Why sugar is bad for us.
Sugar is a huge problem in today's world.
Many people now think that sugar is the main cause of obesity rather than fat.
Sugar contains 4 calories per gram and has no nutritional value so is not essential for the body.
Once it is eaten it causes blood sugar levels to rise.
After this insulin kicks in to lower blood sugar levels.
If we haven't been using our glycogen stores (energy stores) in the muscles through exercise, then there is no room for the sugar to be stored in the muscles for later use.
This means the sugar will instead be stored as fat.
Sugar is a huge cause of weight gain all over the world.
This weight gain is then leading to diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Our recommended daily intake for sugar is 90g.
However, this is not a level we need to reach every day and could even be halved.
Instead, it is a maximum.
Less Added Sugar
The NHS also recommends no more than 30g out of the 90g daily amount of sugar should be free sugar.
Free sugar is what we use to make food and drinks sweeter, also known as added sugar.
30g is roughly 7 sugar cubes. So if you have 4 coffee's a day with 2 cubes of sugar in each you will be going over your free sugar limits every day.
Or if you have one can of coke, you will have had 39g of free sugar!
Sugars come in many different forms, here is a list of most common sugars:
Not so healthy sources of sugar
It is easy to confuse ‘healthy’ foods with foods high in sugar.
People may try use honey as a healthy alternative to sugar but in reality, it is not really any different to plain sugar.
Also, even though fruit juices are part of our 5 a day, they are loaded with sugar and don't contain the fibre that whole fruits provide.
They are easy to over consume, so you should try limit the amount of fruit juice to 150ml a day.
Make a change today
As a general population we should be trying to reduce the amount of sugar we consume. Easy changes to make would be:
Drink more water, no more fizzy pop
Eat whole fruit instead of fruit juice
Try reduce the amount of sugar you use in tea's and coffee's
Prepare your own meals so you know that no sugar is added
Try using less sauces or using low sugar sauces
Keep snacks such as nuts or fruit with you so you aren't tempted by sugary treats
Have wholegrain breakfast cereals without added sugar
Compare the amount of sugar in foods and drinks