As many of us know, sugar is known to be the most common cause of diseases such as obesity and diabetes. However, it would be almost impossible to tell someone not to eat sugar at all, not only because it is one of the essential nutrients we need for maintaining healthy bodies, but also it is “hidden” in the food we eat daily. What should we do then? The key is to eat smartly and take an appropriate amount of sugar.
Ms. Kim, a 36 year-old office worker, decided to go on a diet three months ago after gaining 17 pounds during two years. She ate potatoes and corns for breakfast and dinner, salads for lunch, and a variety of fruits for snacks. Although she has lost about 4 pounds in total after such intense diet, her blood glucose and triglyceride levels significantly went up.
Why was there such abnormal change after she decreased the amount of daily food intake and solely ate healthy food? Professor Lee Yoon-Kyung at Cha Medical University said, “Foods like potatoes and corns contain a lot of sugar, and if you overeat them, your blood glucose level will go up and those sugar that could not work as energy source can be converted to fat”. Also, the salad dressing Ms. Kim ate for lunch was another problem. “Most salad dressings you can buy outside have strong sweet tastes, which will make you eat more of it to feel less of the bitter taste of greens”, Prof. Lee said.
Some sugar converts to fat in your body
There are two types of sugar (carbohydrates): simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates refer to glucose and fruit sugar, and complex carbohydrates include starch and fiber. While simple carbs are rapidly absorbed in our bodies and actively used as energy, complex carbs have relatively slower speed of absorption.
Which foods contain a lot of sugar? Surprisingly, the foods we eat for diet have a lot of hidden sugar. Salads, fruits, and cereals are some examples. Especially salads are important since they come with dressings. Salad dressings made out of fruits contain high levels of sugar. Instead, dressings made out of natural herbs or vegetables would be ideal to eat in order to take the least amount of sugar.
Don’t get confused between ‘unsweetened’ and ‘sugar-free’
Many people misunderstand that the common ‘unsweetened’ fruit juices contain zero amount of sugar. ‘Unsweetened’ simply means that the juice (or other foods) contain ‘no added sugars’ in addition, and it does contain sugar indeed since the fruits themselves had sugar in the first place.
Same thing goes for yogurts. Although some yogurts say ‘unsweetened’, it is highly possible that the original food sources used contain sugar. For those of you, who drink iron beverages after exercise, iron/sports drinks do have sugar which is 6 to 8 % of the total amount of beverages. So, if you have a habit of drinking iron beverages like water, you should definitely consider drinking less of it. Also, eating raw fruits and vegetables can be a great substitute of drinking in juices, which have a high amount of sugar added.
Original document available from http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=4274405
Translated by Audrey Joung