Do you worry that you eat too much sugar? Do you find sugar hard to give up? The sugar-free diet has never been more popular and for good reason. Sugar is harmful to everyone’s health and is a major cause of disease in the Western world today. Sugar is found in so many food products today including cakes, breads, biscuits, cookies, muesli bars, yoghurt, fruit juices and many others. Many foods that are considered ‘healthy’ contain sugar. ‘That Sugar Film’ shows how people who think they’re following a healthy diet can easily be consuming up to forty teaspoons of sugar a day.
Here are 7 reasons to avoid sugar in your diet:
1. Suppresses your immune system. Sugar causes inflammation in the body and inhibits our immune system for hours at a time. This makes it harder to fight infections like the common cold and flu. It’s better to boost the immune system. See my article ‘Top Tips for Colds and Flu’ for more on ways to do this and avoid getting sick.
2. You’ll feel happier. Sugar leads to mood swings, irritability, chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression. Sugar gives a temporary ‘high’ but in the long term it affects the body’s ability to cope with stress and release chemicals in the brain like dopamine, which boosts your mood and makes you feel happy.
3. Sugar causes loss of vital minerals. Sugar contains no nutrients and it robs your body of important minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. This can weaken the bones and teeth leading to tooth decay, osteoporosis and imbalances body chemistry.
4. Increased energy. Sugar might give you a boost of energy but like any stimulant, it doesn’t last long and always follows with a crash. Your body burns sugar and all processed carbs like white rice and bread quickly so you’re far better off eating something that gives you sustained energy like protein or wholegrain carbohydrates.
5. Prevent diseases and weight gain. Sugar leads to chronic diseases like cancer, higher blood pressure and can reduce good cholesterol (HDL), which increases your risk of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. It is also harmful to the liver. Excess sugar causes a spike in blood sugar leading to diabetes, insulin resistance and obesity.
6. More beautiful skin. Sugar creates new molecules that damage the collagen and elastin production, responsible for clear, smooth and firm skin. Giving up sugar can help slow ageing.
7. It’s very addictive. Eating sugar creates a cycle of cravings and bingeing. Giving up sugar means you may have to withstand cravings for a few weeks but after that, you will decrease your dependency on it.
If you need to sweeten your food, try alternatives like xylitol, stevia, honey or maple syrup. It’s time that people woke up to the truth about sugar.