The Sweet Truth About Sweet Foods
The belief according that we must absolutely eat sugar for fear of lacking energy is false. The reality is that we consume way too much sugar, as white sugar (saccharose) is being added to almost all processed foods and because of a pronounced weakness in most people for a “little sweet taste”. White sugar supplies calories without providing the system with any nutritious substance. To be able to use white sugar, the system must draw from its own reserve of nutritious elements. This phenomenon is at root of a number of health problems.
On average, we consume around 13 teaspoons of sugar every day-the equivalent of 24 bags of sugar every year. Aside from causing obesity and dental decay, overloading on the sweet stuff can lead to a wide range of serious health problems from diabetes to heart disease. If you think you may be addicted to sugar, now’s the time to wise up and break the habit.
Check food labels thoroughly. Here are several names used on labels to identify the sugars that should be avoided: white sugar, soft brown sugar, brown sugar, glucose, fructose, sucrose and maltose.
White sugar does not provide the system with anything of value. The nutritious value of white sugar is almost nil. White sugar contains no vitamins, no fats, no mineral, no proteins or fibre. Eliminate white sugar from your diet. The less white sugar you eat, the better your health will be. Get the sugar that you need from fruits, vegetables, whole grain pasta and whole grain bread.
Become Sugar Aware
Leading nutritionist Ian Marber says: “To become more sugar aware, try and avoid all sugar for two weeks. Eliminate sugar from tea and coffee, don’t eat sweets or chocolate and say no to desserts. After the two weeks, try eating a spoonful of white sugar-the taste will seem overpoweringly sweet and if should turn you off sugar for a while.”
- Chocolates and sweets are the worst offenders. Try to limit them and choose smaller servings.
- A 500 ml glass of cola contains a massive 21 cubes of sugar. Instead drink water-aim for eight to ten glasses a day-or herbal tea.
- Don’t overdo fruit juice which is very high in sugar. Always dilute with water.
- Check carbohydrate content of food to see how much is from sugar and how much is from starch.
- Avoid high-sugar refined carbohydrates. Choose slow-release energy foods such as wholewheat pasta, citrus fruit and most vegetables to help keep your insulin levels under control.
- Avoid pastries, cakes and biscuits which are high in sugar and instead choose low-sugar options such as bagels, a couple of oatcakes, a bowl of natural yogurt.
- Savoury foods can be high in sugar too. Ketchup, pickles and baked beans, for example, can all be high in sucrose. Check the nutritional information on the label-the sugar content should be listed. And remember that 5g of sugar equals approximately on teaspoon of sugar.