07 Mar The Dangers of Sugar
Have you ever wondered about the sugar content or hidden sugar in your favorite snacks and drinks? Take the Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha for example. It contains 660 calories, which is equivalent to 8 scoops of creamy coffee ice cream. Would you still order it now for you? Would you let your kids order it?
Some people think it’s not the same, since it’s liquid. A drink can’t have the same sugar content nor calorie count. It doesn’t make you fill full (except briefly after the sugar high you’re likely to experience).
How many of us pay attention to the ingredients of the food and drinks we order or buy? Give it a try though, you’ll be surprised. Most information is available on the internet. Sure, a vanilla latte once in a while won’t create that much damage…but one every day, added to other sources of sugar? Think about it.
The Dangers to your Health and Waistline
Sugar is highly addictive. It is loaded and hidden in almost all processed food (from cheese spread to cookies, from pretzels to soft drinks…) and contributes to obesity, cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure… not to mention extra kilos or obesity.
A few tips to guide you:
- Labels list ingredients by weight. If sugar is among the first 3 ingredients on the label, skip it.
- Avoid HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup), used in highly processed food (including bread and other staples) to sweeten it and added to other types of sugar.
- Sugar comes under different names (dextrose, glucose etc).
Here is an example:
Sugar is listed as the second ingredient (so this product should be avoided anyway), but on top of it, there are HFCS, mono and diglycerides, all different types of sugar. Add a coffee drink (with cream or ice cream) to one or two wafers; can you imagine how much sugar is dumped in your system?
- Avoid low fat products as the loss of flavor is often compensated by a sugar boost. This does not apply to plain dairy products though.
As a conclusion, we all need sugar, but in moderation and under its natural form if possible: honey, dark chocolate, fruit and fruit juice. Limit your sugar intake and if need be, have it in the morning (it gives your body more time to process it then later in the afternoon or evening). Combine sugar and fibers (an apple is perfect) as it slows down the sugar release in your body.
As Oscar Wilde said, and I could not agree more, “Everything in Moderation including Moderation.”