California – New evidence proves that reducing sugar consumption can improve your health almost instantaneously. The finding links sugar with conditions that lead to diabetes and heart disease in children.
Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, and Touro University California separated sugar to study it separately, and not in relation with calories. Fructose was found to be the worst of all types of sugar.
Studying the effects of sugar in a lab can be difficult, as scientists want to see the effects as soon as possible, and sometimes they do not have the time to observe the potential effects that appear with time. Moreover, the majority of studies conducted in this subject do not separate sugar from calories, making it even more complicated.
Nevertheless, Dr. Robert Lustig, lead author, and his partners believe that they have “produced the hard and fast data that sugar is toxic irrespective of its calories and irrespective of weight,” according to TIME.
For years now, the U.S. has condemned fast food and fat, but experts say that Americans replaced it with added sugar, leading to diabetes, obesity and heart diseases.
Processed food instead of sugar
Researchers took away pastries, soda, sugary cereals and other types of food containing added sugar from 43 children and teens for nine days, replacing those with pizza, baked potato chips, and other processed foods.
These children were patients at a UCSF obesity clinic, showing symptoms of metabolic syndrome, present in patients with high cholesterol and susceptible to suffer from diabetes. This syndrome results in high blood pressure, high blood glucose levels, an excess of body fat and high cholesterol levels.
Those who gave up sugar had a drop in cholesterol and blood pressure. Also, their liver functions improved, as the insulin levels were also cut, according to the results published in the journal Obesity.
“This study definitively shows that sugar is metabolically harmful not because of its calories or its effects on weight; rather sugar is metabolically harmful because it’s sugar,” Lustig said, according to The Telegraph UK.
Results show that all the measures of metabolic health improved, without the need of changing the number of calories consumed, without doing exercise or trying to lose weight.
Lustig also added that calories from sugar are the worst of all because they become fat and go to the liver, as they resist to insulin, leading to a series of diseases. Researchers believe this have big implications for the food industry, the propension of chronic diseases and health care costs.
Raising awareness about ‘sweetened’ diet
Authorities in the U.S. and around the world have their sights on sugar. The World Health Organization recommended last March to cut sugar to less than 10 percent of their daily caloric intake, according to The Wall Street Journal. Also, the FDA proposed to improve the labeling on these products with added sugar, saying that the maximum daily sugar intake should be of 200 calories.
Nonetheless, people are starting to reconsider their dieting habits, as a survey made last March by the International Food Information Council on the U.S. revealed that 71 percent of Americans “were concerned about the amount of sugar they consumed”.
Source: Telegraph UK