Sugar- The Silent Killer?
October 16, 2015
Guest Post by Emily Maguire from Low Carb Genesis
Over the past few years, many lobbying groups have been calling for a change in the recommendations on how much sugar we should have in a day. Such groups include Action on Sugar who are a group of specialists concerned with the negative health impacts that sugar can have on the body.
Sugar in itself offers absolutely no nutritional value what so ever to the body. It is often coined with the term empty calories.
The excessive consumption of sugar has been linked to everything from causing weight gain (especially around the tummy area), the development of fatty liver disease and also playing a role in the growth and development of certain cancers.
Further to this, scientists who have looked at the brain of individuals who are shown or fed sugar have demonstrated its highly addictive properties. In actual fact sugar is believed to impact the same pathways that many illegal substances do.
On a general day to day basis, too much sugar can cause severe swings in your mood and energy levels. We have all been there that after a large breakfast based on sugar (yes even your “healthy” breakfast cereal may be filled with sugar) we are extremely hungry come 11 o’clock. This is fixed by a large lunch followed by a crash in the afternoon with the 3pm slump and so the day continues. Sugar causes the body’s blood sugar level to rise and fall and it is these spikes and dips that cause the poor mood, concentration and feelings of fatigue.
In a report earlier this year by the World Health Organisation and SACN, the recommendation has now been changed to reduce the intake of free sugars to less than 5% per day which roughly equates to around 6 teaspoons. However, in order for the body to function properly it actually only requires the equivalent of 5g (1 teaspoon) in the blood stream at any one time. Why then do we need to have 6 teaspoons of added sugar in our diet?
The scary fact is though that sugar comes in many different forms over and above the normal white stuff found on the table.
Table sauces, condiments, breakfast bars, low fat products and ready meals are really only some of the everyday foods that are jam packed with added sugars Why you ask? Well with the major emphasis on public health nutrition being to reduce fat in our diet, it has meant that food manufacturers need to replace that fat with something; enter sugar. Gram for gram sugar has almost half the calories that fat does. Whilst calories most definitely do matter in the context of health and weight, it must be about the quality as well as the quantity.
Many people think that they wouldn’t be able to give up sugar. And whilst it sometimes isn’t an easy thing to do given how addictive it can be, it is something that your body will be extremely thankful for.
If giving up sugar is something that you have been thinking about trying but not sure where to begin, you may want to come and be a part of this brand new online course. For 6 weeks from October 19th– November 30th, Karen Thomson from The Sugar Free Revolution and Emily Maguire from Low Carb Genesis are running a brand new sugar free course. Our aim is to help as many people as possible empower themselves to be able to reduce the amount of sugar that is in their diet. Helping them have the healthiest body and mind that they can.