The short answer is NO!! Naturally occurring sugars such as in fruit ( fructose ), etc., are harmless, but the problem lies with the artificial sugars added to foods. Specifically, ARTIFICIAL SUGAR IS POISON! We don’t need extra sugar in our food, as there is plenty occurring naturally in a nutritious diet.

So why is artificial sugar harmful? Scientists warn that the amount of sugar we eat is directly responsible for a host of serious illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, hormone imbalances, and liver damage. Dr. Amanda Sainsbury-salis, Garvan Institute of Medical Research: “The high levels of fat and sugar we are consuming in our diet today affects our DNA, and this can be passed on to our progeny. Our children and our children’s children”. Therefore, even if your children eat the healthiest diet in the world, they can have a higher predisposition towards problems such as excess weight, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Two in three adults are overweight, one in five obese – the rates have actually doubled in seven years. In the 19th century our diets included about 1kg of sugar a year, mainly from fruit. Now it’s 50kg a year. Whereas, a healthy target should be 10 teaspoons of sugar (50gm) daily. Sugar is highly addictive, both physically and emotionally.

Now let’s move on to INSULIN because it plays a vital part in the success of any fat-loss program. Insulin is an important hormone that helps store the nutrients from the food eaten. It causes most of the body’s cells to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscles. When it is low, glucose is not absorbed, allowing the body to use fat for energy. When you eat simple carbs there is a quick increase in blood sugar which causes an insulin spike ( a sudden overload ). These spikes must be avoided because the  overdose of insulin prevents the burning of fat as an energy source for several hours, and encourages further fat storage. It doesn’t matter how hard you exercise, nor if calorie intake is restricted. When insulin reduces the blood sugar, it often over-corrects, so you now have low blood sugar. The body normally combats low blood sugar by releasing energy from stored fat, which is what we want to achieve, but the insulin spike won’t allow this. The only source of energy in this instance is PROTEIN. i.e. you are getting fatter while losing muscle.

Women are even more sensitive to the effects of insulin. Stubborn lower body fat reacts a bit differently than the rest of a woman’s body. Many women have very lean upper bodies compared to their lower body. One of the reasons for this is that the fat on the lower body is much more sensitive to insulin spikes than the upper body, so she may lose fat from the upper body, while maintaining fat downstairs.

You can eat a moderately high Glycaemic Index meal immediately after a workout. (small serve). The Glycaemic Index ranks carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels, from 0 – 100+, with sugar being the highest. Low G.I. foods (<55 ) will ensure stable insulin and blood glucose, and encourage fat to be burned for energy.

In summary, if your insulin levels are too high, you cannot burn body fat, and it won’t matter how hard you exercise. The best way to ensure low insulin levels is by eating low GI foods.

Shane Shiels

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