‘Sugar’ is a term that is used most often to refer to glucose. Glucose is the only form of sugar that the body can metabolize to produce energy. So, all sorts of sugars will eventually be converted to glucose by the body so that it can be used.
While fruits and vegetables have the best natural supplies of sugar, there are many versions of refined and artificial sugars available. Some sugars are naturally found in nature such as honey, maple syrup and agave nectar and are considered as healthier options than traditional table sugar.
But there are more names for ‘sugar’ than one can imagine. When reading labels you may come across various ingredients that end in -ose or –tol, and may be confusing to understand. You may come across names like maltose, galactose, fructose or sucrose and others like sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, and lacitol to name a few. Simply put these are all variants of sugar, either in refined form or as sugar alcohols.
Even otherwise normal sounding names like corn syrup, cane sugar, beet sugar, malt syrup and molasses are actually refined sugars that have negligible nutrition and should be avoided.
Foods that are highly processed contain very large amounts of sugar. Foods like bread, frozen food and snacks all contain sugar in one form or the other. Most are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, perhaps the worst offender on the entire list.
It is cheap, contains dangerous chemicals and contaminants, and prolongs shelf life of products. Think everything from granola bars and frozen foods to canned goods.
Research reveals that the highest amount of sugar is present in soft/fizzy drinks. It is said that a 12 ounce can of coke contains some 39 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to ten teaspoons of sugar.
Even beverages that claim to be sugar free, have another form of sugar called sucrose. And those that do not have sucrose have artificial sweeteners that have some other form of glucose which are even worse for health.
Salad dressings and condiments
Everything from ketchup and mustard to your favorite salad dressing has sugar. Include sauces like barbeque, teriyaki and jerk to the list as these can account for a truck load of sugar in skimpy servings.
Whether sweet, tangy or savory, most brands carry more than the recommended allowance of sugar that give these products their distinct flavor and as an added benefit, longer shelf life.
Don’t be fooled by yogurt. While all yogurts contain some sugar in the form of lactose or milk sugar (which is ok), it is the added sugar that you need to be aware of. Flavored or fruity yogurts are the worst offenders as they can have up to six or more teaspoons per serving. Instead opt for plain Greek yogurt and add in some raw honey or maple syrup to enjoy this otherwise healthy food.
It is important to be aware of these facts to prevent your health from harm. Consuming a lot of sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease among many others.
Too much sugar affects your body. Read more here.
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