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2020 Sugar Documentary – The Truth About Sugar

Love it or hate it, sugar is an inevitable part of our daily diet. Sugar is found in various foods, both natural or added. But have we ever thought about these queries: Is the sugar “good”? Is the sugar “bad”? What is Brain Grain? It’s hard to tell for sure. What is fascinating is that the truth about sugar[1] is a fundamental molecule in biology. 

Your brain is a control center for your body – and when there is a redundant amount of sugar in your system, the control center is released from the blow. The truth is too much sugar causes cascade negative side effects in your brain – and the negative side effects might affect everything from your mood to your energy level.

According to neurologist David Perlmutter[2], the author of Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers, sugar consumption stimulates specific areas of the brain that are linked to addiction[3] .These areas are the same illuminated in studies of brain imaging when subjects receive cocaine.

So in a few words: you eat sugar, activate the reward center of your brain and, as a result, you begin to crave more sugar. You even tend to eat high-glycemic index foods digested and absorbed quickly that make you want to eat again. As a result, the cycle repeats without realizing it. In other words, it is a recipe for addiction. 

Is Sugar Good For You?

the truth about sugar

Sugar[4] is awful, and maybe we all know that.In fact, the truth is living healthy doesn’t mean you need to cut off desserts completely. It’s just you have to change from unhealthy refined sugar and artificial sweeteners to natural sugar and other substitutes. Some sugar substitutes are considered such as “healthy sugar?[5]. Check the sugar listed below.

Coconut sugar

It is a natural sweetener taken from the palm tree flowers. Coconut sugar is less sweet and healthy for diabetics. It proved to be a healthy substitute sweetener and has numerous health benefits, like having a lower glycemic index, low glucose, and fructose.

Stevia

Stevia[6] comes from a plant found in China and South America and provides sweetness without calories from food. It helps to balance the pancreas and is suggested for diabetics. It is sweeter than honey and sugar, it also has a lower glycemic index. It also regulates and helps the digestive tract.

Sugar cane

Sugar cane[7] is not strange to everyone, since it is widely used around the globe, generally in tropical state countries. Nevertheless, the truth is that most people only know of sugarcane as a fresh and delicious drink, but do not expect its benefits to health such as antioxidants, which have a property to lower cholesterol. Sugar cane is also beneficial for the liver and is recommended for patients with jaundice. Besides, it also has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antidiabetic, diuretic, hepatoprotective effects on our physical health.

Honey Sugar

Honey[8] is a natural food that has approximately the same sweetness as sugar but contains more calories and carbohydrates. Health benefits of honey include lowering cholesterol, infections fighting, and antioxidants It also can help lower blood pressure and promotes healing burns and wounds.

Fruit sugar

Fruits sugar also known as fructose that is commonly used as table sugar. The truth is fruits contain natural fructose more often from their origin. Most fructose derives from a chemically combined form of glucose to sucrose or high natural corn syrup. While it is known that fruits are rich in Most fruits known for containing nutrients and fiber, HFCS intake continues to increase and fill out products such as soft drinks.

Taking into account the overwhelming intake of sugar. Typically 1 teaspoon of any sugar equivalent to 16 calories. For that reason, people should consume it in relief. The American Heart Association[9] states that less than 36 grams (9 teaspoons) of added sugars for men per day, while women should not exceed six teaspoons (or 25 grams).

Why Is Sugar Bad For You?

the truth about sugar

Over sugar consumption may lead to health problems, like obesity, diabetes, heart failure, and even cancer.

If you are very active and exercise regularly, a little sugar in your diet might supply energy to feed your muscles and keep your brain active. The truth is the problem for most of us is that many of the processed foods that we eat, in particular, those marketed with children, have added sugar[10] that supplies energy but in a little amount, so we end up eating more than we need. This can lead to some following drawbacks, which are:

Weight Gain

Obesity[11] rates are increasing around the world and sugar, especially in soft drinks, is considered one of the main culprits.

