13 Reasons Why Sugar Is Bad For You
It’s no secret that governments all over the world are starting to crack down on sugar. They are passing taxes on sugary drinks and snacks, banning them from schools, and more treatment programs are becoming open to people who believe they are addicted to sugar. But what is the truth? Is sugar the new enemy?
The Different Types of Sugar
Coca leaves were used for centuries in their natural state to chew on or to make tea. This was normal and there were no issues. But, then they were highly processed and turned into a dangerous and addictive drug known as cocaine.
The innocent poppy flower suffered the same fate. Formerly a safe and effective tea, often used for relaxation and pain, it got super-processed and became a powerful, dangerous and addictive opiate.
Sugar first starts out as sugar cane – a healthy stalking plant. Used in its natural form you can’t consume enough to make you sick. But super-concentrated and processed it becomes like a drug. In fact, with lab rats, sugar outperformed cocaine as the drug of choice.
It’s important to know that there are various types of sugar, some natural and some very processed – to the point that even if they started natural, they are no longer natural.
- Fructose – Don’t get confused by the word. While fructose is derived from fruit, it’s gone through processing that makes it a highly-concentrated form of sugar. This type of fructose should really be called “industrial fructose”. Eating fructose from natural fruit is not unsafe and should not be avoided. Once processed, though, it becomes something else entirely and causes a lot of health problems.
- Glucose – This is sugar that’s in your blood. You get it from natural plant foods such as carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables, especially starchy ones. It’s one of the most important medications and very readily available in nature. It supplies almost all the energy to the brain. It’s important for metabolic health, respiration and more. If you want to be able to think clearly, you must have the right amount of glucose. Glucose is created industrially by using starchy plants like corn, rice, wheat, and other ingredients.
- Lactose – Found in milk, it’s made from galactose and glucose. Industrially it’s produced as a by-product of the dairy industry. Most humans produce lactase to help digest this type of sugar far into adulthood. But some people, especially from eastern and south-eastern Asia and some parts of Africa cannot properly digest this type of sugar in adulthood.
- Maltose – This sugar is found in the germination process as the seeds break down their starch stores for food to sprout and grow. This type of sugar can cause many intolerances as well as weight gain, kidney stones and more. However, eating it in its natural form such as in sweet potatoes, soybeans, barley and wheat (other than those who suffer from celiac) is healthy.
- Sucrose – This type of sugar comes from cane and beets. Modern processing can make it look just like table sugar. Before it’s been processed it has a lot of health benefits, vitamins, and minerals. Honey is mostly fructose and glucose with trace amounts of sucrose.
As you see, most sugars start in a very natural state and aren’t bad in their natural and most whole form until they undergo super-processing. It’s the super-processing that’s bad for you because it makes natural sugars into highly addictive drug-like substances.
13 Reasons Sugar Is Bad for You
Let’s look at many of the reasons sugar is thought to be bad for you. Some people say it’s one of the worst things you can introduce to your system, even above fat.
- Your Immune System – If you consume too much-processed sugar you can reduce your ability to kill germs inside your body. It doesn’t take much, either. Just two sodas can stop the ability to fight off that flu bug and lead to falling ill. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get vaccines if you don’t eat sugar, but when it comes to health, including dental health, avoiding added sugar can boost your immunity exponentially.
- Mineral Balance – If you have trouble sleeping at night, are constipated and having other problems, you could be having trouble with your mineral balance. If you eat a lot of sugar, you are likely depleting your magnesium stores to process all of it. Plus, you will lose more chromium through your urine if you eat a lot of sugar.
- Behaviour Problems – Every parent on the planet will tell you that sugar and lack of sugar can affect their child’s behaviour. If a child is hungry and their blood sugar is low, they will be sleepy and grumpy. If a child has an overdose of sugar, they will become agitated and animated. The key to better behaviour is blood sugar balance.
- Empty Calories – The fact is, processed sugar has no health benefits whatsoever. Therefore, when you eat sugary meals, you’re eating empty calories that will cause weight gain. The fact that sugar is often combined with fat and salt will make the effects even worse. It’s better to avoid added sugar when you can.
- Elevated Insulin Responses – When your insulin response is healthy, your cells will release the right amount of insulin. But, if you regularly consume sugar, especially in “overdose” amounts, your body will become confused about when to release insulin and when not to.
- Damages Cells and Tissues – The tissue in your eyes, kidneys, nerves and more seem to carry sugar a lot longer than other organs. This means that the body can suffer damage from that remaining sugar because it damages small blood vessels.
- Causes High Blood Triglyceride Levels – There are no symptoms for high blood triglyceride levels. The only way to know if you have high triglycerides is by getting a blood test. It’s usually part of your overall cholesterol test.
- Contributes to Hyperactivity – There are studies that show both results. Sugar does cause hyperactivity and sugar don’t cause it. You must remember that any drug can affect one human one way, and another human another way. But, parents often report problems with hyperactivity in their child after consuming too much sugar. You can’t ignore the possibility.
- Anxiety – Refined sugars enter the blood stream quickly, and leave the blood stream quickly. This process can manifest in more anxiety overall. Even though often people who are addicted to sugar eat to suppress anxiety, it’s just making the problem much worse. It’s best to avoid added sugars in the first place.
- Poor Concentration – Again, the reason sugar may affect concentration is that of the speed by which processed sugar can invade blood cells and then leave them. You need a balanced level of glucose to feed your brain, not short bursts of sugar such as in the form of soft drinks or cereal.
- Feeds Some Cancers – The fact is, cancer cells love sugar. That’s because like most living things they need sugar to grow. But, not all sugars are created equal. Cancer cells love white sugar, white flour, and high fructose corn syrup. The good thing is that if you simply reduce your consumption of processed sugar, you can cut your cancer risks.
- Hypoglycaemia – Low blood sugar happens in people who have a condition called hypoglycaemia. This can be a condition on its own, but it can also happen in people who have diabetes and take medications like insulin because their bodies don’t produce enough on their own.
- Poor Digestion – Processed sugar is very acidic. The more alkaline you can make your body, the healthier you’ll become. If you have an acidic stomach you’ll suffer from heartburn, GERD, and other digestion problems.
Each person is affected differently. It’s best to look at your own symptoms and health issues and if you have any of these problems, try eliminating processed sugar first to see if you notice any changes in your health.