One in 5 Malaysians are being diagnosed with diabetes and according to our health & fitness columnist Dr Andrea Lim, one of the main culprits is the overconsumption of sugar.

pexels-photo-503358.jpg (original size)Sugar is present even when we don’t expect it. (Photo: Pexels)

It is no secret that Malaysia has some of the highest rates of diabetes, with 1 in 5 Malaysians being diagnosed with the disease.

While a whole host of reasons may contribute to this alarming statistic, one of the major culprits can be identified as sugar—or at least our overconsumption of it.

Also read: Do popular diet plans work?

Here are some reasons why we are so dependent on sugar.

1. It’s addictive

When we consume sugar, our brain releases the hormone Dopamine—our ‘feel good’ hormone, which gives us an instantaneous ‘lift’. But what goes up must come down, and we experience a ‘crash’ when our sugar levels drop, leaving us tired and grouchy, and we reach for our next sugary treat.

2. It turns off our satiety signals

Sugar can turn off the production of the hormone Leptin, which usually tells us when we have eaten enough. The result being continuous cravings and hunger pangs, and increased calorie consumption.

3. It’s everywhere

Sugar is present even when we don’t expect it—it’s in bread, in smoked salmon, in yoghurt, in cheese, in sausages…you get the idea.

4. It’s sneaky

There are around 61 alternative names for sugar, and the food industry hide these in fancy sounding ingredients in complicated, difficult-to-read labels. The ‘healthy’ granola bar? Not so healthy after all.

For a sugar detox, experts recommend a three-day ‘cold turkey’ approach of eliminating all sugars from your diet* (fruit, rice and bread included), to reset our bodies’ response to sugar.

*For healthy adults only. Always obtain physician’s clearance before attempting diets.

Dr Andrea Lim.jpg (original size)With a perfect combination of charismatic beauty, grace and intelligence, Dr Andrea Lim is a firm believer in the values of hard work and dedication. Besides working in her family business, KL Sogo, the new mom is also a partner in her husband’s health and fitness venture, Peak Fitness.

To get in touch with her, please email

Tatler Asia
© 2023 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.