Apart from dietary fats, what is the biggest culprit behind weight gain? Yes, you are right! Sugar!
Now before you slam sugar as the bad guy who gives you the cavities and extra bulge, please understand that it is impossible to eliminate sugar totally from our diet because they are present in different forms everywhere, such as in our fruits, milk and even rice and noodles because they occurs naturally in them.
While natural sugar is impossible to eliminate, we are looking at how to reduce “added sugar”. As the term goes, added sugar refers to extra sugar that we include in our dishes to create that extra flavour. Sometimes sugar is also added to food products such as baked goods or sweet treats to give that nice caramelized colour, aroma and texture.
So is sugar only added to your lovely cakes or cookies? NO! you will be surprised to see that there is also high amount of sugar in the following products:
- Pasta sauce
- Condiments such as chilli sauce, ketchup and barbeque sauce
- Canned soup
- Salad dressing
- Snack bars
- Energy drinks
- Probiotic drinks
- Almost all canned food
- Sweetened/ flavored yoghurt
- Breakfast cereals
The list is almost non-exhaustive, and it is scary to learn that there are so much “hidden sugar” in many of our favourite food products. So how does sugar leads you to a thicker waistline?
Sugar doesn’t fill you up or satiates you, and if you didn’t realise, it often leaves you hungry an hour later after the consumption of any sweet food. Feeling irony? This is because excess sugar consumption can spike your blood sugar out of the normal range. Your body will produce a lot of insulin during this period to break down the extra sugar and this is known as the “high-glycemic “.
Once this sugar is used up, you will start to feel hungry! Think of it like you are suddenly, given more pocket money and you used it up instantly, which leaves you poor and miserable for the next few days. Hence, after the sugar rush, you may then experience hunger, mood swings which leads you to start eating more. This may eventually lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes for some people. In addition, you could be developing some nasty cavities as well!
So how do you choose wisely? One way is to identify food items that comes with the Healthier Choice Symbol which has about 25% lesser sugar than regular items!
So other than choosing food products with the HCS logo, you may want to reach out for sweet food that is less processed if you are desperate to sooth your sweet tooth, e.g fruits.
Let’s say you eat an apple which has the same amount of sugar to a piece of cookie. The former is a better choice because, the natural sugar is combined with dietary fiber to slow down absorption. It also has vitamins and antioxidants that improves to your overall health! The latter simply contains too much empty calories and does not contribute to any other health benefits.
For all customers at Food Canopy, you will be delighted to know that our hot beverages such as coffee and tea comes without sugar by default and all of our canned drink options comes with the HCS (with lesser sugar) logo! Drink with a peace of mind!
Also stay tuned to our next health blog as we will be featuring how eating more dietary fibre can help you prevent the Number 1 Cancer in Singapore! Log on to attempt a quiz next week to stand a chance to win some attractive prizes!