We all love it; that sinfully delectable melt in your mouth taste of sweetness but beware the dangers of sugar in all its forms can be summed up in the following headlines:
Health Headlines: Toxic Sugar – Some experts want sugar treated like tobacco
Sugar Warning on ‘Healthy’ Drinks
Is Sugar Toxic? Should the FDA add warnings to High Fructose Corn Syrup?
While there are many ongoing studies into the serious issue of added sugars in the foods we eat; there is no debate over many of the health risks associated with sugars. Sugar plays a significant role in diseases like Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension and Heart Disease.
One in four Canadians are obese and while there are many foods that contribute to this, there is no question that sugars are a big contributor to the problem. With an emphasis on decreasing fat content in the foods we eat, sugar has become more prevalent which is equally or more dangerous. Sugar in processed foods being the most serious link to health issues.
Sugar is so prominent in our diets that research shows we are consuming about 20% of our calories from sugar. It occurs naturally in fruit but is added to many other foods we eat including bread, milk, cereal and beverages. In order to dupe savvy label readers, food manufacturers are hiding sweetness in ingredient lists by adding multiple sugar sources to avoid listing sugar as one of the main ingredients in foods.
Here are some of the many ‘disguises’ for added sugars: honey, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, galactose, lactose, polydextrose, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltodextrin and turbinado sugar.
The best way to avoid these disease causing ingredients is to eat natural whole foods like fish, organic meats, vegetables, fruits and nuts and avoid prepackaged foods as much as possible. Stevia is a natural organic sweetener that does not typically spike blood sugars and can be used as an occasional alternative.
To limit temptations in the grocery store, stick to a shopping list and shop the perimeter of the grocery store avoiding the inner ‘danger’ aisles.
Remember; You only have one life to live; make it SO Full of LIFE!
Next time: Food Labels…are you confused?