Low Sugar - Diets
Sugar has been on
trial for everything from bad grades in school to diabetes. While it's true that
many people overindulge in sweets, the evils of sugar have been overstated. What
is the role of sugar in a healthy diet for fitness and weight control?
causes diabetes". No! Diabetes is a disease of energy metabolism, and
has many causes. The main problem in diabetes is that the body fails to
produce enough insulin to keep blood glucose in a normal range. Some people
have no insulin production, others have some, but not enough, and some
people's bodies aren't able to use the insulin it has to get into the cells
to perform the work it needs to. But eating sugar doesn't create the
disease. This myth leads to another myth:
with diabetes can't eat sugar". People with diabetes learn to control
their blood sugar with diet, exercise, weight control, and insulin or other
medications. Sugar and other carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels, but by
eating these foods in the right amounts and learning how to regulate their
own blood sugar levels, people with diabetes can enjoy the same foods that
everyone else does. Sugar is a treat in a healthy diet, not a mainstay.
Raw sugar and
brown sugar is better than cane sugar. Basically, brown sugar, white sugar
and raw sugar have about the same effect upon the body and similar nutrient
values. They are all sweeteners with very low nutrient values. Honey is
stickier, so it actually is worse on teeth and gums, but it may have a
greater sweetening effect (so you might use less of it to get the same
sweetness in a food).
Sugar (if you
use the glycemic index) raises blood sugar levels at about the same rate as
beets, pineapple, whole wheat bread, and shredded wheat. The difference is
that all of these other foods have high nutritional value and sugar does
The typical diet
in wealthy countries is quite high in sugar. About 20% of calories consumed
in the U.S. comes from sugar. A healthy goal for sugar consumption is 10% of
calories or less - a 50% reduction!
Sugar has the
same caloric value of other carbohydrates: 4 Calories per gram. A teaspoon
of sugar contains 15 Calories.
It Adds Up
The two main
problems with sugar is that it can adds up quickly to a lot of calories and to
low nutritional intake. People who replace their high nutrition
carbohydrates (grains, beans, vegetables, fruits) with sugar are getting poorer
nutrition. And, those who eat a lot of sugar containing foods in addition to
their healthy foods will gain weight from the extra calories.
The calories and grams of carbohydrates from foods high in sugar add up more
quickly than potatoes, pastas, beans, rice and other carbohydrates because:
Sugar is a very
concentrated source of carbohydrate - so it's easier to eat more calories.
Sugar has a very
pleasant taste - it is overeaten out of enjoyment and for comfort.
Sugar keeps bad
company. Many foods high in sugar are also high in fats - pastry, cookies,
Sugar is often
consumed as beverages - sodas, juices, punch, etc. It's easy to get too much
Enjoy sweets as a
nice treat. In your diet plan, and in the member's area you are given many
ways to cut back on sugar and fats. Review your sources of sugar - what can you
do to replace these foods and not feel deprived? Each time that you make a
healthy substitution, you are one step closer to your goal. New recipes and
snacks lead to new ways of eating - give them a try!