Did you know some of the main ingredients in most of your pantry foods and refrigerated sauces contain sugar? Usually sugar is added to foods in the forms of simple sugars such as glucose, fructose or sucrose, but often the manufacture will disguise the amount of sugar by listing it under several different names.
Sugar can be disguised in many forms in fact there are around 52 different ways of writing sugar on packaging. Some of the more common ways are:
- Barley malt
- Brown rice syrup
- Corn Syrup
- Corn Syrup solids
- Diastatic malt
- Ethyl maltol
What Effects Does Fructose Have on my Body?
Fructose is metabolised almost entirely by your liver, this puts a strain on the liver and your body’s health.
As documented in a study by Stanhope et al 2013, increased levels of either fructose or sucrose increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
What Effects Does Sucrose Have on my Health?
Sucrose is the most common type of sugar that you will find in your household and supermarket items. More commonly known as “table sugar”, and it is found in many fruits and plants as a naturally occurring carbohydrate.
Sucrose is also found in many processed foods including ice cream, tomato sauce, canned fruit and breakfast cereals to name a few.
A study by Jogensen et al, 2017 found that a diet higher in sucrose leads to insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, and therefore age related diseases due to mitochondrial dysfunction.
What Effect does Glucose Have on my Health?
Glucose comes from the Greek word “sweet” which explains it well, as it is a commonly found sugar in many products we purchase including ready meals and takeaway.
Glucose is moved from your blood into your cells by the hormone insulin. In a study by Stanhope et al 2009, found that an increase in glucose leads to insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes.
How to Avoid Excess Sugar Intake
- Eat whole and unprocessed foods
- Check the lable of any packaged food for different names of sugar
- Avoid sugary drinks and swap it out for herbal teas, water or unsweetened options
- Use stevia as a sweeter instead of sugar or syrups
- Consume fruits with natural sugars and avoid foods with added sugars
- Replace any sugary snacks with homemade natural snacks such as homemade bliss balls, natural yoghurt and berries, apple slices and peanut butter, cottage cheese with flaxseeds and cinnamon.
- Shop the perimeter of the supermarket, focusing on fresh food sections
- Write a food diary to keep yourself accountable
- Avoid take away, and prepare your own meals at home
Also remember that sugar has an effect on your dental hygiene, your skins collagen and the pace at which your skin ages, it also drains your energy with short quick sugar spikes.
If you feel that you would like to discuss a meal plan and would like some guidance on healthy eating, make an appointment with one of our friendly nutritionists today!
Jorgensen, W., Rud, K, A., Mortensen, O, H., Frandsen, L., Grunnet, N., Quistorff, B 2017. Your Mitochondria are what you eat: a high-fat or a high-sucrose diet eliminates metabolic flexibility in Isolated mitochondria from rat skeletal muscle. Physiological Reports. 5(6), e13207.
Stanhope, K, L., Schwarz, J, M., Havel, P, J 2013. Adverse metabolic effects of dietary fructose: results from the recent epidemiological, clinical, and mechanistic studies. Current Opinion in Lipidology. 24(3), 198-206.
Stanhope, K, L., Schwarz, J, M., Kiem N. L., Griffen, S, C., Bremer, A, A., Graham J, L., Hatcher, B., Cox, C, L., Dyachenko, A., Zhang, W., McGahan, J, P., Seibert, A., Krauss, R, M., Chiu, S., Schaefer E, J., Ai, M., Otokozawa, S., Nakajima, K., Kakano, T., Beysen, C., Hellerstein, M, K., Berglund, L., Havel, P, J 2009. Consuming fructose-sweetned, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans. The Journal of Clinician Investigation. 119(5), 1322-34.