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The Truth About Sugar

The Truth About Sugar

 

By now you’ve likely heard all the negative talk about sugar. But is it truly something that you really should avoid?

In a word, yes.

Sugar is really that bad. The devil of your diet if you will. But yet, we are still taking in copious amounts of it each and every year. In fact, the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar per year! That is the same weight as your average small woman.

So why is sugar so bad and evil? Let’s look at the many ways this tasty but disastrous substance is ruining your health.

  • It’s addictive

You probably don’t need me to tell you this but sugar is addictive. There are actual biochemical reasons behind this. Each time you eat something filled with sugary goodness, you are going to release serotonin in your brain. This feel good neurotransmitter then proceeds to induce a state of calmness and happiness.

The result? You want more. Continue eating and soon enough, you are addicted.

  • It’s diabetes waiting to happen

If we can point fingers for the raising rate of diabetes in our society, we would point them directly at sugar. Sugar spikes blood glucose levels, which then puts stress on your pancreas, which needs to produce more insulin in response to this. Slowly but surely, your cells become less responsive to this insulin, which only makes the entire system work that much harder.

It can only work so hard for so long. Eventually it burns out. When it does, that’s when diabetes occurs!

  • It’s a sneaky agent in disguise

Did you know that sugar comes in more forms than glucose? Most people when they hear the term sugar think of the white stuff sitting on their table or the glucose they see on the ingredient label of their soda can.

And while those are two forms of sugar, sugar is in plenty more than that and comes in a wide variety of forms.

Let’s list a few, shall we?

  • Fructose
  • Maple syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Dextrose
  • Cane sugar
  • Beet sugar
  • Pectin
  • Lactose
  • Molasses
  • Fructose
  • Brown sugar
  • Agave

The list seems nearly endless. Sugar is everywhere in today’s society and unless you are reading food labels regularly, you are taking it in without realizing it.

  • It causes never-ending hunger

With the blood sugar highs and lows that you typically experience when eating these foods, you are bound to also experience never-ending levels of hunger. Sugar induces hunger and makes you only want more.

This is part of its addictive properties. By making you so hungry, it causes you to take in far more calories than you need, resulting in weight gain.

Sugar is one of the biggest reasons that obesity rates are skyrocketing. The hunger it creates is directly tied in with that.

  • It robs your body of nutrients

If you’re eating all that sugar, let’s talk about what you aren’t eating: Nutrient dense foods that actually serves your body! You can only take in so many calories each day and if your calories are being filled with sugar, it’s only time before you suffer nutritional deficiencies and all the problems that come with that.

  • It kills your focus

Finally, sugar also robs you of your focus. It makes your brain go haywire. ADHD rates are also rising in our youth population and sugar can be in part to blame.

Even as adults, if you are hooked on sugar, you’ll likely also find that you have problems with focus and concentration as well.

The One Exception To This Rule

So all of this said, there is one exception to this rule. Fruit.

The one sugar that you want to eat is fruit sugar because it’s a naturally occurring sugar and with the sugar it provides, it also gives you a wealth of nutrients as well as some dietary fiber. Both of these will help support your health, so the sugar isn’t nearly as harmful as the sugar you find in a piece of cake or candy bar for instance.

This doesn’t mean you should gorge on fruit – you should still practice some moderation, but don’t be afraid a few pieces into your diet. Especially berries as they contain so little sugar to begin with.

So do yourself a giant favor and start omitting sugar from your diet plan. Yes, it is hard to break free but once you do, you will be on to a much healthier future.

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About Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 10 years now.