Should you skip all types of sugar completely? Know what the expert says

There is a lot of discussion about sugar consumption. That’s because, among its many negative health effects, excessive sugar intake is linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Therefore, there is a growing fear of its consumption to the point that many have completely stopped eating any form of sugar.

Rujuta Diwekar, a famous nutritionist, took to Instagram to address the issue and explained whether we should skip it or not. “Yes, you should skip the sugar,” said the expert. But we have to skip everything sugars? “NO,” he added.

“The sugars you need to skip are the sugars that come from ultra-processed and packaged foods. Sugars that come from cereals, jams, cookies, ketchups, nut butters, granola bars, chocolates or colas, and sugary confectionery.

According to her, these sugars should be avoided. ultra-processed and packaged foods cause many problems and sugar is only one of the ingredients. “If you consume sugar from these sources, you need to 100 percent skip it,” she added.

However, you shouldn’t skip sugars which are part of a healthy and wholesome diet that includes local, seasonal, and traditional diets. Also, you don’t have to avoid homemade sweets (halwa, laddoo etc.) during holidays and the sugar you put in your tea, coffeeand sorbets. “You can continue to consume those sugars and still stay healthy, fit and lose weight and also have good skin,” she said.

So why is there so much fear around sugar consumption? “We’re so afraid of sugar because being afraid of just one thing is healthy for the bottom line of the food industry and obviously the weight loss industry,” she revealed.

The food industry tells us that sugar is bad for us but, at the same time, the industry backs out sweeteners and sugar substitutes. “It reformulates the same sugar and brings it back to the market and you get it both with and without sugar products.”

Are sugars addictive?

Many people fear that sugar is addictive. But what’s addictive are the designer molecules found in packaged and ultra-processed foods, he said. “These molecules that have never been part of the human food chain come together in these packaged and processed foods. So, you have emulsifiers, coloring agents, stabilizers – what are typically called designer molecules. These are not foods consumed by humans, but are added to improve the taste, texture, longevity or shelf life of the food. These are the molecules that are addictive to the product and this is why a person who drinks cola without sugar will never have sweetened cola,” Rujuta explained.

Do Sugars Cause Cancer and Diabetes?

Now, there is no cause and effect relationship between sugar and any kind of similar disease cancer or diabetes, said the expert. “However, there is a link between the consumption of ultra-processed and packaged foods and obesity. And obesity can make you prone to certain types of diseases.

How Much Sugar Should You Consume?

The UK Diabetes Association, the latest US guidelines and WHO guidelines recommend consuming no more than 10% of your total calorie intake from sugar. In simple terms, typically, consumption should be between six and nine teaspoons of sugar. “You will never max out if you buy your sugars through home-cooked foods. But you may be close to that upper limit during the holiday season but you won’t cross it. So, you can safely eat your homemade sweets without any fear,” Rujuta said.

“We need to rethink and embrace our traditional food practices and eat sugar as part of local seasonal healthy diets. Also, you need to exercise and sleep on time whether or not you have any kind of disease. So, healthy people and those who are currently working on their health can simply follow these basic common sense principles,” she added.

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