When you think about sugar what comes to mind?
For most people it is the table sugar, the type of sugar which is added to your tea or used in baking. That’s right, but there are many more, some not so healthy.
‘Sugars’ are carbohydrates present in your diet which provide fuel (energy). Some types occur naturally in fruits, vegetables and dairy. Others are added as an ingredient in a wide range of food and drinks.
The most common sugars found in our diet are glucose, fructose and galactose, from fruits, vegetables, honey, and lactose, found in milk.
Other groups are sucrose, lactose and maltose found in cakes, biscuits, dairy and malted drinks and beers.
Sugars and your diet
Foods with added sugars - these include sodas (soft fizzy drinks), sugars, candy, cakes, cookies, pies, fruit drinks, desserts, dairy products, breakfast cereals, and many more.
Too much sugar - a growing number of people have much more sugar than they need. Most people underestimate their daily sugar intake. Until recently this was a problem in mainly industrialized nations, but now it is becoming a major health problem in most parts of the world. Added sugars contribute with “zero nutrients” and many of the extra calories can lead to extra pounds, or even obesity.
Hidden ingredients - to bring down your daily sugar intake you will need to read the labels of foods carefully. 1 gram of sugar contains 4 calories, so any 20 grams of sugar will instantly add 80 calories to that serving, on top of all the other ingredients.
Look carefully at the list of ingredients for added sugars, which may be included under several names, such as sucrose, maltose, etc., as well as high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, syrup, honey, or fruit juice concentrates.
When you have become used to checking ingredients, you will be better prepared to cut down your added sugar intake.