Category Archives: sugar

The war on sugar

Really interesting post on the impact of sugar, especially fructose on our bodies.

To read more on the soft drink aspect, please check out my Page – What’s Wrong With Soft Drinks?

Tony

Focus on food safety

The sweetness of ice cream can be overwhelming. The sweetness of ice-cream can be overwhelming.

The sweet tooth seems to require a treat now and then. But why are most food manufacturers overdoing the sweetness thingy. You have an ice-cream treat and although it initially tastes nice, after half is consumed you feel the sugar molecules crawling in your mouth with the sugar taste lingering for several hours. The same with a blueberry cheesecake. The sweetness is just overwhelming.

I could go on and on. I am not after sugar replacements, I just want the sweetness to be toned down.

Trend to reduce sugar intake

Actually, reducing sugar intake has become a key concern amongst many consumers. In a recent 2,500-strong European consumer survey, a quarter of those asked preferred low sugar food products, findings that seem to confirm the continuing shift in consumer efforts to reduce sugar intake. They also found that more than 60% of those surveyed…

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Many U.S. Consumers Cutting Back on Sugar Consumption – NPD Group

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released every five years, were issued last month and one of the new guidelines’ strongest recommendation is something that consumers have already caught on to — limiting sugar intake, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.  Overall, U.S. consumers have indicated that sugar is the number one item they try to avoid in their diet and are eating less sugary foods and beverages, according to NPD’s ongoing food consumption research.

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The new dietary guidelines recommend that only 10 percent of daily calories come from added sugars. Although this may sound like a lofty goal, consumers have cut down on foods and beverages with high sugar content, like carbonated soft drinks, fruit drinks and juice, ice cream and frozen treats, and other sweet snacks. Consumption of sugar-free, unsweetened, or reduced sugar products, which is highest among young children and adults 55 and older, follows the trend in concern about sugar overall. Calories were once the top item consumers looked for on nutrition facts labels, but now it is sugar.

Cholesterol, the outcast of past dietary guidelines, is no longer a dietary concern according to the new guidelines.  NPD’s food consumption research shows that consumers are in line with this since their concern for cholesterol content has continued to decline since 2006. Eggs, which bore the brunt of the anti-cholesterol push, are back in vogue and consumption is up as consumers look for more sources of protein.

Eating more fruits and vegetables is a perennial federal dietary standard and is still front-and-center in the new guidelines. There is good and bad news in regards to this standard. The good news is: consumers are eating more fruits and fruit is among the top growing better-for-you snacks. The bad news is: vegetables are still fighting to find their way into Americans’ hearts and stomachs.

“Consumer alignment with the new guidelines speaks volumes to our collective shift toward eating more healthfully,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “We have nutritional information at our fingertips. Some seek it consciously and others hear it subliminally. If there is a weight or health problem, it’s typically not a result of nutritional ignorance.”

For the record here are the key recommendations from the 2015 Guidelines:
•    Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars
•    Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats
•    Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium
•    If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.

Remember, to live healthy, you need to employ two tools: eat intelligently and exercise regularly. You can’t have one without the other.

Tony

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Is Sugar As Dangerous as Alcohol?

Many people are saying yes and calls have started to regulate sugar in food and beverages.

The report ran in the research journal Nature and points to sugar as a greater health burden than infectious disease as it is behind heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

We have an epidemic of obesity with 30 percent of us suffering from it and another 30 percent of us overweight and possibly on the way to obesity. In addition, we have teenagers coming down with adult onset diabetes.

But, we don’t need the government stepping in and making laws about sugar consumption. What we eat is a private matter and we need to be more sensible about it and get those onerous obesity statistics going the other direction.

The way to regulate our sugar intake is for us to be smarter about what we eat. It’s on you and me to decide for ourselves. The last thing we need is the government sticking its heavy hand into our kitchen cupboards.

Tony

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The Sugar Addiction Cycle – Infographic

As a person who has had a problem with sugar consumption, I could appreciate this.

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Tony

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Handy Guide to Sugar in Food and Drinks – Infographic

This has a ton of good information in it regarding the amount of sugar in various foods and drinks we consume. If you take nothing else from it, take the four grams of sugar = one teaspoon full. You can use that every time you check the nutrition label on food or drink.

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Can you believe the Dr. Pepper Slurpee? – 225 grams of sugar!

 

Tony

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Sugar Explained

There is so much talk about sugar being bad for you, but the truth is that nothing can be too bad for you as long as it is consumed in moderation. Just because something contains sugar does not mean that it is not nutritious. For example, we cannot cut out fructose from our diets because then we would not be meeting our daily needs in fruit and we are at risk of deficiencies of various vitamins and minerals.

Your Health Share

I have found that when people are discussing sugar, they are usually talking about the ‘bad’ sugars such as those sugars found in cakes and chocolate. People often don’t realise that virtually everything we eat (with the exception of meat) contains some form of sugar, probably the most common being glucose. Glucose is one of the most important compounds in our diet as it is our body’s main source of fuel. It is a carbohydrate and is found in almost all the foods we eat. So, I always find it quite confusing and a little funny when people say “I quit sugar!’, or ‘Is there sugar in this?’, because I don’t really think they realise that almost everything we eat is actually made up of some sort of sugar.

