Reject Hidden Sugars for Improved Digestive Wellness

Reject Hidden Sugars for Improved Digestive Wellness

28 April 2024

Imagine a celebration, perhaps your birthday, with a table filled with tempting treats – a lavish chocolate cake, an array of sweets, candies, muffins, and scones. However, amidst this indulgence lies a hidden threat – added sugars. These sugars, while seemingly harmless, are linked to severe health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as detrimental effects on digestive and liver health. Understanding the impact of added sugars and making informed choices to protect our well-being is crucial.


Added sugars: The Deceptive Culprit

Added sugars refer to sugars not naturally present in food but added during processing. They are commonly found in processed foods, including sodas, yogurts, candies, cereals, cookies, and coffee as an additive.


Too Much Sugar Isn’t A Sweet Deal For Your Health!

Added sugars add calories without offering essential nutrients. Consuming excessive amounts of foods with added sugars can lead to various health issues such as weight gain, obesity, tooth decay, and acne. Moreover, it can contribute to more severe problems like compromised heart health and an increased risk of heart disease due to elevated triglyceride levels. These sugars can also temporarily cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike, leading to energy crashes. Additionally, a high intake of added sugars may reduce energy levels and alertness, potentially leading to depression.

Added sugars can also impact the digestive system and result in issues.

    • Consuming too much sugar can disrupt the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, potentially leading to digestive problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). These conditions 
    • Characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea.
    • Added sugars often contain fructose, which is metabolized in the liver and can contribute to the accumulation of fats in the liver. Excessive fructose intake can strain the liver and increase the risk of developing Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
    • Consuming these sugars can strain the pancreas, potentially leading to insulin resistance. This condition impairs the body’s ability to absorb and use blood sugar for energy.
    • Excessive intake of added sugars can be particularly harmful to individuals with diabetes. Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to diabetic gastroparesis, a condition in which the stomach muscles are affected, causing delayed emptying of the stomach contents into the intestine. This can result in gas, bloating, indigestion, and heartburn.


HCFS and the various health issues it causes

HFCS is a harmful ingredient that often goes unnoticed. It is an artificial sweetener derived from corn syrup and is a major contributor to the increasing rates of obesity. HFCS provides empty calories without any essential nutrients. Unlike other sugars, fructose in HFCS undergoes liver metabolism before being used for energy. HFCS contains slightly more fructose than table sugar, which can lead to fat buildup in the liver and contribute to fatty liver disease. Consumption of HFCS is linked to various health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.


Where should the limit be set?

If you’re like most people, you might be consuming more sugar than you’re aware of. The recommended limit for added sugars is no more than 10% of your daily calorie intake. A 2,000-calorie diet translates to a maximum of 200 calories per day from added sugars, roughly equivalent to 12 teaspoons (48 grams) of sugar.

      • Opt for fruit as a dessert instead of cookies or pastries.
      • Replace sugary cereals with unsweetened versions, possibly with added fruit.
      • Choose water, calorie-free beverages, or low-fat milk over sugary sodas or sports drinks.
      • Select canned fruit packed in water or juice, avoiding syrup.
      • If you consume added sugars, do so in moderation. For instance, use just one teaspoon of sugar instead of two in your coffee or tea.
      •  When purchasing packaged foods, check the ingredients list for added sugars. These can be listed under various names, such as brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, sucrose, trehalose, etc. Removing the sugar coating
        You might be curious about how to sustainably reduce sugar intake from your diet. Here are some tips that could assist you:
    1. Sweeten the deal

After reading this blog, you might be inclined to eliminate sugar from your diet entirely. However, there’s good news. Some natural sweeteners, such as fruit juices and nectars, honey, molasses, and maple syrup, are generally safe to use. Avoiding added sugars can be challenging with so many tempting desserts and processed foods. Nevertheless, the effort will be rewarding in the long run. So, take the first step towards reducing your sugar intake today.