It is no secret that we love sugar label food. While it’s easy to blame sugar for our expanding waistline and determining health but sugar just like anything else isn’t necessary good or bad. It is important to know the type and quantity of sugar you are eating.
The key word is moderation. Find balance in what your body decides to eat.
Humans when presented with basic tastes like saltiness, bitterness, sweetness, sourness or savory is wired to love sweet taste. Carbohydrates, the dietary component of energy includes sugar as an energy and pleasure source. A well balanced diet contains components of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains etc. addition of sugar provide attributes such as sensory, adequate hydration and continuous quality of desired intake in food products. Sugar is added in our diet in two ways. Either naturally ie which is naturally present in food eg fruits or added in form of table sugar, honey, artificial sweeteners.
Research into the perception and preference of sweetness demonstrated that sweetness preference is related not to the total sugar consumed by an individual but the amount of refined sugar consumed. Relativeness of sugar depends on the concentration and exhibits expansion of sweetness or the sugar added into it. Fructose is the sweetest natural sweetener followed by sucrose, glucose, galactose and lactose.
During digestion, all food carbohydrates (starches and sugar) are breakdown into single sugars. These sugars are absorbed rom the intestine into the blood stream and travel to the cells, where they are used to provide energy for cellular functions. Sugar used as colour and flavor enhancers.
If surpass the permissible limit or the recommended limit given by government(fssai) natural sweeteners can form a bitter taste instead of feeling of mouthful ness. Also, like positive effect of glucose helps in various functions such as ribose glycolipids, glycoproteins and negative effects such as elevated glucose level which can lead to Diabetes, metabolic syndrome.
Added sugar is considered the sugar and syrups that are added to either during processing preparation of food item. Sugar affects each and every part of our body from head to toe if taken in excess. A form of sugar which should be especially avoided is refined sugar. It is recommended that to choose natural sweeteners. Natural sugars are subsitutes that are healthier than the processed tabled sugar or that artificial sweetener eg- raw honey, agave, maple syrup, cane sugar, molasses, date, fruit juice.
A high sugar diet, stimulate the liver to dump more harmful fats into blood stream which boost up the risks blood pressure, heart attacks, type 2 DM, cancer, dementia leading to liver failure. It can lead to insulin resistivity which may progress to type 2 diabetes and finally may lead to cancer. When not able to properly digest, added sugars can be very harmful and act as a tip of iceberg, for example in case of lactose intolerance.
Sugar can lead to addiction in lot of people because of the release of dopamine in the brain which is the reason why we are so hooked up to sugary items, Also fructose doesn’t cause satiety in the brain or lower hunger hormones ghretin nearly as much as glucose.
Harmful effects of natural sugar lead to production of sugar substitutes or the artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are much less in calories which assists in weight loss, dental care, in cases like diabetes, reactive hypoglycemia, avoids of processed. Many sugar substitutes are low in cost because of long shelf-life and high sweetening intensity.
But the disadvantages of artificial sweeteners have developed fear about the ill effects on health for example Saccharin, can lead to cancer. Also above mentioned, aspartame can lead to seizures, headaches and attention deficit disorders. Cases of heart palpitations, constipation and swelling of certain body parts after consuming artificial sweetener are also seen. Regular intake of artificial sweeteners can lead to addiction can also cause addictions and can lead to change in taste buds, development of cravings. Artificial sweeteners are more problematic if taken in excess.
Reduction of calories contributed by sugars with adequate exercise can help in maintaining good health. The prevalence of overweight, obesity and type 2 DM and cancer are increasing day by day. Therefore, the need for altered recommended approach of behavior and lifestyle is important so that consumption level of sugar in diet don’t cause any adverse effect on person’s health. Reduction of calories including contributed sugar with adequate exercise can help in maintaining good health.
I remember reading it somewhere “health is not ingredients, macronutrient or calorie, it is truly balance, appreciation and acknowledgement of both.”