We all love our sweets. Often craving that pick-me-up soda or that chocolate to kill that sweet tooth. But are we really aware of what we are doing to our bodies?
We all know and have heard several times, that sugar is not good for us. But to we know just how damaging it can be to your body? Sugar comes in all forms and is often hidden in foods, especially the processed foods, as some other form that we might not recognize right away. The American diet is loaded with sugars, with the average American consuming 22-32 teaspoons a day! A DAY! When you think about that, start paying attention to what you are drinking and eating throughout the day. Take note of how much sugar is in each thing you consume. Its time to become more aware of what we are voluntarily doing to our bodies by consuming the foods and drinks that we do.
Most of our diets are filled with convenient foods, or fast, processed foods. As a society, we are always on the go, looking for a fix, or addicted to sugar when we might not be aware of it. Sugars come in all different forms and are often hidden in common foods we eat.
You can find it on labels listed as:
- Evaporated can juice
- Malt or malt syrup
- Corn syrup or high
- fructose corn syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Agave nectar
We all think of diabetes when we associate sugar with health problems, which is one condition. Increasing your sugar intake can increase your risk 1% for every 150 calories from sugar you consume. However, there are so many more health conditions associated with extra added sugar that you might not be aware of.
Sugar triggers the liver to store more fat, which can cause fatty liver.
The liver is the only organ that can metabolize sugar. When there is an abundance of sugar, the liver will convert most of the excess into fat. This then leads to the fatty liver. Sugar has become the chief cause of liver disease and leading cause of liver transplants. In America it affects 90 million adults and 17% of children. Studies show that carbs, those starchy and those mostly composed of sugar, produce more fat in your belly and liver. The sugar consumed switches on fat production in your liver. This process is called lipogenesis, which is your body’s normal response to sugar. Having a fatty liver can lead to inflammation, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
Children are seen with fatty liver as young as 10-12 due to drinking soda for years and consuming other sugar-filled drinks and processed foods.
To reverse this process, you need to cut processed carbs and increase healthy fat intake.
Has a direct effect on your heart and blood vessels.
Sugar increases insulin levels in the blood stream. The pancreas maintains the body’s blood sugar balance. When sugar is consumed, insulin is released to help maintain that balance. With too much insulin in the blood stream, the smooth muscle cells around the vessels grow at a higher rate than normal. This causes the artery walls to become tense, leading to increase blood pressure and increase risk for heart attacks and stroke.
Excess sugar increases cholesterol, especially in those who are overweight or diabetic. The added sugars increase LDL (bad cholesterol) and Triglycerides, and lowers HDL (good cholesterol).
Sugar causes you to gain weight.
Sugar mixes up the brain’s signal to tell you that you’re full. We have a hormone, called Leptin, which signals to our brain that we are full. We will continue to eat even though we have had enough food, causing over-eating, which leads to weight gain. It also causes metabolic dysfunction. Metabolic Syndrome is classified as weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure.
Other diseases linked to Metabolic Syndrome are:
- Type II Diabetes
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- lipid problems
- Heart disease
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
Not only does it make us gain weight, but to add to it, it increases your risk for depression by 40%. Along with weight gain and depression, sugar deprives us of our energy, causing sugar spikes and crashes.
Sugar promotes aging, wrinkles, and saggy skin.
Sugar ages you from the inside out. It hastens the degradation of elastin and collagen. Sugar damages the elastin fibers in a process by glycation by binding to the proteins, causing them to mutate. These mutations accumulate and cause further inflammation, damaging the collagen and elastin. Giving up sugar is much cheaper than a facelift! Not only is this a problem on the level of the skin, but it also can result in damage internally. The internal damage can show up as atherosclerosis, cataracts, arterial stiffening(as discussed above), and neurological impairment.
Increases our risks for colds and infections.
Sugar suppresses the activity of our white blood cells, making us more susceptible to infections diseases, as well as cancer. This can also make allergies worse.
- Increase consumption of healthy fats.
- Cut out starchy, sugary foods.
- Increase water intake
- Take and ALA Supplement – Alpha Lipoic Acid increases cell’s ability to take up glucose for metabolism, removing it from the blood and helping to prevent damaging glycation reactions. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties.
If you’re ready to kick the sugar addiction and start living a healthier lifestyle, join us on our free 10-Day Sugar Detox! It includes 35 pages of meal plans, recipes, and a grocery list!