By now, you’ve probably heard the chatter about giving up sugar. From friends posting lots of photos of their homemade sugar-free treats on social media to expert panels on TV, everyone seems to have an opinion.
Beyond the hype, making a sugar-related change for weight loss and better health can be achieved says Dr Helena Popovic, author of NeuroSlimming and founder of Winning at Slimming.
With more than two decades’ experience in the science of weight management, Dr Popovic believes the health focus should be on reducing sugar intake, rather than giving it up.
“Sugar is not designed to be a daily snack, and eating one piece of homemade cake is not the problem – feeling that you need a box of chocolates to get you through the day is. Life can be sweeter without too much sugar,” she insists.
That’s why she likes to start with the basics. “Sugar is a subset of carbohydrates,” she explains. Also known as table sugar and sucrose, cane sugar consists of 50 per cent fructose and 50 per cent glucose. Glucose is the main source of your body’s fuel, while fructose is not used by any organ.
“As soon as glucose is absorbed by your body, it stimulates a release of insulin and – if you overdo it – you may become insulin resistant.”
This can lead to health issues such as metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.