Home Health Too much sugar in the diet, how to reduce consumption without losing taste

Too much sugar in the diet, how to reduce consumption without losing taste

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How sweet can life be without added sugar? More than we can imagine. It is useless to hide: most of us eat more sugar than we need and it is good for health, as well as for the figure. But you can reduce your consumption, without losing its taste.

The passion for sugar can be considered a real addiction. The sugar industry is well aware that it has succeeded in something unthinkable: to make people forget that sugar represents a serious health problem, also encouraging people who are committed to losing weight to indulge in “light” products, which are however abundantly sweetened . A trick that is anything but healthy.

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Sweeteners also need to be reduced

Any kind of sweetener should at least be reduced, if not eliminated. We are talking about aspartame, stelvia, truvia and agave syrup: “Just like the simple sugars contained in sweets, candies as well as ice creams and carbonated drinks, by mimicking the sweet taste, sweeteners can increase the demand for sugars, generating same metabolic responses as sucrose: they stimulate insulin, lower blood sugars and can increase hunger. And this, in most cases, will push us to consume something else sweet “, he explains. Anna Demagistris, Head of the Dietology and Clinical Nutrition Department of the Mauriziano Hospital in Turin. Go ahead instead “to fresh fruit, better with the peel, which is rich in fiber: the sugars it contains allow us to eat even three portions a day, without guilt”.

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The maximum daily amount

An adult should eat no more than 50 grams of added sugar per day, ten teaspoons. To limit the risk of overweight, obesity and dental caries, the World Health Organization suggests reducing it to less than 10% of the amount of energy consumed during a day, underlining that if one could stay “below 5% of the ‘total energy intake, there would be additional health benefits “.

The recommendations do not concern sugars naturally present in fruit, fresh vegetables or milk, but monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) and disaccharides (sucrose), which are added to foods and drinks, or to the “hidden” component of processed foods.

Too many sodas and fruit juices

The good news is that “simple sugars are the easiest to cut and the first thing to eliminate from the shopping cart are carbonated drinks and fruit juices. Their use has also increased exponentially in Italy, especially among the most little ones”.

To give a concrete example, a half-liter bottle of Coca Cola contains 52 grams of sugar, which is more than we should consume in a whole day. A little help could come from the sugar tax that will come into force on January 1, 2022: a tax of 10 cents for soft drinks that contain more than 25 grams of sugar per liter.

“In other countries, where the tax has already entered into force, some producers have decided to reduce the presence of sugar, to avoid incurring the surcharge. This could therefore also lead to the sale of less sweet drinks in Italy”, emphasizes the doctor. Demagistris.

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Read the nutrition labels

When shopping, you should always “read the label carefully. Low-fat products don’t necessarily have low sugar”. One example above all is yogurt. “At the supermarket we find shelves full of colorful packages with every kind of taste and combination, but we have to go and look for natural products with the lantern. Much better to take one like this and add half a teaspoon of sugar or, better, some fresh fruit than to buy those already flavored which have 15% sugar “.

In summer people drink more and eat more ice creams: “You shouldn’t abuse fruit juices, especially in children: if you really don’t want to give up, a smoothie without added sugar is better. they must necessarily be abolished: we can allow ourselves one a week. It is also useful to reduce or abolish the sugar in coffee: it is quick to count how many more teaspoons we take each week, practically without realizing it “.

Recommendations not to be forgotten

The breakfast? But what are the recommendations we should never forget? Breakfast, for example, shouldn’t be just sweet products. Say goodbye to carbonated drinks, even light ones, as well as energy drinks, flavored and bottled iced tea: better make it yourself, with water and infusion, directly in the bottle.

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“We should go back to a more raw, less refined and more homely diet. Unfortunately we are losing the habits of the true Mediterranean diet because we too often give in to the lure of supermarkets and advertisements, to ready-made and packaged products – concludes the doctor – snags can be granted if they are accompanied by good physical activity, or if they are occasional: I don’t think there is anything wrong with a kid eating fast food, but only if this happens a few times a year “.

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