Food Matters ~ Sugar one lump or two?

Food Matters ~ Sugar one lump or two?

WARNING – no age restriction on this food matters 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?

Food Matters

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 may 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.

Here’s why

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

Food Matters – Have your cake and eat it

So put that diet soda down and head for the home made cake,  in moderation of course. 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.

You will find far more wicked articles here

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Sources for this post

Header photo from Pixabay

17 thoughts on “Food Matters ~ Sugar one lump or two?

  1. Until I was 20, I took 2 sugars in hot drinks. I went away on an outdoor pursuits weekend and there was no sugar so I had to go without. And I never started again.

    I rarely drink fizzy drinks other than sparkling water and my sweet tooth has dwindled over the last few years. But i rarely refuse a piece of cake…!

  2. Ahh May, such an interesting and persuasive piece. I will use it to try and cut down on the amount of natural sugar I consume (my weakness).
    I have been very suspicious of fake sugars since my early twenties when I noticed Diet Coke seemed to make me ravenously hungry! And I I always know I’ve had ssomething containing sweetener because the taste stays in my mouth for about 12 hours! Yuk¬

  3. A very interesting article May. I cut right down on sugar decades ago. My mother used to put three sugars in my tea and two in my coffee. It makes me wince just thinking about it. In my teens I gradually weaned myself off sugar, though it took many months. CPxx

  4. A great post, and excellent credentials. I’ll have to try harder to cut out sugar/sweeteners, which most processed foods have added now to compensate for the reduced fat (it’s a taste thing).

    Unfortunately I’ll have to deduct a point because there was no sex angle in this post – not even a sexy photo of someone semi-naked dipped in chocolate!

  5. Yes, all of this! I was shocked when I saw that schools offer the sweetened drinks to kids! With their delicate little wee minds. I need to check if it’s still the case.
    We need to be more careful with this. I think I was addicted to diet drinks almost all my teens and well into my 30s. Did me no bloody good I’m tellin’ ya! I feel much more balanced now I’ve given then up. Fantastic article.
    Though to be fair, when I (for a time) gave up all sugars and sweetners I felt absolutely amazing. It’s just so difficult to forgo cake…

  6. This is a very interesting post.

    I rarely drink fizzy drinks and usually opt for sparkling water. I can’t bear the taste of artificial sweeteners.

    I am being very careful with my food intake at the moment, but last week succumbed to a large piece of salted caramel cake. I tentatively got on the scales the following day and was delighted to find I had lost weight, So that has spurred me on and I shall have the odd treat here and there!

  7. I believe that natural is definitely best. I try and eat natural as possible. I have cut out diet cokes (occasionally slipping) as I don’t feel the chemical mix can be good, I prefer a water with fresh lime or lemon. Interesting thank you very much

  8. Being an RN, to me anything artificial is a negative. We live in a society were processed foods are the norm all the while ignoring the damage they are doing to us.

    In that same breath however to say sugar is bad is also ignoring the natural goodness found in whole foods. Many are often loaded with carbs and sugar yet are the best things for us

  9. I’m with you on this, I can’t stand the cloying taste of artificial sweeteners and can usually tell if I’ve eaten some by mistake. Living with mum was quite an experience she loved to go out for coffee and “something naughty” at least once a week. We became quite adept at finding new coffee shops. She used to be pretty careful of her diet because of her diabetes, but like you suggest everything in moderation worked for her. Dementia made keeping to this a little trickier, but the coffee shop experience was never only about the coffee or the cake, but about having a new experience (even if towards the end new often meant the same experienced anew)…

    1. Thanks for commenting – it was the taste that first alerted me to investigate sweeteners and they would hurt the back of my throat too.

  10. I agree – I too think one should cut back on sugar but when doing this don’t include sweeteners instead of sugar. All in moderation. Eating too much bread makes me feel sick because of the gluten, so I have it just a few times a week 😉

  11. Interesting advice here, as most dietitians always say to cut back on sugar. I’m to the point where I am returning to a LCHF diet because sugar-y and carb-y things make me sick…

    Rebel xox

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