Consuming a considerable amount of fructose results in hunger and craving for food rather than consuming sugar, commonly found in starchy foods.

Besides, over intake of fructose leads to leptin resistance, an important hormone that helps to regulate hunger and signal your body when it reaches the limit.

This article is about teeth cavities. Some research[12] showed that people who consume drinks with artificial sweeteners including soft drinks, weigh more than people who are not.

Diabetes

Some said that sugar causes diabetes others say is not true. The truth is here is a relationship between the consumption of sweet beverages and type 2 diabetes. A high-calorie diet can lead to type 2 diabetes[13].

On the other hand, in many cases, a diet containing sugar is rich in calories and leads to weight gain. That will increase the risk of acquiring diabetes.

Obesity, often caused by the overconsumption of sugar, is considered the primary risk factor for diabetes. A population study[14]  in more than 175 countries found that the risk of developing diabetes increased by 1.1% for every 150 calories of sugar or a can of soda.

Heart Complications

Overconsumption of sugar is linked to many diseases, including heart disease[15], the primary reason for high mortality around the world.

The results of one study[16] published in 2014 suggest that people with a large amount of aggregate sugar in their diet are significantly more likely to die from heart failure than people with lower levels of sugar.

One study[17] revealed that more than 30,000 participants who consume 17% to 21%  of the calories aggregate sugar increases risk up to  38% dying from heart complications, compared to those who consume only 8% of their calories from sugars.

Even though there are clear links, more studies will be needed to better understand the relationship between sugar and heart failure.

Increase Your Risk of Cancer

Eating excessive sugar may lead to the development of cancers. One study[18] of more than 430,000 people found that adding consumption of sugar might be the reason for developing rarer cancers such as esophageal cancer, pleural cancer, and small intestinal cancer.

A study showed[19] that women commonly diagnose endometrial cancer as a gynecologic problem among women. This showed that eating more than 3 times per week some type of sucrose increases the risks rather than those eating less than 0.5 times per week.

The Toxic Truth About Sugar

The truth is we consume an increasing amount of sugar in our food regimen nowadays without figuring it out. There is a large amount of sugar hidden in our non-alcoholic drinks, soda, spaghetti, peanut butter, canned vegetables, and almost all processed foods. This excessive sugar consumption is the main cause of obesity and other chronic diseases. Inside our body, the amount of sugar that we consume quickly is transformed into fat due to an increase in insulin levels, resulting in weight gain, abdominal obesity and thus increases the risk of deadly diseases such as gout, disease renal, heart failure, and diabetes.

In addition, sugar may weaken the immune system, causing changes in anxiety and mood [19], aggravating asthma, increasing the risk of gallstone formation, and increases in arterial pressure. 

According to some studies[20], sugar is associated with dental diseases like dental caries. Other consequences due to too much sugar consumption include weakened vision, premature aging of the skin, a decrease in growth hormone, hormonal imbalance, an increase in cholesterol levels[21] and hepatic fat, constipation, and lowered pancreatic enzymes.

What Does Sugar Do To Your Body?

We all know that we can easily fall for sweets, but we don’t know what it will do to our bodies. What occurs inside of our body? Here is what occurs when an excessive amount of sugars enter your body.

Brain

Imagine that our brain craves candy. As a result, sugar stimulates brain chemicals called dopamine[22] that might affect a person’s mood.

Heart

The high sugar diet can be bad for the heart. People with diabetes have a higher risk of heart failure[23] and the medications used to treat diabetes increase the chance of cardiovascular events.

Liver

Excess sugar takes a toll on the liver also. The quick sugar load causes a rapid rise in blood sugar that can overwhelm the liver and lead to non-alcoholic liver disease that could lead to type 2 diabetes and cirrhosis[24].

Joints

Eating too much sugar can lead to inflammation, which can worsen joint pain and eventually lead to arthritis.

