AUG 01, 2019 10:00 PM PDT

Avoiding Sugar In Unexpected Places

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

Most people are under the false impression that what they eat is healthy. There is such a disconnect between the processed, prepackaged foods we eat today and the food we are meant to consume. Even when a person tries to follow a healthy diet, many of the foods advertising themselves as healthy are overly processed and full of sugar.

This sugar-loaded diet is a huge contributor to the obesity epidemic. Poor diet in combination with inactivity results in lifestyle diseases like hypertension and diabetes. The deadliest of which, heart disease, kills hundreds of thousands of Americans each year.

This is even more alarming when you consider that projections expect this number to greatly increase in coming years. With the foods, we consume it’s of little surprise that Americans are expected to gain weight and experience an increased risk for chronic disease. Additionally, parts of the world that have never experienced such problems are going to see great increases is such these illnesses as well.

Incredibly, these diseases are largely preventable and in many cases even reversible through diet and exercise. Though changes on an individual level are possible, larger systemic change is needed. Many nutritionists and healthcare professionals would like to see more honest labeling from food companies. These companies purposefully use confusing labeling and multiple terms for the additive to mask the high sugar content in their products.

The consumption of such high levels of sugar is associated with several negative health consequences. In addition to obesity, these include weight gain and increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, accelerated cellular aging and more.

Nutritionists recommend consumer education on the many ways companies label sugar in their products. It is also recommended that people move away from processed, prepackaged foods to whole foods prepared in the home. This allows a person to control the sugar, salt and fat content and increase the nutritional value of their meals.

Many people start with the gradual removal of high sugar foods from their diet. Some of the worst offenders are sodas, juices, and prepackaged snacks. Simply swapping a daily sugary coffee beverage for drip coffee with little or no sugar can cut hundreds of grams of the sweet stuff from a person's diet each week. Additionally, this type of gradual replacement seems to work better for people than a more sudden dietary change.

The above video gives real-world examples of just how much sugar is in the foods we consume. It also gives practical advice for decoding food labels so that consumers can make healthier food choices.

 

Sources: National Institutes of HealthTED

About the Author
Applied Sport and Exercise Science
Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
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