Health Hub: Watch out for the sugar, say scientists

For years, people have been asked to “watch out for the fat” in processed foods, with zero-calorie and diet being the catchphrases of an entire generation of weight watchers. Research has now emerged that major sugar industry executives funded research in the 1960s to convince the public to consume more sugar and less fat.

According to a recent study by Cristin E. Kearns of the University of California, San Francisco, U.S., published in the American Medical Association’s journal of internal medicine, sugar-industry funded research “singled out fat and cholesterol as the dietary causes of coronary heart disease, and downplayed the role of sugar”.

Hidden sugars in food items cause unnecessary pressure on the pancreatic system, said Bengaluru-based diabetologist Balaji Jaganmohan. “Almost anything you take has some amount of sugar or sugar substitute in it, which alters body metabolism in a negative way,” said Dr. Jaganmohan.

Food with high glycemic index puts pressure on beta cells (which store and secret insulin) to produce insulin, while low glycemic foods such as greens and salads enter the system slowly. Eventually, a high sugar content diet coupled with poor exercise and sleep habits can affect the functioning of beta cells and lead to Type II diabetes.

While the jury is still out on the good and bad of sugar, it would be wise to check out the sugar content of what goes into your diet. Added sugar is an ingredient in many so-called “healthy” foods, from breakfast cereals, granola bars and flavoured yoghurt. A good indicator is to see how high sugar comes up in the ingredient list, the closer to the top, the higher the amount of sugar in the product. Steer clear of high sugar products such as carbonated drinks: a 330ml-can could contain as much as seven teaspoons of sugar, more than the daily recommended amount for a healthy adult.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 2:13:39 PM |

Next Story