Do you know how bad sugar is for your health? I mean, seriously, do you really know? Before I began a real food journey, I thought that sugar would simply rot my teeth and make me fat if I over indulged (which sounds bad… but for some reason it wasn’t bad enough to make me stop eating it). In truth, the potential perils of sugar consumption are far worse than cavities and a bulging waist line. It is no exaggeration to say that sugar is toxic. And most people consume far more sugar than they even realize. Are you one of them?
Anyone not consuming a real foods diet (primal, paleo, WAP– label it whatever you prefer), is in danger. I have found that most people consuming the SAD (standard American diet for any newbies out there), truly have no idea how much added sugar they consume on a daily basis and the harm that they are causing to their health. Worse yet, many people seem to believe that it’s okay to feed their children a steady diet of sugar. How are we so misled?
I’ll tell you how: the media has done an excellent job of marketing chemistry experiments as health food. Do you know anyone who eats “healthy” by consuming some of the following: Kashi Go Lean Crunch (FYI: Kashi is currently being sued for marketing their products as ”natural” when they actually contain GMOs), Fiber One Bars, Nutri Grain Bars, Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Low Fat or Non Fat Yogurt, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, etc? These are not foods– they are chemistry experiments! And they are full of sugar (and GMOs and other toxic junk). It’s enough to make me want to scream. And then I remember that less than a year ago I WAS one of those people! Wow!!
What happens when you consume sugar (or any refined carbohydrate)?
Your body is super quick to absorb processed carbohydrates and this causes a rapid increase in blood glucose. This rapid increase literally puts your body into shock and the pancreas starts pumping out lots of insulin. The insulin works to lower the blood glucose level once again.
Well, for many people this rise and fall of blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels occurs repeatedly throughout the day. Day after day, week after week… you get the idea. Ever heard of insulin resistance? Cells become resistant to insulin because they are trying to protect themselves from the toxicity of chronically high insulin.
Still not convinced? Check out this author’s list of 146 reasons why sugar is ruining your health. Hmmm…. I’m thinking that Betty Crocker brownie in front of you might suddenly be looking less appealing.
1. Stop making excuses. I know that sounds harsh, but honestly– just stop. Excuses keep you from changing your life and keep you in whatever unhealthy situation you might be in. Believe me, I know how difficult it is to cut sugar out of your diet. And truly– If I can do it, ANYONE can. Commit to making a change and stick with it. It will be worth it!
2. Adopt a Real Food Diet. When you eliminate processed foods (pretty much anything in a package), you eliminate the biggest sources of added sugars. YOU MUST READ LABELS!! Stop purchasing anything made with the following ingredients.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn Syrup
- Artificial Sweeteners (Splenda, Truvia, Equal, etc.)
- Agave Nectar
- Beet Sugar
- Pretty much anything ending in ‘ose” (maltose, dextrose, etc.)
- Cane Sugar
- Other names for sugar
3. Make better choices by using natural, unprocessed sugars when you choose to eat something sweet. Please understand that even these sweeteners need to be consumed in moderation. A “treat”, by definition, is something that occurs once in awhile– not every day.
- Honey (raw and local is best)
- Maple Syrup
- Date Sugar
- Coconut Sugar
If you really want to kick your sugar habit, you must eliminate ALL sugar from your diet for a period of time. I would recommend a period of at least 3 to 4 weeks in order to break your sugar addiction. And, yes, many of us are sugar addicts. If you simply can’t stay away from sugar no matter how many promises you make to yourself– you are addicted to sugar!
Need further convincing that sugar is toxic?
Check out Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Dr. Robert H. Lustig, MD and UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology explores the damage of sugary foods. This is well worth your time to watch!
In closing… SUGAR IS KILLING YOU… kick the habit!
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