Skip the sugar?
We all know that too much sweet and sugar is bad for us. But do we fully understand why? I sure didn’t, but I’m glad I researched it for this article, because now I know what I’m doing to my body when I put a lot of sugar into it. Did you know that there are some medical and nutritional experts out there that think that sugar is so bad for you that it should be regulated like a drug? Yep, in some ways, it’s that bad.
Keep in mind, if you only indulge in sugary treats once in a blue moon, you probably have nothing to worry about. Most of the health risks here apply to those that eat sugary treats and foods each and every day. If you’re serious about kicking the sugar habit, check with your medical professional or nutritionist first.
reduce Sugar: Slow the aging process
If you reduce your sugar intake, it’s been shown to slow down the aging process. Not only will you have a better chance of living longer, your skin will also look and feel a lot healthier once you kick the sugar habit. Sugar suppresses your body’s ability to naturally release the human growth hormone into your body. Your body naturally releases this hormone into your system to help keep your skin and body looking and feeling healthy. Sugar inhibits this process, so reducing your sugar intake will help your body do what it’s designed to do once again.
Reason #9 is that sugar dampens your immune system temporarily. Drink a bottle of Coca-Cola and get sneezed on by the guy with a contagious illness? Yep, your immune system is going to have a tougher time fighting off that disease because of the sugar you just ingested. The dampening lasts for several hours after you ingest the sugary substance, so if you’re a sugar addicted, you may be prone to sickness more often than normal.
Ingesting high amounts of sugar can lead to diabetes
Yes, ingesting sugar can lead to diabetes. When you consume sugar, your pancreas releases insulin to clear the sugar from your blood cells. The more sugar you consume, and the longer you consume it, the level of insulin that needs to be released to clear the sugar goes up. I’m talking about a residual effect here, not continuously eating candy bars all day long (although that will just do the trick faster). If you eat 2-3 candy bars a day, eventually your insulin levels needed to clear the sugar will get higher and higher. After a time, your pancreas calls it quits and you become an insulin-dependent diabetic.
Reason #7 is that foods high in sugar are usually high in calories but don’t fill you up as quick. This will lead to you eating more of the stuff to fill full. Since you’re consuming more calories than you should, you’re likely to gain weight as well. Once you gain that weight, it’s twice as hard to get rid of it, so skip the sugary snacks.
Your Liver Called In Sick Today
Another reason to quit eating sugary snacks is that sugar causes serious damage to your liver. Fructose is absorbed from snacks or other foods flavored with sugar. Fructose is only able to be metabolized by your liver so it heads straight for it once consumed. Consume a lot of it as once and you’re overworking your liver. Your liver converts a portion of the fructose into glucose and stores it as glycogen. The rest is then converted to triglycerides. High triglycerides = high risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Reason #5: It makes you less smart. Sugar has been shown to impair brain function, so if you’re feeling like you can’t remember things or your memory gets foggy, try cutting down on the sugar. You may start feeling like you can remember those things again, and if not, what have you lost? Maybe a little bit of weight from not eating so much sugar, but that’s about it.
It’s bad for your teeth
That sugar in that drink you’re drinking? Yep, your teeth hate it. It will cause cavities and other problems with your teeth and gums. Don’t believe me? Ask your dentist and they’ll tell you the same thing. They may even have a pamphlet on it in their office. Some dentists recommend that if you’re going to drink sugary drinks, you drink them through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. I checked with my dentist and he said that while that may help, the sugary drink still has the chance of touching the tops and bottoms of your teeth and wreaking havoc there.
Reason #3: It can make you gain weight. I mentioned this earlier when talking about the higher calorie, but less fulfilling, foods but there’s another reason sugar can make you gain weight. Eating sugar increases your brain’s leptin resistance. Leptin tells your brain when you’re stomach’s full and the brain says “Hey you, stop eating!” Not only do sugary foods not fill you up as much (but are still higher in calories), but they damage the brain’s ability to tell you when you’re really full. Double, double trouble!
#2 and #1
Sugar can hurt your chances of survival if you have cancer. Studies have shown some pretty negative results when they looked at intake of sugar compared with breast- and colon-cancer survival rates. There are probably some other factors out there that affect those survival rates; however, sugar was also shown to play a role. A high sugar intake also increases your cell’s susceptibility to cancer in the first place.
Last but not least, sugar affects the heart in a negative way. Eating sugar slows your heart’s pumping mechanism and increase the risk of heart failure. There is a specific molecule in sugar that causes changes in the heart’s muscle protein. These changes eventually lead to heart failure and nearly half of all the people diagnosed with heart failure die within five years after initially being diagnosed. That’s a good enough reason for me to lay off the snacks for a while!
Pros and Cons of Detoxing
The most recent diet fad is known as detoxing. This kind of weight loss plan has created a lot of controversy and has traditional physicians a little concerned for such a reliance on alternative medicine. In the case of detoxing, one bad apple spoils the bunch. There is always a right and a wrong way to do things, but it isn’t always black and white. The practice of detoxing as it applies to general health and well-being, can be either beneficial or dangerous, it just depends on your approach.
Detoxing refers to the practice of periodic, short-term fasting, juice fasting, or taking certain herbs and medications designed to purify your body and blood stream. Throughout our lives, our body is constantly removing toxins from the body naturally. This generally involves the kidneys, liver, and lungs working together to filter and eliminate anything the body doesn’t need or want. Generally we think of a detox program as a treatment for addiction, but many people are using it before they begin a new diet or workout to jumpstart their weight loss. However, there is no way of speeding up the body’s natural detoxing system; therefore, using outside resources is essential for anyone who wishes to enhance those organs that filter out toxins.
The Cons of Detoxing: Living off of lemon juice, water, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper is not the way to go about losing weight, at least not without any I’ll effects. Your body needs a certain number of calories per day to function properly. It also requires nutrients in order to accomplish the very detoxification that you’re aiming for. The basic disadvantages of detoxing with the wrong kind of cleanse are:
- Extreme hunger
- Digestive issues such as cramps and diarrhea
The Pros of Detoxing: Our society is currently living on a lot of processed foods and a high sugar diet. A detox gives your body the chance to take a break from all of that and reset naturally. Detoxing also allows us to ingest less artificial flavors, dyes, chemicals, and preservatives. If your body doesn’t have to focus on getting rid of these toxins, it can focus on repairing the damage they have already done. A more effective, and healthy, detox is a homemade vegetable soup with barely or brown rice. The positive side to a detox plan include:
- Better cognitive functioning
- Elevated mood
- More energy
- Clearer skin and eyes
- Shinier hair and stronger nails
- Healthy, sustainable weight loss
If you want to try detoxing, setting up a healthy and satisfying detox plan is not difficult. You will want to watch your calorie count, include a variety of organic foods, and drink a lot of water. Getting eight hours of sleep and at least an hour of exercise each day is all your body needs to do what you are aiming for. You should feel energized and renewed. Consulting a health care professional is never a bad idea, either.