Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sugar is hidden in food, and few know the evil that is – Diário de Notícias – Lisbon

The quantities of sugars appear on food labels, but many people do not read or do not know the correspond

Half a liter of Coca-Cola contains 13,25 cubes of sugar, the equivalent of 53 grams; a half-liter bottle of Powerade has 38; four crackers, Chips Ahoy chocolate chip XL have 34; a yoghurt fruit Danone “0%”contains 16; eight Maria biscuits, 12 ounces. In the framework of the project ” Spanish SinAzú Antonio R. Road photographed these and other food to the side of the sugar cubes that match, to denounce the amount of sugar present in the products you buy in the supermarkets.

The photographer wanted, so, to alert the population to the sugar hidden in foods, and that, in excessive amounts, can cause diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, cardiovascular diseases.

This is because people are not aware of the sugar they consume. “This is a product cheap and that is in the whole food chain. It is almost ubiquitous. There’s sugar all over the place and most of the guardians have no idea of the amount of sugar present in certain foods,” warns Peter Grace, director of the National Program for the Promotion of Healthy Nutrition of the Directorate-General of Health (DGS).

According to the World Health Organization, the consumption of simple sugars added to our food should be below 10% of the energy consumed daily, and preferably approaching 5%. Being 2000 kcal, the average value of energy consumed, should not be eaten more than 50 grams of sugars per day, but the ideal is that they should be consumed only 25. What is certain is that, in Portugal, the data from 2013-2014 showed a consumption in the order of 96 grams per day.

There will be aware of it? “No, clearly. If there were such a consciousness, are they were not consumed in the quantities that are” noted Alexandra Benedict, bastonária of the Order of Nutritionists. A person who drink three coffees a day and use the packet of 5 grams of sugar consumes logo where more than half of the ideal amount. Sugars, goes on to the dietician, are calories considered empty, that deplete nutritionally the product.”

Obesity and type II diabetes are two diseases that more easily associate with its consumption. According to the latest data, in 2014, a million people suffer from obesity and 3.5 million are overweight. “Numbers are very frightening.” For the bastonária, it is necessary to “face the problem of the sugar front”, which requires legislative measures and the increase of literacy in the area.

The soft drinks are, according to the experts heard by the DN, one of the main vehicles of sugar. And, says Peter Grace, “the sugar in the drinks is probably more dangerous than in the solids, since it is absorbed more quickly”.

Nuno Borges, from the direction of the Portuguese Association of Dietitians, asserts that, “in soft drinks, people do not have notion of the amount of sugar that they ingest”. But in nectars there are also large amounts: “If the person drinking a litre of orange juice per day, can be just as at risk as if you drink a liter of Coca-Cola.” For this, the nutritionist stresses the importance of projects such as Sin Azucar: “If it is something that is hidden, everything you can do to increase the awareness of the people is good. If it is with an element of art, so much the better.”

in Addition to food have already been associated to sugar, like soft drinks or candy, gives to know the amounts present in sauces, on bread, in porridge of the baby. The author, Antonio R. Road, explained to the daily El país that the goal is to show “the hidden sugar in processed foods, a simple and fast way”, that can easily be disseminated in the social networks.

Davide Carvalho, endocrinologist, one must not get the idea that “food will only have sugar”, because it can be reductive. With the proviso that the sugar has no calories and often devoid of other nutrients”, the expert says that one should not diabolizar. “It is important that people know what they eat, to analyze the composition of food and to make healthy choices. If a feast day to eat a food with more sugar, no problem. The problem is if you eat every day.”

Peter Grace points out that, according to data for 2014, published in 2015, “the inadequate dietary habits – where it enters the intake of sugar and salt – continue to be the main party responsible for the loss of years of healthy among the Portuguese”. More than the tobacco or traffic accidents, for example.

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