We all know what sugar is, and that it’s bad for us. UK government is even considering a “sugar tax” due to constantly increasing obesity, especially among children. It’s also damaging our teeth, while excess fructose causing harm to our liver. It may be causing addiction and might even act as a neurotoxin for our brain. But oh my, it makes things taste so good, and these days it’s added to all sorts of foods (for that reason, of course).
We are encouraged to consume less than 5% of our calories from sugar. But not all sugars are the same. Sugar, or glucose is vital for our brain function and to maintain energy levels, that’s the reason we crave it so much. Every single cell in our body needs sugar. But, you guessed it right, not the white powder!
I was actually shocked to see traffic light system on a bag of chestnuts, showing that sugars in them are quite high (yellow). It’s a chestnut, for goodness sake! No one opened it and added a teaspoon of white powder in there. For example, one banana has around 16 grams of sugar which is 3-4 teaspoons. Looks scary? But again it’s not the bad kind of sugar!
If it is a whole food, please don’t let the sugar word confuse you. Actually, anything we eat – even if it’s only fat or protein – is turned into sugar anyway, that’s how much our bodies need it.
We should only limit added sugars and processed foods, and not natural sugars occurring in fruit and other foodstuff. For example, fruit supplies those vital sugars in a perfect package – filled with water, fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. And fruit is not going to make you fat or unhealthy, quite the opposite! It can actually reduce your chance of developing diabetes and heart disease. (Remember, since we were children we have been told to “eat your fruits and veggies”! And it doesn’t mean just broccoli. Although broccoli is pretty good).
So next time you crave something sweet, feel free to have a piece of fruit! Even if you’re still worried about the total amount of your consumed sugar or glycemic index, it’s a hundred times better than cake or sweets.
P.S. I like this video from Dr Greger about fruit, check it out here or copy and paste it http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-fruit-is-too-much