Sugar (and sweeteners)

sugar postI have reduced my sugar intake drastically since I began learning about sugar in-depth. I now consider limiting sugar essential to my commitment to fitness and healthy eating.

Whether it’s pure granulated sugar, all-natural organic unprocessed honey or high fructose corn syrup, our bodies treat it very similarly, if not the same. Scientists have not differentiated between sugar and other sweeteners in how our bodies process them, and this is apparent across a swathe of studies that categorize sugar in with other sweeteners. I wish I had found this out years ago when I habitually slathered honey on my sandwiches and stirred it into my tea. Unfortunately, many people still believe that they don’t need to moderate their sugar intake.

And it’s true that studies struggle to directly link obesity and sugar. But that doesn’t mean that sugar consumption is healthy. To this point, a recent breakthrough report has linked the prevalence and development of type-two diabetes directly to sugar availability. This study was conducted on a country-by-country basis and over time, with huge population samples and numerous control factors. [1] Like many recent studies, this report does not differentiate between sugar and sweeteners, and recommends that public policies aim to reduce sugar consumption especially in countries where diabetes is particularly prevalent.

About 1 in 10 adults in the world have diabetes and America houses slightly more adults with diabetes per capita.[2] This is particularly concerning because diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure, and increases chances of heart disease, stroke, blindness, nervous system disease, obesity and a whole host of issues that make it painful to live.

This study and other publications, such as those discussed in The Weight of the Nation, (link to post) link sugar intake to diseases like diabetes. This shows that it is necessary to moderate our diets in societies like ours where rich ingredients that used to be scarce resources are overly abundant in everyday foods. Consequently, reducing sugar consumption bodes positively to living a healthy and happy life.

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