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Please Don’t Pass the Hidden Sugar to Me

sugar-485057_1280Humans have consumed sugar for centuries, so why is it suddenly killing us? It seems that problems need to reach epidemic levels before we begin to acknowledge what is really happening. We have traditionally used sugar to celebrate life by baking cakes for celebrations, serving cookies for snacks or giving candy and other sweet treats during holidays. Now suddenly we are hearing that processed and added sugars are like a drug, and that the current food culture is slowly but surely killing us with a poison called hidden sugar.

What was once reserved for an occasional celebration has now become an everyday way of life. Sweet food is so much more available to us now is every size, shape and color, and on every street corner. But sugar is also hiding in things we don’t even consider to be sweet. Sugar is used as a flavor enhancer in everyday foods and it all adds up to an overload.

What’s Hiding in Your Coffee Break?

I never buy sugar, never add sugar to food, and I’m careful about the products I buy. However this morning during my coffee break I unknowingly consumed 8 grams of sugar (2 teaspoons) from so called healthy products. How did this happen?

The coconut coffee creamer I used contained 1 gram of sugar per tablespoon, I used 4 tablespoons of creamer in my 8 oz. coffee, that’s four grams of sugar (1 teaspoon). I ate 4 gluten free crackers topped with an eggplant spread. The crackers had one gram of sugar per serving, which was 4 crackers. The eggplant spread had 1 gram of sugar per tablespoon, I used 3 tablespoons, 3 grams of sugar. A cup of coffee and a healthy mid morning snack with a hidden 2 teaspoons of sugar; that’s how it happens without adding any sugar on my own.

Imagine if I had a cappuccino and a pastry for my coffee break; and that’s only 15 minutes out of a long day.

More Hidden Sugar Secrets

Human beings in past times used to consume maybe 2 pounds of sugar a year. Currently on a national average we consume about 3 pounds of sugar per week.1 Why is this happening?

The mind, body and appetite of unsuspecting citizens have been taken over by a secret dictator, sugar. It changes the way your body functions, messes with your hormones, and then it makes you think you need more of it. You feel tired, cranky, and you reach for a sugar fix. Sounds like an addiction.

burglar-157142_1280The more frightening secret is that sugar also robs your body of essential nutrients it needs for normal growth, repair and protection. It’s not just that sugar is added empty calories that you don’t need, sugar is an extortionist secretly robbing your body’s nutritional savings of calcium, magnesium, chromium, copper, zinc and vitamin C. This gradual depletion weakens the immune system and changes metabolism causing you to become sick and overweight.

Nutrient deficiencies are actually what cause food cravings, but unfortunately you don’t crave what you really need. A diet low in nutrients causes a loss of energy and because of that you crave a quick fix in the form of salt, sugar and carbs. These three, especially together, make the body think it’s okay, problem solved. Unfortunately this quick fix has only made the problem worse in the long run by further depleting your body of good nutrients.

High blood sugar causes inflammation, and chronic inflammation can lead to diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and weight problems. This is why excess sugar consumption has created a world health crisis and hidden sugar is a huge contributor.

Expose the Culprit

Where is sugar hiding in your diet? Food manufacturers know how to make people want more of a food, just add more sugar and salt. Low carb, fat free – add more sugar and salt to make up for the taste difference. Sugar comes in many disguises so it’s important to know the forms it takes. Here’s a list of what it can look like on a food label:

Be wary of the –ose:

Sucrose, Maltose, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Galactose, Lactose, High fructose corn syrup, Glucose solids

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dno1967b/7173744755Steer clear of these as well:

Cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice, Cane juice solids, Cane juice crystals, Dextrin, Maltodextrin, Dextran, Barley malt, Beet sugar, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Caramel, Buttered syrup, Carob syrup, Brown sugar, Date sugar, Malt syrup, Diastase, Diastatic malt, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Dehydrated fruit juice, Fruit juice crystals, Golden syrup, Turbinado, Sorghum syrup, Refiner’s syrup, Ethyl maltol, Maple syrup, Yellow sugar.

Carbs Become Sugar Too

In addition to the excess multiple forms of sugar hiding in food, don’t forget to count the carbs because carbs become sugar too. So even if you never buy sugar or add sugar to your daily diet, it’s possible that you still may be consuming enough to elevate your blood sugar. Adding SUGARDOWN® to your diet can help reduce the impact of excess sugar and carbs. You can order it at Sugardown.com

1 Forbes.com/usda.gov