Whenever you think about shaping your diet to become healthier, you might hear that you need to cut sugar out entirely. Although sugar is one of the largest villains for a healthy diet, there are a variety of myths about it as well. With the media publicizing the dangers of ingesting sugar on a regular basis to other groups stating that sugar simply isn’t that bad, it’s important to know where to draw the line.
The main thing to remember is that sugar is dangerous when it is consumed in large quantities simply because it increases your risk of developing diabetes and becoming obese. Obesity can lead to a wide variety of other health ailments including heart conditions and joint issues. According to research, people who eat an additional 150 calories worth of sugar on top of their balanced diet are 1% more likely to experience diabetes at some point in their lifetime. This even includes people who are not obese and who exercise regularly. This also pertains to heart disease, as individuals who eat larger amounts of sugar are 2x more likely to experience heart disease.
Many people believe that all types of sugar are exactly the same, but this is another common myth. In fact, there are 2 distinct types of sugar, one type you get from whole foods and the other type you’d find in store-bought goods. The natural and organic sugars in vegetables, dairy products, and fruit are far healthier for you as they put fiber into your system, as well as vitamins, minerals, calcium, and protein. Whereas the unhealthy sugars, including “natural” sweeteners, do not have any nutrients and are incredibly concentrated.
It is important that you pay special attention to the ingredient labels on the products that state they only use “natural” sugars, as many companies combine both natural and processed sugars. It wasn’t until last year that the FDA made it a requirement for companies to separate the two sugars so consumers could tell just how healthy their products are. It is a law to list ingredients by weight, meaning that the first ingredient you read is the most prevalent in the formula. Items that have cane juice, brown sugar, fructose, or maltose listed as the first ingredient are certainly items to avoid.
The best thing you can do to lower your chances of developing diabetes and heart disease is to simply monitor the amount of sugar that you get on a regular basis. By paying close attention to the things that you consume, you can stick to the average amount of 100 calories of sugar per day.