Sugar is definitely not hiding from you in that birthday cake — it's more like hiding in plain sight. But it is hiding in lots of other foods we consume, thinking they are good for us because they're in the organic section at the market. The United Nation's health agency said in 2002 that no more than 10 percent of our daily calories should come in the form of sugar. The World Health Organization wants to challenge people further, asking that people try and keep their sugar consumption below five percent of daily calories.
That's around six teaspoons per day. With a regular diet of fruits and vegetables, foods that are ripe with natural sugar, your daily allowance is about used up! It would be a tall challenge to stick to that five percent quota, as a yogurt cup, a granola bar or a single serving of apple juice would all likely add six more teaspoons of sugar... sugar you really don't need!
So where is all this sugar hiding?
Most added sugars go incognito; they are in high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, molasses and evaporated cane juice. Peruse the list that the United States Department of Agriculture gives on their website to spot more sugars in disguise!
Honey: Honey has been a part of diets for thousands of years and is believed to have numerous health benefits. But organic honey is one and a half times sweeter than sugar and still feeds the systemic yeast, candida. One tablespoon has around 17 grams of sugar. And it raises blood sugar as much as table sugar does! Green Bee Soda uses honey in an attempt to provide healthy alternatives to regular soda.
Molasses: This sweetener is made by combining sugarcane and sugar beets. Like honey, molasses also feeds candida in the body and has around the same amount of sugar in one tablespoon. Experts say to eat molasses and honey on an empty stomach because they strengthen the immune system and clear out bad bacteria.
Raw, organic cane sugar: The name is deceiving, isn't it? This sweetener may be processed differently than regular sugar, but organically grown sugar is still sugar; it being "raw" doesn't really make a difference. Your body will still break this sugar down the exact same way.
Agave: This nectar, found in lots of supposedly healthy teas and other drinks, is another sugar in disguise. It is 85 percent fructose, and fructose is metabolized almost completely by your liver. The problem with fructose is that your body must convert it to glucose, and if you have too much, it gets stored as fat. In fact, some agave distributers have been re-labeling high fructose corn syrup as agave syrup!
So next time you find yourself in the organic section of the supermarket, make sure you remember to check your labels! Check the labels for anything ending in -ose: glucose, sucrose, lactose, maltose, fructose as these are all forms of sugar. The higher up in the ingredients list, the more sugar the product contains. All sugars are not evil, but even the ones that are "less unhealthy" than normal sugar aren't all that healthy.
Still feel the need to snack and worrying about the added sugars? Check out these foods that are naturally low in sugar!