Sugar in our Foods - whats been already added
Significant increases in sugar consumption have been documented in most countries where heavily processed food has become a readily available. Surprisingly, some experts estimate
that only one-sixth of our sugar comes from sweets or foods that we think of as sweets.
The majority of our sugar comes in the form of highly processed food and sweetened beverages. Many people are becoming aware of the need to reduce their sugar intake in order to maintain a healthy body weight. But what many people still aren't aware of, is the fact that sugar under a variety of different pseudonyms is added to so many foods that we don't expect to contain sugar. Things like packaged breads, condiments,chips, sauces, and salad dressings.
In 2015, the World Health Organization released new guidelines strongly recommending that all adults and children reduce their sugar intake to less than 10% of total calories consumed. These recommendation go on to suggest that a further reduction of sugar intake to less than 5% of total calories would likely have additional health benefits.
These recommendations focus on free sugars, those that are added to foods by the manufacturer, the cook, or the consumer, as well as sugars that are naturally present in honey,syrups, and fruit juices. But they don't apply to intrinsic sugars found in whole fruits and vegetables. Because the World Health Organization found no reported evidence linking the consumption of intrinsic sugars to adverse health effects.
The sugar that naturally occurs in milk is also excluded from that 5%. For the average adult,
consuming a 2000 calorie per day diet reducing their sugar intake to 5% would mean that ideally no more than 100 calories per day should come from free sugars. Since free sugars offer 4 calories of energy per gram this would translate into approximately 25 grams of free sugar, about 6 teaspoons. Six teaspoons seems like a generous allocation
when you picture spooning it out of a sugar bowl. But when you being to look at the nutrition labels of most packaged foods, the numbers begin to addup incredibly quickly.
There's a growing consensus that we need to cut down on our sugar consumption
and yet there may be a downside to vilifying sugar the way we did with the dietary fats. If we only emphasized the need to cut down on our sugar intake without simultaneously
emphasizing moderation and balance in our diet as a whole,we risk a situation where fats and animal proteins are seen by the general public as free food. And the processed food industry,again steps in and super sizes.
While it’s simply not realistic to avoid all added sugars in your diet, it’s a good idea to read labels; focus on whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible; and make healthier food choices. “Companies are going to make their foods taste good — that’s part of their business — but as individuals, we have to become more conscious of our health, so we can decide how much of that stuff we put in our body.
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