26 March 2018
Many people can agree that sugar is not healthy, but often they believe that going cold- turkey is not a realistic option. “It looks innocent enough, and surely a little bit won’t hurt?” For many, consuming sugar is an on-going compromise.
But the real problem is that even if you don’t add sugar to your food or drinks you are probably consuming way more than you think. Sugar in any form, be it corn syrup, honey or even fructose, still has a powerful impact on the body; and one thing is for sure, we are consuming much more than we need.
In 1915, the national average of sugar consumption (per year) in the US was around 6 to 8 Kgs per person. Today the average person consumes his/her weight in sugar, plus over 8 Kgs of corn syrup. The human body cannot tolerate this large amount of refined carbohydrates. The vital organs in the body are actually damaged by this gross sugar intake.
Here are a few more points you may want to consider,
Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition says, “white refined sugar is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways… For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the “N”, or nitrogen atom.”
When we talk about sugar we are generally talking about a mixture of glucose and fructose.
Dextrose, fructose, and glucose are all monosaccharides, known as simple sugars. The main difference between them is how your body breaks them down. Table sugar is half glucose and half fructose. Basically, anything ending in “ose” is sugar.
Sugar alcohols like xylitol, glycerol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, and erythritol are neither sugars nor alcohols but are becoming increasingly popular as sweeteners. They are incompletely absorbed from your small intestine, for the most part. They provide fewer calories than sugar, but can have a laxative effect and therefore need to be consumed in moderation.
Naturally contained sugars in fruit and vegetables are balanced by the fibre, vitamins, enzymes and other properties of the fruit/vegetable.
Honey is about 53% fructose, but is completely natural in its raw form and has many health benefits when consumed in moderation.
Stevia is a highly sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, which has been shown to be completely safe.
It is especially important to cut out sugar in children’s diets because they are still developing their nutritional foundation, metabolism, and hormones. It is really essential that you do your best to stick to natural whole foods and avoid any processed foods like packaged biscuits, fizzy drinks, bottled sauces and flavoured crisps.
Make the good foods readily available, and put all your nuts and healthy snacks in clear jars where children can see them, and make the unhealthy snacks few and far between.
Lastly, whatever changes you decide to make one thing is for sure, cutting out sugar is one of the most important moves you can make for your health!