Does something so sweet deserve its reputation as a dietary demon? How bad can it be? Turns out, there are some good reasons to banish sugar from your diet. The fact that it’s been around for ages isn’t necessarily an argument in its favour. In spite of its rich history of cultivation in India, time has removed sugar from its roots. It is now extracted and refined to such a degree that is scarcely resembles its purer self.
Let’s step back a bit. At its most basic, sugar is a carbohydrate. All carbohydrates that easily dissolve in water are sugars. They’re colourless, odourless. They’re usually in crystallised form and they all taste sweet. Still with us?
Like a drug, sugar is highly addictive. Too much of it can have detrimental effects on your body. It can compromise your immune system and make you more susceptible to germs and viruses. When you fill up on sugary foods, you’re less likely to eat foods that are more nutritious. This can lead to malnutrition. Curious about how you can banish sugar from your diet – or at least reduce your consumption? We’ve got some info, tips and tricks for you.
How much is too much?
Many illnesses are a direct result of excessive sugar consumption of sugar. This may sound like scaremongering, but hear us out. The sugar that we eat every day is refined, so it no longer contains any vitamins or minerals that our bodies can use.
From a nutritional perspective, sugar is null and void. It’s actually worse than that. It can leach vitamins and minerals from your body. This is bad news for your metabolism. When the body can’t efficiently process sugar, diabetes is one of the most common reactions. wreaks havoc on the body’s metabolic processes.
Reasons to get rid
- Seriously…sugar can as addictive as cocaine. We’re not making this up. Endocrinologist, Dr Robert Lustwig, has done extensive research that corroborates this claim. Furthermore, Dr Mehmet Oz says that sugar stimulates the release of dopamine, the ‘pleasure zone’ neurotransmitter. When you crave sweets, you’re really craving that physiological response to eating them- just as a drug addict does.
- When there’s too much sugar in your diet, you elevate your risk of developing cancer. This is because increased insulin levels and obesity cause cancer cells to reproduce.
- Sugar is not heart healthy. When you’re watching your diet, you may think that you’re eating more healthily. If you’re trying to reduce your fat intake, you may be duped into buying a lot of pre-packaged foods that are marketed as low fat. Be careful, though: many of these foods just substitute the fat with more sugar. They’re lower in fat, but their glycaemic levels are sky high. Guess what? These conditions can lead to heart disease. Triglycerides are fats that the body creates for storing excess sugar. When you eat too much of the sweet stuff, your body stores it as fat.
- If you love your liver, you should seriously reconsider your relationship with sugar. A large and extremely complex organ, it’s the liver that is tasked with turning the insulin (blood sugar) that sugary foods create into glycogen. It then processes stored glycogen into fat. See where this is going? More sugar, more fat.
- Sugar’s not brain food. Some clinical research indicates that high blood sugar levels are linked to a withering in the areas of the brain that control memory.
- It really can cause spots. There’s always been a tenuous link between diet and acne, but studies have proven a link between acne and high glycaemic levels. Diets that are generally high in sugars can trigger the release of hormones that stimulate oily secretions and exacerbate acne.
- If you want to keep your dazzling dentifrice, cut the sugar. The bacteria in your mouth thrives on it. It loves it so much, it creates monuments in its honour. They’re called cavities.
To keep it short and sweet…
Sugar should be a treat, not a staple. Avoiding adding sugar and you’ll preserve your health and immunity to certain diseases and conditions. We’re not suggesting that you replace it with chemical sweeteners. That’s an entirely different bag of troubles. Do look for natural alternatives, such as agave nectar or stevia – but don’t go overboard with them, either. The best thing that you can do is ween yourself off your addiction to sweet stuff. Do it for just 21 days and you’re likely to have the habit kicked for good!