It seems that the "sugar belly" is replacing the "beer belly" and the stats and findings are scary. If you have added sugars creep unknowingly into your diet, you could be on the track for insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease. Not to mention low energy, possible disturbed sleep patterns and additional dietary stress to your body.
There are far too many foods out there that are promoted as 'healthy' when in fact they are loaded too much with added sugars. How can you check your sugar consumption? Here's a few tips to help you be more aware:
A food doesn't necessarily have to be deemed a dessert to be high in added sugars! There are many salad dressings packed with far too many hidden additives like sugar that increase your 'empty calorie' numbers.
Read your labels! And, be sure to read the serving size to make sure that you're actually consuming the amount indicated and not more. That way, you can actually see what amount of added sugars there are. Stay away from unnatural sugar additives!
Foods like French fries (including yam fries!) and burgers can have added sugar.
Watch your condiment additions to your burgers! Ketchup has huge amounts of sugar - and, NO, ketchup is not considered a vegetable serving!
All alcoholic drinks are high in sugar and the "mix" can double or triple that amount. Not to mention that alcohol can make you throw all your inhibitions away and cause you to eat more calories (and high sugar foods) than you would normally.
Are you drinking your fruit rather than eating it? It seems that the real fruit drinks are harder for your body to handle the sugars (even though they are natural) than if you ate the whole fruit (researchers feel it may have something to do with the fibre in the fruit).
One of the pitfalls to having high sugar in your diet is that you nudge out the food that is better for you. You increase your empty calorie consumption, and fill up on the sugars, leaving your body to crave nutrients that are lacking. This usually means you overeat and consume far too many calories in high sugar/high fat foods.
The way the fat is stored on the body is also important in determining your future health issues. Visceral fat (stored around the organs and deep in the body) is the worst fat to have and is very hard to eliminate. Fat stored around the liver can create an overworked liver whose main job is to metabolize body fat!
Most women should get no more than 100 calories (6.5 teaspoons) a day from added sugars and most men should get no more than 150 calories or 9.5 teaspoons. To convert teaspoons to grams of sugar, multiply by 4. To convert teaspoons to calories from sugar, multiply by 16. Are you within those numbers?
Check out the foods and drinks below to see how many teaspoons of too much sugar you may be allowing to creep into your diet:
Dairy Queen Vanilla Shake (large, 621 g) - 22 teaspoons
Starbucks Chai Latte - 16 teaspoons
Tim Hortons Triple Chocolate Muffin - 11 teaspoons
Starbucks Lemon Poppyseed Loaf - 9 teaspoons
M & M's Milk Chocolate (48g) - 8 teaspoons
Tim Hortons Maple Cinnamon French Toast Bagel - 4 teaspoons
Kellogg's Two Scoops of Raisin Bran (1 cup/55 g) - 1.5 teaspoons
Kashi Go Lean (1 cup) - 2.5 teaspoons
Silk Organic Vanilla Fortified Soy (250 ml) - 2 teaspoons
Silk Chocolate Fortified Soy (250 ml) - 5 teaspoons
Danone Creamy Vanilla Yogourt (100g) - 2 teaspoons
Nutella (1 tablespoon serving) - 3 teaspoons