Why eat less sugar?

It’s fair to say the science, which is of course ever evolving and coming to light, is really starting to stack up against sweet stuff and many of us should eat less sugar.

There are now an increasing group of doctors, nutritionists and biologists who are starting to insist that with the amount of sugar the world is consuming today, we are quite simply poisoning ourselves.

Robert Lustig is one of these, and if you’ve got the time, we’d highly recommend you watch the hour long viral You Tube Video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” where he states the obvious of “Fat’s going down, sugar’s going up and we’re all getting sick.

What reliable science is there against sugar?

      • This study shows the intake of free sugars or sugar sweetened beverages will make you fat. Read this BBC article for a simplified version.
      • Sugar-sweetened beverages have been shown to increase heart disease – read the study here.
      • Fructose (which makes up 50% of refined sugar) has potentially harmful effects on metabolism and has been proven to play a role in the aging process (so causes wrinkles). See a study both here and here and a easier to read article on com here.
      • A higher sugar consumption is linked to a possible increased risk of cancer where it may interfere with the body’s natural antioxidant defense mechanisms. Study here.
      • A correlation has been found between sugar and diabetes where a worldwide study showed that an increased availability of sugar was linked to higher incidences of the disease.
      • Research published shows that our guidelines to keep saturated fat low to prevent heart disease is not supported by evidence

The current situation

In recent decades, it’s become evident that people are consuming more sugar than ever.

With the science in mind, it’s likely that the world’s widespread love of sweet is going to lead to long-term health problems.

Diabetes is on the up and is predicted to affect 4.4 million people in the UK by 2020. The previously mentioned study discovered that if more of your calories are from sugar (over anything else), your chances of diabetes are increased. That throws out the calorie counting argument and demonstrates that calorie is not just a calorie because now it matters what that calorie actually is i.e. fat, carbohydrate (including sugar) or protein.

So you can’t just rely on counting calories to stay healthy, you need to also be mindful of how much sugar you eat in total.

It also goes to say that you don’t have to be overweight or obese to have a problem with sugar.  It can and does affect a much wider range of people, from the super fit gym bunny to the skinny men who appear not to each much but a few biscuits.

Why the great sugar misunderstanding?

In the 80’s and 90’s saturated fat became the source of all evil in the world of weight loss, health and heart disease.

The food brands responded where “Low fat” became a whole new market overnight.

It’s evident that fat makes things taste good – I mean where would toast be without butter?…dry cardboard anyone?

To make fat free produce taste good, the usual culprit to be added is sugar or sweetener in some form or another. So what happened was low fat products were packed full of sugar and most consumers weren’t aware.

So it’s time to turn back the table on sugar and rebalance.

Other great resources include Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar, David Gillespie’s How Much Sugar Website & Sweet Poison Book, The Complete Skinny on Obesity You Tube Series and That Sugar Film starring Damon Gameu.