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You cant resist being the first in line at the Thanksgiving dessert table. Your children’s Halloween candy bag is ransacked by you in the middle of the night. Your morning coffee is paired best with a pastry- or two. You feel great and satisfied, then the guilt hits you and lethargy fills your body. But even the lowest lows can’t stop you from doing it again.
Face it, you are in an abusive relationship with sugar.
Why You Can’t Resist
Think of it as a drug- after all, it is. According to a brain study (conducted by California-based endocrinologist, Dr.Robert Lustig), sugar is as addictive as cocaine and it stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain- the same receptor that is stimulated by morphine and heroin. Essentially, sugar is an addictive drug. That could explain why you keep returning to the sweets in the pantry.
Just as your mother told you, sugar is bad for your teeth. Sugar mixed with bacteria (don’t be offended, we all have that naturally in our mouth) produces acid. This acid can attack teeth for 20 minutes or longer and can have adverse effects on dental health, according to the American Dental Association. Sugary soft drinks are specifically scrutinized aside of the sugar content because they are full of citric and phosphoric acid. All in all, sugar in any form has been linked to tooth decay. Who wants to smile with decaying teeth?
The Extra Baggage
We all know sugar makes you f-a-t, FAT. Research associates high-glycemic diets with increased waistlines. It’s not just calories and carbs you should resist when dieting. Sugar has glucose and fructose. Your body needs and utilizes glucose. Fructose, on the other hand, is not a natural part of metabolism and humans do not produce it. So when you eat sugar, most of the fructose gets metabolized by the liver, turning it into fat and secreting it into your blood stream… making you FAT.
Also, sugar can make you feel hungry and eat more. A 2013 study from Yale School of Medicine published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that consuming fructose may promote overeating through its inability to effectively suppress food-seeking behavior. High-fructose corn syrup, found in most sodas and processed foods, does not satisfy the part of the brain that makes you want to eat, causing you to eat more and sometimes an unhealthy diet.
One can of coke has 33 grams of sugar, that’s 9.5 sugar cubes. Look how much sugar you chug in a simple soft drink:
Never Tempted by the Fruit of Another
Consuming sweetners causes naturally sweet foods to not taste good anymore. Eating a lot of sugary foods, such as candies and soft drinks, makes real fruit like strawberries and plums to not taste sweet enough to satisfy. We all want to eat foods that are sweet but our body only needs the natural sweetness that fruits and vegetables can provide us. Plus, fruits and veggies have a nutritional value that a cinnamon bun will never have.
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Pimples making a guest appearances on your face every now and then? Several studies from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have found links between “high-glycemic” diets and breakouts. Diets that are high in sugars and low in fiber and whole grains are associated with increased inflammatory acne outbreaks. The studies argue that high blood sugar levels may trigger hormones that also cause an increase in oil secretions, which can cause acne or make it worse. Don’t let sugar subject you to being the center of attention- with that mountain range on your face.
Sugar causes wrinkles too. In all it’s forms, (i.e. corn syrup, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) sugar is extremely damaging to the skin, according to Dr.Nicholas Perricone, a Dermatologist and healthy aging expert. Sugar breaks down collage and elastin, which are the protein fibers that keep skin elastic and firm. Once your collagen is damaged, your skin becomes dry and brittle. To slow the aging effects on your skin, elimate high glycemic index foods that increase insulin levels from your diet, like white flour and white sugar.
Til’ Death Do Us Part
Less noticeable but more importantly, excess sugar damages your liver. When you eat sugary foods or beverages, your blood sugar rises and insulin is secreted. The liver responds to insulin by removing sugar from the blood to make glycogen. As mentioned above, the liver processes all glyogen storage info fat. Over time, the risk for fatty liver disease increases. Fatty liver can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health problems.
Sugar also increases your risk of kidney stones. Drinking one sugary soft drink per day increases the risk for kidney stones by nearly 25 % and up to 33% consuming a non-cola beverage such as fruit punch. (Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology). Try to supplement your need for a soda or sugary drink with water or homemade unsweet tea.
These are only a handful of reasons why you should cut the ties with sugar. Do your research and change your diet and you will see improvements in your healthy, energy, and daily life. Always remember to be cautious of the ingredients in food you buy because manufacturers have found sneaky ways to get sugar, even the more deadly chemical kind into the foods you eat.
Look out for these sugary disguises:
- corn syrup
- high-fructose corn syrup
- corn sweetner
- cane sugar
- malt syrup
- evaporated cane juice
- invert sugar
- turbinado sugar
In fact, there is nothing sugar can give you to convince you stay in the relationship. GET OUT NOW!
Written by Douglas T. Mehaffie, M.D.