When you hear the word sugar, do you start to salivate?
If so, you are not alone. You may understand that sugar is probably not the
healthiest food. Yet you might still crave it on a daily basis. This is not
at all uncommon, thanks to the fact that processed food probably
makes up the largest part of your diet.
Intentionally hidden by manufacturers behind names like agave
nectar, fruit juice, barley malt and dextrose, sugar is a prevalent but
dangerous food ingredient.
The Dangers of Sugar
Like salt, sugar addiction is rather common. Health professionals
unfortunately agree that beating a sugar addiction is just as tough as
kicking cocaine, heroin or a tobacco habit. There are neurological and
physiological processes triggered by sugar which create this powerful
addiction in some people. If sugar was not such a deadly food when
taken in excess, this would not be a problem.
You will find lists with no fewer than 76 health problems directly linked to sugar.
It is no longer argued that sugar is probably single-handedly responsible for
the obesity crisis in modern societies. From weight gain to premature
aging, promoting cancer to boosting your risk of diabetes, sugar can
be downright deadly.
Interestingly, even The World Health Organization has lowered its sugar intake
recommendations by 50%. They now suggest no more than
5% of your daily calorie intake should be delivered by sugar. What
does that mean? For the normal person it means 25 grams (roughly 6
teaspoons) of sugar per day. You may be thinking, "I am safe. I don't
add anywhere near 6 tablespoons of sugar to my food on a daily
basis." Unfortunately, you don't have to. Normal foods are so chock full of
sugar that there is a good chance you could be over the sugar RDA
without even reaching for the sugar bowl.
And that's if your following their recommendations.
6 Simple Tips For Cutting Back on Sugar
1 - Be Careful of Foods Advertised As Fat-Free
Fat, both healthy and unhealthy varieties, delivers a lot of flavor.
That's why it is used in a lot of processed foods. In an effort to eat less
fat, some people reach for fat-free foods and beverages. Make sure
you are reading your food labels when you do so. Fat is often replaced
by sugar in foods which are sold as fat-free.
2 - Learn to Read Food Labels
Panocha, refiner's syrup, Florida crystals and diastatic malt are all
deceptive efforts by food manufacturers to hide the presence of sugar.
The next time you are online, type "different names for sugar" into
your favorite search engine. Prepare to be overwhelmed. Print out this
list and keep it with you when you go shopping. Avoid these
ingredients like the plague.
3 - Skip Any Foods with Ingredients Ending in "OSE".
The last tip was a good one. But in case you get stuck shopping for
groceries and you forget your list of alternative names for sugar,
don't fear. Just skip food ingredients with an "ose" suffix. Galactose,
sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose and dextrose are all
synonyms for sugar.
4 - Cut Back on Soft Drinks and Energy Drinks
Remember earlier, when you learned your body needs no more than 6
to 9 teaspoons of daily sugar to operate properly? A single 12 ounce
can of most sodas delivers 120 to 150 calories from sugar (7 to 9
teaspoons). The sugar content in popular 8 ounce energy drinks
averages between 100 and 125 calories (6 to 7 teaspoons). This puts
you at or over your DRA of sugar after just one beverage, and does
not include sugar already found in the foods you eat.
5 – Avoid Added Sugar Altogether
Your body doesn't need you to feed it sugar. When you get ample
carbohydrates in your diet, your body uses them to manufacture
sugar. This is where you get your energy from. This is also why sugar
leads to obesity. When you get too many simple carbohydrates in your
diet, like those found in sugar, your body stores these carbs as fat. As
long as you are eating enough healthy carbohydrates, you can avoid
6 – Cut Back on the Baked Goods
Baked goods are often yummy and delicious. They are quite frequently
fluffy and airy, so you may not think they are doing that much
nutritional damage. However, traditional baked goods tend to be
extremely high in sugar and other refined carbohydrates. They can
present health problems for otherwise healthy individuals, and have
absolutely no place in your nutrition plans.