There are a few things we can all agree on when it comes to sugar. First and foremost, it tastes fantastic. And what about number two? It’s quite perplexing.
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- All Sugar Is Bad Sugar
- Sugars That Are Little Processed Or Natural Are Healthier For You
- You Should Fully Eliminate Sugar From Your Food Intake
- It’s Difficult To Stay Away From Sugar
- Sugar Makes You Ill
- Sugar Is A Drug And An Addiction
- Sugar-Free Alternatives Are Good
- The Sugar-Free Diet Will Help With Weight Loss
8 Big Lies About Sugar We Should Unlearn
We can all agree on a few things when it comes to sugar. First and foremost, it tastes fantastic. And what about number two? It’s pretty perplexing.
While we can all concur that sugar isn’t precisely a nutritious food, there’s a lot of misconception out there about how much sweet things you should eat – if at all. For example, are certain sugars healthier than others? And would giving it up truly put you on the shorter route to reducing weight, clearing up acne, avoiding mood swings, or resolving any other health issues?
It turns out that the answers may not be exactly what you believe they are. Here are eight facts about sugar that even the most health-conscious individuals may be unaware of — and what you need to know about incorporating it into your lifestyle.
All Sugar Is Bad Sugar
You’ve undoubtedly heard over and again that we should all consume less sugar. However, experts truly imply that we must consume less added sugar. That’s the extra sugar added to meals to make them taste sweet(er), like brown sugar in chocolate chip cookies or honey drizzled over yoghurt.
Sugar added to meals differs from sugar found naturally in foods such as fruit or milk. According to Georgie Fear, RD, author of “Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss," natural sugar contains a package of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help counter some of the harmful elements of sugar intake. Fruit, for example, has fibre, which prevents our bodies from digesting sugar at a slower pace.
What is the takeaway? Don’t worry about whole fruit or simple dairy (like milk or unsweetened yoghurt). Desserts, sugary drinks, and packaged meals are examples of added sugar sources to avoid.
Sugar vs SUGAR: Furthermore, meals containing naturally produced sugar tend to have less sugar overall. A cup of fresh strawberries, for example, has 7 grams of sugar, but a packet of strawberry-flavoured fruit snacks contains 11 grams of sugar.
Sugars That Are Little Processed Or Natural Are Healthier For You
Less processed sweeteners, such as honey or maple syrup carry more nutrients than heavily processed sweets, such as white sugar. However, since the levels of these nutrients are so tiny, they are unlikely to have a discernible impact on people’s health. To your system, all sugar sources are the same.
Furthermore, these natural sweeteners are not given any special treatment in your body. The digestive system converts all sugar sources into simple sugars known as monosaccharides.
“Your body has no idea if it came from table sugar, honey, or agave nectar. It simply sees monosaccharide sugar molecules,” Amy Goodson, MS, RD, tells Healthline. And all of these sugars deliver four calories per gram, so they all have the same impact on your weight.
Source - Stylist
You Should Fully Eliminate Sugar From Your Food Intake
You don’t have to eliminate added sugar from your diet. Various health organisations have different guidelines for how much sugar you should consume each day. However, they all believe there is a place for sugar in a balanced diet.
According to the United States Dietary Guidelines, an adult consuming 2,000 calories per day should consume no more than 12.5 teaspoons, or 50 grammes, of added sugar per day. (That’s around the amount in a 16-ounce can of Coca-Cola.) However, the American Heart Association recommends that women consume six teaspoons (25 grammes) and men consume no more than nine teaspoons (36 grammes) each day.
Eventually, your body does not need sugar. So, according to Fear, having less is better. But it doesn’t imply you can’t have any at all. It all comes down to you to be moderate.
It’s Difficult To Stay Away From Sugar
According to the US Dietary Guidelines, 75 per cent of Americans consume more sugar than they should. You’re not sure whether you’re one of them or not? Try monitoring your food consumption in a meal-tracking app for a few days. This may help you understand how much sugary snacks you’re consuming and make it easy to consume less added sugar.
Cutting back if you’re overdoing it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Instead of giving up your favourite sweets, consider eating them in smaller quantities. “After all, there are half as many grams of sugar in half a cup of ice cream compared to a whole cup," Fear points out.
Keep a lookout for packaged meals as well. Bread, flavoured yoghurt, cereal, and even tomato sauce might all contain more sugar than you would imagine. So read nutrition labels carefully and search for solutions that will help you remain within your daily sugar restriction.
Sugar Makes You Ill
You may have heard that sugar causes heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. But consuming sugar in moderation won’t add years to your life. Decade-long research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed no relationship between added sugar intake and mortality. There is no need for you to overdo it.
While an average quantity of sugar isn’t detrimental, consuming too much may lead to weight gain. Too much potato chips, cheese, or brown rice might cause constipation.
“Excess total calories in our diets, including those from sugar, contribute to weight gain, which could lead to obesity and the possibility of the onset of chronic disease," Kris Sollid, RD, senior director of nutrition communications for the International Food Information Council Foundation tells Healthline.
So, what now? A doughnut on Sunday morning won’t harm. If you know, it will make you eat multiple doughnuts and go over your daily calorie restriction, stay away. Also, don’t use this to force someone to consume sweets they don’t want.
Sugar Is A Drug And An Addiction
“Comparing sugar to drugs of abuse is a simplistic shortcut,” Giuseppe Gangarossa, PhD, for PLOS, tells Healthline. Experts know that sugar activates pleasure and rewards neural circuits. The overlapping routes may have comparable effects to narcotics, but they are not addictive, says Ali Webster, RD, PhD, International Food Information Council Foundation assistant director of nutrition communications.
So why do some individuals get a thrill from sugary snacks and feel the need to consume them often to avoid crashing? Sugar causes blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly, leaving you weary and irritable. “This often leaves people looking for more sugar to stabilize their blood sugar and help them feel better,” Goodson explains.
Sugar and drugs are still a hot topic. A new European Journal of Nutrition study revealed no evidence that sugar is addictive or drug-like. As highlighted by Scientific American, modifying our food surroundings may help curb appetites. Avoiding extra sugars at home, such as morning pastries, quick cereals, or loaded yoghurts, can help reduce cravings for sweets while dining.
Sugar-Free Alternatives Are Good
Diet Coke or sugar-free cookies are enticing substitutes for sugary meals. But switching might backfire and be harmful rather than become healthier. A study of 37 research found that sweeteners including aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are connected to weight gain, not weight reduction. They also increased the risk of hypertension, type two diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart attacks, and strokes.
Experts are yet certain how these sweeteners influence the body. But growing data shows they might harm your gut bacteria, blood sugar, and possibly your appetite. Obesity and associated health issues might result from these factors.
The Sugar-Free Diet Will Help With Weight Loss
Yes, decreasing sugar consumption may help you lose weight. But only if you monitor your total calorie consumption. A low- or no-sugar diet doesn’t ensure weight reduction since it’s simple to substitute calorie-dense meals for sweet ones.
For instance, a 600-calorie egg and sausage breakfast sandwich instead of a 300-calorie bowl of sugary cereal won’t help you lose weight, even if the sandwich is lower in sugar than the cereal.
What helps? Fear advises consuming unsweetened versions of goods, such as plain yoghurt instead of vanilla. Then what? Reduce the sugar in meals like oatmeal, coffee, and smoothies.
Sugar isn’t a good diet, but it’s also not a poison. While many could go on a day by using less of it, a little is perfectly acceptable. So go forth and indulge in a delicious treat without the guilt.