Heres what you need to know:
- Diets loaded with sugar can negatively effect your Immune System
- Loading up on Sugar can negatively affects your Mental Health
- Wondering how to lose bodyfat? Sugar is one of the leading causes for weight gain
Sugar is a nutrient-depleting substance, devoid of its own nutrients. Thus, when consumed, our body will pull nutrients from other sources within our bodies in an attempt to make worth of digesting it, and thereby taking away from our own precious storage. Those who regularly consume even small amounts of refined processed sugar need additional supplementation of vitamins and minerals for two reasons:
1) so they can replace any depleted nutrients
2) such supplements as the B vitamins, vitamin C, the amino acid Glutamine and chromium and other minerals may help to balance out the fluctuating blood sugar levels that result when eating sugar. Improved blood sugar balance will help reduce further cravings for sweets, helping to break the vicious cycle.
IMMUNITY: Excess sugar significantly depresses the immune system. Studies have shown that consumption of 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about 20 teaspoons of sugar, or the amount that is contained in two average 12-ounce sodas, 2 Crave cupcakes or a medium DQ chocolate blizzard) can cause up to a fifty percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria. The immune suppression was noticeable almost immediately (within half an hour), most noticeable two hours post-ingestion, and the effect was still evident five hours after ingestion.
I’ve experienced it many times personally; that I may be feeling like I’m fighting a bit of a sore throat or stuffy nose. I’ll have a sugar indulgence in the form of my favorite chocolate or a big dessert after a treat meal out, and boom – within the hour I’m feeling lousy! Considering the wide-spread flu hitting hard this month, this is another compelling reason to stay away from the white poison!
MENTAL HEALTH: Anyone who doubts the relationship between sugar and mood need only spend an evening with a child who’s consumed a candy bar and a can of soda pop!
Since the brain depends on an even supply of glucose, it’s no surprise that sugar greatly affects us neurologically as our blood sugars soar and plummet with consumption. People who suffer from depression and/or anxiety are especially vulnerable to sugar’s evil power. Sugar impairs the body’s ability to cope with stress. It can lead to difficulties concentrating and fatigue, both of which may be interpreted as signs of anxiety. A sugar high and subsequent crash can also cause shaking and tension, which can also make anxiety worse.
Sugar raises the serotonin level in our brain, the “feel-good” chemical. Over time, with continuous increased intake of sugar, the body cuts back on it’s own natural serotonin production and balance, leading to increased cravings for continued sugar. It’s a vicious cycle.
WEIGHT GAIN: Glucose is our body’s number one fuel or energy source, and generally speaking all sugar breaks down into glucose. If more fuel is taken in than is used in the body, it will be stored as fat. Hence, it is no surprise that high sugar diets lead to weight problems. But it’s more complex than just energy in – energy out.
When we consume high sugar foods, it causes a spike in our blood sugar level. Scary thing is, sugar is hidden in a huge array of different foods that one wouldn’t even think about. Boxed cereals, crackers, snack bars, fruit juices, flavored yogurts, bread, breakfast bars just to name a few… essentially if it is packaged, it almost certainly contains refined sugar. Even if you are not a “sweets” person, don’t falsely assume you are safe from refined sugars. Alcohol, sports drinks, ketchup, bbq sauce, tomato sauces, salad dressings and other condiments contain sugar as a main component.
The body responds to high levels of circulating glucose in the blood by sending a signal to our pancreas to release insulin, the hormone meant to help regulate blood sugar levels, in an attempt to lower the blood levels, almost always resulting in a surge that brings the blood sugar levels too low. This is the “sugar crash” we’ve all heard of or experienced. At this time, we now need more glucose in the bloodstream, signally our brains to send hunger signals so that we will eat more.
Often these signals are undeniably strong, and experienced as intense and compulsive cravings for more simple carbohydrates… and the vicious cycle of cravings and continuous intake of sugars continues, leading to weight gain.
For more information on the harmful effects of sugar, help with detoxing from sugar, and recipes for naturally sweet alternatives, visit www.mipstick.com.
Yvette Styner, CHN
Certified Holistic Nutrition