Dhaka, Jul 23 (UNB)- While most of us happily consume anything that says “sugar-free”, assuming that it doesn’t have sugar at all, what we don’t realise is that “sugar-free” doesn’t mean ‘no sugar’. Like we add white table sugar or brown sugar to our cakes, coffee, cookies and even fruits, food manufacturers are also known to add artificial sweeteners, a form of sugar, or typically high-fructose corn syrup to foods and beverages including crackers, tomato sauce and salad dressing. Even low-fat foods like flavoured yogurt are considered to be high on sugar reports the Indian Express.
Pune-based diabetes researcher Dr Pramod Tripathi, founder, Freedom from Diabetes center, tells indianexpress.com, “Sugar-free and no added sugar labelled products do not mean the same thing”. “According to United States’ Food and Drug Administration guidelines ‘no added sugar’ means no sugar-containing ingredient is used during processing and ‘sugar free’ means a food must have 0.5 gram of sugar (naturally occurring or any sugar ingredient) per serving. Both these terms do not say anything about artificial sweeteners.”
Either added by consumers themselves or found in processed foods, such sugars are called free sugars, and include glucose, dextrose, fructose, household sugar (sucrose), malt sugar (maltose) and also sugars that are found in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.
Why is added sugar a concern? Sugar in all forms is a simple carbohydrate that the body converts into glucose and uses for energy. But the effect on the body and your overall health depends on the type of sugar you are eating. Since added sugars are easily broken down by once’s body, sugar levels tend to rise very rapidly unlike natural sugars.
Aside from adding calories to your body, added sugar provides no nutrition which is why it is often referred to as ’empty calories’ that causes weight gain and obesity. Having too much sugar can lead to many problems, ranging from trouble in concentration, mood swings, sudden drop and rise in blood sugar level, inflammation in the body to chronic illnesses like heart problems and diabetes.
According to FDA, the added sugar-intake recommendation should not be more than 10 per cent of one’s daily calorie intake. But World Health Organisation (WHO) reduced this percentage from 10 to five per cent. For an adult who has a normal BMI, WHO recommends no more than five teaspoons of sugar.
But the guideline does not refer to naturally occurring sugar that is found in fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and whole grains as these food items are known to have less amount of sugar and also have other additional health benefits. Even doctors are concerned about added sugars and not the naturally occurring sugar.
In fact, accumulating evidence also suggests that frequent consumers of these sugar substitutes may also be at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease as per a Purdue University study in the US.
Since the generally accepted definition of sugar includes just glucose and sucrose, these sugar-free products are laden with FDA-approved artificial sweeteners, suggests Dr Mayank Uppal, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science & Research, Delhi.
“Neotame, Saccharin, Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose and Advantame are some of the artificial sweeteners. When people end up using these products, it not only adds to their calories but makes the product very sweet due to the use of high-intensity artificial sweeteners. As consumers gorge on these products, they tend to develop a distaste for healthier options like fruits that are mildly sweet. This makes them add a large amount of calories to their diet,” he tells indianexpress.com.
So what is the way out? Dr Uppal recommends that while looking for sugar-free products, consumers should also be aware that products that claim to be sugar-free may not necessarily be low in calories and carbohydrates as perceived. “Consumers should not be satisfied with the conventional definition of sugar but also stay away from products that may contain ingredients like corn syrup extract, maple syrup and honey,” he says.
Washington, Jul 23 (AP/UNB) — Millions of people who take aspirin to prevent a heart attack may need to rethink the pill-popping, Harvard researchers reported Monday.
A daily low-dose aspirin is recommended for people who have already had a heart attack or stroke and for those diagnosed with heart disease.
But for the otherwise healthy, that advice has been overturned. Guidelines released this year ruled out routine aspirin use for many older adults who don't already have heart disease — and said it's only for certain younger people under doctor's orders.
How many people need to get that message?
Some 29 million people 40 and older were taking an aspirin a day despite having no known heart disease in 2017, the latest data available, according to a new study from Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. About 6.6 million of them were doing so on their own — a doctor never recommended it.
And nearly half of people over 70 who don't have heart disease — estimated at about 10 million — were taking daily aspirin for prevention, the researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.
"Many patients are confused about this," said Dr. Colin O'Brien, a senior internal medicine resident at Beth Israel who led the study.
After all, for years doctors urged people to leverage aspirin's blood-thinning properties to lower the chances of a first heart attack or stroke. Then last year, three surprising new studies challenged that dogma. Those studies were some of the largest and longest to test aspirin in people at low and moderate risk of a heart attack, and found only marginal benefit if any, especially for older adults. Yet the aspirin users experienced markedly more digestive-tract bleeding, along with some other side effects. .
In March, those findings prompted a change in guidelines from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology:
—People over 70 who don't have heart disease — or are younger but at increased risk of bleeding — should avoid daily aspirin for prevention.
—Only certain 40- to 70-year-olds who don't already have heart disease are at high enough risk to warrant 75 to 100 milligrams of aspirin daily, and that's for a doctor to decide.
Nothing has changed for heart attack survivors: Aspirin still is recommended for them.
But there's no way to know how many otherwise healthy people got the word about the changed recommendations.
"We hope that more primary care doctors will talk to their patients about aspirin use, and more patients will raise this with their doctors," O'Brien said.
Providence, Jul 23 (AP/UNB) — A Titanic survivor's walking stick, with an electric light she used to signal for help from a lifeboat, sold for $62,500 at an auction of maritime items, the auction house said Monday.
Guernsey's held the sale at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island, on Friday and Saturday. The top bid on Ella White's cane was $50,000, plus the surcharge added by the auction house, Guernsey's President Arlan Ettinger said.
Ettinger had expected it to sell for far more, with a pre-auction estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. He described it as one of the most extraordinary items to have survived the sinking.
The walking stick was consigned to Guernsey's by the Williams family in Milford, Connecticut.
Some family members contested the sale. The relatives agreed before the auction on how to split the proceeds and the issue was resolved, but the dispute may have made potential bidders nervous, Ettinger said.
The winning bidder said he was there on behalf of a friend in the United Kingdom, Ettinger added.
In Walter Lord's book about the Titanic and in investigative hearings after its 1912 sinking, it was noted that White appointed herself as a signalman for lifeboat 8, waving her walking stick about.
Brad Williams said his grandmother was White's niece and cared for her affairs before she died in 1942 at age 85, and then took possession of the walking stick. It was passed on to Williams' mother, then to him, Williams added.
Paris, Jul 21 (AP/UNB) — Swedish teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg has received the first Freedom Prize awarded by France's Normandy region, which last month commemorated the 75th D-Day anniversary.
Thunberg, 16, received the award in Caen on Sunday, posing alongside D-Day veterans Charles Norman Shay and Léon Gautier.
Thunberg said that "I think the least we can do to honor them is to stop destroying that same world that Charles, Leon and their friends and colleagues fought so hard to save."
She sent out a warning that "we are currently on track for a world that could displace billions of people from their homes, taking away even the most basic living conditions ... making areas of the world uninhabitable for parts of the year." But she added, "We can still fix this."
St. Augustine, Jul 21 (AP/UN) — Authorities have arrested a woman in Florida who they say tried to attack another woman with a knife when she was denied a slice of pizza.
The St. Augustine Record reports 22-year-old De’Erica Cooks is accused of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said Cooks became angry after another woman denied her a pizza slice when she asked for one. An offense report says Cooks told the woman “I’m going to cut you” with a steak knife in her hand, and then tried to attack her. Deputies say a man in the house was able to take the knife away from Cooks.
Cooks told investigators she did not remember much. She remained in jail Friday with no attorneys listed in records.