Day 40 -What’s good about sugar?

Hi there! Contrary to popular belief, sugar does have it’s place in your diet. There are complex carbs and simple sugars. Sounds pretty innocent right? IT’s very complex and the difference between the two is day and night. According to Ann Jamerson with Demand Media here is the scoop:

Immediate Energy

Sucrose, or table sugar, is the main source of sugar in most American diets. It consists of one molecule of fructose and one molecule of glucose, your body’s primary energy source. Your body cannot absorb the disaccharide, or two-sugar molecule, as is, so it must first sever the chemical link connecting the two sugars. The enzyme sucrase in your small intestine assists with the breakdown of sucrose into fructose and glucose. This allows your body to absorb them, transport them to the liver for processing and distribute them throughout the body. The hormone insulin then facilitates the uptake of glucose into cells, where it is metabolized into energy for immediate use.

Stored Fuel

To conserve fuel, you body stores excess glucose not needed for energy as a compound called glycogen. Through a process called glycogenesis, your liver creates glycogen chains up to hundreds of thousands of glucose molecules long connected through chemical bonds. Your body breaks down glycogen into single glucose units for energy when primary sources are not available; this typically occurs during times between meals, at night while sleeping and during workouts to prevent dangerous drops in your blood sugar.

Complex Sugars

The main reason sugar receives such negative criticism pertains to its lack of nutritive value. The American Heart Association and other health organizations recommend that most of your sugar intake come in the form of complex carbohydrates. Simple sugars, such as table sugar, honey and syrup, metabolize quickly and cause rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in grains, starchy vegetables, breads and cereals, take longer to digest. This results in steadier blood sugar levels and sustained energy. Also, complex carbohydrates tend to provide more vitamins and minerals than sources of simple sugars.

Considerations

Sugar has its place in your diet, but many health and diet experts warn that excess sugar consumption can lead to several serious health complications and diseases. The American Heart Association reports that most Americans consume an average of 22 grams of added sugar per day, much higher than the recommended 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. University of Iowa Health Care notes that glucose that exists beyond your body’s storage capacity for glycogen is turned into fat. Dr. Robert Lustig of the University of California San Francisco warns that consistent, excessive sugar intake disrupts your normal eating pattern, causes overeating and leads to obesity. To decrease your risk for these complications, enjoy foods and drinks with added sugar in moderation and choose complex sugars more often over simple sugars.

SOOOOO…… let’s discuss moderation for minute. What is moderation? Webster’s Dictionary defines moderation as “the avoidance of excess or extremes, especially in one’s behavior or political opinions.” Or in Trudi’s case and a few others I know, with SUGAR and SWEETS! Some of the cravings have come back this week. I am wondering why, and I think it’s simple. My mother-in-law said it perfectly today while she was doing my hair. She said the moment that you say, “I am NEVER consuming sugar again,” that’s when your mind starts freaking out. I must agree because I have been struggling this week with my decision and it’s because I have been confirming the “never again” and it’s something that my mind cannot comprehend. So, back to the basics and it’s “one day at a time.” Just for today – it’s 3:43pm and I have not consumed sugar today.

Until tomorrow……

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