Sugar faces more accusations and attacks than the most notorious figures in modern world history. Sugar has been held responsible for the obesity epidemic, touted as being more addictive than cocaine, had the finger pointed at it for a myriad of modern health problems and everything in between, but is it deserving?
Like most things in life, the answer to this question is not a straight yes or no. Consuming excess sugar has been associated with a lot of negative health impacts. These include, but are not limited to; childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, decreased insulin sensitivity and other nasty things like fatty liver disease - oh and did I mention it is more addictive than cocaine? With all that said it would suggest the jury would be out on this matter, but, as I said, things aren't so simple.
Sweet, Sweet, Excess..
The most important point to remember of the above is the word ''excess''. There is no dispute excess sugar consumption has an adverse impact on the health of the western world. For the majority of the population who aren't conscious of the number of calories they consume, sugar is a major problem.
One of the main reasons for this is the fact that sugar has little satiety (ability to make you feel ''full'') and it tastes so damn good. This is a major problem, as it allows people to easily consume excess amounts of sugar and calories, without one's body telling them they have consumed too much (feel ''full''). This is especially prevalent with the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
We have established that sugar can be troublesome for those that don't watch what they eat, so to speak, but what about those that have much more control? This is where the sugar being evil argument breaks down.
Research shows that when you consume sugar in a controlled manner (calorie controlled diets ie tracking macronutrients, calories etc) and replace the consumption of complex carbohydrates with simple carbohydrates (sugar), sugar is far less troublesome for your health. In fact, there seems to be little to no change in things like fat loss and important health markers when sugar is consumed in a calorie controlled diet and overall calorie intake is the same.
Sugar is not evil on its own, it's just a simple old carbohydrate. What makes sugar evil, is, like many things in life; when it is done in excess. I am not suggesting that sugar is great and that you should go munch it down, but the devil is definitely in the dose and it cops a bit of an unfair rap.
Sugar is empty calories and does little to fill you up. This is where old saying ''everything in moderation'' really reigns true for sugar. If you watch what you consume food and calorie wise, eat a healthy and nutritious diet ( like Gym Meals Direct) the odd bit of sugar in your diet won't have any adverse impacts on your health and weight loss.
Sugar alone isn't responsible for the western world's obesity epidemic and major health problems, too many calories, and not enough movement are. So move more and eat better.