Western society as a whole is becoming increasingly addicted to sugar, and as a result our intake has increased in comparison to previous generations. In the year 1915 the average person consumed 17.5 pounds of sugar a year. By the year 2011 the average person was consuming 150 pounds of sugar a year!
The first time someone dared to speak up against sugar was when British scientist John Yudkin (back in 1972) published his book titled Pure, White and Deadly. In it he states “If only a small fraction of what we know about the effects of sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive,” wrote Yudkin, “that material would promptly be banned.”
Yudkin was the one to also discover that the root of obesity was not only saturated fats, as it was believed, but that it was mainly sugar. Before his discovery it was thought that a healthy diet was one which was low on saturated fat, but sugar was largely ignored.
Unfortunately for Yudkin, his book did so well that the food industry felt threated about the potential loss of sales and went on to launch a campaign to destroy his reputation. He died in 1995, a forgotten man. Nowadays it’s nearly impossible to find his book.
Many scientists and nutritionists in the past have feared to speak against sugar because it’s a multi-million-dollar business. Getting the food industry angry means creating a powerful and fearsome enemy.
However, in recent times it has become undeniable the hazardous effects that sugar has on the body. It is unquestionable and irrefutable that sugar has become dietary enemy number one worldwide.
It was in the 1980s, the first time that governments from the US and the UK spoke to the general public to advise them on dietary suggestions to lead a healthier lifestyle, warning about the hazardous effects that saturated fat and cholesterol could have on the human body. This was the first time that the public had been advised to eat less of something and “shockingly”, people didn’t become healthier and slimmer with this suggestion but the opposite, because sugar had still not been labelled as a toxic and hazardous ingredient that has the full-blown potential to destroy peoples health and increase their weight.
Why Is There So Much Sugar in Our Food?
Experts are calling sugar the new tobacco, it´s addictive and it´s horrible for our health. Yet, sugar seems to be in pretty much everything that we eat and in large amounts. What´s even more shocking is that we´re being publicly poisoned by the food industry.
According to Avail Clinical Research in 2007, 54 million Americans had pre-diabetes and in only four years, by the year 2011 the number increased by nearly 30% to 79 million Americans suffering from pre-diabetes. At this stage people are at a serious risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Sugar consumption has been linked to several illnesses and diseases, not just type 2 diabetes, but also cancer, heart disease, chronic fatigue and tooth decay.
But these shocking and not new revelations have done little to reduce the amount of sugar that is added to foods. Partly because the food industry would have to accept the fact that foods and drinks are being over-sweetened, but because corporations are afraid that the lower dosage of sugar would change the flavor of their products and scare away their consumers.
Food and drink corporations are not in the business to create healthy options for their consumers. They are there to make a profit. Changing the amounts of sugar in their products would mean a change in the flavor and as a result a negative change in their profits. Sugar is a huge business and what´s even “better” for corporations is that it´s addictive.
What makes the situation a lot more frightening is that the group that is mainly and heavily targeted by food and drink corporations are children. They´re young, naive and have a very strong sweet-tooth. But it´s legal, sugar is still not stigmatized like tobacco and therefore it´s legal for corporations to target children and turn them into junkies since sugar is, after all, a socially accepted drug.
Ready to Quit? Here are the Benefits of Quitting Sugar
It´s important to note that sugar is naturally in fruits and vegetables. This type of sugar can actually be beneficial to your body and it´s essential for the efficient functioning of your body. It is the added sugar that you need to cut back on, the one hidden in many foods like: baked beans, ketchup, low-fat yogurt and pasta sauces, amongst many other processed foods.
As we´ve covered so far sugar is the new poison to our bodies. People are actively encouraged to quit smoking to lead a healthier lifestyle, yet marketing campaigns are still failing to encourage people to do the same with sugar.
Quitting sugar is a lot easier than quitting smoking, so do not worry because change can be done, and your health and appearance will thank you. Quitting sugar has a lot more benefits than just losing pounds and preventing type 2 diabetes, you´ll be surprise how much your body can change and benefit from quitting sugar.
Magical Health Benefits Of Quitting Sugar
1. Healthier Heart
Eating or drinking too much added sugar could significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. In a study published in JAMA, it was discovered that those who got 17 to 21 percent of calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared to those who consumed only 8 percent.
According to the American Heart Association it is advised that women consume less than 100 calories of added sugar per day (about 6 teaspoons) and men consume less than 150 per day (about 9 teaspoons).
2. Reduce Your Chances of Getting Type 2 Diabetes
There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 which has absolutely no relation with your sugar intake. Diabetes Type 1 is when the insulin producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed by your immune system. Type 2 happens when the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, when it produces very little insulin or when the body doesn’t respond appropriately to insulin.
You are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes when you are overweight as a result of eating too many sugary drinks or foods.
3. Sharper Brain
You probably didn´t see this one coming. But research has shown that quitting added sugar also has great benefits for your cognitive functioning. Dr Long Gillespie says: “A high intake of sugar is associated with metabolic syndrome, a cluster addiction associated not just with decreased cognitive function, but possibly even with changes to brain structure”.
Sugar eats your brain away.
4. You´ll be Happier and More Relaxed
It is widely shown in the media that when a woman is going through a difficult time, she takes out the ice-cream to make herself feel better. Well… she might, but that effect is short live, it’s instant gratification. An overload of sugar has been scientifically associated with depression, anxiety and even schizophrenia.
Quit added sugars or at least cutdown and you´ll start noticing a change in brain chemistry that will benefit you in the long-run. You´ll find yourself calmer and sharper. Sugar might bring temporary happiness, but it causes or at least contributes to long-term sadness.
5. Sleep Better
It’s been reported that over a third of Americans suffer from blood sugar issues that rank as the second most common cause of insomnia. It´s no secret that if you want a toddler to go insane, give them sugar. This is why parents hide away any trace of sweets away from the kids when it’s bed-time. Same goes for adults if you want your brain to be hyper when it’s bed time give it sugar. This won´t mean you’ll be sharp, but you will be awake. If you want the opposite effect then cut down or remove added sugars all together.
6. Younger Looking Skin
Eating too much added sugar for a long time can really take a toll on your skin, it can make your skin dull and wrinkled. This happens due to a process called glycation, which is when the sugar in your blood attaches to proteins and form advanced glycation end products. This damages the collagen and elastin, which are the fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. Reducing your sugar intake can make your skin healthier and younger looking.
7. You´ll Be More Energetic
The sugar rush, followed by eating or drinking high quantities of added sugar, might give the impression that sugar is a “good” energy drink. However, lets keep in mind that this “rush” is just that, a rush, it’s short lived. Then comes the sugar crash, when you´ve not only exhausted the energy that was given to you by sugar, but also your own.
The reason why is because added sugars decrease the activity of orexin cells, which are the ones responsible for giving us natural energy, wakefulness and keep our bodies moving. When these cells are absent we feel tired and sleepy, which is the crash that comes after large sugar intake.
8. You´ll Feel Satisfied for Longer
Having a sweet-tooth can actually come with a lot more harm than one might think because unfortunately it’s not just eating or drinking those extra calories, but it’s what sugar actually does to our digestive system.
Added sugars trigger the production of ghrelin, which is the hormone that tells your body that it’s hungry. Cutting down on sugar or quitting all together will avoid the increased production of this hormone which will actually make you feel satisfied for longer, reducing the chances of overeating.
9. Stronger Immune System
Too much sugar can inhibit phagocytosis, this means that it causes a drop in the ability of white cells to destroy bacteria and viruses, leaving your immune system prone to infections and getting ill. If you want a stronger immune system, then you might want to reconsider changing your sugar intake.
As you can see quitting added sugar has a lot more benefits than just losing a few inches from your waistline. I didn´t even mention the amount of weight you can lose when you are cutting down or quitting sugar because that benefit is widely known in today´s era. However, you can appreciate that your body and your skin can benefit greatly from making a simple change like avoiding just one ingredient! Sugar.
How to Quit Sugar
People consume sugar every day. Some take it in their coffee while other may have it in form of desserts or drink. Items made of sugar can be very addictive and once your tongue has tasted the pleasure it gives, you will definitely crave for more.
Unnecessary weight gain, weak teeth and falling sick every day is all because of the high consumption of sugar. If you need to stay fit and healthy than it is high time that you understand the importance of quitting sugar. Sugar is no less than a drug and leaving is not easy. But where there is a will there is always a way. Here are a few tricks that can help you in saying bye to sugar forever and lead a healthy life:
Start head strong
You cannot achieve your goal without a strong will power. No more yesterday and tomorrow, if you want to quit it, gather up all your will and start it today because as it is rightly said, tomorrow never comes.
Throw away the trash
Check out all your closets, cupboards and fridge to find every packet of biscuit, ice cream and drink hidden away. Take a big bag and fill it up with these things and throw it away. When you will have no such items in your Pantry, you won’t be tempted to take them.
Check the labels
Before buying packed items, always read the label not just for the expiry but also for the ingredients that they are made of. Do not buy things that contained the slightest amount of sugar or calories in it.
No more refined food
Find replacements for your unhealthy cravings. Rather than getting up and munching on chips, grab a carrot instead. Replace your table sugar with either brown sugar or honey both of which are healthy and will satisfy your sweet tooth as well.
Find partners and motivators
Avoid parties and shopping for a few days that might weaken your will power. Ask your friends and family to encourage you and to pat you on the back for your efforts. Find groups on social media that have members going through similar situations and use your voice to fight with your cravings.
Having people behind you for support is the best way to stay strong and keep going. Remember it only take two weeks for your body to detox itself and adjust to the change. So keep yourself going until you reach the two week mark and thereon bigger and bigger milestone.
Types of sugar
Table or granulated sugar gained from the sugar canes is not the only sugar that people consume on daily basis. There are other hidden forms of sugar as well which fewer people might know about. For example:
Fructose and sucrose: Found in granulated sugar that is usually used for preparing cakes and other sweet items.
Lactose: Found in abundance in milk and other dairy products.
Aspartame and sucralose: Artificial sweeteners consist of these chains of sugars which are usually prescribed to diabetic patients as they are easily digested by the body.
Oligosaccharides and Polysaccharides: Good for cell division and functioning and can be found in various foods.
Maltose: Malted grains are a rich source of it.
These are just the few of the types of sugar that people take on daily basis without even having the slightest hint. Some chains of sugar are long while others are small. It depends on the complexity of the chain how easily the body is able to break it down to convert it into glucose and energy.
The difference between white sugar Vs. brown sugar
Brown sugar is actually the raw sugar containing molasses that has been extracted from sugar canes. When the brown sugar is sent further for processing the refined form which is without molasses which gives it the brown color is called white sugar.
As far as their nutritional value is concerned, brown sugar is slight more nutritive than the white because just because of the molasses it contains. But compared to white sugar, the brown sugar has a slightly different taste and can provide you with a dab of calcium, magnesium and iron but not in a quantity that is needed by the body. So either ways, use which ever you find better in taste.
How to Soften Brown Sugar
Everyone has different tricks to soften brown sugar. Some place apple slices along with it while other simply microwave the sugar. The best idea is store it in an air tight jar so that it is not exposed to the outside environment and cause it to lose its moisture. Still if you have a doubt, put a piece of Bread slice in the jar to keep it soft and fresh.
How Is Fruit Sugar Better than White Sugar?
There are healthy options of sugar like fruits that are not only good for your health but also help in fulfilling your body’s requirement of sugar. If you are planning on quitting sugar than what can be better than having fresh juices rather than fizzy drinks and a few oranges and apples instead of cookies satisfy your sweet taste buds.
White sugar contains long chains of fructose that is difficult to be broken down by the enzymes present inside the body and hence it can temper with the insulin levels leading to a serious ailment like diabetes. On the other hand, fruits contain natural sugars with shorter chains that are easily digestible. Your body is not only able to break down sugar contained in the fruits easily but the minerals that you gain from such things also help in the process and provides your body with energy to continue with its functions. So replace your table sugar with fruits so that you may stay fit and healthy to lead a happy and active life.