We love all things sweet and decadent. Don't we? Sugar-loaded candies and cakes instantly uplift our mood at any time of the day. However, many of us avoid adding sugar to our diet because of the calories it adds to our body. But have you ever wondered if sugar is really harmful for healthy? Let's start with understanding what sugar is. According to www.sugar.org, it is the generic name for sweet, soluble carbohydrates, usually used in food. "Sugar is sucrose, a disaccharide, made up of two sugars (glucose and fructose) bound together, which is naturally made by and found in all green plants," the website reads. For the unversed, the sugar we consume on a daily basis, is also made from sugarcane. Let's take you through some of the popular notions about sugar.
5 Myths And Facts About Sugar We Must Know:
1. All Types Of Sugar Are Bad:
This is probably the most common thing we have been hearing since childhood. But did you know, sugar has two most important compounds that our bodies need to function properly - fructose and glucose. In fact, fruits and vegetables have natural sugar content that comes with a package of vitamins and other essential minerals. Hence, experts suggest adding more and more natural sugar in your diet to keep up the nutrient-balance. Whereas it is also advised to consume less added sugar like chocolate, cookies, cakes etc.
2. Sugar Is Fattening:
What comes to your mind when we say sugar? The most popular reply is calorie. And hence, we avoid sugar to keep our weight in check. However, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no direct effect of sugar on weight gain. The study says that sugar has no such property that makes it a fattening food per se.
3. Sugar Alternatives Are Good For Health:
Are you someone who opts for sugar-free cookies and cakes while on diet? If yes, then you really need to give a second thought. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has found that consumption of sweeteners like saccharin and others are linked to weight gain (not weight loss), high blood pressure, diabetes et al.
4. Giving Up On Sugar Is Healthier:
While limiting sugar consumption is suggested by all, but giving up on it totally may affect negatively. As per experts, the body will experience lack of glucose, leading to low blood pressure, nausea and more. Hence, it is always advised to include natural sugar in your everyday diet (in form of fruits) to keep up a healthy lifestyle.
5. Less Processed Sugar Is Good For Health:
Yes, less processed sugar like honey and maple syrup are better in comparison to white sugar. But having excess honey also has negative effects on our health. As per several studies, the digestive tract breaks down all sources of sugar into simple sugars called monosaccharides; meaning, the body really doesn't understand the source of sugar it is receiving and acts in the same for all. Hence, it is always suggested to limit any kind of processed (less processed) sugar intake for better health.
Considering it all, we say, sugar is not really a health food. But it also has no extreme effect on our body. Hence, we can always enjoy some amount of sugar in our diet; only if consumed in moderation.
Always remember, make conscious decisions to enjoy a happy and healthy life (and of course, diet!).
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.