Did you know that the average American is consuming nearly 66 pounds of sugar every year?
I wonder what the statistic is for Bermuda.
Cutting back on the sweet stuff can be hard! Sugar is an addiction, triggering the reward center of the brain. When we eat sugar, feel-good hormones are released, just like when we exercise or become addicted to drugs. Frequent sugar intake causes the brain to become less sensitive requiring higher amounts overtime to give you the same feel-good rush.
Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you may be getting more sugar than you realize. Many everyday processed foods, from cereals and bread to pasta sauce and soups, contain sugar.
Would you be shocked to learn that 80% of foods sold in grocery stores contain added sugar?
There are several reasons for adding sugar to foods, from flavoring and texture to inhibiting microbial growth and ensuring the browning of foods when microwaved.
‘Diet’ foods often contain extra sugar to help improve their taste and palatability and to add bulk and texture in place of fat. Energy drinks and specialty coffees are loaded with sugar.
Bottled sauces, dressings, condiments, and marinades often contain high fructose corn syrup.
Other foods to be wary of:
- packaged bread
- snack or granola bars
- protein bars
- sweetened yoghurts
Sugar can harm the body in countless ways. Below are serious implications of a high-sugar diet.
Rising obesity rates have been attributed to added sugar. Sugar increases your hunger and desire for more sugar. Excessive sugar consumption may also cause resistance to leptin, which is an important hormone that regulates your appetite.
Excessive consumption of added sugars increases the chances of obesity, high blood pressure, and inflammation, which are risk factors for heart disease.
There are a number of lifestyle factors that account for diabetes. However, there is a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes risk.
Excessive amounts of sugar may increase your risk of developing certain cancers. This is due to the increased inflammation caused by sugar. Sugar is also linked to obesity and insulin resistance which are risk factors for most cancers.
Let’s take a closer look at how sugar harms specific parts of the body…
Sugar releases the feel-good chemical called dopamine. As we eat more sugar, we need higher amounts in order to get the same feeling of pleasure, leading to those “gotta-have-it” cravings.
Studies have linked a high sugar intake to a greater risk of depression in adults.
Your parents were right when they told you sugar was bad for your teeth as a kid. After eating something sweet, cavity-causing bacteria feeds on the sugar that lingers.
Sugar can cause inflammation in the body, worsening joint pain. Additionally, research shows that sugar consumption can increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Inflammation can also cause the skin to age faster.
Over time, excess sugar intake can cause your liver to become resistant to insulin which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Excess sugar causing extra insulin can also affect your arteries. Arterial walls grow faster than normal which adds stress to the heart, often leading to heart disease.
So what do you think? Is it time to kick the sugar habit?
There are ways to help break the sugar cycle. Just as excess sugar rewired your brain in the first place, cutting back can reverse the dependence.
Join me this Saturday to learn how to kick this habit. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. More info on our Workshops page.
#iquitsugar #detox #healthy #preventivehealth
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