Curated from: www.babble.com
Original Author: Brooke Mclay
The Problems with Sugar
We all love a sweet treat now and again, but sugar causes a host of health problems you may not even know about. The key to banishing most sugar from your lifestyle is banishing processed food products. Notice I didn’t say processed food. That’s because food doesn’t need a label. You shouldn’t need to google search the ingredient list on a box. Chicken is chicken. Broccoli is broccoli. Much of processed food products not only contain harmful genetically-modified lab ingredients but also pack a huge amount of sugar, even those not meant to be sweet. A few cups of pasta can contain as much sugar as a poptart.
So What’s So Wrong with Sugar?
Let us give you 25 reasons why sugar is wreaking havoc on your health and why you should think twice, no three times before putting even a gram of it in your mouth and most importantly, your kids’ mouths.
1. Sugar is Addictive
In a 2007 study by James Cook University researchers discovered cocaine-addicted mice actually preferred sugar-water as a reward over cocaine.
2. Sugar Makes You Fat
You may think fat makes you fat. You’d be wrong. Actually, sugar is to blame. Your liver stores sugar as fat so your blood sugar and insulin rates can stabilize. By the way, alcohol turns to sugar after consumed and should be consumed with the utmost discretion as well.
3. Sugar Keeps You from Making Healthy Food Choices
A recent study by the CDC discovered that an increased consumption of sugar has been linked to a decrease in intake of essential micronutrients. More sugar = less health. Simple as that.
4. Sugar is Altering Our Kids’ Futures
Is it possible the newest generation of kids will not outlive their parents? At the British Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, Professor Andrew Prentice revealed a staggering fact that the rise in childhood obesity (and thus other closely-related diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and high blood-pressure) means a generation facing early death.
5. Sugar Keeps Your Hungry
As if you need to be told, sugars don’t satiate. Sodas are a huge contributor to weight gain, because people treat them like water. However, soda only leaves you thirstier and hungrier, spiking your blood pressure, taking a toll on your liver, and causing you to crash soon after consumption.
6. Sugar is Everywhere
From pastas to yogurt to granola bars to condiments to salad dressings, sugar is added to nearly every food product on the shelves. Whether it is in one of its many forms (see list at the end of this post), sugar is added to dozens of foods you don’t know about, especially “healthy” options. Many gluten-free items include a higher level of sugars to balance out the flavors and textures. Find more foods with sugar contents that may surprise you at WebMD.
7. Sugar Feeds Cancer
Folks, this is all you need to know. Sugar is too closely-related to the production of cancer cells. A 2013 study by the University of Copenhagen shows that sugar actually aids the growth of malignant cells.
8. Sugar Accompanies Other Things You Don’t Want in Your Body
Most prepackaged food products contain sugar and a host of other harmful toxins such as food colorings, many of which have been banned outside of the United States.
9. Sugar is Making You Sick
Listen up: sugar can actually suppress your immune system! If you get sick often, your diet is likely to blame.
10. Sugar is Costing You Money
The U.S. healthcare system spends about $1 trillion yearly fighting the effects of excess sugar consumption. What a world it’d be if that money went towards education, job creation, and climate change instead.
11. Sugar Turns Into Belly Fat
When sugar gets processed by your liver, excess sugar gets turned into belly fat. No amount of crunches, twists, or plank poses will zap your unwanted belly fat if you sabotage yourself in the kitchen.
12. Sugar is Causing Your Cravings
It is widely noted what sugar does inside of your body once consumed. Your blood sugar spikes causing your liver to deliver a huge dose of insulin to counter-balance. This prompts the liver to store the sugar as fat, which causes your blood sugar to dip. This prompts your brain to tell you that you’re hungry again. And not just for any old food. Your mind gets the signal that you are hungry for more sweets and fats, all foods high on the glycemic-index. You will eat again, probably unhealthy food products, and will continue to be stuck in this unhealthy cycle.
