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Answers to more than 1000 questions about psychology, mental health, healthy living and relationships, written by a team of experts appointed by the Commission of the European Communities.
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The aim of Web4Health is to give good and useful free medical advice, help and self help in the areas of mental health, psychology, personality disorders, relationships, stress, anxiety, depression, emotional abuse, substance abuse, sexual abuse, types of mental illness, etc.

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Sugar, sweets, candy

Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.

First version: 22 Jul 2008. Latest revision: 09 Jan 2009.

Question:

 Will sugar make me fat? Is sugar dangerous? Should I eat food which contains sugar?

Answer:

If you are a healthy person, your body has the ability to tell you when you have eaten enough. If this works well, you will feel satisfied when you have eaten what your body needs. You will then achieve a normal, healthy body.

For some people, this does not work. They may then get too fat or too thin or have other eating problems. Sugar confuses this ability, so that the system will not work correctly. Sugar might give you a craving for food even if you do not need more food.

To achieve a healthy weight, it is best to avoid food which confuses your ability to sense adequate hunger and satisfaction. You should thus avoid all but small amounts of sugar and foods which include sugar.

Some studies indicate, however, that small amounts of sugar in your food leads to a slightly lower body weight than sugar-free food.

Sugar raises the amount of sugar in your blood. Your body then produces insulin in order to reduce the amount of sugar. This may cause you to feel low, and want to take another dose of sugar. If you have this problem, switch to food which is taken up more slowly by the body.

Unfortunately, a lot of foods contain unnecessary sugar. For example, bread and salad sauces often contain sugar which need not be there. Most candies also contain sugar, and bananas consist mostly of sugar. It is possible to make good salad sauces, bread and other food without using sugar.

There are different kinds of sugar. Common sugar, also known as saccharose, is especially detrimental to your ability to feel adequate hunger and satisfaction. Many fruits and berries contain other kinds of sugar which are less dangerous.

Recommended book: "Potatoes not Prozac", by Kathleen DesMaisons, Simon & Schuster , 1998 ISBN 0-684-85014-1.

See also:

Sources, references

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