Is Sugar The Devil?


Definitely not! The majority of the general population I come into contact with on a daily basis whether that be in the gym or through social media seem to fear sugar. They’ve seen the programs on tv demonising sugar. They’ve listened to all the adverts on the radio about sugar and how it’s as addictive as cocaine, they’ve been told by a friend of a friend of a friend who spoke to a trainer one time and he said that sugar is bad for you and to avoid it at all cost! 

On a side note…. if sugar was as addictive as cocaine they wouldn’t sell it in your local corner shop in it’s purest form for €2 per kilo. 

In saying that the dopamine release from your brain when you do something enjoyable for example having a beer or eating your favorite treat can become habitual and that’s where the addictive process builds. But you can also get the same dopamine release from doing a workout in the gym, going for a run or exercises in general which is much more beneficial for your health. So the release of dopamine becomes the addictive part so it just becomes what you do to get it determines a good or bad choice.  

In my opinion is you shouldn’t restrict or exclude any one macronutrient (protein, carbs or fats). You should strive for balance in life. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re putting foods on a “good list” & “bad list” as this breeds a really bad relationship with food and your own mental health going forward. 

From what I’ve read –
Low carb vs. high carb diets produce no difference in weight loss or health when kcals/protein equate:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Ketogenic+low-carbohydrate+diets+have+no+metabolic+advantage+over+nonketogenic+low-carbohydrate+diets …

Low vs. high sugar makes no difference in weight loss or insulin sensitivity when calories are controlled:
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/135/10/2387.long

Where most people go wrong is over-consuming sugary foods. When you think of your favorite treat, you could consume so much of it without even thinking. That’s where we go wrong.

The saying “A little bit of what you love” is a genuine rule I try to get into my clients’ heads. You can’t go throughout your life living like a monk and trying to shut out the world. 

In my opinion, this is what has worked best for a lot of my clients. A way of achieving and keeping your results is not by eliminating sugar completely but to keep them in your diet to a certain point. For example on I would encourage clients depending on a few factors (Goals, previous relationship with food & caloric allowance) to take 10-20% of their overall calories and use that for a treat of their choice. That way you can choose to have a small treat each day without smashing your body up with loads of junk food.

A lot of my clients come back to me and say they never really bother having anything and I think this is down to the mentality surrounding food. It’s like “red button syndrome” if I leave you in a room and tell you not to touch the red button… it’s all you want to do… similar situation with dieting. When someone tells you not to have something it’s the first thing on your mind, even though you may not have even been thinking about it. 

So how much is 

Well…. to be honest, there is no right answer here. It all depends. You could be one of these people who tries to fill their diet with the so-called “healthy foods” that can have a heap of hidden sugars for example:
  • Fruit smoothies – Naked 100% Juice smoothie: 53g in one bottle
  • Fruit Juices – Tropicana orange: 50g of sugar in a 1L carton
  • Dried Fruit- 1 packet of dried mango: 75g of sugar
  • Fruit and Cereal Bars- Belvita breakfast bars: 7g per biscuit or 2 teaspoons
  • Yoghurts – Onken Fat-Free Strawberry flavour: 57.3g or 14 teaspoons of sugar
  • Cooking sauces – Blue Dragon Chow Mein sauce: one sachet contains 16.5g
So my best advice is to keep an eye on things using a calorie tracker such as myfitnesspal. This way you’ll learn so much more about your food and what’s actually going into your body. 

Try an approach of 80:10:10

This way you’ll build a far better relationship with food, you won’t have to say no when out with friends/family & finally, you won’t feel like you’re on a “diet”. 

Hope you enjoyed this blog post guys. Any and all feedback is welcome so feel free to comment below. Also if you have any suggestions on blog posts please hit me up!! 

Aaron

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.