Vitamin absorption

Researchers examined the connection between adding sugar to meals and beverages at some stage in processing, not the sugar found naturally in fruits, vegetables, or milk – and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) absorption. The study aims at finding the association between the added sugar intake and micronutrients in adults.

According to the adapted Dietary Guidelines of Northerners, added sugar should be limited to 10% of total energy intake. Different countries and institutions vary in the upper limit of sugar intake. However, there is insufficient scientific data to define an upper limit. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concludes and re-evaluates the existing recommendations for sugar consumption by watching the evidence behind them.

Esther González-Padilla said: “Selection of added sugar, unlike other types of sugar, performed to test the effect of the overall quality of the diet. The truth is added sugar is not part of food and drink, of course, that is added to food and beverages during processing, manufacturing, or at the table for different purposes and therefore is not strictly necessary in our diets”.

Sugar consumption was estimated for each individual by adding the absorption of simple sugars (glucose mainly fructose and sucrose) in the overall diet, then subtracting the number of sugars from fruits, juice, and vegetables (the main sources of sugars). Power consumption was calculated for sugar and populations were stratified into six groups according to their sugar intake added as follows: less than 5% S, 5-7.5% E, 7.5 to 10 % E, 10 to 15% E, 15 E -20%, and more than 20% E of added sugar.

Then the results are compared with nine micronutrient intake; calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc. The researchers observed an inverse association between sugar intake and the daily intake of nine micronutrients in both studies. Sugar added more participants consumed, then lowered the intake of vitamins and minerals.

Conclusion

As you can see, eating sugar causes weight gain, increased insulin levels, and blood sugar imbalances. This also creates problems in all organs in our bodies, primarily the heart and liver. Many other risk factors can aggravate excess sugar intake. It is time to stop a diet rich in sugar consumption and lead a healthier lifestyle.

It is time, therefore, to be completely informed of the truth about sugar. Why risk so much when there are much healthier foods that may satisfy your hunger without calories. Additionally, too much sugar in sweets can contribute to a source of excess calories that do harm to your body.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sugars are?

Sugar mainly takes place and appears in fruits and vegetables. This can be the first mode of photosynthesis, the method through which plants convert alternative energy into meals. Sugar is produced in the biggest portions of sugar beet and sugar separated from it for business use. 

How much added sugar is it okay to consume per day?

The World Health Organization [25] recommends up to 5 to 10 teaspoons (25-50g on a 2000 kcal) free or added sugars. These sugars can come from any form or type of “sugar” added in your processed foods or sugars, you can add your food during cooking.

Do I need to avoid foods with naturally occurring sugar?

No. Foods such as fruit and milk are nutritious and are part of a healthy eating plan.

What is the difference between natural sugars and added sugars?

 Added sugars (also known as free sugars) are those used in manufacturing or aggregated by the cook or consumer. Natural sugars are those that are naturally found in a product, for example. Fruits or vegetables.

How do I read the content Nutrition Facts Table for sugar?

The table of nutrition facts lists only the total sugars. It does not show natural sugars and added separately. Look at the “carbohydrates” to find the amount of sugar (in grams) in a serving of the food. When you choose between foods, compare products, and choose the one that has less or no added sugar.

Which is better between brown and white sugar?

No, white sugar and brown is a form of sucrose and contains the same amount of four calorie calories per gram.

Which is more nutritious honey[26] or granulated powdered brown sugar?

On the idea of the identical weight, the dietary value of the difference between honey and sugar barely. Because this weighs extra, a honey tablespoon carries barely extra carbohydrates and energy than a tablespoon.

Are there any nutrients in sugar?

Sugar is an important nutrient and natural carbohydrate, needed by our body. Vitamins and In addition, small portions of vitamins and minerals are sometimes present.

