Blog Topic : Learn about SUGAR in Nutrition, its scope and effects on your health
Chemically and in simple layman language sugar is basically simple form of carbohydrate. Sugar is basically compound known as Glucose. Its derived from various sources like sugarcane, milk, fruits etc.
This blog discusses on SUGAR in Nutrition and its effects on our day to day eating habits and, not sugar commonly known as a disease and the ways of detection of medical condition due to imbalance in blood sugar levels.
Sugar in blood is not a disease but, imbalance of sugar in blood can cause metabolic diseases.
Why Sugar is important Nutrition..?
The compound Sugar in our food is instant source of energy for body and the only simple form of fuel for our brain as Glucose and, an alternate source of energy for other organ systems and muscles.
The brain needs glucose to burn and use it as single and only source of energy and, actually brain is a very sensitive and important organ which needs instant energy to keep it up and working.
What happens in body systems when sugar is consumed in excess?
Sugar is the trigger to most of the normal medical condition or metabolic diseases an adult faces in present times but sugar is indispensable when it comes to sweetening your drinks and desserts. When consumed outside limits of moderation it causes Glucose imbalance in body, commonly known as High blood sugar. We all know that packaged sugar is available in 2 marketed packs types - White and Brown . The White one is majorly used while Brown is a little more not as a usual / daily routine.
If not administered in monitored proportions or high intake of dietary sugar is not only harmful for adults, but can pose severe threats to the health of a child and teenager as well. When consumed outside limits of moderation it causes Glucose imbalance in body. See below points on how sugar affects your body:
1. Sugar can lead to a fatty Liver: Fatty liver is a troubling issue faced by many across the globe. It is wrong to think only alcoholics are subjected to fatty liver health condition. People who exercise little and consume huge amounts of fructose are also exposed to the threat of this disease. When a person doesn't do enough to burn up the existing amount of glycogen in his or her liver and take in fructose repeatedly, the liver turns that fructose into fat and thus impairing ones liver capabilities to a great extent.
2. Sugar may make you resistant to Leptin: Leptin is a hormone released by your fat cells. The hormone is particularly necessary as it sends signals to your brain telling it you are full and won't be requiring any more food. Fat people have more number of fat cells and thus additional Leptin too. The Leptin becomes inactive due to the effects of high blood triglycerides and insulin, both of which counter its functioning.
3. Sugar is addictive and there lies the key to temptation: Sugar is enormously addictive. If you like sweetened products, you will find it hard to resist your cravings for cakes, cookies or chocolates. Sugar accelerates dopamine secretion; this hormone makes a person feel good. Dopamine is the hormone released on the consumption of drugs such as cocaine. Researches reveals sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine.
4. Calories in sugar are not balanced out with any mineral or vitamin: Because of its lack of nutrient value, sugar is said to have empty or free calories. Food items rich in sugar tend to make a person lethargic and slackened while depriving them of essential minerals and vitamins. It is therefore, best to not allow children to have pastries, chocolates or puddings in excess.
5. Sugar leads to extensive tooth decay: Sugar can accumulate on your teeth if you are having too many sweetened food items. This causes your teeth enamel to wear away, making it more prone to cavities and dental caries.
6. Regular excessive consumption of sugar can cause dehydration and is known for causing puffy eyes and dry skin: The dehydration of skin leads to formation of dark circles under your eyes and, if you try reduce your consumption of sugar by half it will help you in rejuvenating your skin.
7. Excessive sugar consumption has always been linked to inflammation of skin and as a result it causes rashes and redness on skin:Even the most basic form of dermatitis or skin infection is attributed to excess consumption of sugar, specially from sources such as sweetened carbonated beverages, etc. Also, processed foods should be completely removed from diet as they contain lots of sugar.
The excessive consumption of sugar is known to cause imbalance in the body and results in the secretion of insulin hormone and IGF-1. It causes the sebum gland on your skin to become over productive and results in excess secretion of oil, which leads to clogging of pores and in turn aggravates acne. Reducing the intake of sugar will have a significant impact and will help in reducing acne.
While sugar is known to cause many ailments of the skin, such as hyper pigmentation or discoloration of the skin, very few people know that it can also cause wrinkles on your skin. Sugar consumption can lead to a process known as glycation, which is the binding of protein with blood sugar, which then results in the formation of excessive collagen thus, making your skin brittle.
Excessive consumption of sugar has been linked to inflammation of the skin mainly contributing to skin diseases such as psoriasis. When blood glucose level rises in the body due to excessive consumption of sugar, it disrupts the absorption or the flow of oxygen into the skin thus, reduces antioxidants and causes inflammation. Reduced intake of sugar will reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.
What is a more natural form of sugar, White or Brown .?
There are 2 forms of sugar available in marketed packs the WHITE and, the BROWN colour sugar.
There is manufacturing difference between brown sugar and white sugar and lets try to understand here. The usual process of manufacturing sugar involves extracting the juice from sugar cane, which then is centrifuged to form finer granules. Unlike white sugar, brown sugar goes into some more steps in processing brown sugar to be blended with molasses. Blending with molasses enhances the natural constituency of the sugar, this minimal processing step that goes into making brown sugar enhances its nutritive value.
Advantages of brown sugar over white sugar :
As brown sugar is granulated sugar with molasses, so it contains greater amount of minerals and consequently is recommended over white sugar. Brown sugar has decent quantities of calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. Molasses, being a more natural constituent, so it scores over health benefits in comparison to white sugar. While white sugar includes synthetic flavors which may cause further damage to your health. As against this, brown sugar is slightly more beneficial. Compared to white sugar, brown sugar supplies a fairly reduced amount of calories. Brown sugar has more health enzymes than plain sugar.
Healthy food habits one can take care in consumption of sugar :
Sugary foods are temptation giving and are addictive ! The first thought that comes to your mind when you see a chocolate pastry or a strawberry cheesecake is an immediate urge to eat it. However, these foods are filled with excessive empty calories and unhealthy fats that do not contribute positively to your health in any manner whatsoever. Basically, you need to control those taste buds in order to remain healthy and moderation is the key to keep control over excessive consumption.
As some examples here are some common foods that may be enjoyable but are surprisingly bad for you:
1. A chocolate cookie is something that you would love to eat anytime. These cookies are delicious to eat and thus, very difficult to stay away from. They contain calories in large amounts which are mainly from simple carbohydrates. They tend to raise your blood sugar immediately, thus leading to fat accumulation.
2. Ice creams are high in calorie content and fat. Most of the calories are from simple sugar and saturated fat that raise your risk of heart disease. Regular consumption of Ice creams increases body weight in no time.
Some messages by World Health Organisation (WHO, International ) -
- Reduced consumption of sugary drinks means lower intake of free sugars and calories overall, improved nutrition and fewer people suffering from overweight, obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose or fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices, and fruit juice concentrates.
- Consumption of free sugars, including products like sugary drinks, is a major factor in the global increase of people suffering from obesity and diabetes, says Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director of WHO Department for the Prevention of NCDs.
- Nutritionally, people dont need any sugar in their diet. WHO recommends that if people do consume free sugars, they keep their intake below 10% of their total energy needs, and reduce it to less than 5% for additional health benefits. This is equivalent to less than a single serving (at least 250 ml) of commonly consumed sugary drinks per day, says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.
- According to the new WHO report, national dietary surveys indicate that drinks and foods high in free sugars can be a major source of unnecessary calories in peoples diets, particularly in the case of children, adolescents and young adults.
* Source of information is WHO website