Why Sugar Should be Avoided in our Diet
No matter what advertisements say about their sugar-containing foods, the fact remains that sugary foods are poor sources of nutrients. For example, agave and maple syrup contain immense amount of sugar. Despite this, manufacturers claim that they also include trace amounts of vitamins and minerals.
However, you should not expect that you will be able to obtain your daily recommended intake of zinc, iron and other nutrients by drinking or eating these sugar-containing foods. If you are serious about your health you should reduce your consumption as much as possible.
Your body does not need sugar; it will best obtain all its needed energy from a whole foods diet with a balance of protein, fats and complex carbohydrates. Sugar itself provides no nutrient value and usually delivers glucose and fructose in amounts that the body cannot immediately utilize. That means your body converts sugar straight to body fat.
Sugary Foods are Potentially Addictive
Many experts identified sugar as an addictive substance because it activates the food reward centers in a person’s brain. In other words, sugar turns on the vicious cycle of cravings and dependence. Even if the addictive effects of sugar are milder than morphine or cocaine, high sugar consumption can also turn into a real addiction. Persistent high intake will increase the risk of diabetes, weight gain and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).
Sugar Consumption Can Lead to Reduced Immunity
Studies have shown that sugar consumption can lower the body’s defenses. Once a person’s blood sugar level reaches 120 mg/dl, the ability of their white blood cells to destroy viruses and other disease-causing microorganisms can reduce by up to 75%.
You can achieve a blood sugar of 120 mg/dl very easily. You just eat some cookies or by drink a glass of bottled fruit juice. Within ten minutes of ingesting sugar your immune system is suppressed and the ability of your body to fight against bacteria and viruses can stay compromised for up to five hours from the time you consumed the sugar.
Worse, your lowered defenses can persist even longer if you indulge in sugary foods several times in a day.
Blood Glucose Levels and Mood
Sugar or simple carbohydrates will rapidly affect your blood sugar and insulin levels. If you consume sugar on a regular basis you increase the risk of insulin resistance, obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. That aside, you can feel the effects of sugar on your body within minutes of consumption. If you experience this, you know you are in a sugar spike and a sugar crash.
This is when your energy levels and your mood can go up and down much like being on a roller coaster. In turn, you will find yourself feeling irritable and craving for more sugary food. High sugar consumption can cause fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
Overcoming a Sugar Dependency
You can avoid and reverse these symptoms and effects by avoiding sugar and other foods that “act like sugar” in the body. If you are used to consuming large amounts of sugar, abstinence will almost certainly cause some withdrawal symptoms. You may experience headaches and irritability for a few days as your body detoxifies.
However, the upside is huge and once you are past that stage you will find that your mood and energy levels have become more steady and stable without the nasty sugar crash effect.