Sugar is the culprit behind so many health conditions. Shockingly, just how damaging sugar has been for our health has been largely hidden from the general public. This is no conspiracy theory, news reports keep coming out about how the sugar industry paid food scientists to downplay the risks of sugar. Not only did they intentionally cover up the risks of sugar, they pointed the finger at fat.
This intentional misleading of the public has had serious consequences on health. In fact, it’s believed there is more than 60 years of food and beverage industry manipulation of science that needs to be exposed.
Americans eat way too much sugar and part of this is due to these industry cover ups. Though the truth about sugar really isn’t a secret at all, these scientific manipulations have allowed added sugar to be snuck into nearly all processed foods. That is the real issue here – sugar is in nearly everything processed today because it is highly addictive and therefore you’re likely to buy more items that contain sugar.
Sugar is incredibly bad for your health and linked to so many illnesses, including:
- Heart disease
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Metabolic disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Impaired immune function
- Tooth decay
Sugar added to our foods is possibly the worst aspect of today’s diet. Let’s take a closer look at sugar and how it affects your health.
Sugar and Heart Disease
For years, doctors and scientists have painted the picture of arteries clogged by fat as the cause of heart disease. We now know that inflammation is the main cause behind heart disease, not fat. Sugar not only causes inflammation, it raises your triglycerides, oxidized LDL, and hypertension – all precursors of heart disease. There are numerous studies that have found links between high sugar consumption and high risk of heart disease.
If you’re wondering how to avoid the number one cause of death, my first recommendation would be to reduce your sugar intake. Make sure you check ingredients of anything processed because sugar is snuck into practically everything. If you want to be sure to avoid sneaky added sugar, your best bet is to avoid processed foods altogether.
Sugar Causes Insulin Resistance and Obesity
Another major concern regarding sugar is it’s undeniable role in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Sugar interferes with your body’s ability to regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. When you eat sugar, it increases your insulin levels and over time enough sugar will make you insulin resistant. This is a major metabolic dysfunction that causes obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and of course, type 2 diabetes.
Sugar also interferes with your leptin, the hormone that tells you when you’re full. When you’re eating too much sugar, you have a harder time knowing that you’re full, which can cause you to eat more and more. Because too much sugar also causes sugar cravings, you’re likely to want more sweets when you’re hungry – creating a vicious cycle.
Breaking Sugar Addiction
Sugar addiction is very real and in my opinion, isn’t talked about enough. Sugar causes the brain to release dopamine, much like a drug. This reaction in the brain can make removing sugar from your diet very difficult. Research has found that high sugar consumption results in all the telltale signs of addiction – binging, withdrawal, and craving.
Sugar cravings make breaking the cycle of eating too much sugar a hard habit to break. Also, when you’re breaking a sugar addiction, you may experience withdrawal symptoms very much like a drug, which can be very uncomfortable.
Keep this in mind if you’re trying to come off sugar or have a loved one trying to break a sugar habit. Don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a couple tries to break a sugar addiction. Also, you should consider adding foods that help with sugar cravings such as healthy fats, proteins, and foods containing L-glutamine.
Some people find coming off sugar slowly works best but many find that it’s easier to just go cold turkey. Much like drug cravings, sugar cravings will subside as time goes on, which is why some believe cutting it out altogether is best.
Be Wary of Sugar Substitutes
While it may seem reasonable to replace sugar with substitutes, they can cause problems with your palette and make quitting sugar more difficult. You see, artificial sweeteners are typically hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. Regularly consuming overly sweet foods can change your palette, which in turn can make naturally sweet foods such as fruit, not seem sweet at all. This can even make foods like vegetables bitter and downright disgusting.
Really the best thing you can do is break your sugar addiction and habit. Reducing sugar intake is the best thing many of us can do for our health today.
When It’s Time to See A Doctor
You might not have considered your high sugar diet in your quest to get healthier. If you are struggling with chronic health issues, be sure to eliminate sugar out of your diet. While many people are able to break their sugar addiction on their own, some benefit with help of their functional medicine doctor.
Over the years, I’ve helped many patients to develop stategies to break their sugar addiction and get their health under control. You can make an appointment with the Dynamic Life Health Center today. Simply fill out the contact form here OR call 817-912-1600. Eliminating sugar may change your life and give you back your health for good.