Will A Spoonful of Sugar Make You Overweight?
Obesity is on the rise. Fortunately, we are not powerless to stop it. While many people associate sweetness with table sugar, called sucrose, this is just one type of sugar that provides this taste. There is also sugar in fruits, called fructose, and many foods contain added sugars such as corn syrup, honey and high fructose corn syrup. All sugars are carbohydrates containing four calories per gram and after digestion they travel through the bloodstream where they are used as fuel for the body. Limiting the intake of sugary foods, which often contribute few nutrients to the diet, can be a positive step in decreasing the number of people who are overweight. While some health experts suggest using a sugar substitute like aspartame to replace the sweetness in some of your favorite foods, other studies, including a University of Texas Health Science Center study, found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Consuming two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500% greater than those who do not consume diet soda. Snacks are often a part of a person’s diet, providing energy and nutrients. The challenge is getting people to eat less high-sugar foods and healthier options. For example, when you are hungry, you could satisfy your sweet tooth by snacking on yogurt (try plain organic and add your own fruit. If you want it sweeter-tasting, add a small amount of stevia), fresh fruit, raisins and other dried fruit, 100-percent fruit snacks, or fruit juice pops made with reduced sugar juice. When reading ingredients lists, look for words like xylitol, stevia, Turbinado or raw sugar as better alternatives. Our bodies handle them a lot better than white sugar or sugar substitutes that are hazardous to our overall health. While you can have sweet foods as part of your diet, the key is moderation-to ensure that sweet foods do not crowd out more nutrient-dense foods. (For those of you who like soda, check out this article.) (For some other information about the dangers of sugar, check out this article.)