Sugar is delicious and something that many people crave and turn to in times of emotional comfort and stressful situations. The truth is that excessive consumption of sugar makes a person addicted to it over time which is not really a good thing as it can lead to a host of other problems. In this article, we’ll tell you about some foods that you didn’t know are high in sugar and why consuming too much of sugar is bad for your body.
Why Should You Avoid Excess Consumption of Sugary Foods?
Below are a few reasons why you should reduce your sugar intake:
- Risk of diabetes increases if you have too much sugar for a long period of time. It creates a resistance to insulin causing a rise in the level of blood sugar.
- Heart diseases are also often a result of consuming excessive sugar. Too much sugar may also cause other problems like obesity, high triglyceride, inflammation, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. It also causes atherosclerosis, a problem where an excess of fatty deposits causes blocked arteries.
- A diet that is high in sugar is also one that causes weight gain. For example, in sodas, teas and packaged juices, there is a simple sugar called fructose that, when consumed, increases your appetite a lot and can also affect leptin, the hunger hormone that tells your body when to stop eating. This will eventually lead to unwanted weight gain.
- Studies have shown that too much sugar can cause a higher risk of developing depression in both men and women.
- Foods high in sugar tend to cause a spike in blood sugar and the level of insulin. This causes androgens to be secreted and also stimulates the production of oil causing inflammation. All these things are responsible for the formation of acne. Too much sugar will also increase the speed of ageing.
- Cavities are one of the biggest problems that people face due to too much sugar in the diet. Bacteria that form in the mouth tend to feed on the sugar and then release by-products which cause cavities.
Foods and Drinks You Didn’t Know Are High in Sugar
It is easy enough to know that sweet foods contain some amount of sugar in it, but you might be surprised at some other foods that also contain sugar. Here is a list of the foods that have sugar in them:
1. Packaged Soups
This is not something that you would normally think of when you think of food that contains sugar, but it has been known that lots of companies producing packaged or pre-made soups add some sugar to it.
2. Low-fat Yoghurt
Most low-fat products use sugar to sweeten and make them taste better. A 245 grams cup of yoghurt contains up to twelve teaspoons of sugar in it, which is already more than the required sugar intake for both men and women.
3. Tomato Ketchup
Just one tablespoon of tomato ketchup holds one teaspoon of sugar, which is quite a lot. Consumption of ketchup should be reduced to limit sugar intake.
4. Spaghetti Sauce
As spaghetti sauce is made with tomatoes, there is bound to be some natural sugar in it. However, the spaghetti sauce that is made and sold in the market often comes with a whole lot of added sugar.
Granola is often marketed as being a snack that is low in sugar, and even though the main ingredient used to make granolas are oats, they are combined with many extra sugars and honey.
6. Salad Dressing
Store-bought salad dressings often have added sugars and additional flavours, and though they may be convenient, it is best to completely avoid them and make your own salad dressing at home.
7. Sugar-free Products
Sugar-free products have sugar alcohols like mannitol, sorbitol, milk flour and others. The body is unable to absorb these fully and if too much of it is consumed, there will be interference with digestive functioning and you will face a slowing down of your metabolism, leading to weight gain.
Flour, the simple carbohydrate, gets turned into glucose by the body and if you consume it too much, it will lead to a spike in your insulin and blood glucose levels. Not just that, a little sugar or honey is always needed to activate the yeast to make the bread.
9. Barbeque Sauce
There is about 16 grams of sugar in just two tablespoons of barbeque sauce, placing it high up on the list of foods with lots of sugar. While store-bought barbeque sauce may taste great, especially when used to marinate meat, it is better to make your own barbeque sauce so that you have control over the amount of sugar that goes into your family’s meal.
10. Cold Coffee and Iced Tea
Cold coffees and iced teas are becoming more popular, but they are full of sugar. Cold coffee has around 100 grams extra sugar added to it, and the same goes for iced tea. Iced teas have a lot of sugar syrup added to enhance the flavour of the drink, but this can cause an insulin spike so they should be avoided as much as possible.
While oatmeal is actually a very healthy food and is not high in sugar, some packaged oatmeal varieties have more than 14 grams of sugar added to them just for the sake of enhancing the taste. Check the package before buying to see if there is sugar in it and avoid any brands that have sugar high up on the ingredient list.
12. Packaged Fruit Juice
If you want to get the benefits of fruits, you should eat them whole. Packaged fruit juices contain added sugar to enhance the sweetness and flavour of the drink.
13. Sports Drinks
A 240 grams can of energy drink contains at least twenty-four grams of sugar. The amount of sugar in the drink is what provides you with all that energy. It is better to enjoy a bottle of water rather than have an energy drink if you aren’t going to be performing an activity that requires you to burn a lot of calories.
14. Vitamin Water
It may sound like it is good for you, but vitamin water generally has 32 grams of added sugar. It is better just to make your own vitamin water at home using herbs and spices from your kitchen. Otherwise, plain water is the best option.
Not only does alcohol have high-calorie content, but some types and brands of alcohol have a lot of sugar in it, making it high on the list of sugary foods to avoid.
As seen, there is a lot to think about before mindlessly consuming so much sugar every day and even when you want to watch your sugar intake, it can be difficult because there is sugar in things that you would have never expected there to be. Knowing what food contains added sugar is the best way to avoid accidentally consuming too much of it.