9 SURPRISING SECRETS OF SUGAR

dietcherry
By dietcherry Latest Reply 2013-05-05 05:02:17 -0500
Started 2012-01-07 13:40:59 -0600

Our foods are loaded with sugar so its no surprise we're eating way too much of it. If you cant stop craving the sweet stuff, you may have a sugar addiction. This can have serious implications for your health and your waistline. Read on to get the hard facts about sugar.

SUGARS RISKS ARE ANYTHING BUT SWEET

Excess sugar cause weight gain and tooth decay but whats more is that it also increases your risk for T2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and especially fatty liver. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added a sugar a day for women and 9 a day for men, but most Americans consume 22 teaspoons daily. Rule of thumb: take the number of grams of sugar per serving in your food and divide by 4—thats how many teaspoons youre getting.

SUGAR COMES WITH UNHEALTHY FRIENDS

High-sugar foods often bring bad friends with it, including refined flour, which lacks fiber and other nutrients. Foods with a lot of added sugar also usually contain unhealthy saturated and perhaps even trans fats, which are bad for the heart and possible high in calories.

FRUIT ISNT ALWAYS A GO

Although fruit is good for us, it contains naturally-occurring fructose and glucose. Many of our fruits are now much larger in size than they used to be so a serving now may only be half a piece of fruit.

HONEY ISNT A PERFECT NATURAL SUGAR

Although it has health benefits beyond those of ordinary sugar, including the ability to boost immunity, aid digestion, and reduce inflammation, it still has a relatively high glycemic index value, which is a standardized indicator of a foods carbohydrates, 52 versus sugar's 65. Raw and unfiltered honeys contain high amounts of antioxidants and most people can eat without a problem, however its still recommended that diabetics avoid it.

SUGAR SUBSTITUTES ARE SWEETER THAN SUGAR

Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes and sweeter than sugar. In the Unites States, there are 6 that are FDA-approved: acesulfame potassium, aspartame, neotame, saccharine, stevia, and sucralose. Interestingly, sugar substitutes wont necessarily lead to weight-loss. For example, aspartame-sweetened diet soda has consistently been linked to obesity and risk for metabolic syndrome.

THE NEWEST SUGAR SUBSTITUTE MIGHT BE THE BEST

Stevia, made from the leaves of the stevia plant, has garnered quite a following from the diet community because its thought to be an all-natural alternative to chemical sweeteners, and can be used safely in moderate or small amounts.

APPLESAUCE MIGHT BE THE BETTER SUBSTITUTE

Try all-natural applesauce in place of sugar to add sweetness without the high glucose level or artificial sweeteners. Similarly, you can use an equal amunt of applesauce in place of oil in recipes to cut down on calories and fat.

HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP GETS A BAD RAP

Its taken a lot of heat as a serious health risk thanks to its presence in many processed foods, but some experts think its no worse than table sugar. They both contain similar caloric content and mixtures of glucose and fructose and are metabolized similarly in the body, therefore some scientists and respected authorative bodies agree they are nutritionally equivalent. Still, this is a hotly debated topic and other researchers remain unconvinced.

SUGAR IN YOUR BLOODSTREAM PUTS YOUR HEALTH IN DANGER

Glucose, the name given to sugar when its in your bloodstream, is essential to your body and its cells. The health problems occur when you get too much. Anytime your blood sugar spikes above 120 mg/dL, your pancreas over-releases insulin and this causes your body to shift into fat-storing mode. The more blood sugar spikes you have, the more fat you store and this can lead to an onslaught of health challenges, including obesity, heart disease, and T2 diabetes.


19 replies

meoweeee
meoweeee 2013-05-05 05:02:17 -0500 Report

stevia is by far the safest sweetener- use only pure stevia extract without glycerin or maltodextrin. aspartame is dangerous, sucralose is also dangerous and will spike your bg, sugar alcohols also spike bg and are laxatives. berries are the best fruits to eat, high in fiber and low in sugar/carbs.

p@trick
p@trick 2012-01-10 09:46:07 -0600 Report

one thing i would point out is that, even though stevia is great…it can cause diarrhea in some people, plus it can have a licorice-like aftertaste which doesn't always taste good in things like coffee, baked goods, soda/pop, etc. i use it (the branded version of truvia), quite a bit. but i don't discount sucralose (splenda). it has had over 100 safety studies done on it, and is approved in over 60 countries globally. stevia, as of yet, has not been as rigorously tested, nor is it approved so expansively. just thoughts. i'm a freelance medical writer as a side gig, and i have a lot of stats floating up in my head…

Dixiemom
Dixiemom 2012-01-07 18:44:02 -0600 Report

I would suggest eating minimal sugar and low carbs. Complex carbs, such as beans , are the way to go. I don't agree with everything in the article but the concept of cutting back or going without is good.

besther414
besther414 2012-01-07 17:41:20 -0600 Report

I am doing a sugar free challenge for the month of Jan. I haven't had anything with added sugar since the first. The only thing I miss is coffee and that is because I like sweet and creamy. I rather do without than drink it black!!! YUCK!!! LOL!!! I will probably continue to be sugar free after Jan. Dietcherry, how do you handle eating out or having meals at a friends house?

pixsidust
pixsidust 2012-01-07 19:35:16 -0600 Report

Eating out I see if a menu can be found online with the nutritional values of just the menu. I can ponder the best choices ahead of time. At a friends house I would just ask what the menu is so you can plan accordingly. many times you can substitute and modify. Order a burger with the works, toss the buns or order without. Replace fries with a salad or hot veggie

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-01-07 19:49:15 -0600 Report

Ask for Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil in separate cruets when in a restaurant. This way you don't get a premixed version that contains sugar. Personally, I usually just use the vinegar since it drops my BG and counteracts anything else that I might eat when I really should not.

dietcherry
dietcherry 2012-01-07 18:16:26 -0600 Report

Its actually not that difficult to eat out; I order meat and vegetables without any sauces, which are usually LOADED with sugar, and skip dessert. Ive had D for almost 32 years so my peeps know if theyre inviting me to dinner, they better have a D-friendly menu!!
I wish you much luck with your sugar-free challenge; you can do it and you will be so much healthier for it!!!!!!

pixsidust
pixsidust 2012-01-07 16:30:26 -0600 Report

Where do you get this good stuff? Thanks for being on the look out for it and always sharing

dietcherry
dietcherry 2012-01-07 18:12:23 -0600 Report

This was excerpted from Everyday Health; my bad for leaving that out :(