Is our society addicted to sugar and doesn't know it?

On other occasions we have already told you from Direct on the palate the impact that an excess of sugars in our diet can have on the body. We all feel like a sweet bite from time to time and sugar is usually a gift for our palate, and although we know that its excess is never advisable to achieve a balanced diet that benefits healthWe do not know exactly what the consequences of excessive consumption are.

It is clear that our body, especially our brain, needs sugar as a car its gasoline to function properly, but not all carbohydrates are equal for the organism

That is why we would have to distinguish between those that the body needs, as is the case with those found naturally in food, be it the fructose in the fruits, the lactose in the milk or the starch in the cereals, to give you an example and others, much more harmful and hidden, all those free sugars that we are adding, some voluntarily like the sugar that We throw coffee, but many that we eat without even being aware of it.

The difference between them is simple. The Natural sugars we eat with fruits and vegetables are slow-release, that is, our body assimilates it little by little and the blood sugar spikes are softer.

However, when we consume a free sugar in a processed food, for example a soda, the glucose rush that is produced is immediate, causing our body to manufacture insulin to distribute that sugar through the cells, resulting in an excess of this by which part of that sugar will be transformed into fat. Although it will not only have this consequence, high insulin levels will cause us to be more tired and lose the feeling of being satisfied with the food, which will cause us to eat more.

Many tests have been carried out to verify the "power" that sugar has on us and know the effects on the body if sugar is removed from our meals. For example, the one who has done Sacha Harland, a 22-year-old Dutch man who eliminated sugar from his diet for a month, as well as the effects on his body when, once the experiment was over, he reintroduced it back into his diet.

But the most interesting thing for us is perhaps not that he managed to lower his weight, reduce cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure, but in the challenge of this Dutchman to free his body of sugar, it was found that sugar was found in most of the foods that he usually consumed and in many of them I did not know.

What happens when we start looking at processed foods with magnifying glass?

According to WHO, an intake of less than 10 to 5% of sugars free of total energy is recommended, which is about 25 to 30 grams per day or what is the same six teaspoons a day of sugar added.

An amount more than enough for what it seems, but that would nevertheless surprise us, if we could do the test of put in the form of spoonfuls of sugar on a table, the amount that we usually consume throughout the day, since part of that sugar we are aware of having added it to our diet, but much of it has come from “factory” never better, without knowing We're taking it

When we start analyzing food labels carefully, we verify that after many strange names such as dextrose, malt syrup, liquid fructose, dextrin, agave nectar, maltose, maple sugar or molasses for example, hides our "dear sugar", in many of its many forms.

Some processed foods like pastries, dairy desserts, confectionery products such as sweets, we already assume that they are rich in sugars, but nevertheless this is present in many others we usually take.

It is salty, but it has sugar

Here is a bread with ketchup ... do we declare it innocent or guilty?

Yes, the food industry uses sugars for many of its processed foods. This improves the taste, corrects the texture and makes them more palatable. They are salty products that carry much more than we think. An example of this are the tomato sauces, whose percentage in sugar is so high that simply one tablespoon already gives us 3.5 grams of sugar.

Salad dressings such as Cesar sauce, teriyaki sauces or sauces already prepared for pasta, which implies that adding them to our food provides us with both sugar and a piece of industrial pastries.

He ketchup or mustard, even in its "light" version they contain sugar, as well as turkey meat, sausage or York ham, which if we put them in the middle of a few slices of bread, the situation will continue to increase as far as sugars are concerned, as this type of packaged industrial bread contains high levels of sugar.

Also they breakfast cereals they are well loaded with sugars, although pizzas, hamburgers, alcoholic beverages or soy milk are not far behind, also those sugary fruit nectars and let's not say the refreshments, since these would deserve a separate chapter.

What are the processed foods that contain the most sugars?

  • 1 can of soda provides 9 tablespoons of sugar or 45 grams
  • 100 grams of fruit in syrup provides 6.3 tablespoons or 31.5 grams of sugars
  • 100 grams of custards provide 6 tablespoons or 30 grams of sugar
  • 100 grams of cookies provide 5 tablespoons or 25 grams of sugar
  • 125 milliliters of flavored yogurt provide 4 tablespoons or 20 grams
  • 25 grams of milk chocolate bar provide 3 tablespoons or 15 grams of sugar
  • 15 grams of chocolate powder provide 3 tablespoons or 15 grams of sugar
  • 30 grams of breakfast cereals of box provide 2.3 tablespoons or 11.5 grams of sugar
  • 20 grams of jam provide 2.2 tablespoons of sugar or 10 grams of sugar
  • 20 grams of dressing sauces as ketchup or mayonnaise provide 2 tablespoons or 10 grams of sugar

Given this, and with the unhealthy lifestyle when it comes to food that we carry most, it is clear that in one day we far exceed the recommended levels of sugars and the most worrisome thing, we are getting used to the smallest of the house to be "hooked on sugar" from an early age.

But, Are we to blame only us as consumers? In a very high percentage, of course, we are the ones who are going to buy and decide what to take or not to our house to eat, but the government and the industry also have part of their responsibility.

What could they do for us? For example, implanting a label that is easier for the consumer to interpret, with fewer “disguised” and unrecognizable ingredients and without so much small print, this would help many to know what we are buying and consuming.

But also with Real promotional campaigns among the population of healthy lifestyle habits and not only stay with HAVISA Plan strategies, where simply a legend passes at full speed on the screen of our television recommending healthy eating and physical exercise, curiously placed in the advertisements of food companies that most of them produce products of superfluous feeding.

What to do to not be addicted to sugar

  • If our diet is high in sugar, we may be replacing nutrient-rich foods with junk foods that have little to offer apart from a lot of empty calories.

  • When we talk about reducing the sugar in our diet and those 25 to 30 grams a day at most, we talk about the free sugars added in food, not the natural sugar of these, so we must continue to take fruit and vegetables.

  • When we consume a lot of sugary foods, such as candy or soda, a fruit will no longer taste sweet enough and may seem less tasty. We are all programmed to like sweet foods, but we must ensure that those foods are elements that contain natural sweeteners, no added sugars and a decent nutritional content, as in the case of fresh fruits, nuts or some sweet vegetables such as carrots or beets.

  • It is convenient that let's read food labels carefully and do not assume that being salty or light does not carry sugars. Most sauces, soups, and prepared foods carry high levels of sugars among their ingredients.