According to statistics, an average American consumes 765 grams of sugar every five (5) days! That would be equivalent to about 17 cans of soda in less than a week. The kind of diet that most people follow today includes sugar in it and somehow affects the functions of the body. Even the granulated sugars that we use at home has an impact on how our bodies actually work. But the big question is, what is granulated sugar and what does it do to the body?
What is Sugar?
Sugar is the most widely used sweetener. It is present in most food products and beverages. It makes our favorite cookies, pastries, soft drinks and almost everything taste good and delicious. That's why we keep digging them in. However, besides being a sweet tasting carbohydrate, it has no nutritional value. It delivers empty calories because it is unaccompanied by other nutrients which are beneficial to your body such as fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- 100 grams of sugar intake is equivalent to 387 calories.
- Four grams of sugar is equivalent to about one teaspoon.
- You can safely metabolize about six teaspoons of added sugar per day
So how much calories do you actually get if you consume a 12-ounce soda? That is actually about 11 tablespoons of sugar. Indeed, a big chunk in your daily recommended caloric intake. Sugar-rich diet is primarily the cause of weight gain and other health problems.
Inside the body, sugar is either burned to be used as energy or stored as fats. But since its intake is usually higher than what the body could burn, it is most likely to be deposited as fats.
Why is Sugar harmful to your body?
Researches found long term harmful effects of sugar to our bodies. This sweet and delicious ingredient is actually the biggest threat to your health. Check out how this sweet tasting kitchen favorite brings about bitter health problems.
- It causes cardiovascular diseases. In a research finding, people with high sugar consumption have an increased blood pressure. This can be attributed to unhealthy fat deposits that are dumped by your liver into the bloodstream. Fat deposits or cholesterols are the ones causing blockage in the bloodstream. Thus, it makes you at risk for heart diseases.
- It affects neurological functions. Sugar robs vitamin B from healthy cells. Thus killing them and as a result, there will be depletion in the production of insulin. This will then lead to confusion, lack of sound judgment, sleepiness, loss of focus and impaired brain functions.
- It causes Diabetes. When blood sugar arises, pancreas cannot produce adequate insulin. Continuous introduction of sugar in the body will wear out your pancreas due to overwork. When this happens, the essential insulin production is impaired and your body cannot neutralize and metabolize sugar in the blood. Diabetes is also predisposed by overweight and obesity.
- It feeds bacteria. Candida albicans is tiny yeast that thrives in our intestines and other moist areas. Our intestines have both good and bad bacteria in the normal flora. However, sugar causes imbalance in the natural environment of our intestines causibg the bad bacteria to grow. When they grow, they form colonies. Sugar-rich diets will keep them growing and will consume the sugar intake first before your body is able to use it. This is the reason why your will be craving for more sugary foods. The Candida gets the most of what you eat. Not only that, as they grow, they produce toxin and all sorts of harm to your body leading to a more serious health condition.
- It causes periodontal diseases. Cavity-causing bacteria love sugars. Combination of bacteria, saliva and sugar could lead to tooth decay. When you eat too much sugary foods, glycoproteins stick to your teeth and forms plaque. During this time, Streptococcus mutans also stick to glycoproteins causing tooth cavity and decay. Oral bacteria causing periodontal diseases are believed to have the possibility of escaping into your bloodstream causing increasing inflammation to the body organ affected or throughout the body. Inflammation may, in turn, cause greater damage to health such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, heart problems and other diseases.
- It causes erectile dysfunction and infertility. We have learned that high sugar intake will result to overweight, obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular problems. These are the predisposing factors of erectile dysfunction, poor semen quality in men and infertility to women.
- It is addictive. We are not genetically programmed to consume the amount of sugar we usually take in. This overly stimulates our sweet receptors in the brain giving us a ‘feel good’ signals that oftentimes dominate the ‘enough already’ signals. As a result, we become accustomed to the sugary sweets and will keep looking for that taste and will consume more.
How to cut it off?
It is not easy to take away sugar in your daily diet especially if you have been accustomed to its taste. For the longest time, it has become your basis for your food preference. But given that sugar has its bitter reality, you might as well make sure not to fall into the pit of deception. It does not mean that you will be eating not-so-tasty foods from now on. But there are plenty of ways to guard you from the dangers of clinging to sugar:
- Change your diet. Eat healthy foods that are prepared and cooked from raw ingredients rather than consuming ready-to-eat, processed foods. To add flavor to your meal, use spices and herbs instead of sugar. You know very well that processed foods are one of the common sources of added sugar in the body.
- Switch to natural sweets. Meaning, the unprocessed sweeteners like organic raw honey or stevia. If you have sugar cane, then express its juice by yourself.
- Satisfy yourself with sweets from nature. Fruits are rich in sugar like watermelon, apples, etc. The only difference is that they give you more than just sugars. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutritious juices that your body needs. Not only does it satisfies your taste buds but also helps in maintaining a healthy body.
- Eat unlabelled foods. I mean, the raw food found in the garden or in the market. Never be enticed with the fancy labels food manufacturers put on their packaging like containing “real fruit” or “whole grain”. They may appear healthy but hey no!
Take a look at this:
- Commercially manufactured yoghurt contains 7 teaspoons (29 grams) of sugar per serving.
- Breakfast bar made with “real fruit” and “whole grains” lists 15 grams of sugar.
- Bran cereals with raisins say “no high-fructose corn syrup” but still contain 20 grams of sugar per serving.
- Cranberry/pomegranate juice product, also advertising “no high-fructose corn syrup” and “100% Vitamin C” contains 30 grams of added sugar per 8 oz. serving. Although they are naturally sweet, sugar is still added for enhanced taste.
It is important to note that if you are starting to crave for more sugar, it might be that you have become addicted to it or the Candida colonies are to be blame. Cutting off your sugar will not help. You will still be looking for it.
An effective way to stop it is eating herbs. Candida cannot thrive with this kind of food. This is the best way to regain the balance in your digestive system.
You can try herbs and herbal supplements containing Barberry, Grapes and Oregon. These are herbs used for anti-Candida diet.
Also, keep in mind that any form of caloric sweetener leads to weight gain and other health problems. To avoid undesirable weight gain, fat deposits in the blood and debilitating diseases, learn how to cut your sugar intake and take it out from your tables and menus. Choose a truly healthy and natural sweetener that will make you enjoy life, not just your meal.
It is hard to find and determine how much sugar there is in processed foods because food manufacturers uses different names for sugar that is put in their products.
As you can read on Sugarscience there are at least 61 different names for sugar listed on food labels.
- Agave nectar
- Barbados sugar
- Barley malt
- Barley malt syrup
- Beet sugar
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane juice
- Cane juice crystals
- Cane sugar
- Carob syrup
- Castor sugar
- Coconut palm sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Confectioner's sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup
- Corn syrup solids
- Date sugar
- Dehydrated cane juice
- Demerara sugar
- Evaporated cane juice
- Free-flowing brown sugars
- Fruit juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Glucose solids
- Golden sugar
- Golden syrup
- Grape sugar
- HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
- Icing sugar
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Palm sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Raw sugar
- Refiner's syrup
- Rice syrup
- Sorghum Syrup
- Sugar (granulated)
- Sweet Sorghum
- Turbinado sugar
- Yellow sugar
Learn more about sugar with these books:
The sugar impact diet with JJ Virgin
The Sugar Impact Diet is all about transitioning: From being a sugar burner to a fat burner, and from choosing high-sugar impact foods to low-sugar impact foods. JJ takes your hand and leads you every step of the way. She provides a step-by-step strategy to gradually remove sugar. If you want to ditch stubborn belly fat and look 10 years younger, you need this book!
What do you think about sugar consumption? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below!