ubiquitous additive, eat entire foods.
Sugar is hard to disguise in flour, tomatoes, or frozen peas. It is important to cook and buy whole foods, not processed products, in order to avoid adding sugars.