The not so “sweet” about sugar
With the colder weather and long dark nights it is very tempting (and I know this myself!!) to spoil yourself with warm sugary comfort foods. Childhood memories of hot apple pie, sultana pudding, and warm chocolate with marshmallows are hard to dismiss when you are snugly inside on a cold and windy winter’s night, so I thought I would remind you of the reasons we need to limit sugar intake in our diet.
1. Table sugar is addictive – the more you eat the more you will crave.
2. When we eat sugar in the form of fructose (half of the table sugar molecule) it cannot be used as energy (through conversion to glucose) and is instead quickly metabolised by the liver and stored in the body as visceral fat (the dangerous fat around your internal organs).
3. Fructose blocks the hormones that regulate appetite so you just keep on eating and eating without getting the message from the brain that you are full.
4. Fructose consumption actually increases fat storage processes by interfering with hormone regulation.
5. Sugar is linked to diseases such as fatty liver, diabetes type 2, heart disease, candida overgrowth, autoimmune diseases, systemic inflammation, and cancer.
6. A diet high in sugars contributes to ageing processes and neurological degeneration (dementia).
7. Don’t be fooled by the low glycaemic index of fructose…it is fructose not glucose so naturally cant increase blood glucose levels- it increases blood fructose levels which is way worse. Fructose causes 7 times as much cellular damage as glucose and releases 100 times more oxygen radicals….now that’s killing yourself with kindness!!
We are naturally drawn to sweet foods- it is in our ancestry and imbedded deep in our psyche. Sweet foods represented high energy intake, (which was very useful when hunting and gathering your food in the wild -not at Coles!) and safety (sweet foods were generally unlikely to be poisonous which is handy when traveling wide distances and discovering new foods). However life has changed a LOT and we no longer need to hunt down or taste test new and exotic potentially deadly foods, so there is really no other reason than taste to indulge in excessive sweet tasting foods. If you can kick the habit for 6 weeks not only will the cravings subside, you will feel amazing, and your weight will drop off too.
Alternatives to table sugar are pure glucose powder (dextrose –still high in calories), sugar alcohols such as xylitol (be wary of digestive complaints if you eat too much), and plant extracts such as stevia and rice malt syrup.
Take the real winter indulgence and treat yourself to a sugar-free detox and come out of winter feeling and looking amazing!