SUGAR IS BAD & MAKES YOU FAT (MYTH OR FACT?!)

For the longest time, sugar has received a bad rap, and has been firmly projected as being one of the primary contributors to increases in obesity rates among the general populous. Many abide by the belief that anything sugary is unhealthy and should be avoided completely if your goal is to lose fat & get in shape.

Before we delve any further, it is important to understand first what sugar is and the role it plays in our bodies. Sugar or sucrose, when consumed, is converted into glucose, which is our bodies primary source of fuel. Whenever glucose is released into the bloodstream, insulin is also released in tandem. Insulin is a pancreatic hormone whose purpose is to shuttle glucose into the muscles and liver, where it can then be used as energy when necessary.

Should you consume a lot of sugar in one go, your body will react by releasing large quantities of insulin in order to rid your blood of the excessive glucose. Should you do this over & over again, for days and months and even years on end, then eventually your bodies insulin response will wane & you will become insulin resistant.

All this means is that your body will become ineffective at regulating your bodies’ blood sugar levels. Meaning even if your blood glucose is stable, because your body is so conditioned to releasing large swaths of insulin due to your high sugar intake, then it will respond to carbohydrates being ingested, even in relatively small quantities,  by releasing an excessive amount of insulin. As a result, your blood will now be too low in blood sugar, leaving you hypoglycaemic. And these are the beginnings of a lifelong struggle with diabetes.

That being said, not all sugar is the same. And in fact, there is one kind, that can & should be eaten in abundance. And that is fructose; the sugar found naturally occurring in fruits. Fructose is broken down by the body at a slower pace than pure sucrose, and as such allows for a much more stable release of energy, glucose & insulin into the bloodstream. This will much better regulate your energy throughout the day, as opposed to the erratic high and inevitable crash brought about by over consuming foods high in sugar.

Now, before you go burn down all the Oreos in the pantry, calm down & listen to what I have to say.

Sugar, is not bad for you, when eaten in MODERATION.  The key word here being just that. MODERATION. More often than not, we don’t stop at just two bars of chocolate. We would much rather devour the entire pack! And therein lies the real problem. It is not sugar being prevalent in chocolate that is bad. Rather, it is our tendency to over consume it.

Eating/drinking anything in excess is not good for you. Should you eat too much of anything, even fruit, you will run the risk of being hyper-caloric (eating more calories than it takes to maintain your bodyweight), and you will gain weight/body fat over time. The solution should not be to completely remove all things sweet from our diet. In fact, in order for most people that enjoy sugary treats to get the best results from their dietary regimen (be that fat loss or muscle gain), then it is actually highly recommended that they include at least some sugar in their diet on a frequent, if not daily basis.

This is what will allow them to adhere to their diet long term. Because they won’t feel restricted! And knowing that you can have a small treat every day funnily enough, might even null your cravings altogether. It is human nature to want what we can’t have. Simply knowing you can have some, whenever you wish, even on a daily basis (within your caloric budget of course), will make you want it less.

And for those that think that sugar in itself will make you fat. As long as you are eating in a calorie deficit (eating less calories than it takes to maintain your bodyweight), then you will lose fat regardless of how many gummy bears you ate before going to bed.

That being said, because being healthy is our number one priority, moderate you sugar intake within the confines of your calorie budget & you will find that you can have your cake & eat it too!

Just not all of it.