Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Facts about ADDED SUGAR

Sugar! It gets a bad wrap. When in fact sugar (carbs) is our body's main source of energy. It fuels our muscles, heart, and brain. Gives us the energy to function optimally physically, mentally, and biologically.
Excess intake is when concerns come into play. Unfortunately, this is the group most Americans fit into. Aiming for complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables rather than simple carbs like white bread, donuts, and foods high in added sugar can be a great start. Another tip; learning to recognize hidden sources of sugar on the food label to better manage intake.
There are several different types of sugar. Naturally occurring sugars, such as lactose (in milk products), fructose (in fruits and vegetables), and maltose (in starchy grains and vegetables). These are healthier sugar choices. The complex forms also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients our bodies need to function properly.

Added sugar is another type. These sugars can have different titles, serve different purposes, and be more difficult to recognize. The bottom line, these sugars are typically in excess and lack nutrient content. Making them empty calories that serve no nutrient purpose in our bodies. These foods consumed in moderation can be tolerated. But overconsumption can lead to chronic disease and prevent nutritious food intake. 

Reading food labels can help you manage you're sugar intake.
  • < 5% is generally considered low.  
  • >20% in generally considered high.
The food label also includes an ingredient list. Manufacturers effectively hide sugar ingredients with unfamiliar names. Keep an eye out for names like these. 
Aim for these ingredients to be toward the end of the ingredient list, as ingredients are listed in highest to lowest abundance. Keep in mind sugar can be in foods that aren't even sweet, like; sauces, dips, and dressings.

Keeping watch of your sugar intake can decrease your risk for chronic disease development, help you effectively manage your weight, and increase satiety after meals. Aim for less than 200 calories of added sugar a day and make a habit of reading food labels. Simple steps to a healthier, happier you!

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