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Myths about sugar

Мифы о сахаре

Sazar is the household name for sucrose (C12H22O11). Reed and beet sugar (sugar, refined sugar) is an important food product. Common sugar (sucrose) refers to carbohydrates, which are considered valuable nutrients that provide the body with the necessary energy. Starch also belongs to carbohydrates, but digestion by its organism occurs relatively slowly. Sucrose is quickly cleaved in the digestive tract for glucose and fructose, which then enter the bloodstream.

Glucose provides more than half of the body's energy expenditure. The normal concentration of glucose in the blood is maintained at a level of 80-120 milligrams of sugar in 100 milliliters (0.08 ~ 0.12%). Glucose has the ability to maintain the barrier function of the liver against toxic substances due to the participation in the formation in the liver of so-called paired sulfuric and glucuronic acids. That's why taking sugar inside or injecting glucose into a vein is recommended for certain liver diseases, poisoning.

Sugar is accused of almost everything - from diabetes and obesity to diseases of the heart and blood vessels, kidneys and other organs, and even strokes. But is it really that bad? Are these tiny, sweet crystals carrying nothing but harm? And maybe, much of what we hear about sugar is just disinformation? Let's figure out some incomprehensible questions about our beloved sugar.

1. People can easily limit the amount of sugar consumed

Well, we decided to eat less sugar. No problems. We just stop eating desserts, and we will give up donuts, which are offered to us by colleagues at work.

But wait ... Why is it so difficult? Are we children who have no willpower?

The fact is that sugar is a substance that is addictive. Studies in animals show that sugar contributes to overeating, is addictive and increases appetite. In addition, regular use of sugar helps to easily get used to other substances.

When they began to study people who use fructose (a form of sugar), it turned out that the center of reward in their minds at that moment is shining. But as in the case of narcotic substances, subjects over time were forced to use more and more sugar so that the reward center in their brain shone as brightly as at the very beginning of the experiment.

Another study shows that the sweetness of sugar can be much more attractive than the effect of conventional drugs, such as cocaine. This seems a little ridiculous, but a possible explanation for this, scientists say, is that a person in the past had an evolutionary need to eat high-calorie foods and sugar.

2. Added sugar is bad

In 2014, the American Association of Cardiologists recommended that Americans reduce sugar intake from 20 teaspoons (80 grams) per day to 6 spoonfuls (24 grams) for women, and up to nine spoonfuls (36 grams) for men.

And especially the group of researchers was disturbed by the so-called "added sugar". Added sugar is a part of our food even at the stage of its preparation. It can be a part of food and drink cooked chemically (such as high fructose corn syrup, for example), or it can be a natural substance such as honey. Specialists are concerned that sugar in such products has no nutritional value, and it gives only one thing - an excess of calories.

However, do not completely remove all added sugar from your diet. Yes, sugar may not have nutritional value, but it can improve the taste of other foods containing nutrients, for example, the taste of yoghurt or cereals from whole grains.

So if you can not get yourself to eat a cup of yogurt without adding a pinch of sugar, then sugar should be added. Fortunately, in most cases, you need to add just a little sugar to get a satisfactory taste. That's why it's better to buy products without added sugar, and add sugar to them independently than to buy products already sweetened by the manufacturer.

3. Artificial sweeteners are more useful than sugar

Many people who care about their health prefer artificial sweeteners to sugar, sincerely believing that this is the best option, since such sweeteners do not contain calories.

Yes, you really consume fewer calories, replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners, but they can hardly be called healthy foods.

The Nutrient Control Commission believes that artificial sweeteners are safe. At the same time, experts say that the long-term effects of sweeteners have not yet been studied.

In addition, there are many studies, the results of which make us doubt the benefits of sweeteners. For example, researchers at Yale University found that if you eat artificially sweetened foods that are low in calories, this can lead to the fact that you later want to eat foods that are high in calories. It can happen on the same day, and the effect is especially pronounced if you ate artificially sweetened foods when you were very hungry or very tired.

Artificial sweeteners do not signal to the brain that the body receives energy in the same way that ordinary sugar does.

In addition, many people who consume artificial sweeteners knowingly, during the day, eat a little more. Because they feel that they can afford it. After all, after all, they did not get extra calories by throwing a sweetener into their coffee, so now you can eat an extra portion of potatoes or a hamburger.

So it may be that it is much more useful to eat ordinary sugar, not replacing it with sweeteners

4. Organic raw sugar is more useful than sugar-refined sugar

Raw sugar looks very attractive, it has a light caramel shade, and in form it resembles a nugget. This organic sweetener, which is less perfect than refined sugar, is found in many healthy foods, so probably it should be useful to us.

In fact, this is not so. Both raw sugar and sugar-refined sugar are obtained from sugar cane, although they can also be obtained from sugar beet.

Raw sugar is obtained when the sugar cane juice is boiled only once. As a result, a certain quantity of molasses remains in the product, because of which its golden color appears. Sugar refined sugar is the result of repeated boiling of sugar cane juice. Boiling removes all impurities from it, and its color, therefore, will be white.

Some supporters of raw sugar argue that the molasses left in it contains valuable nutrients that our body can use. But most experts believe that these are only remnants of nutrients, and their quantity in raw so little that it simply will not be able to have a significant impact on our health. So although the two above-mentioned varieties of sugar are processed differently, they are almost identical in composition.

5. Diets without sugar - the most healthy

So, we eat too much sugar. In this case, both artificial sweeteners and raw sugar are no better than the good old sugar refined sugar.

So maybe the answer is very simple, and you just need to remove all the sugar from the diet? Maybe. This is very difficult to do.

