Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Monday, July 14, 2014

Go Easy On The Sugar

 Strawberry Vanilla Filled Donut
Statistics Canada reported early in the year that Canadians absorb over 20 percent of total caloric intake from sugars, inclusive of natural and added sugars. That would be sugars contained naturally as fructose, for example, in fresh fruit, in vegetables, grains and a multitude of daily sources. And, as well foods like milk, soft drinks, fruit juice, baked goods and candies.
Image result for soft drinks
Adults derive roughly 18% of their daily sugar intake from fruit, 13% from soft drinks, 11% from table sugars and 10% from milk. For those 9 to 18 years of the age, 14% is derived from drinking soft drinks, 14% from milk, 11% from fruits and 10% from candy. For children one to eight years of age the percentage of total sugar intake is 20% from milk, 15% from fruit, 15% from fruit juice, and 9% from candy.

Canada's Food Guide makes no recommendations respecting how much sugar Canadians should eat for optimum balance in their diet. Perhaps there's a good reason for that, since there is little consensus on what constitutes just the right amount of sugar that can be safely consumed. The World Health Organization's figure is no more than ten percent of total calories to come from added sugars, syrups, honey and fruit juice. The U.S. Institute of Medicine's suggestion is no more than 25% of total calories to come from added sugar to the daily diet.

There's quite a disparity in the WHO allowable sugar consumption for good health and that of the U.S. Institute of Medicine. Americans consume far more soft drinks than do Canadians, but Canadians aren't all that far behind, though sugar consumption in Canada is seen to be on the down side over the past four decades or so.

Canadians derive about 13 percent of their total energy intake from sugars added to foods and drinks, according to a recent study in the journal Nutrient. Researchers combined data respecting the availability of sugar for consumption, survey data on consumption from the Canadian Community Health Survey, and estimates of soft-drink consumption to obtain a more precise idea of the role of added sugar in our diets.

Since the mid-1960s, Canadians have consumed less sugar, but the figures arrived at didn't include corn-based sweeteners, such as high-fructose corn syrup, universally used in soft drinks since the 1970s. It's worth a quick look at how sugar impacts on human health:
  • Acne - The American Academy of Dermatology wrote an article in 2013 reflecting growing evidence of a link between diet and acne. The AAD wrote that high-glycemic-index foods that spike blood-sugar levels, like sugar, could result in increased acne.
  • Alzheimer's - A study published in 2013 by Tulane University discovered high-blood-sugar levels stimulate the beta amyloid protein linked to Alzheimer's disease to become more toxic to cells lining blood vessels in the brain. "The study supports growing evidence pointing to glucose levels and vascular damage as contributors to dementia."
  • Diabetes - Sugar appears to play a role in Type 2 diabetes [often referred to as adult-onset, as opposed to Juvenile diabetes, more commonly referred to as Type 1, which has a distinct genetic component] where a high-calorie diet contributes to obesity, elevating the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The link between sugary drinks and Type 2 diabetes seems increasingly noted by research. It was revealed in a study published in 2010, in Diabetes Care that people who consumed the highest amount of sugary drinks (1 to 2 servings daily) had a 26% elevated risk of developing metabolic disease and Type 2 diabetes compared to those who had less than one serving each month.
  • Heart disease - This condition, ranking as the second-leading cause of death in Canada has a high-sugar diet connection. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine indicated that people who consumed 25% or more of daily calories from sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease compared with participants followed over a 15-year period whose diets were comprised of less than 10 percent added sugar. It is interesting to note that researchers studied the participants' overall diets so that for those who had otherwise healthy diets, consuming elevated amounts of sugar still increased the likelihood of dying from heart disease; good diets do not compensate for the ill effects of sugar over-consumption.
  • Stroke - The third-leading cause of death, sugar consumption may be a factor in its onset. More than 40 percent of patients in a study of 656 adults admitted to hospital because of a stroke had abnormally high blood sugar levels at the time of admission, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in their study published in 2002. Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic and Harvard University found ten years later that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and low-calorie sodas were linked to a higher risk of stroke.
Go easy on the sugar.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet