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The truth about sugar

It's addictive, potentially harmful and absolutely everywhere. But is sugar really a poison?

About 35 years ago, the developed world made a radical change in its diet. We stripped away fat, and added sugar. For instance, since 1990, consumption of sugar in Britain has increased by 31 per cent - now eating 1.25lbs per person a week.

There are seven spoonfuls of sugar in a can of cola. Lots of people know that. But do you know that more than 60 per cent of a Slimfast drink is made up of sugar?*

There's undoubtedly a correlation between our increased sugar intake, over the past 30 years, and this explosion in obesity, diabetes and other metabolic problems.

Robert Lustig, professor of clinical paediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, and an expert on childhood obesity, says one of the most important things that happens in your liver when you eat fructose.

There's a complicated chain of events, but the upshot is something called "leptin resistance". Leptin is a hormone produced to tell us when we're full; it's the "satiety hormone". When we eat too much fructose, leptin is sometimes switched off. We don't know when we're full. That's why so many people are off-the-scale-fat these days. They don't have a proper satiety signal. The sugar they eat causes them to produce too much insulin, which gives them blood-sugar crashes, which makes them crave more sugar, and on and on. Meanwhile, they develop insulin resistance. Next stop: diabetes. Somewhere down the line: huge health care costs.

Read more:

 November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  You can find out more information about Diabetes by visiting Diabetes Queensland or lend your support to them by purchasing CardioTech's BreakFree Treadmill which helps provide donations to Diabetes Queensland in 2013/14.




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