THE DANGERS OF SUGAR AND OPTIMAL HEALTH
There’s nothing wrong with a little sugar from a natural source (think from fruits, berries, and maybe raw organic honey) , but too many people are using way too much of this highly processed and artificial sweetener. Everyday sweetener presents many dangers. Research shows direct connections between sugar and cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. Not to mention, consumption has been linked to weight gain and is an enormous problem compounding the dangers of these conditions.
Sugar (the sweet poison) is toxic, and some would argue that it is actually a toxin which damages the body far more than we know. I’ve always said that if we put something in or on our body that is not nutritious then it must be a toxic. Let me say that again, if it’s not a nutrient then it’s a toxin. When processed, this sweet poison is toxic; it is a toxin for your body and health.
Merriam-Webster defines1 sugar as,
“A sweet crystallizable material that consists wholly or essentially of sucrose is colorless or white when pure tending to brown when less refined, is obtained commercially from sugarcane or sugar beet and less extensively from sorghum, maples, and palms, and is important as a source of dietary carbohydrate and as a sweetener and preservative of other foods.”
One problem with sugar intake is it occurs naturally and is added to most, if not all, processed foods.
It’s safe to eat fruits and vegetables with sugars. A high intake of these throughout your day with few to no manufactured foods and drinks may reduce your risk2 of certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
Sugar and Cancer
You can’t reduce your risk of developing all cancers. But with the right diet, you can lower your chances of certain types. Many studies show that participants that have a high-sugar intake have an increased risk of breast cancer.
One report3 found that between 50 to 58% of mice consuming too much of this poison developed breast cancer tumors. In comparison, 30% of the control group with a starch-based diet were diagnosed with breast cancer.
Colon cancer is also associated with a high-sugar diet. Also known as colorectal cancer, it’s a slow-growing condition occurring more in people ages 25 to 50 over the past 30 years. One study shows the direct connection between sugar consumption and colon tumors4.
“These results suggest that when the animals have early-stage tumors in the intestines – which can occur in many young adult humans by chance and without notice – consuming even modest amounts of high-fructose corn syrup in liquid form can boost tumor growth and progression independently of obesity.”
The answer is clear: Reduce or eliminate your consumption of this cancer causing toxin and reduce your chances of developing these deadly cancers.
Sugar and Diabetes
There are two forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. The only one you can prevent is type 2, which is also the most common. Like the other conditions, sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes. Instead, it’s a contributing factor.
Your body can only convert so much fructose into energy. When you consume too much, it’s stored as fat. This situation leads to high triglyceride levels, which increases your risk of developing other health issues, such as obesity. People who are overweight5 have a much higher chance of being diabetic. Lowering your daily intake can reduce obesity and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Sugar and Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 36 seconds6, someone dies from heart disease.
While the sweet poison isn’t the leading cause of cardiovascular conditions, it’s a contributing factor.
A 2014 study in JAMA Internal Medicine7 tracked participants for 15 years. People who consumed 17% to 21% of added calories from sugar in their daily diet had nearly a 40% higher chance of dying from heart disease than those who only had 8% or below. The higher your caloric intake of this added sweetener, the higher your chances of it contributing heart disease.
Sugar and Weight Gain
As mentioned, the “sweet poison” is one of the main reasons for weight gain. People who watch how much they consume daily have a better chance of staying at a healthy weight. Being overweight leads to many medical conditions, such as certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Although there are other causes of these serious health problems, maintaining a healthy weight can help counterbalance many other risks. Plus, if you develop these diseases, you have the best chance of fighting them with a healthy lifestyle.
How to Reduce Sugar in Your Diet
Today, the “sweet poison” can be found in almost every food we eat…even some of the labeled as healthy or organic, or nutritious have this poison hidden in it. First, learn the hidden words for sugar so you can do a better job of avoiding too much intake8. The following are the handful of those names to get you started:
- Fructose (from fruit)
- Sucrose (from fructose and glucose)
- Lactose (from milk)
- Maltose (made from grain)
- Dextrose (a form of glucose)
- maple syrup
- high fructose corn syrup
Remember, your body needs some to function, but too much can have negative consequences.
Dietitian Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD, explained to the Cleveland Clinic’s Health Essentials Blog in April 20209,
“Our goal isn’t to get added sugar intake down to zero because that isn’t realistic … Americans need to work hard to drastically reduce sugar intake to support healthy weights and decrease our risk for chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.”
Here are some tips to lower your daily consumption:
- Reduce your stress level
- Switch soda with homemade fruit juices
- Reduce how much of the “sweet poison” and creamer you use in your coffee or tea daily
- Read your ingredients (not the label) and purchase products that are natural and organic (Be careful here too as some highly products are packed with hidden “sweet poison” – this is why it is important to read the ingredients and too many ingredients is a sign to avoid that product)
- Watch your consumption of pre-made beverages from grocery stores and restaurants (think, the coffee shops, etc.)
- Increase your consumption of organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables
- Avoid those zero calories products like the plague (or the pandemic) – especially those labeled as DIET (remove the T and you have DIE)
- Use real cream, not milk or premade creamers
- If you are brave enough, go “cold turkey” (You will experience detox symptoms which may be uncomfortable for some)
You can’t eliminate all the sugar in your diet. But the benefits of reducing glucose consumption are clear. There are too many dots that connect this highly processed and artificial sweeteners to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain. Start slow and change your diet to improve your overall health, moderate exercise (think a 10 to 20 minutes walk around your neighborhood), and start feeling great again. You can reduce and avoid addiction to the “sweet poison” and avoid the destruction it can cause on your body and overall health. Start Today! I am rooting for you.
To Your Health!