Exploring the Negative Effects of Sugar on Our Health and Wellness
Is sugar really enemy number one, or can we peacefully coexist with it?
It's one of those taboo topics, isn't it? Just how dangerous is sugar really? Specialists and doctors will say it's the leading cause of weight gain, while people who regularly consume sugar will say it doesn't harm them.
With so many conflicting opinions about sugar, it's time to look at how dangerous it is. In this post, we'll also cover how to moderate your sugar intake without sacrificing your favourite confectionery.
Society's relationship with sugar
Until the 1970s, specialists believed that fat was the leading cause of weight gain and advised people to cut their daily fat intake for weight loss. However, in 1972 a scientist raised the alarm about sugar, claiming it was the biggest cause of weight gain.
Other professionals ridiculed his findings, and the debate would continue for years. Dietary guidelines told people to monitor their saturated fat and cholesterol intake; sugar was never an issue.
In fact, up until only recently, the common misconception was that a low-fat diet would lead to weight loss. Today, we know that diets high in saturated fats and sugar will inevitably contribute to weight gain.
We were all duped... weren't we?
When you see the negative press surrounding sugar, it's almost as if sugar has become public enemy number one. People trusted sugar for a long time, and then those tiny health implications almost made it seem like sugar had deceived us all.
The big question today is; is sugar really that dangerous? Let's find out.
Myths and truths about sugar
So, now we know more about the history of sugar and how society perceives it, it's time to look at some common myths and reveal the truths behind them.
Sugar is bad. Really bad
There are different kinds of sugar, including natural and added sugars. It's important to differentiate between the two because added sugars cause the biggest problems in terms of weight gain.
However, even added sugars are OK in moderation. For example, eating a bag of sweets won't damage your health - as long as you don't eat them all day, every day.
The best way to be healthy is to cut sugar out completely
If you've seen the adverts for keto diet, or the sugar-free trend, you'll know that cutting sugar entirely out of your diet is one of the latest trends. However, cutting out sugar isn't ideal if you want to enjoy a healthy diet that incorporates all the food groups.
Sugar can give you energy, and it's fine in moderation. Cutting it out when you don't want to could lead to binge eating and over-indulging in other foods.
Sugar will make you unwell
Again, consuming sugar responsibly won't make you sick. There's a certain degree of fear mongering when discussing sugar - but most of the adverse health effects come from excessive consumption.
Yes, consuming excessive amounts of sugar can lead to diabetes and increase your risk of heart disease - but there's a big difference between moderation and over-indulgence.
It's also important to remember that consuming too much fat can cause heart disease and other health issues, so moderation of all food groups is central to a healthy diet.
Sugar is as dangerous as drugs
Yep, you might have heard the above statement - but is it true? Can sugar be as dangerous as illegal drugs? The answer is not in general. If you consume a bag of sweets, you won't suddenly get hooked and cannot go a day without them.
Instead, sugar can become addictive if someone consumes excessive amounts of it each day. Like most things, enjoying sugar in moderation is key to preventing dependence.
How to enjoy sugar responsibly
Hopefully, you can see that sugar isn't as dangerous as you might have previously believed - but what can you do to consume it responsibly? These tips will help you modify your diet without sacrificing your favourite treats.
Up your daily fibre and protein intake
When it comes to appetite suppression fibre and protein-rich foods pack a real punch. Eating a lot of them will reduce your cravings and curb any overeating patterns. The best thing about them is you can enjoy sweets without worrying about consuming them in excess - because you’ll feel full. .
Carbs are important
Carbohydrates aren't your nemesis; they can be your friend. There's a reason athletes eat carb-rich foods before participating in a big event; they provide energy. You don't need to cut out carbs; instead, consume them alongside foods high in protein and fibre.
If you love confectionery and don't want to sacrifice your daily treat, swap your usual sweets for sugar-free versions. There are some fantastic options, and Appleton's stocks a range of wholesale sugar-free candies, including cola bottles and cherry gums.
Don't be put off by sugar
It's also important to remember that many sweeteners out there can lead to weight gain and leave you craving sugar. While we'd always recommend switching out some things, such as trading Coca-Cola for diet or zero versions, you don't need to feel put off by sugar.
The best sugar-free sweets available
Just a few years ago, people were limited on which sugar-free confectionery they could enjoy - but that's all changed. Today, there’s a ton of sugar-free treats out there, and Appleton Sweets stocks most of them.
Cola bottles, cherries and gummy bears are three sugar-free sweets you'll love. Forget Haribo and opt for these healthier versions, with all the flavour - and no sugar.
Keep it retro with some of your favourite boiled sweets - which are all sugar-free. We have some fantastic flavours, including lemon bon bons, cola cubes, pear drops and sherbet lemons.
Liquorice and chewy sweets
Love the strong taste of liquorice? Try our black cats, which make the perfect gifts for cat lovers, so keep it simple with the liquorice buttons. DeBron is one of the most popular confectioners, and you can enjoy their delicious mint toffees or traditional butter toffee.
As you can see, sugar doesn't need to be your biggest fear - as long as you can moderate your intake and enjoy it as part of a healthy diet. With so many delicious sugar-free sweets available, you'll never need to worry about the dangers of your diet again.