Technically, in order to eliminate all the sugar from the diet, one must eat only such food, in which sugar was not added either during its preparation, or after that. But if your so-called "sugar-free diet" simply means eating foods labeled "without sugar," then nothing good will come of it.

The products, on the labels of which are loudly stated that they are "without sugar", are usually not. Because although the sugar was extracted from there, it was replaced with an artificial sweetener. It can be anything: sugar alcohols, sorbitol, mannitol, or some other low-calorie sweetener, for example, saccharin or sucralose.

Unfortunately, many of these alternative sweeteners still contain a huge amount of carbohydrates and / or calories. And the same sugar alcohols, if taken in large amounts, can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Experts believe that the most reasonable strategy is to eat raw foods, adding as little sugar as possible in them.

6. Do not eat too much sweet fruit

There is no point in denying: fruits contain sugar. Many of them. Think about how you bite a fresh, juicy peach or pear. Think about the sweet juice and the explosion of taste in your mouth. Is it so bad for you?

No. Indeed, fruits contain a lot of sugar. But this is natural sugar, it is also fructose, which is much more useful than sugar-refined sugar. Plus fructose is not the only thing that is contained in a peach or pear. In addition to fructose, fruits contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients that will be very beneficial to your body, and will help the body fight illnesses, stabilize blood sugar levels, and do many other things.

In addition, fruit is considered a low-density food, which means, having eaten them, you will quickly feel satiety. And this is good, because if you are full, you will not eat too much fruit, plus you will not be tempted to switch to something else, not so healthy (for a chocolate cookie, for example). So eat fruit and do not worry about anything.

7. Sugar causes caries

Your dentist in childhood told you that sugar destroys teeth? He was right, but only in part. If your teeth come in contact with sweet food and sweet drinks, this can lead to their destruction. But this will happen only if all these sweet substances will be on the surface of the teeth for a long time. In addition, the destruction of teeth can lead to long-term effects of other products, such as fruit, bread or oatmeal.

Even healthy vegetables can destroy teeth, and that's why.

Caries causes a substance called plaque. It starts to form on the teeth at the moment when you eat or drink something. If you do not get rid of dental plaque, it will eventually destroy the enamel on your teeth, and create in it tiny holes, under which then cavities will arise. So the best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush your teeth after eating. Even ordinary rinsing with water can be helpful. And if you have eaten foods that can easily get stuck in your teeth, such as raisins, popcorn or raspberries, careful brushing and flossing with the subsequent rinsing is simply necessary.

8. Sugar causes hyperactivity

Which parent did not hear that if their baby eats too much sugar, then from this he can become too hyper and hyperactive?

And it often seems true. Just look at how children at someone's birthday party eat cake, sweets and drink them with a cola, and then around begins a wild yelp and running around.

But have you thought about what is possible, they are so influenced by the fact of the holiday, and not sugar?

There is a mass of extensive research on the relationship between sugar levels and hyperactivity, and not one of them has not revealed this connection. Most recently, a group of specialists analyzed several authoritative studies, and concluded that sugar in the diet of children does not affect their behavior in any way.

Interestingly, another study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, in which a survey of mothers who believed that their children were "sensitive to sugar" was conducted. Mothers were asked to assess the behavior of their children after they drank soda. Mothers of boys who drank soda with sugar believed that their sons were more active than boys who drank soda with an artificial sweetener. The catch was that, in general, all children were given soda with an artificial sweetener, which implies that the basis for "hyperactivity" is human perception rather than sugar.

9. Sugar leads to obesity

Many believe that sugar is inextricably linked to obesity: sweets, cakes, ice cream, etc. If you are fat, you think, it's because you eat too many sweet desserts.

At the same time, people who understand the diet a little better, often warn against excess consumption of foods containing starch (potatoes, rice and other cereals), because your body converts starch into sugar, which leads to excess kilograms.

The problem is that this is not so.

If this were so, then people who eat a lot of rice (for example, the Japanese) and people who eat a lot of pasta (for example, Italians) would be the thickest people in the world. But you know what? They are one of the most slender.

There's a thing in it. If you eat a lot of sweet foods, such as cakes and cookies, and drink it with fizzy drinks and juices, you will gain weight. But this is because you absorb too many calories, and not because you are full of sugar alone. And if the total amount of calories absorbed by you is within the normal range, then sugar will never create fat spots on your sides, and will not turn your stomach into a jelly like.

10. Sugar causes diabetes

The most common myth about sugar is the myth that sugar causes diabetes. Most likely, the reason for this misconception was that the level of sugar in the blood of diabetics is far from normal, because they are forced to carefully monitor the consumption of sugar. In general, there is no connection between the use of sugar and the development of diabetes. There is only one exception, which will be discussed below.

There are three main types of diabetes!

Type 1 diabetes mellitus develops when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that extracts sugar from the food we eat and allows it to penetrate our tissues, where the body uses sugar as a source of energy. If the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or if insulin does not work properly, then diabetes develops.

Diabetes mellitus type 2. It usually occurs in people who are overweight, people who are sedentary and sit on a high-calorie diet, and the source of these calories can be anything, not just sweets.

And some pregnant women may have gestational diabetes. It occurs when hormonal changes during pregnancy disrupt insulin production.

So what is there with the above exception from the general rule on the relationship between diabetes and sugar?

People who regularly eat a large number of sweet drinks (sweetened with soda, soda, fruit drinks, etc.) can easily earn themselves type 2 diabetes. Of course, many people who eagerly absorb sweet drinks are also overweight and eat a lot, and all this can also cause type 2 diabetes. However, research shows that the likelihood of developing diabetes is high among those who just drink a lot of sweet drinks, but at the same time actively moving and eating healthy food.

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