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.
There were three findings from the report that were eye openers. These were
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
This Post Has 6 Comments
Totally agree with you. Thanks for sharing article.Direct Sugar and hidden in carbs is the most worrisome and big cause of obesity. I started cautious decision of my sugar intake since 2018 dec and now I feel more energetic and less cravings for sugar. Sugar is addictive much more than anything.
Agree Kiten this has been a big revelation to me and maybe the implications for India are significant….
Thank You Sir for such a wonderful article!! Indeed, it’s an eye-opener the way we consume sugar actively on a daily basis. We must be extra cautious & keep our sugar intake in check. Switching to Nutritious/green leafy foods is a good alternative to keep our self healthy.
Thank you, Alok, Great to hear that from you. Please stay safe and keep healthy.
Dr Vikram you should kindly clarify which sugar. Is sucrose the problem? Is fructose the problem? Even food is a problem if over eaten? What do you recommend about adding food? Does fructose lowers blood sugar level? Does sucrose raise blood sugar level?
Any added sugar is an issue. Natural sugars are fine. Please watch out for added sugars in all processed food.