Sugar ~ Food for Thought on Wicked Wednesday #279
WARNING – no age restriction on this food for thought article
Armed as I am with a sports nutrition diploma, when I saw the prompt for this week, I knew I had to take the word literally.
Sugar – How Wicked is it?
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. It provides a very rapid source of energy as the body digests and assimilates it quickly. However, eating too much sugar may cause health problems.
One such drawback is tooth decay. The more often you’re eating sugary foods the more you give the bacterium in your mouth time to go to work on the sugar. This creates an acid that can attack the enamel of your teeth.
I thought I could not do without 2 sugars in my coffee until in my early 20’s. I started a new job and it was the only place I actually drank coffee. The same person used to make it every day simply because he was next to the drinks table. Gradually, without me realising, he cut down on the sugar in my drink until one day he turned round and asked if I had enjoyed my coffee. I thanked him and replied in the affirmative. It was then that he explained I now took my coffee without sugar and I would be a lot better for it. The whole process had taken a month or so. Perhaps I should have been annoyed with him for taking control of what I was consuming. I wasn’t- it seemed he had done me a favour.
Sugary Health Problems
The nutritional goodness in sugar is negligible. This is why sugar is seen as empty calories. Eating sugary products frequently can lead to sugar cravings – and to an unhealthy diet as the person begins to substitute processed sugary products for good nutritious foods.
Consuming too much sugar will lead a person to put on weight as any not used for energy is converted to fat on the body
Furthermore, too much sugar can be the cause of type 2 diabetes because it effects how a body handles insulin – this is a hormone which helps turn food into energy.
All the above reasons may make you consider passing on that piece of chocolate cake, or sway you to cut out the sugar in your tea. But think again and remember at the end of the day sugar is a natural product. While I am not suggesting you gorge on sugary foods, In moderation it will not cause you much harm. What’s more, the fact of the matter is that sugar is far better for you than the artificial sweeteners that society has encouraged us to use instead.
There is increasing evidence that artificial sweeteners, in so many low sugar or zero sugar products, can be a cause of weight gain – the one thing they are meant to prevent. Artificial sweeteners basically trick the body into thinking it’s going to receive sugar (calories). When that doesn’t arrive the body continues to signal that it needs more. This results in carb cravings and further eating.
Sweeteners have also been linked to diabetes. This is because they disrupt the intestinal micro flora, causing glucose intolerance. This is a well known precursor to diabetes. But not only that, Aspartame in particular is linked to other serious health problems.
Aspartame messes with your head
Aspartame is a chemical substance which contains excitotoxins. This can cause brain neurons to fire spasmodically. The result of long term use can be migraines and even epileptic seizures. I had noted a rise in epilepsy within young people before becoming aware of this information. Looking back to my own childhood, I hadn’t known anyone with that condition until I was 18. But both my children had a least two close friends with epilepsy. Now, as young adults this amount has grown, with some youngsters being suddenly stricken with it in their teens.
Recently, California has been considering adding a cancer warning to Aspartame products. This is because many animal studies have shown a link between the two.
Here’s, the science. The methanol (toxic fluid) in aspartame is bound weakly to the phenylalanine (amino acid) and breaks easily during digestion. Once released, your body converts the methanol to formaldehyde, one of the ingredients in embalming fluid. Formaldehyde is known to be a carcinogen and a deadly neuro-toxin
Natural is better
I have often wondered why over the last 30 years or so we have been led by the media and health professionals to believe sweeteners were better for us than sugar. Not to mention such fads as severely lowering your food fat content or using alternatives. The simple fact is that there are good fats in oils that counteract the bad ones. By consuming an extremely low fat diet you are missing out on the health properties of the good fats. Not to mention the brain health properties of cholesterol. It seems to me that in the recent past, by promoting such diet regimes, the powers that be are trying to actively harm us – but that’s a story for another day…
Food for thought – Have your cake and eat it
So put that diet soda down and head for the home made cake, in moderation of cource. After all a little bit of what you fancy, such as a slice of apple crumble or a roll in the hay, does you the world of good. I can ensure you of that.
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