I mean, consider the facts……sugar is the principal building block of carbohydrates – all carbohydrates consist of sugar molecules and our body absorbs sugar that is naturally present in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates supply more than 50% of our calorie intake and are the energy sources for our cells.
So far all looks good and sugar seems to be the good guy. But the big problem of modern lifestyles is the added sugar that we take, in many processed foods. Not just in the obvious ones like desserts, soft drinks, and readymade juices, but even all regular foods like bread, breakfast cereals, jams, biscuits, candies and even sauces, salad dressings, yogurt etc. The hidden sugars in these items add to our daily sugar intake. In fact, some estimates put the calories from added sugar at closer to 300 everyday (US). These are empty, unnecessary calories and have no nutrients thus forcing us to eat additional food for the same calorie intake every day.
Sugar comes in various forms – sucrose and fructose being the most common; but there are others like galactose, maltose and lactose. When we eat carbohydrates, the body finally breaks it down to sucrose and this is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. As the sugar levels rise, the pancreas release insulin. Without insulin the cells cannot use glucose for energy. But there is a right level of blood sugar for the body and if it goes higher than that; the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin to bring the sugar level down.
Foods with added sugar tend to spike the sugar level and after sometime the cells refuse to respond to the insulin. In response to this, the pancreas produces even more insulin but after sometime this also fails to control the sugar levels in the blood resulting in high sugar levels.
High sugar levels lead to obesity, and a host of issues from heart problems, to blindness, nerve damage etc.
Moral of the story: there’s lots wrong with added sugar!