The Bittersweet Taste of Sugar

Effect of sugar on the body

When it comes to food, we all enjoy something sweet every now and then. Or perhaps for some, a lot of the time! But whether or not you have a “sweet tooth”, chances are you already know that too much sugar isn’t good for you.

Excess consumption of sugary foods or drinks or any added sugar, used in all sorts of manufactured products to increase flavour and extend shelf life, has a far more damaging effect on the body than we may realise.

Apart from contributing to excess weight it actually does threaten the proper working of our bodies in many different ways.

Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health says: “Excess sugar’s impact on obesity and diabetes is well documented, but one area that may surprise many people is how their taste for sugar can have a serious impact on their heart health.”

Effect of Sugar on the Body

  • Increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes,
  • Creates chronic inflammation in the body which will worsen joint pain and may trigger digestive issues
  • Has been linked to decreased of sexual performance
  • Causes tooth decay
  • Prematurely ages the skin
  • Can damage the liver in the same way as alcohol does, even you are not overweight
  • Has been linked to memory impairments, anxiety and depression and a reduced ability to cope with stress
  • Increases the risk of certain cancers
  • Weight gain
  • Increases cravings

Reducing Sugar

The type of sugars most adults and children in the UK eat too much of are free sugars.

Free sugars are

  • Sugars in honey, syrups (such as maple, agave and golden), nectars (such as blossom), and unsweetened fruit juices, vegetable juices and smoothies. The sugars in these foods occur naturally but still count as free sugars.
  • Any sugars added to food or drinks. People may more easily link added sugars to foods such as biscuits, chocolate, sweets, flavoured yoghurts, ice cream, breakfast cereals and soft drinks. But added sugars are also present in most processed food products such as ready-made meals, soups, salad creams or tomato ketchup.

Sugar found naturally in milk, fruit and vegetables (as long as they are not pureed or juiced) does not count as free sugars.

The Other Names of Sugar

  • corn sugar
  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • glucose
  • high-fructose glucose/corn syrup
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • agave syrup
  • invert sugar
  • isoglucose
  • levulose
  • maltose
  • molasses
  • sucrose

How much is OK?

In the UK, government guidelines say that adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars a day, (roughly equivalent to 7 sugar cubes). Whereas this goes down to 24g (6 cubes) for children aged 7 to 10 and no more than 19g (under 5 sugar cubes) for younger children.

So how does this compare with some of the food and drinks regularly consumed?

Below are a few examples

  McDonald Small vanilla milkshake  30g
  Burger King small strawberry milkshake  65g
  330ml can of Coca-Cola  35g
  Fanta 375ml  41g
  Lipton Ice Tea Peach flavour 500ml  26.4g
  Mars bar 51g  30.5g
  Fruit pastilles 150g packet  88.95g
  Dairy milk chocolate bar 45g  56g
  Chocolate digestive  4.8g per biscuit
  2 scoops of vanilla ice cream  16.9g
  2 scoops of salted caramel ice cream  20.2g
  Salad cream (per 100g)  17.2g

Breaking the Sugar Habit

Whether worried about the impact of sugar on their health or their weight, some people may turn to artificial or natural sweeteners. However this does not help them to get rid of the craving for sweet stuff. So ultimately, they will end up reaching out for sugar food and drink regardless.

The good news is that when you successfully reduce your sugar intake, your taste buds quickly adjust. What you used to crave tastes overpoweringly sweet due to a recalibration of your sweetness sensation. Which means that you are naturally discouraged from over consumption!

Hypnosis can help break long-standing habits such as sugar cravings!

Click here to find out more about my Beat the Sugar Addiction program and get ready free yourself from excess sugar!

 

 

 

 

 

Image by Myriams Fotos

Sources

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3494407/
  • https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/top-sources-of-added-sugar/
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763418308613
  • https://britishlivertrust.org.uk/sugar-and-the-liver-what-you-need-to-know/
  • https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/sugar-salt-and-fat/free-sugars
  • https://freshsmileclinic.co.uk/2020/11/24/the-uks-2020-sugar-intake-report
  • https://www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au/how-much-sugar