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Healthy eating habits are more than just picking up ingredients in the supermarket. It takes attention to detail and an ever-watchful eye to make sure you are picking up the right foods. What many people fail to realize is most of the products they consume, have added sugars which provide no nutritional value and can contribute to developing severe health conditions. ENU Nutrition invites you to keep reading as we delve deeper into what is added sugars and better alternatives to have a more balanced, healthier diet.
What are Added Sugars?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to processed foods. They are known for adding extra flavor and sweetening to most of the foods and beverages served across the country. Some of the names used to identify added sugars include sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup, and malt syrup, among many other names. In addition to providing a sweet flavor, added sugars are used for many other things such as keeping baked goods fresh for more extended periods, improving texture in certain foods, and manufacturing candies.
You may not be aware, but most of the foods you find in the supermarket are made using added sugars. This means you may be consuming more added sugars than you know. The problem with added sugars is they provide no nutritional value to your overall diet. Furthermore, added sugars can be more detrimental to your health than many other products.
How Much Added Sugar Should You Consume?
It is a known fact that our bodies need sugar to function properly. The body utilizes sugars as a source of energy. This means, without sugar, our bodies would inevitably crash. However, consuming too much sugar can also have adverse effects on the body. So, how much sugar is safe to consume?
Whether you have a diet plan or not, you should always be mindful of how much added sugar you are consuming on a daily basis. This is extremely important as it can help you design a healthy meal plan. According to the CDC, people should limit their added sugar consumption to 10% of their total daily calorie intake. It is extremely important to reduce the amount of added sugars you consume to avoid health complications that may arise over time.
If a person consumes too much added sugars over an extended period, they can develop severe health issues. Some of the most dangerous diseases a persona can develop due to excess added sugar intake includes overweight, blood pressure problems, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.
Additionally, you should keep track of how much sugar you consume during the day. If the body has enough sugar, the excess sugar can be converted into fat or glycogen – glucose stored in the body to be used when needed.
Natural Sugars Vs. Added Sugars
Sugars are carbohydrates the body converts into glucose to use as fuel. The critical difference is the kind of sugar you utilize as part of your dietary plan. There are natural and added sugars. Natural sugars can be found in most fruits and milk. The sugars found in fruits are known as fructose while the sugars found in milk are known as lactose. Added sugars are chemically manufactured and added to processed foods and drinks. This “sugar” has very little nutritional value and does not play an essential role in your diet.
In contrast, the natural sugars found in fruits and milk can be extremely beneficial to your health. For instance, fruits not only contain natural sugar the body uses as fuel, but they also contain vitamins and minerals. For example, berries are an excellent source of natural sugar and vitamin C which can help boost your immunes system. Additionally, they contain fiber which can help slow down your metabolism. This is important because your insulin levels will be in check while your body converts fruit into glucose. Furthermore, it will make you feel fuller for an extended period.
Added sugars do not function as natural sugars do. For instance, added sugars are broken down faster by the body. This can cause an insulin spike for a short period, and it’s usually followed a by a “crash.” Furthermore, you don’t get the level of fullness you would get with fiber-rich natural sugars.
Meal Replacement Meals Without Refined Sugars
ENU provides nutrition without risks. Our meal replacement shakes use whole grain carbs like quinoa and brown rice to help you balancing your digestion and preventing insulin spikes. None of our shakes has added sugars. Instead, we include all-natural, non-caloric sweeteners such as stevia. If you wish to learn more about our meal replacement shakes and how they can be beneficial as part of your dietary plan, contact ENU Nutrition online today.