Is Sugar the New Fat? The population is getting fatter
Women and Men’s Dietary Health - Heidelberg
Who would think that Sugar could be the culprit?
In a case that involves being overweight or obese, we all would rather blame fatty foods. Fats in food were the usual suspect for all kinds of accusations and blames. What's more? The promotion of diet programs that emphasized other classes of foods like carbs and proteins at the expense of fats goes further to prove this.
The demonization of foods that contain any form of fat has been going on for a long time by the food and nutrition industry.
But the tides have changed and sugar is now the new fat.
Here’s what we mean:
85% of grocery shelf products are sugar-laden, readily purchased and consumed by sometimes, undiscerning buyers. Sauces, cereals, cakes, muffins, chocolates, doughnuts, ice cream, energy drinks, biscuits, are all every day, food items that contain sugar in one form or another.
But what side effects does excessive sugar have on our body that makes it bad or maybe not?
If you would love to know more, let’s find out, shall we?
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF SUGAR ON THE BODY
Sugar has been found to negatively impact our bodies. We consume high quantities of sugar as fructose or High fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This is used as a sweetener in most processed foods primarily because it's cheaper. The human body was not designed to harbor so much sugar as it can only handle up to 25g per day.
Fructose is converted directly into fat which can lead to a host of health issues for the body.
Some of the effects of excessive consumption of sugar on our health include:
EXCESSIVE WEIGHT GAIN
Leptin is a substance used by the body system to control appetite. It increases during periods of hunger and reduces when the belly is full. But in the case of fructose, Leptin does not seem to be able to register it as food and instead of going down when fructose is taken, it stays up signaling to the brain that it is not satisfied and wants more. This tricks the brain into sending hunger signals to the body and thereby allowing the body to take more. This will usually develop into insulin resistance and lead to increased weight
This is as a result of overloading the liver which is the organ responsible for breaking down sugar. And because it is only capable of easily dealing with about 25g a day, the remaining becomes a source of overload and may be the cause of potential damage to the Liver.
INCREASED URIC ACID LEVELS
Excessive consumption of fructose can result in high uric acid levels which is a measuring index employed in accessing health risks for heart and kidney disease. As a matter of fact, uric acid levels are now directly linked to the measure of fructose toxicity. The safe levels of uric acid are between 3 and 5.5 milligrams per delimiter according to recent research. Anything above this is considered unsafe and might be at high risk of heart and kidney diseases.
According to research, sugar is a dietary factor required for the propagation and spread of cancer cells in the body. Studies show that cancer cells readily use fructose in its proliferation as it feeds on fructose to promote its growth in cell division. This allows for a faster movement of cancer cells within the body.
Excessive consumption of sugar can lead to a brain illness called Alzheimer's disease. Studies show a link between excess consumption of high fructose diet and a rising probability of developing Alzheimer's disease. Some experts believe that regular consumption of glucose as fuel for the brain can lead to Alzheimer's disease and other brain illnesses.
HOW TO BREAK-UP WITH SUGAR FOR GOOD
The Sweet Liberation
There are varieties of ways that can be used to cut ties with excessive sugar.
Some might be easy due to having the same sweetening effects as Sugar, while others might not be as easy as it tends to take one away totally from sugar.
These ways include;
• Eating Low sugar diets
Concerted efforts should be made to lower sugar content in diets. Desserts, for instance, don't seem to offer much in nutrition. You can cut back on the amount or frequency of dessert per meal.
• Eat less of processed foods and more of whole foods
• Try adding more green vegetables to your diet
• Avoid process foods an refined sugars
• Add pungent spices, as well as bitter and astringent fruits and veggies to your diet, this can help to balance out blood sugar and offset sugar cravings
• Always read labels
• Lunches/Dinners – Is your meal balanced with protein, whole grains, good fats, greens and sweet vegetables
Most boxed food items have sugar; some even have more than two different types. But I bet if you cut down on its consumption, it will drastically change your life for the better health wise.
• Keep daily intake of fructose to less than 25g.
Let this be your daily quota. It might need some form of discipline and sheer will and a bit of daily arithmetic. But you'll see in the long run that it pays off.
• Substitute Water for soft drinks
Soft drinks don’t really quench our thirst, so why not just drink water, lots of it rather than Soft drinks. Water does more good in the body.
BETTER ALTERNATIVES TO SUGAR
Better alternatives to sugar can be a way to help gets rid of the associated addiction that comes with sugar. Try better alternatives that have the same sweetening effects with less fructose and fewer worries of accumulating unwanted weight or health-related issues. Some of these alternatives include;
• Raw Honey
• Maple syrup
• Coconut Sugar
• Banana puree
• Blackstrap Molasses
• Balsamic Glaze
• Real fruit jam
• Brown Rice Syrup
A word should be said about fruits here. Fruits also contain sugar. However, when consumed as whole fruit, the fiber helps to boost metabolism opposed to juicing it, where all the helpful fiber is separated.
The health effects of excessive consumption of sugar especially fructose as seen is far-reaching.
A conscious effort is, therefore, necessary to reduce the intake of this addictive substance.
That's the only way that can guarantee the avoidance of all its associated health woes including obesity.
1. SugarScience; Added sugar is hiding in 74% of packaged foods ; University of California San Francisco.
2. Liu, Haibo et al "Fructose Induces Transketolase Flux to Promote Pancreatic Cancer Growth." Cancer Research 70.15 (2010): 6368-6376. Web. 26 April. 2018.
3. Stephanie Morish; http://www.keenist.com/