It was a Saturday well-spent at Mahota Commune where I attended an interesting workshop on how to ‘shake-off’ sugar from your diet. Most of us have probably heard of the unhealthy effects of consuming too much sugar and how sugar can cause diabetes, high blood pressure and other health conditions. It wasn’t new to me when they shared about how processed sugar are often the culprit that jeopardises our body system. But what was new (and shocking) to me was when both certified integrative nutrition health coaches, Dr Surinder Arora and Phillipa Glover who shared with us that fructose, a simple sugar, is the culprit. Fructose? Based on my contextual knowledge, it is a naturally-occurring sugar which is found in plants. I’ve always presumed that plant-derived sugar is much healthier than processed sugar. But after I’ve attended the workshop and did some thorough research, it turns out that there are studies to show that excessive fructose consumption can lead to insulin resistance, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Interestingly, it has got to do with how our body metabolises fructose. In short, only our liver cells can break down fructose and during the process, triglycerides and free radicals are formed. Glucose, on the other hand, can be easily metabolised in our body cells to release energy. At this point, it’s not difficult to understand why consuming excess sugar (especially fructose) causes weight gain. Fructose is commercially used in food and beverages. Even plants like sugarcane and corn are high in fructose and thus should be consumed in limited quantities. Plant-derived sugar may not exactly be ‘healthy’ as what most people think. I guess, at the end of the day, we just need to watch how much sugar we are consuming each day. That’s because almost every food item we are consuming contains a certain amount of sugar. During the workshop, we did a little activity where we have to guess how many cubes of sugar was present in each food item. You would be surprised to know that a slice of bread contains some amount of sugar even though it does not taste sweet. Even so-called healthy Aloe vera drinks can contain up to 6 cubes of sugar in a pack! How to shake-off the sugar to achieve a more balanced diet? We could limit the amount of sugar or totally do away with sugar. Another tip would learn how to read the nutrition label and calculate how much sugar is present in the food item. In that way, you would be able to make a smart choice for yourself. We were treated to some sugar-free treats like brownies and bliss balls using natural ingredients like coconut flour or shredded coconut which has a natural sweetness to it. But if it isn’t sweet enough for you, you can add some brown rice malt syrup or Medjool dates just to bring out the flavour and to satisfy your sweet cravings. I was glad that I’ve attended this informative workshop and I believe that the world should know about this! Do check out more of such health and wellness workshops organised by Mahota Commune. For the latest updates, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mahotasg/
I'm a digital content writer from Singapore who started blogging ten years ago as a hobby and won't stop till Jesus returns. Yoga and green smoothies keep me going.