Data from Public Health England has shown that while the consumption of sugary drinks has fallen over the past year, there has been no decline in sugar-laden confectionary or chocolate consumption.
Why is sugar so bad?
Consuming excess amounts of sugar can contribute to an increase in our total daily calories. This can lead to weight gain and subsequently increase the risk of other serious diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Research has also suggested that high levels of sugar can result in acne, tooth decay, cellular ageing, mood swings and low energy levels.
We do, however, need a small amount in our diet especially as our cells and brain require glucose for energy, thus not all sugars should be frowned upon! Sugar occurs naturally in foods such as fruit, vegetables and milk and therefore we do not need to cut down on these types of sugar. Instead, we should focus on reducing our intake of foods where sugar has been added by the manufacturer, such as confectionary foods, sweets, cakes, chocolates and fizzy drinks.
We can all be mindful of our sugar consumption by checking food labels and paying closer attention to the ingredient list. If sugar is listed as one of the top ingredients then that food is likely to be high in sugar. Although, it can be quite confusing because sugar is often disguised with different names!
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Glucose syrup
- Brown sugar
- Cane sugar
- Maple syrup
- Date syrup
- Barley malt
- Agave nectar
- Fruit juice concentrate
Sugar is not unhealthly in itself as it is an essential carbohydrate, which our body requires. However, consuming a natural source of sugar is far better for our health than consuming those added to foods... Don't compromise your weight loss with hidden sugars, remember to check the food ingredient list!