Friday, October 24, 2014

Death By Sugar—6 Ways Sugar Damages Your Body

Sugar Will Kill You

Sugar can be as addictive as cocaine. It activates the brain’s reward system causing pleasure-inducing chemicals (dopamine) to flood the body. The result is a craving for more… and more.

Sugar damages your health on several levels. For starters we now know that fructose/sugar elevates blood pressure and potentially damages your kidneys. It increases uric acid which leads to chronic, low-level inflammation—the foundation for most disease. For example, chronically inflamed blood vessels can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Let's look at the what happens in the body when you consume a 20 oz soda:

Within 20 minutes— Your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar (17 teaspoons full on average) into fat.

Within 40 minutes— Caffeine absorption is complete; your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream.

Around 45 minutes— Your body increases dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain – a physically identical response to that of heroin.

After 60 minutes— You’ll start to have a blood sugar crash, and you may be tempted to reach for another sweet snack or beverage.

Sugar Damages Your Body

Let's Count the damage sugar does:

#1 Weakens the Immune System
The immune system primarily resides in the digestive tract—from the mouth to the rectum. Regularly pouring sugar down your pipes upsets the balance of microbes and causes the bad bugs to grow and thrive. A weakened immune system makes you vulnerable to illness and disease.

#2 Feeds Cancer
There are 19 times more sugar receptors on a cancer cell than a healthy human cell. Did you get that? You are feeding your cancer at the expense of healthy cells in your body when you eat sugar. It is tantamount to criminal that cancer patients are given cookies and other sugary things during chemo infusions. Guarantees your patients will return (cynicism intended). Plus this 2014 study shows that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages significantly increases risk of cancer recurrence and death in stage III colon cancer patients.

#3 Causes Premature Aging
In 2014 the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) published a study showing that daily consumption of a 20-ounce soda causes 4.6 years of additional biological aging. That's as bad as smoking.

#4 Creates an Addiction
Don't need to belabor this. The evidence is there. BTW, if you have a craving for chocolate, you should consider what is it you really crave. I know... chocolate was simply my sugar of choice.

#5 Causes Inflammation
The beginning of all disease starts with inflammation. When the body has inflammation it is programmed to heal, but lack of proper nutrients and healthy cells results in a less than optimum healing process. For example, inflammation of the blood vessels triggers tiny tears in the vessel walls, which the body patches up with cholesterol. And, of course, you know that cholesterol build-up can cause heart attack or stroke.

#6 Makes You Fat
It's sugar that makes you fat. Not fat. Not too many calories. Not lack of exercise. Nothing has more of an effect on your weight than the intake of sugar. And because sugar is in everything, it's no wonder we have become the fatest nation on planet earth. More than one-third of adults in the US are obese.

If sodas are your sugar of choice, there are other dangers besides sugar lurking there. Recently a Consumer Report identified the caramel coloring in most sodas as cancer-causing.

As a standard recommendation, TOTAL sugar consumption should be under 25 grams per day. Recently Coca Cola re-introduced a drink they discontinued in the late 90's called Surge. With 65 grams of sugar in a 16 oz can, Surge sold out on Amazon during the September 15th introduction. Yikes!

For most people it would also be wise to limit your sugar from fruit (aka fructose) to 15 grams or less, as you're virtually guaranteed to consume "hidden" sources of sugar/fructose if you drink beverages other than water and eat processed food. Of course, I'd advise that you cut out all processed food and any drink other than filtered water, green tea and Kombucha.

Why So Much Sugar?

Years ago it was wrongly suggested we eat less or no fat—because fats were bad and made us fat they said. Sugar was added to processed food to make up for the perceived loss of taste as a result of reducing the fat. From that point forward we've seen sugar added to virtually every processed food (including organic health foods). And Americans have gotten fatter and sicker.

The proliferation of GMO corn (>88% of all corn is genetically modified) translates to cheap sugar (aka high-fructose corn syrup) for the food industry to add more flavor to their foods. Anything tastes good with sugar. Now besides the dangers of sugar, add to that the hazards of GMOs.

In a quick trip to the store to pick up a can of organic beans I needed for a recipe, I glanced at the ingredients and found... yup... sugar added. Disgusting! What is sugar doing in a can of beans that should be beans? Only beans.

Sugar is in breads, crackers, every kind of boxed and processed food... then you have the artificial ingredients, preservatives and trans fats (hydrogenated oils). Read labels and don't buy it if it has sugar. Even if it's organic evaporated cane juice. It's sugar! It reacts the same in the body.

Prepare and eat real, fresh food from the earth.

In what food were you surprised to find sugar lately? Have you reduced or eliminated sugar in your diet? What was the effect?


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