Sometimes, as part of your job, you don’t know what’s around the corner. Certainly, last week I hadn’t anticipated Gemma’s invitation to join her on a sugar-free 8-week challenge, but I love the idea.
Perhaps not as much as I love sugar….
…but as someone very recently diagnosed with a mind-boggling number of skin allergies, and with our guru of choice – Sarah Wilson – reporting that her skin improved after going sugar-free – alongside losing weight and regaining her ‘sparkle’ – I decided it might be time for my love affair with sugar to take an extended sabbatical, or even to break up with it forever: ‘It’s not me, it’s you…’.
There’s no denying that the evidence is growing in support of reduced sugar intake, as we in the dental industry know all too well. Beyond Public Health England’s toolkit for prevention recommendation that the average intake of free sugars should not exceed 5% of total dietary energy intake, there’s more to the white (and brown) stuff than meets the eye.
Sugar provides ‘empty’ calories – it has no discernible nutritional benefit. You may also have heard that it’s bad for your teeth and contributes to obesity(!)
Studies have also shown that there are links between sugar intake and a number of diseases. For instance, added sugar is high in fructose, which can result in a fatty liver, creating an increased risk of problems such as diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In extreme cases it can even lead to cirrhosis.
Type II diabetes is, perhaps, the best known of the diseases linked to sugar intake. As I’ve recently learned, insulin allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and tells the cells to start burning glucose instead of fat. If insulin stops working as it should (insulin resistance), sugar levels become dangerously high and may contribute to the development of Type II diabetes. Too much glucose in the blood is also one of the primary drivers in diabetic complications such as blindness.
I think that’s enough of the worrying possibilities, so back to me and my love of sugar. I love the idea of being healthy more. So, goodbye chocolate, goodbye biscuits, goodbye honey loops, goodbye doughnuts. A big hello to nuts, cinnamon, greens and haloumi. I hope we’ll be the best of friends….
Blog Post by Nicola Kramer. Editorial Manager. Barker PR.