Here’s the not-so-sweet truth: We are killing ourselves by consuming truckloads of hidden sugar. The facts are in, the science is beyond question.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, Singapore has the second-highest proportion of diabetics among developed nations and it’s caused by our sugar-laden diets.
Sugar is also the root cause of many other illnesses. You name it, it’s caused by sugar: heart disease, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, depression and even acne, infertility and impotence.
One way to avoid developing these diseases in the future is to watch what we eat and monitor our sugar intake. While sugar consumption is one of the toughest food habits to break, reducing our sugar intake is one of the best changes we can make to impact our overall health.
Fiona Chia, a recognised Nutritionist at the Thomson Lifestyle Centre says “desserts and sweetened drinks are a top sugar contributor in Singaporean’s diets. Many local drinks use condensed milk and sugar syrup that are high in sugar content.”
To put things into perspective, she notes that a kopi (coffee with condensed milk) from the coffee shop contains 15 grams of sugar, which amount to three teaspoons.
She says for a healthier choice, consumers can choose alternatives with less sugar such as kopi-o (black coffee) or kopi-o kosong (black coffee without sugar).
According to the Health Promotion Board, meanwhile, added sugar intake should not exceed 10 percent of our total calorie intake. This translates to about 40-55 grams (8-11 teaspoons) daily.
Added sugar refers to sugar that is added to food or drinks during the manufacturing, cooking, or serving process.
Apart from sweetened beverages, consumers should also reduce the intake of sugar-laden foods such as pancakes, cereals and chocolates.
Fiona advises those that are looking to break their sugar addiction to “try keeping sugary snacks and drinks our of the house and office too – you can’t snack on things that aren’t there.”
Read on to find out more of her simple tips and tricks to cutting sugar out of your life: