Written by Sandy Harvey.
Dear readers, not too long ago, fats were the biggest enemy in our lives, having zero tolerance in any diet and induced great guilt at the mere mention of butter !
But now, according to health practitioners worldwide, there is a new evil on the block, namely sugar and the outcome of research is worth taking note of.
The statistics are frightening regarding how “sweet” the world has become with unpleasant circumstances.
The chief medical officer of the American heart association recommends that women have the maximum of 6 teaspoons per day, that everyone should read the labels on foods as just about any purchased contain sugar.
Sugar, commonly termed fructose, actually classified as a grain is having governments taking notice in-as-far-as sugary products are detrimental to health and like alcohol and cigarettes should be taxed, which is bound to cause an outcry.
The following justify why sugar intake should be restrained `
It is not a vital nutrient and bad for one’s teeth. When bacteria cling together, the result is the formation of plaque which uses sugar as a form of energy until a type of “glue” coats the teeth, hard to remove. High intake overloads the liver which metabolises fructose into fat, leading to non-alcoholic liver disease. The release of insulin is retarded thereby making individuals prone to the development of diabetes.
It raises levels of cholesterol, leading to heart disease. Sugar contributes to obesity and is most addictive, releasing massive amounts of dopamine in the brain which plays a major role in reward motivated behaviour. This will explain why a bar of chocolate makes one feel so good and the craving persists !
It is quite daunting, now verified that sugar contributes to aging of the skin. In a nutshell collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. In fact it is the substance that holds the body together. This collagen forms a network of support in the lower skin, the dermis. Once this begins to weaken and collapse, fine lines appear and later nasty wrinkles. Sugar plays a role in the destruction of collagen. However dermatologists state that production can be stimulated by retinoic acid, a form of vitamin A which is found in some cosmetic products.
As difficult as it may seem to cut out or manage one’s sugar levels, there are plenty of snacks to compensate such as rice cakes with low fat cheese, yogurt with sunflower seeds, sliced apple topped with a little peanut butter, thinly sliced rolled turkey filled with low fat feta and a variety of nuts to be eaten in moderation. Dry fruits are a quick pick-me -up when on the run but have a high sugar content.
A question often arises regarding the sugar in fruit and raw vegetables. Well the experts are not perturbed and the roughage is an added advantage.
Finally a good massage at a health spa will help to stimulate sluggish circulation and encourage the stimulation of new cells compromised by bad habits.
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