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Hyperphysics. (2020). Sugars. Available from: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Organic/sugar.html
  2.  David Perlmutter. (2020). Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers. Available from: https://blas.com/grain-brain/
  3. Sara Landgren, Jeffrey A. Simms, Dag S. Thelle, Elisabeth Strandhagen, Selena E. Bartlett, Jörgen A. Engel & Elisabet Jerlhag. (2011). The Ghrelin Signalling System Is Involved in the Consumption of Sweets. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0018170
  4. The Children’s Hospital Melbourne. (2011). Sugar. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/sugar
  5. Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School. (2020). Are natural sugar alternatives healthier?. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/are-natural-sugar-alternatives-healthier
  6. Marjan Ajami, Maryam Seyfi, Fatemeh Abdollah Pouri Hosseini, Parisa Naseri, Aynaz Velayati, Fahimeh Mahmoudnia, Malihe Zahedirad & Majid Hajifaraji. (2020). Effects of stevia on glycemic and lipid profile of type 2 diabetic patients: A randomized controlled trial. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7103435/
  7. Amandeep Singh, Uma Ranjan Lal, Hayat Muhammad Mukhtar, Prabh Simran Singh, Gagan Shah,& Ravi Kumar Dhawan. (2015). Phytochemical profile of sugarcane and its potential health aspects, 9(17), 45–54. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4441162/
  8. Saeed Samarghandian, Tahereh Farkhondeh & Fariborz Samini. (2020). Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424551/
  9. American Heart Association. (2020). Added Sugar. Available from: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/added-sugars
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  11. Lisa Te Morenga, Simonette Mallard & Jim Mann. (2013). Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies. Available form: https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.e7492
  12. J G Lee, L B Messer. (2010). Intake of sweet drinks and sweet treats versus reported and observed caries experience. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20129028/
  13. Meng Wang, Min Yu, Le Fang, and Ru-Ying Hu. (2015). J Diabetes Investig, 6(3), 360–366. Association between sugar-sweetened beverages and type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4420570/
  14. Sanjay Basu, Paula Yoffe, Nancy Hills & Robert H. Lustig. (2013). PLoS One. 2013, 8(2), 52 – 73. The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes Prevalence: An Econometric Analysis of Repeated Cross-Sectional Data. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584048/
  15. James J. DiNicolantonio, Sean C. Lucan & James H. O’Keefe. (2013). The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes Prevalence: An Econometric Analysis of Repeated Cross-Sectional Data. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584048/
  16. Quanhe Yang, Zefeng Zhang & Edward W. Gregg. (2014). Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults. Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1819573?hpt=page_article_opinion_12col_zn-body_no-value-set_published-in-JAMA-Internal-Medicine_no-value-set 
  17. Nataša Tasevska, Li Jiao, Amanda J. Cross, Victor Kipnis, Amy F. Subar, Albert Hollenbeck, Arthur Schatzkin, and Nancy Potischman. (2012). Sugars in diet and risk of cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3494407/
  18. Emilie Friberg, Alice Wallin & Alicja Wolk. (2011). Sucrose, high-sugar foods, and risk of endometrial cancer–a population-based cohort study. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21765006/
  19. Anika Knüppel, Martin J. Shipley, Clare H. Llewellyn, and Eric J. Brunner. (2017). Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study. Available from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5532289/
  20. Prahlad Gupta, Nidhi Gupta, Atish Prakash Pawar, Smita Shrishail Birajdar, Amanpreet Singh Natt & Harkanwal Preet. (2016). Role of Sugar and Sugar Substitutes in Dental Caries: A Review. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3893787/
  21. Stephanie Seneff , Glyn Wainwright & Luca Mascitelli. (2011). Is the metabolic syndrome caused by a high fructose, and relatively low fat, low cholesterol diet?. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22291727/
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  23. Giuseppe MC Rosano, Cristiana Vitale & Petar Seferovic. (2017). Heart Failure in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494155/
  24. Paola Loria, Amedeo Lonardo & Frank Anania. (2013). Liver and diabetes: A vicious circle. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3733501/
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  26. Tracie Abram. (2015). Benefits of Honey. Available from:  https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/benefits_of_honey
Healthcanal Staff
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