Role of sugars in our body

Role of sugars in our body

Our body would cease to function properly if there is no sugar intake.

Natural containing sugars come with added profits in our diet like sugars found in fruits, milk, vegetables, rice, etc., are packed with micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) also and is a matter of fact that Quinoa is one of the best options when it comes to micronutrients, evidence shows its high content in Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium [1].

However, added sugars used in the processing of industrial foods like beverages and other preparations are harmful to our body when taking in excess [2]. 

 

Now, let’s break down the types of sugars that we generally consume in our diet and their effects on our health. Remember that even if we eat complex sugars our body will break them down or digest  to simple sugars:

  • Glucose: the simple sugar, found almost everywhere, stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin. This increase in insulin suppresses a hormone called Ghrelin and this suppression signals the brain to stop eating as we had the energy we required [3].
  • Fructose: found mainly in fruits, intake of this sugar encourages long term memory, prevents respiratory infections and growth of tumors. Lack of this sugar is associated with wrinkles because of skin dehydration. [4]
  • Galactose: which is found in milk, helps in healing up  injuries, like fractures and even open wounds, aids in absorption of calcium and  is a powerful modulator for the immune system [5].

As you can see, as soon as we consume sugar, the primary function is to provide us with energy, especially for our brain and nervous system that are active almost all the time, and sugar is the quickest source for energy, that’s why our brain mainly runs with glucose.

On the other hand, lack of sugars in the diet leads to low blood sugar level which causes a number of problems like poor coordination, distracted, feeling hungry and weak. Persons on low sugar (carbohydrate) diets for longer times experience blurred vision, headaches, mood swings, confusion, trouble sleeping and overall difficulty in performing everyday tasks. 

Take away message 

Contrary to the common myth that consuming sugars in our diets causes DM (diabetes) the fact is otherwise: excess in sugars, especially added sugars because they are so easy to overeat are the ones that Doctors and Nutritionist should educate and highlight about. To eat in moderation is key for a healthy lifestyle.

And although diabetes is occasionally related to abuse of sugar, DM is a multifactorial metabolic disorder that also involves excess intake of trans-unsaturated fatty acids and a sedentary lifestyle. Trans-unsaturated fatty acids are lipids used in packaged baked foods and/or for frying foods. 

As we stated in the beginning, it is well known that excess of everything is bad and so is true for sugars as well. Higher consumption of sugars may lead to several health problems or accelerate present ones.

 

At this point, it is relevant to mention that Quinoa is one of the best options as a source of carbohydrates that won’t skyrocket your blood sugar levels and when it comes to micronutrients; evidence shows its high content in Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium [1]. It contains also a protein that has all the essential amino acids your body needs.

With this in mind, we at Wholefort have formulated our breakfast cereals, to give you a high-quality natural source of energy and nutrients that will support your health.

SUGAR FRIEND OR FOE? PART 2/2
Written by Antonio Reyes, RDN
References
  1. Maradini-Filho AM, Pirozi MR, Borges JTS, Santana HMP, Chaves JBP, et al. “Quinoa: Nutritional, functional and anti-nutritional aspects”, (2017).
  2. Biagio Archidiacono, Stefania Iiritano, Aurora Nocera, Katiuscia Possidente, Maria T. Nevolo, Valeria Ventura, Daniela Foti, Eusebio Chiefari, and Antonio Brunetti. Insulin resistance and cancer risk: an overview of the pathogenic mechanisms”, (2012).
  3. Sunram-Lea S I, Foster J K, Durlach P, Perez C. “Glucose facilitation of cognitive performance in healthy young adults: examination of the influence of fast-duration, time of day and preconsumption plasma glucose levels”, (2001).
  4. Celep, G.S., Rastmanesh, R., Bozoğlu, F. “Fructose Metabolism and Health Risks. Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy”, (2015).
  5. Mills S, Ross RP, Hill C, et al. “Milk intelligence: mining milk for bioactive substances associated with human health”, (2011).

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