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Introduction

There is no doubt that we cannot live without this small crystalline ingredient called
Sugar. Literally, every single food and drink we ever take is containing sugar. The only
different is that the amount we are taking it. Fabien Perucca & Gerard Pouradier (in The
Rubbish on Our Plates) wrote this: Inscribed in gold on the front page of the sugar industrys
instruction manual is this motto: If it is edible, there should be sugar in it, if there isnt, put
some in it (Chng Beng Im, Food and Cancer). There is not one snack, sausage or a packet of
sauce that does not contain sugar and we didnt even realized that everyday, our processed food
from can food, bread, cereal to pasta sauce also contain sugar.

In other words, sugar can be

highly addictive, freakily delicious and we cant get out of it sometimes. Does sugar become one
of the worst ingredients that can have effect on human health either positive or negative?
Before going further, lets us get to know with sugar. What is sugar? Sugar is a simple,
edible and crystalline carbohydrates that comes in many different form. However, all different
forms of sugar have a sweet flavor. Sugar is a carbohydrate that found naturally in different types
of food (Kelly Torrens). Basically, there are four (4) types of basic sugar; glucose, lactose,
fructose and sucrose. Glucose is the main sugar that the cell in our body use for energy and it can
be found naturally in fruit and vegetables. Next, this type of sugar can be found in milk which
lactose. Fructose which is fruit sugar, occurring naturally in fruit and also in cane sugar and
honey and it is definitely sweet. Last but not least, sucrose, which is just table sugar and it is
double molecule containing 1 molecule of fructose plus 1 molecule of glucose. Generally sucrose
is created by processing sugar beet or sugar cane. So, what is the big deal about sugar? Is sugar
gives out terrifying effect to our health? Lets us take a look whether sugar can be advantages or
disadvantage towards our body health.

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As well as diabetes, too much sugar intake also leads the way to a number of
cardiovascular problem and one of it is heart failure. According to researchers at the University
of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), they have revealed that consuming too
much added sugar can greatly increase the risk of heart failure. How does excessive sugar
intake could contribute to heart disease? First and foremost, the problem with sugar is that it
contributes to the increase of blood pressure and also may increase signs of inflammation of the
arterial wall. Inflammation of arterial walls is cause by insulin spike which continuously happen
and it start to ravage our ultra-important endothelial lining of blood (Dr. Stephen Sinatra). As a
result, the endothelial lining is damaged thus all the well-known causes of heart disease problems
arise to the scene and create inflammatory that eventually leads to health concerns such as heart
attack and stroke. Addition to excessive sugar or carbohydrate (as mention before, sugar is
carbohydrate), people might not notice the lack of knowledge about hidden sugar that also
contributes to health problems. Furthermore, food that we think low-fat and diet food also
contain extra sugar that help to improve their taste and to add bulk and texture in the place of fat.
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What about obesity? Does sugar cause obesity? Recently, sugar has been linked to
diabetes, obesity, weight gain and heart failure. There is no doubt that high sugar intake in our
food and drink can contribute to obesity. The question is, does sugar really the major contributor
to this kind of health problems? some expert believes its the sugar rather than fat in our diets
that contributing to obesity epidemic (Kelly Torrens). Sugar contains calories thus any food that
contain calories if we eat too much, we will gain weight. Either burn it as energy or it will
convert to fat and store it in fat cells. So, if we eat more than we burn, weight gain will follow

