Sugar & Your Health: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Sugar & Your Health

What is the relation between sugar and your health? Over the past 60 years, the amount of sugar consumed as part of the typical Western diet, has increased dramatically. Significant increases in sugar consumption have been documented in most countries where heavily processed food has become readily available,.

Surprisingly, some experts estimate that only 1/6 of our sugar comes from desserts (or foods that we think of as “sweets”). The majority of our sugar intake comes in the form of highly processed food and sweetened beverages. Many people are becoming aware of the need to reduce their sugar intake in order to maintain a healthy body weight. But what many people still aren’t aware of is the fact that sugar, under a variety of different pseudonyms is added to so many foods. Foods that we don’t expect to contain sugar: things like packaged breads, condiments, chips, sauces and salad dressings.

Reducing Sugar Intake

In 2015, the World Health Organization released new guidelines strongly recommending that all adults and children reduce their sugar intake to less than 10% of total calories consumed. These recommendations go on to suggest that a further reduction of sugar intake to less than 5% of total calories, would likely have additional health benefits.

These recommendations focus on “free sugars” – those that are added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer. Sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices are included. But they don’t apply to intrinsic sugars found in whole fruits and vegetables because the WHO found no reported evidence linking the consumption of intrinsic sugars to adverse health effects. The sugar that naturally occurs in milk is also excluded from that 5%.

Recommended amount of sugar for intake

For the average adult, consuming a 2,000 calorie/day diet, reducing their sugar intake to 5% would mean that, ideally, no more than 100 calories/day should come from free sugars. Since free sugars offer 4 calories of energy/gram, this would translate into approximately 25g of free sugar, about 6 teaspoons.

Six teaspoons seems like a generous allocation when you picture spooning it out of a sugar bowl. But, when you begin to look at the nutrition labels of most packaged foods, the numbers begin to add up incredibly quickly. For example, a ½ cup serving or organic granola can contain 16g (4 teaspoons) of sugar!.

If ½ cup of regular sweetened yogurt is added to that cereal for breakfast, this can add another 4 teaspoons of free sugar. With those,  you’ve already exceeded your recommended sugar intake by 2 full teaspoons. Even before leaving the house.

There’s a growing consensus that we need to cut down on our sugar consumption, and yet there may be a downside to vilifying sugar, the way we did with dietary fats. If we let the pendulum swing to the extreme once again, we could find ourselves facing new disease epidemics

Fats Good? Sugar Bad?

It’s been interesting to read the research and see the shift in attention from treating fat as the evil nutrient to treating sugar as the evil nutrient. Now we went overboard on fat.

It turns out fat is not as evil as we thought, and saturated fat is not necessarily the thing to worry most about in your diet. And in fact, our obsession with saturated fat led us to promote trans fats, which turned out to actually be lethal.

Sugar has been part of the human diet for a very long time. It’s prized by people all over the world. We have evolved to like the flavor of sugar for very good reasons. But we are eating too much of it. And I think we definitely need to cut down on the amount of sugar we’re eating. But a little bit of sugar is very powerful aid when you’re cooking. It makes food very attractive to people.

What industries need to do

Companies need to disclose added sugar, which they don’t now have to do in processed foods. It is very concerning that sugar’s being added to foods that never were sweetened before.

Things like bread now have sugar in them, and condiments of all kinds. Because if you put more sugar in the food you will sell more of it. So we need to be conscious of it but does it explain everything about our diet? No, it really doesn’t.

If we only emphasize the need to cut down on our sugar intake, without simultaneously emphasizing moderation and balance in our diet as a whole. We risk a situation where fats and animal proteins are seen by the general public as “free food” and the processed food industry, again steps in and supersize.

If this happens, we could find ourselves facing new epidemics of disease associated with a diet that is too high in fat and animal proteins, and lacking in fiber.

