It's common knowledge that too much refined sugar is not good for us, however what isn't common knowledge is what refined sugar does to the body that makes this so. These last couple of months I have had a special interest in this topic. Even though I know a lot about good nutrition and the benefits of raw food, I still like to dip into the cookie jar once in a while. However, each time I indulge, I feel, well...not so hot. Over the years I have become very tuned into how my body feels. My body has told me many times that what I have eaten is either good for me or isn't quite right, especially where refined sugar is concerned. So why do I still indulge when I know it doesn't make me feel good?
First off, sugar is addictive and the more you eat it, the more you want it; the more you want it, the more you have to have it; the more you have to have it, the more your body craves it. I think you get the picture. This gets to be a very unhealthy, vicious cycle and the reality is that most people do not realize how much sugar they actually consume on a daily basis. For some reason during the past few months, I have come across more and more information about sugar and the effects it has on the body. Jorge Cruise, for example, has a new book called "Belly Fat Cure" in which his research has only deepened what I know to be true about the dangerous effects of sugar on both our bodies and our minds.
As a health and fitness professional, I am always interested in learning what's new in the health and fitness world so I can keep my clients informed. This way, when a client asks me, "What is the quickest way to getting a six pack," I can provide them with the most recent information and research to help them in achieving their goals. Of course, this includes being up-to-date on the latest and greatest nutrition information too. I was interested to know what a few well-known health experts had to say so I could pass on their ideas and research to my clients.
Jorge Cruise advocates no more than 15 grams of sugar per day. How much is 15 grams of sugar? Well, just visualize one of those small sugar cubes you plop into your coffee in the morning—15 grams is equal to 1½ of those cubes. Think about it for a minute...if you have a coffee in the morning and add 1½ sugar cubes, you're done for the day. Unfortunately, we often don't just have that one cup of coffee in the morning. What really happens is we go to Tim Horton's and add an apple fritter to the mix and suddenly we’ve consumed 30 grams of sugar just at breakfast.
Cruise states that the average person consumes about 186 grams of sugar per day, and it’s not even the complex carbohydrate kind of sugar which contains fiber at least. With sugar, you get calories but not any nutrition so you automatically eat more because you are not getting the nutrition that you need.
According to Dr. Oz, extra sugar gets stored as fat not only in your hips, but also in your liver. This can create problems as the liver then starts to make toxic chemicals which can create more cholesterol and more belly fat. Fat in the liver can also block the kidneys from working properly and you can develop high blood pressure as a result. Another issue is the fat also blocks insulin, which can increase the risk of developing diabetes.
Oz goes on to state that sugar is hidden in everything and is the number one thing that we eat. All refined white foods have sugar—white pasta, white flour, white rice, and so on. Soft drinks contain high fructose corn syrup. You can click here to listen to the interview with Dr. Oz on the effects of sugar on our body.
Nancy Appleton's book, "Lick the Sugar Habit," is one of the most profound books I ever read about sugar addiction and the host of diseases it can lead to. Appleton shows us how sugar upsets our body's chemistry and devastates our immune system which can lead to a number of diseases such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease, headaches, allergies, asthma, obesity, and the most obvious, tooth decay. This book is a must read if you really want to learn how to overcome your sugar addiction or cravings. It's the book that I refer back to anytime my sugar demons take over and I need to be reminded of just what those demons can lead to. Most of my "sweet" choices these days tend to be more of the raw vegan kind which contain natural sweeteners or fruit as a sweetener. However, the lesson remains the same: good sugar or bad sugar, too much is simply not good!
Unless we empower ourselves by making better health choices, we will continue to suffer more and more of the ill effects caused by a lack of proper nutrition. Know that the only way to fix health care is to fix ourselves first and then share our knowledge with our families and communities.
I leave you with a clip from the "godfather of fitness" on sugarholics. Even back then, this man knew what he was talking about: click here!
Copyright © 2013 Mary Luciano