I love sugar. It tastes amazing, and sugar rushes are just what you need to get you through Monday mornings sometimes...but recent studies show that we could be consuming up to 22 teaspoons daily, which is a lot of sugar. So where is it all coming from, and is it really as bad as we are told? Here are the most popular sugar myths busted...
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Most people think our sugar comes mainly from sweeties, but in reality, it tends to come from fizzy drinks and even some popular sauces. Tomato sauce, for example, contains a teaspoon of sugar in every tablespoon of sauce. Eat a little too much, and you’ll soon up your sugar intake!
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Okay, so fruit contains sugar too, but that’s different to the sugar in cakes, right? Wrong. While they might be the same substance, fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals and only a small amount of sugar, whereas cake contains a large amount. Cake sugar is also burnt slower, and increases the blood-sugar level, which ages arteries. So while the substance might the same, they have very different effects on the body....fruit is much healthier!
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Diabetes Type Two is most common, and is caused by overeating. It isn’t just overeating sugar though, just overconsumption in general. Too much food causes your body to produce too much glucose, which requires your body to produce more insulin. The extra insulin then results in your cells struggling to process it, and eventually leading to your body being unable to use insulin at all. This then leads to glucose building up in your blood system, which is why diabetes and sugar are often linked.
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I’d love to say that this one was false, but unfortunately, it’s not. Collagen is the protein that keeps us looking youthful, and gives our faces their structure. When collagen binds with sugar, it loses its ability to make the skin elastic, and this results in us looking much older. Wow! A good anti ageing cream can often counter this, as can cutting down your sugar intake.
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Sugar has long been pinpointed as a cause of hyperactivity, especially in children. After all, everyone has seen children at a birthday party, and boy are they hyper! Studies have shown that it’s actually not the sugar to blame, though. Excitement, and production of adrenaline, cause hyperactivity, not sugar. But it’s still not a good idea to have that third slice of cake...
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I’ve always been taught that sugar was fattening, and I’m not the first person to start lowering my intake when I want to lose weight, but sugar doesn’t actually cause weight gain. Under normal circumstances, hardly any carbohydrate, including sugar, is converted to body fat. And sugar contains less calories per gram then alcohol, and the same as protein! Sugar does, however, cause an insulin drop as it wears off, meaning that you’ll be feeling tired and hungry. So while the sugar itself won’t make you pile on the pounds, its affects could!
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Sugar isn’t just sugar...and if you aren’t careful, you won’t be able to monitor your consumption accurately. Sugar can be listed as brown sugar, palm sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, table sugar, sucrose, and syrup. Wow!
Sugar is one of those things that has always been labelled as ‘bad’, but just needs to be understood. It’s a requirement for a healthy and normal body, but if too much is consumed, it starts to become a health risk. That said, too much of any food is bad for you, so keeping your sugar in moderation will ensure you stay as healthy as possible. Have you heard a sugar myth you want busted? I’d love to hear it!
Top Photo Credit: Andrew Jalali
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