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Sweet and sour.

THE confirmation from the World Health Organisation that we consume more sugar than is good for us does not, in truth, come as much of a surprise. Irritating, perhaps, but not a surprise.

We have known for many years that an overly sweet tooth can result in dental decay, obesity and, on far too many occasions, diabetes. More recently, we have also learned to appreciate that, once subjected to sufficiently extensive scrutiny, an excess of any substance conducive to human pleasure will eventually be revealed as harmful.

Fat, alcohol, caffeine and now sugar - if we like something (anything) more than a little, the rule seems to be that something is not going to do us any good. At which most of us issue a resigned sigh and adjust our intake accordingly.

The trouble with sugar, however, is that it is more adept than other delicious temptations at insinuating itself into our diets. Sugar is not just a temptress, it hides its tempting well. Whereas booze - credit where it's due - is brazen, sugar is beguiling.

We all know, or can at least surmise, that a carton of fruit juice, or a can of Coke, or a caramel frappuccino is laden with the sweet stuff. But who would suspect that so too is a can of tomato soup? Or a tin of baked beans? Or a humble banana?

Given such a range of cunning disguises, it is little wonder that many of us exceed the recommended maximum of five teaspoons of sugar a day. Now, however, ignorance can no longer serve as an excuse for over-indulgence. Sugar's sneaky secrets have been revealed.

H G

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jan 29, 2014
Words:287
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