In the often furious rhythm of life, we almost do not have time to pay attention to ourselves, including our food. If you ask an ordinary person how much sugar a day he/she consumes, what would be the answer? Many will probably count the number of spoons of sugar that are put in tea or coffee. Some, maybe, will add a little “from above” in the account of eaten sweets. But is everything limited?
Sugar – one of the integral components of almost all food, especially “artificial” (flakes, muesli, etc.) and intended for long-term storage. By classification, it is divided into so-called “free sugars”, which are found in natural foods (fruits and vegetables, honey, natural juices), and “added sugars” (monosaccharides and disaccharides), added to food and beverage manufacturers, as well as the usual sugar and syrups, which we add to the food in the cooking process.
How much sugar should I consume?
According to Russian statistics, in 2015 the daily consumption of sugar per capita was 107 grams (about 39 kilograms per year). In the same year, the World Health Organization released an updated report on the consumption of sugar by adults and children, which suggested two recommendations for limiting its daily intake in the diet. A definite recommendation is sugar restriction to no more than 10% of the total daily caloric intake. An optional suggestion is no more than 5%. The American Heart Association recommends that men limit themselves to 38 grams of added sugar per day (9 teaspoons), women – 25 grams (6 teaspoons), which is closer to the 5% recommendation of the WHO. Children are recommended to eat no more than 12-25 grams daily.
Why is it necessary to limit the amount of sugar?
According to the Harvard Medical School, the use of large amounts of sugar in the long term can lead to a risk of heart disease. Some other studies have also shown that a significant amount of sugar in the diet leads to a metabolic syndrome (metabolic malfunction) – and, accordingly, weight gain, dental caries, impaired secretion and absorption of insulin and, accordingly, to diabetes.
Also, foods high in sugar contain the so-called “empty” calories – calories, in which there are no substances useful for our body, like vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. At the same time, they are quite capable of giving the body a feeling saturation – which can gradually lead to the displacement of useful food products from the human diet.
How to limit sugar in the diet?
If possible, avoid high-calorie foods (sweet, floury, fatty). The emphasis is more useful for fruits and vegetables, as well as natural products like dried fruits, honey, nuts, olive oil, etc. ;
Pay attention to your eating habits, in particular, whether you “seize” your stress or are inclined to eat when you are not hungry. If you answered “yes” to these questions, try to switch to natural nutrition. Many sites help you calculate the daily calories you need and the energy value of the products;
Do not drink sweetened drinks like Coca-Cola, go to water, juices – primarily natural, and other unsweetened liquids;
Give time to food intake, do not eat on the go, in front of the TV or computer;
Do not use artificial sweeteners.
Those wishing to carry out a more radical cleansing of the body from sugar can spend some time – from five days to a month – completely removing added sugars from their diet (especially natural sweeteners such as syrups and honey can remove unusually persistent ones). People who shared this experience said that afterward, it is good to reduce the regular consumption of sugar at least. Do not forget that it’s just about added sugars! The small amount of sugar that contains almost all the usual foods is needed for your body.
At the same time, it is necessary to remember that producers rarely write on the labels the word “sugar.” You can identify it at the end of “-oz,” adopted in the chemical nomenclature of sugars. Here are just some of its names, which can mask the presence of sugar in foods: agave; galactose; glucose; condensed cane juice; malt syrup; Brown sugar; fructose; maple syrup; crystals of reeds; concentrates of fruit juices; molasses; corn sweetener; sucrose; corn syrup; syrup; crystalline fructose; invert sugar; dextrose; maltose.