The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that you should limit less than 10% of your daily calorie intake from sugar. This means that for an average adult it equates to 25g or less or around 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 teaspoons for men. A can of coke consists of 39g of sugar! However we far exceed this amount recommended amount.
In the USA the average adult intakes around 27 teaspoons a day, that is almost 5 times the recommended daily intake recommended by WHO. So in the past when we thought FAT was bad, studies now show that sugar does more damage than fat!
So what happens to our bodies when we consume excess sugar? Too much can actually KILL US!
Here are the reasons why we should cut down on sugar now:
1. Insulin Resistance – Excess sugar can make you Insulin Resistance, which could eventually lead to metabolic syndrome or diabetes. Studies show excess sugar consumption is associated with insulin resistance, especially when it is consumed in large amounts. When glucose builds up in the blood, we can experience high blood pressure, tiredness, hunger and brain fog.
2. Diabetes – Type 2 Diabetes is becoming more prevalent. In Australia 280 people develop diabetes daily; over 100,000 Australians developed diabetes in the past year and it is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia according to Diabetes Australia. When we drink sugary beverages such as COKE we have an 83% increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes!
3. Zero Nutrition – Added sugar is the WORST ingredient in the modern-day diet. It has such harmful effects on our body and metabolism and causes many types of chronic illness in our bodies. Added sugars like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. This is why it’s called ‘empty calories’. They contain no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals. Only PURE ENERGY. When we eat sugar it contributes to nutrient deficiencies in our bodies. So even though sugar contains a lot of calories it has no beneficial essential nutrients.
When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar (or more), this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies.
4. Liver Overload – Eating too much added sugar will lead to liver overload which is high in fructose. When we have a small piece of fruit this is fine as it is stored in the liver, but if it’s overloaded it turns the fructose into fat and can lead to fatty liver and other serious health issues. You can’t overdose on fructose in fruit.
5. Increased Cancer Risk – Cancer is on the rise worldwide. Scientists have found that having elevated insulin levels contributes to cancer growth, especially breast, colon and pancreatic cancer. Sugar also causes a lot of inflammation in our cells which can cause cancer if multiplied. The cancer cells feed off sugar for growth and proliferation.
6. Sugar is Highly Addictive – Sugar is as addictive as heroin and 8 times more addictive than cocaine! It is one of the most addictive and deadly narcotics out there yet it is readily available and legal. This is because it causes large amounts of dopamine to be released in the brain. This is why people become strongly addicted to sugar. In obese people, they need to consume even more sugar to get the same effect. Sugar is the MOST dangerous drug of the modern times which is still easily accessible everywhere!
7. Damages Organs – The damage from sugar in the body is a slow process, but very destructive, however since we take in such large quantities it can do widespread damage to our organs and body function. This can cause problems with our kidney function and can even lead to kidney failure.
8. Obesity – The hormones in our brain from excess sugar leads to fat gain as we lose control over the consumption. When we consume too much sugar we usually become overweight or obese. One daily serving of a sugary beverage leads to an increase of a 60% risk of obesity! If you want to lose weight, CUT DOWN on Sugar! Remove that soft drink from your diet.
9. Heart Disease – It’s no longer fat that is the number 1 cause of Heart Disease. Sugar is the culprit. This is because sugar affects our metabolism. Large amounts of fructose increases our triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol), raises blood glucose levels and insulin levels. Excess consumption of added sugars are the cause for diseases that kill millions of people each year.
10. Increases depression – when you have sugar and carbs your mood improves as it triggers your body to release the hormone serotonin. However, having excess sugar seems to reverse this effect. When you have a sugar-heavy diet you are more likely to have massive changes in your behaviour, your blood sugar levels go up very high but they also fall very low rather quickly. This yo-yo effects your metabolism and mood.
11. Reduces immunity – Your immune system defends your body against potential infections. When we eat too much sugar it can damage and compromise the function of your immune system to fight bacteria, virus and other parasites. When you consume sugar at every meal your immune system is essentially functioning at only 50%.
12. Increases yeast infections – yeast grows by feeding off sugar. With every can of soft drink your body is the perfect breeding ground for yeast infections, both in the urinary tract and in your mouth (oral thrush). This is caused by the overgrowth of candida. When your immune system is working properly, bacteria does not get out of control, however if your blood sugar levels are too high, all the extra sugars in your saliva and urine provide the perfect environment for breeding bacteria.
13. Alzheimer and Dementia – studies have linked Alzheimer’s and dementia to obesity and diabetes. Therefore excess sugar can cause a decrease in cognitive brain function and lead to memory impairment.
We all know excess sugar is unhealthy for us and leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease or even cancer. Sugar or high fructose corn syrup is found in almost any packaged food, soft drinks, fruit juice, baked goods and condiments.
How to Avoid Sugar:
- Start reading the labels on food and drinks before you buy! Know what sugar content is in your food. Avoid high fructose corn syrup or glucose/fructose.
- Avoid everyday items like bread, salad dressings, canned tuna, canned vegetables, biscuits, sauces, yoghurt, sugary drinks such as coke, ice teas, energy drinks etc.
- Avoid processed packaged foods and start making your own. These are usually high in sugar, preservatives and salt.
- Avoid and cut down foods made from processed carbs or processed sugars.
- Bake your own cookies, chocolate, sweets and make your own dressings so you control exactly how much you put in.
- Have foods which don’t contain artificial colours and/or flavours.
- Switch from soft drinks to water or green tea. It will make you feel better and you will lose weight too.
- Avoid ‘sugar-free’ and ‘diet’ products. They usually contain aspartame which is highly dangerous for your health as it is a neuro-toxin if you consume too much.
- Drink warm lemon water every morning to change the acidity from too much sugar in your diet to a more alkaline environment.
- Switch the sugar to honey or stevia
Too much sugar is like POISON to our body and is slowly killing your body. So CUT out that extra sugar intake and start getting your body back to good health.
If you require help cutting down on your sugar intake or feel you are addicted to sugar, Acupuncture is extremely effective to help eliminate those sugar cravings, reduce obesity, treat diabetes and increase you immune system.