It’s time for the truth about sugar: It’s bad for us! Some experts call it “poison,” and say it’s literally killing us. Because too much sugar creates fat buildup in the liver, which can cause obesity, type II diabetes, and heart disease.
Experts say we shouldn’t worry about naturally occurring sugars - that’s what makes milk, fruits and vegetables taste sweet. Because fresh foods also contain water and fiber, which slow the release of sugars, and prevent insulin spikes.
So, what type of sugar do we need to worry about? The sugars added to processed foods, like cakes, cookies, candy, and sodas. And hidden sugar in things like crackers, salad dressings, and even ketchup. But how much added sugar’s okay? No more than 6 teaspoons a day – which is less than what’s in one 12-ounce can of regular soda. But most of us ingest 3 times that much!
The fix? Read labels! If sugar’s one of the first few ingredients, don’t buy it. The words to avoid are: syrup, fruit concentrate, and anything that ends in “ose” – like fructose, and dextrose.
Here’s what else you need to know about sugar:
- Yes, there is such a thing as a sweet tooth! Researchers found two sweet-receptor genes in our DNA that can predict a preference for sweets.
- Raw, natural sugar is no better than regular white sugar. And although agave nectar has been touted as a healthy sugar alternative, it’s not. It contains tons of fructose, which tends to linger in the liver longer than any other type of sugar.
Finally, here's what all that added sugar can do to you:
- It can suppress your white blood cells, leaving you vulnerable to illness, like colds and flu.
- It also weakens the protein in your skin, leading to wrinkles and sagging.
- Too much sugar also makes your body less effective at fighting off cancer.
- And one can of sugary soda a day? It can raise your risk of a heart attack by 24%.