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Reducing Sugar Content

For our last health and wellness blog post, we are discussing ways to reduce sugar consumption. Currently, Americans eat an average of 22 tsp. of sugar a day. High consumption leads to high blood pressure, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease and even cancer. When you consume these high sugar foods, your blood glucose rises sharply, releasing insulin and causing your body to store fat.
Many make the mistake of thinking sugar is only in candy, baked goods and soda. It’s also found in refined carbohydrates like bread and pasta or disguised as high fructose corn syrup. Consumption of high fructose corn syrup has increased 1000% between 1970 and 1990 and now accounts for 40% of the calorie sweeteners added to foods and beverages. There are many differing opinions on its consumption. While some insist that sugar is simply sugar, no matter the form, others say that the metabolism of high fructose corn syrup differs from glucose and contributes to energy intake and weight gain and even ADHD. No matter your opinion, perception becomes reality.

So, how do we cut sugar out of our diets? You can not cut it out completely. What would be the fun in that? This is not really a difficult thing to do if you eat a well balanced diet and read labels.

In cooking, there are many options available to reduce your sugar intake…

-Use natural sugar substitutes. The best sweetner, in my opinion, has always been honey. Honey as a sweetener has a lower glycemic index, affecting your blood sugars less. Go organic here, honey in its raw (unpasteurized) state actually contains many minerals and vitamins.

-Use fresh fruit instead of sugar, to satisfy that craving for something sweet. Cooking fruits into a puree can be used as a sugar substitute, like applesauce, plum or prunes in sweet goods

Many Americans are feeling the effects of sugar. As we begin to make healthy choices, reducing sugar should be one of them. Luckily, flavor does not have to be compromised in our quest for healthy dining!

“Eat well.”

Tony Lagana

Culinary Systems Inc

Windermare, Florida 34786

Email. tlagana@culinarysystems.com

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