13. Sugar is Sneaky
Sugar is listed on food labels under many names. Though the back of a granola bar may not list sugar as an ingredient, your body responds the same way to sugar in all its forms. For a list of the many names sugar can hide under please see the end of this post.
14. You’re Eating Way Too Much of It
Quick lesson: 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar. The USDA and American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, as a healthy amount for women. That equals 24 grams of sugar — total — per day. One individual yogurt can contain up to 26 grams of sugar alone!
15. Sugar Hides in Your Drink
You know this. Nearly every bottled drink is filled with sugar. Stick to water, tea, coffee, but mostly water. Jazz your water up with cucumbers, mint, lemon, lime, berries, or even just a splash of real juice from fresh fruits. Get creative. Drinking pure drinks is fun, and you’ll feel infinitely better.
16. Sugar Ruins Your Teeth
You also know this. Many studies link tooth health to sugar consumption. Bacteria in the mouth feeds off of sugar, and increases the likelihood of cavities.
17. Sugar Contains No Nutritional Value
You don’t need sugar. It contains no nutritional value, nutrients, or minerals. It contains only calories.
18. Sugar Withdrawals Are Real
As Brooke Mclay explains, “Sugar encourages the body to release opioids and dopamine. It has an actual effect on your body chemistry, and your body likes that. So it wants more. And more. And when the chemical lending the effects is taken away, it goes into withdrawal. It’s not uncommon to experience headaches, fatigue, mood swings, and other detox effects as you come off sugar.”
19. Sugar May Be Making You Mood Swing
Sugar is among the precursors of moodiness. Insulin is a hormone. When this hormone is secreted into the body to ward off excess sugar consumption, it can effect the other hormones in your body.
20. We Treat Sugar As A Reward
We use sugar (alcohol, unhealthy food, overeating, etc.) as reward for working hard. This is reverse-positive thinking. You may enjoy the immediate gratification of the taste, smell, feeling, or experience, but you will suffer from that choice later. Instead, reward yourself of what will truly reward you. Pure foods. Pure drinks. Go for a run. Take a hike. Write a letter (and send it) to a friend. You will thank yourself immensely.
21. Sugar Isn’t Helping Your Skin
A 2011 study funded by Unilever found a connection between blood sugar levels and healthy, youthful skin. Cut the sugar and look younger. (Jump back to saving you money. You’ll no longer have a need for those expensive ‘reverse aging’ beauty products.)
22. Sugar Is Affecting Your Kids
A 1986 study from Journal of Abnormal Psychology showed decreased learning performance in groups of preschoolers given sugary drinks. We are hurting our kids by allowing this epidemic to continue.
23. You Don’t Need Any Calories From Sugar
Again, sugar is not necessary to the human diet. Fruit provides natural sugars as well as vitamins and nutrient-dense calories as opposed to the empty calories of manufactured sugar.
24. Sugar Is Connected to Major Health Concerns
Here are 76 harmful effects of sugar by Nancy Appleton, author of Lick the Sugar Habit. If being linked to cancer wasn’t enough…
25. Sugar Affects Your Brain
A study released by the American Academy of Neurology linked high blood sugar to memory loss and cognitive decline. In other words, just as sugar wreaks havoc on your liver, body weight, skin, and heart, it also harms your brain.
Other Names for Sugar:
- barley malt
- beet sugar
- brown sugar
- buttered syrup
- cane-juice crystals
- cane sugar
- carob syrup
- corn syrup
- corn syrup solids
- date sugar
- diastatic malt
- ethyl maltol
- fruit juice
- fruit juice concentrate
- glucose solids
- golden sugar
- golden syrup
- grape sugar
- high-fructose corn syrup
- invert sugar
- malt syrup
- raw sugar
- refiner’s syrup
- sorghum syrup
- turbinado sugar
- yellow sugar
Also, here are two videos featuring celebrity chef and food activist, Jamie Oliver. He talks about the insane excess of sugar in processed foods in schools.