The Great Hidden Sugars
Hidden sugars? What in the world does that mean? Well, it’s a term used for sugars that tend to be included in most processed foods. Fructose and corn syrup are the most common ones, but there are so many more! Harvard Health has a great article on this topic too.
Is sugar horrible for you? Yes, it is, but natural sugars aren’t quite as bad. It’s all about how the sugar breaks down in your body. If consumed in the wrong way, the natural sugars can be harmful to you as well.
Sugar is extremely addictive. Studies have proven that sugar is worse than illegal drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine! How can this be, you ask? When we eat sugars, it releases dopamine. What is dopamine? It’s the feel-good hormone that makes us feel happy and relaxed. That makes us want more and more!
Antioxidants are in abundance in berries as well as other nutrients. The fiber releases the sugars into the body quite slowly, making sure that your blood sugar levels stay low. Turn those berries into juice, and what happen? You lose the fiber, and then the sugar is released directly into the body and results in quick metabolism. Thus, you have hidden sugar.
Sugars are associated with obesity and heart disease, and many other conditions we face today.
Fresh Fruit and Natural Sugar
What about fresh fruit and natural sugars? When eaten in the right way, they can be beneficial. Leave you fruit whole. Add a little raw honey, and you have even more added health benefits. But keep in mind that the natural sugars, if not moderated, can be harmful to you as well.
Now, what are some of the other hidden sugars, you ask? There are so very many, but here are a few of the most common:
anything that says sugar or syrup
fructose is most common
agave nectar isn’t healthy or natural
malt beers with barley malt
spaghetti sauce and ketchup
What can you do?
So what can you use to sweeten things when you are baking and cooking? Raw honey is an excellent natural alternative, but use it in moderation. The honey bought in stores tends to be full of added sugar.
Fruits and vegetables whole is the best way to go to get a sweet taste. You have the fiber and the natural sugar together, which is a winning combination.
So let’s all get healthier and try and avoid the harmful sugars and cook and eat smarter.