11 Aug The Sugar Epidemic
So what is Sugar?
Carbohydrates are made of long chains of simple sugars. Thus sugar is a type of carbohydrate, needed by our body for energy. It may be called different names e.g. sucrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, raw sugar, cane sugar, malt extract and molasses.
Sugar in food and drinks can be naturally occurring, for example in fruit and dairy products, or added during processing, for example in confectionary, cakes, biscuits and sauces. Some healthy, core foods contain added sugars for flavour or food technology reasons, for example in flavoured yoghurt and some breakfast cereals.
How Much Sugar is OK?
World Health Organisation recommends that people should get NO MORE than 10% of their daily calorie intake from sugar. So basically you could get by on 13 teaspoons of sugar a day.
The American Heart Foundation advises that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day (100 calories) whereby men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons. (150 calories)
“The average American is consuming 22 teaspoons a day. That’s about three times what’s recommended,” says Laura Schmidt of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.
Some sources are showing Australians to be averaging 30 teaspoons of sugar a day.
|Chocolate 50g||7 teaspoons of sugar|
|Soft Drinks 375ml||9 teaspoons of sugar|
|Soft Drink 600ml||15 teaspoons of sugar|
|Soft Drink 1.25litre||33 teaspoons of sugar|
|Sports Drinks 375ml||7 teaspoons of sugar|
|Apple Juice 250ml||7 teaspoons of sugar|
|Low fat milk 250ml||3 teaspoons of sugar|
|100% fruit juice 250ml||6 teaspoons of sugar|
|Flavoured Milk 300ml||7 teaspoons of sugar|
|1 Danish Pastry||4 teaspoons of sugar|
|2 chocolate biscuits||3 teaspoons of sugar|
Why is too much sugar bad for you?
When you eat a lot of high sugar meals or consume sugary drinks, your body’s demand for insulin increases. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to convert food into usable energy. When insulin levels are consistently high, your body’s sensitivity to the hormone is reduced, and glucose builds up in the blood. This can lead to symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, hunger and high blood pressure. It also leads to weight gain around the waist. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t realise they are insulin resistant until it develops into full-blown diabetes.
High sugar intake also makes the liver go into overdrive. It becomes inflamed as it can’t handle the increase of fructose. Fructose is a key contributor to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. And if the liver can’t convert sugar into energy what does it do? It converts it into fat and sends it into the blood stream. And of course that fat has to lodge somewhere.
And for the brain … sugar can be a poison. Sugar can be addictive in some people. Like addictive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward centre of the brain. Too much sugar = too much dopamine. And with some people they go searching for the next hit, whether that be in junk food or a sweet drink.
So what do I do now with this information? Really it is about awareness and knowing what you are consuming. It is about reading the labels on food packaging, knowing that 1 teaspoon of sugar is about 4.2 grams. It is about knowing when your body is craving something sweet, and also being aware that “hey I’m not really hungry!” then stopping and asking yourself “well what do I really want?” The chances are that the answer will NOT BE sugar.
If you have a sugar problem and it is now contributing to health and/or weight problems, then contact Brett at Cameron Hypnotics at The Junction in Newcastle now to see how Hypnotherapy can allow you to regain control.
M: 0403 335751