Added sugars, the hidden danger to your health

Processed foods have a high “added sugar” content due to the production process. Corn syrup and table sugar are the most common.

High-fructose corn syrup is replacing table sugar as the sweetener most used during the production process. However, this is more harmful to our bodies, as it has been associated with the development of diabetes, as well as with increases in abdominal fat, triglycerides, metabolic diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

Tania Mesa – Nutritionist and Nurse from Neolife

Fructose, one of the most widely used sweeteners in pre-prepared foodstuffs…and also one of the most harmful.

Table sugar and corn syrup are the two most widely used sweeteners at present as they provide a sweet taste to food and drinks alike, but is one better for you than the other?

Table sugar, also known as sucrose, and corn syrup high in fructose are used in the production process as flavor enhancers due to their pleasant taste and because they provide quick-release energy. However, both are known to negatively affect our weight as they are “empty calories”, that is to say, they provide many calories but no nutritional value.

sugar falling from the spoon

At a production level, table sugar is being replaced by high fructose corn syrup due to the low production cost associated with the corn syrup and because in addition to sweetening foods and beverages (as a flavor enhancer), corn syrup also increases the shelf life of products by acting as a humectant and thickening agent. In addition to the above, corn syrup has been shown to cause addictive behaviors when consumed.

The big food companies would prefer to believe that high-fructose corn syrup is better than table sugar and often cite studies which demonstrate that corn syrup does not alter our weight and, therefore, does not contribute to the present overweight and obesity epidemic. However, the reality is very different.

According to a study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings(1) journal, foodstuffs which contain added fructose have been linked to the development of diabetes (resistance to insulin), increase in abdominal fat, increase in triglycerides and metabolic diseases, which also increase the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Other sugars in your diet that do not contain fructose are less harmful to your body (when compared to the ways outlined above).

Avoid processed foods – this is your best way to avoid “hidden sugars.”

Processed foods and drinks have little to do with natural foodstuffs: for example, 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce contains approximately 4 grams of sugar (approximately 1 tablespoon of coffee) and 1 single can of sugary soda contains 40 grams of sugar (approximately 10 tablespoons of coffee). Whilst sucrose (table sugar) contains 50% fructose and 65% corn syrup, a peach contains only 1% fructose. Not only this but a peach also contains water, fiber and antioxidants etc. Fruits and vegetables are not harmful to your health, in fact, they are protective in many ways.

The consumption of “added sugars” is having an impact on our health in terms of morbidity and mortality. It is important to remember that the life expectancy of type II diabetics is 5 to 10 years shorter than those without the disease.

The recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) (2) concerning the consumption of sugars is that sugar in your diet should equate to no more than 10% of the total energy intake per day, although the WHO suggests that a 5% reduction to 5% per day would produce greater health benefits.

In order to achieve the WHO recommendations, our Neolife programs of Anti-aging Medicine recommend a low glycemic index diet as well as the avoidance of processed foods (which are the foods which contain the most “hidden sugars”), white sugar, sugary drinks, alcohol, pastries and packaged sausages (and cold meats), as far as possible.

Chromium and Magnesium – our allies against sugar.

On the other hand, we are aware that certain micronutrients such as Chromium and Magnesium help the body metabolize sugars which helps to control blood sugar levels within the body.

Chromium is found in foodstuffs such as brewer’s yeast, whole grains, chicken breast and thighs, seafood, fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs, amongst other products. But the body does not absorb chromium easily: it only absorbs from 2 to 10% due to the high excretion rate.

Magnesium, on the other hand, is found in foodstuffs such as nuts, cereals, legumes, vegetable yeast and green leafy vegetables. However, only 30-40% of what we ingest is absorbed by the body.

Due to the difficulties outlined above we recommend the use of nutritional supplementation as part of a balanced diet. Neolife’s Multi-Mineral Formula contains 100 micrograms of Chromium and 200 milligrams of Magnesium to ensure you absorb sufficient amounts of these vital micronutrients each day.