Sugar is NOT your friend, no matter who you are.
Have you been told you have Pre-diabetes, Diabetes Type One or Type Two, Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance, Insulinoma (body produces too much Insulin), Obesity, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Acanthosis Nigerians or Blood Cholesterol that is not normal ? Read on!
Or are you simply wanting to be diligent in the prevention of Disease? Read on!
Sugar is in almost everything these days.
Many years ago sugar was a rare treat. Sugar became more widely available and cheaper for the consumer to purchase after the industrial revolution when machines were invented that automated production.
Today it is added to our foods to make it more palatable and appealing and to make us go back for more. Sugar is said to enhance the taste, adds a caramel taste and colour, especially in deserts, provides texture (for enhanced mouth-feel) and bulk, aids the fermentation process in foods such as yoghurt, bread and sauerkraut, and also acts as a preservative to extend the freshness of the food. With so many products out there in the marketplace containing sugar, how did it become so accepted to add it to such a diverse range of foods ? sugar impacts on health.
Sugar (and interestingly tobacco) was originally thought to be good for health and both utilised slave labour to produce it for the rich land owners. So from the outset Sugar was seen as a great cash crop, being easy to grow and produce.
Have our taste Buds Changed ?
Over many years sugar and sugar impacts on health has crept into our food supply, so much so, that now it has become accepted by some government departments to promote it as a necessary part of our diet. What ? This advice does not come from people who are versed in the science of nutrition. When you discover what happens inside the human body after ingesting sugar in any form (see below), you begin to question why we have arrived at a place today where it is so acceptable to add it to almost everything. I believe that for the majority of the population, our taste buds have been hijacked over many years, to the point now that we can’t eat (or don’t like) foods that are not sweet enough, now preferring and seeking out sweeter foods. Yes we still do eat bitter, salty, sour and umami (the fifth of the five basic tastes) foods but if given the choice between a sour food and a sweeter food, most would unconsciously choose the sweet food.
Sugar a tool the food manufacturers add to their foods to trick our taste buds and makes their “food” stand out above the others. Those crafty manufacturers figured out that by adding sugar to their products it ultimately increases their sales and therefore their profits.
What happens when we ingest Sugar? Sugar impacts on health
As soon as we think about having a sweet treat, and especially when we see it and know we are about to consume it, the body starts to ramp up production of the hormone Insulin. This important, but very inflammatory hormone is released from the pancreas into the blood stream where it helps move the glucose (from the food we eat) into our cells, where our body makes energy. While we do need Insulin for this process, it pays to keep the amount produced to a minimum, to reduce damage from too much Insulin. Our bodies are perfectly capable of producing enough glucose from our fruit and vegetables, which are more nutrient dense than the quick carbohydrates such as bread and sugar. Remember that bread is a carbohydrate that is broken down into simple sugar (glucose) quite quickly and therefore affects blood sugar levels more than fat or protein. We do not need to consume sugar in any commercial form such as is produced by man made processes using sugar cane. You can find sugar as an ingredient in most commercially produced processed ‘foods’ these days. I even question if this packaged product is really a ‘food’ ? Too much sugar is toxic and terribly inflammatory for the body. Our bodies were not designed to cope with all that glucose (sugar). When we consume so much so called ‘food’ that contains sugar, or too much carbohydrates that are turned into simple sugars, our body realises it is not getting enough variety and quantity of nutrients, as a wide selection of nutrients are not part of highly processed food. Unless we are running or training for a marathon, there is no way we can use up all that glucose, so the body stores the excess in our fat cells as it doesn’t know when the next nutritious meal is going to arrive. It’s no wonder there is a worldwide obesity problem…..
Make a point of reintroducing your taste buds to the other tastes mentioned above and save the sweet sensation foods to only an occasional treat (such as once a week, or once a month). When your body figures out that it cannot rely on the sweet sugars that it is used to, over time it will adapt to using fats and natural carbohydrate (Low GI) foods, such as in vegetables and fruits as it’s energy source. Your taste does change over time. The major benefit will be release of the excess weight that has accumulated over all those years that you were eating sweetened foods (especially if you only have three decent meals a day with adequate Protein and Vegetables.
Once you have achieved a more natural weight there are many flow on effects throughout your body that will allow your metabolism to normalise and help all your body systems listed below. Many different symptoms can be alleviated by choosing to change what you eat daily.
Main functions of each body system:
Integumentary System (responsible for a healthy skin and connective tissues throughout the body, providing protection from different kinds of damage, such as water loss or injury)
Cardiovascular System (includes the heart, blood vessels and the blood which carries the necessary nutrients and oxygen – needed for survival, to every cell, tissue and organ in your body.)
Respiratory System (responsible for the gas exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that occurs between the blood and the lungs)
Lymphatic System (removes excess fluids, carrying waste products and destroyed bacteria and produces special cells that target foreign substances)
Nervous System (nerves, produces neurons that transmit signals allowing us to move and think)
Circulatory System (flow of blood around the body, that carries life giving nutrients, oxygen and hormones, along with carrying waste products);
Renal System (kidneys) and Urinary System (carries waste products out of the body, regulate the amount of blood and blood pressure as well as control levels of electrolytes and metabolites, and regulate blood pH)
Endocrine System (produces hormones that regulate our metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood);
Reproductive System (; immune; digestive and muscular systems to function better.
Skeletal System (bones provide support for the body and helps maintain the structure of the body and its organs).
All of these body Systems need very specific nutrients in order to function properly. Sugar has no place in these processes.
Please do yourself a favour and give up eating anything with added sugar. Learn to recognise all the different names for sugar so you can identify it on the label. You then have a choice to buy a product that has less sugar.