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Six rules about sugar you should keep in mind every day

by , 16 September 2015

I feel like trying to understand sugar is near impossible. The more savvy I become when it comes to food labels, the more determined manufacturers become to making understanding food labels confusing, it seems. Especially when it comes to sugar.

Sticking to an unprocessed, whole food diet is your best bet if you're looking to avoid sugar confusion. When you eat quinoa or broccoli, you don't have to worry about added sugar or sneaky sweeteners. But we live in a real world, meaning that sometimes we're going to eat processed foods or add a little sweetener to our green tea. When you do, keep these handy rules in mind to make the best decisions!

Six things to always keep in mind about sugar

#1: Added sugar is worse than total sugar
All sugar ultimately have the same effect on your body: They break down to glucose and fructose. Having said that, though, natural sugar found in fruits and whole foods comes wrapped with fibre, nutrients, phytonutrients and other good stuff that buffers its effects. Added sugars, on the other hand, often come in nutrient-empty, heavily-processed food, which automatically deems them worse for not only your waistline, but also your health.
#2: Sugar often hides behind harmless-sounding names
Manufacturers often hide sugar behind innocuous-sounding names. For example: Fruit juice concentrate. Your pancreas and liver don’t care whether sugar comes in organic packaging or carries a pretty, seemingly healthy name. It all breaks down the same way.
#3: Sugar lurks in a lot of “healthy” foods
Visit your local health food store and you’ll likely discover numerous products sweetened with honey, agave nectar and other so-called healthy sweeteners. Don’t be fooled! A tiny cup of yoghurt could contain as much sugar as a chocolate bar. Look at the food label for sugar amounts, and be aware that this is for one serving, and you’re likely to eat several portions.

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#4: Artificial sweeteners aren’t much better than real sugar
Artificial sweeteners got a free pass for far too long. Then, a number of troubling studies surfaced and found, among other things, that aspartame and other sweeteners created glucose intolerance (paving the way for type 2 diabetes) and gut-flora imbalances. Steer clear of those pretty blue, yellow and pink packages.
#5: Green juices sometimes contain as much sugar as soft drinks
Some popular commercial green juices actually contain more fruit than vegetables, and pack the same amount of sugar as soft drinks! If you juice, make your own at home, or ask your juicer to only add veggies with a dash of honey or lemon for flavour.
#6: Fructose can cause serious metabolic damage
Unlike glucose, which nearly every cell in your body can utilise, fructose heads directly to your liver; the only organ that can metabolise high levels of it. Research shows that fructose induces less insulin production and triggers hunger signals in your brain. Rather than utilising this sugar for energy, your body turns fructose into liver fat. This increase of visceral fat can up your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Keep these six things in mind every day and reduce your sugar intake to live a healthier life!

Editor’s note: It's important you take how much sugar you eat seriously. If you don't, you might very well land up with diabetes. Interested in learning more about diabetes? Join Natural Health Dossier today and learn how you can treat this common condition with a simple spice – cinnamon! It’ll only take you a few minutes…

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