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It’s time to be critically about sugar

Sugar – sweet and delicious but highly dangerous to our health. Diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, tooth decay and obesity are the consequences of excessive sugar consumption over many years. To- day, the firm intent to abstain from having sugar in your coffee andto significantly reduce the intake of chocolate and sweets is no longersufficient. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle you have to increase your awareness about all types of food, since not everything con- taining sugar is actually labelled as such! Sugar can be found in vir- tually any (processed) food. Of course we are aware of the obvioussugar traps. However, there is a lot of hidden sugar that the consumerwon’t easily identify on the packaging. The result is that an adult person ends up consuming a staggering 35 kilograms of sugar per year.

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For many people having a slice of cake or a cookie with your coffee is equally normal as enjoying a small desert after lunch. But another reason why we consume too much sugar is simple: Too much of it is added to our food. Now, how much sugar does our body actually need per day? Does it need any sugar at all? Yes, especially our brain needs almost 100 grams of sugar per day (glucose from the blood sugar). If we would completely abstain from sugar, our body would produce the glucose it needs for the brain in the liver from protein.This shows both how important sugar is and also that the body is able to synthesise it on its own.

Therefore, Alexandra Garcia’s advice is: “Don’t consume more than 12 tea spoons per day. Sugar can be found in nearly all (processed) foods, so you should try to avoid the many forms of hidden sugar as much as possible. Today, sugar is used in virtually everything, such as in light products, flavour enhancers, preservatives, fruit yoghurt, pipe tobacco (up to 40%!), pickled gherkins (up to 12 grams per glass!), mustard (contains about 18% sugar!).”

This means that consumers should read the ingredients list very care- fully. Unfortunately, the labelling regulation leaves many loopholes for the food industry. Nevertheless, experienced ‘label readers’ will be able to identify the sugar traps!

 

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