While I do love chocolate, I am aware that despite its antioxidants, it does contain sugar. The lower the percentage of cacao, the higher the level of sugar. However, sugar comes in many forms and is used in cereals and baked goods with several names on the list, which may fool you into thinking there is less sugar than there really is, unless you look at the nutrition label as to how many grams of sugar are in each serving.
When I came across an older article in Nutrition Action Healthletter (from Center for Science in the Public Interest), I thought I would post some of the many names of sugar. The little box inside the article “Sugar Overload,” is labeled “Sugar by Any Other Name.” (January/February 2010)
- Agave syrup or nectar (from the Mexican Agave cactus)
- Apple juice concentrate
- Brown sugar
- Corn syrup
- Evaporated cane juice
- Glucose or Dextrose
- Grape juice concentrate
- High-fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
- Maple syrup
- Orange juice concentrate
- Table sugar, Confectioner’s sugar, Baker’s sugar (all 100% sucrose)
These all have different proportions of table sugar (sucrose), some less and some more, they are all sugar and need to be used carefully. The article goes on to list 10 reasons to cut back on sugar of any kind:
- You can’t afford the empty calories.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages promote obesity.
- Sugar-sweetened drinks may raise the risk of heart disease.
- Fructose raises triglycerides.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages may promote diabetes.
- Fructose may boost visceral fat (deep abdominal fat) rather than subcutaneous fat, less likely to raise the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
- Fructose may raise the risk of gout.
- Fructose may promote overeating.
- Minimizing added sugars keeps a lid on blood pressure.
- Most sugary foods are junk.
Note that sugar is linked to heart disease. While many people believe fat is the problem, I have long believed that sugar is just as bad for the heart as “bad” fats.
The final information in this excellent article lists several recommendations. I think the most important one is to shoot for no more than 100 calories (25 grams; 6 ½ tsp.) for women and 150 calories (38 grams; 9 ½ tsp.) for a man, daily. Even less might be better for your heart. (I personally aim for 5 grams or less per meal.)
So for a healthier heart, slimmer body, and stronger teeth, think about cutting back on your intake of sugar to the recommendations from Nutrition Action. Your heart will love you for it! ♥♥♥
P.S. I came across an even longer list of names for sugar on a website that no longer has the list. Many of these names you may or may not find on products you buy in packages, but some may be incorporated into items you buy fresh in a bakery where the sweets don’t have nutritional labeling. (ex. malt syrup, sorbitol, maltose, ethyl mall, diets, caramel.) If you want the entire list, please email me: menopause.info@gmail and I will see if it will scan clearly.