Categories
Wellness

Sugar is the new health threat : Findings from Credit Suisse Study

Last week I had written a piece informing people about the dangers of sugar and given them 4 reasons to cut it out of the diet. I received a lot of criticism and some feedback on the piece. I do acknowledge that I am not an endocrinologist and have not conducted any independent study on this topic.

But last week while watching a documentary on sugar consumption from New Zealand, I came across references to a report from Credit Suisse “Sugar: Consumption at Crossroads”

Findings from the Credit Suisse report is more validation of my earlier article. The truth is that the processed food industry has been using sugar in large quantities. In addition to taste, sugar is also a good preservative. And last but not the least I feel Sugar is very addictive, more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol.

Sugar is the new threat to our health

There were three findings from the report that were eye openers. These were

  1. Global Consumption- The global per capita consumption of sugar is up 46% from 48 grams a day to 70 grams a day. This is the addition of 280 calories daily. 70 grams is around 16-18 teaspoons. While this is the average, the US leads the world with 40 teaspoons a day while China has the least which is around 7 teaspoons a day. Picture an American and a Chinese. Now you would know where obesity is coming from….need I say more.
  1. Sugar link with Obesity- While medical research has not been conclusive to link Sugar with Obesity, there are indications that the link will be established soon. Today we have enough indicators putting sugars and carbohydrates as creating a greater risk for Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Attacks. While Insulin resistance is genetically determined, it is established that more than 7 teaspoons for women and more than 9 for men is way above the insulin tolerance levels. This is the amount of sugar found in a single bottle of coca-cola.
  1. Medical Practitioners Agree- While a large scale trial or study keeping a control and a trial group across many years have not been organised as yet, the surveys across medical practitioners across the glove have agreed that sugar is the causative elements for the increase in hearts diseases. The concurrence was as high as 80%. Interestingly the consumption of sugar has declined in the upper strata of the society specially among educated individuals. But sugar finds a way to sneak in through processes food.

So what does all this mean for India?

Well in India the number of deaths in India due to heart diseases stood at 15% in 1990 and now it is up to 28%. The main factor for this has been diet. While factors like hypertension are a direct result of obesity, other factors like environmental pollution and tobacco usage also contributed to this number. In other words, our sugar consumption is killing us faster than we think.

What can we do ?

Here are three steps that I want all my readers to take immediately

  1. Educate yourself- There is enough literature available on the net and as well on research sites. Spend some time reading this and take charge of your health.
  2. Watch Documentaries- There are enough documentaries on channels like Discovery and Amazon Prime. This gives you a sense of the research and though process on this issue across the globe.
  3. Read Nutrition Facts- At the back of all food articles in India, there is a table that indicates the amount of sugar that have been added to the product. Read that carefully. Remember WHO prescribes only 9 teaspoons per male per day and 7 per female. Anything above that is very dangerous.

In conclusion, take charge of your health. If you don’t no one else will. As always comments and suggestions are welcome.

Categories
Wellness

4 reasons to cut out the sugar from your diet.

There is something more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol in your diet and you probably don’t even know about it. Its SUGAR.

Surprise Surprise!!!!!

Sugar is probably the greatest threat to your health today and you are probably not even aware of it…..:)

And I am not talking about the sugar you add to your tea or coffee, but also the sugar that is in processed food like Ketchup, Mayonnaise, and even in healthy food like cornflakes.

Yes Cornflakes,

A research article in Times of India showed the results of some research done on popular Corn Flakes and Muesli brands. The brands included Kellogg, Bagrry’s, and Good earth. The research found these brands have more than double the sugar prescribed. According to the European Regulation on Health and Nutritional Claims (ERHNC), “sugar content higher than 12.5 gm per 100 gm is considered to be high’. All variants in the study were found to be exceptionally high’ in sugar. And not even a single product had printed the sugar content on its packet. ” For more on cornflakes please read this article we wrote earlier on the website.

I have personally started experiencing the addiction and control that sugar has on you. Since the lockdown, to counter the drop in energies while working from home, I had been regularly consuming Cornflakes and Musli, little realizing that it spiked my sugar levels leading to mood swings, headaches (migraine in my case) and a general feeling of low spirits. I was consuming a packet of cream biscuits regularly and I gained around 10 kilograms during this time. All this happened while I was still working out and aware of my consumption.

Cornflakes is another seemingly harmless presence in our diet but is actually dangerous to health

It took me until the end of June to figure out what was going. Since July 2020 I have cut out on any sugar in the diet. I drink Black coffee or green tea. I have swapped out sweets and biscuits with fruit. I know these are early days but I already see an effect on my energy, moods and overall general wellbeing.

So why is sugar so dangerous? Here are some of the reasons from my experience as a doctor and some research that has been publicly released globally.

  1. Sugar is a dumb substance. It has no nutritional value. Any sugar that you need can be made by the body from fruits and dairy products. These are naturally occurring sugars and give you fiber, vitamins, and proteins in addition to the sugar.
  2. Weight gain is an apparent downside to sugar. Sugar disruption the Leptin cycle in the body. Leptin is a hormone that regulates the hunger cycles in the body, any disruption in the Leptin cycle can cause weight gain and hunger pangs. There has been some study on this topic, please read here for more details.
  3. Insulin resistance is another reaction to high sugar diets. There is a myth in India that sugar causes diabetes. While sugar does not cause diabetes, but high levels of sugar in the bloodstream leads insulin coming out to regulate sugar, and this causes insulin to be less effective over a period of time leading to prediabetic conditions.
  4. Last but not the least sugars are also linked to higher triglycerides level in the body leading to heart attacks.

So what I can recommend you is to cut the added sugar from the diet. Also, please don’t switch to Honey or Jaggery as the effect is the same. Like the rules for smoking cessation or alcohol cut out, you need to brutally cut out the sugar, otherwise it will creep back in one spoon at a time.

Please also keep the following in mind

  1. Exercise daily, if you can’t take out 30-40 minutes for exercise you are doomed and will be experiencing high medical costs after 45
  2. Eat only homemade food.
  3. Check the added sugar quantity before buying anything from the market
  4. Load your diet with fruits and vegetables.

Wishing you all a safe reading and better health this year.

Categories
Public Health Wellness

Is alcohol safe for diabetes patients in India ?

We often hear that diabetics need to control their diet and avoid sugar. But can they consume alcohol ?

In this article we seek to cover the great alcohol debate and shed some light on safe alcohol consumption for people living with type 2 diabetes.

The most important rule, and this goes without saying, is to keep alcohol consumption moderate. Studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption may have positive health effects like raising HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. Other studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may even reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. The American Heart Association defines moderate alcohol consumption as 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men. For reference, a single drink is measured as a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine, or 1 ½ oz. of distilled spirits i.e. vodka, whisky, gin etc.

Categories
Public Health

Is Cornflakes for breakfast healthy for India?

 

India is facing an obesity epidemic. Currently an estimated 30 million people in India currently would fall under the obese category.

With this market in place, many organizations have decided to make a play to help us lose weight and fight the obesity epidemic. There are gyms, specialty clinics, fitness diets and portions. Organizations like VLCC have made a huge bang of the buck selling weight loss solutions.