and as starter to obesity. Although sugar definitely sources of calories and can have bad impact to
our health system and weight if we consumed excessively, there are plenty of other things that
relate to the growing numbers of obesity. As matter of fact, poor diet and lack of physical
activities in our bodies that means less calories is burn, high intake of processed food that
contain hidden sugar probably contribute to some degree of obesity population (Dr. Ray Strand,
Books of Bio Nutrition). In addition to lack of physical activities, our body simply becomes less
sensitive to insulin. When insulin resistance becomes higher, our body will produce more and
more insulin and it can cause us to gain an unusual amount of weight.
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Apart from high blood sugar level that cause by too much sugar or food carb intakes,
consuming less sugar also causing a problem. Hypoglycemia itself is not a disease but a sign of
health problem. Low blood sugar level or known as Hypoglycemia is an abnormal condition
whereby the sugar (glucose) level in the blood is too low than is supposed to be. Hypoglycemia
can occur when blood sugar level is under 3.9 mmol/L (60 or 70 mg/dL) but in certain condition,
patient only feels the symptom when the blood sugar level reaches 2.8 till 3.0 mmol/L (50 to 54
mg/dL) (Dr. Nur Hidayati, Malaysian Medical Gazette). For patients who have diabetes problem,
hypoglycemia may happen due to diabetic medication such as insulin or sulfonylureas. Whereas
for who do not have diabetes, hypoglycemia refers to the stage whereby the body is having low
blood sugar that causes signs and symptom to the individual. Majority of people know that when
their blood sugar level drops, it is the time to do something about before it becomes worsen. The
typical or early sign and symptom that show Hypoglycemia is happening to our body are hunger,
trembling, sweating, nausea, pallor, heart palpitation and accelerated of heart rate. According to
Medilexicons medical dictionary, Hypoglycemia is Symptoms resulting from low blood glucose

(normal glucose range 600-100 mg/dL [3.3-3.5 mmol/dL]), which are either autonomic or
neuroglycopenic. Autonomic symptoms include sweating, trembling, feeling of warmth, anxiety
and nausea. Neuroglycopenic symptoms include feelings of dizziness, confusion, tiredness,
difficulty speaking, headache and inability to concentrate. (Medical News Today, 9 September
2014).
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Why Hypoglycemia occurs? As mention before, Hypoglycemia happen when blood sugar
level is dropping below the normal level. There are many causes of Hypoglycemia. To
understand it, firstly we need to understand how our bodies coordinate the blood sugar in the
body. In normal individual, our body breaks down sugar from carbohydrates (food that we eat
such as pasta, rice, vegetables and bread) to form glucose. When you ingest something
containing glucose, it goes straight into your stomach and you small intestine immediately
absorb into your bloodstream. Your blood then takes the glucose all around the body so that it
can be use as energy and the excess glucose as fat. However, glucose need insulin before it can
enter bloodstream. This is where pancreas will do their job. Pancreas will release adequate
amount of insulin to move glucose into the cells and lower the blood sugar level (Christian
Nordqvist, Medical News Today 2014). In other word, the cell in our body would starve energy
if there were no insulin produce, regardless of how much glucose there were.

Insulin is

responsible for bringing excess blood glucose levels back to normal. Excess glucose will be keep
in the liver and muscle in form of glycogen. How Hypoglycemia occurs? For example, when
individual fasting or not eaten for a while our blood sugar level will decrease. As can be seen,
when we are eating, the food that we ingest will breakdown in the form of glucose. So, if we are
not eating there is no food to digest and there is no glucose to be form. When blood sugar level

dropped, pancreas will release glycogen that already keeps in liver and muscle which trigger the
breakdown of stored glycogen into glucose. In normal body, glycogen and insulin need each
other to control the glucose in blood to be at optimum level. In addition, people with diabetes
also susceptible to hypoglycemia. People who suffer from diabetes Type 1 do not produce insulin
while those with Type 2 diabetes have cell which do not respond properly to insulin. Both type of
diabetes tend to suffer from rising blood-glucose levels and cells which do not get enough
energy. They both need to insulin injection in order to bring their blood sugar down. If people
with diabetes take too much insulin, their blood sugar levels can drop too low and cause
Hypoglycemia.
Response to Solution
Regardless of every positive and negative effect of sugar towards our body, we cant
really cut out sugar from our food, total. We still need some sugar in our diets in order to supply
energy to fuel up our muscle and keep our brain active. You can also making few adjustments to
your diet and cutting down on unnecessary sugar intake. For example, you can start by educate
yourself to look on the label of food that you buy. Check the ingredients list that ending with
ose (glucose, sucrose, and fructose) and also look at the nutrition panel. This kind of habit can
give you awareness on how much of your sugar consumption. Next, try to swap you white bread,
rice and pasta for wholegrain version like oats, whole meal breads and brown rice. If possible,
avoid can of soft drink which contain on average nine teaspoons of sugar. Then, balance your
carbohydrate intake and replace it with protein such as fish and chicken, hence slow down
stomach emptying and which helps in managing your crave. Lastly, drink at least one glass of
fruit juice a day and enjoy drinking plain water (8 glasses per day).