The Dangers of Added Sugar

This post is sponsored by Salad Power. All writing and opinions are my own.

I’m no nutrition expert, but I took Anatomy 101 once upon a time and let me tell you, it scared the HELL out of me. I also like to credit a lot of my knowledge of sugar to the documentary Fed Up, which is amazing and shocking and beautifully produced and I highly recommend that everyone in America watch it. (What sort of process do I need to go through to make something part of high school curriculum? Let me know.)

Overall, I know one thing: sugar can be extremely dangerous. It isn’t always, but it CAN BE. So let’s start with a super basic breakdown of why sugar is dangerous.

When we think of weight loss, we don’t often think of cutting back on sugar. We tend to think of weight loss as associated with low-fat, low-calorie diets supplemented with rigorous physical activity. However, many low-fat processed foods taste pretty awful, so food companies decide to add a bunch of sugar to make them taste better.

But sugar actually can make you more fat. Sugar is basically used to power the cells within the human body. In fact, we can’t survive without it. But our bodies need sugar in the form of nutrients (think: fruit and veggies). However, when we are consuming excess sugar without those nutrients– in the form of candy bars, soda, and cereal– it turns into fat, which is energy stored for later. The reason it’s stored as fat is because we are consuming too much of it than our body actually needs. But the thing is, we most likely will not use that energy that we have stored for later; we’ll just keep storing more and more.

Note: according to my Anatomy textbook, men need about 37 grams of sugar per day and women need 25.

That’s a super simplified breakdown of how sugar affects our bodies and how we keep getting fatter, but it’s not as easy to avoid as we might think. In fact, 80% of the 600,00 items sold in grocery stores have added sugar. So what can we do about it?

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Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Since learning these facts, I’m always conscious of the products I choose to consume. A lot of things that are labeled as “healthy” may actually be healthy– if they didn’t have added sugar to make them taste better. I’m on a constant mission to find foods that are low in added sugar and high in nutrients.

Recently, I was introduced to a juice company called Salad Power. They’re different from most juice companies in the sense that they don’t add ANY sugar to their drinks. Yup, that’s right. And all of their juices are made with a combination of kale, celery, carrot, cucumber, green bell pepper, tomato, + spinach. Their fruit juices contain either pineapple, mango, or apple, depending on which flavor you choose. Each bottle contains 2.75 servings of veggies, and they completely retain all of their nutrients. This chart shows how Salad Power compares to the competition:

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I got the opportunity to try Salad Power for myself, and they’re just as promising as they seem. Don’t expect a super sweet juice, though. Without the added sugars, you can definitely taste the veggies. But to be completely honest, I’d rather sip on juice where I can taste the real-ness than juice that’s got more added sugar than my daily recommendation. Wouldn’t you?

To me, it’s important to be conscious of how much sugar I’m consuming. I’m certainly not perfect– there’s days where I go over my recommended sugar consumption. But I try not to make a habit out of it. Instead, I try to consume real foods whose sugars are giving me nutrients that my body needs to function. Avoiding added sugars certainly easy, but I am grateful for companies like Salad Power that are making a conscious effort to change the food industry for the better.

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