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Sugar, starch and fat: friend or foe?
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What it does

What it does

Hidden sugars find their way onto our plates and half the time we’re not even aware we're eating them, which is the worst thing...

They’re stored as fat. Sugars are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, espcially when they’re eaten on their own (ie not with a meal). Sugar-rich foods destabilise your system, so such large amounts of energy are stored as fat.

They make you crave more sugar. This is known as reactive hypoglycaemia : when you eat foods with a high GI index, your blood sugar levels go through the roof and you secrete insulin. Your blood sugar level then drops to a very low level and this makes you reach for the biscuin tin because you’re hungry for more sugar!

They’re addictive. No, really! The more sugary foods you eat from infancy, the more you ‘need.’ If you’re used to eating lots of sugar you find yourself adding it to everything because you’re not used to unsweetened foods.

They make you put on weight. Because of all this, sugar is a major factor in obesity and all the illnesses associated with it (diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, etc). And as if sugar on its own doesn’t contain enough calories (1g or saccharose = 4kcal), it’s often the case that sugary foods are also really high in fat (think cakes, pastries, and ice cream). This means there’s even more energy in what you eat that can be stored as fat.

Ideally, you should limit the amount of sugar you eat as far as possible to stay trim and healthy. But in reality we all like a treat now and again, so we just need to get the balance right to avoid piling on the pounds!

Read on to find out how much sugar is OK…


Sarah Horrocks
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