Who would have thought that sugar is playing a game of hide-and-seek with most of us? Sugar is often found in large quantities in some foods, and overconsumption can lead to weight gain and sugar cravings. The obvious solution would be to limit our sugar intake. However, to do that, we first have to ask ourselves: where is sugar hiding?
Have you ever asked yourself: what is sugar? It’s a valid question, let’s look into it a little more. Sugar is a carbohydrate that provides energy to the body. The most common sugar in the body and the one we usually think of is glucose. It’s the smallest molecule that exists and there are several forms of it in the foods we eat. White sugar consists of directly absorbable glucose while "complex sugars" such as starch are converted into glucose during digestion. If glucose doesn’t get converted into energy, it gets transformed into fat and gets stored in the cells of your body.
Naturally, the question now is: if we know what sugar is, where can we find it? Processed foods are often high in sugar because it improves their taste. It’s therefore highly recommended that you eat them in moderation to avoid sudden increases in your blood glucose levels. Also, avoiding excess amounts of sugar will decrease the conversion of additional glucose into fat. Even though sugar has a tendency to play hide and seek with us, there are ways you can recognize and find it in the foods you eat. Most of the names for sugars have a name that ends in "ose", such as lactose, sucrose, fructose, maltose, etc. Be interested in the composition of foods, read the labels, and aim to pick those that contain little to no sugar.
Even though a healthy lifestyle that incorporates foods low in sugar and proper exercise is always recommended, it can be hard to get rid of that extra weight and keep blood glucose levels healthy. Luckily, there are supplements like Zuccarin DietTM that can help. Made from Japanese white mulberry leaf extract, it helps promote healthy blood glucose levels by reducing the absorption of carbs (e.g. from foods like white pasta, bread and rice), and can therefore help complement your weight loss program (which ideally focuses on reduced calorie intake and exercise).
Sugar is not just confined to cakes and desserts but can be found in different forms in all kinds of foods. It’s important to keep the consumption of it low and find that sweet spot to maintain your blood glucose levels healthy.
By Jennifer Soueida, B.Sc.