What You Need To Know About Hidden Sugars in Your Food:
In the early part of 2014, the World Health Organization issued new health guidelines that cut the recommended daily intake of sugar from 10% to 5%. These new guidelines came after the organization’s review of 9,000 studies in effort to find ways to reduce the rising rates of obesity, cancer, and diabetes. So what does 5% of your caloric intake amount to?
Recommended daily intake → 25grams = 6 teaspoons
Actual daily intake for most Americans → 52 teaspoons (USDA)
So how exactly is this sweet substance harmful to your body? Well for starters, and probably most important is that sugar hinders the body’s immune system from functioning properly. It alters the quantity and activity of white blood cells. And when your immune system is suppressed, you are more susceptible to illness and disease.
An equally important consequence to eating sugar is the fact that it has a severe effect on your blood glucose levels. All of us have experienced a “sugar high” and the, “I’m so tired” low that quickly follows. Once that simple sugar is converted into energy and used, we experience the withdrawal effect and then we crave more sugar to wake us up. Meanwhile, our body is constantly producing insulin in order to regulate the sugar in our bloodstream and balance out the highs and lows. Years of this cycle strains the body’s ability to produce insulin and the next thing you know, your doctor is diagnosing you with diabetes. And all that excess sugar that your body couldn’t handle was converted to fat and has propelled you into the weight class of obesity.
But wait, that’s not all; add to that the use of artificial sweeteners like Aspartame (found in Equal, and NutraSweet) and you increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, digestive disorders, mood disorders, sleep disorders, and overall body toxicity. Both sugar and the chemicals in artificial sweeteners can damage the health of your arteries, alter hormonal balance, impair tissue growth and cause a whole host of health conditions. Aspartame is an ingredient in approximately 70% of the food products we consume and is suspected as a contributing factor to the rise in obesity and heart disease.
What To Look For:
Spotting Hidden Sugars by Name
Manufacturers try to cleverly disguise sugars found in processed foods under many different aliases and names. It doesn’t matter what you call it because at the end of the day, it’s still sugar and it’s still harmful. Here are a few to keep watch for:
Beet sugar brown sugar fruit juice malt syrup
Barley malt glucose maltose maltodextrin
Cane sugar cane juice molasses raw sugar
Caramel grape sugar dextran sorbitol
Carob sugar corn syrup dextrose sucrose
Date sugar sugar diastase high-fructose corn syrup
Fructose lactose yellow sugar mannitol
How This Affects You:
The following is a very short list of the risk associated with sugar consumption:
- Sugar can decrease growth hormone (the key to staying youthful and lean)
- Sugar feeds cancer, increases cholesterol and contributes to development of diabetes
- Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA
- Sugar suppresses the immune system and impairs your body’s ability to fight infection and disease
- Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)
- Sugar contributes to osteoporosis
- Sugar causes food allergies
- Sugar can cause moodiness, drowsiness and decreased activity in children
- Sugar can contribute to eczema in children
- Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children