Is sugar really that bad for you? For years’ fat was demonized and the craze was no-fat/low-fat. Now it seems that sugar has become the new devil. Should you believe what you are hearing? Is it time to kick sugar to the curb like you did so many years ago with fat? My answer is yes, everything I am learning, reading and researching points to sugar being anything but healthy. Sugar is empty calories, it has no nutrients, no protein, no healthy fats, no enzymes and it actually pulls minerals form the body during the digestion process. When you consume sugar, it creates a positive feedback loop in the body making you want to consume even more sugar, and the cycle begins and spins out of control. Soon you are addicted to sugar like a drug addict addicted to heroin. You can’t stop, the cravings control you and your health begins to deteriorate.
Conditions such as tooth decay, joint pain, aged skin, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney damage, increased body weight, just to name a few. So many issues have been linked to consuming too much sugar. Keep in mind The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends most American women eat no more than six teaspoons, or 20 grams per day. For men, the AHA recommends about nine teaspoons, or 36 grams, per day. What would it take for you to give up sugar or at least decrease your sugar intake?
There are many reasons I decided to cut back my sugar intake, but I found these 5 reasons to be convincing:
- Sugar impairs learning, memory and responsiveness. Think about it, sugar could be holding you back from reaching your full potential. I certainly do not want to do anything that decreases my ability to learn awesome new stuff.
- Sugar increases your risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia. My grandmother suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s. It is a very difficult disease both for the individual and their family. More and more research is linking Alzheimer’s to sugar, some researchers are even calling it Type 3 Diabetes!
- Sugar increases your risk of suffering from depression. Sugar depletes B vitamins, which are essential to good mental health. Depression can disrupt quality of life and for me knowing I can lower my risk of depression by cutting back on sugar, seems like a no brainer.
- Sugar decreases your energy. Sure, you may get an initial energy boost but typically that only lasts for about 30 minutes and then you crash. I have witnessed this with my kids, they get the initial sugar high and then their world comes crashing down. This can happen to adults as well. Don’t you wonder why you get cranky mid-morning or feel the need for a nap in the afternoon? How much sugar was in your last meal?
- Sugar speeds up the aging process. Nobody wants to look older! Consuming too much sugar can make your skin age faster. Sugar damages elastin and collagen (Read more on collagen supplements here) in your skin which leads to wrinkles and saggy skin. I know I want to remain youthful as long as possible.
What would it take to convince you to quit sugar or at least cut back?
Jamey, NTP, CPT
Click here to read my blog post, The Many Names of Sugar.
On Facebook I recently shared an article, Cutting sugar from kids’ diets appears to have a beneficial effect in just 10 days. You can read it here.
I am adding dates for more rounds of the 21 Day Sugar Detox. If you would like me to lead a 21 Day Sugar Detox Group for your club, work place, friends or family contact me.