In large quantities, sugar is responsible for many ailments. It is for this very reason that some people opt to remove it completely from their diet, while others become “addicts”.
Quite simply, too much sugar can cause Nash, an acronym for Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis, a disease also known as fatty liver disease. You may have heard of the journalist’s Pierre Menès liver transplant which resulted from this same disease? A perfect example of the sort of complications that can occur if you do not pay attention to the harmful effects of excess sugar.
How does sugar cause excess fat ?
Excess sugar can cause excess weight which in turn can generate a resistance to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. At the same time, over secretion of insulin can affect the liver causing an accumulation of fat.
This is what happens when geese are force fed to obtain foie gras. After a few years, the pancreas is too exhausted to continue secreting the insulin required to counter the overconsumption of sugar which can cause type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, this disease is asymptomatic which means it’s difficult to detect. In addition, Steatohepatitis can not be cured. However, an improvement in lifestyle, consisting of finding a balanced diet and practicing sports, can limit the progression of Nash and its further development.
How to reduce your sugar consumption?
Always favour quality over quantity. If you only want to reduce your sugar consumption without completely eliminating it, you need to first identify the hidden sugars which are are very common: look at the labels, and avoid sweeteners that trick your brain into believing that you are eating sugar!
If a product that you always buy obviously contains sugar, for example spreads, compare the labels so you choose a product where sugar is as far down on the list as possible – that will mean that there is less sugar.
Then, on a daily basis, replace your white sugar with fruits in yogurt and honey in coffee or tea. Unlike refined white sugar, fruits and honey -with their vitamins and minerals- have a nutritional value. In addition, its sweetening power is far greater: for the same quantity, honey has a far sweeter taste than normal table sugar.
How to reduce your child’s consumption of sugar?
Does your child only eat cakes and fizzy drinks? If so, you should try these following techniques to help reduce their intake:
- Offer them homemade drinks such as lemonade or homemade juices, they, and the whole family, will benefit.
- Buy flavoured waters without added sugar or sparkling water to offer a little variety.
- Get them to help out in the kitchen! You could try making homemade cookies, cakes or spreads together using the amount of sugar of your choice. More and more recipes on the internet are replacing sugar with healthier substitutes.
- If he or she is still young, make them a balanced snack: a fruit, a yogurt and a juice for example, or bread, squares of milk chocolate and a milk drink.
- Only serve up plain, still water at meals. This should remain the first source of hydration.
It is never easy to reduce your consumption of sugar and even less so to stop all together as it is a product that can lead to a real dependence. However, after a few days of total abstinence, you will see that your desire for sugar will have decreased, and after a few weeks, extremely sweet products will no longer give you any pleasure. This discipline will not only allow you to reduce your risk of sugar-related diseases but also help you to get into better shape.
Moreover, in addition to reducing your risk of Nash, you will obtain some real benefits to your health.
We can help you reduce your sugar intake by making you personalised meals according to your tastes. Take a look at the program Equilibre