We live in times where the obese population of the world out numbers underweight population. It has been documented by scientists, that increased obesity is a result of increased sugar consumption.
Although… sugar is essential for our normal bodily functions.
Increased sugar intake is linked to inflammation, impaired immune response and increased prevalence of diabetes, heart disease, cancers, Alzheimer disease .etc.
Thanks to sugar, in the mouth, we dentists observe:
- increased acidy of the saliva
- tooth decay
- accelerated gum recession
- uncontrolled periodontal disease.
Sugar is highly addictive.
Eating sugar triggers a natural production of opioids in the brain which is the body’s own reward mechanism.
When you eat sweets, the brain sends out reward signals. Reward signals over ride the self-control mechanisms and that is typical of addiction.
This explains craving mechanisms.
…No wonder, that when it comes to sweets it is hard to resist!
Highly addictive sugar is hidden in everyday food and products by manufactures.
Do your own research and Look for these hidden sugar ingredients
On the supermarket shelf labels-
High maltose corn syrup
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a limit daily sugar intake of
- 7 teaspoons for adult males
- 6 teaspoons for adult females
- 3-6 teaspoons -for children, depending on their age.
One Tea spoon equals to 4 grams of sugar approximately
Despite WHO ‘s recommendations , in the USA the average American consumes 22 tea spoons of sugar per day, in Britain consumption of sugar amounts to 34 tea spoons per person a day.
Glucose is the main source of body’s energy it is metabolised by body’s cells.
Excessive blood levels of glucose interfere with the normal metabolic body function, leading to metabolic syndrome.
Fructose is metabolised in liver cells, the liver’s ability to breakdown fructose is limited to 6 tea spoons of added sugar per day.
All excessive fructose consumed is stored as fat.
Thus fructose is the sugar responsible the most for weight gain.
Research confirms that sugar consumption, especially fructose, is the primary dietary factor driving weight gain, chronic degenerative illness and the rate at which you age.
We consume large quantities of fructose often and unawares. Fructose is a cheap, sweetening ingredient, which is added commonly via high fructose corn syrup to many processed foods.
Increasing waist lines, are linked to increased processed food consumption and altered food supply coupled with reduced physical activity and a sedentary life style. These changes are responsible for increasing health risks in world’s population.
According to Diabetes Australia: 280 Australians develop diabetes every day
That is 1 person every 5 minutes.
Similarly, According to the current statistics: 1/2 of adult Americans have metabolic syndrome and suffer from pre diabetes and diabetes.
Choose health- by Being proactive in reducing sugar intake on a daily basis
When it is not always possible to eliminate sugar completely, replace it with healthy alternatives e.g. Stevia.
The Action Plan-
Step 1) Clean out the pantry
Packaged and processed foods contain sugars, bad fats, additives and preservatives, do not rely on them! Simply replace them… choose raw almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts etc… As snacks.
Step2) Know your ingredients
When you go shopping, if food has long list of ingredients, avoid it.
Magic number of ingredients on the label is 5 or less.
Step 3) Choose fresh unprocessed food options
Try to cook from scratch from raw, unprocessed ingredients.
Check out these sites for inspiration:
Reclaiming your health may be as simple as reducing your sugar intake…Take charge of your wellness and you will not have to rely on your health insurance.