Add Life to your health, not Sugar!

By HealthSignz | Published: May 13th, 2016

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Eating a healthy and well balanced diet that is loaded with nutrients remains a challenge with our fast paced lives. However, one nutrient that we are consuming unhealthy amounts of is sugar. Knowing how much sugar there is in the food we eat will help us control our sugar intake.

Added sugars include glucose, fructose and sucrose added to foods and drinks and those naturally present in syrups, honey and fruit juice. Fresh fruits, vegetables and milk contain natural sugars. There is no evidence associating the consumption of these sugars with any adverse effects. Though the cells in our body need sugar to stay alive, excessive consumption of added sugars increases the risk of poor dental health and tooth decay, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and several different health problems. Besides, it contains no beneficial nutrients and comprises just empty calories that lead to weight gain.

Too many products have sugar added to them, which is why knowing what we are consuming is vital for our health. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that both children and adults reduce their sugar consumption to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% is associated with additional health benefits. Since a single teaspoon of sugar is around 4 grams, reducing daily sugar consumption to 5% of daily energy intake would be around 6 teaspoons of sugar.

Due to its high sugar content, chocolate should always be considered as an occasional treat. Drinking more than one soft drink a day increases the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Though breakfast cereals have positioned themselves to provide child-centric nutrition, they have 56% more sugar, 50% more sodium and half as much fibre. While sugary sports drinks are promoted as essential for athletic performance, consumers need to understand that exercise may not protect them from the negative effects of the excessive sugar in these products. Only those without real athletic aspirations drink them while working out.

Too many people are consuming far too many calories from added sugars. Most of the total caloric intake in adults is from sources such as added sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Excessive fructose consumption and an insufficient intake of fibre seem to be responsible for the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin. Sugar is damaging people’s health and leading to an increased incidence of diet related disease.

Food labels need to include information about the amount of added sugar and not list just the total sugar per serving. Determining the amount of added sugars in processed foods and beverages is virtually impossible, which is why it is best that we stop buying and consuming these products. Natural sugar alone is harmless and actually has real health benefits.

About the author

HealthSignz

We are a team of professionals with a significant level of expertise spanning multiple disciplines for over four decades. Identifying health and wellness as the primary factors that drive liveliness in individuals, lead to the integration of our knowledge with our common values – the result is HealthSignz (HS). Driven by passion to contribute to the advancement of the happiness quotient and well being of communities as a whole, we are here to touch as many lives as possible by enriching them with HS.