What’s Not So Sweet About Sugar? - Guest Blog
By now you’ve probably heard that sugar isn’t good for you, but do you know exactly what that means? Many people don’t understand why exactly sugar is detrimental to their health, and they’re not sure how to limit the amount of sugar they consume.
If you want to learn more about sugar’s effect on your brain and body, read on for more information about its harmful effects and tips to avoid it.
Scientists have been telling people for some time that obesity rates are rising in both children and adults, and much of this rise can be attributed to excess sugar in the American diet. Whether it’s soft drinks, pizza, or fast food meals, sugar is added to almost every processed food that people eat. Constant sugar consumption leads to a higher calorie intake, which leads to weight gain.
Even worse, sugar has no nutritional value. There are no vitamins or minerals in sugar and no essential nutrients that contribute to your daily diet. Since you should only eat a limited number of calories each day, making sure all your calories are nutritionally dense and worthwhile is a crucial aspect of a healthy weight.
If it were easy to give up sugar, everyone would do it, but it’s not easy, and for some people, sugar is just as addictive as alcohol or drugs. In fact, for people with addiction issues, lessening their sugar intake isn’t enough. Just like an alcoholic or drug addict, they need to abstain from sugar entirely or risk being pulled back into addiction.
Even if you aren’t addicted to sugar yet, you should definitely be concerned about its addictive properties. Avoid it like you avoid cigarettes or other harmful drugs.
Excess sugar in the diet can lead to Type II diabetes, and it can also be responsible for many other conditions, including:
- High blood pressure
- Fatty liver disease
- Metabolic disorder
- Insulin resistance
Don’t forget that sugar also causes tooth decay, which can lead to painful and expensive dental procedures. If you need a little extra encouragement, do an internet search for tooth decay or fatty liver to get a sense of what excess sugar can lead to.
Sugar is hidden everywhere. Without reading the label or requesting nutritional information, you might not know that there’s sugar in many of the products you eat every day including:
- Jarred tomato sauce
- Canned soup
- Fat free salad dressing
- Barbecue sauce
- Multi grain crackers
- Fast food French fries
Educate yourself, so you know all the ingredients in what you’re consuming. Once you know exactly what you’re eating, you’ve taken the first step on your journey to make healthy decisions.
If you have a sweet tooth, try substituting fresh fruit (not dried fruit) for other sugary treats. While fruits may contain sugar, it’s a different type of sugar. More importantly, fruits are nutritionally valuable, unlike simple sugar, and contain many vitamins and minerals. The fruit fiber helps to moderate how the body responds to sugar and blood sugar isn’t spiked so quickly or so high when fruit sugar is introduced with fruit pulp and fiber.
Be aware that fruit juice isn’t the same as whole fruit. While it does have vitamins, it lacks the fiber of whole fruit and often has added sugars as well.
Talk to Someone
Because sugar is in so many foods and has such a strong pull on many people, it might be helpful for you to talk to someone. Whether it’s a psychologist, nutritionist, or life coach, talking to an expert can help you understand the addictive properties of sugar and why it’s so important to cut it out of your life.
Taking a holistic approach to controlling sugar and improving your diet makes sense if you consider that this is a life change to improve your health, not just a temporary diet fix.
Evidence has shown that some natural supplements curb sugar cravings. If you’re not having luck cutting sugar out of your diet on your own because of your intense cravings, try nutritional supplements. Check with your doctor and ask if the following might help you control your sugar cravings:
Now that you have some information regarding the harmful effects of sugar, go ahead and research the ways in which you can live a healthier, less sugary life.
Carl Turner is a freelance writer and a health enthusiast from Los Angeles, California. With his expertise in health and medicine, he enjoys helping his clients reach their optimal health. When he is not busy with work, he publishes informative articles on news and media outlets around the world.