Here are the facts about sugar
Sugar does not cause diabetes
It is a common myth that eating sugar is related to the development of diabetes, a disorder of blood glucose metabolism. Blood glucose is the type of sugar found in our bodies. There is no evidence that eating sugar causes diabetes. Scientific research has recently proven that past understanding of sugar’s role in the diet of people with diabetes was wrong. We now know that sugar affects blood glucose levels in the same way as many breads, and much less than potato, rice or glucose itself. Eating sugar does not result in the high blood glucose levels previously thought. As a result, including a moderate amount of sugar along with a wide variety of other carbohydrate foods is now the preferred option in most dietary recommendations for managing diabetes.
Sugar is not fattening
Research has confirmed that very little carbohydrate from the food we eat is converted to body fat under normal circumstances. This is true of all types of carbohydrate, including sugar. In other words contrary to what many people have been led to believe, sugar does not make you fat. Sugar has about the same number of calories (or kilojoules) as protein and about half the calories per gram of fat and alcohol. In other words, fat and alcohol have about twice as many calories as the same amount of carbohydrate, and scientific evidence shows that the body handles these nutrients quite differently. The old thinking that a kilojoule is a kilojoule and it doesn’t matter where it comes from is no longer valid. A high intake of fat is far more likely to result in weight gain than a high intake of carbohydrate. This is because fat from the diet is efficiently stored by the body while carbohydrate, which needs to be converted to fat before storage, is not. And losing weight means losing stored body fat.
We now have information on the Glycaemic Index which has become a powerful tool for people with diabetes to manage their blood glucose.
The Glycaemic Index (GI)
Knowledge of the Glycaemic Index of foods allows people with diabetes to manage their blood glucose level. Before this information was available it was perplexing for a person to eat the same quantities of what appeared to be similar foods only to find huge fluctuations in blood sugar.
GI is a way of measuring and then ranking foods according to their effect on blood sugar or blood glucose levels. Foods are tested and ranked, compared to the standard food glucose which has a GI set at 100.
Some examples of the GI of foods are:
High GI (above 70)Moderate GI (55-70)
calrose rice 87
rice bubbles 83
jelly beans 80
morning coffee biscuits 79
white bread 70
cane sugar 65
new potato 62
pita bread 57
shredded wheatmeal biscuit 62
Low GI (below 55)
milk (whole) 34
oats porridge 49
A Pure Carbohydrate
Today sugar is hardly ever eaten on its own. Sugar makes many nutritious foods taste better and so more likely to be eaten. Research shows that people who eat moderate amounts of sugar can have better nutrient intakes than people who eat either very small or very large amounts of added sugar. "Sugar is just empty calories" is a criticism which has been leveled at the product for many years. By "empty calories", critics mean that sugar as a pure carbohydrate contains only calories - no other vitamins or minerals.
Sugar Does Not Cause Hyperactivity
There are food ingredients which have been shown to effect behaviour, including some colourings and preservatives, and it is important to consider the effect of these in any evaluation of behaviour problems. The perception that sugar produces a "high" and causes behaviour problem, particularly in children, has been disproved. Not only is there no scientific evidence to support this view but in fact carbohydrates are actually thought to have a calming and mildly quieting effect on some children.
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