Have you ever seen an Ekta Kapoor serial, if you haven’t seen it I am sure you at least know about them? No need to feel ashamed about it, we all of the television era have been anointed with it. Anyways I am not judging, all I am trying to say is you know-how in those serials there is always a character (mostly the antagonist) who keeps getting plastic surgery done and keeps coming back to wreak havoc, till the time they are recognized and ostracized until next time. Thankfully, real lives aren’t like that, however, there is something in our lives that many have tried to outcast but it keeps reappearing in our life with a new identity. Curious to meet our antagonist – Sugar.
You think I am exaggerating, maybe you haven’t seen them. Did you know that there are more than 50 names for sugar on your food labels? I know shocking, and here we were thinking that the story ended at sucrose, lactose, glucose, and fructose. The other few known names include dextrose, maltose, barley malt, corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, cane sugar, caramel, castor sugar, and even rice syrup. But there are more, many more, let me list a few uncommon synonyms to enlighten you: Cane Juice, corn syrup solids, Barbados sugar, dextran, diastatic malt, diastase, galactose, mannitol, molasses, muscovado, panocha, treacle, turbinado sugar, hydrolized starch, ethyl maltol, date sugar, Demerara sugar, and the list can go on. Imagine that!
The average recommendation is that sugar shouldn’t count for more than 5% (was reduced from 10% by WHO) of your calorie intake, which roughly translates into about 9 tsp for men, 6 for women and between 3 to 6 for children. Even if a person removes dessert from their diets, one still ends up consuming sugar, and with that many names and various types added to the processed foods, it’s pretty easy to exceed the limits. You can do the math yourself.
The fact that excessive sugar increases the risk of obesity, heart woes, diabetes, bad for pancreas and liver and aids many more health concerns is world-famous, so that clears up that added sugar is bad news. Ergo technically added sugar is not required in our foods or diets, we have plenty of naturally occurring sugar in it already, more than sufficient for us to provide energy. Alas, we cannot control how the manufacturers decide to make the products, but we can learn to be smarter, avoid this manipulation by carefully reading the labels, staying away from processed items as much as possible, go natural like replacing desserts with fruits, herbs or spices instead of store-bought sauces.
Bottom line is that in our never-ending saga of health and diets, when keen observation powers and strong will are put into play than even sugar can become our sidekick instead of being a foe.