Sugar, Sugar, Sugar : Is it bad for us?January 3, 2015
There has been many studies to say that although fat is a factor linking to obesity and heart disease, the main underlying factor is sugar. Sugar is essentially an ingredient that adds calories with nutrients and release energy so quickly that you when you plummet on the sugar low instance….you are unknowingly reaching for the sugar snack again to increase your energy levels.
We have all been told to eat less sugar because it affects our health however how many of us have actually analysed each and every product we consume to calculate how much sugar we eat? No, nor have we. But we have been confronted by The Telegraph (09.01.14 link ) that us Brits consume around 238 teaspoon of sugar each week, equating to 34 teaspoon each day. That is absolutely mad!
According to Heart.org (2014), men shouldn’t consume more than 9 teaspoons and woman 6 teaspoon. So what are the effects on the body if we are consuming more than 30 teaspoons a day?
The sugar that we consume is mainly made up of glucose and fructose. Glucose is a naturally occurring substance in our body and if we do not get the glucose from food our bodies produce this substance. However whilst fructose is a natural element in fruit to entice animals, we do not need this as human beings. When this is consumed into the body we turn fructose into something else (Glycogen) for use later on when it is needed. This doesn’t sound too bad, so what is it which makes sugar bad for us then?
Well, the underlying problem really is that once we process this fructose for products such as confectionery, desserts or sweet drinks then many companies are using what the industry terms as ‘High Fructose Corn Syrup’. For you and I this is fructose with added fructose. As fructose does not stimulate the release of insulin, which is a key substance that regulates the breakdown of carbs and fats in the body, this results in you getting what many of us call the ‘sugar high’.
Not only do we get a ‘sugar high’ but if there is too much sugar in our body, it does mean that our liver is not able to get rid of this excess so it turns it into fat. The fructose is turned to fat which is released into the other parts of our bodies.
When there is a huge amount of fructose, or excess, in the body this damages our liver as it leads to insulin resistance. Once the fat isn’t able to move as quickly, it stays and coats the liver turning a healthy liver into a fatty one. We have all been told excessive alcohol is bad, well fructose has the same effects on the liver as that.
Not only is fructose affecting our liver but it affects our appetite as well. Our bodies have a substance called Leptin which lets us know when we are full and when we are ready to eat again. Excess fructose in our body inhibits this Leptin to work properly and means we are eating more than we need. This can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Now, we don’t want to scare you and start thinking that we are steering you guys to completely cut out sugar because a) we think that is hard for ourselves, b) this New Year resolution just won’t last long and c) very unrealistic. In fact, we just want to give you little tips here and there to decrease the consumption. You can enjoy that cake, but just not too much of it, is all we are saying.
Too much sugar in the system does lead to acne, greasy and unhealthy skin tone. We briefly did the no sugar challenge before the Christmas season kicked in, mainly because we wanted to write this article to you, and we felt amazing.
We wanted to incorporate this new diet into our lives because we wanted to make this transition easier for us overall. We found that many pre-prepared products, including that healthy granola, contained a certain amount of sugar so we decided to find easy recipes online and make it ourselves.
Now, whilst sugar isn’t entirely bad for you if consumed in moderation but we did find that by cutting out sugar (apart from eating fruit) did make us feel a whole lot better.
Now, the first one we want to share with you is how we combat those naughty fingers snacking on the chocolate bar again. Salt and Pepper Zucchini chips by The Frugual Living Mom is so moreish and it will keep your mind off the sweet goods for now.
We’ll be posting more of the recipes and tips every week for January 2015!