Sweet & SOUR

That tasty lit­tle treat might be dam­ag­ing to both your waist­line and your skin. Newby Hands un­cov­ers the un­palat­able truth.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Beauty -

less-wel­come “hid­den” sug­ars, those sneak­ily – and in­creas­ingly – found in so much of the pack­aged and pre-pre­pared food we buy, as a cheap way of adding taste and tex­ture (su­gar keeps baked food moist, while giv­ing pas­try – even on a savoury pie – its crisp­ness). UP THE AN­TIOX­I­DANTS. In­vest in an an­tiox­i­dant skin serum, as so far, su­gar dam­age can be pre­vented but not re­paired. My favourites are Laneige Time Freeze Essence ( RM220), Babor Sea Cre­ation Serum ( RM1590), and Dr. Brandt Glow by Dr. Brandt Overnight Resur­fac­ing Serum ( RM299). GET LA­BEL-SAVVY. Su­gar is sneak­ing in ev­ery­where, so ei­ther get into home cook­ing or start read­ing la­bels. “The smaller the print on a food la­bel, the less they want us to know what’s in it,” ad­vises Amer­i­can nu­tri­tion­ist Sa­man­tha Heller. “Buy a mag­ni­fy­ing glass – it’s amaz­ing what they try to hide.” GET GI-AWARE. And re­mem­ber: the lower the bet­ter. “A bagel has a GI of 72 and the av­er­age bowl of corn­flakes is 84, but, sur­pris­ingly, choco­late has a medium rat­ing of 49, as the added fat slows ab­sorp­tion,” Ursell re­veals. IT’S NOT JUST WHAT WE EAT. But how we eat it that mat­ters. “Eat any­thing sweet with a meal, not be­tween meals, to slow down the su­gar ab­sorp­tion,” ad­vises Ursell. “LOW FAT” USU­ALLY MEANS “HIGH SU­GAR”. “When they take out fat, man­u­fac­tur­ers usu­ally up the su­gar lev­els,” says Ursell. “Plus, most ‘healthy’ ce­real bars are packed with su­gar.” THINK BE­FORE YOU DRINK, OR EAT. “There’s hid­den su­gar vir­tu­ally ev­ery­where – a frap­puc­cino can have five tea­spoons of su­gar in the syrup,” says Ursell. KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Glu­cose, glu­cose syrup, corn syrup, dex­trose, mal­tose, in­vert su­gar, trea­cle, and golden syrup are all sug­ars by a dif­fer­ent name. It is sur­pris­ing what you find when you read a la­bel. I was hor­ri­fied to dis­cover cheap and nasty corn syrup in my or­ganic bio blue­berry yo­ghurt; and why was there su­gar lurk­ing in my lux­ury chicken pie?

Add to this the foods that con­vert quickly into glu­cose when di­gested, flood­ing the body with su­gar (those with a high gly­caemic in­dex, or GI, such as crum­pets and baked pota­toes), and it’s all too easy to over­load our body with su­gar.

“You can flood the sys­tem with su­gar even with­out ap­pear­ing to be eat­ing sug­ary foods,” ex­plains nu­tri­tion­ist Amanda Ursell. “A high-GI daily diet of, say, a bagel and corn­flakes, a white-bread sand­wich at lunchtime, and a snack of a low-fat muf­fin (which ac­tu­ally has more su­gar than a reg­u­lar one) means that blood-su­gar lev­els are high through­out the day, and that’s even be­fore you’ve fac­tored in a choco­late brownie and the su­gar hid­den in a ready meal.

“This ex­cess of su­gar goes ma­raud­ing around the body, wreaking havoc on the skin and col­la­gen,” she con­tin­ues. The skin of di­a­bet­ics, whose bod­ies can’t con­trol blood-su­gar lev­els, gen­er­ally ages 30 per­cent faster than the rest of us, giv­ing some idea of the skin dam­age su­gar can cause.

“We need to stop think­ing of su­gar as just that white stuff in a bowl,” ad­vises Ursell, “and start read­ing la­bels to find those hid­den sug­ars.”


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