Why sugar is bad for you

Should sugar be considered a drug ?

Should we ban food brands from using hidden sugars?

Why exactly is sugar in the blacklists of so many fitness enthusiasts?

I was recently trying to make some mango ice cream and decided not to add sugar and only use natural mango pulp for sweetness. No matter how much pulp I added in the ice cream it would not give the same taste as the added sugar in the normal ice creams. At  the end I had to add some sweetened condensed milk to make it taste better. This is how much we are used to having added sugar in our food.

Health hazards of sugar

  • When we eat processed sugar our blood sugar levels spike and we experience a quick height of energy. This quick increase in blood sugar level is not good for us in the longer run because as a reaction to increase in blood sugar levels, pancreas produce more insulin.
  • If we keep eating sugary goods all the time then there’s increased pressure on pancreatic cells (beta cells of islets of Langerhans) which will cause damage to them. This increases the health risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Just like us sugar is loved by microbes too so when you eat it you increase tooth decay in your mouth. When this sugar goes unused in our body it increases risk of obesity.

Why is sugar addictive 

  • More sugar should be consumed every next time to get same amount of sugar rush. This is the typical characteristic of an addictive substance and that is why some people are labelling sugar as a drug.
  • All of us love us love sugar because we are biologically driven to consume more calories as our ancestors in stone age preserved this energy through fats (excess glucose in body is converted to fats) and bloating is a mechanism to retain water in body after eating salty stuff. All these mechanisms helped us to live through famines and draughts throughout the history.
  • But nowadays we seldom starve ourselves and do fewer physical activities. As said in the book mindless eating This drive to consume more calories helped our ancestors but doesn’t help today’s dieters.

Hidden sugars

There is a way too much sugar in your protein bars, the Nutella you just ate out of the jar, granola bar, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal with which you started your day and a lot more food stuff. Sugar is a great preservative and hence hidden in a lot of products marketed as no artificial preservatives such as jams, pickles, marmalades and juices.

What if I don’t eat sweets

Sugar is no more limited only to desserts and sweets on the last course of the meal. Even if you are not a sweet tooth and don’t eat desserts and sweets at all, sugar find its way into your mouth by some sneaky ways.

Before start of industrialization sugar was very expensive and not much people were able to buy sugar. it was expensive to make crystalized sugar from sugar cane. After industrialization sugar is comparatively inexpensive and it is added in foods which are considered savoury.

Here are some savoury foods containing sugar per 100g

  • Ketchup – 22g
  • Coffee liquor – 44g
  • Salad dressings – 17g
  • Mint sauce – 25g
  • Mustard sauce – 13g
  • Barbeque sauce – 33g

Sugary drinks

It is very easy to consume large amounts of sugar through drinks as we don’t even realise it. There is 10g of sugar in just 100ml of coke and similar sugar content is found in all carbonated drinks, to top this up coke also contains a lot of caffeine which in itself is not as bad but can cause problems when consumed in excess and disrupt your sleep cycles when consumed before bed time. Energy drinks   have the highest sugar and caffeine percentage. Even lemonades, juices of different fruits, so-called healthy drinks contain a lot of sugar.

In the book called mindless eating a girl just started losing weight by quitting her weekly 6 cans of coke, a trick many of us should consider trying.

To find out ways to quit added sugar and what research says about sugar, stay tuned for my next blog. Follow me to get an email notification when I post.

Don’t we all love a nice piece of cake

7 thoughts on “Why sugar is bad for you

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