The World Health Organization is cracking down on the amount of sugar that is added to foods. According to their data, the sugar that is needed equals out to being a mere 5% of one’s daily diet. This means a drastic reduction in the amount of processed and refined foods that many habitually eat. Not only this, but there are a great many beverages in the hot seat too.
Sugar is not just present in the usual suspects: cereal, candy and sweets, fruit juices and sodas, and various snacks. It is present in fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, and pretty much everything on the planet, basically creating a contradiction in the World Health Organization’s mandates versus actual reality.
Of course all sugars are not created equal; in fact, they vary in their effectiveness to the body at large. But could it be that sugar has gotten a bad rap undeservedly? In order to understand whether or not sugar truly deserves its infamy, a closer look at what sugar truly is could yield some surprising truths.
Sugar is actually a combination of 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, and 11 oxygen atoms. This grouping of elements creates “sucrose”, which is what Sugar actually is. When these elements combine, they create a long, sticky chain of two simple sugars plastered against each other, called glucose and fructose. This long, stringy chain of sugars are called starch.
In essence, starches are incredibly necessary for cell regeneration. Sugars like these are found in all foods in some form or another. Therefore, the World Health Organization’s new crackdown on sugar, stating that sugars should represent less than 5% of the daily diet, poses a significant challenge in reality. Sugars are impossible to eliminate from the daily diet; however, there are ways in which one can control the type of sugars they ingest.
The Western diet is deficient in healthy sugars as opposed to other diets enjoyed by cultures world wide. Americans on the whole, have diets predominantly composed of protein and fats. These are the additions to the diet that cause the most health problems. The average adult needs no more than 6 grams of protein per day, however, many American’s diets consist of 40 or more grams per day.
Protein in excess is the culprit behind osteoporosis and arthritis because the body must seek assistance to break down the extra proteins. It saps its own supply of calcium in order to break down the protein. Sugar in excess causes diabetes and weight gain and is even sometimes linked to depression and chemical imbalance.
Being able to distinguish which sugars to eat is a more realistic approach than the proposed 5%, which is chemically impossible. Grains, fruits, and veggies have all the good sugars that are necessary for good health and effective cell regeneration. With plenty of whole foods such as these, and a generous amount of water each day, a person will be benefited. This means that excluding any serious health problems, a little bit of sugar in the morning coffee or on cereal and an occasional treat is not going to tip the scales to a negative balance. With this information, is it really necessary for the World Health Organization to crack down to such extremes on sugar?
By: J.A. Johnson