I’m a nutritionist – cut down on your refined sugar intake to avoid these four dangerous conditions
WE are consuming DOUBLE the amount of sugar than is healthy, according to a new report.
And experts warn that many people exceed the recommended limit by the time they have finished breakfast every day.
Experts warn that many people exceed the recommended sugar limit[/caption]
Refined sugar contained in everything from chocolate and crisps to bread, cereals and so-called healthy drinks, such as smoothies, leaves us craving more.
But eating high levels increases the risk of brain and heart disease, cancer and obesity.
Adults and teenagers should have no more than 30g of added sugar (around seven teaspoons) a day. Seven to ten-year-olds should have a maximum of 24g (six teaspoons). And four to six-year-olds should have a limit of 19g (five teaspoons).
However, most men consume around 55g, women around 44g and children 51g.
‘Irritable or anxious’
Added sugars should make up no more than five per cent of our daily diets, but the report from the British Nutrition Foundation found that it averages twice that.
This Easter, we are set to consume more than 80million chocolate eggs. When you include the treats that come with them, Easter Eggs can contain up to 73 teaspoons each.
Cutting down on sugar reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart problems, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety and skin problems including acne and wrinkles.
Nutritionist Kim Schweiger, told Sun on Sunday Health: “The more sugar you eat, the more your taste buds want something sweet.
“Every time we grab a sugary snack or drink, it causes a sudden spike in the glucose levels in our blood which is why we feel an energy boost.
“When that’s happening all day long, it affects overall energy levels and health because every-thing that goes up has to come down. When that happens, people often feel irritable or anxious or even feel shaky or sweaty.
“Sugar is an issue for almost everyone I see and I always tell them to look at what they drink first.
“Two large glasses of white wine can contain 30g of sugar — a whole day’s worth. Sugars are often attached to the idea of a treat or reward and that’s hard to eliminate.
“Natural ones are contained in foods, such as fruit and milk, that have other nutritional benefits, such as fibre, vitamins and minerals. Whereas, refined sugars offer no benefit.”
Refined sugar also causes weight gain because our bodies shunt the excess glucose to where it is not needed, especially around the waist.
Kim, founder of Nutritional Fingerprint, said: “Refined sugar is bad for every part of your body and linked to all chronic diseases.
“We need to be savvier about just how much of it is in our food.”
Chocolate cereals have around 45g of sugar per serving, white bread contains half a teaspoon per slice, pasta sauce in jars contains two teaspoons on average and “healthy” drinks such as elderflower water can contain more than a can of Coke.
Giving sugar up can be hard and even lead to headaches for the first few days.
But after a while it will lead to an increase in energy levels, along with better sleep and gut and dental health and help with weight loss and overall organ health.
Eating too much sugar increases the risk of brain and heart disease, cancer and obesity[/caption]
‘Giving up improved skin, sleep & energy levels’
JOURNALIST Deborah Linton, 38, ate bars of chocolate, sweets and white bread toasties to keep her going through the day.
But she gave up sugar for a month, replacing unhealthy snacks with fruit, crackers and nuts, and juice with water.
Before and after the trial she had a Bupa Health check.
After a month Deborah’s body fat dropped, her lean body weight increased and triglycerides in her bloodstream (a type of fat that contributes to heart disease risk) and arteriosclerosis (thickening of the artery walls) had reduced while good cholesterol rose and bad fell.
Deborah, from Manchester, said: “For the first three days I had a headache – and sweats.
“After a month, my energy levels were more consistent, I slept better and my complexion improved.”
Dr Samantha Wild, GP and clinical lead for women’s health at Bupa, who analysed Deborah’s results, said: “We recommend people cut out refined sugar for a longer period of time to really see the benefits.
“For those who do decide to cut out refined sugar, we’d expect to see further weight loss, more energy, better moods and sleep, and improved skin.
“Heart health will also improve due to a lower blood pressure and a better cholesterol profile, and the risk of diabetes will decrease.”
- LDL unhealthy cholesterol
- HDL healthy cholesterol
- Triglycerides Body fat
- 1.7 mmol/L
- 1.37 mmol/L
- 0.79 mmol/L 24.3 per cent
- 1.6 mmol/L
- 1.8 mmol/L
- 0.55 mmol/L 22.4 per cent
CUT DOWN ON SWEET STUFF
- IF an ingredient on a packet ends in “ose” eg glucose, fructose, that’s a sugar. Malt and agave are sugars too.
- Be careful of low-fat products. Sugar is often used to make them tasty.
- Low sugar is up to 5g per 100g. Over 22g is high.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners – they stimulate your appetite and cravings for something sweet.
- Start small with two to three sugar-free days a week to create healthy habits.
Source of data and images: thesun