Was Mary Poppins right when she said that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down?
She may have been onto something, but sadly, sugar offers zero nutritional value and no added health benefits. It’s basically empty calories that you’re filling your body with. That’s why it’s sometimes called sweet poison 😲
Sugar is also known as Sucrose (table sugar), which is a combination of two monosaccharides – glucose and fructose.
Unfortunately, sugar is present in a lot more foods that we generally don’t think of as being sugary. Did you know that one of the main ingredients in most of your pantry foods and refrigerated sauces is sugar? Usually, sugar is added to foods under several different names.
- Barley malt
- Brown rice syrup
- Corn syrup
- Corn syrup solids
- Diastatic malt
- Ethyl maltol
How is sugar jeopardizing my health? 💔
Refined sugar can wreck your health from head to toe. Let’s see how:
- Brain: Sugar makes the brain produce a hormone called dopamine. The reward center in your brain releases dopamine in response to pleasurable experiences that lead to addiction. Additionally, excessive sugar does not allow the brain to function properly, which leads to depression, dementia, anxiety, and mood swings.
- Heart: Consumption of extra sugar produces extra insulin in your bloodstream that can affect your arteries. Sugar causes the walls of your arteries to become inflamed, grow thicker than normal, and stiffen. This process stresses your heart and damages it over time, which ultimately leads to things like heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Skin: As sugar is an inflammatory food, it causes inflammation within the body. Excess sugar can aggregate skin conditions such as eczema and acne. When sugar enters your bloodstream, it binds to proteins. When this happens, proteins incorporate the sugar as part of their structure, aging your skin and causing wrinkles.
- Teeth: This is something our dentists have always told us, but in case you didn't know (or wanted to forget about it 😬), tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that feed on sugary foods and drinks to produce acids that damage the enamel of your teeth.
- Liver: A high intake of carbohydrates (fructose) has been linked to an increased risk of fatty liver build up and cirrhosis.
- Kidneys: Excessive sugar increases the kidney size and produces kidney stones. It also damages the kidney’s delicate filtration system.
- Joints: If you’re suffering from joint pain, skip the sugar, as it can cause inflammation, worsen your pain, and eventually lead to arthritis.
- Fertility: High blood sugar can cause infertility in both men and women. It also leads to erectile dysfunction in men and sexual arousal dysfunction in women.
How to avoid excess sugar intake:
- Eat whole and unprocessed foods
- Check the food labels for different names of sugar
- Avoid sugary drinks, and swap them out for herbal teas, water, or unsweetened options
- Use stevia as a sweetener instead of sugar or syrups
- Replace any sugary snacks with homemade natural snacks
- Avoid takeaway food, and prepare your own meals at home
If you’re ready to discuss a meal plan, and would like some guidance on healthy eating, make an appointment with one of our nutritionists today!