Health & Fitness Coach, Employee Wellness - Eat Clean, Get Fit, Be Healthy in NH
It looks sweet and innocent, but refined sugar is one of the worst things you can put in your body, and the average American is eating between 150 to 170 pounds of it per year!
Sugar is not only considered a highly addictive drug, but it is also a poison. The dictionary defines as poison as “a substance, that when introduced into or absorbed by a living organism, causes death or injury, especially one that kills by rapid action even in a small quantity.”
Refined sugar is completely depleted of any and all nutrition, so it is dead and lacking vitamins and minerals. It takes approximately three feet of sugar cane to make only one tablespoon of white sugar! That means three feet of nutrients and fiber are lost to create one tablespoon of pure, refined carbohydrates or empty calories.
Before you sweeten your coffee or your homemade chocolate chip cookies with this dead, white poison, consider these seven points on how sugar wreaks havoc on your body.
1. Sugar Starves Your Cells of Oxygen
Without the presence of the depleted proteins, vitamins and minerals, your body cannot effectively utilize sugar. When you consume sugar without these necessary nutrients to digest, metabolize and eliminate it, incomplete carbohydrate metabolism results. The abnormal sugars then accumulate in your red blood cells, and in time, cause some of the cells to die because they can’t get enough oxygen to survive and thrive; this impacts the health of your circulatory and lymphatic systems, and sets the stage for degenerative illness.
2. Sugar Makes Your Teeth and Bones Weak
Consuming sugar creates acidity in your body. To neutralize your pH and bring your body back into balance, your body will pull calcium from your teeth and bones. So much calcium may be taken that your teeth start to decay and your bones weaken.
3. Sugar Makes You Fat
Your liver stores excess sugar in the form or glucose, but it can only store so much. When your liver cannot store any more sugar, the excess glycogen gets sent back to your blood in the form of fatty acids. And guess where they go from there? They end up in your belly, your butt, your breasts and your thighs, where they store as fat.
4. Sugar Makes Your Organ Tissues Turn to Fat
Once the fatty acids have filled the most inactive areas on your body, the rest are then sent to your most active organs like your heart, your liver and your kidneys. Over time, these organs stop working to full capacity and become sluggish because their tissues turn to fat. When these organs slow down, it affects the whole body, and high blood pressure then follows.
5. Sugar is a Major Stressor
Sugar is a stimulant that activates the sympathetic nervous system. When consumed without enough proteins, fats, vitamins and enzymes, it causes your blood sugar levels to spike. Your pancreas responds to this blood sugar elevation by releasing the hormone insulin to help normalize your blood sugar levels, which ultimately leaves you in a hypoglycemic state. During hypoglycemia or a “blood sugar crash,” your body perceives this as a very stressful situation. Your body reacts immediately by releasing stress hormones like cortisol to signal the release of stored glycogen from your liver to restore your blood sugar levels. After all, your body thinks it’s in famine, and your brain needs some blood sugar to function.
6. Sugar Sets the Stage for Syndrome X
Eating too much sugar keeps your body on a sugar-fix cycle where your blood sugar levels are continually out of whack going from extreme highs to extreme lows. Before you know it, this vicious cycle causes your body to stop responding to insulin—the first sign of which is the “spare-tire” effect around your belly—
and Syndrome X commonly follows. Syndrome X is the term that describes all of the risk factors (i.e. insulin resistance, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and obesity) associated with developing diabetes. In other words, it’s the first step toward becoming a diabetic.
7. Sugar Disrupts Your Natural Hormone Balance
As I said before, eating sugar is a major stressor to your body. Over time, the continual cycle of blood sugar spikes and crashes causes your adrenal glands to become exhausted from constantly releasing the stress hormone cortisol. When the adrenals stop working efficiently, it contributes to hormonal imbalance. The stress of eating too much refined sugar lowers your resistance to disease and you increase your chances of developing one or more of the following chronic health problems:
So now you might be saying, ok, I know that sugar isn’t good for me, but what if I want to sweeten some of my some of my foods? Well, I have some healthy alternatives for you. Check out my post next week for some naturally sweet ideas!
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To limiting your sugar intake,
Ref: How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy, by Paul Chek