Paths for freedom and progress
NOTICE ARCHIVE - 16/06/2021

Não! ÁGUA! That was the right choice from Cristiano Ronaldo, as he pushed away the unhealthy bottles with black liquid full of sugar and salt.


So, why should we avoid sugar?

How much is “too much” sugar? Traditionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended getting no more than 10 per cent of our daily calorific intake from sugar. However, an update to its guidelines in 2015 saw them half that recommendation to 5 per cent - equating to around 25 grams, or six teaspoons, of sugar a day.
Now considering that a can of soft drink contains about 35-40g of sugar (about 8 teaspoons), and this is really still the tip of the iceberg. In fact, many countries that adhere to the Western diet, have an average sugar intake that is well above the WHO's recommended amount. In the United States, for example, that figure tops 120g per day. In Germany, the second highest sugar consumer in the world, it hovers around 100g. It is safe to assume that the figures for several Gulf countries, including the UAE, are likely to be quite high too. We are, after all, among the most overweight and obese countries in the world today, and it is sugar that causes obesity.
Statistics published by the University of California in 2012 suggested that sugar was responsible for over 35 million deaths globally per year, Clearly then, this is about more than a couple of extra cavities and a few extra pounds. It is far more serious than that, and deserves a closer look: 

The medical world has long suspected a link between sugar and cancer, and a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation concludes that rather than increased glycolysis (the breakdown of glucose to provide energy) being a consequence of cancer, it is rather the activation of sugar-based metabolism in a cell driven by high sugar quantities on the cell membrane that actually causes cancer to form in the first place.

Overweight and obesity
There are few easier ways to pack on the pounds than by eating a high sugar diet. This is largely due to the sugar, fructose, found mainly in fruit juices, wheat products and “high fructose corn syrup” – which is most commonly added to food by manufacturers as it is sweeter and cheaper that sucrose (table sugar).
There is no hormone to remove fructose from our bloodstream, and very few of our bodies’ cells can make use of it. Therefore, it is left to the liver to remove it. When the liver is overwhelmed by too much of this sugar, it converts it to fat – which ultimately leads to insulin resistance, hardening of the arteries and, of course, obesity.

Cardiovascular disease
When we eat high amounts of sugar, our bodies release insulin to get excess glucose out of the bloodstream and into our cells. The higher the level of glucose in our blood, the higher the amount of insulin released. While this is a perfectly natural response to sugar in our bloodstream, when insulin is chronically high (which it is for most people adhering to that Western diet high in sugars and grains and processed foods) it causes inflammation and damages the lining of our blood vessels, leading to a host of cardiovascular-related concerns.

According to statistics from 2014, one in five in the Emirates is diabetic. The disease affects nine per cent of the global adult population and is responsible for a staggering 1.5 million deaths around the world each year. Or to put it another way, one person dies from diabetes every seven seconds.
If you consume a diet consistently high in sugar (150 pounds per year) and grains (200 pounds per year) and processed foods (full of sugars and trans fats), your blood glucose levels will be chronically elevated. The pancreas then becomes overworked and the end result is insulin resistance and eventually full-blown diabetes.

Liver Disease
As liver cells are the only ones that can break down fructose, they set about turning the sugar into fat in a process called lipogenesis. Over time, and given enough fructose, fat droplets start to accumulate in the liver cells, which ultimately results in non-alcoholic liver disease – so called because the effect is much the same as that which alcohol has on the liver. As with alcohol damage, if left untreated the liver becomes scarred, leading to irreversible cirrhosis and irreparable damage