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Published On: Sun, May 11th, 2014

Consultant advises on low sugar intake for healthy living

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A UNICEF Public Health and Nutrition Consultant, Dr John Egbuta, has said that intake of foods with simple sugar was detrimental to individual’s health and well-being in the long term.

Egbuta told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that simple sugar were carbohydrates that quickly digested to the body’s detriment.

“Without sugar the brain cells cannot work. It is better for you to use what we know as complex carbohydrates, instead of simple sugar. It is the kind of sugar that once it enters into your mouth what is coming out is just sugar and that sugar goes straight into your blood stream. It goes straight into your pancreas, it causes the insulin to come up and that is where the danger is”.

He therefore advised that the use of complex carbohydrates ware a better alternative.

“But the complex carbohydrates after you have eaten it takes almost two hours for the sugar to come out of it. The sugar comes out in a very slow pace and then still supplies the sugar you need for your brain. So if you want to have a healthy life make sure you are consuming complex carbohydrates.” He stated, adding that complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, carrots and apple were beneficial and provided fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals as well as sugar for the brain.

“Sometimes, your parents have a history of sugar, if you are not careful you’ll also have the same problem. So it is good for one to get to understand what your own health history is. If your mother had problems with sugar, of course you better watch out, you may run into the same problem. And the way to overcome it is before even the problem manifests, you begin to work towards it by making sure your sugar intake is reduced. In fact, there is no other way to handle it except for you to run away from sugar at early age. If you don’t do it, before you know it, it has become a disease.”

Egbuta added that many people mistakenly thought that sugar was the only source of simple sugar but in reality certain foods and drinks such as cola and malt drinks contain simple sugar.

He urged Nigerians to avoid the trap of hidden simple sugars by reading the labels of processed drinks, sauces, syrups, salad dressings, and spreads.

“Raw sugar, brown sugar, granulated sugar, fructose, glucose, monosaccharide, lactose, maltose, and sucrose are all code for simple sugar and should be avoided,” he said. (NAN)

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