We are constantly being urged by fitness experts, nutritionists and doctors to avoid sugar, because it is really so bad for us and our health. So why is sugar, commonly found in every kitchen, added to countless food items and drinks and used by most of us quite freely, so very bad?
Firstly it is important to understand that the regular granulated sugar that we use is derived from the same basic source – sugar cane however this undergoes a lot of processing and refining, with the result that all that is left is sweetness and little else in terms of nutrition.
And even this is not bad so long as it is had in small quantities.
This is not true for most of us however who not only add sugar to our first cup of tea or coffee in the morning but we proceed to consume it via many other ways – sodas, desserts, myriad other packaged foods from breads to salad dressings and the list simply goes on.
Sugar is added to make food tastier and more palatable, and it is literally everywhere!
Web MD speaks of all the many reasons why sugar is so bad for us:
1.That sweet craving that so many of us have and satisfy by having sweet things is one indication that we may actually develop a dependence on sugar – we know it is bad for us, but we still eat if in many different forms.
2.Eating too much sugar is bad for our cholesterol levels – studies have indicated that those who have high consumption of sugar also have higher triglyceride levels and lower levels of HDL or good cholesterol.
3.There is also the fact that sugar is inevitably linked to diabetes. Though sugar doesn’t directly cause the disease, it contributes to a person’s overall obesity, which in turn raises diabetes risk.
4.Then there is the impact that sugar can have on children’s health. Even newborn babies show a preference for sweet things over bitter things; so it is no wonder that children are attracted to sweets.
This added to the fact that modern lifestyles have made kids sedentary and given them access to a lot more sugar than is good for them, increases their chances of obesity and again this is the main problem.
One of the ways that people can lower consumption of sugars is by using artificial sweeteners to reduce the total number of calories consumed. However this too can backfire, since people may cut out one source of sugar only to overcompensate with another, so that the total number of calories consumed still may be about the same!