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Sugar, Immunity and Cold Sores

It has long been known that sugar is harmful to a person’s immunity because of the way it inhibits the ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria. As such, eating sugar-rich foods, particularly those that are heavily processed, is likely to make you more prone to cold sores and, if you already have a cold sore, may significantly interfere with your body’s ability to fight the virus. However, in a world in which sugar is near-ubiquitous, it can be difficult to avoid, particularly as many products are packed full of hidden sugar – i.e. they are not necessarily products you would think of as being sugar-rich. This is why the people of Herstat, the makers of the propolis-based cold sore treatment, have decided to compile a list of some hidden sugar products you might wish to avoid if you are hoping to prevent or avoid a cold sore outbreak.

1. Low-fat products

Low-fat products frequently negate the good they achieve in removing the fats – and it is often debatable whether the fats might be bad for you anyway – by adding extra sugar. Whether we are talking about low-fat ice cream, low-fat yoghurts, low-fat cheese, low-fat vegan products or just about anything else wearing the low-fat label, manufacturers have an annoying tendency to take out the fat only to add extra sugar. Low-fat products are best avoided if you don’t want to find yourself in need of cold sore treatment.

2. Condiments

We tend to think of “savoury” condiments such as ketchup, BBQ sauce and even some kinds of mayonnaise and mustard as being sugar-free. It is easy to understand why; after all, they are for eating with the main meal rather than with dessert. Yet the truth is that these sauces are often as sugar-rich as many of the sweetest puddings. For example, just one tablespoon of ketchup contains one teaspoon of sugar.

3. Ready meals and ready-made pasta sauces

Pasta sauces already contain naturally occurring sugars – for example, cooked tomatoes are naturally sweet – but despite this, many also contain added sugar. In 2015 a study by The Telegraph and the campaign group Action on Sugar found that many ready meals contain around twice as much sugar as a can of Coca Cola. One dish surveyed - Sainsbury’s Crispy Sweet & Sour Chicken – was around one-sixth sugar.

4. Sports drinks

It would be natural to assume that sports drinks are healthy and therefore sugar-free. However, one (570 ml) bottle of a sports drink contains more than 30 grams of sugar and is little different from a bottle of Fanta or Coke. In fact, unless you are involved intense and demanding exercise, you are likely to be better off drinking water or a homemade sugar-free sports drink preparation.

5. Baked Beans

Unless you buy reduced-sugar baked beans, most tinned baked beans are tantamount to a sweet and sour dish. Just one cup of baked beans contains around five teaspoons of sugar. Fortunately, there are now many low-sugar versions to choose from.

Herstat, nature’s cold sore treatment

Herstat is nature’s answer to the problem of cold sores. Clinical trials have shown our propolis-based cold sore treatment to be more effective than the acyclovir-based pharmaceutical alternatives.