We use the word sweet in our everyday language to describe emotion, as opposed to other adjectives for taste. It could be ‘She’s a really sweet person’ or ‘That’s such a sweet face for a new-born’. What if you wanted to express something with your favorite taste instead not just ‘He’s hot!’ or ‘That’s a bitter old man’.
Moreover, why has sweet been given such a high pedestal as opposed to other tastes? And why hasn’t the idea of sweet and sugar not been seen as something besides the positive for the more sinister havoc it wreaks in our bodies?1 2
Beyond the colloquial favorite, a recent research study explains the truth about sugar and exposes it for its not so ‘sweet’ side. This hopefully bulldozes your idea of sugar and replaces how you see the word ‘sweet’.
Aired on BBC One, the feature “The Truth About Sugar,” highlighted the ill effects consuming sugar had on the body, by talking to some candidates who all ingest close to 120 teaspoons of sugar per day.
Led by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, three of the chosen candidates were asked to go on a low-sugar diet and eventually managed to lose close to 6 kg or 13 pounds, from 40 teaspoons of daily sugar to 6 teaspoons, which is also the adequate amount recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Here is a brief on what they discovered from the results and studying them:
Where Do We Find Sugar?
Refined sugar can be found everywhere, like an intentional stalker we have gotten used to, no matter where you are. It’s almost unavoidable, unless you pay attention, because most times, we are not aware of how much of sugar we have actually eaten.
Here are the places sugar lurks and its deceptive aliases:
-Processed food, has the common high-fructose corn syrup or dextrose, maltose, galactose, and maltodextrin. Which is some of the 60 other aliases sugar has in processed foods. Not so sweet now is it? The handiwork of cunning marketers behind big brands, who often downplay the ill-effects of sugar on the body, paying big bucks to make you think a lot of sugar is a lot of good. One if its high-up spokesperson’s being, Coca Cola.
-Any sugars consumed in excessive amounts are bad, including honey, agave (the cactus plant from Mexico), table sugar, natural fructose in juice tetra-packs.
-Natural sugars such as sugar cane, beets, natural fruits, aside, the worst ones are processed sugars, but even eating large amounts of organic sources are just as damaging.
-Also found in candy, desserts, pastries and flavored carbonated drinks, this does not exclude those savory snacks, condiments and even those jars of baby food and formula.
-Likewise, your favorite breakfast cereals, pretzels and waffles are also the sugar-driven.
Why We Still Indulge in That Sugar Rush?
-When you’re indulging in some sweet goodness, what is keeping you going may not be your fault, because research has shown sugar addiction to be almost as addictive as drugs like cocaine.
-Be it tomato sauce or potato chips, the perfect mix of sugar, fat, salt and flavorings make our taste-buds reach something called a ‘bliss point’. This is located in the reward or pleasure center of our brains and works just as it does in alcohol and drug addicts.
The key factor is those flavorings and sugar working together, to give you that high and hence drive to reach it more and more each time. Without these two additives, the food would be unappetizing, reducing the sales of these snacks, its false appetizing and advertising.
Sugar’s Long-term effects?
-Refined sugar has ZERO nutritional value and is just making you have those sugar rushes at the expense of your body.
-The main causes for it is obesity, Type-2 diabetes and diseases associated with resistance to insulin, metabolic malfunctions and liver disease.
-The American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015, said obese kids showed signs of heart disease, because of overeating sugar or genetically inheriting the ill-effects of sugar from family members who overindulged in it.
-Generates the secretion of ‘ghrelin’, also called the ‘hungry hormone’, hence stimulating overeating.
Combating Sweet nothings?
-Having a low-sugar diet is the first most obvious recommendation, and research has shown that reducing added sugar foods, has shown a positive and healthier effect in the person’s body in a matter of 10 days, even if they kept the rest of their diet, be it carbs etc. the same.
-Consuming excess sugar with no physical activity is a heart attack waiting to happen, because all that sugar is converted and stored as fat. Even then a simple work-out cannot burn it all and it takes a toll on your organs. For example, it could take a 5 mile run to burn one Snickers bar.
-Cut down on drinking sweetened processed drinks, carbonated beverages and just stick with pure and clean water for a good detox. Maybe add some green tea and fresh juices to the mix.
-Buy organic foods, be it eggs, meat and vegetables. Moreover, try and cook natural foods i.e. make them from scratch to avoid dealing with processed ingredients. By indulging in more natural flavors, this will help reformat your taste-buds and become less addicted to sugar.
-If you’re trying to lose weight, invest and consult a dietitian or nutritionist to help you out.
-Likewise, besides physical factors, it is important to see the psychological or emotional aspect to those cravings and fix the root of that trigger, be it stress or negative emotions driving that eating. A more positive mindset with associations to healthier food should help.
Your Body After a Sugar Detox?
After trying out a less to no sugar diet, here are a few changes the study says a person may experience.
-No more unhealthy food cravings!
-Successfully resetting your body’s metabolism, especially with a protein and carb-rich diet.
-Creation of healing ketones, restoring the body’s balance in fat and restoring insulin levels.
Finally, make sure you do your research! A lot of debates have happened about why sugar is good and bad. But as always suggested, everything should be taken in moderation. As supported by loads of scientists in American universities, who have conducted independent research and made it public for you to browse and know for yourself why sugar is more sinister than sweet.