The Low Down on Sugar
I dont want to alarm you but there is a hidden danger in our food which is a very addictive substance and is found in most foods from salad dressings, ketchups and prepared meals in foods which you would never suspect.... What is this addictive substance which we cant seem to get enough of? Its Sugar....
Research is now proving that sugar is one of the biggest health concerns in the Western World. We are far exceeding the recommended daily intake, the average westerner consumes between 13 and 20 teaspoons of added sugar each day when the recommended intake is about 6 teaspoons. 20 teaspoons is an extra 250 calories on top of your normal diet.
Dont get me wrong sugar in its natural state is relatively harmless and we humans do have a natural craving for sweet as we do for sour, salty and spicy. We cant really blame ourselves for this new addiction... research years ago cited fats as the weight gain culprit. So many of us turned to low fat foods which unfortunately are loaded with sugar.
Natural sugars are found in fruit and vegetable as a compound known as fructrose. The problem is with sugar added during food processing to enhance flavour or color. Added sugar is intrinsically an empty food not found naturally in the foods.
Consuming too many of these empty calories has detrimental effects on health and well being one of the most obvious indicators is weight gain. Adding sugar increases your insulin levels and plays havoc with the metabolism. In most cases being stored as visceral fat around the organs particularly the liver and also as abdominal fat. So giving up sugar will not only help you to lose weight but equally as important will improve your health. Find below 10 good reasons to reduce added sugar intake:
1. It will lower your blood pressure. Research has shown that added sugards apart from weight gain actually raises the blood presssure which increases the work of the heart and blocks the arteries. Thus increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney problems and many other serious problems.
2. It will decrease the risk of heart attack and reduce bad cholesterol.
3. The memory and brain power will improve. Research has shown that excess sugar impairs cognitive function and reduces proteins which are necessary for memory and quick thinking.
4. Less risk of Alzheimer's and Dementia.. both conditions associated with reduced BDNF (brain, derived, neurotrophic factor) which impairs cognition and glucose metabolism.
5. You will feel happier.. studies have shown that excess sugar leads to insulin resistance which causes brain chemicals to lower the mood while waiting for its next sugar fix.
6. Your skin will look better. Too much sugar leaves the skin tired dull and wrinkly. This is due to a process called glycation, where the sugar in your blood attaches to proteins to form advanced glycation which damages collagen and elastin the protein fibres that keep the skin firm and elastic.
7. Will help clear acne as too much sugar causes hormonal fluctuations and trigger inflammation. Excess sugar is also linked to psoriasis. (research by Marisa Moore. Georgia State University.
8. Reduce the risk of Diabetes.
9. Prevents fatty liver as insulin resistance caused by excess sugar leads to fat in the liver. A fatty liver leads to other risk factors such as heart attacks and cancer.
10. You will have more energy and less mood swings and will help to regulate the hormones. Cutting down on sugar means less cravings since over consumption of sugar triggers the release of the hormone ghrelin which sends a signal to the body telling it its hungry and then over eating.
All very good reasons for reducing sugar consumption. The simplest thing to do is stop adding sugar to food and stop drinking soda drinks such as coke, sprite etc. At least this is a start and you will begin to see the benefits you will want to cut it back even more.
To Your Health and Well Being