Do you wonder why our bodies crave sugar? Crave the muffins, cookies, candy bars, bagels, etc? I have been on a sugar kick for a long time. I do well for a few months, limiting my sugar, especially the processed sugar. I try to only use natural sweeteners like honey, agave, bananas, dates and stevia. It’s easy when you make your own treats, because you determine what goes inside.
Then there’s times when I cant’ resist an Almond Joy or those Peanut M&M’s. Although, they are rare occasions like a few times a year, there’s still a constant battle with sugar. Sugar lurks in everything and comes in many different forms or names. Until you really start to read labels, you don’t realize how much excess sugar you consume. From the cereals to breads, crackers and granola bars, trail mixes. The foods you think are healthy can be high in sugar. Ever check a plain yogurts ingredients and nutritional information? You’ll be hard pressed to find a plain yogurt with less than 10 grams of sugar. Crazy ugh? It’s actually maddening.
I inherited a sweet tooth from my mother. So there’s times I need my sugar fix. Lately I have been really watching my sugar intake. I didn’t think I consumed a lot of sugar, but after going on a sugar free fast, I realized I wasn’t as sugar free as I thought. It was actually quite surprised and disgusted. The average American consumes over 100-120 pounds of sugar a year, an almost 100% increase in the last 100 years, when the average consumption was only 10-15 pounds.
So if you didn’t think sugar was that big of a deal, here’s some reasons you should ditch sugar or at least be intentional about how much excess sugar you consume. We only need 25 grams of sugar for women and 37 for men (or 6 and 9 teaspoons), and on average we consume 126 grams, or 32 teaspoons a day.
Sugar is a Poison – I’ll just be blunt, it’s toxic and I always say poison to our bones. Sugar causes many ailments and bacteria feeds on sugar. So when you’re sick, the last thing you want to consume is sugar. Candida (the pesky little yeast that grows in abundance among those who consume too many processed carbs and take routine antibiotics) feeds on sugar, causing a suppressed immune system and weak digestive tract. Because sugar is acidic when consumed, and we over consume sugar, it leeches calcium from the bones, causing low bone density. Diabetes and obesity are on the rise, and sugar is a culprit.
Sugar Suppresses the Immune System – Consuming excess sugar, weakens the immune system, causing us to catch more bugs and stay sick longer. It’s interesting that flu’s and colds are more common in the winter months, those months where we are consuming Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pies and then all the Christmas goodies. Maybe’s there’s a connection, maybe there’s not.
Sugar causes Weight Gain – All the excess sugar you consume on a daily basis is converted to fat. The body doesn’t need to store it for energy, so it gets converted to fat because what else is the body to do with it? This may be why cutting out energy drinks, lattes, and soda almost always leads to weight loss. Just try eliminating pop from your diet if you are trying to lose weight, I guarantee you’ll notice a difference. It will suppresses ghrelin the “hunger hormone” and fails to stimulate leptin the “satiety hormone,” which in turns makes us keep eating it.
Sugar is Addictive – Since sugar is an empty calorie, we are never satisfied and will consume more and more. Our body becomes used to high levels of sugar, thus you consume even higher amounts of sugar to feel satisfied, and eventually higher (see the above reason). It’s devoid of nutritional value and our brain begins to want more and more of it, so we end up eating the entire bag of shareable M&M’s, because a serving size didn’t satisfy. It’s the new Cocaine in my opinion.
Sugar increases your Risk of Disease – Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, dementia and lipid problems are seen with an excess amount of sugar in the diet. These diseases are associated with metabolic syndrome, which is a common disorder in America. Sugar feeds cancer cells, causing rapid growth and their spreading.
source – I think this infographic is great!!
Sugar taxes the Liver – The liver is in charge of trying to filter out all the excess sugar, so an overload of sugar taxes the liver. This can lead to liver damage. The liver acts as are detoxifier and is put under a lot of stress by the average American, because of not only all the processed junk it has to detoxify, but all the excess sugar.
Sugar Ages You – Sugar can cause acne among other skin conditions, aging the skin. It promotes wrinkles and disease, adding stress to the body. It also causes increased inflammation since it’s acidic, and inflammation leads to aging. Since sugar creates AGE’s (Advanced Glycation End products), which attack protein fibers like collagen and elastin, it leads to saggy and wrinkled skin. Collagen and elastin keep our skin firm and elastic.7 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Sugar via @wholesomelybry #sugar #healthtips #nutrition #health Click To Tweet
If these aren’t reason enough to start monitoring your sugar intake, then consider that it gives us the sugar high and crash, stealing our energy, makes us depressed and causes cancer. I don’t know about you, but I need all the energy I can get and I don’t want to live a depressed life.
So skip the sugar next time you need a “pick me up” and reach for something healthier. Next week I will be sharing ways to combat sugar addictions and cravings, and eventually give you healthier alternatives.
Have a great week.
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit
Do you consume more sugar then you should?