There has been a lot in the press today about sugar and how bad it can be for you but what’s the truth?
Currently, there is no evidence to prove that sugar causes cancer. Although, studies are being conducted to identify exactly what role it may play in causing cancer. Over the last few years, sugar has been getting some fairly bad press and the popularity of no/low carb diets has increased. But might these actually have some health benefits to us?
When we eat a food which contains sugar of some sort, such as bread, pasta, rice, fruit, the body has to release more insulin to maintain blood sugar levels than when we eat other foods such as fats and proteins. If these foods are eaten in conjunction with another foods group, the rise in blood sugar is lowered but when they are eaten on their own, the body often needs to release large amounts of insulin to deal with it.
Over time, our bodies gradually have to produce more insulin to have the same effect on blood sugar. This leads to something known as pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome which can then lead to type 2 diabetes.
By reducing our sugar intake, which is currently around 20 teaspoons a day, to the BDA’s (British Dietetic Association) recommended 10 teaspoons a day, we can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Whilst I don’t advocate a low carb diet, there are some changes you can make to reduce the sugar in your diet which ultimately affects blood sugar levels:
- Start by cutting out fizzy drinks and reducing the sugar in hot drinks.
- Switch from white carbohydrates which are high in refined sugars to wholemeal/wholegrain versions or replace with sweet potato.
- Beware of the hidden sugars in foods such as cereals, bread and low fat products. When the fat is removed, it is replaced with sugar for flavour.
- Instead of snacking on foods such as cakes, biscuits, sweets and chocolate, swap them for nuts, fresh fruit/vegetables or a small piece of cheese
- Cook from scratch as much as you can. When you buy ready meals, they invariably have sugar added along with a lot of other things you wouldn’t normally find in meals. Cooking at home means you know how much salt and sugar etc you have put in your dish.
For more information visit www.wisechoicenutrition.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org