Many people are aware of the negative health effects of sugar, whether it’s weight gain or tooth decay. But not many people are actually conscious of how much sugar — in particular added sugar — they consume on a daily basis. From the flavored latte you drink with breakfast to the soft drink you have with dinner, many of your beverages are packed with added sugars, which may add a large number of calories to your daily diets.
Unfortunately, even mindful dieters can be unaware of the amount of added sugar in their drinks because of confusing labeling. Added sugars can be listed on nutritional labels under names like glucose or fructose and can be listed in combination with natural sugars. They are also listed in grams instead of a more visual unit of measurement like teaspoons. This can make it hard to calculate how much added sugar the beverage is actually packing.
For those with diabetes, carbohydrate and sugar intake must be continuously monitored to make sure insulin levels are stable. While the process for monitoring sugar intake has become better over the years, emerging technology like the biotech tattoos in development by Dr. Katia Vega, may help make tracking our bodies’ chemistry even easier to do in the future.
Chef Sam Talbot was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 12, and as a chef and co-founder of Beyond Type 1, has devoted his career to increasing awareness of the disease and the added sugars we put into our bodies. He is hoping the tech of the future will help him, and the millions of others who have diabetes, manage their disease.
Watch the video above, created in partnership with Panera alongside Talbot and Vega, assistant professor in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science’s Department of Design, to see how technology may be used to change the lives of diabetes patients.
Panera Bread has committed to offering moderately sweetened and no added sugar beverages along with labeling calories and added sugar in its beverages at the point of pour and on the cup. To see how others are improving the way we eat, check out Food Interrupted, a six-part series by Panera, produced in partnership with Rainn Wilson’s SoulPancake and ACE Content, that sheds light on these hardworking chefs, tastemakers and community heroes who are helping to change America’s food system.