Till date, sugar has had a bad reputation and is linked seriously to the cause of heart disease, obesity, cavities, hyperactivity in children, and diabetes.
The fact is that sugar per se is a source of ’empty’ calories – that is, it provides no nutritional value aside from energy – but it certainly isn’t the dietary villain it has been portrayed as.
This white crystalline substance is essential part of our biological system. “There’s one organ that runs almost entirely on sugar; the brain. The brain needs the glucose to function properly and you need a pre-activated brain before you face the first challenge at your workplace. Sugar keeps your brain active. It is the fuel for the body to provide energy throughout the day.” says Dr. Kajal Pandya, Senior Dietician, Sita Ram Bhartiya Institute of Science & Research Centre, New Delhi.
The hormone called ‘insulin’ is needed for sugar to be used as fuel for the body. And it is produced by the pancreas and it helps sugar move from the bloodstream into the cells which require energy. Diabetes, a metabolic disorder is not caused by consuming carbohydrates, including sugar. It is caused by the body not being able to produce enough insulin or it is unable to properly use the insulin that is produced. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes disrupt the body’s ability to convert blood glucose (commonly referred to as blood sugar) into energy.
The result is that too much sugar stays in the bloodstream and not enough sugar gets into the cells of the body where it can be used as fuel. This ensures that eating sugar is not the cause for diabetes.
So, not only sugar but other carbohydrates are also converted into glucose. The matter of fact is to manage one’s diet along with some physical activity, is very important once a person develops diabetes.
Myths and Facts
Myth1: Eating sugar in large quantity causes diabetes.
Fact: Type 1 diabetes is caused due to destruction of more than 90% of the insulin-producing cells, present in pancreas, which is not related to sugar consumption at all. Type 2 diabetes results. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas continues to produce insulin, sometimes even at higher than normal levels. However, the body develops resistance to the effects of insulin, so there is not enough insulin to meet the body’s needs.
Myth 2: Diabetics can never eat sweets.
Fact: Diabetics can eat a certain amount of sugary food as part of a balanced diet, but they need to control the total amount of carbohydrates they eat. Sweets provide only calories, no nutrition so sweet should be limited — but not eliminated.
Myth 3: Low-carbohydrate diets are good for diabetics.
Fact: Carbohydrates are preferred by body as the source of energy. Low-carbohydrate diets are overloaded with proteins and fats. Following a high-fat, high-protein diet over the long term may increase the risks of heart and kidney disease. People with diabetes should adopt a meal plan that helps them in balancing carbohydrate consumption with medication and exercise to control diabetes.
Courtesy to The Indian Express