Eating too much sugar has long been known to have ill effects on human health. But sugar is not easy to avoid as it adds great taste to food and drinks and can be quite addictive.
To avoid sugar and yet have tasteful meals and snacks on daily basis may require extra effort in the beginning, by an individual or a family.
Simple sugar (monosacchrides) occurs as glucose, fructose and galactose. The last named does not occur in a free state. Glucose or dextrose or grape-sugar and fructose or fruit-sugar are two simple sugar forms that appear in our food.
White sugar (table sugar) belongs to fructose group.
Of the two, fructose is seen to be potentially more damaging than glucose as these two forms are metabolised within the body in two very different ways. Glucose is absorbed directly and mostly used for energy by cells throughout the body.
Fructose, however, is processed in the liver and is generally converted into VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol and triglycerides. There are real concerns that fructose contribute to several health problems including fatty liver deposits.
There is another problem with fructose as it does not stimulate the release of leptin, an important hormone in appetite control and other metabolic processes. Over a period this can lead to insulin resistance and eventually to diabetes.
Fructose or sugar does not affect health directly. It reacts with amino acid in the food we eat or inside our bodies to form Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs).
The AGEs are suspected to take part in developing several chronic degenerative diseases associated with aging including cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
Studies have shown that restricting consumption of AGEs has increased life spans in animal models.
According to a paper that summarizes recent research on AGEs:
“… [T]he data are supportive that endogenous AGEs are associated with declining organ functioning. It appears that dietary AGEs may also be related.
… As of today, restriction of dietary intake of AGEs and exercise has been shown to safely reduce circulating AGEs, with further reduction in oxidative stress and inflammatory markers.”
All this does not mean that one’s intake of fructose has to be nil. The message is for moderation and one should try to keep consumption of fructose sugar below 25 gm per day, preferably at 15 gm per day level.
Anti Aging Life Style
The following are some of the guidelines for an anti-aging lifestyle, one may follow to optimize longevity and slow down the clock:
- Normalize insulin and leptin levels by reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake and increasing exercise.
- Learn to effectively cope with stress by meditation, prayer, physical activity, exercise and if possible by using energy psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
- Eat healthy diets.
- Optimize vitamin D levels: With the summer sun, one gets free vitamin D in America. During winter months, one may have to take oral supplements.
- Take animal based omega-3 fats.
- Get antioxidants from food sources – blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, beans and anti-chokes.
- Use coconut oil in cooking and in replacing other oils, butter & margarine as it is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol.
- Get your resveratol naturally from sources as grape skins and seeds, raspberries, mulberries and peanuts instead of the pills marketed as anti-aging pills.
- Exercise regularly by adopting moderate to vigorous exercise.
- Avoid chemicals, toxins and pollutants as much as possible.
- Avoid pharmaceutical drugs wherever possible.
[Source: This write up is sourced from the article “Avoid This Food to Help Slow Aging” dated February 22, 2012 By Dr. Mercola in articles.mercola.com]