5 things about sugar you should know about

Friday, November 18, 2016

It’s sweet, tasty, and highly addictive. Sugar activates the same areas of your brain as cocaine and is actually MORE addictive than the drug. It’s literally in everything. You can’t hide from it, but you can control it. It’s sugar. Sugar is being added to almost everything you eat to make foods more palatable. However, with more added sugar means more illnesses and diseases.

This is why there has been a shift in healthy lifestyle choices being made by people all over the world including people you may know. Keep in mind that this isn’t just a phase. This is real, VERY real. Sugar is destroying your body in ways you never imagined possible.

1. It hides under many aliases:
To understand and control sugar, you have to be aware of the many names it hides under. Here is a brief list:
• High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
• Cane sugar
• Date sugar
• Honey
• Corn syrup
• Agave nectar
• Fruit juice
• Fructose, glucose, maltose, sucrose
• Evaporated can juice
• Juice concentrate

The list goes on and on. Remember, sugar is sugar no matter in what form. The only exception is fruit. Eating the whole fruit includes nutrients and fiber that provides a natural balance to the sugar.

2. Compromises your immune system:
How does sugar compromise your immune system? In this explanation we will use sugar and Vitamin C as examples. Sugar and Vitamin C have similar chemical structures. Since they are similarly structured, they actually compete for space in your white blood cells. What’s so important about white blood cells? Well, when your white blood cells are joined with Vitamin C, it destroys bacteria, viruses, and infections in your body. Now, think about it. If you are over consuming sugar, there will be no space for your Vitamin C to join your white blood cells to fight off the bad bacteria and viruses.

Let’s cut to the chase. We can all agree that sugar is in everything now. Processed foods, canned foods, fast foods, junk foods, snack foods…you get the point. I know it can be hard to avoid, but let’s do our best and try! This might sound boring and old school, but fruits and veggies are the best sources for vitamins and nutrients. Let’s all make a pact to supply our bodies with proper nutrients for a healthy, uncompromised immune system!

3. Added sugars:
Also known as free sugars or empty calories, added sugars have no benefits to the body. It is unnatural sugars that are being added to mostly process foods for it to be palatable and as some would say addicting.

Added sugars have been linked to high blood pressure, obesity, type II diabetes, and much more. Let’s be aware of what we are putting into our bodies.

4. Too much sugar to handle:
What happens when we consume sugar? Well, we either use it for energy or convert it to fat. When we convert it to fat, we store it in our fat cells. Fat cells…we definitely don’t want more of that! It is so easy for our body to store it as fat than use it as energy. That is why it is so important to have balance. What helps with this balance?

We have a hormone called insulin, which regulates our blood sugar levels. If we consume too much sugar, we overproduce insulin causing blood sugar levels to drop below normal levels. This is referred to as hypoglycemia. This then turns into an endless cycle. If you can imagine, once your blood sugar is low and you start to have a sugar crash, what do you crave? SUGAR! A quick pick me upper, right?! A cup of coffee with sugar in it? An energy drink filled with sugar? This has become a norm and should not be this way.

As I said before, let’s be aware of our sugar intake.

5. Should you just avoid sugar at all costs:
Remember #1? The many names that sugar hides under? Those are the sugars we want to avoid the best we can. Stick to natural sugars from raw fruits. A nice, fresh, whole fruits to provide a balance between fiber and sugar (fructose).

See how I said whole fruits and not fruit juice? Fruit juice is very concentrated. If you are to drink organic fruit juices, be sure it is a small amount. Otherwise, the best way would be to eat the actual fruit.

I hope that this has been helpful! We do not have to completely eliminate sugar from our diet, but just be AWARE. Be aware of how much and what kinds of sugar you are consuming. Keep in mind that everyone responds differently with certain sugars. For more information on what your body is sensitive to, find an experienced Applied Kinesiologist to help you.

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