Over the last few years, we have seen more and more studies sharing their different findings of the many implications of an over indulgence of the sugary kind. Dental decay, obesity, diabetes, we know all this, it is old news, heard it!
Some of us try to downsize our sugar margin by using less sugar in our tea for instance, or drinking less sodas, eating less treats. And then we feel hard done by, resigned to blandness (which is absolutely not the case, there are innumerable delicious, balanced recipes out there). Slowly but surely the sugary stuff creeps back onto the scene and, before we know it, we are back where we began. Eating continuously something that we know is not great for us.
This cycle continues, and it has become apparent that we must change our relationship with sugar. Through research we will find a multitude of negatives as result of sugar consumption. It is not only obesity and diabetes we have to consider here, there is more! Although realistically speaking these ailments can be severely harrowing in their own right. With obesity our internal organs can become strangled by fat, interfering with proper functions. Your entire internal system is as much under pressure as your spine is with the weight!!
Many of us might believe that if we are not physically obese that we are safe, but the truth is, if you are eating large quantities of sugary foods then your body is over stocked, it can’t burn off the excess, and therefore turns the sugar into fat for storage. This a primitive function, from our ancestral genetics; food would not have been so easily accessible, and so the body would store up extras for the day you go without, or fasting as we in the well fed world call it! Because of this, if you take in more sugar than you burn off then you will store it, and if you don’t look overweight this fat may be stored on the outer walls of your organs, which is not good!!
This also means that you are still susceptible to diabetes without having the outward appearance of obesity. Diabetes has several levels of severity, from minor, having to watch your blood sugar levels, to severe like amputations or hypoglycemic attacks. Your blood sugar levels can impair your brain functions. Because our brain is forever learning, reshaping itself, creating and creating new neural pathways because of repetitive behaviours, if you (even as a non diabetic) repeatedly impair your brain functions by way of too much sugar, you are creating irregular function pathways in your brain. Your brain is learning to function in a fog of sugar; essentially you can eat yourself into a dementia.
Other studies have shown that sugar is also an aggravator of cancer cells, feeding the cells and creating the perfect sustainable environment that cancer cells need to thrive. All of these factors completely changed my mindset towards sugar. It is not something that can be brushed under the table anymore, I personally refuse to eat myself sick.
You may have looked into this already and feel as though sugar is unavoidable. All pre prepared meals have suger added, condiments, even fruit juices, yoghurts, medicines! They all have added suger. And even the no added sugar products have non natural sweeteners, which have the same if not more negative effects as any refined sugar.
So how do we avoid it? Well yes, I would advise that you stop buying refined sugars, you could, for example, add honey and maple syrup to teas and baking for natural sugary sweetness.
Make food from fresh produce. Fresh, whole foods can still have carbohydrates and starch, which turn into sugars after eating, fruits have naturally occurring sugars, honey and maple syrup too! So you can not avoid sugar! But you can avoid refined sugars. These have a much higher energy content as it is essentially sugar concentrate. While certain foods such as pastas, breads, rice, etc, are carbohydrates, white grains turn into sugar in higher amounts than brown grains would. Substituting white grains for brown will bring done your sugar intake.
As mentioned, a lot of good food have naturally occurring sugars, but I’m going to let you in on a secret. Imagine you have a big jug of orange juice for instance, and you had been on a long distance run, how much of the jug of juice could you finish? If it was me, probably All of it… Now imagine the same scenario but you have a pile of ten massive oranges in front of you..how many oranges do you suppose you could eat? 2 maybe? 3 or four at push perhaps? Then you wouldn’t be able to have any more. The jug had the sugary juice of at least 20 oranges, and you could drink a huge amount of that! Why? Well with the orange fruit you’re getting all the fleshy, pulse of the orange, which contains fibre. Fibre helps break naturally occurring sugars with ease and efficiency.
What does this show us? That our relationship with sugar needs to as all our relationships Should be – balanced and mindful! If you have sugary foods, accompany it with high fibrous foods, water, and maintain a healthy active lifestyle, from simply taking daily walks and performing simple stretches, swimming, running, rick climbing, yoga, whatever your personal life warrants you to engage in!
I hope this article will get you thinking about sugar with a healthier mindset, and make your relationship with sugar a one that can be enjoyed without eating yourself sick!
In love & Wellness,