Sugar, To point the finger once again at this food, whose negative effects on the body – in case of excess – are confirmed by numerous studies, this time it is the WHO, the World Health Organization
In the first place of the top five of the foods considered harmful to our health there is undoubtedly sugar , which – like a drug – nutrition experts say, would be addictive . This food is able to ignite, as well as white flour and carbohydrates with a high glycemic index in general (when consumed in high quantities), what doctors define cellular inflammation , believed to be responsible for the development of the main chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, etc.
Precisely to put a stop to the development of these diseases, and to direct people towards a healthier lifestyle, the WHO ( World Health Organization) has recently published new guidelines on the use of sugar , recommending to adults and children to reduce their daily intake to less than 10% of their total energy intake . A further reduction below 5% or around 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day could provide even greater health benefits.
When we talk about sugar, the WHO experts specify, we are referring not only to sucrose or table sugar (disaccharides), but also to glucose and fructose (monosaccharides), added to foods and drinks by the producer, cook or consumer, and the sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and concentrated fruit juices . On the other hand, sugars from fresh fruit and vegetables and those naturally present in milk are excluded.
“We have concrete evidence that confirms how keeping the intake of free sugars below 10% of the total energy intake is able to guarantee a lower risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay – explains Dr. Francesco Branca , Director of the Department of WHO Nutritional for Health and Development – Making changes in support of this policy will be the key to enabling countries to reduce the burden of chronic diseases ”.
Much of the sugars consumed today are “hidden” in foods that are not usually seen as sweets. For example, one tablespoon of ketchup contains about 4 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of free sugars. A single can of sugar-sweetened soda contains up to 40 grams (about 10 teaspoons) of free sugars. It becomes essential then to learn to read the labels of the products that reveal their real composition, even when misleading or deceptive definitions appear on the package (for example light, etc.).
The WHO recommendations are based on the analysis of the most recent scientific evidence which found that adults who consume less sugar have a lower body weight , and that an increase in the amount of sugar in the diet is associated with weight growth. Research also shows that children who consume high amounts of sugary drinks are more likely to be overweight and / or obese . Finally, when sugar intake is greater than 10% of total energy consumption, the odds of dental caries incidence appear to increase.
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