Health

Sugar Bombs

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A small bomb can still inflict a great deal of damage, depending on how close you get…

 

It’s been estimated the average American consumes 12 – 14 teaspoons of sugar a day.

While most reasonable adults would not consume 12 teaspoons of sugar consciously, most adults DO consume this amount unconsciously. We’re talking about sugars hidden in condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce; ‘healthy’ foods like yogurt, certain breakfast cereals, and ‘low-fat’ and ‘no sugar-added’ or all-natural’ labelled foods; and lastly, fruits.

Yes, fruits.

I’m not saying eating fruits is not healthy. I am saying that if a fruit is sweet enough to taste good, then you are in fact tasting sugar (sweetness), and eating sugar. A debate has raged around the concept that naturally-occurring sugars are healthier for you. Sadly, at the end of the day, too much sugar, in any form, is no good.

Let me explain.

Consuming sugars is not the issue. The body’s reaction to the consumed sugar is. After eating sugar, the blood glucose (sugar) level rises, the pancreas secrete a hormone called insulin into the blood stream, the sugar is driven from the blood into different cells and tissues and organs, and everything goes back to the way it was before eating the sugar.

If the sugar from food is readily absorbed into the blood, which happens with simple sugars like processed sugars and sugar from a sweet piece of fruit, the blood glucose level shoots up very rapidly, and now the body finds itself in an emergency situation. Insulin needs to be released rapidly and in large quantities, and the net effect is to absorb the sugar and store it as rapidly as possible, typically in the form of fat. This of course leads to weight gain. It also leads to that mid-afternoon slump. You literally ran out of fuel!

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About Dr. Michael Dimayuga

M.D., Internal Medicine Specialist - Clinical Instructor at Yale University 1990-1991 Chief Resident; Griffin Hospital Yale University School of Medicine, and more than 25 years practicing internal medicine. NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Premier Diploma 2006.

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