Today I want to tell you why you need to cut down sugar and sugar substitutes in your diet.
Of course, we all know that sugar is not good for our health, but what we often don’t know is how sugar-dependent we are.
I have prepared a short presentation for you and I think you’ll like it.
I could give you a little biochemistry course on what the body does with sugar, but this would probably be incredibly boring…
So, instead, I’ve chosen to make it a little fun, and I’m going to explain how your body handles sugar.
Let’s watch the video:
Most adults have about 1 gallon of blood in their bodies, and in that gallon, there is only 1 teaspoon of sugar!
Our body only needs 1 single teaspoon of sugar (at most) at all times.
If our blood sugar level were to rise to 3 teaspoons of sugar, we would quickly go into a hyperglycemic coma and die.
So, our body works very hard to prevent this from happening by producing the hormone insulin. Insulin keeps your blood sugar at the appropriate level.
Any meal, snack or drink high in grain and sugar carbohydrates generates a rapid rise in blood glucose. Our body releases insulin into the bloodstream, which lowers our blood sugar to keep us from dying.
What happens when you eat foods that contain sugar?
Here is the sugar content of some very common sugary foods and drinks:
- 2 medium doughnuts contain the equivalent of 4 teaspoons of sugar;
- 1 cup commercial orange juice contains the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of sugar;
- 1 medium muffin (113g) contains the equivalent of 7 teaspoons of sugar;
- and 1 bottle soda (16 fl.oz.) contains the equivalent of 9 teaspoons of sugar.
If you eat 1 medium muffin with 1 cup commercial orange juice, your body has to get rid of the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar in your blood!
Insulin is released and does a good job of getting all this sugar out of your bloodstream.
Now, if you consume a diet consistently high in sugar and grains, over time your body becomes sensitized to insulin and requires more and more of it to get the job done. Eventually, you may become insulin resistant, and then diabetic.
Now, what does the body do with all this sugar?
- If you are an athlete, it will most probably use it for energy.
- If you are highly active, say, 2 hours of exercise per day, plus some walking and standing for a few hours, your body may also use this sugar for energy.
- But if you are like me and like most people, chances are you are only lightly active to inactive. Long hours at the office, a commute in your car, seating on the sofa at home, and maybe half an hour walk or housework here and there.
In this case, here is what happens: all the sugar that insulin is taking out from your bloodstream will not be used as energy, but it will be stored as fat.
When your insulin level rises due to high blood sugar, it sends your body a hormonal message telling it to store fat while holding on to the fat that is already there.
So not only will excess carbohydrates make you gain weight, they will effectively hinder your weight loss efforts, too.
Eating LOTS of carbohydrates increases insulin levels, which means that the body will store excess carbs as FAT. Over time, we gain weight.
What we want to do is keep insulin levels low so that our body can burn fat instead of storing it.
Does it mean you can’t eat a piece of chocolate cake once in a while? NO, it’s not about this.
You see, in the 19th century in the U.S., when there were no diabetes and no obesity, people would consume the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of sugar a day.
Today, the average American consumes the equivalent of about 33 teaspoons of sugar per day!
As you can see, it’s not about avoiding birthday chocolate cakes, it’s all about keeping it reasonable.
So, how do you avoid sugar in your diet?
First, you need to avoid sugar in liquid form. You also need to avoid all sweeteners that have weird names.
Then, you need to cut down most foods that contain sugar in solid form. And yes, these include white bread, granola and cereals.
So here is the takeaway for you today:
1) Make sure you cut down all the foods that contain sugar and carbohydrates, especially if you want to lose weight.
2) You can still enjoy some cakes and sweets; you simply need to keep it reasonable.
3) Of course, some people will still need to really cut out sugar completely according to his or her health condition; but the vast majority of people won’t have to.