Is refined sugar our Public Enemy No. 1?
We all love to eat sweet foods, snacks and treats but is the sugar that we are eating in our diets causing us all to be fat and tired?
Studies show that the average adult should consume no more than 7 sugar cubes (equivalent to 7 teaspoons) each day. The crazy thing is that the average UK adult is consuming 22 cubes of sugar each day.
To make all of this easier to get your head around, one can of diet coke contains around 8 sugar cubes and a bowl of breakfast cereal with milk contains about 5 cubes.
Sugar makes you fat.
Sugar is making us fat.
Quite simply, sugar is making us fat and fatter and the fat that we gain from eating too much sugar is the fat that is stored around your waist and belly. Refined sugar converts to fat much quicker than other foods, it is like a turbo charged fat gainer.
When you eat sugar, your body produces insulin to stabilise your body’s blood sugar levels and to get them to drop. This is why you get a quick energy boost when you eat sugar but then you drop and get tired and sleepy.
If you are overweight, up to 60% of the sugar that you eat is converted straight into fat and this sits on your belly and your waist.
Stop starving yourself and eat food
The story gets even worse and here is why. If you are eating over the recommended 7 cubes of sugar each day, then your body is unable to absorb enough vitamins and minerals. To get technical, this is an ‘Internal Starvation’ known as ‘hidden cellular semistarvation’. Why is this important. We you often find that people who are overweight and people who diet are often hungry. Lots of low fat food products have added sugars to make them taste nice and this increased sugar intake prevents many vitamins and minerals from being absorbed into your body. So even if you are eating the healthy natural foods like broccoli and cabbage, if you have to much sugar in your diet, then you are not getting the healthy bits that you are eating them for.
In addition to preventing lots of vitamins being absorbed into your body, excess sugar consumption will deplete levels of vitamin B from your body. As your levels of Vitamin B decrease you will become tired and exhausted and have a negative effect on your immune system.
How can I reduce my sugar intake?
In an ideal world you should be cutting out all refined sugar from your diet. This is hard! Because sugar is addictive, it is difficult to give up sugar altogether, but take my advice and put your trust in me, if you can kick the sugar completely for two weeks, you will feel and look AMAZING!
If cutting sugar out of your diet completely is not an option, here are a few tips to help you manage your sugar intake.
- Try to replace refined sugar with sweet foods such as honey and fruit. This can be really helpful when cooking. You might not be able to take all the sugar out of a recipe, but you will be able to reduce sugar and replace some of it with something like honey.
- Eat some protein and some good fats whenever you eat sugar. Eating protein will help to reduce the highs and lows in the blood sugar spikes which will leave you feeling more energised and it will take a lot of stress out of your body and internal organs. Good fats found in things like Avocado and Nuts will help slow down the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and take away hunger cravings.
- Leave the sweet stuff to the end. Think of a three-course dinner. If you need to eat sugar leave it to the end of the meal.
There are so many things to think about when you start to consider healthy nutrition. It might seem daunting and far too technical at the outset, but once you get going and start to make little changes to your daily nutrition, you will be amazed by the positive changes to your fitness & wellbeing.