Why eat foods that have an extended shelf life but extend your waistline?
A Sugar Epidemic
You’d be surprised to find out the amount of sugar you actually consume day in and day out. It is baffling how often your sugar level roller-coaster with everything you consume. Research shows increased use of sugar in processed foods result in costly health care problems such as tooth decay, cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and obesity. Sugar is addictive; the more you have it, the more it fuels your addiction.
Once we consume sugars, our body will use it for energy or turn it into fat. When you’re used to feeding your body with sugar, your body will develop a craving for it. Natural sugars stored in fruits, vegetables and dairy products in their original state are fine to snack on. However, you need to be mindful when sugars are removed from their real source and added to foods.
Six Sugary Sins:
- You consume more sugar when you drink fruit juice rather than eating the fruit, as juicing annihilates all the fibre that was supposed to slow down the absorption.
- Sugar is disguised under 61 different names on food labels including cheeky names, e.g. ‘cane crystals’ and ‘honey’.
- Any names on the ingredients list that has a ‘ose’ at the end, chances are they’re all sugars.
- Sugar is a form of preservative and is a flavour enhancer.
- On the nutrition panel, ‘carbs as sugars’ under 5g per 100g is okay; anything above 22.5g per 100g raises red flags.
- Sugar levels in a low-fat food such as low-fat frozen yogurt sextuples the sugar levels in a full fat food such as ice cream.
Know What You Drink
Soft drinks, yogurt drinks, energy drinks, coffee drinks and fruit drinks are notoriously loaded with sugar. In fact, many fruit juices on the shelf don’t even contain 100% fruit juice.
The problem is you perceive these drinks as harmless “empty calories” and not as a sinful treat. According to the World Health Organisation journals and other health publications, you do not need a single spoon of sugar in your diet.
If you’re a fan of sugary drinks, make a list and create a plan for healthy substitutes.
Cut Back On Junk Food
The term ‘junk food’ speaks for itself. They are non-nutritious food; the stuff of cakes and cookies to crisps and candy bars. Even seemingly healthy items such as cereal bars, nut bars, yogurt bars, and crackers can be bad for you.
Many convenience foods such as processed foods, canned foods, microwave meals and ready-meals contain little nutritional value, large amounts of fats, sodium and sugar.
The American Heart Association mentioned that maximum daily sugar intake for women is six teaspoons and for men is nine teaspoons. A single serve tub of low-fat strawberry yoghurt meets your daily limit.
If you’re fond of snacks, then nibble sensibly on foods that have natural sugars such as fruits. They are rich in nutrients and keep you full for longer.
The Devil Is In The Details
Salad dressings and sauces like ketchup and barbecue sauce may seem harmless, only adding flavour to your food. In hindsight, these add-ons can increase sugar intake to your meal. It is better to make your own sauce and dressing than to purchase it.
“Diet” foods labeled as “low-fat,” “diet,” or “no-fat” are the worst offenders. They merely substitute the fat content with more carbs and possibly contain dangerous levels of sugar.
There are also sugar-free products that cater to those who are diabetic. Consume them with caution as they may still contain fast-metabolising carbohydrates.
So, there you have it, my top three points against an affair with sugar. If you want to live longer, give up sugar (perhaps not entirely, as a small quantity is fine). “What am I supposed to eat now?”
First of all, don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork. Eat more wholesome food and less processed food. Your blood sugar level would do better with water over junk food and fizzy drinks any day.
I challenge you to break up your personal relationship with sugar.
Are you game?
I’d love to hear about your pre- and post-breakup stories. How did you do it? How do you cope?
Share your own experience below and help others in need today!