This blog is about the five reasons why you should avoid sugar, but there is really only one: if you want to be healthy, you should avoid sugar.
Sugar and humans are not supposed to mix. Yes, you are drawn to sugar. Yes, it calls your name out from the pantry. Yes, you are possessed by the thoughts of sugar plums dancing in your head (especially when you are on a diet). But the truth is, we were never meant to put such a purified food into our bodies, at least not in the large amounts we find ourselves doing daily.
Here are the five reasons why you want to avoid sugar:
It doesn’t exist in nature: Sugar is a highly concentrated food. If you pick up a bag of sugar and read the ingredients, you will discover that it is 99 percent pure sucrose. That bag of sugar is extremely unique; nothing else we put in our mouths (outside of some super-high proof alcohols) is that pure. Heck, heroin addicts would kill for a drug as pure as sugar. Your body is designed to get its sugars slowly from the complex foods we eat; it is not designed to handle the high amount of sugar that enters it every time you gulp down a soda.
Sugar destroys blood sugar regulation: You are not going to read this anywhere else, so I’ll let you know here. Sugar and foods that act like sugar in your body are the root cause of diabetes. If you search other areas of the Web and find articles from the Sugar Organization, or the American Diabetes Association, or even the World Health Organization, they will all tell you that sugar has nothing to do with diabetes. Don’t believe them! As your body adjusts to high blood sugar levels that can happen every time you eat something sweet, your body makes choices. These choices are what lead to diabetes. How this exactly happens is a long discussion and is covered in my book Sugarettes, but for now, just know that high blood sugar will create insulin insensitivity and eventually diabetes.
Sugar is addicting: Most people agree: they are addicted to sugar. What most people don’t know is just how serious that addiction is. When scientists study animals that are addicted to sugar, they find that their brains look very similar to other addicts (such as smokers, alcoholics and even heavy drug users). People crave sugar just as addicts crave their drugs. We also binge on sugar, use sugar to change our moods, and many other addictive responses.
Weight Gain: Once again, you won’t find too many medical associations agreeing with me, but sugar will cause you to gain weight. And this is not only because sugar contains calories, but because sugar is unique and your body handles it differently than other foods. This is especially true of the most harmful sugar of all: High Fructose Corn Syrup. Your body will turn the fructose in High Fructose Corn Syrup into fat much easier than any other food.
Harmful to blood vessels: Sugar destroys blood vessels. You can see the evidence for this in diabetics where blood vessel damage is responsible for all the common diseases that diabetics have, including heart disease, stroke, loss of vision, numbness and tingling of the legs, and the sometimes need for amputation. While you might think you are safe if you don’t already have diabetes, research now suggests that over 30 percent of people will get diabetes some time in their lives. And research suggests that your chances of either having diabetes or metabolic syndrome (a pre-diabetic state) are around 50 percent. Even if you escape one of those diseases, sugar still harms blood vessels. This means if you don’t die from an accident, your chances of dying from the result of sugar’s destruction is high. Remember that heart disease is the number one killer in the United States.
Over time, sugar has gone from an occasional food to being consumed with every meal. At the same time, we have seen diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even cancer skyrocket. If you want to be healthy, you should avoid sugar in your diet.