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Is sugar the devil?

Demonised for so many years, sugar has a bad wrap still even in 2022 many label it the ‘reason for weight gain’ - But is sugar really the devil? Sugar is a carbohydrate found in many different foods and comes in many different forms, sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, fruit juice, honey, syrups. Foods containing natural sugars contain a high quantity of nutrients like dairy and fruit and despite what you may believe scientists have not proven that sugar affects health or weight gain when it is not part of a diet that is in excess of calorie needs.

Sugar affects the feel good reward centre of the brain, triggering a pleasure response that’s similar to how we feel when watching cute animals or being loved, but the key here is that psychology plays a huge part in the decisions we make therefore it is not surprising that as society we perhaps do consume more sugar than is advised. Going teetotal on sugar is completely unnecessary as you will then reduce a large amount of nutrients from natural sugars and any unnecessary restriction will lead to an over consumption.

There are changes we can all actively make to reduce the amount of refined sugar within our diets, making sensible choices and allowing moderation and balance. Swap out sugary drinks for their less dense counterpart. Share a dessert with a spouse or friend, opting for sugary dressings on the side. Consider sugar alternatives, maple syrup and honey are both natural sources, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose are chemically manufactured but safe to consume.

The recommended allowance in the UK is to limit sugar to 90g per day and you cannot ‘withdraw’ from sugar, if you reduce your intake from more refined to more natural your body will just adjust to new habits. There is no science linking addiction to humans in sugar.


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