Probably the hardest thing in life to stop eating – SUGAR, especially white sugar.
This is the last thing you want to hear someone tell you. Sugar makes the yummy world go around… But unfortunately it is very bad for your health.
Why is it so difficult to cut it out of your life? Because it is 8 times more addictive than cocaine, and what is interesting is while cocaine and heroin activate only one spot for pleasure in the brain, sugar lights up the brain like a pinball machine.
It can be quite difficult to say no to sweets, especially if you have been consuming them on a daily basis, but trust me, once you feel the effects that lowering your sugar intake has on your body, it will all be worth it.
Sugar, in moderate amounts, is essential to our body. As a carbohydrate, it helps supply you with the energy you need for your daily activities. All of your cells use it. But at the same time, sugar is also a calorie, and once it is consumed in excess, negative effects to your health will follow.
Dr Robert Lustig wrote:
“The brain’s pleasure center, called the nucleus accumbens, is essential for our survival as a species… When you consume any substance of abuse, including sugar, the nucleus accumbens receives a dopamine signal, from which you experience pleasure. And so you consume more. The problem is that with prolonged exposure, the signal attenuates, gets weaker. So you have to consume more to get the same effect — tolerance. And if you pull back on the substance, you go into withdrawal. Tolerance and withdrawal constitute addiction.”3
Let’s have a look at all the reasons why sugar is bad for your health.
Sugar causes nutrient imbalance and deficiencies in your body. It interferes with the absorption of calcium, magnesium and protein and as we know, as we discussed in a previous article, we really need calcium and magnesium for strong bones and teeth. Of course sugar also causes tooth decay. It increases the total cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels and it decreases the good cholesterol.
Your body changes sugar into two to five times more fat in the bloodstream than starch.
Sugar can lead to behavioural changes as well, it is addictive and intoxicating similar to alcohol. There can be a rapid rise in adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety and then even on the contrary, drowsiness and the lack of concentration.
We all know the thing of “don’t feed your child too much sugar then they will not sleep because they will be hyperactive”, well it can also lead to crankiness and a decrease in activity. It reduces learning capacity and can cause learning disorders in schoolchildren.
Infants don’t even know what sugar is, until we as parents introduce it to them. They can grow up much healthier if we can keep the sugar to a minimum or even none.
Sugar increases the risk of disease and sickness, I think one of the major ones is the fact that it feeds cancer cells and it can also induce cell death.
The next big one is heart damage or failure and it is not just old people that suffer from this, it appears more and more these days in young people to. A big culprit in this is energy drinks which contain a lot of sugar.
Not to even talk about obesity en diabetes, sugar also leads to the formation of kidney stones and gallstones.
Things like headaches, migraines, dizziness, food allergies and gastrointestinal tract problems are also caused by sugar. And the list goes on and on.
Candida Albicans is also one of the big “dis-eases” actually infection; sugar greatly promotes uncontrolled growth of this yeast infection. Candida literally feast and thrives on sugar. I am going to elaborate a little on this one.
An overgrowth of Candida can cause a variety of chronic health problems in men and women. Yes it is not just woman that get yeast infection, but there are other symptoms to, which can affect men as well.
Other Symptoms of Candida overgrowth are chronic fatigue, weight gain, food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, PMS, cancer and more. Under normal circumstances Candida is a harmless part of your skin, intestines, and for women, your vagina.
But Candida cells develop rapidly, and if your system is out of balance from eating unhealthy foods like sugar, taking certain prescription drugs, fighting an illness, and more — Candida can quickly grow out of control. Vaginal yeast infections, particularly, occur when the normal acidity of your vagina changes, allowing the yeast to multiply.
To prevent yeast overgrowth you need to create an environment that makes it more difficult for fungus to thrive.
Eating too much sugar and too many grains is your first big no-no. Sugar is the main fuel for yeast. If you have a problem with chronic yeast infections it is virtually impossible to recover from it without eliminating all sugars, grains, juices and fruits as they will merely serve as fuel for the yeast.
Sugar can also cause bodily impairments such as weaker eyesight, loss of tissue elasticity and function, premature aging and skin aging. Now I am sure we all want to stay and look younger and not older.
Sugar compromises the lining of capillaries, which in turn will cause things like varicose veins and cardiovascular issues. Sugar is also a reason for the body to increase fluid retention.
The list just goes on and it does not sound better only worse. So if you know that you crave sweet things and that you might be addicted to sugar, and you have any of the symptoms that I mentioned above, I would like to urge you in decreasing your sugar intake, you don’t need to go cold turkey on it, you can decrease it gradually until you are the boss of your health and not SUGAR.
I would now like to tell you of all the different sugars so that you can recognize them the next time you go shopping and read your labels. It is always a wise thing to read food labels before you purchase anything. A little tip. . . . The higher up the ingredient is on the list, the more of it is in the product. Sugar is also disguised in the ingredient list under a few names, so the manufacturers can hide the real amount of sugar. Whenever you see these three letters …ose at the end of a word you know it is sugar.
*Fructose *Maltose *Dextrose *Sucrose *Glucose *Lactose
Added sugar goes by many names, and most types consist of glucose and/or fructose. High-fructose added sugars are more harmful.
Sucrose is also known as table sugar. It occurs naturally in many fruits and plants, and is added to all sorts of processed foods. It consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
High-fructose corn syrup is produced from corn starch. It consists of varying amounts of fructose and glucose, but the most common type contains 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
It is advised to avoid high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) at all costs. This sweetener can be found in many of the food items that we eat and drink today. Now, this is considered to be deadly not only because of the amount of sugar that goes in it, but also because of the health risks that can it can cause, most of which were already mentioned above
Agave nectar or syrup is produced from the agave plant. It contains 70–90% fructose and 10–30% glucose. It may be even more harmful for health than regular sugar.
There are many name sugar goes by, up 56 names, I have only mentioned the main ones.
There’s no reason to avoid the sugar that is naturally present in whole foods.
Fruit, vegetables and dairy products naturally contain small amounts of sugar, but they also contain fiber, nutrients and various beneficial compounds.
The negative health effects of high sugar consumption are due to the massive amount of added sugar that is present in the Western diet. The most effective way to reduce your sugar intake is to eat mostly whole and unprocessed foods. However, if you decide to buy packaged foods, be on the lookout for the many different names that sugar goes by.
Lastly we will look at sugar substitutes, because of course we still want to have that something sweet right?
Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), Sucralose (Splenda), Neotame, to name a few.
Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes, but may be derived from naturally occurring substances, including herbs or sugar itself. Artificial sweeteners are also known as intense sweeteners because they are many times sweeter than regular sugar.
I would like to urge you to avoid Aspartame as far as possible! It can also be found in all diet cold drinks.
Erythritol, Mannitol, Xylitol, Maltitol
Sugar alcohols (polyols) are carbohydrates that occur naturally in certain fruits and vegetables, but they also can be manufactured. They’re not considered intense sweeteners, because they aren’t sweeter than sugar. In fact, some are less sweet than sugar. As with artificial sweeteners, the FDA regulates the use of sugar alcohols.
Sugar alcohols aren’t considered noncaloric or non-nutritive sweeteners because they contain calories. But they’re lower in calories than is regular sugar, making them an attractive alternative. Despite their name, sugar alcohols aren’t alcoholic. They don’t contain ethanol, which is found in alcoholic beverages.
Xylitol are used in many healthier recipes these days, so if you cook or bake with xylithol, please make sure not to feed it to your pet, because it is poisonous to them.
Stevia, Tagatose, Trehalose
Novel sweeteners are combinations of various types of sweeteners. Novel sweeteners, such as stevia, are hard to fit into one particular category because of what they’re made from and how they’re made. Tagatose is a low-carbohydrate sweetener similar to fructose that occurs naturally, but is also manufactured from lactose in dairy products. Trehalose is found naturally in honey and mushrooms.
Agave, Date sugar, Honey, Molasses, Maple syrup, fruit juice concentrate
Natural sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are often promoted as healthier options than processed table sugar or other sugar substitutes. But even these so-called natural sweeteners often undergo processing and refining, including agave nectar.
Well there you have it, all the good stuff and the bad stuff along with the fake stuff.
My advice when it comes to food, always stay as close a possible to the natural stuff.
Everything in moderation is always good advice.
Here is a healthy snack to cure that sweet tooth and give some energy:
Chia Date Energy Balls
Serves: 10 – 12 balls
Prep time: 10min
1 cup dates, pitted
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp water
Combine all ingredients in ah high-speed blender or food processor. Process/blend until the dates have been broken down and all the ingredients are incorporated. Form the ingredients into little balls about 1” in diameter. Add the balls to a tray, and then put into the freezer for 30 min to form. Enjoy or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Good luck with cutting on the sugar, you can do it! I promise you will feel like a million dollars with new revitalized energy once you have the sugar out of your system.
Happy snacking on those Chia balls, until next time.
My name is Rica Grové,
I started my journey never really knowing what I wanted to do in life, but I always had this interest in the healing properties of foods and a few years back I really found my passion in life, the natural healing of herbs. Living as natural and healthy and earth friendly as possible.
It is so amazing to know the gifts that nature has in store for us, the medicinal properties of plants that God created gave to us. We must just use it! For century’s people has been using plants to heal. It is my passion and mission in life to know as much as possible of natural healing and the amazing benefits of all the plant medicines and to put it to practice to help heal people and animals in the best way possible. I even started my own range of natural ointments and oils.
Practising alternative healings gives me so much Joy in life. Not just healing the body, but the mind and the Soul. I am also a Life Activation Practitioner & Kabbalist in the Modern Mystery School.
I would love to share my knowledge with all of you who wish to learn to heal yourselves the natural way.
Contact Rica at Rica@LiminaLucem.co.za