The Health Guru

Facts, Hints, Tips, Advice and Inspiration on everything to do about health & weight loss.

How Food IS Killing You: Sugar (Sucrose)

Posted on | December 7, 2009 | No Comments

I’m about to tell you something a little controversial.  I believe that sugar is the most crippling ‘drug problem’ that the world is currently facing.  Yes – I did say drug.  Why?  Because as the world is now flooded with pre-packaged / manufactured foods and drinks containing mountains of sugar –  the harmful effects are only just being recognised in the medical world.

Why do I think Sugar is a drug? Easy.  Because the body becomes physiologically addicted to it, craves it and will go through withdrawal symptoms without it.

Sugar Sugar Sugar

Sugar Sugar Sugar

Why: When sugar is consumed it enters the blood stream in the form of glucose.  The body releases Insulin as the ‘key’ to open the cells of the body  and draw the glucose in to where it is correctly used. However, people consuming large amounts of sugar experience a responding large release of insulin to compensate – approximately 2 hours after consumption – the body then experiences a ‘low’ in blood sugar – at which time it will crave sugar to return it back to the ‘high’.  Blood sugar ‘lows’ can trigger the feeling of being hungry, tired, lethargic and mental ability is lowered which is the body’s signal to eat.

When high-sugar eaters try to wean themselves off sugar they can suffer withdrawal symptoms such as Headaches, Extreme cravings for sweets, Poor Memory, Fatigue, Lethargy, Aches, Pain and Nausea.

Other Sugar Facts:

Sugar Sugar Sugar

Sugar Sugar Sugar

Promotes Tooth Decay: No dispute with this fact.

Causes Weight Gain:  1 teaspoon of sugar contains 20 calories.  A can of soda can contain eight teaspoons of sugar!  Chocolate cake and other sweet delights can contain as much as 20 to 25 teaspoons of refined sugar!  Excess energy not used will be converted and stored as body fat.

Increases Insulin Levels in Blood: When sugar is consumed the body releases Insulin as the ‘key’ to open the cells of the body where glucose (sugar) is used.  Diets high in sugar (carbohydrates) causes elevated levels of insulin leading to insulin resistance which can progress to Type 2 Diabetes.  Too much insulin also causes food to be converted into body fat, which leads to obesity.  (That explains why most Type 2 Diabetics are overweight)

High insulin levels can cause cholesterol deposits in the arteries and high blood pressure.

Causes Hyperactivity in Children.

The best thing is to avoid it all together.  Unfortunately for most, after a lifetime of consuming sugar it can be a little hard to break the habit, so I suggest reducing as much as possible.

Hint:  Read food labels carefully.  Beware of words ending in ‘ose’ because that usually means sugar.  I.e. Glucose, Fructose

If you can’t completely kick the sugar habit, use a sugar replacement (Sucralose based artificial sweeteners are safer or if you can find Stevia that is even better)

So now it’s time to kick the sugar habit and improve your health!

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