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What you need to know about SUGAR! Part One: Simple Sugars

Let's talk about SUGAR....what comes to mind when you hear the word?

A lot of us are quitting sugar for good or won't eat something because it contains sugar, but what actually is sugar and how is it hidden in some of the man made foods you find in the supermarket?!

In this first Blog Post I am going to tell you all about SIMPLE SUGARS and what you need to know:

Simple Sugars:

Carbohydrates that consist of a glucose (your body’s preferred carb-based energy source), fructose (fruit sugar) or galactose molecule, or a combination of glucose and either fructose or galactose.

High-fructose corn syrup and alcohol sugars are also considered simple sugars, simple sugars will often be referred to as "sugars".

Sucrose, glucose and fructose contain the same number of calories gram for gram.

Most of the simple sugar in our diets today come from food and beverages sweetened with sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is most common in American foods, you rarely find it in New Zealand and Australian foods, as cane sugar is preferred.

Fructose: It’s naturally found in fruit, honey, agave and most root vegetables. Moreover, it’s commonly added to processed foods in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

Sucrose: It’s a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in many fruits, vegetables and grains, but it’s also added to many processed foods, such as lollies, ice cream, breakfast cereals, canned foods, fizzy drinks and other sweetened beverages.

Added sugars make up nearly 15% of the total calorie intake of some of the population which is far more than good health! Most of the added sugar in diets come from soft drinks, juices, fruit drinks, energy and sports drinks, ready to eat cereals, lollies, chocolate, desserts, canned foods such as baked beans.

Simple sugars are also present in fruits and small amounts can also be found in vegetables. However fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies require on a daily basis to thrive and function, these vitamins and minerals are absent in mostly all of the foods high in added sugar.

Milk is the only animal product that contains significant amounts of simple sugars, this is called lactose.

When reading a food label to check the nutritional content, just remember this, the labels contain information on total sugars per serving and do not distinguish between sugars naturally present in foods and added sugars.

Large consumption of sucrose and fructose added in foods can put you at risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity. This is for both adults and children, there is a study that has been put out recently that regular intake of sugar-sweetened beverages in young children increase their risk of developing obesity and further health issues caused by too much excess weight as they get older.

My advice to you for SIMPLE SUGAR intake, is to lower it and moderation.

Eat plenty of vegetables and 2 pieces of fruit per day, avoid sugary drinks and man made food products on the super market shelf. If you love something that you know is high in simple sugar then have it every now and again so you aren't depriving yourself, just don't have it all the time. Don't start your day with a sugary cereal and milk and eat a wholesome diet with plenty of good natural fats, protein and wholesome carbohydrates.


(coming next)

Renee xx

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