Not so sweet story
“I don’t eat too much sugar; I just add a teaspoon in my morning and evening tea”.
We hear it everyday from people who come to consult with us. Then we ask them – “Did you know how much sugar common food contains?” And we start by giving them an idea:
2 slices of white bread – 3 teaspoon
1 bowl of cereal – 4-5 teaspoon
1/2 cup packaged fruit juice – 3-4 teaspoons
1 can of soft-drink – 9 teaspoon
1 bowl of ice-cream – 23 teaspoon
This is what we call as “Invisible Sugar”. We consume sugar without the knowledge of how much we are consuming.
You may be wondering, why is Sugar getting so much of bad press? Is Sugar really so bad? With google advice and celebrity nutritionists doling out populist nutrition advice, we get even more confused. So let’s take an objective view.
Dangers of chronic High-Sugar diets:
1. Reduces insulin sensitivity
2. Excess fat gain due to chronic high insulin levels especially around the love handle and upper back areas
3. Eventually leading to poor carbohydrate tolerance or diabetes
4. It causes glycation where sugar molecules bind to blood proteins leading to Premature aging, Cancer, Alzheimer’s and many more.
Sugar, Insulin and Fat storage:
We all know, consumption of sugar causes blood insulin levels to spike quickly. One of the jobs insulin performs in the body is to switch from “fat-burning mode” to “fat storage mode.” If your goal is to maintain a lean physique, causing an insulin spike is the last thing you want to do.
Bacteria thrive on Sugar:
Diets high in sugar may support the growth of the “bad” bacteria that are linked to higher body fat percentage. So, counting and subsequently decreasing sugar consumption can change your your gut bacteria ecosystems for the better leading to decrease in body fat percentage.
Sugar is addictive:
Experts are agreeing that Sugar may be as addictive as cocaine. The link between sugar and addictive behavior is tied to the fact that, when we eat sugar, opioids and dopamine are released. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is a key part of the “reward circuit” associated with addictive behavior. When any activity causes an excess release of dopamine, it gives a feeling of high and you are inclined to repeat the behaviour. This is also the reason why many people crave sugary food under conditions of stress.
Different avatars of Sugar: Sucrose, Fructose, Glucose, maltose, dextrose, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed starch, corn syrup, honey, cane sugar, maple sugar, molasses, evaporated cane juice. Look for these in the nutrition label of the food to be aware of the quantity of sugar in the food item.
The invisible sugar content in a regular indian food is already so high that we don’t need to add any more in our tea or coffee. The information above and the references below should equip you to make a sound decision about whether you should say a complete NO to Sugar.
If you have any queries, please feel free to call us at 99721-40752 or post your query to www.facebook.com/navitae
Stay fit, stay healthy, stay happy!
2. ISSA Specialist in Fitness Nutrition coursebook
3. Claudia Wallis. How Gut Bacteria Help Make Us Fat and Thin. Scientific American. June 1, 2014.
4. Freudenrich, Ph.D., Craig. “How Fat Cells Work” 27 October 2000. HowStuffWorks.com. 30 December 2015.