Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Harmful Effects of Sugar: Why You Should Avoid It At All Costs

Forget Fat. We have been brainwashed into thinking the root of all evil and the cause of all illness is fat. We couldn't be more wrong. Introducing sugar - the most harmful food being eaten today. 

Sugar is everywhere. It is more than the white substance you store in a bowl and add to your tea. It is in so many different forms - table sugar, glucose syrup, dextrose  and honey - and it all affects the body in the same ways. 

The problem is we are also consuming more sugar than ever before - alot of it in hidden forms. The average Irish person consumes 238 teaspoons of sugar every week - often without being aware of it. I often hear people exclaim "But I don't have sugar in my tea" but sugar is in foods we might not even be aware of. 

The Hidden Sugar

Many people do not realise how much sugar is in their foods. The following is the amount of sugar in some popular foods: 

Can of Coke - 10 tsp
Mars Bar - 11 tsp 
Chocolate Milkshake - 13.5 tsp

Even "healthy" foods can have surprising amounts:

Yoplait Strawberry yogurt - 5 tsp
Granola Bar - 2tsp 

Refined sugar offers us zero nutrients - that is zero protein, zero fat and zero vitamins or minerals. In fact it is creates a nutrient deficit as our body actually robs nutrients from the body in order to process refined sugars in the body. Nutrients like potassium, calcium and sodium are robbed from your healthy cells meaning you are putting yourself at greater risk of osteoporosis. 

Sugar consumption also puts us at risk of developing diseases such as diabetes. High intakes of sugar leads to increased production of insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas to help bring sugar into cells). Over production of insulin can lead to our cells becoming overworked and overstimulated - putting us at risk of diabetes. Diabetes is a life long illness and nothing to be sneezed at. Many people die every year from complications relating to diabetes.

Sugar also increases inflammation in the body. Inflammation is like a kindled fire. Normal inflammation is an important part of our bodies natural defence strategy and is important if we injure ourselves for example. Inflammation becomes an issue when it is persistent or chronic. It can contribute to the development of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease or dementia.

Sugar also contributes to imbalanced gut flora as it feeds bad bacteria. Gut flora is incredibly important for immune function and brain health.  

Sugar has been found to be as addictive as cocaine with it's chemical makeup being very similar to this other addictive white substance. 

It is also known to lower immunity substantially. Always sick? Your daily sugar intake may be contributing! 

Everything in Moderation
We all hear this mantra every day. But when it comes to sugar, there really is no safe amount. We should avoid it at all costs. Sugar should not form a part of your daily diet. 

Three Ways To Avoid Sugar

1. Read your labels: Know your sugar. If there is glucose, fructose corn syrup, maltose, sucrose or any of the other sugar derivatives in it - avoid it. Find a healthier alternative. Also worth noting is that the higher a food is up the list of ingredients, the more there is in it. (The first food is the most plentiful) Avoid if it in the first three ingredients. 

2. Ban Sugary Drinks: Soft drinks are laden with sugar. This also includes fruit juice which is high in fructose. Replace soft drinks with water and eat the whole fruit instead of their juices. 

3. Avoid Processed Food and Baked Goods - These foods contain more sugar than you realise. Manufacturers know we love sugar so they pack loads of it into their foods to make it taste nice and to encourage us to eat more of it. Our taste buds have been over sensitized to sugar and we now can't taste the natural sweetness of fruits. Cut these bad foods out of your diet and eat natural sugar in fruit form instead (2-3 portions a day, choose berries, apples or pineapple as they are lower in sugars than many others) 

1 comment:

  1. I started the 21 Day Sugar Detox and I have less than a week left. I can definitely tell you that I feel so much better without eating sugar, and even the cravings are totally gone.