If you haven’t noticed, sugar is everywhere. From the drinks we drink to the food we buy at the store, there’s hardly any escaping it. Next time you’re at the store, turn over any given item and look at the ingredients. Most often, you’ll see sugar listed as an added ingredient. If not sugar, it’s high fructose corn syrup, or something of that liking. Whatever the name may be, sugar is sugar, and it’s seemingly unavoidable. What does sugar have to do with anything, especially foods such as deli meats and wheat thins?
One main reason sugar is in nearly everything is due to its function as a preservative. This might sound like a good thing, but consider this: Would you want to eat chemically modified food? That’s the kind of element sugar brings to the table in the sense of a preservative.
By definition, a preservative is either natural or engineered, and is a component used to keep food from spoiling. Sugar acts as a preservative by causing bacteria to lose water, thus deterring their ability to grow in said preserved food.
Though added sugar isn’t the best thing for you, it’s important to note that yes, there is sugar in fruit, and while your daily fruit intake should be monitored due to this, it doesn’t mean that fruit is bad for you. Fructose, or the sugar that’s within fruit, is different from table sugar, or sugar that’s added to store-bought items, which is called sucrose.
Fructose is a necessary part of your diet because it’s a complex carbohydrate which means it’ll keep you full and satisfied for longer, and it acts as a source of energy for your body to rely on.
If sugar is in so many store-bought items, how can you avoid it? It’s simple: read the ingredients! Not every single item at the store has added sugar, and it just takes but a 5-second glance at a label. By cutting this added sugar out of your diet bit by bit, you’ll find yourself craving less sugar-y items that you may have been pulled towards at one point in time.
It’s also a good way to get into shape both mentally and physically. You’ll feel more mentally clear, and by cutting the sugar out, you’re reducing inflammation and providing the right context to a healthier, better you.