Nutrition Doc gives advice: How to get rid of sugar in the long term

Hamburg. The good news from the start: “Everyone has a sugar account”, says Dr Matthew Riedl, diabetologist, internist and nutritionist. The bad news: “Most people ruthlessly overdo it.” And often without even realizing it, the nutritionist doc knows it.

Because in many foods instead of the word “sugar“Designations such as sucrose, fructose, glucose or maltose appear, which at first glance disguise sugar quite well. “There are many terms behind which hides the sugar that must first be deciphered”, explains the nutritionist.

Healthy food: “Sugar is available everywhere”

“Sugar is perhaps the biggest problem of all,” says Riedl. “Sugar is cheap, it’s ubiquitous, it’s a flavor enhancer and an addictive thing to keep people on a leash. And the sugar industry’s temptation to mix sugar everywhere has never been greater. According to an AOK study, 99% of children’s cereals are completely sweetened, but this also applies to adult foods. 80% of supermarket products are too.

When you cook for yourself, you are in control of avoiding sugar. The WHO recommends consuming no more than 25 grams of sugar per day, professional societies in Germany have set a value of 50 grams. “I think that’s too much. We’re assuming 40 grams, which shouldn’t be exceeded. 25 grams is so little that it would frustrate far too many people. So we’ve defined it a bit more generously than the WHO. 40 grams is also more achievable than 25 grams. 25 grams is just too frustrating,” says the head of Medicum Hamburg.

Sugar in Vegetables Doesn’t Count

Furthermore, only added sugar is counted, for example in finished products, confectionery, sugary drinks and fruit juices. Naturally occurring sugars in vegetables like peppers and carrots do not count in this count.

Watch out for fructose Found naturally in most fruits, vegetables and grains, the expert says, “It doesn’t curb sweet cravings and can lead to fatty liver disease because fructose is converted to fat directly in the liver.”

Long chain carbs are healthier

Simple carbohydrates such as dextrose (glucose) quickly enter the blood. “Foods like bread, pasta, and potatoes contain more well-packaged, complex, or long-chain carbohydrates that can be broken down by the body itself. It takes longer for the body to do this, and because of that, they cause blood sugar levels to rise more slowly.

Sugar in the form of table sugar or in other forms people don’t really need it. “The body can form enough simple sugars from complex carbohydrates.”

Sugar is often hidden

Sugar isn’t just in candies, but also often hidden in finished products like coleslaw or pickled vegetables, in sausages, sauces, spice mixes or baked goods. “It’s always worth taking a look at the ingredient list,” advises Riedl.

Too much sugar harms the body: “The possible consequences of excessive sugar consumption are numerous: inflammation of the teeth and gums, skin problems such as inflammation of the skin, blemishes, weakened immune system, increased susceptibility to infections, obesity, abdominal problems and disorders of the sleep,” says Riedl. . Sugar makes nervous not only children but also adults. Sugar consumption is especially critical in combination with dyes.

Sensitive children who drink lemonade with dyes, for example, would become even more agitated. “Adults also become less focused, agitated and dissatisfied and even more unhappy with sugar puffs. It’s not that bad that laughter makes you sad, but it is measurable and that’s why it shouldn’t be done” , explains the nutritionist.

Diseases can be aggravated by sugar

Existing diseases such as neurodermatitis or joint problems and rheumatic diseases could also be aggravated by excessive sugar consumption. There are even links between high sugar consumption and cancer or even the development of dementia.

As a substitute for sugar recommends Dr. Riedl birch sugar (xylitol), “it contains 40% fewer calories. Erythritol can also be used. In larger quantities, however, they have a flatulent and laxative effect.” Stevia is also a possible alternative, but in small quantities because the effects on the intestinal flora have not been studied enough. “I would advise against all conventional sweeteners, because we have found that the intestinal flora does not react positively to them.

Watered down drinks are not an alternative

To put it more clearly: there are studies that illuminate this very well. For example, in one study, you had people on water or zero-carb drinks, one comparison group on sugary sodas, and another comparison group on sugary sodas. It found that those who drank water had the lowest risk of developing diabetes and those who drank sodas had the highest risk.

Unfortunately, the sweetener group was in the middle,” says Riedl. “We know that some people react to sweeteners by worsening their glucose tolerance, which means I’m gaining weight and have a higher risk of diabetes.” This is a risk that must be avoided. “Anyone who drinks Coke Zero is lying to themselves,” says the nutritionist.

Eating healthy: “Don’t lose sight of the goal”

If you constantly sweeten your food and drink, your sense of taste will also be dulled. According to him, agave syrup, maple syrup and honey have a high sugar content. “You can do this if you want to achieve a certain taste or color in a culinary way, but be careful, there’s some sugar left over,” says Riedl. It’s just about changing your habits. For example, he gave up drinking tea with sugar 30 years ago. He liked the drink for a long time without it.

And if you go too far: “It’s possible sometimes, and then you should take advantage of it. Tomorrow is a new day, a new happiness. But it’s important not to lose sight of your goal,” says Riedl.

Updated: Sat, 03/26/2022 07:52

More articles from this category can be found here: Hamburg


Leave a Comment