You may recall a few months back I wrote an entry discussing sugar – friend or foe? Well, as I hoped to point out, it is not your friend! I could write numerous addendums to that topic and probably never fully be able to emphasize that fact enough. Today is one of those occasions.
Time Magazine recently published a health special, A to Z Health Guide, which covers most topics briefly. I was relieved to see that the dangers of sugar are being discussed more and more in general, and was, of course, touched upon in this magazine. The section that caught my eye was one that clarified the differences of glucose, fructose and sucrose. Although they sound the same, they do not have the same impact on your body.
Glucose is produced by your body after you digest and break down starches and carbohydrates, and this is the easiest on your body. Surprisingly enough, it is fructose, the sugar obtained from various fruits, that can be dangerous if eaten excessively over time. Excessive fructose puts you in the ring for risks such as heart disease and diabetes. The reason for this is that more fat develops in the liver and do not react to insulin properly. We are always taught that fruit is good for us, but the thing to consider is all of the other places that fructose lingers.
Working in an office, or any workplace for that matter, we see more fructose on a daily basis than any of us would like to believe. It is all of the processed foods, mainly, that typically contain sucrose, which is a combination of fructose and glucose. I would like to challenge you to start paying attention to everything you consume and the things that are consumed around you, and you would be amazed at home sugar is consumed. Beverages alone make up a great deal of this when you look at most sweetened beverages such as sodas, juices, energy drinks and the like. It has been said that the average American consumes 53 tablespoons of sugar per day. Can you believe that? Yes, this is a problem. So I urge you to pay attention to the things that you put in your mouth going forward, because it is certainly easy to fall into the trends of our fellow co-workers when it comes to processed, convenient foods and drinks. If there is something that you love more than most, perhaps a type of soda or snack, put a limit on it and make it for those exceptional days and eliminate all other unnecessary sugars.
And believe me, this is as hard for me to swallow (or literally, not swallow!) as it is for you, but we will all feel and look better for those better choices!