Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 25th 2017 Contents B5
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Don't Fall for the Tricks Behind the Treats
You may be eating too much sugar without even noticing it.
We just made it out of Divali (buss up
shot, bar and kurma galore!) and
now, Halloween is almost here. Since
the holiday is synonymous with candy, the
spookiest day of the year can actually turn out
to be the most sugary of all, too. Sure, there
are certainly tricks behind the treats, but there
are ways to better manage your relationship
According to nutritionfacts.org, today, by the
time the average child in a developed country
turns 8 years old, they have had more sugar
in their lives than the average person did in
their entire lifetime just one century ago!
Excess sugar consumption has been linked to
in ammation, the development and progression
of autoimmune diseases and behavioural
disorders. And with the onset of childhood
obesity, arterial plaque and fatty streak build
ups in kids' arteries starting as early as at the
age of 10, it seems important that we learn and
implement strategies for balancing our sugar
Making a change is easier said than done,
though---especially considering the fact that
the research shows that sugar is more addictive
Sugar is a sneaky ingredient, hiding in many
products that we consume on a daily basis. If you
don't know how to read a nutrition label correctly
or identify added sugars, you're almost always
sure to surpass your daily allowance. Our brains
and bodies need glucose for basic physiological
function, but it's the overconsumption of sugar
How much added sugar is just enough?
For males, 36 grams or 9 teaspoons.
For females, 24 grams or 6 teaspoons.
For children, 16 grams or 4 teaspoons.
It's not imperative that we eat exactly this
amount of sugar every day, these numbers are
just a representation of what we should aim for.
Sugar is digested in the small intestine and is
then taken to the liver to be converted into
glucose. It can either provide immediate energy
or be stored as glycogen in muscles or in your
liver until storage space reaches its capacity.
Any excess will turn into fat molecules and be
deposited for storage in our cells---that's why
our hips grow wider and our stomachs get larger.
Other times, when we can't see the excess fatty
acid accumulation, it only develops internally
around our liver and organs.
Good news, though: We have solutions and
It's true that all natural sweeteners will eventually
be converted to the simplest form of sugar,
but agave, honey and brown sugar are great
alternatives. Choose which is best for you by
paying attention to your mood and noticing
improved immune functions.
Avoid anything that contains corn syrup,
high-fructose corn syrup, re ned white sugar
and arti cial sweeteners that are loaded with
chemicals like aspartame, sucralose saccharin
and acesulfame. Studies show that these are
linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer cell
growth and depression since sugars have the
ability to warp our DNA on both a cellular and
The solution that worked for me---a former sugar
addict---was to become a master at reading
labels. With that skill, you can look for the sugar
content and weigh out your options based on
your daily intake allowance. Set a "sugar budget"
for yourself and try not to exceed it. If I consume
too much sugar one day, I'll make sure my intake
the day after is very low or completely sugar-free.
So, what's the takeaway?
In general, we need to shift our perception
on sugar. Instead of considering it a staple
ingredient in our everyday diets, perhaps, we
should look back at ancient times when sugar
was just a treat, consumed in small doses every
now and then.
No good will come from overindulging in candy
and falling victim to your sweet tooth---unless
you enjoy having regular sugar imbalances and
visiting the dentist and doctor monthly.
7 Sources of
in Your Diet
The average consumer will
almost always say, "But I don't
add sugars to anything---so
where are they hiding?" Well,
it's not only in soft drinks,
candies and desserts you love
oh-so-much, but also in other
store-bought items that you'd
never expect to nd them in.
That, too, includes foods that
are marketed as "healthy".
1. CANNED SOUPS
~23 grams per cup
(But it's not even sweet!)
2. PASTA SAUCE
~2 teaspoons per meal
3. FRUIT JUICES
~23 grams per cup
(Don't be fooled by "fruit"!)
~23 grams per container
(Be weary of the avoured
kinds with fruit llings!)
5. CONDIMENTS LIKE
BBQ SAUCE AND
~1 teaspoon per tablespoon
6. GUMMY WORMS
~ 44g grams every 10 worms
(That's 11 packets of sugar!)
7 ENERGY DRINKS
~ 83g grams per can
(That's 22 packs of sugar!!!)
Any comments or questions? Shoot Annick an email at
email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annick Lewis is a nutritionist (BSc) and L2 personal trainer
with a passion for balance of the body, mind and soul. As
the founder and CEO of Green Balance by Organnick, her
sole mission is to help clients achieve a healthy lifestyle and
sense of wellbeing. Follow her journey on social media @
wearegreenbalance on Instagram and Green Balance on
Facebook and visit www.greenbalance.co for more nutritional
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