Usually, we think that cholesterol is bad and its high level is dangerous for our vessels and heart, true, but the question is where this all cholesterol comes from. It is also synthesized within our body for normal use. Some are required from outside. What is the biggest “outside” source of our high blood cholesterol? Wait for the answer; I am sure you will be amazed and terrified too. It is not particularly the fat but the sugars we all eat and love to shove us with to the brim.
What are these sugars we eat in our daily diet? I will come to the answer in a while, but first to understand, why we love to take in a lot of sugar. All sugars in our body are converted to glucose. This is fuel on which our brain lives and thrives. It can also use ketone bodies, but mostly it burns glucose, so here is your answer for the love of sugar. Coming to what kind of sugars (or carbohydrates) we take in our daily diet; and for the answer, we have to go into the details of each of the different sugars as well where they are found. The most staple diet around the word is: Wheat: Whether taken as bread, roti, noodles, cakes, buns, or any other stuff you can think of made with wheat. Try to find out how many times and how much wheat you take daily. One cup of all-purpose, or white, wheat flour has 95 grams of total carbohydrates. The sugar found in wheat is mostly starch. It is a long chain of glucose. As soon as wheat is digested, starch is broken within minutes by powerful pancreatic enzymes into glucose ready to be absorbed, leading to the abrupt rise of your blood glucose level. Rice: Another widely used staple is rice. The carbohydrate content in a bowl of rice is 44 g. The sugar of the rice is also starch. Corn: One cup of cornstarch 117 grams of carbohydrates. Whatever our diet is, I am sure it will include one of the 3 staple ingredients. So carbohydrates are well on their way. It’s not all bad, because you need carbohydrates in your daily diet for proper energy, as they are the best and efficient source. The fruit sugars: Most of the fruits have got fructose and glucose in varied proportions. Below is data taken from here for your eyes only: One cup of raspberries only contains five grams of sugar. Like raspberries, blackberries are low in sugar, with only seven grams of sugar per cup. Half of a grapefruit only contains eight grams of sugar. One cup of strawberries contains seven grams of sugar. Figs may be delicious, but one cup of raw figs contains a staggering 27 grams of sugar. One orange contains 12 grams of sugar. More on their site, so please visit them to have a better knowledge if you are interested (I teaspoon is 5 grams). The Honey: Our favorite substitute for sugar contains mainly fructose and glucose. It is mostly water and sugar with no significant nutritional value. Then comes the real enemy, table sugar, this is the most consumed sugar in our life. It is composed of glucose and fructose. Biochemist also called it as sucrose. We use it in beverages (1 coke can contain 3 tablespoons), orange juices (5 tablespoons), beer (less than 1 teaspoon per glass); confectionaries, bakery stuff, deserts, and in many food items we take. So why the intake of sugar so bad? One thing a common person must understand is the role of insulin with our blood glucose. In addition to high protein intake, glucose is the only substance that leads to the release of insulin from our pancreas. Mostly, our protein intake is not high, so the only stimulus then remains the entry of glucose from our intestines into the blood, which will trigger insulin release. At the risk of losing the sight of the forest and concentrating on the trees, we will see that the only job of insulin with glucose is to push it into the cells, where it is converted to glycogen (in the liver and skeletal muscles), which is the ultimate storage form of glucose. There are 2-ways the glucose enters into our bloodstream, quickly and slowly. If free abundant glucose is released inside our gut quickly, it will be absorbed rapidly, as the most effective mechanisms for its absorption is in place. On the other hand, if glucose is released at a slow pace from our food, obviously it will lead to slow entry. It will make a lot of difference, a rapid high level of glucose will stimulate the high amount of insulin for a longer period of time and vice versa.