The problem with added sugar today is the level of overconsumption. The majority of our population eats an excess of added sugar, which leads to three major consequences:
- Added sugar causes a spike in your blood glucose levels which have been shown to be responsible for the craving we feel for certain foods. This is why when we eat sweet foods especially those with added sugars, we prime our brain to make us want more of it
- This craving leads us to overconsume and calorie intake increases to the point of excess regularly, which leads to unnecessary/unhealthy weight gain
- More importantly, overconsumption of added sugar leads to the direct displacement of food and calorie sources that are nourishing and healthy
To be clear, we aren’t talking about the natural sugar you find in fruit, root vegetables, vegetables, and other fresh foods. We’re talking about the white glittery stuff ((caveat: honey, maple syrup, agave – ok in small doses but still produce the same effect as the added stuff).
So how do I know if I’m eating too much added sugar or if I’m even eating it at all?
BEWARE THE HIDDEN SUGARS
Many manufacturers, even the ones that tout their goods as ORGANIC, VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE (etc.) add sugar or some form of sugary goodness (aka honey, maple syrup, agave) to their products for it to taste better. Pay attention to the nutritional labels of the products you consume such as salad dressings, yoghurt, instant oatmeal, sports drinks, granola, muesli, frozen meals, protein bars, breakfast cereal, bread, BQQ sauce, tomato sauce, fruit juice, tomato sauce – all these tend to contain added sugar.
This doesn’t mean you need to avoid it altogether or STRESS out when buying groceries. Simply becoming aware of our sugar intake can help decrease it, so through the course of a day or a week, you can make a list of the foods with added sugar you eat to gain an overview and try to replace some of it with sugar-free versions.
For example, replace your blueberry oatmeal packets with plain rolled oats and add in naturally sweet foods like fruits & berries and spices like cinnamon to satisfy your sweet tooth.
It is not about avoiding sweetness, but about getting sweetness in a healthy way.