The Truth About Sugar

Do you wonder why we are told that too much sugar is not good for us?  I’m not sure about you but when I do indulge in sugar in the form of candy or cake, it seems I cannot get enough of it – almost like an addiction.  So many times, I find that after I have the first piece, I continue picking at whatever it is until it’s gone. That right there is a huge motivator for me to keep items that contain sugar out of my house – I just do not have the self-control to just eat one piece.

Sugar is not good fuel for our bodies for a variety of reasons including:

  • Sugar does not contain any essential nutrients. What this means is that sugar has empty calories and does not fuel our bodies.
  • Sugar causes insulin resistance which is a precursor to diabetes.
  • Sugar contributes to obesity.  The reason is that over time, our bodies are not satisfied with the sugar we are giving it in the form of sodas, candy and many other products. This then causes us to consume MORE of these products containing sugar!

According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day for men is 150 calories which is 9 teaspoons. For women 100 calories per day which is 6 teaspoons. That may sound okay until you start reading labels and see how much sugar is in the food already without you adding more.

The thing is that you may not even be aware of sugar hidden in many of the foods you eat.  You know there is sugar in the sodas and cookies you eat but what about pasta sauce? Bread? Salad dressing? Even kids yogurt?  We think that having a salad with dressing and yogurt as our dessert is a healthy lunch right? Not always.

Researches at the University of North Carolina conducted a survey on the labels of prepackaged foods. A whopping 60% of these foods contained added sugar in one form or another – could be sugar, glucose, fructose and corn syrup. This percentage goes up even higher when they looked at individual processed foods.

Some of the foods that contain added sugar may be obvious to you but unfortunately many others are not.  You may find added sugar in soups, fruit juices, sauces and even some meat products. Yes you read that right – meat products.  Scary right?

Unfortunately, there are many other ways that manufacturers put sugar into our foods.  You may think you’re making smart choices in the organic section of your grocery store but unless you take the time to actually read the label, you may still be getting too much sugar.  Words that mean added sugar include: agave juice, confectioners, cane syrup, sorghum, sweetener, rice syrup, granular are just the tip of the iceberg.

The goal of the majority of food manufacturers is to make food taste good so that you buy it. They’re not really concerned with your health. To them it’s all about the bottom line.  The two things you can do to limit sugar in your diet is first choose to eat clean and select real food as close to it’s original source as possible (apple over apple juice).  Second before you put a product into your shopping cart, Google or research any ingredient you are not familiar with.  This way you can make sure you are purchasing the best products for you and your family.

To your health,