Sugar is a carbohydrate found naturally in a host of different foods – from lactose in milk to fructose in fruits and honey, all are sugar. The recent researches suggest that it’s the sugar rather than the fat in our diet that contributes to our obesity epidemic. And I don’t totally disagree with that, if I had to point out one culprit that contributes to our expanding waistline and deteriorating health, it would be Sugar. But is that all?! There is definitely much more to this story than that.
Sugar as well as other carbohydrates can play a role in our healthy balanced diet, and they all do not have equal impacts. Once upon a time, we primarily ate sugars that naturally occurred in fruits and vegetables, but now, the main source of sugar in our diet is ‘added sugar’. The problem with added sugar is that, it makes it easy to eat excess calories – you may end up drinking a can of soft drink but you won’t eat four apples because the fibre in apple with make you feel full – there lies the problem!
What happens to our body when we consume too much sugar?
It can cause tooth decay and rot your teeth to start with. When your pancreas detects a rush in sugar, it releases a hormone called insulin to deal with all that excess sugar. Insulin helps regulate that level of sugar in our blood – more the sugar in blood stream, the more insulin is released. Insulin helps store all of this sugar in liver, muscles and fat cells. Too much insulin is released, which ultimately results in our blood sugar level dropping below normal levels.
Unfortunately, the more often this process takes place( consumption of sugar), the more severe the blood sugar spike is and more insulin is needed. That means it becomes easier to skip using sugar as energy, and they go straight to extra insulin and fat storage.
It doesn’t just make you fat, it contributes to an increased chance of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, chronic kidney failure, high blood sugar.
Good sugar vs. Bad sugar
Not all sugar is bad. The difference between good and bad sugar lies less in the sugar themselves than in how they are consumed, and how quickly they cause your blood glucose levels to rise. As a rule ‘good’ sugars come in healthy whole foods, while ‘bad’ sugars come in highly refined, processed foods.
Our body needs a type of sugar known as glucose in order of function properly. But you cant overdo it, which a lot people do. These sugars are less damaging than others preventing weight gain and disease while keeping your diet manageable and keeping your body fitter.
SUCROSE – GLUCOSE AND FRUCTOSE
Glucose is an essential part of our diet and a natural part of many foods. Foods like breads and rice have a lot of carbs and nearly whole of it is turned into glucose by our body. When glucose enters your body, insulin travels through our bloodstream. This keeps energy flowing to all your body, maintaining proper insulin that makes your body utilize energy more than storing fat. This keeps your cardiovascular system healthy.
Fructose occurs naturally in many of the healthy foods we eat – fruits, vegetables, whole grains. But when this fructose is in soda it’s much worse because of lack of fiber in the food. Fructose then disrupts the hormones released in our body and it can trick our body into believing that we are still hungry, which is bad! Our body treats fructose differently from glucose, sending it first to the liver and more often storing it as fat, the real trouble is in how much of it is in our diet.
TAKING CONTROL IN OUR SUGAR INTAKE
We won’t be able to cut sugar from our diet for the rest of our lives and that is not a good idea because sugar alone is not the biggest problem but controlling how much you eat is. The best way to cut is to start keeping track on what you eat and how much you are eating to get an idea where you stand. One you can identify where the excess sugar in your diet is coming from you can help yourself from cutting it down gradually. Try it! 🙂
Hiding names for sugar
- Corn Syrup
- Rice malt syrup
- Golden syrup
- Hydrolysed starch
- Agave nectar
- Fruit juice concentrates
- Cane sugar
- Brown sugar
Honey, along with maple syrup, agave nectar and rice malt syrup, falls under free sugar and needs to be restricted. For our body it does not matter whether free sugar comes from honey or table sugar. Honey brings added sugar and calories to our diet and so should be restricted
This is my opinion – that if you are going to eat sugar, get it from fruits and naturally occurring sweeteners. And to minimize the effect on your blood sugar, minimize on sugar consumption if your goal is to lose weight.
I thought of a lot of fancy phrases to conclude this blog… but I just got back to my original straight self to say at end that — If you love your yourself and really care about your body you need to work on it. Everytime you buy yourself something with high sugar and unhealthy, you are sending a message to your own self that you don’t care and that you are satisfied with food that is making you sick, fat and unhealthy!
And as I always say while fat is unhealthy, being skinny isn’t healthy either! Have a healthy fit body and you shall see the change it brings to your mind 🙂
Keep glowing! Stay healthy! xoxo