“What’s in a name? That which we call sugar…
…by any other name would be as sweet.”
What could be more shocking than realizing how much ADDED sugar we’re unconsciously eating?
Learning how much NATURAL sugar we don’t realize we’re eating.
“Sugar goes by many names” Carly Weeks writes in this past Monday’s Globe article. She lists a few common sugar additives including, caramel, dextrose, glucose-fructose, corn syrup…certainly some of the most concentrated sources of glucose and hence calories. The density of glucose is directly connected to the calories contained in a food. Glucose is 4 cal/gram.
Which brings up a very important point. What experts forget to explain in these articles is that glucose is glucose is glucose. It is all the same once it enters the bloodstream from the intestines. Even if the “added sugars” were NOT added, a cup of all-natural grains (starch) is still a dense source of…yes, glucose.
While the food industry certainly caters to our craving for sweet, our brain has a weakness for the thrill of glucose in all its forms, sweet or otherwise, which is why we justify bread and pasta as healthy whole grains. To pin obesity and diabetes on foods with “added” sugars is leaving out half the tale.
You can avoid all packaged, processed, prepared foods, stay away from canned tomato sauce, fruit yogurts, and flavoured oatmeal, and STILL be overweight, have high blood sugar, excess insulin, and the parade of problems that come alongside. You can avoid cookies, cakes, sweets, and pop from now on, and STILL be eat too much sugar.
To answer that, let’s take a closer look at what happens with food once you eat it. How does food transform from what you put in your mouth into what the cells receive through your bloodstream? What happens when you eat rice, barley, oats, or any other whole grain, legume, or vegetable? What happens to these foods as they move through the intestines and into the blood stream? Do they simply become tinier versions of themselves?
Everything you eat – that isn’t a pure protein or a fat – is broken down into glucose, and small amounts of water, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. The only thing that counts calorically is glucose. Grains break down into hundreds and hundreds of glucose molecules. The exact same glucose molecule that is added to foods in a factory.
Glucose is what most FOODS are naturally made up of. And it is what they break down into through digestion. Not mini oat flakes. Glucose.
What are you to eat, then? Well, that depends. Anything is fine in small amounts, but if you have weight to lose, best to cut back on anything that doesn’t offer vital nutrients, so you can use up the stored fuel in fat storage. And since your fat stores can easily be converted back into glucose energy as needed, minimizing carbohydrates makes the most logical sense.