Sweet Surprise

By: Lakshmi Ganesan

Let’s face it, we all like sugar. We also know that it isn’t good for us. So, we’ve compiled some lesser-known facts about sugar and a short quiz(to test your skills at identifying hidden sugars in products) towards the end.

1. In a recent confidential draft report leaked by WHO (World Health Organisation), the recommended amount of sugar we’re to eat is no more than 5 teaspoons (or 20g) per day. So, if you eat one chocolate chip cookie a day (containing roughly around 7 teaspoons of sugar), you’ve more than crossed your recommended intake.

2. Sugar – specifically in the form of fructose – leads to obesity. How? There are two ways it does this.

a) When you consume a lot of fructose, your body isn’t able to release the hormone that tells you you’re full – this means that even though you’ve eaten more than enough, you end up downing more food and end up overweight.

b) When we eat a lot of sugar, most of the fructose gets metabolized by the liver. There it gets turned into fat, which is then secreted into the blood.

3. Excessive intake of sugar can speed up the aging process, just like cigarettes do. When collagen (which is responsible for your skin’s elasticity) in your body is broken down due to sun damage, the cells in your body try to repair it. However, sugar slows down the process of your cells’ reparation, leaving you with wrinkles and saggy skin.

4. Added sugar such as fructose, sucrose etc. contain no essential nutrients. They’re basically “empty” calories with no vitamins, fats or proteins – only energy.

5.  We know that chocolates and desserts are high in sugar, but what about other everyday food and beverages that we consume, such as iced lemon tea – are they high in added sugar (not naturally-occurring sugar)? Find out by attempting the short quiz we’ve compiled.

P.S. The answers are at the end of the quiz.

Which food/beverage contains more added sugar:

1) Glazed chocolate doughnut OR a can of Red Bull?

2) Non-fat fruit yoghurt OR large bagel?

3) Granola bar OR 100g of digestives?

4) A Burger King Whopper OR a can of ice lemon tea?

1) Chocolate Doughnut. While a chocolate doughnut contains 8 teaspoons of added sugar, a can of Red Bull contains nearly the same amount – 7 teaspoons.

2) Non-fat fruit yoghurt. Surprisingly, a large bagel only contains 2 teaspoons of added sugar compared to non-fat fruit yoghurt, which can contain up to 5 teaspoons. While yoghurt is low in fat, it may not necessarily be low in sugar.

3) 100g of digestives. It contains up to 5 teaspoons of  added sugar, while a granola bar is only packed with 2 teaspoons.

4) Ice lemon tea. A Burger King Whopper contains only about 3 teaspoons of added sugar, while ice lemon tea has 7 teaspoons.