Sugar - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly...
Lockdown was interesting for me. As much as I miss my friends like crazy and all of you of course, this strange time has given me the chance to write about the things I am really interested in…so I thought I would share my brain with you.
This is my first little blog…… A question I get asked all the time in class is what sugar is best? And are jelly babies healthy as they have no fat?….
So after all my research and listening to various experts, they say that we are born with a sweet tooth. I remember my Daughter preferring carrots and bananas to say broccoli. We are genetically programmed that way from birth. When people say they have a sweet tooth, it is more than likely that they feed the habit of eating sugar on a regular basis, so therefore they continue to eat more sugar.
What sugars are the best?
Whole fruits, ie bananas , strawberries in their natural form….. these are the best form of sugar as although they contain fructose, they also contain fibre as well an many other vitamins. These should be included in your diet.
Sweets, biscuits, cakes, smoothies, granulated sugar, honey, fruit juice, jams, chutney etc.
These sugars are simple carbohydrates. Easily absorbed and increases your blood sugar level quickly. Honey is technically sweeter so you could have a smaller amount which could be more beneficial on your porridge than sugar but it does still effect BSL.
Plant based low sugar syrup, the enzymes that are beneficial are destroyed in the heating process so no real benefit. Although the syrup doesn’t spike the blood sugar levels like free sugar, it contains fructose which not all cells in the body can metabolise. Too much can be damaging to the liver.
Sweetener does have a no rise blood sugar and no calories, however it is 300 times sweeter than actual sugar. Whilst this appears to be a better option, feeding your sugar habit is just masking the problem of your sweet tooth, making it more likely that you will crave other sweet things, and so the circle goes on.
Not every cell in the body can metabolise fructose. The metabolism of fructose happens in the liver. Our bodies can only manage small amounts. Labelling such as LGI (low glycemic index) may appear that the food is healthy but if the product contains lots of fructose this can be just as damaging to the liver as drinking alcohol.
Im not here to judge. I didn’t think I had a sweet tooth, but I love wine… I love a glass of wine or two, although since January I have tried to not drink at all. This has been hard to break as sugar is addictive like sweets and cake. Learning this, I know that I can make improvements to my own diet that will help my health. I hope you have found this useful…It has been astonishing going into supermarkets and watching all the low fat, artificially sweetened ready meals on display. Our minds are overloaded with information and this can be overwhelming. We’ve all done it, taken in by advertising, such as cereals that have high protein, but have chocolate flakes in… don’t get me started. I am surprised I have any teeth, as my nan always bought me sweets and at home I lived on Coco pops and Frosties as a child.
The recommended amount for sugar intake is:
Men 7-8 teaspoons per day
Women 5-6 teaspoons per day
Children up to 10 4-5teaspoons a day.
We are way off this recommendation.
The point I’m making is we all have choice, but as a fitness professional and using my own mind, I feel that the best option is to have fruit in its pure form, avoid smoothies and juices, and if you want a lovely slice of cake have one every now and again and savour every single mouthful.