Sugar – Public Enemy Number One!
In your evolutionary past you would have consumed hardly any sugar. It was difficult to get, and eaten very rarely. Today sugar is everywhere and in practically everything. We eat huge amounts of it. Sugar consumption has tripled in the last thirty years. And guess what? The rise in the consumption of sugar has gone hand-in-hand with the rise in the levels of obesity. No coincidence.
We consume between 100 and 130 pounds of sugar every year and most of the sugar we eat comes from calorie-dense, low-fibre, processed food and sugary drinks.
So what’s wrong with sugar? The simple answer is nothing – in small doses. It’s the quantity of sugar we consume that’s the problem. Here’s why:
Sugar (or sucrose), is made up of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. It’s a carbohydrate, a simple carbohydrate, but it has a unique quality. It’s unique because its constituent parts, glucose and fructose, are metabolised differently. Glucose can be metabolised, (processed into energy), by all your organs, with only about 20% being metabolised by your liver. Fructose on the other hand is different. It is almost completely metabolised by your liver. And this is the root of the problem. Why? Because your liver turns fructose into free fatty acids, then into triglycerides, which get stored as fat. Fructose is metabolised as fat.