Today on The Ask Prof Noakes Podcast we chat to Prof. Tim Noakes about sugar and how this actually affects the body. Can you consume low amounts of sugar daily or binge on a large amount occasionally – how will this affect your system?
Why you should cut sugar from your diet
We have chatted extensively about why you should cut sugar out of your diet. Margaret submitted her question for consideration on the Ask Prof Noakes Podcast and she wants to know what effect does a sugar binge have on the body?
She wants to know that if you, for say two weeks or a month or more, go without any sugar, zero grams of sugar and then all of a sudden for some reason, whether it be stress or whatever, you end up eating a whole pack of sugary candy, whether it be a slab of chocolate, or whatever it is and then you go back to no sugar.
Is a big dose of sugar like that occasionally, better than a smaller dose every single day?
Prof Tim Noakes: That is a great question. You know, the point about the little bit of sugar every day is very few people can actually do that. if you can do it, then maybe it is fine.
The same applies to a slab of chocolate. If you can eat one square of chocolate and put the chocolate away, you do not have a sugar addiction and you are fine. You can eat chocolate occasionally.
Can you eat just one piece of chocolate?
It is the same with if you add half a teaspoon of sugar to your tea. If you stick at that, and you only have a couple of cups of tea a day and you never increase to one sugar and then to two sugars, you should be fine but I could never do that.
I would just add more and more sugar until it got to two or three teaspoons and then I would cut it back again to half and then I will go straight back to three after a few months. It is only when I absolutely cut it to zero, that I solved my problem.
It is utterly dependent on your own level of sugar addiction and if you literally can have a binge on one day and not want to find sugar the next day, then you are fine. You can do it and it will really not harm your health to any great extent. It does disturb your metabolism for about a week. It takes about a week for everything to get back in place but it is certainly not going to kill you if you are doing everything else right.
I think the message is that sugar is highly addictive and for many of us it is so addictive that we have to get rid of it completely.
Sugar is addictive
I am now three and a half years without sugar, four years without carbs and if I go out and someone very kindly produces a so called ‘LCHF or Banting Diet dessert’, because I just simply do not eat desserts anymore, but I have to eat it because they kindly presented it, and it is has got zylatol or aspermade in it, I feel sick the next day and I start looking for sugar despite the fact that I have not eaten sugar for three and a half years.
That is because my addiction to sugar is so powerful, that I have got to be very careful and please understand that I do not have the worst case of sugar addiction.
There are other people that are, who literally have to go to the shops three times a day to buy sugar and that is to buy sugar in terms of chocolates and sweets.
That is the real debilitating sugar addiction and so people just need to understand where do you sit on the sugar addiction scale and if you are extreme, you have to cut it completely, utterly and never eat it again.