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The Truth of How Is Sugar Bad For You
By | January 13th, 2022 | Newsletter

January 2022 Newsletter

Dear member,

First of all, Happy New Year 2022! Although the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet been eradicated and the threat of the Omicron variant remains latent, causing restrictions to be imposed in many countries, there are reasons to be optimistic in 2022 beyond this recent wave.

Traditionally, for many of us, the period of Christmas and New Year is a time of overindulgence. Health may not then be our highest priority. Exercise, good sleep and a balanced diet often do not fit well with this festive period. With all kinds of sugary and savory delights on offer sugar consumption can rocket thanks to traditional Christmas food and drink. Sugar having a poor reputation and being associated with bad health, we decided this month to investigate this topic more closely.

Today in the developed countries we eat too much sugar. On average 10 per cent of our daily calories come from sugar, which is equivalent to 60 g per day. WHO guidelines state that adults should eat no more than of 30 g of sugar a day. Sugars are a type of simple carbohydrate that occur naturally in some foods and drinks. It is not unhealthful in itself. Many healthy food products, such as dairy products, vegetables, and fruit, naturally contain sugars. It gives them a sweeter taste and as such favors the intake of these products. It is important for people to include these foods in their diet, as they come with a range of other nutrients that provide valuable health benefits.

However, the type of sugars most adults and children eat too much of are added sugars or free sugars. These are any sugars added by manufacturers to food or drinks such as cake, chocolate, flavored yoghurts, breakfast cereals and some drinks. Unlike foods and drinks that naturally contain sugar, those with added sugar provide no nutritional value. They are also a poor energy source, as the body digests added sugar very quickly.

How much sugar is in a Coca-Cola can?

Fizzy drinks are often tailored to local tastes. Overall, the drinks with the highest sugar content are in North America while Europe has the lowest. When it comes to Coke, as a general rule, there is around 10.6 g of sugar per 100 ml in the US. This means that a 330 ml can contains around 35 g – which is about nine teaspoons of sugar, or nearly 10 sugar cubes, in other words 140 calories with no fat and no protein.

It might be tempting to trade such a can to a diet soda but it is not likely to be healthier. Consumption of sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are linked to weight gain, not weight loss, according to various scientific studies. They were tied to a higher risk for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart attacks, and stroke…

Reasons of why sugar is bad

Consuming sugar in excess may cause serious health problems over time, resulting in a range of conditions:

1.     Lack of nutritional value: consuming empty calories undermines the health benefits of consuming other foods and drinks that do have nutritional value.

2.     Weight gain: in most cases, sugary foods and drinks are high in calories. As the body usually digests products containing added sugars more quickly, they do not offset hunger for very long. This can lead to eating more regularly throughout the day and a greater calorie intake overall.

3.     Diabetes: sugar in itself does not cause diabetes. However, in most cases as seen before, diets high in sugar are high in calories, resulting in higher risk for type 2 diabetes.

4.     Tooth cavities: after eating sugar, bacteria in the mouth form a thin layer of plaque over the teeth. These bacteria react with the sugars present in foods and drinks. This reaction triggers the release of an acid that damages teeth.

5.     Heart disease: obviously, consuming sugary foods leading to overweight is a direct cause for cardio-vascular disease. Recent studies uncover even more complex physiological processes where sugar seemed to affect how fat is metabolized in the liver, eventually limiting the flow of nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood to cells and damaging the heart, brain and kidneys.

Sugar is not unhealthful in itself. However, consuming a natural source of sugar is better for health than consuming added sugars. We do not need to cut added sugar out of our life completely. Nonetheless, while there is no need for guilt over the occasional sweet treat of Christmas and New Year, we should definitely limit our sugar consumption for a healthy life.


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