It is easy to eat too much … we are bombarded with and it is having a major impact on our health. Sugar is undoubtedly the root cause of the obesity epidemic and is a trigger of most chronic disesaes. Diabetes is on the rise and worldwide the number of people with diabetes is expected to rise to 522 million by 2030. Research carried out this year, demonstrated that 99 cereals tested contained 50% above the limit of a child’s recommended daily sugar intake per serving. Just this week the campaign group Action Against Sugar are demanding a ban in the UK on freakshakes and milkshakes that contain added chocolotes, sweets, cream and sauce. Milkshakes and freakshakes sold in high street restaurants and fast food chains contain 39 teaspooons of sugar per serving. Would you eat 39 teaspoonfuls of sugar? Find out what our nutritional therapist has to say about the evils of sugar and how it might be impacting on your health.
THE EVILS OF SUGAR – WHAT IS WRONG WITH EATING SUGAR?
What’s wrong with sugar? It’s a drug that makes us fat especially around the middle; it creates fat around our organs; it increases our risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and it is now known to contribute towards premature ageing, and by that I mean anything from wrinkles to Alzheimer’s. It is also addictive – studies have shown sugar’s effect on the human brain and it has been proven that is it EIGHT times more addictive than cocaine!
Our body is designed to only allow a very small amount of sugar in the bloodstream at any one time – about 1-2 teaspoonful’s. If we eat more than this, the hormone insulin is produced to transport this sugar out of the bloodstream. This sugar, through several mechanisms, gets converted to fat, mainly the kind of fat that gets stored around the waist, but sometimes this can also be ‘invisible’ fat that gets stored around the organs – both are detrimental to our health. If large quantities of sugar are consumed on a regular basis, our cells become lazy and resistant to the presence of insulin, which increases our risk of some pretty serious diseases like Type 2 diabetes. Increasingly studies are showing that too much sugar can increase our risk of heart disease, even if we aren’t overweight.
Cakes, sweets, biscuits are the obvious sources, but it lurks in many other foods, such as salad dressings, low fat yoghurts, fizzy drinks, fruit juices, breakfast cereals, wine, and ready meals. There are no healthy sugars not even honey, fructose and sweeteners. Sweeteners have the same effect on the brain and body. They condition the taste buds to crave sugar, so go easy on them and don’t be fooled into thinking these are better options.
Whenever we eat a carbohydrate such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit and vegetables they are converted into a form of sugar, which enters the blood stream. Now we make energy from this sugar and we do need some but we don’t need vast quantities and we still want to keep the blood sugar stable – vegetables and fruit are best choice but even fruit in abundance can be negative if you are also eating lots of other sugary foods. It is so easy to eat too much sugar … we are bombarded with it.
Sharon Sinclair Dip ION, mBANT