30 Days to a Diabetes-Free Life

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Truth About Sugar

By Nathan Leavitt DC

An individual person consumes an average of about 150 pounds of sugar each year. If you break that down that equals to 30 five-pound bags of sugar per person. That is a load of sugar. It is interesting to note that there are more and more people, including children, that are developing diseases such as obesity and diabetes. These diseases are related to eating too much sugar. This article gives the reader a more complete understanding about sugar and the consequences of eating too much of it. It also provides the reader with healthier alternatives.

Glucose is a basic carbohydrate which circulates throughout the body. Other types of sugar which are more complex are converted to glucose by the body. Hyperglycemia is a term often used that basically means you have too much glucose in the blood. If this is not controlled, diseases like obesity and diabetes can develop over time.

Sucrose is a sugar which will break down into glucose and fructose. It is also known as table sugar. We get most of our table sugar from sugar cane and sugar beets. Fructose is found naturally in fruits, berries and honey. It is twice as sweet as sucrose. The absorption of fructose in the body without glucose is slow. This is better for us as it will not easily be converted into fat like glucose in the body.

High fructose corn syrup is a combination of glucose and fructose. Many companies that make food have replaced table sugar with corn syrup. The reason for this is because high fructose corn syrup is less expensive for them to add to food. Much research is showing a correlation between the use of high fructose corn syrup and obesity. They are both increasing at the same rate.

If you eat too much sugar over time, you can develop diabetes. Diabetes is the end result when your body can no longer handle high levels of sugar in the blood. Insulin's function in the blood is to help transport levels of sugar that are too high out of circulation in the body. It helps to maintain your blood sugar levels at a healthy level. If you eat too much sugar, over time the insulin in the body becomes overloaded. The insulin begins to shut down and diabetes is the end result.

Diabetes can often be controlled by eating a healthy diet. To do this, you should consider a diet that contains more protein and less fat. You especially need to eliminate sugar from your diet. Eating a lot of fiber is also important. Fiber helps your body to feel full and helps the food to go through you without turning into fat.

Research studies are now showing that there may be risks associated with the use of artificial sweeteners. Some of the more common ones being used are Splenda (Sucralose), Nutri-sweet (Aspartame) and Saccharin. Many use these because they are extremely low in calories. However, it is important to understand the potential risks associated with them.

Stevia is a great alternative to artificial sweeteners. It is found natural in what is known as sugar leaf or sweet leaf. If is about 300 times as sweet as table sugar. It is also a non-calorie sweetener that has been approved as a food additive. It does not affect blood glucose like table sugar. It has actually been shown to help improve blood glucose tolerance. It is also been shown to help with diseases such as high blood pressure and obesity.

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