Is Sugar Making You Sick?
Sugar comes in many different forms, but all of them have the same effect on our bodies. There are two main types of sugar: simple and complex. Simple sugars are found in processed foods like candy bars, cereals, chips, dressings, marinades, cake, and cookies. Complex sugars are found in most of the carbohydrate foods we eat like fruits, vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes, and whole grains.
While all sugars have the potential to harm our health, simple sugars pose the biggest risk. This is because they’re absorbed into our bloodstream quickly, which causes a spike in blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are constantly high, you can experience elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate, mood swings, fatigue, headaches, inflammation, and it can lead to out-of-control cravings. Sugar alcohols aren’t absorbed properly by the body, so the result is gas, bloating and diarrhea. Sugar can also interfere with the way your body fights off illnesses. Bacteria feeds on sugar! The long-term health problems are even scarier… obesity, heart disease, diabetes, & cancer.
Sugar isn’t just bad for our physical health, it’s also bad for our mental health. Too much sugar can make us feel depressed and anxious. It can also interfere with our ability to concentrate and focus on tasks. Sugar has even been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and today this is being referred to as Type 3 Diabetes.
While sugar is a major contributor to many different diseases and health problems, there are things we can do to reduce our intake.
1. Cut out processed foods – Many processed foods contain high levels of added sugars, which can quickly add up if you’re not careful.
2. Read the labels – Be mindful of the foods you are eating. Pay attention to the amount of sugar naturally occurring in the food and the number of added processed sugars such as high fructose corn syrup.
3. Choose healthier alternatives – There are plenty of healthy options out there, so there’s no need to deprive yourself completely. Sweeten up your food with fruit or make your own treats with honey, maple syrup, dates, coconut sugar, monk fruit, or stevia. Just remember that sugar is still sugar and even in its natural state it can have an effect on your blood sugar levels so should be consumed in moderation.
It can be hard to quit sugar, but it’s not impossible. By replacing sugary foods with healthier alternatives, we can crowd out the bad stuff and make room for the good.
Read more about non-sugar substitutes here!
https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-sweet-danger-of-sugar The Sweet Danger of Sugar. 2022.
de la Monte SM, Wands JR. Alzheimer’s disease is type 3 diabetes-evidence reviewed. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2008;2(6):1101-1113. doi:10.1177/193229680800200619
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/18-surprising-foods-high-in-sugar 17 Foods and Drinks That Are Surprisingly High in Sugar. 2021
High in Added Sugar
Dressings (especially lowfat)
Fruit & nut bars
Yogurt (especially lowfat)
and so much more…