Nutrition: How to prevent the omnipresence of sugar poisoning our health?

While our diet has never been so rich in sugar, Dr. Robert Lustig, author of the book “Sucre, the bitter truth”, points out the dangers of overconsumption of sugar for health …
Our food has never been so rich in sugar today.
In “Sugar, the bitter truth” (Edited by Thierry Souccar), Dr. Robert Lustig denounces the deleterious effects of overconsumption of sugar on health.
But he also recalls that this is not inevitable and that it is always possible to rectify the situation and return to a healthier diet.
If you had to evaluate your daily consumption of sugar, it’s a safe bet that you would be far below reality. “A little piece in the cafe, possibly a soda for lunch, a sweetness at 4 pm and maybe a square of chocolate in the evening in front of the TV,” you would probably answer. This is without counting the hidden sugars, those which are injected in huge quantities by the food industry in the products filling the shelves of the supermarkets. Ubiquitous in our food, sugar nowadays occupies a large part of our plate: in a century only, the French consumption of sugar has gone from a kilo to 35 kilos per year and per person. An overdose of sugar that nibbles (not very) slowly but surely our life expectancy in good health and our life expectancy, Sugar, the bitter truth * (eds Thierry Souccar).
Sugar and the mechanisms of addiction
To eat, one does it as much by necessity as by pleasure. “Our brain is programmed for reward,” notes Dr. Robert Lustig in his book. Who has not already been offered a sweet sweetness to reward after a workout, a folder finally closed or just because the day was painful? And in the food pleasures, those who are rich in sugar hold the high ground. “What you” harpoon “to not let go is sugar,  ” says Dr. Lustig, pointing finger sodas, as well as many products of the food industry .
According to him, fructose, which gives their sweet and sweet flavor to food. “Numerous scientific studies have highlighted the link between high consumption of sodas and other industrial juices and behavioral disorders in children,” confirms Dr. Laurent Chevallier, a maternity nutritionist and author of  Ligrir sans lutte (ed. Fayard). Glucose-fructose syrup, “wholly industrial in nature and far from fructose naturally contained in fruit, has a high sweetening power, is cheaper than table sugar and gives a taste of” back to “products. which contain it, to the point of causing a form of food addiction, “says Dr. Anthony Fardet, researcher in foodPreventive and Holistic, Author of True Eat, Stop Ultra-Transformed Foods! (Thierry Souccar) and the preface to Dr. Lustig’s book.
How? On the one hand because “the human being is naturally inclined towards the sweet,” continues Dr. Fardet. Then because sugar activates the reward circuit as well as “dopamine receptors [commonly known as pleasure hormone]. So the more we eat, the more we need each time to eat more to get the same degree of pleasure: it is the same mechanism as the addiction to drugs, “decrypts Dr. Chevallier. And among the highly addictive foods , we find almost everything that can be found on the menu of fast-food restaurants and capsizes the taste buds of children: burgers, fries, nuggets, breaded fish, sodas and other ice creams, all ultra-processed, ultra-caloric, shielded from food additives and over-saturated in sugar, fat and salt.
All calories are not equal
As a result, the number of obese children (and adults) has exploded and has increased tenfold in the last forty years. Today, 124 million children around the world suffer from obesity. A phenomenon that is accompanied by an alarming rise in diabetes casestype 2 in children and adolescents. For many people, the solution to this global public health problem is simple: according to a basic chart of entry and exit, it would be enough to burn, by exercising, the calories that one ingests. But it is a parameter that many individuals and public authorities do not take into account, namely “that not all calories are equal,” insists Dr. Lustig over the pages. “The energy balance does not explain everything,” says Dr. Anthony Fardet. Thus, a calorie of a processed food is not worth that of a natural product.
The “bad” calories are empty calories, those that do not satisfy and that grow to eat more and that are found in ultra-processed products: prepared meals, snacks and industrial juices. It is not a question of advocating the removal of all sugars from its diet . “Beware of” sugar-bashing, “warns Dr. Laurent Chevallier, nutritionist doctor in maternity and author of  lose weight without wrestling (Ed Fayard). Sugar is essential for the proper functioning of the brain, but there is sugar and sugar. That contained in fruits, sources of fiber, natural fructose and vitamins, is a need for the body.
Un-accustoming sugar
But the ravages of sugar are not inevitable. Even when sugar has already had its effects on our health, it is always possible to rectify the situation. Depending on the form in which one eats a food, it will not have the same impact on the body. “If you take a fruit juice, it will certainly keep its vitamins, but if eaten whole, it also benefits from its fiber, essential for good digestion, says Dr. Fardet. Depending on the degree of transformation of a food, the rate of release of the calories it contains will not be the same and its satiating power will not be the same. Fiber, contained in legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, all contribute to a healthy diet. “The food matrix is ​​crucial,” says Dr. Fardet, who advocatesa diet made from the least processed products possible  “.
As for toddlers, “it is necessary as much as possible to delay their exposure to very sweet products,” says Dr. Chevallier: avoid giving juices to babies, or cut them to two-thirds of water ” , he cites as an example. And to reverse the trend in children already accustomed to sweet flavors, “it must progressively déshabituant their palate to sugar, he advises. Rather than serving your children in the morning cereals or brioche covered with spread, favor a salty breakfast made of bread and cheese is a good option. A valid alternative also for the snack and which, insists Dr. Chevallier, has the advantage of “avoiding a peak of blood sugar, which results in the release of insulin and leads to cravings”.
* Sugar, the bitter truth. How sugar and industrial foods make us fat and sick. How to save our health, Editions Thierry Souccar, currently in bookstores

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