Sugar. Public enemy no.1?

Sugar. Public enemy no.1?

Public Enemy No.1 when it comes to healthy eating right now is sugar. Hidden in practically every kind of processed and packaged food, it sneaks into places you’d least expect.

Tinned tomatoes, soya sauce, coconut milk…there are many brands that contain sugar. It’s important to get to know your labels.

Too much sugar does far more damage than just rot our teeth or make us fat; it affects our mood, motivation, and memory.

In its natural form - fruit for example - sugar is fairly harmless. It’s the refined, added sugar lurking in your salad dressing or in your “low fat” cereal that you need to worry about.

Cutting out sugar can have many benefits to your health and wellbeing.

Here are just a few reasons to ditch the sweet stuff:

  • You’ll lower your blood pressure. Too much sugar can lead to heightened risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Excessive sugar causes obesity so it stands to reason that your heart health will benefit if you reduce your consumption.
  • Too much sugar can impair cognitive function, which means it eats away at your brain power. That’s more to worry about that just a few fillings.
  • Eating a diet high in sugar reduces the body’s ability to produce a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which helps the brain form new memories and remember things from the past. By cutting down your sugar intake you are helping prevent diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  • Too much sugar can really hit your skin hard. It can make it look dull and lifeless, due to a process called glycation which forms advanced glycation end products -these damage collagen and elastin which keep the skin looking young and supple.

So there you have it, a few more reasons to cut down on the hidden enemy in our food. Try and eat as many whole foods as you can, and keep them in as natural a state as possible to have the best chance of dodging the secret sugars.

 


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

Comments

craig t.
30 June 2016

craig t.

I think we have finally found something nutritionists won't change their mind about. Sugar will never be considered a safe food to eat now, so it's great that we can confidently cut it out. Or in my case, cut it down - cos let's be honest, a little of what you like does you good.

Emma C.
29 June 2016

Emma C.

I find it really hard to cut out sugar altogether, so try to limit my treats to plain dark chocolate during the week. The trouble is I love baking too, and it just aint the same without sugar!

Sarah L.
26 June 2016

Sarah L.

I did manage to stop having sugar in my tea quite some time ago - I now really don't like sweet tea. But the biscuit tin is still definitely a treat, and too many treats stick on the middle. It has to be kept under control.

Sasha B.
26 June 2016

Sasha B.

I definitely agree that too much sugar makes your skin look bad. I don't get spots but my skin is much more youthful and plump when I cut out sugar and carbs (which I have phases of doing...)

Melissa F.
25 June 2016

Melissa F.

I've had nutritionists tell me that sugar in any form is bad - even a whole apple is too much sugar. But trying to cut out all sugar is nearly impossible, you have to be so strict with your diet and it's just boring. I've given up on it but do avoid processed sugars.

Phillip H.
23 June 2016

Phillip H.

it is quite frightening where the sugar lurks - I try to reduce the processed foods but when even the tin of baked beans or tomatoes has added sugar, it is all a bit demoralising.

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