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!
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
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.