By Fredrica Syren:
Sugar is addictive, potentially harmful, and absolutely everywhere and in everything. Sugar is addictive because it messes with your metabolism, so when you eat sugar, you crave more. There have even been many arguments that sugar is partially to blame for the obesity epidemic we’re experiencing worldwide.
The problem with “hidden” sugar is that we don’t know when we’re eating it or how much we’re eating since it’s sometimes added to foods that are not desserts. Hidden sugar can be found in processed foods such as tomato sauce, breakfast cereal, ketchup and juices. This processed sugar is what threatens our health. The danger of sugar is not news since experts have for years talked about the danger of sugar and have emphasized that, when we eat large amounts of processed sugar, we face a higher risk of dying early from heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
In today’s society, we’re fooled into believing that low fat foods like bars, cereal and fruit-filled goods are healthy when, in fact, they are loaded with sugar. Processed foods especially tend to contain loads of sugar, which tricks our brains into thinking we’re hungry. Of course, sugar, unlike other addictive substances, doesn’t give addicted people the shakes when not eating it; but the cravings are still real.
Researchers have found a link between sugar and unhealthy levels of blood fats. Sugar is not shown to cause diabetes; however, consuming large amounts of sugar may cause obesity, which is proven to put people at high risk of diabetes.
Sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks are the main source of added sugars in Americans’ diets today, but added sugar in processed foods is also a major source. The surprise sources of hidden sugars are
- Apple Sauce
- Pasta sauce
- Granola bars
- Salad dressings
- Energy drinks
It’s a sad fact that Americans and many people from other countries consume way too much sugar. Reports have shown that Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. The problem with eating too much sugar is that it either adds calories to your diet or it replaces nutritional foods. Most people could benefit from reducing the amount of sugar in their diet. To do this, be aware and start to read food labels, and sweeten with more natural things like dried dates or fresh fruit instead.