Fact or fiction – is sugar addictive?

Fact or fiction – is sugar addictive?

Despite the common alternative cancer treatment myth that reducing our sugar consumption will help our body fight against cancer, 'excessive consumption of sugar is a major contributor to the increasing rates of obesity in both Australia and globally.', so there are good reasons to reduce our sugar consumption to improve our overall health. Amy Reichelt, Lecturer, RMIT University, explains why cutting sugar out of our diets very difficult and the benefits of doing so : theconversation.com/fact-or...

Neil

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  • Since the New Year I have worked diligently to cut back on my sugar intake - I have reduced the amount of sugar in muffin recipes in half, have hardly eaten any cookies or sweetened chocolate. I have dropped 4 pounds and feel more energetic, therefore walking more, further, and at a better pace - I can now outwalk the older folks with walkers. It is difficult at times so I do indulge in a sweet bun or some maple syrup in plain yogurt on occasion. Five more pounds to go and I will be at my pre-diagnosis weight. Hopefully my energy level goes up too.

    Sending my healing energy,

    Sandy Beaches

  • Reducing the amount of sugar used in recipes is certainly a great way to reduce our intake if we do our own baking. It's amazing how sickly sweet the original recipe can taste after we've become use to less sugar!

  • Cutting out sugar and desserts, etc. no problem for me. The less you eat of them, the less you want them. It's harder on the social level, when everyone is eating dessert, and you are eating a banana, but no biggie.

    For me, gaining weight is hard. I have been the same weight since my 20s.

    Is this potentially a problem?

  • I'd say it depends on your weight and fitness :) . The sweet spot for longevity for older people (that's most of us), is apparently a BMI of around 26, the theory being that having some fat reserves can help us through illnesses (and for some of us, treatment):

    huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/...

    Neil

  • Oh dear. I do try. But.........

    Peggy

  • I've read that sugar depletes the immune system, although my GP said she'd not heard this! Better safe than sorry, I'm unaware of any nutritional value to it other than energy, of which other foods usually supply enough, so I don't buy anything with added sugar or honey or artificial sweeteners. Natural fruit sugars seem to supply plenty & I don't drink fruit juice, having bad teeth already!

  • I think there's undoubtedly a 'craving element' to sugar based products but whether this could be classed as an addiction, I'm not sure. Many people would admit to being 'chocolate addicts'.

    In my opinion the greatest threat to our systems are simple, non complex carbohydrates because eventually most carbohydrates end up as glucose, which the cells use primarily as a source of energy. The amount of glucose in the blood, known as blood sugar, is a critical gauge of cellular energy and must be kept within a certain range by your body.

    Many newly diagnosed diabetics become obsessed with sugar content but sugar is not necessarily the critical component, carbs are and for me, 2 slices of white bread would spike my blood sugar levels much more rapidly than a Mars bar! The fat content of foods actually slows down the absorption rate and glucose spike but high levels can occur later. It's why diabetics know to have full fat cream with strawberries!

    It's the associated systemic inflammation caused by consistently high sugar levels that tests our immune systems so as well as sugar, my advice would be to massively reduce the carbs and choose them carefully on the GI index.

    Newdawn

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