Too Much Sugar In Your Diet?

 Photo Credit: Ayelie CC-BY-2.0

If you watch even a couple of hours of television each day, you’ve probably seen the commercials touting high fructose corn syrup as a natural substitute for cane sugar. High-fructose corn syrup has been used to sweeten foods and drinks in the USA for about 40 years. It’s cheaper than processed cane sugar. In the decades since high-fructose corn sugar was introduced to the American diet, obesity rates have skyrocketed. Robert H. Lustig, MD describes obesity as a global public health crisis. High-fructose corn syrup has been linked to a number of diseases including heart and liver disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. What can you do to reduce the amount of sugar, including high-fructose corn syrup, that you consume? 

Choose foods and drinks without added sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup. Fruits and berries are naturally sweet and don’t require additional sweeteners. In addition to containing natural sugars, fruits and berries are loaded with beneficial antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Skip the granulated sugar on your cold cereal and slice up some strawberries, a banana or add some blueberries to your cereal. Stir in a handful of raspberries or slice up a banana for your low-fat yogurt. Choose whole grain, unsweetened cereals instead of sweetened cereals. Honey is a natural sweetener. Use honey to sweeten your baked foods, hot cereals like oatmeal and tea drinks. 

Read the labels of all the foods and drinks you buy. Processed foods that you would not normally think of as sweet may contain high-fructose corn syrup. Sodas are often sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. A healthier alternative to high-sugar drinks includes naturally flavored water. Flavored waters are available in a variety of flavors. Flavored water can be carbonated for a fizzy refreshing alternative to soda. 

For more information about high fructose corn sugar, see:

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