Copyright 2006 Eva Moffat
There are many myths about sugar. But panels of experts have found that sugar does not cause Diabetes, Obesity, Hyperactivity or other vitamin deficiencies.
· Myth Sugar Makes You Put On Weight
Its not eating sugar that makes you fat but eating too much food does. Food is broken down into Calories and Calories = 1 Unit of Energy. With a teaspoon of Sugar having only 15 Calories, so 15 Calories is 15 Calories. It doesnt matter what food the Calories come from.
Your Weight Loss Programme will only succeed if you take in fewer Calories than you use.
After a 5-year study in 2002 The National Academy of Sciences concluded There is no clear and consistent association between increased intakes of added sugars and BMI. BMI = (Body Mass Index) is an indicator of body weight and Obesity.
· Myth Sugar Can Give You Diabetes
Diabetes is not caused by having too much sugar. Just like eating Carbohydrates eg Potatoes, Bread, Cakes and Pastries, may if eaten in excess, make you put on weight but it is not what causes Diabetes.
There are two types of Diabetes:
1. Diabetes Type 1
2. Diabetes Type 2
Type 1 is usually Insulin dependent. The people have to inject Insulin into themselves every day. This is because the Pancreas does not produce enough Insulin. Insulin is a Hormone. And this Hormone is needed for converting the sugar into energy.
Type 2 is usually found in people of 50+. It is also called Age Onset Diabetes. In this kind of Diabetes, the body produces Insulin but something goes wrong and the body cant use it properly.
The American Diabetic Association advises Diabetics that they may take sugar as long as it is counted as part of their daily Carbohydrate Allowance.
· Myth -Sugar Has A High Glycemic Index (GI)
The body must convert Sugars and Starches we get from our food, into Blood Glucose (Blood Sugar) to enable the body to function properly.
Glycemic Index is a description of how fast the body breaks down Starches and Sugars to make them into Blood Glucose.
Blood Glucose levels are dependent on how much Protein or Fat is eaten with the Carbohydrate.
· Myth Sugar Stops Other Nutrients Being Absorbed
In recent years, sugar has been accused of stopping Vitamins and Minerals from doing their job.
In the US, several diet surveys have shown that the consumption of sugar actually has little influence on Vitamin and Mineral intakes.
The body in order to function properly needs a varied diet of Nutritious food. Sugar should be part of the daily intake.
· Myth Sugar Makes Kids Hyperactive
Sugar does not make a child Hyperactive. Hyperactivity is caused by something in the brain not functioning properly. So a normal child cannot become Hyperactive if they have sugar in their daily diet.
Children are naturally enthusiastic, prone to showing excitement and they like to be on the go all the time. It can be more of a worry, if a child sits around doing nothing all day. Usually means they are sickening for something.
· Myth Sugar Makes Bad Teeth
In the mouth Bacteria breaks down all Carbohydrates (both Sugar and Starches). This is a normal process that produces Acids and it is this Acid that attacks the enamel on the teeth, causing the Acid to take Mineral from the enamel. And this is what causes cavities. Eating sticky snacks that linger on the teeth prolongs acid production. Some of the culprits are Dried Fruit, Cereals and Potato Chips.
Dentists advise cutting out in between meal snacks and limiting sweet and sticky foods to mealtimes.
The answer is to clean the teeth with a good toothpaste. Preferably after every meal. And visit the dentist regularly.
· Myth You Can Become Addicted To Sugar
Oh dear! If we all belonged to the SA (Sugar Anonymous) we would be kept so busy supporting our friends wed have no time to do anything else.
Seriously, addiction is a Compulsive Behaviour with medically identifiable emotional, mental or physiological symptoms.
People like sweet tasty foods, but liking them is not the same as being addicted.
So if you have a sweet tooth, dont worry enjoy your food. Just be sure you are getting a good varied diet of Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates.