The Toxic Truth: Are YOU a Sugar Addict?
Written by: Shanna Mota
Sugar is sweet… and sweet is good, right?
Well, in the case of too much sugar… sweet is actually pretty darn toxic!
Unfortunately, we are all victims of our food system. We are consumers, we follow trends and we LOVE products. But what if the trends and the products we are consuming are detrimental to our health? What if they are causing disease?
Our palate is made up of 4 basic tastes: sweet, salty, bitter and sour. The Standard American Diet has nearly eliminated the bitter taste by packing our foods and products with SUGAR. Because there are so many hidden sources of sugar in our food, most of us do not realize how much we are actually consuming on a daily basis.
We CRAVE sugar. We NEED sugar. The food industry has made us SUGAR ADDICTS.
Food For Thought:
Sugar was only available to our ancestors a few months out of the year during harvesting time. But now, sugar is readily available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, not only in fruit but in nearly ALL processed and packaged foods and beverages.
Currently, the average American eats 22 or more teaspoons of sugar PER DAY! Can you imagine sitting down at a table and eating 22 teaspoons of sugar?! Yuck!
We know that sugar is found in soda, sweetened beverages, cookies, candies and desserts. But what about in things that we deem “healthy?” Yep, it’s lurking there too!
Some Hidden Sources Of Sugar:
- Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Salad Dressings and many other condiments. Most have high fructose corn syrup, which spikes insulin levels, causing a major crash, not to mention the inflammatory effects on the body.
- Flavored yogurts can have up to 26 grams of sugar in one serving.
- Bread and crackers.
- Fruit juices/sweetened drinks can have between 10-40 grams of sugar in an 8oz serving.
- How about that Starbucks iced vanilla latte? Try 28 grams in a grande.
- Your friendly cocktails can have anywhere from 8-20 grams per drink.
- Pre-packaged “Veggie” or “Green Juices” on the market often pack up to 40 grams of sugar in the bottle by adding fruit to them.
- Smoothies – even from healthy, organic cafes – can have from 25-40 grams of sugar from fruit, dates and added “natural” sweeteners.
The Negative Effects Of Sugar
1. Causes Weight Gain
Sugar enters the blood system and if it is not used, it can be stored as fat. Also, because it causes blood sugar to spike, you then experience a crash and become hungry again. This can lead to obesity and diabetes.
2. Refined Sugar Has NO Nutritional Value
Refined sugar (table sugar) has no nutritional value and is considered “empty calories.” So you are receiving zero benefits from consuming it – in fact, it is actually considered an ANTI-NUTRIENT – meaning, not only does it NOT deliver any nutritional benefit, but it can actually STRIP AWAY NUTRIENTS from your body!
3. Spikes Blood Sugar Levels
All forms of sugar can spike blood sugar levels, leading to cravings, hunger and energy crashes. Fruit is included in this equation so like anything, it’s important to focus on moderation and including lower glycemic options, like grapefruit, dark berries and green apples when you want a sweet fix.
4. Triggers Insulin Surges
An excess of glucose (blood sugar) in your body triggers insulin to be released from the pancreas. High blood sugar levels over time can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.
5. Hard On The Liver
Fructose (specifically) is metabolized in the liver and an overconsumption can lead to liver problems.
6. Causes Inflammation In The Body
When sugar spikes insulin levels, it creates an immune response in the body, causing inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of most modern day diseases.
7. Over-Consumption Will Lead To Diabetes And/Or Obesity
Self explanatory. If you eat too much of this toxic substance, it can and will lead to serious – and even dangerous – health issues, particularly those involving your circulation system.
Best Natural Sweetener Sources
Stevia is an herb that is naturally sweet. It is the best option because, unlike all other sweeteners, it does NOT affect blood sugar levels and has a glycemic index of 0. The problem is, most of the stevia on the market is highly processed. Make sure you buy organic, whole-leaf stevia or grow your own! It’s green like mint. It is also an acquired taste… it’s 40 times sweeter than sugar so keep in mind that a little goes a long way!
Lucuma powder is made from the Peruvian lucuma fruit (also called “eggfruit”), and is rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B3, beta carotene and fiber. It has a glycemic index of 25, which is much lower than most other sweeteners.
3. Brown Rice Syrup
It is not as rich in nutrients as the other sweeteners, but brown rice syrup does have trace amounts of B vitamins and vitamin K. However, it does also have a glycemic index of only 25, which means it takes longer to metabolize, not spiking blood sugar levels as much, thus giving it value as far as sweeteners go.
4. Raw Honey
Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food rich in natural vitamins and minerals. It contains natural antioxidants, enzymes and minerals including iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. Vitamins found in honey include vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin. Its glycemic index is around 30.
5. Coconut Palm Sugar
This sweetener contains iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, along with some short-chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants that may also provide some health benefits. It also contains a fiber, inulin, which may slow glucose absorption, which is why it has a lower glycemic index (around 35) to regular table sugar (which is around 64).
It’s important to know that although these natural, unrefined sweeteners have some benefits, it is still sugar and consumption should be LIMITED! If you truly want to conquer your sugar addiction, cut out ALL added sweeteners (even natural ones) AND fruit for 30 days! Take your health back into YOUR hands!
About the Author
Shanna Mota is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Yoga Teacher and the founder of Live Love Detox. She works on healing the body from the inside out. Most people do not realize how amazing their bodies are designed to feel and it is her goal to help you experience this using nutrition and yoga as the foundation. Shanna focuses on group detox programs, educating her clients on how to nourish their bodies with nutrient dense foods, meal preparation techniques, simple healthy recipes and positive mindset exercises, for a full mind and body cleanse. She is excited to contribute her expertise and knowledge to the Fitlife movement and inspire healthy change to the community.
For more health tips, recipes and information, connect with Shanna: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Website
Image source: Huffpost Living, Whole Body Health, ABC 7, Stevia Hellas
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The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.
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Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
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