Part Four Body –
Sugar? No thanks, I’m already sweet enough!
Sugar has sneakily risen to prominence in our diets over the past few decades, especially when we compare it to nutritional sources from 50 + years ago.
We are now becoming more aware of the inherent dangers and associated health risks that sugar generates in our bodies and the general consensus has shifted towards a sugar free diet.
Everyday Australians are now also growing conscious of the places where sugar is hidden in our diets and are alert to the fact that it is making our waste-lines grow.
Nowadays, just about every proclaimed health food diet and recipe is being touted as sugar or fat free. However, the majority of these healthy recipes, that claim to be sugar and fat free, aren’t free from sugar or fat at all.
Examples of Hidden Sugar Sources
white refined sugar, itJust because a recipe doesn’t contain doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s sugar free. Dried fruit is a perfect example of this.
All fruits contain sugar; however, when the fruit is dried, all the moisture is drawn from the fruit while the sugar remains. The sugar then becomes concentrated within the fruit and, when consumed, we ingest a higher proportion of sugar when compared to fresh fruit.
Yogurts and fruit juices are two other great examples of foods that are marketed as ‘FAT FREE’ with ‘NO ADDED SUGAR’. While the no added sugar claim may not be a lie, it certainly doesn’t mean the yogurt or juice you’re consuming is sugar free.
Looking at your generic brand of flavoured yogurt, each serving contains just as much, if not more, sugar than the equivalent of and ice cream serving of soft drink. Read the labels and, if the item contains more than 10gm of sugar per serving, my advice would be to avoid it.
How Sugar is Processed within the Body
Upon entering your digestive system, sugar is broken down into two parts, glucose and fructose. Sugar generally comes from sugar cane and consists of equal parts of glucose and fructose.
Laboratory created ‘High Fructose corn syrup’ is another source of sugar sweetener and contains high fructose content.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is commonly found in soft drinks, sweetened yogurts, some breads, lollies and fast foods. Too much High Fructose Corn Syrup can be highly detrimental to your health if consumed over a prolonged period of time and can affect your body hard in the following ways:
Avoiding the Pitfalls of Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
Because sugar is naturally occurring in a lot of wholefoods, it becomes impossible to avoid. However, that doesn’t mean we still can’t minimize our exposure to sugar.
We can easily achieve this by focusing on eating from the majority of unprocessed fruit and vegetable sources that are grown organically and chemical free.
Often the biggest source of sugar we consume comes from soft drinks and fruit juices. A lot of brands now produce a sugar free range.
Unfortunately, the sugar in soft drinks is replaced by artificial sweeteners that actually trigger sugar cravings while the sugar in fruit juices becomes highly concentrated by the process that removes a majority of the key nutrients that natural fruit provides.
Typically, the different types of sweeteners used in diet drinks range from Aspartame, Saccharine and Stevia.
Aspartame is the sweetener most used in diet drinks, and is also the most controversial.
At 200 times sweeter than sugar, it is used right across the world as a sugar substitute, including cereal, chewing gum and lollies.
Artificial sweeteners trigger insulin release within the, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
Cases of type 2 diabetes and obesity caused from sugar and artificial sweeteners aren’t too uncommon.
Perhaps the best way to combat these dangers is complete self-restraint from eating foods containing sugar and sweeteners.
Whether you’ve been leading a mostly active or sedentary lifestyle, chances are that you or someone you know has experienced an exercise-related injury.
It’s safe to say that most gym-goers have encountered the dreaded feeling of gym intimidation at some point in their life. For some people, overcoming anxiety about the gym may be harder than the workout itself!