Ahh, sugar. We love it. We hate it. We love to hate it. It’s quite the toss up in the health community whether sugar, in any quantity, is a good thing. At Pro Coffee, we are all about health. Our mission is to strive for enhancement in every aspect of our Ahh, sugar. We love it. We hate it. We love to hate it. It’s quite the toss up in the health community whether sugar, in any quantity, is a good thing. At Pro Coffee, we are all about health. Our mission is to strive for enhancement in every aspect of our lives and the lives of each of you. That’s why we have compiled some helpful information to help you make the best choices for your body and your mind, both in and out of the kitchen. Today we are discussing the adverse effects of too much sugar and why it is important to be careful with your intake. We will also discuss a few tips and tricks to help you lower your daily intake and begin to live a healthier lifestyle.
What’s the deal with sugar anyway?
Sugar can be natural. Foods that are high in carbohydrates, like vegetables and fruits, contain natural sugars that the body needs in order to function properly. Food sources from plants also contain sugar, as well as fibre, minerals and antioxidants. The same can be said for dairy and grain products, as they are
good sources of calcium and protein. In these whole food forms, sugar is a good thing. In fact, it is necessary. Studies have shown that a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables and whole grains may be able to reduce the risk of developing diseases like heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. There is, however, such a thing as too much sugar that can, and does have adverse effects on the body and its overall function.
We see the dangerous level of sugar in the body in direct correlation to the average diet. Sugar is commonly introduced to the body through sodas, fruit drinks, yogurts, cookies, cakes, candy and processed foods, but is also found in soups, cured meats and breads. Many of the items that may seem like staples of the average diet are actually super high in the sugars that hurt more than they help.
How Much Sugar Does the Average Person Consume?
In the United States of America, the average person ingests about 17 teaspoons of added sugar per day which is far beyond the recommended amount.
Excess Sugar and Weight Gain
The rate of obesity worldwide is still on a steady incline, and many health professionals believe sugary beverages are one of the main reasons why. These beverages are packed full of fructose which is a type of simple sugar. When you eat fructose, you typically become hungry more quickly than you would if you stuck to starchy and naturally flavoured choices. Fructose has also been known to resist leptin, which is the hormone that lets your body know it is full. Eating in excess is often tied to the consumption of fructose, as the body is not made aware of being full until it is too late. This makes it all too easy for the body to gain weight quickly.
Excess Sugar and Acne
Eating sugar in excess amounts can worsen or cause acne flare ups in teens and adults. Processed sweets have a high glycemic index that raises your blood pressure and insulin levels which causes an increase in oil production and inflammation of the skin. Each of these can be linked to increased acne development. Studies show a vast difference in rural populations that eat mostly natural, non-processed foods and upscale urban areas that are rich in processed diets. Those who eat non processed foods tend to have much lower levels of acne than those who do not.
Excess Sugar and Depression
Consuming a diet rich in added sugars has been linked to a higher risk of developing depression. Many researchers have come to the conclusion that added sugars can cause intense blood sugar swings, dysregulation of the neurotransmitters and inflammation of the vessels in the brain, all of which can slow down serotonin production. Those who continually have a high intake of added sugars are significantly more likely to be at risk for depression than those who monitor and control their daily intake.
Excess Sugar and Energy
Have you ever heard of a sugar crash? We are willing to bet you have. While added sugars are quick to increase your energy, the effects are temporary at best. Food products that are filled with added sugars will not keep you going the way that fibre and protein dense choices will. The brief, intense shot of energy from added sugar is almost always followed by a crash. The best way to avoid the dreaded crash is to consume carbs that are higher in fibre than sugar. This helps to extend your energy at a manageable level rather than a quick burst.
How Can You Reduce and Monitor Your Added Sugar Intake?
The first step in reducing your added sugar intake is focusing on choosing whole and unprocessed foods.
This act alone will cut a large amount of sugar out of your diet.
Some other simple substitutions and ways to reduce and monitor added sugar includes:
- Replacing soda and other sugary drinks with water (flavoured if necessary) and seltzers.
- Drinking black coffee instead of mixing with heavy cream.
- Buying plain yogurt and mixing in fruits for a naturally sweet touch.
- Avoiding alcohol that is sweetened with juice, honey, sugar or agave.
- Cooking at home! When you eat out, you cannot control the ingredients used to make your meals.