Is the sweet stuff re­ally mak­ing you over­weight and sick? Read on for life-sav­ing ad­vice.

Good Housekeeping (Philippines) - - Front Page -

Ah, sugar—tastes so good, feels so bad. No won­der so many women have a love/hate re­la­tion­ship with the sweet stuff. And it turns out, we’re all eat­ing too much of it. On a global scale, the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) is see­ing an alarm­ing rise in health con­cerns con­nected with a dam­ag­ing re­la­tion­ship with sugar. Trans­la­tion: A diet that’s ex­ces­sively high in sugar, cou­pled with a seden­tary life­style, will wreak havoc on your body.

The good news is you can be in con­trol of your sugar con­sump­tion, and ul­ti­mately, of your health. Read on to find out how.

“Once you con­sume sugar, your body breaks it down into the most ba­sic forms of car­bo­hy­drates: glu­cose, fruc­tose, and galac­tose, which are then ab­sorbed into your blood­stream,” adds Raoul Felipe M.D., an in­ternist from the Na­tional Kid­ney and Trans­plant In­sti­tute.

The rea­son you can’t com­pletely elim­i­nate sugar from your diet? It is es­sen­tial for your body’s daily func­tions. “Glu­cose, in par­tic­u­lar, is the main fuel source that the body uti­lizes for en­ergy. It keeps ev­ery­thing work­ing—from your mus­cles to your or­gans to your brain,” ex­plains Dr. Re­gal­ado.

You might typ­i­cally as­so­ciate the sweet stuff with honey, the ta­ble va­ri­ety, and the added sugar in treats like choco­late and soda. But you’re also get­ting it from other sources, the most com­mon of which are starches (think rice, pasta, bread, and whole grains), fiber sources (like fruits and both starchy and non-starchy veg­eta­bles), and dairy (in­clud­ing milk and yo­gurt). “The body, how­ever, does not dis­tin­guish be­tween the dif­fer­ent types and sources of sugar. To the body, sugar is sugar, and breaks it down in ex­actly the same way,” says Dr. Felipe.

This is where it gets tricky. “A bal­ance needs to be main­tained be­tween the amount of your car­bo­hy­drate in­take and the en­ergy ex­pended to use up these sources of fuel for your body,” ex­plains Dr. Felipe. This means your diet and ex­er­cise habits are the keys to mak­ing sugar work for you, not against you.

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