The Healthiest Sweetener

The Healthiest Sweetener

Now there are sweeteners that do have some nutrition. This new article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association measured the antioxidant content of a whole list of sweetener to find the healthiest sweetener:

  • agave nectar
  • blackstrap
  • molasses
  • brown rice syrup
  • corn syrup
  • date sugar
  • dark brown sugar
  • light brown sugar
  • maple syrup
  • honey
  • raw cane sugar
  • plain old sugar

Here’s the ground to actually have some significant nutrition, but the rest are pretty much a wash. Let’s start filling this in should.

Worst sweeteners

We start with an easy one to launch us off table sugar versus wrong pure organic agave nectar. Which is worse? Which is the healthiest sweetener from both? Does sugar have less nutrition or does agave nectar have less nutrition or do they both have the same?

Remember how I asked if we should start out with an easy one well I guess the answer is NO, they both have exactly the same nutrition which is to say basically none sugar is here agave is here each with a completely pitiful two millionth of a mole of plasma farik acid reducing ability. Which is essentially zero antioxidant power.

There’s one sweetener with even less though, now all those down at that end are basically just empty calories but out of curiosity which has even less nutrition than sugar? Ten left to choose from, which one was all the way down at the end least nutrition. Now we knew corn syrup was here remember same as sugar they’re all empty calories but brown rice syrup measured out as the emptiest which is worse. Honey or maple syrup or the same well they can’t be the same right and there aren’t two bars left the same songs both still sugar but honey beats out maple syrup in fact all these are basically just sugar whether dark light raw or turbinado.

2 Best sweeteners

There are only two health-promoting sweeteners only two sweeteners that are actually good for you molasses and date sugar. They’re both good but out of curiosity which one falls to second place? Do you think molasses is less healthy than date sugar or does date sugar fall to second place? The healthiest sweetener on the planet is date sugar.

The Healthiest sweetener: Date Sugar

Date sugar is not really sugar it’s just whole dried dates pulverized into powder as the only whole food up there no wonder it’s number one. It’s should be the only thing people ever use in baking because it’s a whole plant food it has fiber though so there is a thickening effect which is great for smoothies or hot chocolate but what if you want to sweeten your tea or coffee you don’t exactly want thick tea now you could add sugar but then you’re adding empty calories and if you drink as much tea as you really should that can add up

8 Alarming Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar!

8 Alarming Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar!

All health experts will agree that carbohydrates, especially refined ones, are some of the most harmful ingredients for the human body. Unfortunately, sugars are so present in our daily diet, that’s it’s virtually impossible to avoid them, even if we tried. In the long-term, sugar creates addiction, which apart from children, affects adults as well.
According to Dr. Robert H. Lustig, M.D. and Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Franciasco (UCSF), sugar consumption is the cause behind the majority of chronic illnesses prevalent today. Lustig is also the renowned author of “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”, but also a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism. The doctor claims that the human body can safely metabolize a minimum of six teaspoons of sugar per day. But, statistical data reveal that on average, Americans consume over three times that amount, meaning that this excess sugar becomes metabolized into body fat. This is the root cause of most chronic metabolic diseases of today.

Some of the harmful effects of excessive sugar consumption include:

Excessive sugar intake overworks and damages your liver. Health experts say that the damage is similar to that of alcohol because all the carbohydrates you consume end in the only organ that has the transporter for it .

Excessive sugar intake leads to weight gain and affects your insulin and leptin function. It also “tricks” your metabolism by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. In other words it fails to stimulate insulin, which in turn fails to suppress ghrelin, or “the hunger hormone,” which then fails to stimulate leptin or “the satiety hormone.” This results in overeating and eventually in insulin

Sugar affects proper metabolic function as excessive sugar intake triggers a group of symptoms known as metabolic syndrome. This leads to weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure.

Excessive sugar intake also increases uric acid levels, which increases your risk of heart and kidney disease. What’s more, uric acid levels are used as a marker for fructose toxicity. According to a recent study, the normal range of uric acid is between 3 to 5.5 milligrams per deciliter. If you have higher uric acid levels, you’re at a risk of fructose toxicity.

These are warning signs that you’re eating too much sugar:

1# You’ve been putting on some weight.

