The Truth Behind Sugar


Welcome to Day #3 of PureFormulas’ Sugar Crush Challenge: 30 days of tips, recipes, and tools to help you cut down on sugar and crush those cravings!

What is sugar?

The term “sugar” might seem confusing at times, especially with there being so many different types. To keep it short and sweet (no pun intended), sugar is a simple carbohydrate and one of its characteristics is providing sweet flavor to foods. Some of the most common types of sugar found in nature  include sucrose, fructose (both naturally found in fruits and vegetables), and lactose (naturally found in dairy).

The truth about added sugars

When we think about the effects that sugar has on our health, we are not talking about the sugars found naturally but about the added ones. The problem gets trickier not only in foods that we already expect to have sugar, like sweets, but in the ones that we don’t expect. To make products more palatable to the consumer, sugar might even be added to foods that are not meant to taste sweet (such as bread and tomato sauce) during the processing or preparation.

To add a little mystery to this sugar tale, did you know that sugar is the only nutrient that does not have a recommended % Daily Value in the Nutrition Facts label of processed foods? Is 12 grams of sugar per serving too much or not that bad? For someone that is not aware that we should limit our added sugars to 25 grams per day, they might not realize that those 12 grams is almost half of what the World Health Organization (WHO) and American Heart Association (AHA) recommend.

When you think about grams, 25 might not even seem that bad. But multiply that by 4, which is how many calories each gram of sugar will provide, and you’ll see that you are actually getting 100 “calories without benefits” since you are not getting useful nutrients there. Now, this is for someone that has the recommended amount, what about someone having 100 grams or more of sugar per day?

How to spot added sugars

The label also does not specify how much of the sugar is naturally found or was added to enhance flavor. No worries though, we have a trick for you. When analyzing the sugar content, you can have an idea if it’s added by looking at the list of ingredients. If you see sugar as one of the first ingredients and/or it is repeated throughout the list, it is safe to say that the sugar in the product mainly comes from added sugars. The trickier part is knowing how to spot it in the label. Did you know that sugar can be found under more than 50 different names? Fun, huh?

Don’t forget to check back in tomorrow to know more about these as we continue our Sugar Crush Challenge…


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