Why free sugar comes at a cost

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You know that added sugars and syrups are health bombs that fuel obesity, inflammation, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They appear everywhere with names like corn syrup, fructose and HFCS, sucrose, maltose and lactose. A website lists 36 culprits! You’ll find them on the ingredient labels of many packaged and processed foods, from pasta sauce and salad dressing to baked goods and snacks.

In contrast, natural sugars, found in high-fiber vegetables and fruits, are not a source of health risks for most people, although reactions can vary and some people with diabetes find some fruits affect blood sugar more than others. Still, we don’t advise most of you to avoid these foods, as they are packed with gut-loving nutrients that help promote good health and longevity.

When you eat five to nine servings a day of fruits and vegetables (French fries and French fries don’t count), you’re guaranteed to get the nutrients you need, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin. A, potassium, magnesium and folic acid. . The rewards are huge: A 2021 study in the journal Circulation found that eating two servings of fruits and three non-starchy vegetables reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer by 10% and respiratory disease by 12% and respiratory disease by 35%. % compared to people who eat. just two servings a day.

Beware of “free” sugars. However, when these healthy foods with natural sugars are stripped of their fiber, you can be in trouble. You see, fiber slows down the digestion of sugars, thus protecting your glucose levels from spikes. Without this protection, you are zapping your body with “free sugar,” which is as harmful as added sweeteners. According to the Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy: “Recent evidence suggests that these ‘free sugars’ are similar to added sugars in influencing blood pressure, blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and that reducing intake may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The World Health The organization recommends limiting free sugars to less than 10% of calories, and less than 5% is even better for your health. ”We say go for zero.

Slippery slope of smoothies. Commercial smoothies made from juice and not whole fruit, all fruit juices, with or without pulp, and juice flavored yogurts are all disguised as “healthy”, but not really so.

Fortunately, you can make a smoothie that retains fiber and is unlikely to contribute to inflammation throughout the body. A study from the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that when you use whole fruits and vegetables to make a smoothie, about 17% of the cellular material remains in the food, which is enough for the smoothie to have. low glycemic index and low to medium glycemic load. Translation: It is unlikely to increase your blood sugar levels or contribute to deregulation of your gut biome. Try the Vitality Smoothie recipe, with 5 grams of fiber, and the Grape Escape smoothie, with 2.1 grams of fiber and frozen grapes, in Dr. Mike’s “What to Eat When Cookbook”.

Hello. When it comes to your morning Olympics, we suggest going for a whole orange, tangelo, tangerines or grapefruit. If you must have a drink, use a blender, not a juicer. The fiber in an orange comes mostly from the membranes separating the segments – make sure they stay in the drink. And consider using raspberries, mango pieces or blueberries for a drink (ditch citrus) mixed with a touch of almond milk.

Make your sweet tooth happy. Eliminating added and free sugars from your daily diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sugary treats. Mother Nature offers plenty of it, from roasted acorn squash with mashed oranges and cinnamon to strawberries, melons, figs and 70% dark chocolate. The key is to let the foods declare their natural glory with minimal processing or added ingredients. It’s very sweet when you break free from added and free sugars – you are free to get healthier.

Mehmet Oz, MD is the host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, MD is Director of Wellness and President of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. To live your best, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit sharecare.com.

© 2021 Michael Roizen, MD

and Mehmet Oz, MD

King Syndicate Features


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