It’s no secret that there is an obesity epidemic not only in America but all over the world. In recent years the percentage of people putting on unhealthy amounts of weight has grown out of control. How did this happen? There must be something that’s responsible for this sudden and scary change. More importantly, is there any way that we can fix it?
The one ingredient that is turning the world obese and damaging our health? Added sugar.
On average, an American adult eats over twenty teaspoons of sugar every day. Imagine if you were going to drink your morning cup of coffee with all that sugar in it at once? You wouldn’t be able to swallow it—that’s not how it’s happening. All of that sugar is already added to the foods that we eat. We have been tricked out of our right not to be healthy.
What Makes Sugar So Bad
What’s the worst thing about sugar? Back when you were a kid people would warn you off candy saying sugar would rot your teeth. The stereotypical health warning is a little out of date. Sugar is much worse than that.
Sugar messes with the metabolism because on a chemical level it is mostly fructose, a simple sugar that the liver metabolizes into fat. The more fructose in your body, the more visceral fat there is in your body. Visceral fat is the kind of fat that builds up around your internal organs, unlike the kind of fat that is stored under your skin. Metabolizing fructose also leads to increased insulin resistance, a leading cause of diabetes. A host of other diseases have also been linked to having to deal with fructose.
Well, how did this happen? How did sugar become king? One of the first health diet crazes to sweep the nation was the Low-fat diet in the late 1970s. Low-fat mania took off after American dietary information was released that said saturated fat and cholesterol were the most unhealthy parts of the modern diet. The information was not only wrong, it also suggested that we eliminate healthy sources of nutrition like meat, dairy, eggs and butter from our diets. At the same time, low-fat alternatives started to pop up on supermarket shelves.
Sugar was the secret ingredient of low-fat foods. Since there was no mention of sugar in these guidelines, and lower amounts of fat mean worse flavor, sugar was added to almost anything labeled “healthy.” It was the beginning of the health crisis we are living with today.
What to Avoid
If you want to keep added sugar out of your food there a few items to cut out of your diet:
•Canned and preserved fruit
•Bottled Sauces and condiments
Remember, sometimes sugar finds its way into food under misleading names like “evaporated cane juice” and “high fructose corn syrup.” Look out for these when you check out your nutritional information labels.