Sugar is one of the most harmful ingredients you can put in your body but far too much is consumed by many of us, even those that don’t think they eat a lot of sugar. According to Statistics Canada, in 2015, the average Canadian consumed 85 pounds of sugar every year! This is the equivalent of 20 teaspoons per day! Shocking, huh?
Below we’ll be discussing six of the main reasons why you should limit your consumption of sugar.
Sugar Has No Nutritional Value
One of the biggest reasons to avoid refined sugar is that it contains no vitamins, minerals or antioxidants. These nutrients are found in almost every healthy, natural food and are essential for your body’s survival. They support all the internal processes in your body, protect against illness and allow you to perform at your peak.
Eating too much refined sugar often prevents you from getting the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs from your diet and causes nutrient deficiencies. These nutrient deficiencies can cause you to feel sluggish, affect how you perform and lead to serious health problems.
Sugar Disrupts Your Energy Levels
Sugar enters the bloodstream quickly and causes a rapid surge in energy levels, followed by a rapid crash. While the initial sugar high may give you a few minutes of increased energy and focus, the overall impact of these constant fluctuations in energy caused by eating too much refined sugar is negative. It makes it very difficult to concentrate for long periods of time, causes you to become unproductive and makes you feel lethargic.
Sugar Disrupts Your Hormones
Too much refined sugar can lead to an over-stressed pancreas, which secretes the hormone insulin. Insulin regulates your blood glucose levels, i.e. your blood sugars to ensure your blood sugars don’t get too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). High glucose levels in your blood can lead to … you guessed it diabetes. Let’s not go there.
Sugar Causes Weight Gain
Unlike proteins and fats which take longer to digest and have a satiating effect on the body, sugar passes through the digestive system very quickly and doesn’t satisfy your appetite. As a result, you still have the craving even after filling up on refined sugar and thus, you are very likely to overeat at the next meal or the next minute.
Sugar is also hidden in many foods such as breads, sauces and sodas. Because it doesn’t satisfy your appetite in the same way that whole, wholesome foods do, these hidden sugars add extra calories without you even noticing and cause you to gain weight.
Sugar May Cause Liver Damage
Many of the refined sugars in foods come in the form of fructose. When you eat too much fructose, it overloads the liver and causes it to turn fructose into fat. This can lead to fatty liver disease and many other liver problems which have a negative impact on your energy levels, digestion and overall health. It’s a good thing to avoid processed foods high in fructose.
Sugar Causes Inflammation
Numerous studies have shown that eating large amounts of refined sugar can cause excessive inflammation in the body. Not only is this excessive inflammation painful but it also damages your body’s cells and vital organs, and can cause permanent health problems. Inflammation in the body has also been linked with accelerated internal and external aging. Plus, it is also one of the biggest risk factors for chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Sugar makes things taste yummy! There is no denying that! However, it is also an addictive substance and we can consume way too much sugar if we are not careful. The above list is by no means extensive. Stay tuned for my upcoming webinar on sugar and hormones, “Sugar … Not so Sweet!” where I will break down even further what sugar does to our hormones!
Until next time!
Yours in health and wellness,
Francine Alleyne (RHNP™)
Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner™
DISCLAIMER: Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing any symptoms. I am not a doctor. This post and anything else you find on my website is intended for informational, educational and self-empowerment purposes ONLY and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease.