Sugar consumption can lead to various and serious health risks. We all know that soda, candy, and all other junk food are on the no-go list. The problem is there are a lot of sugars hidden even in the foods believed to contain less of it. For example, whole-wheat bread, which is seen as a healthy alternative, has the same amount of sugar as white bread. And that can be misleading to consumers, posing a danger in itself.
Bottom line is that sugar makes food taste better. For most processed foods, when fat is reduced or deleted from the equation, sugar is added to make an otherwise bland and unpalatable food, taste better. Since sweetness is one of the primary tastes that our mind is accustomed to, our brain is tricked into thinking that low-fat foods taste almost the same or even better than its original version. What many consider to be wholesome and healthy, have more sugar content than what you imagine.
Sugar is also a natural preservative. It should not come as a surprise that this component is added to canned food like canned tomatoes, corn, bell peppers to help increase its shelf life. Next time you think that canned goods are cheaper or not different than the fresh variety, take a closer look at the label and don’t be surprised to find a lot of sugar content in it.
Why you should avoid them
Recent studies have looked at the impact of added sugars and it is definitely not good. It can put you at risk of high blood pressure, and promote inflammation, which is not good for the heart either. Depending on our lifestyle and especially for the ones a bit more sedentary, the risk of developing diabetes, obesity, and heart problems are much higher. Also, the more sugar you eat, the more bacterias that cause tooth decay will be in your mouth too. And that goes for all sugary foods.
If you look into these foods high in sugar content, you might also notice that's something else missing: nutrition. It's just a bunch of empty calories that are not making you any healthier. It also does not give the feeling of satiety, causing you to crave for more sugar. And that is a vicious and addictive cycle.
Watch out - it often comes in disguise.
If you are not sure if what you are eating is filled with hidden sugars, check the nutrition labels. It is already required by law these days for manufacturers to disclose what the nutritional content of their products is. As responsible consumers, it is our job to check what we eat. And remember that sugar can come disguised using different names. Common words used are sucrose, glucose, fructose, and many more.
The limits of the law do not require food manufacturers to distinguish between an added sugar to the ones that are occurring and converted naturally in food. A food label can be confusing so you should also be aware that the best way to gauge the sugar content on a food label is to zero in on the carbohydrate content. That will be the best way to determine how much sugar is actually in your food.
We can agree that sugar can be harmful to anyone's health. Creating awareness of what we put in into our bodies can save us a lot of problems down the road. We mean it. Also, not just for yourself, if you are a mom and dad, you can start today having more control of what your family eats on a daily basis. Awareness of the detriments of sugar lurking in food is the first step towards a healthy lifestyle. It will pay off, we promise!
But wait, that does not mean that you need to live a bitter life without cakes and cookies. What you need is to get a bit more creative in the kitchen and add sugar substitutes to your favorite recipes. Or look for sugar alternatives in products at your local supermarket!
We made a list of our favorite sugar substitutes which you can find here.