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Added Sugars and type2 diabetes

Added sugars are sugars (solid or liquid) added to foods or beverages during processing.  They exist as sucrose, brown sugar, molasses, raw sugar, dextrose, fructose,  glucose, maltose, lactose, corn syrup, cane juice, fruit nectar, maple syrup, honey, high fructose corn syrup.

Added sugars have high glycemic index which raises blood sugar levels. This sends a signal to your pancreas to release insulin to lower your blood sugar. Continuous intake of added sugars result in high insulin peaks ultimately leading to type 2 diabetes.

In my blog post titled How to read the nutrition facts label, I mentioned that the daily value (DV) of added sugar is ‘less than’ 50grams per day meaning that no more than 50g of added sugar per day is required for a 2000calorie diet. This is in line with the dietary guidelines for Americans which state that people older than 2 years should keep sugars to less than 10% of their total daily calories. This means that if an adult consumes 2000calories per day, no more than 200 calories should come from added sugars.

To explain this further; 1 teaspoon (4g) of sugar has about 16calories. To calculate the amount of added sugar in the carbonated drink below. The nutrition information of the carbonated drink below shows the drink has 19g of sugar in 25cl drink, since the bottle is 50cl, the total added sugars in the drink is (19×2)= 38g. This is 152calories, which is below 50g (200calories).

How to recognize added sugar on packaging material:
1. Read the nutrition facts label on the packaging material. This displays the total amount of all sugars in a serving. Usually, the nutrition declaration is made for a serving, not the total product. For instance, for 33cl or 50cl or 75cl drinks, nutrition information will be given for 100ml or 10cl or 25cl so you multiply the value of the added sugar by either 3.3 or 5 or 2.

2. Check the ingredients list. Packaged foods and beverages must list ingredients in descending order by weight. If sugar is one of the first few ingredients, the product is likely to be high in added sugars.

Ways to limit Added Sugar
* Replace sugary drinks with water or the diet version of the drinks.
* Drink 100% fruit juice
* Choose nutrient-rich foods such as low-fat low calorie yogurt, vegetables,  fruits over candy, pastries, and cookies.
* Reduce the quantity of sugar added to pap, garri, and beverages..

Remember, added sugars cause:
* Poor nutrition
* Obesity
* Type-2  diabetes
* Tooth decay
* Increased tryglycerides

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