10 Myths and Facts About Sugar
One of the first things you should know about sugar is that it's in just about everything. Sugar consumption has skyrocketed in America and all over the world, and that's no exaggeration.
To get a better idea of the extent of the problem, here is some data. Americans used to eat an average of 4 teaspoons of added sugar per day in 1990. That amount had shot up to 20 teaspoons by 2014.
According to the World Health Organization recommendations, adults should be getting under 5 percent of their daily calories from added sugar.
It goes without saying that everyone needs to pay attention to the amount of sugar ingested every day. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't sweeten your food and drinks — you can simply swap your sugar for Purecane, a calorie-free, sugar-free product that contains no artificial chemicals and doesn't have any impact on blood sugar.
There are many sugar myths out there, so we put together a list of myths and facts about sugar to make it easy to distinguish fact from fiction.
Sugar isn't addictive
Fact: It is, in fact, quite addictive
Sugar-rich foods can be addictive because they activate the reward system in our brain, causing dopamine to be released. That's why putting down those cookies might be difficult.
Sugar binds to cell receptors, causing the body to either metabolize or store it. We definitely require sugar (in the form of glucose) to exist. However, it's worth noting that the body is capable of producing glucose from our dietary sources, such as proteins and fats, so we don't have to seek out and consume sugar actively.
A person can develop "tolerance" to sugar, which implies that they would need to consume more and more to achieve the same euphoric high or have the same "feel good" mood over time. So yes, sugar is indeed addictive.
It's easy to avoid sugar if you want to
Fact: It's not as easy as you think
Sugar comes in a variety of forms, including honey, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and molasses. You want to keep them all to a minimum. Generally speaking, all sugars have the same effect on your body.
You can limit how much extra sugar you put on your food, but sugar hiding in presweetened packaged and processed foods might be challenging to discover.
That's why reading food labels and knowing how much sugar is in the foods you buy is so crucial.
If you're addicted to sugar, don't try to stop eating it all at once. You'll crave sweets even more if you restrict yourself to even a single piece of candy or a sliver of cake. Instead, consume a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein.
Sugar alternatives are just as bad as sugar
Fact: They're really not
Some sugar replacements, such as coconut sugar, raw honey, pure maple syrup, and even sweeteners such as Stevia, are better for you than pure sugar. Sure, they're still sweet, but the other nutrients they provide make them a better option.
Used as part of a healthy diet, Purecane can help you reduce your intake of sugar, carbohydrates, and calories. This is a sweetener that's natural, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, vegan, and so much better for you than sugar.
Sugar causes diabetes
Fact: Sugar doesn't help, but it's not the only cause of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is not caused by sugar, nor is it caused by anything else in your lifestyle. Your immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas in type 1 diabetes.
The answer is a little more complicated in the case of type 2 diabetes. Although we know that sugar does not cause type 2 diabetes, being overweight increases your chances of developing it. When you consume more calories than your body requires, you gain weight, and sugary foods and beverages are high in calories.
So, if eating too much sugar causes you to gain weight, you're increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, type 2 diabetes is a complicated disease, and sugar is unlikely to be the sole cause.
We also know that sugar-sweetened beverages, such as canned soft drinks are linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, which isn't always tied to their influence on body weight.
Sugar causes weight gain
Fact: That's debatable
It's true that a diet that's very high in sugar will lead to weight gain, but if you're in a caloric deficit, you are going to lose weight regardless of your sugar intake.
However, this doesn't mean that it's healthy to consume large quantities of sugar even if you're in a deficit.
Weight gain is a big risk of ingesting too much sugar in your diet. Sugary foods and drinks are typically high in calories. Even with regular activity, consuming too many of these goods will result in weight gain. According to a growing body of studies, excess dietary sugar is linked to weight increase.
Because additional sugars are digested more quickly by the body, they do not satisfy hunger for very long. This can lead to more frequent eating throughout the day and a higher overall calorie intake.
