Believe it or not, only a few of us get through the day without adding sugar in our day-to-day diets. We’re drawn to the sweet taste of sugar like bees to honey. Just writing about sugar is sending my salivary glands into overdrive right now. Maybe you, while reading this, are lying in bed having a bowl of ice cream? A chocolate bar? Who knows! But I’m here today to dazzle you with some information about that addictive white powder, (sugar I mean…).
What is sugar?
Well, sugar can either be found naturally in fruits, vegetables and dairy products (milk, plain yoghurt and cheese) or it can be added to the foods and drinks we find it super tasty. But don’t be fooled, added sugars can also be found in things like honey, fruit juices, syrups and fruit juice concentrates and they’re often disguised using other names like ‘evaporated cane juice’ or ‘organic raw sugar’.
Why do I need to know the difference?
Added sugars are the sugars we need to be consuming less of but find ourselves drowning in instead.
It is generally agreed that to live longer and healthier lives, added sugar intakes should be reduced to 5% of daily energy. This means we shouldn’t be having more than 30 grams (7 Teaspoons) of added sugar daily. And by “we” I mean us fully grown adults. Sugar intakes for younger people vary; 5 teaspoons for 4-6 year olds and 6 teaspoons for 7-10 year olds.
How does sugar really affect me?
Sugar contains extra calories and having too many calories and too little nutrients can lead to obesity and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart disease. But get this, that sugar rush you feel after indulging in one of your favourite brownies will only last for a while until you eventually feel like you’d rather be lying on the floor wrapped in a blanket like a breakfast burrito. This is because these simple sugar spike up your blood sugar and insulin levels until they’re ultimately depleted causing us to crash.
So why not add some fruits to your bowl of oats in the morning instead of munching that sugary muffin. Or try swapping your energy drinks for a low-sugar, smarter alternative… like Brain Füd!
By Rahaf Mohamed
I am a Nutrition and Food Science Graduate who studied at the university of Surrey. I enjoy travelling, helping others whenever I have the chance and most importantly making people smile!