A growing body of research suggests that when it comes to weight gain, fat may not be at fault – sugar is the likely culprit. Fat forms a crucial part of our diets, helping in the absorption of vitamins and other nutrients, acting as a lubricant for our joints, providing energy and so on. Sugar, on the other hand, provides only calories. Sugar acts as an emotional crutch in our journey with food; most of the time as eating it gives us pleasure, creating a vicious cycle in turn where we rely on its uplifting effects every time we feel low. This results in strong cravings for sugar, making it difficult to quit or reduce intake despite the known consequences of high consumption.
High sugar consumption raises insulin levels in our blood stream. Insulin in turn signals our body’s cells to get ready to receive glucose from the sugar. As high levels of glucose in the bloodstream can be toxic for us, the insulin levels also rise proportionally to handle the glucose levels. Insulin also signals our body’s fat cells to pick up the fat from our bloodstream, store it and to avoid burning the fat it is already carrying. When the insulin levels rise, our body converts the energy in our bloodstream, selectively deposits it into our fat cells and stores it as fat. This results in our body secreting insulin in higher levels, the cells ignore the insulin signals, the body in turn is not able to access the stored fat while the brain begins to think that it is hungry and signals us to eat more resulting in a cruel cycle of misinterpreted signals causing us to gain weight. Just eliminating sugar from our diets and switching to a healthier alternative such as an artificial sweetener for diabetics patient can do wonders in breaking this cycle and helping our bodies get back on track.