Put simply, sugar is a carbohydrate that makes foods taste sweet. There are many varieties of sugar, including glucose, fructose, lactose, maltose and sucrose – also known as table sugar.
Some of these sugars occur naturally in fruits, vegetables and other foods. But much of the sugar we consume is processed man made and added on sugar.
The most common sources of added sugars are fizzy drinks, cakes, pies, chocolate, fruit drinks and desserts. Just a single can of cola can contain up to 7 tsps of added sugar, while an average-sized chocolate bar can contain up to 6 tsps. I don’t need to tell you how much is in jam.
Sugars have been associated with an increase in obesity. In the US, obesity is a growing problem with a large portion of the population now obese. Fizzy drinks and chocolate being a stable part of our diet.
Are we becoming addicted to sugar?
Sugar can be addicitive as can anything that tastes good and gives a energy boost. Consuming to much is the problem. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow cites sugar addiction as one of the reasons she decided to quit sugar completely. This is a bit extreme and very hard to achieve in the modern world.
“Sugar is basically a socially acceptable, legal, recreational drug with deadly consequences.” says Paltrow.
Is eliminating sugar from our diet healthy?
Biochemist Leah Fitzsimmons, of the University of Birmingham in the UK, told The Daily Mail:
“Cutting all sugar from your diet would be very difficult to achieve. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products and dairy replacements, eggs, alcohol and nuts all contain sugar, which would leave you with little other than meat and fats to eat – definitely not very healthy.”
Many people turn to artificial sweeteners as a sugar alternative, but according to a study reported by MNT in 2014, these sweeteners may still drive diabetes and obesity.
Long story short. Enjoy your sugar in moderation.