This is no surprise as high sugar intake points to a calorie surplus. Unfortunately, sugar has no protein or fiber, meaning it doesn’t satiate your cravings – it only makes you eat more. Sugar also triggers insulin secretion, and insulin plays an important part in weight gain. To be more specific, when you eat sugar, your pancreas produces insulin, which transports sugar to your organs to be used for energy. So, when you stuff yourself with sugar, your body secretes more insulin. This excessive sugar intake leads to insulin resistance over time. And, according to health experts, insulin resistance means that your body can’t respond to normal insulin levels properly, therefore it can’t metabolize sugar properly. So, the initial weight gain from sugar calorie surplus turns into disruption of your normal insulin response – that’s actually the relation between insulin resistance and obesity. The most serious outcome is diabetes as this condition occurs when the pancreas is overworked for too long.

2# You constantly crave sugary things.

According to Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., and author of The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great and Look Years Younger, the more sugar you consume, the more you crave it. In other words, high sugar intake becomes a vicious and addictive circle. Sugar addiction is compared to the one produced from drugs as sugar also gives you a high followed by a crash, just like an actual drug.

3# You’re way moodier than usual.

The blood sugar crash that occurs when sugar is metabolized in your body triggers mood swings. Low energy levels also contribute to moodiness.

4# You feel sluggish throughout the day.

Sugar consumption first causes a spike of insulin and good mood, but once sugar is metabolized, it causes an inevitable crash. According to Brooke Alpert, energy is most stable when blood sugar is stable, which means eating too much sugar, affects your blood glucose levels, which leads to highs and lows of energy. Just for the record, energy is also obtained from protein and fiber, both vital nutrients for balanced energy levels.

5# You’ve been getting more cavities.

Mouth bacteria thrive on food remains that get stuck between teeth. This results in acid secretion, which than leads to tooth decay. Although the human saliva keeps a healthy balance of bacteria on its own, eating sugar can impact the pH and affect your oral ecosystem.

6# Your skin won’t stop breaking out.

According to Rebecca Kazin, M.D. of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery and the Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology, people react to insulin spikes from sugar intake, which triggers a hormonal cascade resulting in acne or rosacea breakout.

If you happen to have sensitive skin, keeping sugar intake under control is really recommended. If you don’t, “you may be treating skin for other issues without getting to the bottom of what’s really going on.”

7# Nothing tastes as sweet as it used to.

Among other things, eating too much sugar affects your taste. In other words, high sugar intake increases your sugar tolerance, so you find yourself eating more and more sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth.

This means that it takes lots of sugar to feel like something is really sweet. To lower your tolerance and be satisfied with low sugar levels, you need to start cutting down on sugar, which make be hard at first.

8# Your brain tends to get foggy, especially after a meal.

According to health experts, brain-fogginess is a common indicator of low blood sugar levels. When you overload your system with sugar, your blood glucose levels rise and fall sharply rather than gradually. Brooke Alpert claims that cognitive issues and impairment are seriously affected by poor blood sugar control.

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What Sugar Does to Our Body

Sugar and our body

Do you know what sugar does to our body?

Sugar has harmful effects that are more than you may think. And to give you an overview of these consequences, you may want to pay attention to these:

Sugar is Cocaine-like

First, sugar is addictive. It encourages cravings and this is the reason why most people eat more just after consuming a sugary food.

“Research shows that sugar can be even more addicting than cocaine,” says Cassie Bjork, R.D., L.D., founder of Healthy Simple Life, “and sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward center, which leads to compulsive behavior, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, and more,” she continues.

“Studies suggest that every time we eat sweets we are reinforcing those neuropathways, causing the brain to become increasingly hardwired to crave sugar, building up a tolerance like any other drug,” she adds.

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Excessive Sugar Brings About Sicknesses

Secondly, sugar can bring drastic consequences. The worst thing is that it does not display early explicit symptoms during the process of accumulation because of its mild warnings or manifestation and hence, leaving the person unaware of what might occur eventually.

Diabetes, one of the planet’s top killer diseases, is one of that severe consequences of excessive sugar intake. A diabetic person who is not very cozy about his/her system’s behavior would not be to discern his illness until such time that it shows severity through symptoms that become evident sometime.

