This statement might sound harsh but it’s completely true.
Sugar / Carbohydrates are one of the leading causes of increasing global obesity. SUGAR IS KILLING US. This global epidemic is expected to increase annually and it is estimated that by 2030 more than 80% of adults will be overweight or obese and that diabetes will become the 7th leading cause of death in the world.
Globally, in 2013 the number of overweight children under the age of five is estimated to be over 42 million. Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop non communicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age that could cause parents to actually outlive your kids. Prevention of childhood obesity therefore needs high priority and parents should take responsibility in ensuring their kids adopt a healthy, active lifestyle.
Simply put, we’re eating too much sugar. More specifically, too much added sugar. Manufacturers are literally putting it in basically every edible product these days, especially packaged and processed food items. There are currently almost 80 different names for sugar and sweetener. So, why is it so bad?
The general term “sugar” can mean any number of things. Table sugar, or sucrose, is composed of a glucose molecule bonded to a fructose molecule. Glucose is what plants make during photosynthesis and it’s half as sweet as table sugar. Fructose, naturally found in honey and many fruits, is 70 percent sweeter than table sugar. The body breaks down or converts most carbohydrates into the sugar glucose.
Glucose is metabolized by every cell in your body. After you eat, your blood glucose levels rise, and your body releases insulin. The insulin helps your muscles, fat and liver to absorb the glucose, decreasing your blood sugar. Levels of another hormone, Leptin, also rise. Leptin regulates your appetite; once you’ve eaten and your body has plenty of fuel to keep going, Leptin tells you to stop. Another hormone, Ghrelin decreases. Ghrelin stimulates your appetite, and after you’ve eaten, it’s already done its job.
Fructose, on the other hand, is only metabolized by your liver. The title of a 2004 study says it all: “Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and Leptin, attenuates postprandial suppression of Ghrelin, and increases triglycerides.” In other words, after you eat fructose, your body never gets the message, “You’ve eaten enough, now stop.” As for those increased triglycerides, well… another word for triglyceride is “fat.” So, you just get fatter and fatter.
Sugar, which is made up of glucose and fructose molecules, is a poison because of the way our bodies break it down. When you metabolize fructose in excess, your liver has no choice but to turn that energy into liver fat and that liver fat causes all of the downstream metabolic diseases.
As long as we focus on total calories rather than on what those calories are, how calorie dense they are and how they are metabolized, the obesity, diabetes and heart disease epidemics will continue.This all equates to an unhealthy lifestyle and most likely a shorter lifespan.
How do we protect ourselves and our loved ones? Education and maintaining your ideal bodyweight is the key. Do research about how to understand and read food labels and ingredients correctly. Know the different sneaky names for sugar and sweetener that manufacturer’s use. Stop buying unhealthy products just because they seem convenient or look healthy. Start small. Refined, processed sugars are all harmful. Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, cheap ‘sweet taste’ food enhancers, are especially dangerous and are really much worse than refined sugar. Try great tasting sugar substitutes like Xylitol or Coconut sugar. And don’t worry; dessert is not out the door. There are many healthier, delicious sweet treat options available if only you choose your health and the health of your precious family. Most importantly, know your ideal, healthiest bodyweight, if you find that you are not within your ideal bodyweight then HCG + Banting can help you achieve your weight loss goal and keep it off forever!
Healthy body weight calculator:
Are you at risk for diabetes? (If so, get a FREE blood glucose test at Pick ‘n Pay Pharmacy)
Diabetes risk assessment test: http://diabetes.merck-africa.com/#/
Brought to you by HCG + Banting 1st in S.A. weight loss programme.
Guest written by Nadine Potgieter-Pluhar from HCG + BANTING