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All You Need To Know About Sugar

Updated on June 15, 2015
Sugar cubes
Sugar cubes | Source

Regardless of what form it takes, life needs energy in order to function and proliferate. Although the human body can draw sustenance from a variety of food types, it prefers carbohydrates as a main source. Your massive brain could not function without the chemical energy that results from your efficient metabolism.

The history of the taste

It is no secret that people can get in trouble if they eat too much sugar. But why are we fatally attracted to a substance that does so much harm?

There is nothing inherently unhealthy about carbohydrate molecules. They are a very efficient method of energy delivery. In our native environment, these molecules were extremely rare and hard to find. We are biologically programmed to enjoy them, in order to encourage us to seek out more.

Given the rarity of sugar, we never really developed a sensation of “being full”, as we did with other substances such as water. There is no limit to our craving, and given the wealth and abundance of modern life, over-indulgence has become a leading cause of death.

Sugar and losing weight

Contrary to popular belief, not all sugars are sweet. It is quite a diverse class of organic molecules. Starch for example, is tasteless. It can be found in potatoes, corn, and rice. Technically, these food items are sweets, so avoid them if you wish to lose weight. Bread and pastry items are also off the menu.

Fresh fruits and grains are an excellent source of carbohydrates, along with some vegetables. If you have a sweet tooth and must indulge it with the occasional chocolate cake or candy bar, be sure to work out in order to burn the excess energy which would otherwise be converted into fat or glycogen.

Carbohydrates and your metabolism

The body has a very strict priority system when it comes to burning energy. It will always seek to use sugars first, then the fat, and as a last resort, the proteins. For those who are seeking to lose weight, this must be taken into consideration.

You would not go into your savings account, if you had plenty of money in your pocket. Your diet works in a similar way: your metabolism will never consume your adipose tissue, as long as you feed it sugar.

However, there is no need to banish sweets from your life if you are healthy. A regular intake of food, combined with a regimented workout schedule is enough to restore balance in your life.

In fact, hypoglycemia can lead to a series of health problems and decreased mental acuity.

It is everywhere

Due to the process of mass production, food often loses its taste. In order to compensate for that loss, the items are sweetened. Most foods on the market have sugar. Even sour or salty products contain starch and high-fructose corn syrup. A single can of fizzy drink usually contains about 6-12 teaspoons of sugar. If you feel safe eating supermarket fruits, think again. Preservatives that are used to extend shelf life often rob them of their taste, thus they are also sweetened.

The best advice would be to limit your voluntary sugar intake, and always read product labels in order to see what you are putting into your body.

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