Sugar has detrimental effects on our health, and not just because sweet foods tend to have a lot of kilojoules. Plenty of research has shown that the same kilojoules of sugar versus other foods do very different things to our bodies. And new research shows how the sugar industry has tried to hide those findings.
Tagged With sugar
Dear Lifehacker, My friend keeps telling me to stop drinking fruit juice because "it's basically just sugar". She also claims it's just as bad as Coca-Cola. I've done some online research but can't find a definitive answer on this. Surely juice is healthier than sugary colas? Or do I really need to quit? (I mainly drink bottled '100%' apple juice and OJ.)
A recent article published in the Medical Journal of Australia found that Australian and European soft drinks contained higher concentrations of glucose, and less fructose, than soft drinks in the United States. The total glucose concentration of Australian soft drinks was on average 22% higher than in US formulations.
We know too much sugar is bad for us, but do different sugars have different health effects? Let's take a look at the science.
There are many brands of kids' “vitamin gummies” on the market. They are promoted as deliciously flavoured and a great way for growing bodies (and fussy eaters) to get the nutrients they need. In our opinion, these products are unhealthy, poorly regulated and exploitative. Their high sugar content may appeal to young children, but they’re not a good introduction to a healthy diet.
Sugar isn't inherently bad for you, but producers add so much of the stuff to their food and drink it's way past overkill. Trouble is, a number like "20g of sugar" on a nutrition label isn't easy to comprehend. This trick will help.
Some of us can definitely say we have a sweet tooth. Whether it’s cakes, chocolates, cookies, lollies or soft drinks, our world is filled with intensely pleasurable sweet treats. Sometimes eating these foods is just too hard to resist. But is it actually "additive" in a biological sense? Let's take a look at the science.
Artificial sweeteners have become popular for people who want to reduce their sugar intake for health or weight reasons. You probably recognise some of them by their brand name: Sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet and Low), aspartame (Equal) and stevia (used by a number of brands). Each has varying levels of sweetness and uses.
It's hard to eat healthy when there's so much junk food to choose from -- but some of the most sugary foods have managed to convince a lot of us that they are healthy. A recent New York Times survey finds that most people overestimate the healthiness of orange juice, frozen yogurt and especially granola bars.
While Australia doesn't list added sugars on food labels, perhaps it should. Added sugars will be required on new labels rolling out in the US in a year or two. A 570g Pepsi will have to say it contains 130 per cent of your daily value of added sugar. Yogurt will have to call out their added sugar, so people can't kid themselves that it all comes from fruit. Food companies fought the change, but they lost.
Yes, sugar industry, you are right: Added sugars are made of the same stuff as natural sugars. But the FDA's new labels are about health, not about getting the right answer on a chemistry quiz. It's really useful to know which foods contain a ton of added sugars.