Sugar and your health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state “Americans are eating and drinking too much added sugars which can lead to health problems such as weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. To live healthier, longer lives, most need to move more and eat better including getting fewer calories form added sugars.”
    Added sugars can take the place of more nutritious calories. Added sugars are typically calorie dense and high in empty calories that provide little or no nutritional value. They take up the calorie space of more nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, varied protein, and low-fat dairy, reports Extension Assistant Patricia Luck. This makes it hard for people to meet their nutrient needs while staying within dietary calorie limits.
    Individuals who are unable to stay within calorie limits, tend to gain weight. Overweight individuals may then struggle with chronic illnesses and chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes or certain types of cancers.
    To reduce the impact of added sugars on your health you first need to know what added sugars are and where they hide. Learning how to read nutrition labels will help you learn what sugars are in the foods you are consuming. Here are some of the various names for added sugars that appear on ingredient lists: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, trehalose, turbinado sugar, maltodextrin, evaporated cane juice, corn sugar and agave syrup.

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