The Hidden Effects of Sugar
Sugar is Greatest Threat to Human Health
Around the world, a growing body of nutrition experts believe that we are truly addicted to sugar. These nutrition experts are sending out warnings that our sweet habit is completely out of control. Sugar, whether you or the manufacturer, add it to your food, is the greatest threat to human health, bar none. Experts believe it is the fructose molecule that is to blame.
Fructose Molecule is To Blame
Scientists believe that fructose fools our brains into thinking we are not full, so we overeat. In fact, we seem to go out of our way to consume foods that contain fructose. Moreover, excess fructose cannot be converted into energy by the mitochondria inside our cells (which perform this function). Instead they turn excess fructose into liver fat. That starts a cascade of insulin resistance (insulin promotes sugar uptake from blood) which leads to chronic metabolic disease, including diabetes and heart disease.
Low-Fat Diets Coincide with Rise in Obesity
The food industry loves high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Putting high fructose corn syrup in foods makes every type of food more palatable – from soup to bagels, ketchup to bread. HFCS is especially popular because it is super cheap to produce, and as a liquid, it is also easier to blend and transport. Surprisingly it is used in low-fat foods, which would otherwise taste “like cardboard”. This helps to explain why the low-fat diets which rose to popularity in the Seventies have coincided with a rise in obesity and related illnesses.
Nutrition experts claim that we are buying fewer bags of sugar. We are consuming fewer calories from “free sugars” such as table, honey and sugars found naturally in fruit juices than in previous years. Even the actual number of consumed calories has fallen. Yet, obesity rates continue to rise. What is the cause of this excess in weight gain? It is the consumption of hidden sugar that is in our food.
Consumption of Hidden Sugars
Did you know that 1 can of Coca cola contains 39 grams of sugar? And if you compare the sugar content of a bowl of Meusli at 42 grams, to a bowl of Fruit Loops at 24 grams, it appears the “healthy” choice is not always the best choice.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta states that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a toll on our health, worsening conditions that range from heart disease to cancer.
It appears we need to be more conscious of reading food labels, and what we are eating. The food industry has become creative at hiding sugar in our foods. The fool proof way of avoiding hidden sugar in our food, is to make everything ourselves. Nothing tastes better than a home cooked meal.
By Lisa Gervais, BCRPA SFL, ACE Certified Personal Trainer