Monday, 29 October 2012

Sugar the “drug” that is making us fat and lacking energy

The whole world is facing an epidemic with the population getting fatter, and even though the medical professionals are able to treat more and more of deadly diseases, we are getting unhealthier; we are overfed but under-nutritioned.
For a long time we thought that fat was the villain in the drama, but we are now realizing that sugar is the bigger threat.

The reason we get fat from sugar is that we don’t realize that we are eating it; this is due to a hormone called leptin. After insulin has stored energy in the cells there is a hormone called leptin which is supposed to let us know that we have eaten enough. So, if the insulin is bypassed the leptin is not triggered and we don’t know that we have eaten enough.

Sugar is a carbohydrate, which provides our bodies with energy. Carbohydrates can be classified into two kinds, high GI and low GI carbohydrates. GI stands for Glycemic Index, which is the scale that measures how fast certain carbs are broken down into our bodies.

Low GI takes longer time to break down whereas high GI carbs, breaks down very fast and you get hungry again quicker.

Although we might think that it is relatively easy to just cut out the food containing   sugar, it’s not that easy.

On a food label sugar can be listed in a many varied ways, usually you have an indicator about the direct sugar content and that can be 7gr but if your look at the carbohydrate content, which can be 48gr, you suddenly have a product with 48gr sugar. Sugar can be, brown sugar, cane sugar, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose and so on.

All sugar contain 4 calories per gram, and simple sugar on its own have no nutritional value.

Sugar increases our blood sugar and insulin levels which will cause our body to begin storing and stop burning fat, if we don’t exercise on such a high level that we use all the energy straight away.

Due to the impact sugar has on our insulin levels with a drop after its initial high, it’s like a drug and it leaves us feeling tired and hungry and craving more sugar.

Although there are still many opinions surrounding sugar’s impact on our bodies, sugar is said to contribute to suppressing the immune system, upsetting the body’s mineral balance, contributing to hyperactivity, and anxiety and depression, these are just a few of the effects that sugar has on our bodies.

The problem is that many of us don’t realize how much sugar we are actually eating. Most sugar comes from processed food that we eat, not the sugar we add when we cook ourselves.  A lot of us look at processed food as fast food, but processed food is food that has been altered from its original, like “fat free yoghurt”, yes the fat is gone but to save the taste the manufacture has added sugar, or the “sugar free lollies”. How can we have sugar free lollies that still satisfy our taste buds, artificial sweetening, which will still keep playing havoc with your insulin level.

So if you would like to reduce sugar in your diet you might try:

·         Learn to enjoy foods that are naturally sweet, like fresh fruit

·         Use spices and herbs to enhance flavors, like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

·         Make homemade sauce and toppings

·         Use dried and fresh fruit to sweeten yoghurt and cereal

·         Understand nutrition labels, 7gram of sugar is equal to 1 tbsp of sugar

·         Remember that the less processed food you eat and the more whole food with fruit and vegetables you eat, the less craving you will have for sugar.

It’s your health and you are in charge!!

Yours in Health & Fitness,


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