The New Food Rules For Your Health (Part 3)

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Should We Eat Even Less Sugar?

Official guidelines say we should have no more than 10 per cent of our total energy from sugars. Public Health England surveys show that the average intake for adults is 11.6 per cent and for children intake is 15.2 per cent. But new draft guidelines from the WHO suggest we should cut it to below 5 per cent, around six teaspoons – less than the amount in a single can of cola. This applies to all sugars, including table sugar, hidden sugars in manufactured food and those naturally found in fruit juices and honey. The original WHO guidelines on sugar intake were devised 12 years ago and the organisation has since commissioned research that suggests we should now be eating less sugar. A study from the University of Otago in New Zealand reviewed 68 studies and found eating less sugar led to an average weight loss of 0.8kg. A review of 55 studies by the University of Newcastle concluded that the less sugar people ate, the fewer dental cavities they suffered. As a result, the WHO now believes cutting sugars could reduce obesity and tooth decay as well as conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

A study from the University of Otago in New Zealand reviewed 68 studies and found eating less sugar led to an average weight loss of 0.8kg.

A study from the University of Otago in New Zealand reviewed 68 studies and found eating less sugar led to an average weight loss of 0.8kg.

The Verdict

Dr Marilyn Glenville: ‘I agree with this recommendation. Refined sugar causes a rapid and high rise in blood sugar, forcing your pancreas to produce more insulin to deal with the high level of blood sugar. You can end up on a roller coaster of highs and lows, which affects your moods, makes you feel more anxious and tense, and can make you gain weight.

Refined sugar causes a rapid and high rise in blood sugar, forcing your pancreas to produce more insulin to deal with the high level of blood sugar.

Refined sugar causes a rapid and high rise in blood sugar, forcing your pancreas to produce more insulin to deal with the high level of blood sugar.

 

Higher levels of insulin will make your liver produce more LDL (bad cholesterol), and create free radicals, which will oxidise fats that can form plaque in the arteries. It also releases cortisol, which can trigger inflammation, and increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, high-blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.’ Gaynor Bussell: ‘In the UK, we on average eat about 10 per cent more sugar than the current target. Our teenagers push up the average consumption thanks to their love of soft drinks. So, from a public health point of view, rather than setting a target that’s probably impossible to meet (with a dubious health benefit overall), I’d still aim for the current target of no more than 0g a day for adults (10 per cent of your total daily calorie intake). A start would be to target drinks, especially among teenagers.’

Our teenagers push up the average consumption thanks to their love of soft drinks which leads to higher levels of insulin in their bodies.

Our teenagers push up the average consumption thanks to their love of soft drinks which leads to higher levels of insulin in their bodies.

 

 

 
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