I hope you don't mind. I thought of spending your precious time with some interesting one-liners today!
Sugar is the new cholesterol
Catchy one-liners are clearly that.
Eye-catching. They are fun to read; often startle us into accepting new ideas and are generally educative. However, they should be seen for what they are really meant to convey. For example, this one-liner above is not meant to downplay the importance of lowering cholesterol, which is so critical to prevent heart disease. The one-liner is only meant to highlight the increasing recognition that excess sugar intake is harmful, and could increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Sitting is the new smoking
This is another popular adage. In this era of work from home and hybrid workspaces, the importance of physical activity has come to the fore. Some people have dramatically improved their physical activity and reaped health rewards like fitness and improvement in Diabetes control. On the other hand, some people with Diabetes have lapsed into sedentariness, and have paid the price with high blood sugar levels and worsening of complications. By equating idleness with a habit as dangerous as smoking, the message in the one-liner is clear. Physical activity can spur health and longevity.
Sugar is the new tobacco In my view, this is a very important quote. And indeed, this topic of "sugar" forms the crux of our cover story. Sugar is a calorie-rich, sweet-tasting compound found in everyday foods. Studies have increasingly shown that like tobacco, excess sugar consumption is also harmful to health. International health associations have all been calling for reducing sugar intake in the diet.
In addition to the obvious sources of sugar, there is"added sugar" which is a term used to highlight that sugar is added to other natural ingredients, such as sugar-sweetened flavoured yoghurts and baked foods. There is "hidden sugar" too. Even if you give up your rasgullas and jalebis, you could be consuming added sugars without realizing it, and these are called hidden sugars. Examples include ketchup, soups and salad dressings. The best way to spot the hidden sugar is to learn to read the food label yourself or to check with your nutritionist.
50 is the new 30!
This one-liner probably makes all of us happy (disclosure: I am 51 years old}. But it is true that people from all over the world are now living longer, probably due to advances in healthcare and living conditions, as well as a decline in bad habits like smoking. On the sugar consumption front too, some countries like the United States are seeing a decline in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Even as we celebrate these global successes, we must remember that it is the individual steps that we must take if we are to remain healthy: eating well, being active, keeping calm and sleeping well.
Wishing you a Happy New Year!
Dr Unnikrishnan AG