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What’s all the controversy about anyway?
Have you ever noticed how much sugar Americans put into everything? We pour it into our coffee, pastries, breads, and salad dressings, and that’s just getting started! According to Forbes.com, the average American consumes about 130 lbs of sugar per year or 3,550 lbs in an entire lifetime. Also, we can’t forget about those added or hidden sugars in low-fat products, condiments, pre-packaged or canned foods, etc., which account for nearly 500 calories each day per person. All that said, why is sugar so bad anyway and why do we need to avoid it? The most important reason is that sugar raises our glucose (blood sugar), which causes the pancreas to produce insulin to normalize those blood sugar levels. If our body becomes unable to make good use of the insulin (insulin resistance), then glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to some serious health issues. Some of those issues are listed in the following:
TOP 10 REASONS TO AVOID SUGAR:
1) Sugar is a primary dietary cause of obesity
Sugar doesn’t actually satisfy your sugar cravings, nor does it decrease your hunger. In fact, it actually increases it, causing you to eat more food. Sugar is very additive for many people, and for some, has become their drug of choice. You get a quick high after consuming it, then your blood sugar drops causing you to crash, which has you looking for more sugar to provide the quick rush/high again. Also, insulin actually stores sugar in the liver and muscles for energy use later, however, when those storehouses are full from too much sugar, it actually stores it as body fat, which can lead to obesity.
2) Sugar increases the acidity of the body
Your body’s pH level should be anywhere between 7.35 and 7.45. Anywhere above or below this level can cause a serious problem. Sugar is an acidic-producing food. A diet high in this these foods can cause an imbalance in the body, creating a need for the body to regulate the acidic pH by alkalizing it. This process steals valuable minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium from our bones and organs causing degenerative diseases, cancer, and other illnesses. The majority of us are too acidic.
3) Sugar causes inflammation
Inflammation is a serious problem in America and is the hallmark of all disease. It is the beginning of cancer, heart disease, pain and many other illnesses. Increased blood sugar increases a hormone called leptin, which causes inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, also raises leptin levels. The result is a loop that affects each other in promoting inflammation - it’s a vicious cycle. Inflammation must be controlled in order to address all kinds of disease, illness, cancer, pain, etc.
4) Sugar is the primary reason for high cholesterol
A 2010 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that the consumption of added sugar: raised triglyceride levels; lowered HDL or “good” cholesterol levels; and raised the ratio of triglyceride to HDL cholesterol. It also raises small, dense LDL and oxidized LDL (bad LDL).
5) Sugar causes hormonal and metabolic imbalances
We’ve already seen how sugar disrupts one of the most powerful hormones in the body (insulin), and know that insulin affects all of the other hormones in your body, including estrogen and testosterone. Increased insulin leads to lower sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which is no longer available to bind excess estrogen and testosterone. Testosterone is also increased with high insulin and then converted to more estrogen by belly fat tissue. This means hormone ratios of estrogen to progesterone are too high, causing intense symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, insomnia, irritability and more.
6) Sugar is your fast track to diabetes
Sugar is high glycemic and raises blood sugar. Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by high blood sugar, either because of the inability of the body to produce enough insulin or the inability to respond to the existing insulin. Insulin facilitates the breakdown of glucose and its entry into cells and tissues. In Type 2 diabetes, cells fail to use insulin properly (insulin resistance) which accounts for more than 90% of the diabetes cases worldwide. Those who are obese have a higher risk of diabetes; however, you do not have to be obese in order to have diabetes. Thin people can also become insulin resistant and have diabetes.
7) Sugar is a known toxin
In March of 2005, genetically modified (GM) sugar beets appeared on the US market for the first time. Crafted by Monsanto to include a gene from a soil bacterium, this GM beet was able to withstand a copious onslaught of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide (glyphosate). The agricultural industry could spray as much of the weed-killer as it wanted without impacting crops. Today, Monsanto’s GM sugar beets make up 95 percent of the US crop. http://www.greenamerica.org/pubs/greenamerican/articles/AprilMay2013/How-Monsantos-Sugar-Beets-Grew-Larger-Than-The-Law.cfm
8) Sugar leads to heart disease
We've already seen that sugar increases your cholesterol level, which is a primary factor in promoting heart disease. A raise in insulin and glucose levels cause obesity. These factors also lead to heart disease. The previous JAMA study also revealed that those who ate higher levels of sugar compared to those who ate low levels, had three times the risk of heart disease.
9) Sugar is an anti-nutrient
There are no nutrients in any added sugars. Sugar is an anti-nutrient as it provides zero nutritional value and simultaneously steals nutrients from your body in order to be digested. They are considered empty calories, containing no proteins, vitamins, minerals or fats.
10) Sugar promotes cancer
The favorite food of cancer is sugar and, it actually encourages tumor and cancer growth! That is why refined carbohydrates like white sugar, white flour, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and soft drinks are extremely dangerous for anyone trying to prevent or reverse cancer. Cancer cells actually uptake sugar at 10-12 times the rate of healthy cells. For a great article on the effects of sugar on cancer, visit http://beatcancer.org/2014/03/5-reasons-cancer-and-sugar-are-best-friends/
"When a cancer cell gets more food (sugar), it grows; this makes the tumor biomass bigger and even more hypoxic. In turn, the energy-conversion efficiency goes further down, making the cells even more hungry and triggering the cells to get more food from blood circulation, creating a vicious cycle." ScienceDaily (May 3, 2012).
What contains sugar?
Just about everything! Always check the ingredients. Fruits that contain sugar are natural sugars; however depending on your healing plan they can be dangerous to you at that moment. For example, if you have a sprained ankle, then going for a run would be bad for you at that time but fine when you are healed. Likewise, after your body heals, then fruits and other items that contain natural sugar can be added back into your plan. All added sugar is bad for you and can lead to all of the reasons listed above. So what’s the solution? Kick the sugar habit and live a long and prosperous life.
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