In this lesson we’re going to talk about something I’m sure all of us know plenty of- Sugar. Actually, I’m sure we all know it’s delicious, but there’s more to sugar than its irresistible taste. Understanding the types of sugar and what may occur if consumed too much can be important.
Let’s start things off by getting to know the 2 types: Natural and Added Sugar.
- Natural sugars are found in fruits and vegetables: Natural sugars are glucose, fructose, and sucrose.
- Added sugars are in processed/packaged foods and beverages. Products with added sugar: Candy, cereal, jams, yogurt, cookies, soft/energy drinks, donuts (I know- all the good stuff)
Know what you’re up against, here are the different names for added sugar:
|Names for added sugars*|
|anhydrous dextrose||brown sugar||confectioner’s powdered sugar|
|corn syrup||corn syrup solids||dextrose|
|fructose||high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)||honey|
|invert sugar||lactose||malt syrup|
|nectars (e.g., peach or pear nectar)||pancake syrup||raw sugar|
|sucrose||sugar||white granulated sugar|
|*You may also see other names such as cane juice, evaporated corn sweetener, crystal dextrose, glucose, liquid fructose, sugar cane juice, and fruit nectar.|
But don’t stop reading because you feel guilty- The goal to consuming anything sugary is to get something with as little added sugar as possible.
Did you know? An average American eats about 175lbs of food in a year, a half-pound of sugar a day!
We just have to be mindful in what we consume, because if we consume too much sugar (there is such a thing), then health problems may occur. These health problems could be: diabetes or obesity. Too much sugar may cause tooth decay as well (You could imagine Halloween being a busy time for a dentist).
There are things with less sugar that still taste great. Instead of buying soda, try adding fruit to your water, thus creating “fruit flavored water”.
Things to try in your water: Infused Water Recipes: 12 fl.oz serving size
- Strawberries have just 4 grams of sugar ( 4 whole strawberries, sliced for every 12 fl.oz of water)
- Grapes have more than 13 grams of sugar ( 8 whole grapes, sliced for every 12 fl.oz of water)
- Papayas, watermelon and grapefruit are relatively low in sugar. ( 2 cups of watermelon, or 2 cups of papaya, or 2 cups of grape fruit for every 12 fl.oz of water)
- Mangoes, cherries and bananas have much more per serving. (1 cup of sliced mango, 8 sliced cherries, or 1 sliced banana for every 12 fl.oz of water)
Once you’ve made one, it’ll be hard not to keep drinking them. They taste great and it even looks cool to have fruit in your water (It’s fancy, and your friends are going to think your hot stuff).
Here’s some tips in avoiding added sugars:
- Learn to detect sugars in food
- Know the different names of sugars (know your ingredients)
- Look for products labeled “no added sugar” or “unsweetened”, then you’ll know it’s a better product to have.
- Use natural sweeteners
- Identify habits that are linked to sugar intakes (an example: I have a friend that consumed A LOT of soda. Too much sugar caused him to be too un-focused and make quick/irrational decisions at times. He knew he drank too much soda and noticed these habits. He decided to stop drinking soda, switched to water or healthier beverages, and it made a big difference).
Just remember to be particular in what you buy, because you’ll be the one consuming it. Your body is going to react to good or bad things, so don’t buy products that aren’t good for your health. Check your sugar content. Too much added sugar will cause health problems. So next time you’re at the grocery store, check on the sugar contents of that drink/snack. If there’s a healthier alternative, give that a try instead! Your body will thank you for it!! Eat Healthy, Be Healthy, Be Happy!