How much sweet is too much


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
How much sweet is too much

You may say you don't have a sweet tooth, yet you begin your day with sweetened cereal, sweetened milk, tea or coffee, eat salads with dressing, a soft drink or a cup of fruit yoghurt during the day, and finally end your day with the sinful dessert.

With the festive season on. it is impossible to resist those exotic-looking sweets and chocolates. And then there is hidden sugar added to processed foods and drinks that can sabotage your diet. Indeed, sugar gives you energy and pleasure but how much is enough? Unless you know the source of 'sneaky' sugars, you will end up consuming a lot of sugar, which can be harmful to your health.

Feeding your sweet tooth
Sugars in all forms - sucrose, fructose, glucose or lactose, exist around you in juices, sauces, jams, jellies, cakes, pastries, puddings, kheers, honey, jaggery, ice creams - the list is endless. These are a quick source of calories. But excess caloric intake results in putting on the pounds and obesity, which is the main risk factor for diabetes, heart disease etc. Only if you are a highly active person, burning a lot of calories, there's nothing to worry. For those of you who have diabetes, you need to watch your sugar and carbohydrate intake to properly manage your blood sugar levels.

The recent trend of eating out, consuming packaged foods and drinking more beverages than ever is a disturbing one. You may be actually eating almost 20 spoons of sugar every day! According to the WHO, the recommended sugar level is a maximum of 12 teaspoons of sugar (48 grams) in a 2,200-calorie diet for a normal person, which translates to roughly 9 per cent of your daily calories.

Sugar occurs naturally in foods, especially in fresh fruits and therefore you do not require added sugar. The sugar that you eat in whichever form gets converted to glucose in the blood, giving you energy. The American Heart Association recommends that a woman's added sugar intake should not be more than six teaspoons a day (100 calories); for men the number jumps to nine teaspoons (150 calories) per day.

When you pick up packaged foods check the labels first. Look out for carbohydrates and words that end in 'ose' or 'ol' - glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltose, sucrose, lactose, mannitol, sorbitol, which are all forms of sugar. Corn, sorghum and fructose syrup are added as sweeteners to drinks. Honey, molasses and brown sugar, too, give you calories. According to health experts, two to 10 gm of added sugar per 100 gm of food is moderate amount of sugar; seven gms of sugar, is equal to one tablespoon of sugar.

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