The more I hear about the white stuff, the more I think that it should be eliminated from the diet completely, or at least consumed in infinitesimal portions.
I never realized how toxic sugar is because I grew up eating it. Cookies, candy, chocolate bars, cakes, cinnamon rolls, and all of the other devilish Cs made regular appearances in the kitchen. The sugary sweet stuff tainted my taste buds. One of my earliest memories is of sitting on the counter while my mom was baking cookies and sticking my hand in the sugar bag then licking it clean. Sugar made everything taste better. A spoonful helps the medicine go down right?
The reason I was able to so readily believe this is because I am young, and I can eat all of the sugary doughnuts my heart desires and not see the effects just yet. But the more I read about sugar, the more I realize just how destructive it can be.
There are several types of sweeteners
♦High Fructose Corn Syrup
There is much debate about which is the “better” sugar to eat. Super refined sugars have tons of chemicals added to them and are stripped of all nutrients, so in my opinion it is probably not better, but certainly less harmful to stick to natural (aka unrefined) sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup. Keep in mind that any type of sugar will cause a spike in insulin levels. My rant today is mainly about processed sugar.
There are a seemingly infinite amount of reasons to avoid sugar that range from diabetes to its addictive drug like qualities. In a nutshell, sugar enters the body void of any nutritious value whatsoever and extracts nutrients in order to make up for it’s deficiencies. So it not only brings nothing to the table, it also takes away valuable nutrients that the body needs. Think of annoying Uncle Ernie who shows up at thanksgiving, eats half the food, makes everyone uncomfortable with some pervy jokes, then passes out on the couch in a turkey coma. That’s sugar.
It’s not easy to avoid the stuff though. Some of my favorite foods have sugar as the first or second ingredient. Creme Brulee? Frappuccinos? Even Kombucha. And I can usually rationalize it by telling myself “Okay this one cookie isn’t going to give me diabetes” which in retrospect is true, but using that rationalization is dangerous when sugar is lurking at every meal. I find it helpful to remember that I love my body and I don’t want to undo all of the goodness I put into it, both inside and out. So here are five more reasons you might want to remember the next time that cookie is staring you down.
1. Aging- There is a slew of sciencey stuff that can explain why it is that sugar is linked to aging. I won’t break it down on the molecular level but I can tell you that I have experienced this first hand. One morning after a “sugar hangover” I looked in the mirror and literally jumped back. For a split second it looked as if I had aged twenty years! Upon closer inspection I realized that I had just imagined it, but my skin definitely lacked it’s normal glow, and took on a dullish grey tinge. It was not flattering. Even my eyes weren’t as clear as they usually were. I knew sugar was the culprit.
2. Acne- Another direct correlation that I have experienced first hand. During my first year of college I was eating absolute crap. I hated the food in the dining commons and I was too lazy to hoof it on the bus to go buy groceries so I pretty much lived off of reeses pb cups and gummy worms from the vending machine. ACK! My skin was constantly breaking out from all of the sugar. Again sugar makes it impossible to have a clear complexion
3. Weight Gain– This one is given. The idea of carbs making you fat or fat making you fat are both debatable ideas. Overconsumption of sugar leads to weight gain. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. At the end of the day sugar is just empty calories and those empty calories have to get stored somewhere.
4. Teeth- Have you ever sucked on a lollipop or drank a soda and felt a film of sticky grainy stuff on your teeth? That’s sugar breaking the enamel down and creating a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and plaque to build up. Hello yellow teeth and cavities. Your teeth are awesome at masticating food for you. Give them a little love! Brush, floss, and remember that they don’t appreciate sugar.
5. Vitality- That ever elusive word. I think that vitality is someone’s overall well being. It is that luster that makes them glow, that sparkle in their eye. Vitality is in a person’s smile, the way their hair shines, the overall energy they put out. Sugar will put a serious damper on all of the above.
I will leave you with this thought. All things in moderation, but just be conscious of how certain things will affect your body. Ask yourself: Is this really what I want? The answer might surprise you.