Sugar is a carbohydrate, but it is not the healthy kind and is referred to as a monosaccharide and you may have also heard the phrase Simple Carbohydrate. It is empty of vitamins, minerals and fibre. It is a source of calories, but it has NO benefit to you. Sugar is linked to many types of healthy problems such as type 2 diabetes, and I’d also like you all to be aware that sugar can affect your skin too! Sugar loves to feed candida and so for those of you that suffer with recurring thrush infections, consider how much sugar you may be consuming too.
Sugar Ages You!
Chronic overeating of sugar can make the skin dull and wrinkled. The science of this is that sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called ‘advanced glycation end-product’ a.k.a. AGEs. The more sugar you consume, the more AGEs you develop. It can happen during cooking when sugar molecules in food react and form AGEs, the brown colour formed in toasted bread, biscuits, doughnuts, crackers which can indicate AGEs, and when consumed, aids ageing.
“A sugar by any other name is just as sweet”
Sugar goes under so many other names and here some of the aliases sugar goes by:
- Brown sugar
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Invert sugar
- Lactose (This sugar is found in milk that some people are not able to break down and can cause bloating, inflammation, catarrh, eczema, wind and pain)
- Raw sugar
How many calories are in sugar?
It might not seem much at only 4 kcal per 1 gram. However one teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams which is 16 kcals. Whilst I'd like us to concentrate on learning new habits and healthy eating and not necessarily counting calories. In the early days of learning how to consume healthier foods, tracking what you consume and therefore what foods contain sugar is an eye opener to what we are truly eating and drinking each day. This will help you to learn what you should NOT buy and to find healthier alternatives.
Do yourself a favour and learn how to read food labels
You can learn a lot about how much of what is in the food you eat by learning to read food labels. To put it another way, 16 grams of sugar in a product is equal to about 4 teaspoons of granulated sugar.
Do the maths - 4 teaspoons of sugar is 16 grams of sugar multiply by 4 kcals / gram = 64 kcals.
This hidden sugar can sabotage your healthy weight goals and please keep with Step 1 to keep adding everything you consume onto a journal or an app like My Fitness Pal.
How much sugar is in your lunch today?
I’ll talk more about how to interpret sugar on food labels very soon.