By Christy Nye, CHC
Did you know that the average American consumes over 150 pounds of sugar a year? And in retrospect, we consume only 8 pounds of broccoli a year? This is 20 times the amount of sugar we consume in the 1700’s. Sources of this sugar commonly include cane sugar, beet sugar, corn syrup, and corn sugar. The cause of this increase is greatly related to added sugars within a wide variety of popular soft drinks and processed junk foods. As we have grown as a country, sugar has continued to play an increasingly more prominent role in our food. It’s not just sugary foods like candy and cookies either, but sugar has made its way into practically EVERYTHING we eat.
When you consume sugar, your body has two options on how to deal with it:
1) Burn it for energy.
2) Convert to fat and store it in your fat cells.
Depending on your genetic predisposition, your body might be better equipped to process sugar as energy, or you might be more likely to store it as fat. Think of this like you think of people with faster metabolisms vs. people with slower metabolisms.
The problem is, there is a LOT more room for fat storage, and a lot less room to burn the sugar as energy. Along with making you fat, sugar consumption has been implicated in a litany of crimes.
What is sugar guilty of?
- It suppresses your immune system
- It suppresses your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins
- It leads to insulin resistance & Type 2 Diabetes
- It can cause weight gain.
- It causes inflammation in the body.
- It’s been linked to cancer
- Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, inability to concentrate and crankiness in children.
- Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
In fact, there are 141 researched and proven reasons why sugar is harmful to our health, but we will stop at 8.
1) Avoid artificial sugars.
2) Get good quality sugars. Avoid agave nectar, table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other processed sugars. These are all bad sugars that will affect the blood sugar or hinder the process of breaking down sugars. More than likely most are stored as fat in the body. In fact, HFCS increases and excites your ghrelin hormone so it essentially makes you more hungry within the 48hrs following consumption.
3) Stick to the basics: raw honey (local is best), 100% pure maple syrup, maple sugar, palm sugar, coconut sugar, and molasses.
4) Stevia is great but make sure to get the pure form. Most name brand forms of stevia have erythritol or dextrose, which are corn derivatives and full of GMO’s. Look for pure Stevia leaf or stevia leaf extract. There should be no other ingredients listed. Avoid Reb A or rebaudioside.
5) Reduce sugar as much as possible. Cancer survives in a acidic, sugar environment. The more basic your body is and the less sugar you eat, the greater your chances are of not expressing those bad genes.
6) Use coconut or palm sugar: A delicious natural sugar to bake with, coconut sugar is harvested by collecting the nectar or sap from flowers of the coconut palm tree. It’s a decent source of minerals and vitamins.
7) Look for hidden sugars in all products. Yogurt, ketchup, breads, pasta sauce, etc. are a few items that have high doses of hidden sugar.
Want to learn more? Join me on Tuesday, May 22nd, at 7pm for a deeper look into ways sugar has taken over our lives, and what we can do about it! Ready to change your life? Join the Staff of Woodbury Spine in June on a “21 Day Sugar Detox“!