Nutrition Tips: Sugar

Logan Williams, Staff Writer

Everywhere we look there is information on what we should and shouldn’t eat. With a plethora of information, nutrition articles can be overwhelming. One week you read that you should eat a certain food and the next week you see an article that says not to eat that food.

When it comes to nutrition, here’s what you need to know about sugar:

Sugar comes in many forms. There are natural sugars like fructose from fruit and lactose from milk. These sugars aren’t as harmful as artificial sugar. Let’s focus on the artificial form.

Studies done to test the effect of sugar versus fat have shown sugar to be more detrimental to one’s health. However, still to this day people are focused on fat consumption.

Looking at the back of a nutrition label, people’s eyes lock in on the fat content. They think that fat makes them gain weight, so depending on the amount of fat in a product, they will either put the product back on the shelf or in their cart.

It is good to be conscious of fat content, but what also needs to be looked at is the sugar content. Sugar releases insulin, which promotes fat cells to take up the sugar. This in turn leads the fat cells to grow and expand. Sugar also causes inflammation in joints and is the number one fuel source of cancer.

Fat, on the other hand, is the number one fuel source for muscles, decreases inflammation, and is important to cognitive and reproductive health.

Artificial sugar is hidden in many products we don’t think about, commonly under the name high fructose corn syrup. The major carriers of hidden sugars are condiments. Thick salad dressings, barbeque sauce, and ketchup can contain as much sugar as ice cream! Containing as much as 20 grams of sugar, a few tablespoons of these condiments can use up the majority of your recommended daily sugar consumption, which is 30 grams on average.

So, next time you go to buy food, or next time you are in the dining hall, look for how much sugar is in what you are eating. We all know sugar is in sweets, but you may be surprised to find out how much sugar is in other foods as well.

The basic rule is to keep your daily added sugar to 30 grams or less. Look out for hidden sugars, and stay away from the sweets as much as you can. It’s okay to treat yourself from time to time, but in order to see energy levels rise, and a reduction of acne, inflammation, headaches, and other issues caused by sugar, you need to consistently moderate your added sugar intake.

Good luck, stay strong this Halloween, and happy training!candy

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