If you are consuming more than nine teaspoons (38 grams) of sugar a day, and you are not burning off the excess, then the excess is converting to fat. It is as simple as that. According to the European Diabetes Journal, just one can of soft drink per day increases your chance of developing diabetes by 22%!
So what is sugar? Sugar is a type of carbohydrate, needed by our body for energy. It may be called different names, e.g. sucrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, raw sugar, cane sugar, malt extract and molasses.
Sugar in food and drinks can be naturally occurring, for example in fruit and dairy products, or added during processing, e.g. in confectionary, cakes, biscuits and sauces. Some “healthy” foods contain added sugars for flavour or food technology reasons, for example in flavoured yoghurt and some breakfast cereals. So if processed food is advertised as 97% fat-free, and it tastes good, it is likely that the taste buds are dancing to the added sugar.
How much sugar is OK? The American Heart Foundation advises that women consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day (100 calories) whereby men should consume no more than nine teaspoons. (150 calories)
Some sources are showing Australians to be averaging 30 teaspoons of sugar a day. Consume one can of soft drink per day, and that is your daily sugar intake recommendation.
Why is too much sugar bad for you? When you eat a lot of high sugar meals or consume sugary drinks, your body’s demand for insulin increases. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to convert food into usable energy. When insulin levels are consistently high, your body’s sensitivity to the hormone is reduced, and glucose builds up in the blood. This can lead to symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, hunger and high blood pressure. It also leads to weight gain around the waist. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realise they are insulin resistant until it develops into full-blown diabetes.
High sugar intake also makes the liver go into overdrive. It becomes inflamed as it can’t handle the increase of fructose. Fructose is a key contributor to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. And if the liver can’t convert sugar into energy what does it do? It converts it into fat and sends it into the bloodstream. And of course, that fat has to lodge somewhere.
And for the brain, sugar can be a poison. Sugar can be addictive for some people. Like addictive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward centre of the brain. Too much sugar = too much dopamine. And with some people, they go searching for the next hit, whether that be in junk food or a sweet drink.
So what do I do now with this information? Really it is about awareness and knowing what you are consuming. It is about reading the labels on food packaging, knowing that one teaspoon of sugar is about 4.2 grams. It is about knowing when your body is craving something sweet, and also being aware that “hey I’m not really hungry!” then stopping and asking yourself “well what do I really want?” The chances are that the answer will NOT BE sugar.
I had a hypnotherapy client recently who was drinking three cans of soft drink per day (amounting to 27 teaspoons of sugar daily). After hypnosis, she kicked the habit and lost 5 kilos in 2 weeks. If you have a sugar problem and it is now contributing to your health and/or weight problems, give me a call and discover how Hypnotherapy can allow you to regain control. Over the past 13 years as a professional Clinical Hypnotherapist, I’ve been able to assist many clients to make the changes necessary to move towards their goals. If sugar intake is ruining your life, I’d love to work with you.
Are you ready to be in control of sugar intake? Cameron Hypnotics has created a 4 Session Weight Release program for $499 (see offer page 37 of the online magazine).