Are You Taking Too Much Sugar Daily?

Much has been said about the evils of sugar, but what is most alarming is this: sugar feeds cancer cells! Our healthy cells breathe oxygen, however cancer cells does not need oxygen (anaerobic). They specifically feed on sugar and ferment it to create energy to multiply.

Sugar suppresses your immune system instantly after we eat it, and in excessive amounts it is positively toxic. In a healthy human body, aside from a few hundred grams in our liver and muscle storage in a form of glycogen, we only have 1 teaspoon worth of sugar in the entire body’s pool of blood.

What you probably never know is all kind of carbohydrates other than fiber eventually will be converted into blood sugar (glucose) after we digest them, be it from white rice, brown rice, potatoes, noodle, pasta, white bread, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, legumes or pulses, fruits etc.  The body does not know, or care, from what kind of foods the sugar comes from.

Artificial sugar like high fructose corn syrup and  Aspartame (or more widely known as NutraSweet™) will give even more damaging effect to the body, regardless whether or not they affect our blood sugar level.

If we ingest excessive amounts of carbs/sugar and do not utilize them through certain physical activities, the sugar has nowhere to go and becomes toxic in your blood. Our body will then try to clear it from our system by secreting insulin, convert the sugar into fat and store it in our fat cells, until the body can dispose or burn it off during some condition, for example when we have limited food or starvation. In our modern world, most of us have access to plenty of food anytime, so the burning part is simply never happen.

What is little known to many is that our typical meals 3 times a day contain plenty of sugar without us suspecting it.  Many of us consume much more sugar than our body ever needs, every single day.

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Our body can store tens of kilograms of fat, but only a few hundred grams of sugar. That’s just how human body works and  has been designed through million years of evolution. If we ingest sugar in excessive amount with our food, anything we eat will be stored as body fat, due to the presence of insulin. On the other hand, limiting sugar or carbohydrate to a certain amount will limit insulin secretion, and thus signal the body to burn fat instead of storing it naturally as our system suppose to works. Learn more about it here.

This is why obesity and numerous other health problems like insulin resistant and Type 2 Diabetes are so rampant today. Most of the time it is NOT because we eat too much, we don’t exercise long and hard enough to “burn off ” calories, we are getting old, metabolism slowing down, or we inherited bad genes, but it’s because we have been eating the wrong type of foods. Go to this page for more information.

Below you can see pictorially how much sugar you are actually taking with a few common foods that seems harmless, some are being promoted as healthy, and sugar free.

Each cube represent a teaspoon worth of refined white sugar / table sugar, which is 4 grams of carbohydrate.

1 bowl of  steamed white rice

(13 – 15 teaspoons of sugar)

1 cup of oatmeal

(12 teaspoons of sugar)

1 bowl of brown rice

(10 teaspoons of sugar. The extra grain skins contain a lot of anti-nutrients, and the fiber damage our health)

1 portion of egg noodle, rice noodle

(9 teaspoons of sugar)

2 slices of white bread

(7 teaspoons of sugar, plus toxins from gluten, lectin, anti nutrients from wheat, abundant pesticide, and chemicals used to make the flour. Genetically modified wheat is also another concern)

1 orange

(6 teaspoons)

2 slices of wholemeal bread

(5 teaspoons of sugar, plus more toxins from the grain skin, and damaging fiber similar like Brown rice)

1 banana

(5 teaspoons of sugar)

1 cup of non-organic milk (low fat/full fat)

(3 teaspoons of sugar plus hormones, antibiotics, GMO corn/soy/wheat in the cows fed, denatured protein from pasteurization process, damaged fat from homogenization process, harmful A1 casein, and lactose.)

1 whole jar of The Hunters’ Kitchenettes® Nut Butter (200gm)

(1 teaspoon)

As you can see, exempting sugar from your nut butter while spreading it onto sugar-laden white or wholemeal bread is counterproductive. When combining our nut butters with other foods, be equally savvy about how much sugar you are taking overall and in turn your body will thank you.

There are a lot of good source of carbohydrates loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidant, and fermentable fiber but does not contain too much sugar, like all vegetables, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin, carrot, and some fruits like berries, pineapple, etc. Go for these but limit the amount of starchy ones with less nutrients.

1. If you are trying to cut down body fat or controlling blood sugar level, then try to limit worthless sugar-laden carbs from refined or processed grains like wheat flour.

2. Most people who try to eat ‘healthy’ following the Low Fat craze actually consume lots sugar from whole grains and legumes. Other than sugar, these foods also contain plenty of enzyme inhibitors, phytic acid, gluten and lectin which are harmful for human body. Whole grains and legumes that are prepared traditionally by soaking, sprouting and fermenting are generally better, but keep in mind that they are still contain abundant amount of sugar. Note that we can get all the nutrition in grains and legumes  from other more nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, animals, fruits, tubers, nuts and seeds.

3. Eat whole fruits and vegetables instead of juicing, since the fiber slows down sugar absorption. Fruit’s and vegetable’s fiber also very important in promoting good bacteria population in our gut and digestive track,  and thus strengthening our immune system.

Note that most fruits has plenty of sugar too since they have been crossbred and modified to become sweeter and available all year round. Don’t be tempted to consume plenty of fruit juices thinking they will support your health, even if you make them fresh at home.

4. When you buy prepackaged food and drinks, how to decode the Nutrition Facts label to see how much sugar they contain?

In the nutrition label,  look for the amount of Sugar and Carbohydrates it contain in ONE serving. Both are basically the same, sugar.

Note that some products may show 2 or more serving but the packaging size is actually a single serving, so multiply accordingly to the amount you would consume. Combined the total amount of carbohydrates and sugar, minus any fiber if listed, and divide that by 4 grams, and that’s the amount of sugar in teaspoon.

a. Minute Maid orange juice has 39 grams of carbohydrate in 1 serving of 350ml. What you get is 39/4 grams = 9,75 teaspoon worth of sugar.

Any benefit from (synthetic) vitamin C you get will be cancelled off by the damaged caused by this massive amount of sugar.

b. Milo in sachet has 21 grams of carbohydrate per serving, which 15.7 grams of it is sugar. Take the total carbs 21/4 grams = 5,25 teaspoon sugar.  Note that Milo also contain hydrogenated oil (margarine) which you should avoid like a plague.

c. Pocari Sweat 500ml (bought in Indonesia) shows only 6 grams of carbohydrate, BUT each bottle is listed as 5 serving in the label, means per serving is 100ml. In one sitting logically you would consume more than 100ml straight. Say you are thirsty after exercising and drink all 500ml, so that is total 30 grams of carbs. 30/4= 7,5 teaspoon of sugar.

5. Foods with big label screaming ‘Low Fat’ are usually contain tons added of sugar or salt. Natural fat is good for our health, and fat makes food taste delicious. If the fat is taken away, the food become less palatable and therefore manufacturers compromised by adding sugar, salt or other flavor enhancer to make it taste nice.

So there it is, be aware of these hidden sugar sources. Limit sugar intake 80% of the time and eat more nutritious foods, then watch your body’s fat melt away effortlessly in just a matter of weeks. You will be surprised to know how easy it is to keep your weight under control and keep them for the rest of your life!