Sugar; The Real White Devil
We are constantly worried about what to buy in the supermarket. If you are trying to adjust to a more healthy lifestyle you would be forgiven for looking for the 'low fat' versions of some of your favorite foodstuffs and drink-stuffs.
The big things we look for are "low in fat" "low in carbs" or "fat free", "diet" etc. The consensus seems to be that anything with those words in the title means its good for you...right?
I wish it were that simple.
Have a look below to get to grips with the amount of sugar in your garden variety things.
We all need sugar for energy yes. No more than 70mg of sugar a day is the recomended amount.
That is, unfortunately, not the full story. Sugar isn't just sugar these days. The technology that we have, nothing is sacred, not even the lovely white stuff that makes things so yummy...not drugs no.
Sugar is not just sugar; it's made up of glucose (the thing we need for energy), galactos (not much to worry about) and fructose (the devil).
We all need glucose for energy so that we don't require our body to use its natural energy reserves. Fructose is that thing that makes sugar so yummy. Fructose however is evil...you wanna know why? Well...do ya? Well I'm gonna tell you anyway.
You don't know you are having fructose because you don't actually digest it. Fructose usually sits on your liver until it gets broken down by the cells in your body very slowly;much like transfat. In natural sugars Fructose is in very low quantities.
This was until the 1972 U.S Presidential election in which Nixon was looking to be re-elected. The biggest issue on the agenda for voters was the lack of foodstuffs for the public. Nixon was advised to order farmers to start exclusively growing corn; the principle ingrediant of cornsyrup which is naturally high in Fructose sugars (hence the ingrediant high fructose cornsyrup). This stuff was and still is incredibly cheap to manufacture in the US and now elsewhere and it makes food so tasty, and so cheap.
The best thing about it for the producer was that items high in fructose were not only so tasty for the consumer, but because the body doesn't digest fructose and instead it just sits on your liver, the body doesn't feel full and craves more tasty (hugh fructose) items. This is why you can eat so many sweets for example and not feel full until it't too late. Nixon was re-elected and really from then on high-fructose items have been everywhere.
You know what makes it worse? Food producers finally found a way of making their products tasty but low in fat. Fat usually makes things tasty, but if you subsituted ummy fat for yummy high-fructose items just slap a "low fat" label on it and it instantly becomes a 'diet' item.
Next time you go to the shop, have a look at the 'low fat' yoghurts for example. Check the back...check how much sugar is in it, now check the ingrediants. If you see corn-syrup or anything corn-based that's a sugar, you know that it's really really bad for you. In fact you'd best have a high fat food because as long as it't not transfat then the body will break down the food and you will feel full when you have eaten enough.
What about artificial sugars? They are the worst! The more artificial it is the worse it is for you. Aspartame for example which is used in 'Diet' Coke is so bad for you it's known to increase the chances of developing Multiple Sclerosis. Artificial sugars are known to soften bones? Diet coke is worse for your health than full fat coke.
We all need sugars in our daily diet, but it has to be as natural as possible and under 70mg a day. Fruit is your best bet when it comes to sugars. Keep your sugar as natural as possible. Those fructose levels have to be low and more often than not aren't in cheap foods, especially in cheap 'low fat' foods.
Stay smart, eat healthy.