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Sugar! Is it so sweet after all?

Updated: Jun 3, 2022



In the past few decades, the consumption of sugar has been significantly on the increase. Be it from soft drinks and other sweet beverages, or other glutenous goodies, we are consuming more added sugar than ever before. Unfortunately, increased sugar consumption is the biggest contributor to obesity, heart problems and type 2 diabetes.


A certain amount of sugar occurs naturally in foods such as fruit and dairy products, but what is of the highest health concern is what is referred to as ‘added’ sugar. This is different to natural sugar and includes any sugars or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods or drinks as part of their production or preparation process.


Examples of added sugar include sweet snacks such as biscuits, cakes, ice cream and doughnuts. Added sugars come in the form of natural sugars such as brown and white sugar and honey, as well as other processed and chemically manufactured sugars such as sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup.


Health authorities recommend that both men and women limit their daily intake of added sugar. For men, the recommendation is of not more than 39 grams of added sugar per day, and for women, it’s not more than 24 grams of added sugar per day.


Because sugar seems to be in everything that we consume, it can become difficult to avoid or to keep track of it.


Here are 4 tips on how you can achieve this:


1. Read the labels

By law food labels are to be provided on all food items. Labels specify the amount of ‘added sugar’ present in every food item. This is usually found under the category of carbohydrates and by checking the amount in each food item, you can track your daily intake. However, it can become complicated because there are many things that are essentially added sugar, but which are listed as something else. These include dextrose, sucrose, grape sugar, sorbitol and many more.




2. Cut back your own added sugar

If you’re in the habit of adding sugar to your tea or coffee, start cutting down today. Whatever the amount you currently add, cut it down by half and give yourself time to get used to it. It can take a few weeks but in time you will start to like the new taste. We do not recommend that you cut down on all the sugar in your tea or coffee at once, as the change in taste could be too much. In time you can move on to the next step of cutting out all the sugar from your tea or coffee.

3. Keep that sweet tooth in check

Get rid of the sweets cupboard or drawer in your home and keep track of how many sweet things you consume every day. Challenge yourself by reducing to one or two sweet things a day, and then push yourself further by going down to one. In a few days, you will even be able to skip a day or two without a sweet tooth fix. If you find this too hard to do, start with reducing the size of your sweet fixes by half.



4. Water is your friend

The effect of added sugar or sweetened drinks on our health is shocking. Start by reducing the amount you drink by reducing your cup size. Replace this with water and add some lime or a splash of fruit juice for that sweet kick. You should aim at cutting down on sweetened drinks altogether and shifting entirely to water.



Consuming too much sugar can have devastating albeit silent effects on our bodies. Added sugar is responsible for higher blood pressure, weight gain, and inflammation. All these conditions are in turn linked to higher risks of strokes and heart attacks.

If you’re struggling with reducing your sugar intake and/or reducing weight, your doctor can help you achieve your goals. If you would like information on how to kick start your journey to a healthier you, contact us today on +356 21221355, 9985 2404 or send an email on info@clinipath.com.mt.



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