Sugar is both good and bad for you, but, are you consuming "your" recommended amount?

With all the uses we have for sugar, it’s shocking some of the misconceptions it still carries. Your body needs it to function and it’s the main energy source for your brain. With that said, sugar is sugar and the bottom line is that your body recognizes it as just that. You may have seen ads on TV with high fructose corn syrup and how it may be good or bad for you depending on who’s telling you; either food manufactures or health professionals. The best question you can ask is what is your recommended amount for consumption? As mentioned before sugar is sugar whether in concentrated form in small amounts or diluted form in large amounts, our bodies breaks it down and uses it the same. What it takes to break down certain forms of sugar to usable forms is what separates the good from the bad.

The form of sugar your body uses as energy is glucose if you recall correctly from those boring biology classes back in high school. Problem is there are many forms of sugar that we are presented with daily such as fructose (from fruits), sucrose (table sugar) lactose (from milk), maltose (from seeds such as barley) and so on. It takes enzymes and chemical reactions in your body to turn any form of sugar into glucose, the type that can be properly used. This is why it is important to understand your sugar intake and limit it to the right amount you need so excess is not converted into and stored as fat. Our bodies naturally have a way of bringing our sugar levels down when we take in too much because excess is not only stored as fat but also wreaks havoc on our cells internally. This in part leads to metabolic diseases such as diabetes and pancreatitis. Insulin is how we regulate our sugar and too much of it overtime reduces its efficacy which in turn leads to such diseases mentioned.

It’s really a vicious cycle and the way to break and stop it is to educate ourselves and take charge of our health. Do you know your recommended amount of sugar? How much is too much to take in daily? One of the best take home messages from this article is knowing the right questions to ask a healthcare professional. Certain disease such as type 2 diabetes is solely caused by lifestyle choices such as overburdening your body with large amounts of sugar intake. We must all understand our health is ultimately our own responsibility so knowing the right information helps guide our daily decision making in food selection which is the number one influence on our wellness.


Yaw Agyapong RN, BSN, CPT
Lion Heart Health and Fitness LLC.

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