Sugar is one of those controversial topics when it comes to our health. Naturally, it is in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, and dairy. Consuming these foods in moderation can be ok. We must be wary of added sugar. Consuming vast amounts of it is the biggest problem contributing to the sickness in our country. Did you know there is no essential sugar and no recommended amount of sugar for humans. That’s because we don’t have a requirement for sugar and carbs like we do for protein and fat.
CONSUMING TOO MUCH SUGAR
The problems occur when you consume too much—the sugar that food manufacturers add to their products to increase the flavor and extend shelf life. The top sources of include soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, and most processed foods. These added sugars can even be found in items you wouldn’t think of—soups, breads, ketchup, bacon.
We know the impact that it has on obesity and diabetes, but a high sugar intake can have dramatic effects on the heart as well. It is the most inflammatory substance we can eat. In one study, an association was found between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of dying from heart disease. In simply terms, the higher the intake, the higher the risk for heart disease. Consuming too much can raise blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation, which are both pathways to heart disease.
HOW MUCH IS OKAY?
There isn’t much talk about how much is okay in your diet. Why is that? Well, this is because it is not a required nutrient in your diet at all. Therefore, no formal number has been issued for sugar. The food pyramid and low fat diets have been the exact opposite of what we need to be most healthy.
WHERE ARE THOSE ADDED SUGARS?
Reading food labels can help determine where these added sugars are coming from and can help monitor and eliminate from your diet. Remember the food companies don’t want you to see SUGAR on the label. There are over 56 alternate names for it just to fool you. Try to cut back on the following ingredients:
Brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert, malt, molasses, syrup molecules ending in “ose” ( dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose).
On the label, the total also includes what is added. It is important to note the serving size on the box, because when you think you are only consuming 5 grams, the serving size could be 4 and thus you would consume 20 grams instead. As we all know, labels can be very misleading.
DANGERS OF TOO MUCH SUGAR:
All of the following have been linked to a high-sugar intake:
- Weight gain
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Increased risk of Cancer
- Increased risk of depression
- May accelerate the skin aging process
- Drains your energy
- Dental issues
Sugar is very bittersweet. It’s enjoyable in the moment, but over time can lead to very serious consequences.
For more information please contact Premier Health and Wellness by visiting the site or by contacting the staff at (512) 459-4405.