Sugar and its story seems to be infiltrating many arenas. It has left the health and foodie mags as has landed itself in popular cinemas locally and abroad. Books are being published and everyone from Endocrinologists to parents are having ‘the conversation’.
Why is sugar so bad for you? Sugar is fat free and a natural product, however; it seems a natural poison that the body struggles to metabolise.
Sugar finds its way into our day to day diets in many forms and the reaction on the body can be catastrophic. Insulin levels rise, often preventing fat to be released from the body. Sugar via dietary carbohydrates has an immediate effect on stored fat forcing storage even deeper into the tissue and preventing the fat to be used as energy.
Surprisingly sugar has even found a way to ‘talk’ you away from good food choices; this occurs when the appetite suppressant hormone (Leptin) receives a misguided messages from the brain in its convincing reply to a ‘sugar high’.
There are many types of sugar, one of the most common, Fructose, found in processed food, fruit juice, dried fruit, and many baked good even has the ability to convert free fatty acids to triglycerides and become stored as fat.
If you consider an apple to have 8 or so grams of fructose and the daily maximum sugar consumption is recommended to be 25grams or under it becomes clear how we need to restrict our food choices to stave off problematic patterns of eating.
When buying packaged food, reading the label is the easiest way to do your calculations. If the labels are overwhelming or full of trickery, cast your eyes to the ingredients and find where sugar falls in the list, if its 1,2 or 3 its generally a no-no, likewise if a number rather than a word falls into position 1,2 or 3 its also a no-no! Ideally limiting packaged and processed foods is key.
Artificial sweeteners are complicated to say the least but at best will make you crave ‘real’ sugars and should be taken out of your diet.
Supplements in the form of Omega-3 will assist your body in processing sugar in a more combative way, but real food will always be best.
If you cant find what you are looking for at your ‘local’ don’t try at source it. Make your diet seasonal and applicable to your own circumstances, climate and lifestyle. Make your choices locally grown where possible, increase vegetables in your daily diet and include plenty of healthy fats, like avocado & nuts to minimise sugars overall impact on your body.
Always consider speaking with a health professional for food choices, change and guidance.