Sugar. Would a food by any other name taste as sweet?
As it turns out, the answer to that question is yes, and our food industry is literally banking on consumers’ growing appetites for sugar and sweeteners. Americans are expected to consume 11.2 million metric tons of sugar this year alone, much of it through processed foods.
Take a look at these statistics:
- – The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal reported that 74% of products in the U.S. food supply contain added caloric or low-calorie sweeteners, or both.
- – A study published by the open-access medical journal BMJ Open found that nearly 60% of an average American’s daily calories come from ‘ultra-processed’ foods – products that contain flavors, colors, sweeteners and other additives that you wouldn’t use at home. These products are the main source of added sugar in the U.S. diet.
- – The USDA reported that the average American consumed 40.5 lbs. of refined cane and beet sugar, 24 lbs. of high-fructose corn syrup and 9.9 lbs. of other sweeteners, such as honey, agave syrup and molasses, in 2016. That’s a total of 74.4 lbs. of sugar per person per year.
- – A 13-year study on artificial sweeteners by the George Washington University Milken Institute’s School of Public Health showed that consumption increased 200% during that time period. It also reported a direct correlation between obesity and frequent use of artificial sweeteners.
- – Meanwhile, BMJ Open reported that Americans get less than 1% of their daily calories from vegetables.
Is it any wonder that we have a health crisis in this country? We’re killing ourselves with sugar and artificial sweeteners instead of eating wholesome, anti-inflammatory fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and dairy products. And often, we don’t even realize it; sugar and sweeteners are hidden in everyday foods, making it easy to eat sugar without even knowing it’s there.
The SHAPE ReClaimed program is designed to eliminate added sugars and artificial sweeteners from your diet so that you can improve your health. Why? Because sugar consumption is linked with obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and a host of other health disorders. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharine and sucralose have also been proven to create toxicity in our bodies.
So what can you do to avoid added sugars and sweeteners? Choose to eat the fresh, healthy foods outlined by the SHAPE ReClaimed program, and learn how to cook meals that don’t require cans and boxes of ingredients. By avoiding processed foods, you’ll eliminate a major source of hidden sugars.
But if you do choose to purchase gently processed foods like yogurt, canned vegetables, broth, salad dressings, crackers, seasoning blends and other ingredients, be sure to read the labels carefully.
A new FDA nutrition facts label will identify foods with added sugar when it goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Until then, be vigilant. Sugar and sweeteners often hide behind healthy-sounding names. Don’t be fooled – sugar is sugar and artificial is artificial, no matter what manufacturers call it.
AGAVE NECTAR BARBADOS SUGAR BARLEY MALT
BARLEY MALT SYRUP BEET SUGAR BROWN SUGAR
BUTTERED SYRUP CANE JUICE CANE JUICE CRYSTALS
CANE SUGAR CARAMEL CAROB SYRUP
CASTOR SUGAR COCONUT PALM SUGAR COCONUT SUGAR
CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR CORN SWEETENER CORN SYRUP
CORN SYRUP SOLIDS DATE SUGAR DEHYDRATED CANE JUICE
DEMERARA SUGAR DEXTRIN DEXTROSE
EVAPORATED CANE JUICE FREE-FLOWING BROWN SUGARS FRUCTOSE
FRUIT JUICE FRUIT JUICE CONCENTRATE GLUCOSE
GLUCOSE SOLIDS GOLDEN SUGAR GOLDEN SYRUP
GRAPE SUGAR HFCS HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
HONEY ICING SUGAR INVERT SUGAR
MALT SYRUP MALTODEXTRIN MALTOL
MALTOSE MANNOSE MAPLE SYRUP
MOLASSES MUSCOVADO PALM SUGAR
PANOCHA POWDERED SUGAR RAW SUGAR
REFINER’S SYRUP RICE SYRUP SACCHAROSE
SORGHUM SYRUP SUCROSE SUGAR (GRANULATED)
SWEET SORGHUM SYRUP TREACLE TURBINADO SUGAR