With all the bad publicity about sugar, is it really that horrible at the end?
Scare tactics should never be used as motivational tool. We much rather believe in the power of knowledge and think that if people are better informed, they would always make the right decision. That is why, we will not get into all the statistics that reveal the relationship between sugar and a series of the most severe diseases, but will rather give you a few simple facts about sugar:
- Brings 0 nutrients, hence it is not needed in our diet.
- Interferes with the hormones that regulate hunger and satiety.
- Harms metabolism, leading to increase in insulin and fat storage.
- It is addictive (by the release of dopamine when we consume it).
Most people eat much more sugar than our body can bear. In that counts the free sugar we realize we are consuming (in sweet treats), but also the hidden sugars in savory manufactured products (sauces, canned food and ready meals) and the sugar naturally present in honey and fruits. But what is the problem with sugar, actually?
Added sugar in food provides ’empty’ calories, meaning they don’t come packaged with other nutrients, that are healthy. Since our body needs to get the necessary nutrients, we keep craving food. This is just one of the vicious cycle effects of sugar, that leads to obesity, which is linked to some of the most serious diseases. Even if you luckily do not suffer from obesity, sugar is still related to having adverse effects on your mood, energy levels and immune system. As far as brown or unrefined sugar is concerned it retains some molasses (hence the brown colour) so technically it is healthier than white sugar but the amount of nutrients is so small that in reality, the effect on our body is the same as white sugar.
Coconut sugar, is another popular sweetener that might be presented as healthy, but actually is contains 80% sucrose (table sugar) and has almost the same health effects as the body metabolizes it in the same way. It’s slightly better than table sugar, but definitely worse than no sugar at all.
Fructose is a type of sugar that makes up around 50% of table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Scientists are concerned that excessive intake may cause metabolic disorders.
To be healthy, remember this one simple rule: stay away from added sugar as much as possible!
Easier said than done, as we are so used to having sugar with desserts or as a reward during a busy day, so below are a few ideas how to achieve that easily: it is best to consume it in a naturally occurring form, like with fruits and honey, dates, xylitol (derived from birch) or natural sweeteners like the zero-calorie stevia plan or maltitol extract (derived from starchy foods such as grains, potatoes, legumes, nuts) that we use for Coppa della Maga.
Also, include a lot of protein foods like milk or cereals that will provide slow-release carbs to help balance food sugar levels and minimize food cravings. Stay fit and healthy with Coppa della Maga!