How Sweet It Is...
By Sainoor Premji
Research has shown that being overweight leads to diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, even Alzheimer’s. But what’s NOT in these studies is the emotional strain that those extra pounds add-on. Feelings of embarrassment, shame, lack of self-worth. (The Sugar Story – Asanta)
Sugar provides no nutritional value other than a quick energy fix. It contains lots of calories and can be ‘hidden’ in almost all foods we buy. A lot of people try to be conscious of how much sugar they eat, however, they often miss the sugars found in almost all products we buy.
Research shows that the average American takes in 22 teaspoons of sugar a day! That is way over what the American Heart Association recommends (about 6 teaspoons a day for women and 8 for men). Sugar tricks our brains into thinking that we haven’t eaten and interferes with the ‘hunger response’ trigger. Remember, sugar lurks in almost everything – even in multigrain bread (about 2 g / slice).
In order for us to comprehend how much sugar we eat, we need to understand the different names sugar is given on labels (like fructose) and the most frightening part is, that, sugar is addictive.
When reading labels, notice how much sugar is in the product. Convert grams into teaspoons by dividing by 4. For example, A 235 mL soda beverage (1 cup) = 110 calories, 28 grams of sugar. If we divide 28 by 4 (28 / 4) = 7 teaspoons of sugar. A 254 mL can of coke contains 10 teaspoons. If you measured out 10 teaspoons of sugar, how would it look? Imagine consuming that much in just one drink!
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