What About Sugar?

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July 21, 2017

What About Sugar?

A cup of sugar cubes alongside the word "Sugar?"

Some of us are beginning to realize we need to understand what role sugar plays in our diet. Even if you are not trying to lose weight it is important to understand how sugar affects our health.

The World Health Organization has recommended that for optimal health we should restrict our added free sugar intake to 25 grams per day. But what are “added sugars”? Well, those are sugars that are removed from their original source and added to foods as a sweetener or preservative for longer shelf life.  Understand that sugars naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables and dairy are not bad but too much is not good for you either.

Remember this, sugars  naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables and dairy are okay  but sugars removed from their original source and added to foods, need to be watched.

Sometimes sugars are removed from their original source and added to foods usually as a sweetener or as a preservative for longer shelf life. When reading a label, it’s important to check the ingredients list and look out for any added  sugars. Some companies will confuse you by listing added sugar as other names like ‘evaporated cane juice’ or ‘organic palm sugar’. Do not be fooled. These are still an added sugar  and often contain fructose as a sweetener. Fructose is what makes foods sweet. Fructose is found in fruit (and a small amount in vegetables) but there is a big difference when we eat it in fruit and veggies. Fructose in fruit is encased in fibre which hugely affects its metabolism in our bodies. The fibre helps to slow down the absorption and so it doesn’t get fast, direct access to the liver like it does when it is an added sugar. When  it is able to access the liver very quickly, there is no regulation process for it so it rapidly gets turned into fat. This process is greatly affected and halted when the fructose is absorbed with the fibre of the fruit. Therefore, it is better to eat fruit than foods with added sugar.

Lactose, sometimes called milk sugar, is a white crystalline disaccharide in milk. Some people are intolerant to lactose and need to watch their intake. The  two sugars that make up lactose are healthy sugars. (glucose and galactose) Glucose is a natural sugar that the body needs.  However, too much sugar is not good for you in any form. That is just one reason it is important for us to eat a well balanced and healthy diet.

If you are ready to become the healthiest  you can be and still not sure what to do it is time for you to check out WeightoWellness. The professional health care staff there can help you with meal planning and an exercise program suited just for your needs.