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Dr Cris here with the Ask Dr Cris Show. Today’s question comes from Jack and he wants to know ‘is sugar really that bad for me?’

So, it has been in the media a lot and there has been lots of pluses and minuses according to different people about sugar. Does it lead to chronic disease? Does it lead to obesity? There is always two sides to the coin. My approach is always about moderation. There are some sugars that are probably not as good for you and those are the ones that are part of processed foods. So it is the 50/50 combination of sugar and fat in processed foods that makes it addictive which means you can’t stop and that’s the problem. It is the quantity of sugar and often the fat combination that causes the chronic disease. If you really want to reduce your sugar amount then you reduce hidden sugars, the ones in cereals, the ones in muesli bars, the ones in processed foods, the sugars that you can’t see that you can eat a lot of without realising it. So that is one thing.

The other thing is a lot of individuals replace vegetables for fruit. So, they are trying to get their five serves of veggies or fruit a day but it is skewed towards more fruit than vegetables. Fruit contains fructose sugar which in small amounts is actually quite good for you and it has got the fibre associated with it. It’s when it is in really high amounts. So do stick to no more than two pieces of fruit a day for adults and no more than one piece of fruit a day for children. The lower fructose fruits, the ones that have the lower sugar content, are your berries including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. All the berries have the lowest content. Do choose fruits that have a higher fibre amount to release the sugar slower into your system. They are the stone fruits, the plums, the peaches, also apples and pears will do the same thing. So, is sugar that bad for you? No, everything in moderation. Do avoid the processed foods that have all the hidden sugar in it that it means you consume so much more without realising it and, honestly, that’s part of moderation and a healthy diet. So thanks very much for your question. I look forward to more of your questions.

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Dr Cris

Holistic Medical Doctor, Author ‘Healthy Habits, 52 Ways to Better Health

Healthy Habits book Dr Cris