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Natural forms of sugar
Honey is also well-known natural sweetener
and has been used for centuries to sweeten
food and drinks, and as a condiment on
breads and other foods, says Jamil. “A natural
source of sugar, honey is composed primarily
of carbohydrates that are natural sugars and
water as well as some vitamins, minerals and
amino acids,” she says and honey contains
16 grams of sugar per tablespoon. “Another
natural form of sugar is Agave Nectar which
is a natural sweetener as well that comes from
the agave plant,” she says and while the Agave
plant may be best-known as the source of
tequila, it is also used as a non-alcoholic and
natural source of sugar. Agave releases nectar
when it is cut that is known as “honey
water” in its native Mexico and is similar in
taste to honey and comes in two varieties --
light and dark.
Where it hides
Most of us are aware sugar needs to be
consumed in moderation but many of us
are consuming far more than we think.
“There’s sugar ‘hiding’ in food and drinks
that might surprise us,” she tells and in fact,
manufacturers often add extra sugar to food
because it makes them taste better.
“When fat is removed from
a processed meal, for example, sugar is often
added to help disguise the blander taste,” she
says and often because of this, many foods we
think of as wholesome - like yoghurt, granola
bars, low-fat snacks and fruit-flavored water
- may actually contain much more sugar than
we realize. “Like salt, these so called ‘added
sugars’ help extend the shelf life of some foods,
such as bread, breakfast cereals and tinned
fruit and vegetables,” she says. “A smarter
option would be to always read the nutrition
labels on food products and make better
decisions.”
Cut down on processed and packaged foods.
Salad dressings, spaghetti sauces, soups and
even pizza crusts contain sugar. Try to purchase
groceries with the least amount of packaging as
possible.
• Indulge in the highest-quality sweets that you
can afford. You will get more satisfaction from
enjoying one divine chocolate truffle than you
will from little sandwich cookies. Resolve to
only eat sweets that you really, really like.
• Banish the candy jar. Do you have a candy bar
on your desk at work, school, or some other
handy and convenient place? Remove it, and
you will reduce your sugar intake.
• Know your sugars. Fructose, glucose, lactose,
maltodextrin and dextrose are all types of sugar
masquerading under their scientific names.
Read grocery labels so that you know what you
are putting into your body.
• Don’t drink liquid candy. Soda is basically
that – liquid candy. Most Americans think of
soda as a beverage, and most Americans are
overweight. Think of soda as a special treat
rather than a daily occurrence, and you will
enjoy it even more and avoid all those empty
calories.
• Indulge your sweet tooth naturally. Fruits,
honey, maple syrup and molasses all contain
natural sugars. Although these foods are no
health superstars, they are a better option when
the sweet tooth strikes and you are craving
some sugary action. An apple will give you
a sweet burst of flavor along with beneficial
vitamins and fiber.
• Resolve to drink your coffee and tea without
sugar and milk; this small change of mind
can save you several sweet teaspoons every
single day, and you will most likely find that
you do not miss it. Don’t let your daily caffeine
requirements become an excuse to load up on
sugar.
How
Much
Sugar
Should
We be
Eating?
According to the American
Heart Association (AHA),
the maximum amount of
added sugars you should
eat in a day is:
• Men: 150 calories per
day (37.5 grams or 9
teaspoons)
• Women: 100 calories
per day (25 grams or 6
teaspoons)
H
How to Replace Your Sugar:
Oct/Nov 2013
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