Sugar, ah honey, honey, you are my candy, girl, and you got me wanting you
I just can't believe the loveliness of loving you, I just can't believe it's true,
like the summer sunshine, pour your sweetness over me,
pour your sweetness over me.....
The Archies, Sugar, Sugar
OK, next in the series of let's get rid of something else not good for you....SUGAR. So far, we are hopefully not eating trans-fats, and cutting way back on saturated fats in favor of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. (Read my blog from last week about this for more information.)
This one is BIG. Sugar is way more addictive and harder to kick than cocaine, says Dr. Robert Lustig, a California-based endocrinologist. Sugar consumption causes a reaction in the brain that releases dopamine, the chemical controlling pleasure. So eating sugar makes you feel good. Temporarily!!!
Lustig says his research proves that the sweet stuff causes heart disease and cancer, as well as Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Americans, on the average eat a THIRD OF A POUND of sugar every single day, which averages to about 130 pounds per year. Sugar is not just in desserts, it is dumped in soft drinks, breads, yogurt, peanut butter, and every kind of sauce including ketchup. High fructose corn syrup (sugar in disguise) is in so many things, it is impossible to list them all. DO NOT EAT CORN SYRUP anymore. READ LABELS.
Kimber Stanhope, a nutritonal biologist at the University of California Davis, says that overconsumption of high-fructose corn syrup (again, sugar in liquid form) seriously increases risk for heart attack and stroke. When a person consumes too much sugary food and drink, the liver converts some of that fructose to fat. This fat can lead to an increase in dangerous LDL cholesterol that clogs your arteries, hence heart attacks and strokes.
Since the 1970s, we were told not to eat so much fat, hence the low fat products now listed everywhere. What did the companies do? They replaced fat with sugar, because taking that fat out of food took out some of the taste. PLEASE READ LABELS.
Lewis Cantley, a Harvard professor and the head of the Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center. said "Take the fat out of food, it tastes like cardboard, and the food industry knew that. So they replaced it with sugar." Cantley also said that too much sugar is also linked to many kinds of cancers, including breast and colon cancer. Some tumors even have insulin receptors which actually feed on glucose (converted from sugar into your system).
Here are a few of the benefits of limiting sugar...and there are more:
You are in a better mood. Sugar consumption causes mood swings. It can cause crankiness, depression and anxiety due to rises in adrenaline levels caused by sugar consumption.
Your skin is clearer. Sugar causes pimples, wrinkles and even psoriasis. It also increases the aging process.
Your immune system is stronger. Sugar actually weakens your immune system against viruses. Get a lot of colds? Quit sugar. Sugar inhibits the strength of those good white blood cells.
Reduced risk of cancer. Sugar consumption has been linked to breast, lung, ovarian and prostate cancers. Is it really worth THAT?
You have more energy. Yep, MORE ENERGY. Sugar causes fluctuations with bursts of energy, but when your glucose crashes down, after the sugar wears off, you are lethargic. No sugar makes your energy level even and strong.
YEP, WEIGHT LOSS. Those low fat foods you have been buying without checking the labels, are full of sugar. Read the labels, do not buy stuff with added sugar, and you will lose weight. A teaspoon of sugar is 16.25 calories. I don't even want to think about how many calories a third of a pound of sugar is, what the average American consumption is per day.
What can I use instead? There are actually some good, natural products that are much better for you than refined sugar. Honey, stevia, maple syrup, and NATURAL agave nectar (this one is tricky), molasses, and sorghum syrup. I have used Truvia which is much better than all the other artificial sweeteners, because it is made with stevia, but in researching this article, I found out that it is not just stevia, it is stevia on steroids. I am going to buy plain stevia from now on.
Please join me in limiting your sugar intake.
As a last thought, here are ALL the names used on labels to disguise the fact that they are adding sugar to your diet: