How Bad is Sugar, Really?
We know in the last several decades sugar consumption in America has skyrocketed and no wonder so has the rates of obesity. The average American eats 150 lbs of sugar per year and those numbers continue to rise. About 15-20% of the calories of the (SAD) come from sugar, however, WHO recommends no more than 5% of our daily calories should come from sugar. High sugar consumption is closely linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and many adverse health conditions.
Why is Sugar so Bad?
- Sugar imbalances blood sugar. As we consume very sugar foods, our blood glucose levels drastically increase.
- Causes Insulin resistance. When the pancreas releases too much insulin our body is not able to metabolize the sugar as energy so stored as fat.
- Creates inflammation. Chronic low grade inflammation leads to chronic diseases like diabetes, metabolic disease, and insulin resistance.
- Increases Glycation. This happens when your glucose levels are elevated for a long period of time. The glucose binds to proteins which can lead to several adverse health problems.
- Disrupts microbes in GI tract. Bad gut bacteria feed off of sugar so as the bad bacteria multiplies, GI dysbiosis takes place.
Sugar is hidden everywhere
- Pasta sauce, granola bars, dried fruit, yogurt, salad dressing, instant oatmeal, cereal, soft drinks, and ketchup are just some examples.
- It is important to read your nutrition labels in order to detect hidden sources of sugar. Some of the names may be in disguise.
Examples of added sugar you may see on the nutrition label
Anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, dextrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, inverted sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, nectars, pancake syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, sugar, white granulated sugar
- Avoid the middle isles of the grocery stores as many of those foods contain foods with other sugar.
- Opt for water (you can sweeten with fresh fruit) rather than sugary sodas, juices, or sport drinks.
- Try cooking healthy home-made meals instead of eating processed foods.