Out­smart your sweet tooth

Yes, it's pos­si­ble! curb crav­ings and boost your nu­tri­tion smarts with this sci­ence-backed quiz. It will change the way your eat, for the bet­ter!

Women's Health Australia - - CONTENTS - By Nicki Wil­liams

Curb crav­ings and up your nu­tri­tion knowl­edge with this sci­ence-backed quiz. It’s a guar­an­teed eye-opener!

Whether you’ve been swerv­ing the sweet stuff since the Sarah Wil­son I Quit Su­gar days or are hap­pily chomp­ing down on gummy bears right now (#bal­ance), you know su­gar has had a rough few years. Proof? There’s been grow­ing calls for a tax on it since the UK passed leg­is­la­tion in­cen­tivis­ing big com­pa­nies to re­duce the lev­els of the sweet­ener in soft drinks. Mean­while, in Oz, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­leased a pa­per rec­om­mend­ing the tea­spoons of su­gar should be in­cluded on food la­bels (con­sumer group Choice claims food man­u­fac­tur­ers dis­guise con­tent by us­ing up to 42 dif­fer­ent words for su­gar). The S word is a mine­field and, al­though it’s slowly but surely be­ing un­cov­ered, there’s still a lot to nav­i­gate. So, con­sider this a short-and-sweet way to test your knowl­edge and find new ways to crush those crav­ings.

Q1 Su­gar has been shown to ___ your mem­ory. A En­hance B Wipe C Con­fuse

An­swer: A and C. The Univer­sity of Barcelona states that com­bin­ing a caf­feine hit with su­gar jump-starts your men­tal dex­ter­ity. Best save it for those painfully early morn­ing meet­ings, though. Over time, a sug­ary diet hin­ders learn­ing and mem­ory, UCLA re­ports, dam­ag­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween brain cells.

Q2 By how many years can sug­ary drinks ac­cel­er­ate cell age­ing? A 1.3 B 4.6 C7

An­swer: B. A sweet tooth can add years as well as ki­los. Re­search in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Pub­lic

Health found pun­ters who down a 600ml bot­tle of a su­gar-sweet­ened drink each day ex­pe­ri­ence DNA changes typ­i­cal of cells 4.6 years older – sim­i­lar changes as those you’d see due to smok­ing. Yikes!

Q3 Ex­cess su­gar can make your PMS strug­gles even more real? A Sad but true B Choco­late helps, duh

An­swer: A. If you won’t cut back on Cad­bury for your teeth, do it for your monthly cramps. Why? The Royal Women’s Hos­pi­tal, Vic­to­ria, points to a healthy diet as a start­ing point to re­duce PMS symp­toms and sug­gests bas­ing meals and snacks around low-gi carbs (not sug­ary bakes, sweet­ened drinks and pro­cessed treats) to guard against in­flam­ma­tion. Makes sense!

Q4 Which of these can make dessert taste sweeter, with­out adding any ex­tra kilo­joules? A The cutlery B The light­ing C The com­pany

An­swer: A and C. As well as en­cour­ag­ing you to eat more slowly, sam­pling food from a smaller spoon makes it taste sweeter, as con­firmed in a study in the jour­nal Flavour.

Who knew! Want to fur­ther en­hance your sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence? A study by Yale Univer­sity found that we en­joy in­dul­gent food more when shar­ing it. Best or­der big then.

Q5 What’s more ad­dic­tive? A Fat B Su­gar C Salt

An­swer: B. If food is your drug of choice, you can con­sider su­gar a class A. Re­search pub­lished in

The Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal

Nu­tri­tion found that it lights up the brain’s plea­sure sys­tem in a way other foods don’t, in­creas­ing the urge to overindulge. Skip­ping an af­ter-din­ner tiramisu in favour of the cheese board is one clever way to go clean. Pass the pickle.

