Is sugar a danger to your health?
Let’s get some good facts:
- It’s not sugar itself that is harmful; It’s the habit of eating or drinking products that contain far too much processed sugar.
- Normal levels of sugar in our bloodstream do not cause or promote inflammation, diabetes, or cancer.
- Sugar feeds every one of the body’s cells.
And now some not so good fact’s
- Processed sugar is harmful because it is rapidly digested and absorbed.
- This results in a sudden rise of blood sugar levels that triggers rapid insulin response in order to transfer glucose from the blood to our muscle, fat and liver cells.
- Over time, the high levels of insulin required to deal with the rises leads to insulin resistance and eventually Type 2 diabetes, and even independent of the risk of obesity.
Why it’s bad to fall in love with sugar
- Sugary foods and drinks are enticing and in many of us, addictive. As a result, they tend to be consumed in excess.
- With this comes the risk of abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome, that includes high blood pressure and high blood sugar, that in turn increases the risk of chronic inflammation; doubles the risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia and stroke.
Let’s explain common sugar
- Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar, which is a vital energy source that our bodies cannot do without. However, some carbs are better than others.
- They are divided into Monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) the vast majority of which is added by the food manufacturer, chef or consumer. But also found in bananas, figs, pears, grapes, honey and such.
- Disaccharides, the usual type added to sweets, sugary drinks, cakes and processed food.
- Oligosaccharides found in artichokes, chicory, leeks asparagus and onions that are sometimes referred to soluble fibre because they are not easily broken down in the small bowel, but where they provide energy for gut-friendly bacteria.
- Polysaccharides found in potatoes, yams, cassava (sago), swedes, sweet potatoes, and other root vegetables.
Is Honey good for you?
- Honey is a good example of a food that is both good and bad for you.
- Its high fructose levels cause a rapid rise in glucose and insulin, which could lead to insulin resistance, if you overindulge.
- It is calorific and increases the risk of weight gain. What we do, is never add it to cooking pudding such as custard powder, semolina or tapioca, but simply add a little to your taste once its cooked. In this way the honey is not adulterated by high heating which changes its structure.
- Unlike table sugar which increases bad bacteria growth and promotes inflammation, it tends to improve gut health.
- The timing of honey consumption is important. If eaten in the morning on an empty stomach, the fructose is rapidly absorbed by the bloodstream.
- But after a meal, it has lower impact; indeed, in provides healthy prebiotics and phytochemicals, to aid digestion and stimulate antioxidant enzyme production.
- Composition and quality of honey varies, so if you can, buy it in a health- food shop where the chances are that it comes from a local, artisan grower. The darker the honey, the more phytochemicals. But as with everything, eat it in moderation.
- Consumption of sugar globally is reported at between 130 and 180 million tons annually.
- This vast scale of sugar production is contributing to greenhouse gas emission and deforestation.
- In Brazil, and on some of the Caribbean and Indian Ocean islands, rainforests have been cut down to make room for the rapidly expanding sugar cane industry. If this was no bad enough, farmers then burn the cane to remove the outer leaves before harvesting, billowing smoke and global-warming gases into the atmosphere.
So, there you have it.
Just a little part of what we could write about sugar being bad for us. It is particularly important to curb your consumption of sugary, fizzy drink, boiled and chewy sweets, mints, cakes, muffins and cereals containing sugars, and wean yourself off adding to cups of tea and coffee. We are sure that you will soon notice the difference.
We hope that you find it interesting. As always, if you have any questions, then please get in touch by telephone to 0800 023 6252, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, where will be more than happy to do what we can to help.
Kind regards and best wishes from Jim & Sheila and the team at SkinLikes.