Are you sweet enough?
Most of the sugar that we consume in our diet is in the form of fructose. Fructose is found in fruit and in small amounts is quite good for you. Sugar which is made from sugar cane or sugar beet consists mainly of fructose and glucose.
Glucose is metabolised by all the cells of the body but fructose is processed mainly in the liver. If you eat too much sugar in quickly digested forms such as soft drinks, sweets etc the liver produces fats called triglycerides. Some of this fat stays in the liver and over time helps the liver turn fatty and dysfunctional. A lot of these triglycerides also get pushed into the blood which in time causes the blood pressure to increase and makes the body more resistance to insulin. This in turn means that the body has to produce more insulin and it becomes a vicious circle.
Eventually a condition called metabolic syndrome occurs and this is characterised by obesity, especially around the waist, high blood pressure and an increase in the danger of type 2 diabetes and heart attack.
Unfortunately a large number of our foods contain large amounts of sugar as sugar not only sweetens food but is also a preservative. For a long time there has been a myth that fats cause obesity so the food industry has introduced fat- free or low fat foods. Guess what? When they take out fat they replace it with sugar!! It’s not fat that causes obesity, it’s SUGAR!
The recommended limit per day of sugar is:
Men – 37.8 g
Women – 25.2 g
Here are some facts about the amount of sugar in some of your food:
White bread – 1.4 g per slice
Coca Cola – 33.3 g per can
Tomato Sauce – 7.5 g per teaspoon
Oreo cookies – 3.5 g per cookie
Low fat yogurt – 25.9 g per 200 g
As you can see it is easy to exceed the daily limits of sugars without even dipping into the sugar bowl. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to reduce your sugar intake, look at the sugar content of foods before you buy them.
Source: National Geographic August 2013