The whole topic of sugar can be quite confusing. It has taken me a very long time to understand all the different…

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How Much Sugar is in that? Infographic

We are getting too much sugar into our systems. This infographic explains where a lot of it comes from.

One key concept here: One teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams

So when  you read 32 – 40 grams of sugar in an energy drink, you will  understand that this is 8 to 10 grams of sugar. Do you really want to consume that nuch sugar?

 

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Tony

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46 Sneaky Names for Sugar – Infographic

The myriad ways that food manufacturers slip sugar into their concoctions is mind boggling. Here is a key to decoding their work.

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Too much sugar is very damaging to our health. Check out these posts for more details:

How Much Sugar is in Your Favorite Drink?
What Are Added Sugars?
John Oliver’s Amazing Rant Against Sugar
Sugar Substance ‘Kills’ Good HDL Cholesterol, New Research Finds
Sugar: the Evolution of A Forbidden Fruit
Is sugar killing you?
Why You Need to Cut Back on Sugar Consumption
Daily Sugar Guidelines Lowered – WHO
Sugar Overpowers Fat in Cravings Test.

Tony

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How Much Sugar is in Your Favorite Drink? – Infographic

I just ran across this superb infographic and had to share it with you. It shows you popular soft and energy drinks with the amount of sugar in each. Did you know that Mountain Dew had 19+ teaspoons of sugar in a 20 ounce bottle? I sure didn’t. There are 4.2 grams in a teaspoon full of sugar. If you carry that away with you, you will know a very valuable little factoid. So, when you look at the ingredients panel and it says 30 grams of sugar, you will know that you are thinking of drinking seven teaspoons of sugar. Maybe it will give you pause.

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In earlier posts I have taken issue with McDonald’s and their beverages. Check out:
How Many Calories in McDonald’s Chocolate Chip Frappe and How Much Sugar?
Why McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is a Sugar Monster
What Does The American Heart Association Say About Sugar?
Why You Shouldn’t Drink McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade.

Tony

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What Are Added Sugars?

Cooking with Kathy Man

The major food and beverage sources of added sugars for Americans are:

  • regular soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks
  • candy
  • cakes
  • cookies
  • pies and cobblers
  • sweet rolls, pastries, and donuts
  • fruit drinks, such as fruitades and fruit punch
  • dairy desserts, such as ice cream

Reading the ingredient label on processed foods can help to identify added sugars. Names for added sugars on food labels include:

  • anhydrous dextrose
  • brown sugar
  • confectioner’s powdered sugar
  • corn syrup
  • corn syrup solids
  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • lactose
  • malt syrup
  • maltose
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • nectars (e.g., peach nectar, pear nectar)
  • pancake syrup
  • raw sugar
  • sucrose
  • sugar
  • white granulated sugar

You may also see other names used for added sugars, but these are not recognized by the FDA as an ingredient name. These include:

  • cane juice
  • evaporated corn sweetener
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • crystal dextrose
  • glucose
  • liquid fructose
  • sugar cane juice
  • fruit…

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6 Common Chocolate Myths, Busted

The information below is based on a one ounce serving of 70 percent dark chocolate or one tablespoon of cocoa powder. An ounce of dark chocolate is about a quarter cup, grated. That’s usually about 1/3 of a regular-sized chocolate bar.

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Our Better Health

Becky Striepe     November 4, 2014

From fat content to acne to your sex drive, there are some big claims out there about chocolate. Check out these common chocolate myths and the truth about chocolate.

When it comes to chocolate and health, the trick isn’t avoiding chocolate altogether. It’s making smart choices. Sure, if you eat a whole Hershey’s bar, you’re not doing your health any favors. But a few squares of good, dark chocolate can actually be beneficial. You can also add 1-3 teaspoons of cocoa powder to a smoothie recipe to instantly transform it into a healthy, chocolatey treat. The sugars from the fruit will offset the cocoa powder’s bitterness. Start with a teaspoon, taste, and add more until you get just the right balance.

The information below is based on a one ounce serving of 70 percent dark chocolate or one tablespoon of cocoa powder. An…

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John Oliver’s Amazing Rant Against Sugar

I am familiar with John Oliver from The Daily Show. In April he started his own talk show on HBO called Last Week Tonight. Besides being a very funny guy in his own right, he is a fine journalist as well. He did a wonderful broadcast on the corruption in FIFA a couple of months ago when we were all suffering from World Cup fever.
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Sunday he took off on that deadly white powder – sugar. I will give some highlights, but you should watch his performance on the You Tube video below. The sugar rant begins about one minute in.

