What is Sugar? You know the white stuff that lights up your taste buds? Well, first off, sugar is a type of carbohydrate that has carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules.
Don’t be mistaken – carbohydrates aren’t necessarily the villains of the diet. Carbs are actually VERY important in a healthy diet. While being digested, carbs break down into glucose, and become an energy source for most tissues in the body. Glucose is a great source of energy for red blood cells, the central nervous system, and the brain. So carbs – specifically glucose – are very important for our health.
So What Do I Need To Know ????
Sugar is found in all foods that have carbohydrates: fruit, grains, dairy, and vegetables (even the bitter green ones like kale). When we talk about this dietary villain, we rarely point to these fruits, grains, and vegetables, though, The dietary villains are the “added sugar”, which come from sweeteners added to food during the preparation process. These added ingredients are the villains to watch out for while we eat.
White sugar is made from the sap of sugar cane stalks. It can also be made with beet roots. There are other food sources used for sugar : sorghum, honey, molasses, maple, and corn. While these various types of sugar vary in exact nutritional numbers, they all are highly processed. Each of these kinds of sugars lose nutritional value in the action of processing.
Sorry, there is no magic bullet. You gotta eat healthy and live healthy to be healthy and look healthy. End of story.Morgan Spurlock
Eating healthy food…real food is crucial for our bodies to maintain health and immunity. While it is FUN to eat sugar-rich foods, we really must make better choices. Eating a diet of whole foods is one part of my action plan to boost my immunity.
The 3 Types of Sugar
Let’s start with the name of the entire group – Monosaccharides. Monosaccharides are made up of three simple sugars called glucose, fructose, and galactose. These three work together in various combinations to make more complex carbohydrates. Glucose and fructose work together to make up sucrose, or table sugar. Sucrose is the white stuff we usually think of first, whenever sugar is mentioned. Be aware that table sugar isn’t the only form of sugar.
Processed foods and fast foods are the biggest culprits that pack the sugar into our diets. This is the typical source of the weight gain we experience. Sugar is added to “improve” the flavor and to help preserve the food.
Here’s the truth – This white granular villian is making us fat and is killing us.
Simple words….scary idea.
What Are The Health Risks?
Once we eat sucrose, it produces an energy spike that affects many areas in the body. Sucrose forces our bodies to process it faster, and in unhealthy ways. This list of health risks are pretty scary.
Sugar Poses These Health Risks
Type 2 Diabetes
Risk of Cancer
Drains Energy After Spiking
All of these health risks involve inflammation that is caused by sugar. Cutting back on processed sugar is a huge way to begin steps to boost immunity. Read more here.
How Can I Cut Back?
The bad news – many of us are addicted to sugar, and there is a weaning time involved.
The good news – there ARE healthier options that will help quite a lot.
Let’s look at the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. The guideline recommendations are to consume less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars. This will help us achieve a healthy eating pattern.
To help achieve the Dietary Guidelines of added sugars, the Dietary Guidelines aim for these routines:
- Reduce portions of sugar-sweetened beverages. Less – soda, alcohol, sweetened fruit juice. More – water, unsweetened juice, tea, coffee
- Choose beverages with no added sugars (fruit juices, coffee beverages, sweetened tea)
- Limit or eliminate portion size of grain, dairy-based desserts and sweet snacks
- Choose unsweetened or no-added-sugar forms of canned fruits, fruit sauce, pasta sauce, jam, syrup etc.
What About Artificial Sweeteners?
“I drink soda everyday. Now that I am going to cut out sugar, I will replace it with diet soda.”
Be aware that SOME sweeteners are Safe and Smart. Other sweeteners are Trashy and Toxic.
Safe and Smart Sweeteners:
The Trashy and Toxic Sweeteners
Sweet ‘N Low
There are quite a number of more names of the Trashy and Toxic. So it is safer to remember the Safe and Smart list.
My Sugar Experience
I will admit it – sugar is my drug. I can easily fall back into addiction. Cookies are my biggest weakness. I also like to drink soft drinks when we are at a restaurant to eat Mexican food or pizza. When it comes to soft drinks, restaurant choices only offer sugar or the trashy diet ones. I falter and order a soft drink.
So what I do is limit this ingredient as much as possible in my daily meals. Then I leave myself a little room for special occasions, so I can enjoy an occasional soft drink or dessert. My ideal diet would absolutely eliminate all processed sugar. Yet this is the best I have been able to do. And I cannot live in guilt over those special occasions.
Here’s The Summary
Naturally occurring sugars that come from fruit and vegetables are healthy in supporting the body’s circulatory, digestive, muscular, and nervous systems.
Processed sugars pose many negative hits upon the skeletal, renal, endocrine, circulatory, digestive, muscular, and nervous systems. Processed sugar causes inflammation throughout the body, with the biggest risks being cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease.
Eliminating or greatly reducing sugar can be done when our diets are mostly comprised of whole foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat).
Take some simple steps to eliminate the big sugar-laden foods in the diet. Every step counts to help improve your health by reducing this dietary villain. Pretty soon, you will feel more clear thinking, more consistent energy, and probably a bit lighter in weight!
I hope today’s article helps you to Enjoy Your Healthy Life!
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