So many people try and avoid sugar because it is a known fact that ‘it is just not good for you’. Many follow this advice because it is associated with weight gain, but there is so much more harm it can do.
The effects of all the unnecessary added sugar intake can lead to higher blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes and fatty liver disease. All are linked to an increase risk for heart attacks and stroke.
Excessive intake of sugar leads to an increased fat storage, especially inside the liver and around internal organs which leads to the body resisting insulin action. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to enter the cells from the blood which lowers blood glucose/sugar levels. In people without diabetes, the pancreas knows how much insulin it needs to release in order to lower blood sugar. Too much sugar intake and the pancreas then needs to produce more insulin to maintain the blood glucose levels in a normal range. If increased blood sugar continues, eventually the pancreas is unable to keep up with increasing insulin production and this then leads to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Refined sugar gives you a quick high of energy but then followed by a quick drop, which also gives you a slump in energy levels. The difference in eating naturally occurring sugars such as those contained within fruits, is that they will give you a quick high, but a gradual drop and therefore sustain your energy levels far better.
The body does not need added sugar to survive and function healthily, as the naturally occurring sugars come with a variety of nutrients within food in order to stay healthy. The body needs one type of sugar called glucose to survive. Glucose is the number one food for the brain, its role is an extremely important source of fuel throughout the body.
Foods naturally high in pure glucose include honey, agave, molasses, dried fruit such as dates, apricots, raisins, cranberries, figs and prunes, fruit juices, sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, onions, beets, squash, carrots and tomatoes to name a few.
Some of these foods can of course be healthy, but should still be eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
A banana, that you see many athletes eat, contains fructose and glucose which are the most abundant sugars and occur roughly in equal amounts. Bananas also contain a bit of a third sugar sucrose.
The apple, with its main sugars and sugar alcohols present, are sucrose, fructose, glucose, xylose and sorbitol.
In milk, lactose is the primary sugar which the body then breaks down to galactose and glucose. Some people have an intolerance to lactose within milk and it can start at any age. The intolerance is when the body does not make enough enzyme called lactase which helps breaks down and digest the lactose.
Maltose is an intermediate sugar form by the action of amylase catalysed hydrolysis of starch (sugar made out of two glucose molecules bound together). It is created in seeds and also other parts of plants as they break down their stored energy in order to sprout; Foods like those of malted grains, wheat and with several ancient grains which that have not been altered like barley, cornmeal, millet, quinoa, buckwheat (fruit seed), farro, kamut, amaranth, bulgur wheat, freekeh (green roasted Durham wheat).
Some fruits are also high in the maltose sugar, like pears and peaches. Sweet potatoes contain naturally high amounts of this sugar.
So much natural occurring sugar is present in all the natural foods we eat; eating food with added sugar is just not required, but sadly found in a lot of processed foods, be it a packaged slice of ham, chicken or beef, or even a jar of pickles.
Do you really need that cake full of refined granulated sugar that has been processed from sugar cane, or even that corn syrup from corn?
Think twice before you eat those enticing shop bought desserts. If you find yourself craving something sweet, make it yourself with a low calorific sugar alternative. With so many available, like Stevia (brand name of Truvia), made from a leaf of a plant, and many others like (Splenda) from sucralose, there is no excuse and they can be added to all those recipes for cakes you enjoy baking.
Cut down on the refined sugar and see the difference in your energy levels. You may also find your body finds a way of maintaining a natural healthy weight, without any effort.
Say no to sugar please!
Love and Sparkles
Facebook: Samsara Kyriakou