How Bad is Excessive Sugar Intake?
Did you know that foods that contain excess sugar can cause obesity, heart disease, and diabetes? Regular consumption of high-sugar foods can cause a sugar addiction. So what are these high-sugar foods that you should avoid? Let`s get talking.
17 High-Sugar Foods that May be Unhealthy
Frozen pizza and other frozen foods contain an alarming amount of sugar, preservatives, and added flavor and color. Pizza sauce also contains an unhealthy amount of sugar which enhances its taste. Instead of frozen pizza, why not opt for low-sugar options like homemade flatbread pizza or lettuce wrap? The more healthy options are always better.
Packaged Fruit Juices
Packaged fruit juices are low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These juices also contain added sugar and artificial flavors and colors which are absolutely unhealthy. Instead of drinking packaged fruit juices, make freshly pressed juice at home and have it without adding sugar.
Many people consume breakfast cereals because they are easy to prepare, and they`re portable, tasty, and crunchy. But did you know that a number of cereals contain lots of sugar? Avoid any breakfast cereal that contains excess sugar and added flavors. It is advisable to consume plain corn flakes and any cereal that has no added sugar.
Vitamin water is fortified with vitamins and minerals. It is usually marketed as a healthy product, but it actually isn`t. Would you believe that a bottle of vitamin water contains 32 grams of added sugar and 120 calories? Well, it does! It is healthy to drink plain water instead and consume healthy foods, vegetables, and fruits that contain vitamins and minerals.
Sports drinks are originally made for athletes who need readily available energy in the form of glucose. Non-athletes are advised to avoid sports drinks because they usually don`t burn the sugar they accumulate from such drinks.
Cakes, Pastries, and Donuts
Cakes, pastries, and donuts contain extra sugar, flour and high-fat ingredients that are unhealthy. Try baking yours at home and use less sugar when you do. You may also replace flour with grated carrot, pumpkin, or gourd.
Flavored Green Tea
Green tea has amazing health benefits, no doubts, however, many flavored green teas aren`t as healthy as people believe. These products have gained some popularity mainly because of their unique flavor and sweet taste. Needless to say, they contain added sugar and/or artificial sweeteners, which are unhealthy.
Ketchup contains a lot of sugar, salt, additives, and preservatives. A tablespoon of ketchup contains four grams of added sugar. Instead of ketchup, consume mint dips, coriander dips, yogurt dips, and other healthy alternatives.
Packaged Salad Dressing
Packaged salad dressings are time-saving, hence feel super-convenient, however, they can be unhealthy because of their sugar content. Two tablespoons of salad dressing contain four grams of added sugar, together with additives and taste enhancers. Instead of consuming packaged salad dressing so frequently, you can simply make your salad dressing a home by mixing Dijon mustard, olive oil, chili flakes, herbs, honey, salt, fresh fruit juice, and lime juice.
Of course, having some cookies with a glass of milk is quite refreshing. But how healthy are cookies? They contain flour, sugar, dry fruits, food additives, and preservatives which make them taste so great, but also make them so unhealthy. If you really love cookies, you may bake them at home and decide how much sugar you add ― which should be minimal. You could also replace the flour with whole wheat flour or oatmeal.
This yummy sauce used for marinating meat and veggies contains a truckload of added sugar. Instead of using BBQ sauce as a marinade or dip, make homemade marinades and dips.
Ready-to-eat soups are so convenient but can be unhealthy. How? A teaspoon of packaged soup powder contains four grams of sugar. Also, the thick or cream-based soups contain cornflour, which is high in calories.
Dried and Canned Fruits
Dried and canned fruits taste great, however, canned fruits are preserved in sugar syrups that destroy the vitamins and fiber content of the fruits, and increase their calorie count also. Consume fresh fruits instead of dried or canned ones.
Bread is made of flour, sugar, and yeast. Flour gets broken down into glucose, hence excess consumption of bread can cause an increase in blood glucose and insulin levels. You may consume multigrain bread to add some complex carbs to your diet.
Iced teas are high in calories and sugar, making regular consumers be at risk of an insulin spike. You can prepare a more healthy iced tea at home, using good quality tea, fruits, lemon, honey, and herbs.
Bottled Spaghetti Sauce
Bottled spaghetti sauce is also high in sugar content. A serving of pasta sauce contains 10g sugar. It is more healthy to make your own pasta sauce at home.
Granola bars are made of oats, however, they`re not as healthy as plain rolled oats. These bars contain dried fruits, added sugar, honey, and nuts. Consuming them regularly would increase your calorie count.
Some Sugar Facts
- Two hundred years ago, the average American consumed two pounds of sugar per year. In 1970, it increased to 123 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average American consumes over 152 pounds of sugar per year.
- Sugar can take various forms such as fructose, sucrose, and lactose. Sucrose is the most commonly used form of sugar and is commonly called table sugar.
- Sugar is one of the world’s oldest ingredients.
- Studies suggest that the people of New Guinea were the first to domesticate sugar cane, at about 8000 B.C.
- In the 16th century, a teaspoon of sugar cost the equivalent of five dollars in London.
- The word “sugar” originates from the Sanskrit word, “sarkara,” which means “material in a granule form.”
- Excessive sugar consumption can increase the risk of heart disease.
- Sugar addiction can be genetic for some persons.
- The acid in lemon masks the sweetness of the sugar content in it.
- Lemons have more sugar than strawberries.
- There are two major plants from which we get sugar: sugar cane and sugar beet.
- Sugar cane grows in tropical and subtropical regions, while sugar beet grows in temperate climates, such as certain parts of Europe, the United States, and Japan.
- Brazil is the world’s largest producer of sugar cane.
- India is the world’s largest consumer of sugar.
- Sugar stimulates the same parts of the brain that cocaine and heroin do.
- Brain scans show that sugar is as addictive as cocaine.
- Tooth decay is not actually caused by sugar; it is caused by the bacteria that feed off the sugar.
- Excessive consumption of sugar can affect memory negatively.
- Some sugars in our diets give energy and enrich the brain.
- Powdered sugar is ground sugar mixed with a small amount of cornstarch.
- People crave sweet snacks more when they`re tired.
- Sugar is more addictive than fat and salt.
- Drinking a liter of water a day reduces your risk of high blood sugar by 21 percent.
Now That You Know…
Foods that contain lots of sugar can be quite unhealthy, and you should avoid them, or at least, consume them less often. There are loads of healthy foods that you can choose from. Your food intake has a lot to do with healthy living. Eat healthily!