Page 36 - Scene Magazine September 2023 48-09
P. 36

Sugar is a naturally occurring sub- stance but is also added to many foods that we eat every single day without realizing it, or frankly even caring about.
We think of natural foods such as fruits and dairy products as healthy. Many enjoy them because of the sweetness they offer. Furthermore, the body’s need for energy to function led many to think more highly of the capacity to convert sweet carbohydrates to glucose as a positive thing.
‘More is better’ is not a concept that works well for the human body when it comes to sugar. Many do not realize that sugar has little to no nutrients. So why do we hang onto the thought that sugar is beneficial?
Frankly, it is a speedy source of ener- gy. The body can break it down quickly verses other carbohydrates that take longer due to digestion. Also somewhat beneficial, once converted to glucose it can be stored for later use, which can allow one to go longer without eating. Some may need the calories for energy but it must be managed in moderation as too much sugar means too many calories harming the body.
If you happen to be someone who has low blood pressure, you may be advised by your physician to carry sugar cubes or packets because it has been
shown that sugar raises blood pressure. An added bonus is that it may prevent blackouts caused by this condition. The diabetic may also need a quick source of sugar when experiencing a diabetic emergency.
When looking at natural sugars, a case can be made to suggest that the other nutrients from those fruits and starchy vegetables can be beneficial
in boosting the body’s immune system function. A strong balance needs to be observed based on other health condi- tions. Other sources of nutrients may be the better choice.
Yes, it seems to be true that choc- olate has numerous health benefits as well. The cocoa flavonoids in chocolate have received credit for helping to make brain connections and improve think- ing skills, but that is for another article. Consequently, the sugar from chocolate is just a sweet byproduct as it activates the pleasure center of the brain, and ultimately the production of a euphoric feeling from a dopamine release. Sadly, this can lead to overconsumption of chocolate and sugar.
Overconsumption of sugar, no matter the source, has led to significant health concerns from insulin resistance, hyper- tension, and diabetes to other chronic conditions that may develop as a result
of our increasing desire for sugar, which can lead to weight gain, inflammation, circulatory issues, eye problems, tooth decay, immune system challenges, and more. Let’s break it down a bit more.
While it seems like a no-brainer, sugar can aid in excessive weight gain. Just one small teaspoon of sugar contains 15 cal- ories. If you’re a calorie counter, that adds up fast in just one can of soda, which has been considered to be one of the major players in the obesity pandemic. Sodas are less likely to fill you up, have unending re-fill opportunities when going out to eat, and rarely make you feel satisfied in terms of quenching a thirst. Consequently, the return to the counter or soda can contin- ues, leading to overdrinking, overeating, and increasing calorie intake leading to weight gain.
One 12-ounce can of cola con- tains 39 grams of sugar, which is equal to roughly 10 teaspoons or 18 packets of sugar. More bad news for soda addicts: Drinking a can of pop
a day means that, every year, you are consuming about 65 pounds of sugar from soft drinks alone.
Sugary foods are just as guilty, and yet many don’t even realize the amount of added sugar in the daily foods we all con- sume. A little bit of sugar not only helps the medicine go down, it leads to a tastier
 Just one small teaspoon of sugar contains 15 calories. If you’re a calorie counter, that adds up fast in just one can of soda.
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