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Death by sugar!

.It sounds dramatic, but high blood sugar levels are literally killing millions of people worldwide each year....

sugarWith so many sugar-laden foods around, high blood sugar levels are killing millions of people worldwide every year. That’s the finding of researchers from Harvard University in the US who reviewed health surveys and studies from 52 countries over the last fifteen years.

For reasons we don't fully understand, high blood glucose makes it more likely a person will develop atherosclerosis – the 'gumming up' of the arteries.

Blood sugar levels are on the rise in developed countries, fuelled not only by our high sugar intake, but also our sedentary lifestyles – the less we exercise, the less our body is able to metabolise sugar, causing blood sugar levels to rise even further.

What's the solution? The researchers call for a more aggressive approach by governments to change our dietary habits, and tighten regulations governing labelling, marketing and food manufacturing processes.

But there's been stiff resistance from Australian and international food companies, advertisers, and governments who argue that it's up to consumers to make informed choices about their diet.

However, food labels are often confusing and we also know that information on labels is wrong. Researchers from the NSW Food Authority looked at 350 samples of 70 different products and found variations in ingredients compared to the stated amounts on the label of between 13% less to 61%. They say there's no requirement in Australia for manufacturers to be accurate about the stated amounts. Overseas, some countries' allow for an error of 20% either way.

But whether there's more or less sugar than the manufacturer claims, refined sugar is more dangerous than we imagine. It's better to get your glucose from complex carbohydrates – fruit, vegetables, and grains – and avoid sweetened foods.

Source: ABC Health Matters – The Pulse

To find out more about sugar, sugar in foods, or eating well and your individual nutritional needs contact us!


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