Beware of Lurking Hidden Sugars!

Oh, sugar! Friend and foe!

Our bodies break down food into the simplest form of sugar, glucose, to provide energy.

Many of our foods already contain naturally occurring sugars. Think of your fruits: grapes, apples, peaches, blueberries…
Regular sugar comes in many forms that you’ve probably seen in various aisles of your local grocery store: refined white sugar, light and dark brown sugar, raw sugar, powdered sugar, molasses, and others. These are sugars that you consciously add to your foods.
In addition to these sugars, there are other sweeteners that you may also regularly use as an alternative: honey, agave, corn syrup, maple syrup, molasses, and other natural or synthetic artificial sweeteners.

But there are also hidden sugars in your foods. Food manufacturers often use sugar as a filler and a binding agent in the recipes. If you purchase prepackaged foods, then most likely you are consuming hidden sugars.

Obvious examples include soda, cookies, candy, and other desserts. But what about other things that you eat: ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, salsa, energy drinks, canned or bottled coffee or tea, frozen dinners, cereals, pastas, granola, flavored yogurt, dried fruit.
So how do you know if there are hidden sugars in your foods? If it is prepackaged or already prepared foods, you can assume that there are hidden or added sugars.

While the USDA Dietary Guidelines and the Choose My Plate do not address sugars, the American Heart Association recommends the following daily sugar consumption not to exceed  the following:
Female 100 calories 6 teaspoons 24 grams
Male 150 calories 9 teaspoons 36 grams
When tracking your sugar consumption, you must factor in the hidden sugars in your food choices. This will mean reading nutrition labels. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  has conducted extensive research which has resulted in a revision of nutrition labels to include an added sugar category.
Food manufacturers have 2-3 years to comply with updating their nutrition labels. In the meantime, how will you identify added sugars: examine the ingredients list on the nutrition label. While natural sugars aren’t listed, below are some common sugar or sweetener terms:

Sugar Terms Technical or scientific sugar terms
(usually with “sugar” or “syrup”) (ending in  -ose or -ide)
brown sugar dextrose
cane sugar fructose
raw sugar lactose
beet sugar maltose
confectioners sugar galactose
corn syrup sucrose
high fructose corn syrup ribose
malt syrup saccharose
rice syrup glucose

Sugar Alcohols Artificial Sweeteners
erythritol Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet, Canderel)
glycol Acesulfame-K (Acesulfame potassium)
glycerin Saccharin (Sweet-n-Low
iditol Sucralose (Splenda)
isomalt Stevia* (Sweetleaf, Truvia)
lacitol *Stevia is natural in its raw form, but is often contains other fillers)

With the excessive amounts of hidden sugars and sweeteners in our foods, our bodies have been trained to crave sweeter foods. This can be detrimental to our overall health by creating an biological addiction which can lead to other devastating health issues such as diabetes and liver failure.
Grocery Store Golden Rule:  If it’s pre-made or prepackaged, it probably has added sugars. 
Contact the experts at the Metabolic Medical Centers to discuss your personal sugar consumption levels, and to determine the best course of action to reduce your sugar intake.

No comments:

Post a Comment