He said that Americans will spend $2.2 billion on candy this Halloween. Citing the National Center for Health Statistics, he reported that Americans
consume 22 teaspoons a day, about triple our daily requirements. That amounts to 75 pounds of sugar a year for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

Here is the video. Enjoy, there is nothing in it that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

I have posted numerous times about the dangers of sugar and the damage of obesity. Here are some examples: Is Sugar Killing You? Sugar Substance ‘Kills’ Good HDL Cholesterol, New Research Finds, Sugar: : the Evolution of A Forbidden Fruit, High-fat and High-sugar Snacks Contribute to Fatty Liver and Abdominal Obesity, Where Do I Find Hidden Sugar in My Diet? Sugar Causes Aging, Why We Crave High-Fat, High-Sugar Foods, How Much Sugar Do I Eat Without Knowing?

Last, but not least, please read my – Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s and Twinkies – NOT.

If you want to read further on it, type sugar and obesity in the search box at the right.

Tony

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Sweet Substitutes – Are All Sweeteners Created Equal?

{Earthology} Holistic Health

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Artificially-sweetened products seem to be a new craze among the health-conscious, carried around in handbags and briefcases across the globe by those who’re diet-crazy, chronically ill or just keen on losing a pound or two. Useful for conditions like diabetes, insulin resistance and excess body weight, sweeteners have been touted as having the same addictive taste as regular sugar, but without the ensuing blood-sugar spike and weight gain, preserving health and helping to maintain a healthful lifestyle. There are even rumours flying around that these artificial sweeteners are preferable in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, IBS, glaucoma and even chronic allergies.

opener-the-skinny-on-sugar-substitutes-ssInteresting claims, indeed – but where’s the inevitable catch? Well, chemical artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Sucralose, Saccharin and Acesulfame K are being discovered to do more damage than good, causing migraines, increased incidence of depression, accelerated tumour growth, insomnia, shrinking of the thymus gland, increased incidence of diabetes, osteoporosis and…

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Sugar Substance ‘Kills’ Good HDL Cholesterol, New Research Finds

A potentially damaging substance, MG is formed from glucose in the body. It is 40,000 times more reactive than glucose it damages arginine residue (amino acid) in HDL at functionally important site causing the particle to become unstable.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Scientists at the University of Warwick have discovered that ‘good’ cholesterol is turned ‘bad’ by a sugar-derived substance.

The substance, methylglyoxal – MG, was found to damage ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, which removes excess levels of bad cholesterol from the body.

Low levels of HDL, High Density Lipoprotein, are closely linked to heart disease, with increased levels of MG being common in the elderly and those with diabetes or kidney problems.

Supported by funding from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and published in Nutrition and Diabetes, the researchers discovered that MG destabilises HDL and causes it to lose the properties which protect against heart disease.

HDL damaged by MG is rapidly cleared from the blood, reducing its HDL content, or remains in plasma having lost its beneficial function.

Lead researcher Dr Naila Rabbani, of the Warwick Medical School, says that: “MG damage to HDL is a new and likely important cause…

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Sugar: the Evolution of A Forbidden Fruit

Even alchemists played with the ingredient’s properties and claimed to have uncovered its hidden secrets. In 1555, the seer Nostradamus published a little book about cosmetics and confections that paid tribute to sugar’s transformative power: Candied fruit became a kind of edible, man-made miracle.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Sweetness was meant to be irresistible.

We are born with a sweet tooth. Babies drink in sugar with their mother’s milk. Sweetness represents an instant energy boost, a fuel that kept our ancestors going in a harsher world where taste buds evolved to distinguish health-giving ripeness and freshness from the dangers of bitter, sour, toxic foods. Sugar gives us drug-like pleasures – lab rats deprived of their sugar-water fix exhibit classic signs of withdrawal. When things are going well, we blissfully say, “Life is sweet.”

And now sweetness is linked with death and disease. Sugars are themselves toxins, some researchers suggest, that cause obesity, diabetes, hyper- tension and Alzheimer’s disease. Sugar has joined salt and fat on the list of dietary evils. Governments and health experts are urging people to cut back their daily intake.

And because of its sweetness, once they had tasted it, they could scarcely get enough…

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Is sugar killing you?

The new paradigm hypothesizes that sugar has adverse health effects above any purported role as “empty calories” promoting obesity. … Too much sugar does not just make us fat; it can also make us sick.

I have written about the ravages of sugar previously. Check out A love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho/s – NOT for further details.

Tony

Our Better Health

A recent study found a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

A recent study reported in JAMA Internal Medicine found a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk death from cardiovascular disease. The new study is significant because previous studies have linked higher intake of added sugar with cardiovascular disease risk factors; this new study actually measured the association of overconsumption with increased risk of death, not just risk factors, from cardiovascular disease.  By “added sugar overconsumption,” the authors refer to a total daily consumption of sugars added to products during manufacturing (ie, not naturally occurring sugars, as in fresh fruit) in excess of dietary limits recommended by experts. Past concerns revolved around obesity and dental cavities as the main health hazards.

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The JAMA study noted that among US adults, percentage of daily calories from added sugar increased from 16%…

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