Sugar – a substance that many people associate with both joy and pleasure, but which can also have a negative impact on the body’s systems, especially on the gut flora.
Most of us are aware that sugar can be harmful to the body. This article provides some insight into what types of sugars there are, how they affect us and how we might regulate our sugar intake.
Sugar is the collective name for several types of sugars. Different sugars are found naturally in fruits, berries and milk. It’s difficult to keep your diet completely free of sugar, but being aware of the different types of sugar available makes it easier to make active and healthy decisions concerning the types of sugar you consume.
In order for the good bacteria in the intestine to thrive and fulfil their function in the body, they need to be fed with fibre from foods such as bananas, onions and garlic. Sugar and artificial sweeteners have the opposite effect on our gut flora as they promote unhealthy bacteria while halving the concentration of benign bacteria over time. As the benign bacteria in the gut flora are crucial for a well-functioning metabolism, sugar and sweeteners can adversely affect our health, for example by causing glucose intolerance.
But even if sugar and artificial sweeteners are harmful to the body, you don’t have to deny yourself everything that tastes sweet in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are, in fact, sweet foods that have a positive effect on the gut flora. One of these is honey (raw/unpasteurized), which can benefit the positive bacteria in the gut. Even dark chocolate with a low sugar content and a cocoa content of at least 70% contains substances that can be broken down into anti-inflammatory components, which contribute to a strengthened immune system and promotes general health.
1. Reduce your consumption of sweet foods such as soft drinks, sweets, ice cream, cakes and buns – especially in your day-to-day life.
2. Be sure to read the table of contents for different products. When sugar is listed high up in the list of ingredients, this indicates that a lot of sugar has been added to the product.
3. Always choose natural sources of sugar and consume regular sugar only on special occasions.
4. In addition to reducing your sugar intake, you can make the gut flora more resistant to the sugar you consume by making sure to eat an anti-inflammatory and high-fibre diet rich in vegetables and fruits. You can also add a dietary supplement with lactic acid bacteria and fibre in order to further strengthen the benign bacteria in the gut flora.