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What Sugar Does to Our Body

Sugar also targets human body’s vital organs.  It is one of the undeniable cause of heart failure. It has calories and increases your triglycerides and blood sugar level and that is one of the risk factors for people with diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, too much consumption of it causes kidney damage to people with diabetes.

Another reason is that sugar is directly related to weight. Excessive sugar obviously results to immoderate fats. Visit posts entitled “Sugar and Weight” for some in depth information.

Want to know what you should include and exclude in your diet? Read this.

Foods that Contain Sugar

Sugar can be found everywhere. Below are the foods that contain sugar which we usually consume and that we MUST start moderating or refraining from:

  • Smoothies
  • Dried fruits
  • Sweetened beverages
  • Cola
  • White bread
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Granola

Simple Yet Effective Ways to Stop Eating Sugar

Whether you want to cut down on sugar due to health issues or your preferences, stopping sugar can have significant health benefits to your body. Here are some tips to help you stop (Note: these might be the simplest tips, but when applied, will make a difference):

  • Get informed about the effects of sugar
  • Eat unsweetened products
  • Find alternatives to sugar products
  • Shop when you are full
  • Gnaw fennel seeds

Getting rid of sugar is never easy since generally, we do love foods that are savory, who doesn’t? The best thing to do is to start moderating and by and by, you will learn to avoid it since our taste buds are adaptive.

Seems like reducing a teaspoonful of sugar to a cup of an everyday coffee does not make any difference with one that has? You shall never know..

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No Sugar Diet

Say YES to no-sugar diet!

Are you planning to start a no sugar diet, but you’re not sure if it’s possible?

Although a sugar-free diet is not as simple as it may sound, it is indeed achievable. Let me start with its definition and that would be: A no-sugar diet means doing away with everything that has sugar.

Learn about the inseparable relationship of sugar and weight.

A Sugar-free Diet

Having a no sugar diet success needs a commitment on your part. Here some of the guidelines you should follow to have a sugar free diet:

  • Eat lots of healthy fats
  • Add protein to your diet
  • Read the ingredient labels as this will help you know if the food you are consuming contains sugars.
  • Consume more fiber
  • Eat low-carb no sugar foods
  • Take control of your cravings
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Do not leave your stomach empty
  • Stick to your diet

No Sugar Diet

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Diets that Contain Little to No Sugar

There are several foods that you can take in that are sugar-free. Here are a few of them:

  • Apple. Fruits have fructose, a naturally present source of sugar, but apples are very rich in fiber. Apple is remarkably beneficial when it comes to aiding digestion due to its content extremely rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber. These properties also may help alleviate the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. As cliché goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
  • Avocado. It does not have calories because of the fat content but it is not a source added sugar. Avocado is a green, pear-shaped fruit often called an “alligator pear.” Its content is filled with healthy fats, fiber, and various important nutrients that are natural and very useful for diet plans.
  • Tossed salad. Fresh veggies do not contain sugar in their natural state. Best to include this in your diet plan and serve it for dinner.
  • Grilled salmon. Eating grilled salmon provides you with protein and heart-healthy fats known as the omega-3 fatty acids. This also is indeed rich in B vitamins, potassium, selenium, and antioxidant astaxanthin.
  • Water. Substitute soda and sweetened drinks with water. Studies show that drinking water raises metabolism and enhances fat burning rate. Best to drink a glass of water every before meal so you may not feel too much hunger and thus eating less. Drinking more than 8 glasses a day is recommended and best for plus-sized.

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Sticking to Your Diet

Sticking to your diet plan may not be very easy since almost all of us are used to sugary foods, but let us make it simple using these tips:

  • Start slowly
  • Include foods you love in your diet
  • Do not walk around hungry
  • Do not overeat
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Carry your food to the party

As you can see, a sugar-free diet is possible. Having these pieces of information about the health effects of sugar can help to achieve a no-sugar diet. However, there is one thing neither reads nor a writer can teach you– DISCIPLINE.

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