Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why It May be Sweet... Slow Down on Added Sugars!

            Sugar is a form of carbohydrate that makes many of the foods and drinks we consume taste, well, sweet. Various forms of sugar exist, and in some foods sugars occur naturally. Even various fruits and vegetables contain a sugar! However, there are some products that contain added sugars. The process of adding sugars to foods is done during manufacturing, and serves to enhance the taste of the product. There are many products that contain added sugars, but a few noteworthy products containing it are soda, fruit drinks, and chocolate.
            The potential issues arising from excessive added sugar consumption includes, but is not limited to:

·      High blood pressure – even more so than sodium some studies have found.
·      Cardiovascular (heart) disease – as the 2014 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found.
·      Obesity – consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages tends to increase weight gain in children and adults.

            Along the same lines of obesity risk, there is also a growing body of research supporting the notion that sugar-sweetened beverages many increase visceral fat. Visceral fat surrounds the organs within the body, but too much can influence hormonal function and increase the risk for diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers. Men with a waist circumference of greater than 35 cm, and women with a waist circumference of greater than 40 cm are at an increased risk for having excessive visceral fat, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
            It would be very difficult to remove sugars from your diet being that fruits, vegetables, dairy products and nuts all have sugars within them. It is important to distinguish between added sugars and just sugars. Sugar is actually your body’s preferred energy source, but if sugars, primarily added sugars, are consumed in vast excess, health concerns may arise.

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