Fructose, otherwise known as fruit sugar, is a simple ketonic monosaccharide found in many plants. Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a professor of pediatrics and an obesity specialist at the University of California. Sucrose is made when fructose is joined to glucose. Sucrose is plentiful in sugar cane, sugar beets, corn, and other plants. When refined, sucrose is converted into table sugar. The intake of Fructose in the general population has risen dramatically over the past few decades which is a worry. Dr. Lustig points out that this increase parallels the increase in obesity, diabetes, and another relatively new health problem called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This condition is now thought to affects almost one-third of Americans.
The sugar problem began to erupt back in the 1970s and 80s where the general consensus was that all fats were bad. Due to this, food corporations found a way to remove the fat, but in it’s place add sugars. Today it is found in almost all processed foods. If we watch our added sugar consumption, it doesn’t seem to have an ill effect for most, but abuse the processed, high and often hidden sugary foods and beverages, health troubles soon appear, including dental problems.
Find out how to reduce sugars and read food labels in Peggy Annear’s No Sugar Diet book on Amazon. There is also a free meal planner that is very helpful for planning out your meals before shopping. I like this book because it takes a common sense look at how to achieve removing all processed sugars from our diets and also gives loads of ideas how to use natural foods in their place. This also helps cravings.
Top 5 Foods Highest in Sugar
Soda has absolutely no nutritional value. One can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar in liquid form. Once you drink a can of soda, your pancreas have to work overtime to secrete enough insulin to process the sugar in the soda. The sugar that cannot be processed is stored as fat in your body. Most sodas contain caffeine which is linked to high blood pressure and cancer. Next time you want to quench your thirst, grab that bottle of water instead.
You may think juice is from fruit, and fruits are healthy, so juice must be healthy, right? Wrong. Store bought juices contain just as much sugar as soda. The small amount of vitamins in store bought juices cannot make up for the loads of sugar added to them. Even if you buy juices that have ‘no added sugar’, they have been sitting in concentrated form a factory tank for almost an year, before being made into liquid juice. They lose flavor and have artificial ‘flavor packs’ added to them to taste like ‘natural’. If you feel like having a glass of juice, eat a fruit instead or make it fresh.
Breakfast cereals are touted as high fiber power foods to give a healthy start to your day. But most popular breakfast cereals like Froot Loops, Chocos etc, are either loaded with Chocolate, Strawberry Syrup or Honey Syrup. You will be shocked to know that some of these cereals are almost 40% sugar! To make your breakfast healthy, opt for plain wheat flakes or oats and top with your favorite fresh fruits.
Cakes, Cookies, Doughnuts and Pastries
All these tempting desserts have 40% or more sugar in them. To top it, they have excess amounts of butter and fat that make them a very unhealthy combination. Doughnuts are deep fried, have sugar, and cream, and are one of the worst foods if you are trying to lose weight and stay healthy. If you feel the craving for cake, grab a fruit tart instead or have sugar free pancakes with a little organic honey.
Canned, Dried Fruits, Jams and Jellies
Although jams and jellies are made from fruit, they use sugar to preserve them, lot of it! Dried fruits too lose all their water and most vitamins and become a sugar concentrate candy. Canned fruits are the worst, being packed in sugar syrup. They only offer the taste of the fruit, and no nutrition whatsoever. Avoid processed fruits, and always opt for fresh fruits.
Infographic Source: Mercola.com