Have you ever wondered how your body reacts to sugar?
Sugar, as much as we love it, can be a cause of many health issues such as chronic health problems or heart diseases. Not only can access sugar sabotage your weight loss, but it can also take over from the space that should be reserved healthy - nutritious.
How about some facts?
Despite all the warnings and signs, people often tend to overlook this fact. The amount of sugar per day for women should not exceed 24 grams (6 tsp) and for men 36 grams (9 tsp). While, currently, the average for both genders is about 73 grams (17.4 tsp) per day!
Have you ever wondered what happens to your body after overeating on sugar? Let's break it down...
Sugar triggers the release of dopamine (your happy hormone), so yes sugar provides temporary feelings of happiness, which however might become addictive. The more sugar you eat, the more you need to reach that same 'sugar high'.
Sugar increases inflammation in the body, when it comes to skin - it could appear as a skin conditions such as acne.
Your Liver, Pancreas, and Kidneys
Your liver converts the excess sugar into fat, which over time can lead to fatty liver disease - similar to what alcohol abusers may suffer. When it comes to the pancreas and kidneys, overdoing it with sugar can lead to diabetes and kidney failure.
Too much of processed sugar can negatively influence your gut microbiome, and lead to poor digestion.
Refined sugar and too much of it can cause blood spikes - highs and lows, and eventually lead to chronic health problems.
How sugar works?
Any sugar you consume broks down into glucose and fructose.
Glucose: is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) and the main component of carbohydrates, which is the body’s preferred source of energy. Glucose gets directly absorbed into the bloodstream to be used as energy.
Fructose: known to be - fruit sugar, this particular sugar is processed in the liver, where it's converted into glucose so that it can be used as energy.
Other than fruits, fructose is also in added to processed foods (high-fructose corn syrup for example). The difference is that when eaten in a fruit form you're also consuming fiber and nutrients that help slow down the absorption and keep your blood sugar levels steady.
The Bottom Line?
Not all sugar is created equal. Sugar naturally occurs in foods like fruits, veggies, dairy products and grains. When consuming these whole foods, you also get plenty of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. This includes fiber, which helps slow digestion and maintains your sugar levels steady.
If you'd like to read more about sugar check those out:
As good as it may taste, and even in times when it may “feel” like your friend, comforting you because of the beta-endorphin that rushes in your brain, it is sadly time to accept that sugar is NOT our friend…
Let's explain - regular consumption of sugary foods may just be one of the worst things that you can do for your and your children's health.
Surprisingly our sugar consumption grows considerably every year! Based on American study, from 1700 to 2012 the sugar consumption increased from 4 pounds of sugar per person per year to 1/2 pound of sugar per person PER DAY. That is whooping 180 pounds of sugar per person - per year; and the UK is not far behind...
• High Fructose Corn Syrup
Is the most commonly consumed form of sugar (by children especially). HFCS is highly addictive and contains fructose and glucose. The body digests the fructose immediately, going straight to the liver, that turns it into fat - contributing to weight gain. Fructose also supports the 'hunger hormone' (ghrelin) while does not stimulate the 'satisfaction hormone' (leptin), resulting in overeating.
Excess intake of any processed sugars can result in weakened immune system, due to decrease of white blood cells’ ability to destroy bacteria, and it also contributes to obesity, and diabetes.
Let's remember that sugar is highly addictive!
It has been proven that the sweet taste of sugar is more rewarding than the high of cocaine. Sugar produces dopamine (happy / feel-good chemical) into the brain, making people becoming addicted to eating sugar.
This is where it is good to focus on long term achievements rather than short term satisfactions of the senses. Whether it is a weight loss goal or an overall state of health - focus on those goals that are beneficial to you in a long run although it may require more dedication.
Here is some extra motivation - have you heard of cases when cancer patients cured themselves by following clean, low sugar raw diet? This is probably not a coincidence, it is because cancer feeds on sugar. Read more here...
Don't sweat it! This is not the end of the world. There ARE safe & just as sweet types of “sugars”! We recommend 100% organic green stevia, xylitol, raw honey, pure maple syrup, molasses, and coconut nectar / sugar.
Yes, nowadays it is impossible to cut out sugar completely but you CAN take control of your sugar intake so that it does not take control over you and your health!
Breaking down the sugars
The NO-NO sugars:
• Saccharide • Glucose (Dextrose), Galactose and Fructose • Sucrose (“table sugar”) • Refined White Sugar (pure sucrose) should be considered an “industrial product” rather than “food.” • Brown Sugar is white sugar mixed with molasses. • Raw Sugar is not really raw. It has been cooked, is a little better than refined white sugar. • Agave Nectar is made from the agave plant, which is a cactus. But agave is HIGHLY processed and is approximately 80% fructose (much higher than honey and maple syrup). • HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. It is mostly genetically modified. Stay away!
The GO-for sugars:
• Coconut sugar is made from the sweet watery sap that drips from the cut flower buds of the coconut palm. It has a low glycemic index (GI) and is rich in amino acids. • Xylitol is a sweetener extracted from corn or birch cellulose. It is slowly absorbed, does not cause a rapid blood sugar increase, and does not require an immediate insulin response from the body to be metabolised. • Honey is approximately 50% fructose, but in natural (raw and unpasteurised). • Stevia is an extremely sweet herb, which is completely safe (in its natural form). 100% organic green stevia in its natural state is what you want.
If you live inBrighton & Hove - you are lucky as all these GO-for sugars are easily available to you at the Infinity Foods shop in the lanes (25 North Rd, Brighton BN1 1YA, UK). You can also order most of these via Amazon or find them in other health foods stores all over the UK.
Are You Over Fruiting?
Squeezing too much fruit into your diet may do more harm than good!
With the summer approaching our bodies naturally begin to crave cleansing, hydrating foods. Be warned! Although fruit comes bundled with fiber and other nutrients = the fructose in fruit is still sugar, and when we overdo it, that sugar is warmly welcomed into our fat cells. Here’s how to keep a healthy habit from turning harmful.
Do you want to learn more about nutrition for free? Then come to our Free nutrition workshop on 28th May in Hove. Click here for details
1) Scale back on the sweetest stuff. No fruit is off-limits, but bananas and grapes aren’t exactly weight-loss weapons. Better options are: strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, and papaya, all of which have a low glycemic index, a measure of how strongly a food impacts your blood sugar.
2) Pass up the supersize produce. Choose the smallest size available
3) Stop at two. Limit yourself to two pieces or cups of fruit a day.
4) Take smoothies into account. Even the green kind can contain up to four servings of fruit and 90 grams of sugar. If nutritional information is available, choose a smoothie with 30 or fewer grams of sugar and make that your only fruit for the day!
5) Pair with protein. The fiber in fruit helps regulate your body’s absorption of the sugar so your energy levels don’t spike and crash, but adding some fat and/or protein slows it down even more. Pair your fruit with nuts, seeds, sliced turkey or jerky.
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