Sugar in fruit is bad
Fact: No, it's not
For the most part, fruit is good for you.
While it is true that too much sugar can be detrimental, this does not apply to whole fruits. Rather, they're "real" food that's high in nutrients and filling. Fruit is fine to eat if you can tolerate it and aren't on a low-carb or ketogenic diet.
Increase your intake of whole fruits as part of a nutritious, whole-foods-based diet to reap the benefits of their health benefits.
You should eliminate all sugar from your diet
Fact: That approach is a bit extreme
It's worth noting that some people do consume excessive amounts of sugar, and it would be good for them to reduce their sugar consumption slightly.
However, if you are not in a calorie surplus (consuming more calories than you expend), your sugar consumption is unlikely to be a major worry.
Suppose you follow other crucial dietary guidelines such as getting adequate protein and eating at least five pieces of fruits and vegetables each day. Take a good look at yourself if you're eating nine Twix bars a day and nothing else.
If you're gaining weight and your snacks are high in sugar, cutting back on the sugar could be a good place to start.
Sugar is bad for your oral health
Fact: This one's true, but it's not all black and white
When you consume sugary meals or drink sugary beverages over an extended period of time, plaque bacteria use the sugar to make acids that destroy your tooth's enamel, which is the hard surface on the surface of the tooth. The majority of carbonated soft beverages, including diet soda, are acidic and hence damaging to your teeth.
To avoid tooth decay, you should limit the amount of sugar you eat and drink. However, it's even more important to brush after every meal and floss every night to keep your teeth healthy.
Sugar makes children hyperactive
Fact: That's not supported by scientific evidence
Many parents assume that too much sugar contributes to their children's hyperactivity, yet scientific data contradicts this theory. This notion is based on case studies from the 1970s that claimed sugar was the cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
However, these early studies had methodological flaws, and the link between sugar intake and activity could be due to 'reverse-causality,' in which more active youngsters require more energy and hence consume more sugar. Since then, the majority of controlled experimental research has found no evidence that sugar consumption causes an increase in activity.
Parental ideas and expectations may also have an impact on the perceived relationship. Even though all drinks were sugar-free, parents who were told their child was given a sugar-containing drink assessed their child's behavior as more hyperactive in one study.
In the case of ADHD, it is now well understood that the reasons are multifaceted, encompassing both hereditary and environmental components. There is no solid evidence that sugar is one of the elements that contribute to the development of ADHD.
Raw sugar is healthier than processed sugar
Fact: They're pretty much identical
With its light caramel tint and nuggety shape, raw sugar is very enticing. This organic sweetener is less processed than table sugar and can be found in a variety of health-related items, so it must be better for you. It isn't, in fact.
Sugarcane is used to make both raw and table sugar, while table sugar can also be made from beets. When sugarcane juice is cooked once, raw sugar is produced. This leaves some molasses in the sugar, which gives it its distinctive golden hue. Table sugar is made from sugarcane juice that has been cooked numerous times, removing all of the molasses and giving it a white tint.
Some proponents of raw sugar argue that the molasses left in the raw sugar includes vital elements that our bodies can utilize. However, most specialists believe that only trace minerals remain, which are insignificant amounts that have no effect on human health. Also, just for the record: The calories in raw sugar and refined sugar are the same. So, while they're processed in different ways, they're essentially the same.
Understanding these myths and facts about sugar can help you be more informed about what you put into your body. Sugar isn't harmful in and of itself. Consuming a natural source of sugar, on the other hand, is better for your health than consuming added sugars.
Excess sugar in the diet can lead to a variety of health problems, such as heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes.
It is critical to read labels carefully to be aware of added sugars in food goods. It's also a good idea to use a sugar alternative such as Purecane to sweeten your favorite drinks and foods.
Have a happy and healthy day!
Photos by Mishaal Zahed on Unsplash, Alex Padurariu on Unsplash, Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash, Thought Catalog on Unsplash, Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash, Heather Ford on Unsplash, Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash, Myriam Zilles on Unsplash,