Sugar is not so sweet in the way it relates to your overall health profile. It is arguably the most detrimental ingredient that has been added into our modern diet.
Too much sugar and too many refined carbs affect our insulin levels, changing blood sugar levels and causing fat to accumulate, especially around the waistline. High blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes are 3 other good reasons to get sugar consumption under control.
Just as a fine vehicle needs good gas to drive smoothly, our bodies need good nutrition to function correctly. This means that most of our intake needs to come from REAL FOOD- protein, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, nuts, beans, fresh veggies and lots of them!
Take a look at your own pantry and fridge and check out how much sugar is hiding in non fat milk, white/wheat bread, cereal, condiments, soup, peanut butter, as well as the obvious sweets and treats. Filling up with non nutritional, high sugar items keeps us away from the good stuff. It may also suppress the immune system, effect moods, cause headaches, change energy levels, promote tooth decay, cause unnecessary weight gain, increase fluid retention…I’ll stop there, but it’s not a pretty list!
Because it causes massive Dopamine release in the reward center of the brain, sugar is highly addictive. Try going off of it this week! Sugar has the classic addiction symptoms of cravings, increased intake, withdrawal, and relapse. A good lay person’s definition of any addiction is anything you throw an internal TANTRUM over not being able to have. That’s a red light.
Don’t substitute garbage chemicals like saccharin, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, and sucralose. I won’t go on about this, but trust me, they’re not good for you. Soda? Forget it. Diet Soda? Even worse. Ultimately we want to slow down, suppress, and replace our appetite for sugar, not feed it through false sources.
Here are some not so sweet sugar facts: It raises the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, can make you depressed, due to the fact that those with higher insulin resistance emit lower amounts of dopamine- the feel good hormone and neurotransmitter, increases fat storage, causes wrinkles when it attacks and breaks down protein fibers in collagen and elastin, it zaps your energy in the long run- a sugar fix will boost energy temporarily but the inevitable sugar crash will cause you to eat more sugar to repeat that temporary high—resulting in weight gain, lower energy levels and restless sleep.
So where can it fit into your life? I recommend a maximum allowance daily of 200 total calories for all sweets, snacks and alcohol. Want a little treat? Then go for something more pure like organic high cacao dark chocolate over a processed candy bar. If you aim at a maximum of 15-20 grams (if any) of added sugar a day, you’ll quickly notice positive results.
Watch your sugar, Sugar!