Page 37 - Scene Magazine September 2023 48-09
P. 37

    treat, but also health concerns. Sugar even ends up in places that you would least expect, like a protein powder drink.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the major sources
of added sugars are sugary beverages (regular soft drinks, sweetened tea and coffee, energy drinks, and fruit drinks), candy, desserts, and sweet snacks (cakes, cookies, pies). Smaller amounts come from dairy desserts and milk prod- ucts (ice cream, sweetened yogurt, and sweetened milk), breakfast cereals and bars, and other items.
To figure out if a packaged food like ketchup contains added sugars, and how much, check the Nutrition Facts panel. There you will see “added sugars” under- neath the line for “total sugars.”
If there is no Nutrition Facts panel, look at the list of ingredients. Sugar has many other names. Besides those ending in “ose,” such as maltose or sucrose, oth- er names for sugar include high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, syrup, honey, or fruit juice concentrates.
The AHA recommendation: Limit your consumption of foods with high amounts of added sugars. They add fast calories and zero nutrition.
Sugary foods negatively impact oral health and sadly do not supply the body
with vitamins and minerals that teeth require for strength and good health. Plaque bacteria react with sugars to pro- duce acids, which destroys the enamel on teeth leading to cavities and decay. The more sugar you consume, the more likely you will get dental decay, which can lead to further challenges such as spreading infection to other parts of the body, increasing risk for heart disease and it can weaken your immune system.
Chronic conditions are also a signifi- cant risk with sugar; damage to various organs can occur. Diabetes occurs when the body can no longer regulate sugar levels effectively. Glycation occurs when a sugar spike is beyond what the insulin can handle. When sugar spikes up blood sugar levels, the risk of stroke and heart attack increases. Fatty liver can cause fatigue and abdominal pain.
If that weren’t enough, sugar raises the risk of bloating and indigestion, poor digestion, and can also cause diarrhea. The skin looses elasticity leading to wrinkles. It can even impact cognitive im- pairment. Finally, it is important to realize that excessive sugar intake is addictive and can decrease self-control.
A review published in the British Jour- nal of Sports Medicine has claimed that refined sugar has a similar effect on the brain as illegal drugs such as cocaine and
that there can be withdrawal symptoms such as depression and behavioural problems when people try cutting out sugar completely. In studies on rats, it has been found that there are significant similarities between eating sugar and drug-like effects such as bingeing, crav- ing, tolerance, withdrawal, dependence, and reward. Research scientists claim that sugar alters mood and can induce reward and pleasure, in the same way drugs such as cocaine affect the brain. They cite studies in rats where sugar was preferred to cocaine, and studies in mice where the mice experienced sugar withdrawal symptoms.
What about alternative sugars?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the argument for artificial sweeteners can certainly seem appealing on the surface... all the sweetness of sugar without the calories. However, it turns out that sugar is actually better for you than an artificial sug- ar, which is really saying something. The best situation is not adding sugar at all.
It is not realistic to assume that you will eliminate all sugar from your diet. And in a very limited number of situations it is important to have on hand. Awareness
is key. AHA recommends limiting added sugars to no more than six percent of cal- ories each day. Work with your healthcare provider to learn what is best for you.

   35   36   37   38   39