Anyone old enough (like me) tom remember a song from a group called “The Archies” called Sugar, Sugar? Well, this was sort of a fictitious musical group that was concocted for the cartoon show based on the popular comic books featuring the characters “Archie” and his friends Jughead, Betty and Veronica. Your younger family members may know these characters quite well from the recent Netflix show “Riverdale”.
One of the “Archies” songs back in the “bubblegum pop” era (1968-1973) was called “Sugar, Sugar”. So, let’s bring our topic today to “sugar”.
Sugar is one type of carbohydrate, as are fiber and starch. Although carbohydrates are essential macronutrients (nutrients the body uses in large amounts), sugar is not. Sugar is an umbrella term for many types of simple carbohydrates, including white table sugar. Also called sucrose, this is the most common sweetener used in sweet desserts and baked goods.
Why is sugar potentially damaging to our health? Here are several reasons:
- Added sugar is a source of empty calories and offers little in terms of nutrition. Foods rich in added sugars tend to be high in calories, which can cause weight gain.
- High-sugar diets contribute to prolonged elevated blood sugar, insulin resistance, and leptin resistance — all of which are linked to weight gain and excess body fat.
- High-sugar foods and beverages are generally low in protein and fiber, nutrients that are essential for keeping you feeling full and satisfied.
- Added sugars displace healthy foods, may lead to weight gain, and increase your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease.
- Sugar affects appetite-regulating hormones (ghrelins) and reward centers in your brain, which may increase the desire for highly palatable foods and cause you to overeat.
During your long-term weight-control efforts, try as best as possible to minimize sugar intake. Using a small amount of table sugar for your coffee or tea will not derail your efforts, but rather, the added sugar placed in bakery goods, chocolates and other very tasty snacks are quite detrimental to our weight control.
Now that I have taken away “sugar” from your dietary intake, I will provide you with “double sugar” with the 1969 Archies’ song, Sugar, Sugar.