Q6 Your ‘added sug­ars’ limit is equiv­a­lent to how many glasses of or­ange juice? A1 B 1⅓ C 2⅓

An­swer: B. The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion rec­om­mends lim­it­ing your in­take of added sug­ars to less than 10 per cent of your daily kilo­joules, with fur­ther re­duc­tion to be­low five per cent (or about six tea­spoons) pre­ferred. What that looks like IRL? About 1⅓ cups of or­ange juice, four pieces of raisin toast or a 175g tub of fruit yo­ghurt. A very bal­anced diet, in­deed.

Q7 You’ve hit the 3pm slump. What’s the best way to curb crav­ings? A Eat half a Mars bar B Go for a walk C Go on In­sta­gram

An­swer: B. Leave the vend­ing ma­chine alone and hit the pave­ment. Just 15 min­utes will nix su­gar crav­ings, a study by Aus­tria’s Univer­sity of Inns­bruck shows. As for In­sta­gram, #food­porn in­duces spikes in the hor­mone ghre­lin, which trig­gers hunger. No like.

Q8 Honey doesn’t count to­wards your daily limit as it’s nat­u­ral? A Sure – same with maple syrup, right? B Pfft, you wish

An­swer: B. Honey is just as sweet as su­gar – and as likely to con­trib­ute to a mul­ti­tude of health prob­lems. How­ever, honey has more nu­tri­ents and is less pro­cessed, so con­sider it the lesser of two de­li­cious evils.

Q9 Eat­ing sweets can give you teenage skin? A My spots say yes B Nah, that’s a myth

An­swer: A. No, we’re not dis­cussing the anti-age­ing prop­er­ties of Smar­ties. A Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can

Academy of Der­ma­tol­ogy study linked foods that spike blood glu­cose to acne. Zinc-rich foods, how­ever, re­duce skin in­flam­ma­tion, re­veals a re­view in Der­ma­tol­ogy Re­search and Prac­tice. So bal­ance a gummy bear habit with cashews, oys­ters and lean meats. Sim­ple!

Q10 An hour in ___ af­fects blood glu­cose more than one in the gym. A The bath B Bed C The pub

An­swer: A. Data by the UK’S Lough­bor­ough Univer­sity sci­en­tists

found sub­jects’ blood glu­cose was 10 per cent lower af­ter eat­ing if they’d had a hot bath prior, com­pared with a work­out. Dis­claimer: the ef­fects of eat­ing pizza in the bath were not stud­ied.

Q11 Which of these might cause type 2 di­a­betes? A Ge­net­ics B In­ac­tiv­ity Su­gar

C

An­swer: Trick ques­tion. All three can. But, while a heavy su­gar habit can in­di­rectly cause di­a­betes be­cause it makes you more likely to be over­weight, ex­cess body fat and poor fit­ness also play piv­otal roles.

Q12 By how much can a sweet tooth in­crease your risk of death from heart dis­ease? A 10 per cent B 20 per cent C 30 per cent

An­swer: C. On top of sodium, heart health has a new white crys­tallised neme­sis. A study in the jour­nal

JAMA In­ter­nal Medicine found those who get 10–25 per cent of their daily kilo­joules from added sug­ars have 30 per cent more risk of death from heart dis­ease. Look af­ter your ticker with daily ex­er­cise, re­duc­ing al­co­hol in­take and get­ting your om on. Har­vard re­searchers found yoga helped peo­ple re­duce their blood pres­sure and bad choles­terol.

Q13 Are low-kj sweet­en­ers good for weight loss? A Obvs B Nope

An­swer: B. You’re sweet enough al­ready, su­gar. Stud­ies by Pur­due Univer­sity show sac­cha­rine ad­di­tives con­fuse our abil­ity to judge kilo­joule in­take based on taste, lead­ing to crav­ings and po­ten­tial weight gain. So if you’re a zero-kj kind of gal, we’d ad­vise you and the Diet Coke to take a break.

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