Want to know what’s wrong with America? One word.
Want to know how I know that? Because I can’t stop eating it. It’s delicious. It’s found in everything, sometimes as a completely unnecessary additive. There’s no escaping it. But it adds pounds and inches, wreaks havoc on your vital organs, and is chock full of empty calories.
That’s right. Sugar has no nutritional value at all. Zip. Zlich. Zero.
Let me tell you that I have a sweet tooth. I thank my grandpa for that one. Apparently, which I didn’t know until very recently, he had diabetes and would take insulin shots. I remember this as a kid. And I remember we used to have to buy him special foods that were sugar free. What I did not know, however, was that through dietary changes (and exercise? I’ll have to consult my elders on that…) he actually reversed his diabetes. Amazing! Knowing that diabetes and an addiction to sugar is strong in my genetics, I still indulge in chocolate cake and ice cream, but I try to be much more conscious of it than ever before.
I tell you all of this because frankly, sugar is the devil. It’s making us sick with horrible, preventable, diseases.
7 Reasons Sugar Is The [Delicious] Devil
1. Sugar is bad for oral health.
It causes tooth decay because it’s easily digestible by the bad bacteria in our mouths. Gross. Not to mention that something as innocent as chewing gum is awful for our jaws. We weren’t designed to chew all day long. Human jaws were designed to chew for a few minutes every couple of hours. TMJ, anyone?
2. Sugar is a major contributor to type 2 diabetes.
And heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s… you get the idea. High levels of added sugar, like the stuff we eat on a daily basis, can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance then leads to all of those awful diseases. Let’s eat fruit instead.
3. Fructose is difficult for your liver to digest, and unused fructose turns into fat.
Again, fruit is the exception to this rule. Your body knows how to easily process natural sugar derived from plants.
4. Sugar is bad for your brain!
B vitamins are critical to normal neurological function. B vitamins are manufactured in our intestines by important bacteria. When we eat sugar, the bacteria begin to die. And when the B vitamins decline, we become sleepy and our short term memory begins to dwindle. Not good, folks.
5. Refined white sugar resembles a drug similar to cocaine.
Let’s talk chemistry for a quick second. (I know… This won’t hurt though, I promise.) Cocaine’s formula is C17H21NO4. Sugar’s formula is C12H22O11. So strikingly similar it’s scary. In addition to having similar chemical make-up, sugar releases dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the “feel good” center of the brain. When our brains are overwhelmed by dopamine release, it causes us to become addicted. Like drug users are to cocaine. Hmmmm.
6. Sugar doesn’t satisfy.
Ever feel hungry almost immediately after eating a chocolate bar? Or a roll of Smarties? Yeah, that’s because sugar never satiates us. (Hello, empty calories!) Once we’ve received the dopamine release and aren’t satisfied from said sugary treat, we immediately reach for more. Why? Because it made us feel good the first time, and because we’re still hungry! It’s a dangerous cycle.
7. Sugar is delicious.
Sugar has been in our history books beginning 10,000 years ago. Our love affair with sugar began innocently enough in New Guinea as an unrefined delicious morsel. It was first discovered and treated as a delicacy. It was honored, and lusted after. For a long while, sugar was reserved for royalty. Sugar took a long time to spread around the world, and once it was discovered how to refine, refining was kept secret. But once it was refined and the secret process was out — well, friends. We’re living it. Here we are — addicted, never satisfied, and living a wellness nightmare.
What can we do to stop sugar’s negative effects on our health? Reach for an apple or peach instead of a candy bar. Grab a handful of raisins instead of a lollipop. Choose whole, unprocessed foods instead of highly refined items loaded with sugar, sodium, and empty calories.
It’s easy to see why sugar is bad. It’s cheap, it’s addictive, and since it’s difficult to digest and turns into fat, it’s making us obese! This list is quite clearly not all-inclusive, nor does it cover the superabundance of information on why sugar is bad, but I hope it helps a little.
It won’t be easy, and it’s almost impossible to avoid added sugars unless you’re straight up eating from your backyard garden. But even replacing one or two items each day is a step in the right direction.
P.S. If someone can find me a suitable replacement for chocolate cake, yogurt, and ice cream, I will be forever in your debt.
TALK TO ME!
Do you have a sweet tooth?
How do you combat a need for a sugar-fix?