Sugar—it’s everywhere and in everything. We crave it and once it’s been in our daily routine for a while, we even get headaches from not consuming it. But, being the anti-nutrient that it is, we need to stop the insanity and stop eating so much of it.
A perfectly ripened strawberry is sweet enough. It’s practically begging you not to slice it up and pour more sugar on it. The same goes for those blueberries and blackberries you just spent hours gathering at the local pick-your-own-produce farm. Mother Nature, in concert with healthy soil, has a way of balancing vitamins, minerals, fiber, and many other nutrients—and this is one of them.
When we eat sugar, it causes disturbances in our bodies. We need to stop adding sugar to our diet because it negatively affects our overall health. Look at what it does to different parts of our bodies.
When we add sugar to our diet throughout the day, we are sending a message to our brains to reduce the production of a brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This chemical supports learning and remembering new ideas and concepts. It also aids in forming new memories. So, guess what happens when you aren’t producing as much? Yup—your brain struggles to do some of its most basic jobs. Low levels of BDNF have also been linked to mental health issues like depression and dementia, which are both definitely on my “things to avoid” list.
According to a study in the JAMA Internal Medicine, a person whose daily caloric intake consists of 25% (or more) sugar is twice as likely to die from heart disease, even if they aren’t overweight. This 15-year study showed that it didn’t matter what other food items the participants ate: as their sugar consumption went up, their risk of heart disease rose right alongside it.
Your Immune System
When we eat sugar, it messes with the functionality of our cells. Even though it offers absolutely no nutritional value, your body still has to process the sugar you’ve eaten. This triggers our bodies to find the necessary vitamins and minerals to move it through our system, leading to deficiencies when these nutrients aren’t replenished. This leaves our bodies weakened to fight any infections or diseases.
Giving up added sugar can be difficult, without a doubt. Dustin Strong, CHN-BC, offers some great suggestions in his article 3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Break Your Sugar Addiction. As he suggests, something as seemingly insignificant as giving up liquid sugars can really add up.
When a special occasion arises and a sugary treat is on the menu, choose from healthy sweeteners that have been around for years. There are plenty ways to incorporate them and no one will even know the difference.
Don’t you think it’s time we stop adding sugar to everything?