Alarming Facts about Sugar that Demand Lower Consumption
Monday, August 25, 2014
Sugar is everywhere, but not all of it is bad. Some sugars, like tue fructose in fresh fruits and many vegetables and the slow-release natural sugars in whole grains help us maintain our metabolism and energy levels. So, abandoning all sugar is neither healthy nore feasible. Refined sugar, however, is harmful and should be avoided whenever possible.
- Research shows that people with high refined sugar consumption are more likely to be overweight. This is especially true of people who drink sugary beverages, including sweetened fruit juice. To make matters worse, people usually do not consider the extra calories in beverages, so they often exceed their optimum caloric intake. The link between sugar and obesity makes sugar a risk factor for diabetes and other metabolic disorders that result from being overweight.
- Refined sugar can contribute to fatal diseases like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
- Sugar can be adictive, as it activates some of the same pleasure centres in the brain as drugs like cocaine. That is why so many people crave it and struggle to reduce their sugar intake. They may be addicted.
- Meals high in sugar do not make us feel sated for long. They rapidly increase the sugar levels in our blood, our pancreas responds by secreting extra insulin, our blood sugar drops correspondingly, and we feel hungry almost immediately. This is precisely what the glycemic index measures. Sugars low on the index increase our blood sugar slowly and gradually, and maintain it at that level for hours, making us feel full and energetic. Simple sugars high on the index do the opposite and leave us feeling constantly hungry and, often, anxious.
- High sugar consumption is also linked to tooth decay in both adults and children.
Refined sugar is found in white bread, most pastries, cake, ice-cream, sweetened beverages, and most breakfast cereals. Unfortunately, it goes by many names and can be tricky to identify on nutritional labels. If you see high fructose corn syrup, glucose, maltose, dextrose, sucrose, fructose, galactose, molasses, arabinose, ribose, agave nectar, xylose, deoxyribose or lactose on the labels, think carefully before you purchase.
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