Sugar is one of the most damaging substances that one can ingest – and what’s terrifying about it is that it’s just so abundant in our everyday diet. This intense addiction to sugar is becoming rampant, not just among adults, but in children as well.
For eg, food contain sugar in coffee or tea,pastries, cakes, and cookies,even we sprinkle it all over breakfast cereal or oatmeal for added “flavor.”
But that’s not all. It’s also hidden in some beloved “treats” that people consume on a daily basis, such as sodas, fruit juices, candies, and ice cream. It also lurks in almost all processed foods, including breads and even in favorite condiments like sauce and ketchup. It’s none other than sugar. Most people view sugary foods as tasty, satisfying, and irresistible treats. But there are three words that can more accurately describe sugar: toxic, addicting, and deadly.
It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure. It increases your uric acid levels.
Here are some of the effects that consuming too much sugar has on your health:
- It overloads and damages your liver. The effects of too much sugar or fructose can be likened to the effects of alcohol. All the fructose you eat gets shuttled to the only organ that has the transporter for it: your liver. This severely taxes and overloads the organ, leading to potential liver damage.
- It tricks your body into gaining weight and affects your insulin and leptin signaling.Fructose fools your metabolism by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. It fails to stimulate insulin, which in turn fails to suppress ghrelin, or “the hunger hormone,” which then fails to stimulate leptin or “the satiety hormone.” This causes you to eat more and develop insulin resistance
- It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure.
- It increases your uric acid levels. High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome, and uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.
If your uric acid level is high then it’s clear that you are at risk to the negative health impacts of fructose.
- Sugar increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
- Large-scale studies have shown that the more high-glycemic foods (those that quickly affect blood sugar), including foods containing sugar, a person consumes, the higher his risk for becoming obese and for developing diabetes and heart disease.
- People who consume the most sugar have the lowest intakes of essential nutrients––especially vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B-12, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. Ironically, those who consume the most sugar are children and teenagers, the individuals who need these nutrients most.
- If you consume a lot of sugar and other refined carbohydrates, you probably don’t get enough of the trace mineral chromium, and one of chromium’s main functions is to help regulate blood sugar.
- Alzheimer’s disease is another deadly illness that can arise from too much sugar consumption. A growing body of research found a powerful connection between a high-fructose diet and your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, through the same pathway that causes type 2 diabetes. According to some experts, Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders may be caused by the constant burning of glucose for fuel by your brain.
- Surplus sugar in the body increases fat in the body. This fat is deposited on the organs; for example stomach, thighs, heart, kidneys,liver.
- Increases blood pressure and fatty acids.
- Reduces the immune system and the resistance power, thereby causing the body to feel tired while fighting attack of cold, heat and mosquitoes.
- Energy of the body is expended in the digestion of sugar; hence, the body experiences fatigue in eradicating ill effects of sugar.
- Excessive consumption of sugar affects the working of brain.
- Excessive consumption of sugar makes us sleepy and also affects the ability to calculate and concentrate.
- Reduces the flexibility of our cells/muscles.
- Affects vision adversely.
- Leads to early ageing.
- Reduces vitamin ‘E’ in our blood.
- There is a possibility of developing cancer of the large intestines.
- Surplus sugar can be one of the causes for prostate cancer.
- Fructose can directly and indirectly stimulate the brain’s “hedonic pathway,”creating habituation and dependence, the same way that ethanol does
Now that you know the negative impacts refined sugar can have on your body and mind, you’ll want to be more careful about the foods you choose. And the first step is getting educated about where sugar lurks—believe it or not, a food needn’t even taste all that sweet for it to be loaded with sugar. When it comes to convenience and packaged foods, let the ingredients label be your guide, and be aware that just because something boasts that it is low in carbs or a “diet” food, doesn’t mean it’s free of sugar.
Here are some additional dietary tips to remember:
- Increase your consumption of healthy fats, such as omega-3, saturated, and monounsaturated fats.Your body needs health-promoting fats from vegetable sources for optimal functioning. In fact, emerging evidence suggests that healthy fats should make up at least 70 percent of your diet. Some of the best sources include organic butter from raw milk, (unheated) virgin olive oil, coconut oil, raw nuts, avocado.
- Drink pure, clean water. Simply swapping out all the sweetened beverages like sodas and fruit juices for pure water can go a long way toward improving your health. The best way to gauge your water needs is to observe the color of your urine (it should be light pale yellow) and the frequency of your bathroom visits (ideally, this is around seven to eight times per day).
- Add fermented foods to your meals. The beneficial bacteria in these healthful foods can support your digestion and provide detoxification support, which helps lessen the fructose burden on your liver. Some of the best choices include organic yogurt and fermented vegetables.
HOW TO CURB SUGAR CRAVING/SUBSTITUTE FOR SUGAR
An excellent and easily available substitute for sugar is jaggery which does not contain any chemicals. Similarly, honey, molasses, sugarcane juice, dates are also better substitutes for sugar.
Benefits of Jaggery
- Rapid physical growth and strengthening of bones in children after giving them proper proportion of peanuts and jaggery :Calcium is present in jaggery, hence, it is good and beneficial for children; but, it should be eaten in appropriate proportion only. This is because there is a chance of getting infected with worms if eaten in excess. If children are regularly made to eat peanuts and jaggery in appropriate amounts, their growth will be rapid. Bones become strong and body remains healthy.
- Consumption of jaggery and roasted gram by women helps in alleviating iron deficiency in them :Normally, it is observed that women suffer from iron deficiency. This is caused by their menstrual cycle. However, if women eat roasted gram with jaggery, this problem gets alleviated and they do not feel any weakness, as the level of haemoglobin increases.
- Jaggery is a very good medicine for cardiac problems and an adequate level of haemoglobin is maintained in the blood by eating jaggery :Jaggery has vitamin ‘B’ in greater proportion. This makes it beneficial for mental health. Potassium is good for cardiac ailments. It can be acquired naturally by eating jaggery. This means that jaggery is a good medicine for cardiac ailments. Eating jaggery is good for anaemic patients also the proportion of haemoglobin in blood that is lost due to excessive bleeding is restored by consuming jaggery.