We hear it all the time — we need to cut back on sugar.
So, what do we do? We begin to drink our coffee with just milk, stop eating sweet bakes goods, and even give up donuts. If you cut out all those things, you’re on track, right?
Well, not exactly — and you may not even be aware of how much sugar you really consume.
New Study — Added Sugar Is Everywhere, Two-Thirds of Our Food, To Be Exact
With all the health-related research available to us at the drop of a hat, we’re all well aware that excessive sugar consumption is bad. In fact, issues regarding blood glucose levels — generally due to a poor diet, have been linked to cancer, diabetes, and even dementia.
Published this week in CMAJ Open, researchers from the University of Waterloo and Public Health Ontario, reported on their findings regarding the foods we readily consume. What they found, was that two-thirds of all the food and drinks tested had added sugar. This included foods marketed as being ‘healthy’ and baby food.
Added sugar is essentially any form of sugar, added in addition to the natural sugars present in ingredients such as syrups and honey.
This was reported after the researchers tested ingredients found in a total of 40,829 products. All of these products are sold at a national grocery retailer, containing a range of different sugars. Examining each ingredient list, they were searching for any of 30 different terms used for added sugar.
Although we often don’t have the time (or the knowledge for that matter), sugar can be masked as high-fructose syrup, fruit juice concentrate, dextrose, and a range of other terms. Although you could argue that fruit has sugar, this is naturally occurring and nutritionists are concerned about the amount of added sugars we’re eating.
When we eat excessive amounts of sugar, we’re more prone to health conditions such as obesity and heart disease. It makes you ask yourself, how can they get away with being so tricky? How is it that they can try to disguise something that’s known to be bad for us in large quantities?
It’s kind of confusing — but unfortunately, like any other business, the large food chains are out to make money and in order for things to taste really, really good, to the point where these foods may even be ‘additive,’ they need to pump them full of sugar.
At the end of the day, it comes down to supply and demand — and we’re creating the demand. Some of the worst culprits, included but were not limited to:
- Snacks and sweets — This doesn’t come as a surprise, as of the over 12,500 products examined, 86 percent contained at least one added sugar
- Beverages — Of the over 3,000 beverages studied, 78.7 percent contained added sugars
- Yogurt — This may surprise you, but any low or zero-fat yogurt is known to be packed with sugar. Of the over 1,000 yogurt products tested, 73.8 percent contained added sugars
- Baby food and formula — Of the 530 products studied, 47.7 percent contained added sugars
It’s well-established that a diet high in sugar may increase your risk of heart disease — even if you’re not overweight. The easiest way to protect yourself is to change your diet. Although it’s not easy to change a lifetime of poor eating habits, it’s easy to improve your health when you truly take action.
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