“Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, however we consume it every day in almost everything from cigarettes to bread.” – William Dufty, author of Sugar Blues

Sugar. Such a uncomplicated word, however the mere mention of it can make your head spin. Is it excellent for you? Is it killing us? What is the true deal with sugar anyway? This post will assist to sort out the data as soon as and for all. It may possibly not necessarily be capable to deliver concrete answers to just about every question out there, but it WILL give you the information so that you can arm oneself with understanding and make educated choices from right here on out.

So, what is sugar anyway? According to Wikipedia, “Sugar is a term for a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mostly sucrose, lactose, and fructose characterized by a sweet flavor. In meals, sugar virtually exclusively refers to sucrose, which mostly comes from sugar cane and sugar beet. Other sugars are employed in industrial meals preparation, but are commonly identified by extra distinct names – glucose, fructose or fruit sugar, higher fructose corn syrup, and so on.”

It is incredibly crucial to distinguish in between naturally occurring sugar and processed sugar, as the effects of the two can be fairly various. Naturally occurring sugar is not a thing you sprinkle onto your meals, it is currently in the meals. Something added to meals has gone via some type of processing to varying degrees. For simpler reading, the term 'sugar' in this post is employed to imply 'processed sugar' (table sugar, brown sugar, and so on), something that could possibly be sprinkled onto meals to boost its' sweetness. Naturally occurring sugars and artificial sweeteners are referenced clearly.

Naturally occurring sugar can be identified in grains, beans, vegetables and fruits and due to the fact it has not been processed, nonetheless consists of a selection of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins. When correctly cooked, chewed and digested, the all-natural sugars in foods are broken down and enter the bloodstream to deliver power. Nonetheless, as soon as sugar goes via processing (which is the case with refined table sugar) it is stripped of all vitamins, minerals and fiber. As a outcome, further work is expected to digest the sugar, and the physique will have to use its personal shops in order to break it down, leaving the physique depleted of vital nutrients. Rather than giving nutrition, sugar as an alternative causes deficiencies. It is due to the fact of this speed at which sugars can be digested, and the resulting depletion of nutrients that leads to the infamous sugar higher, followed by the notorious sugar crash.

In truth, sugar can influence ones wellness in numerous various methods. As observed in the list beneath, numerous are not direct results of the sugar itself, but rather a outcome of our addiction to sugar. For instance, if you drink soda, you will not necessarily come to be obese suitable away. In reality, you may possibly not come to be obese in a year…or even two! Nonetheless, the sugar in the soda will reduce your body's capacity to recognize when it is complete, major you to consume bigger and bigger meals. In addition, the sugar in the soda will train your physique to crave super sweet foods, leaving you feeling unsatisfied with healthier options. The finish outcome is a lifetime of weight achieve and decreased wellness.

The following list may possibly come as a shock. Sugar has been linked to wellness problems that would under no circumstances have been believed to have a dietary connection. Right here are some methods in which sugar can influence one's wellness. This adapted list comes courtesy of 146 Causes Why Sugar Is Ruining Your Health by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.

  • Sugar can suppress the immune method.
  • Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  • Sugar can weaken eyesight.
  • Sugar can trigger hypoglycemia.
  • Sugar can trigger a speedy rise of adrenaline levels in young children.
  • Sugar contributes to obesity.
  • Sugar can trigger arthritis.
  • Sugar can trigger heart illness and emphysema.
  • Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
  • Sugar can improve cholesterol.
  • Sugar can lead to each prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.
  • Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
  • Sugar can trigger cardiovascular illness.
  • Sugar can make our skin age by altering the structure of collagen.
  • Sugar can generate a important rise in triglycerides.
  • Sugar can improve the body's fluid retention.
  • Sugar can trigger headaches, like migraines.
  • Sugar can trigger depression.
  • Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer's illness.
  • In intensive care units, limiting sugar saves lives.

To completely practical experience the variations in between naturally occurring sugars and processed sugars, attempt the following experiment. It may possibly have to be repeated fairly a couple of instances, and possibly attempted once again soon after cleansing the diet regime of processed sugars so the taste buds can understand to once again appreciate the taste of true meals. Take a piece of excellent excellent bread, free of charge of any artificial sugar or flavorings. Spot it in your mouth and chew. Chew till the bread becomes a liquid and continue chewing. Notice that the bread really becomes sweet! This is how the digestion of carbohydrates starts…in the mouth from the saliva! If meals is not becoming correctly chewed, then the digestion of carbohydrates is interrupted, AND the correct flavors of the meals that are released in the approach do not get to be seasoned. Now, do the exact same with a piece of bread that consists of processed and artificial components. You will uncover that upon chewing the bread as it is supposed to be chewed, the taste that comes out is not that of sweetness, but rather of a chemically cardboard flavor…yummm!

The quote above by William Dufty labels sugar as an addictive substance, putting it in the exact same category as heroin, cocaine and caffeine. That is fairly a statement! But, when the qualities that place it there are examined, it becomes a great deal extra understandable. Sugar is certified as an addictive substance for two causes (and some of you have seasoned these effects very first hand for positive):

  1. Consuming even a modest quantity creates a need for extra.
  2. Abruptly quitting causes withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, cravings and fatigue.

Now, some readers may possibly be considering, “There is no way I could be addicted to sugar! I only place it in my morning coffee, and I only consume dessert sweets on particular occasions!” Properly, right here is exactly where the poor news comes in. On typical, Americans consume more than 100 pounds of sugar and sweeteners every single year! (As opposed to the whopping eight pounds of broccoli per year.) “I do NOT!” some of you say, but the subsequent sentence is shocking. Sugar is anticipated to be identified in the usual sweets like candy, cakes and cookies. Nonetheless, nowadays sugar is also added to canned vegetables, child meals, cereals, peanut butter, bread and tomato sauce. It regularly goes incognito below a single of its alias' such as corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, glucose or fructose. *Hint: Any word that ends in -ose is a sugar.

Right here are some words that could possibly seem on ingredient labels. They are all types of sugar.

  • Brown sugar
  • Confectioner's sugar or powdered sugar
  • Corn syrups
  • Dextrose or glucose
  • Higher-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose or milk sugar
  • Levulose or fructose
  • Raw sugar
  • Sorbitol, mannitol, malitol and xylitol
  • Sucrose or table sugar
  • Turbinado sugar

This is not a total list of all the different names employed for sugar, as meals suppliers continue to come up with new names so that the sugar will stay hidden from curious readers.

*I have to veer on a slight tangent right here to express my intense disappointment concerning the commercials you have most most likely observed for Higher-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). These commercials make me so upset due to the fact they are so cleverly created to mislead customers. The industrial states that HFCS is derived from corn, is fine in moderation, has the exact same calories as typical sugar and your physique can't even inform the distinction. All of these statements may possibly be correct, but they conveniently leave out the MOST crucial data that is the True trouble! Corn is not the trouble (properly, for the purposes of this post, it is not the trouble.) Calories are not the trouble. The trouble is two-fold:

  1. The approach by which HFCS is designed, tends to make it foreign to your physique. So in some sense, your physique does not even recognize it! It views it as a threat, and can exacerbate your autoimmune response to meals. HFCS becomes a chemical that really interferes with your body's all-natural processes. For instance, it interferes with your hormones that manage your “hunger” and “complete” signals. These hormones come to be jumbled or just ineffective and no longer send the signal that you are complete, permitting you to overeat, AND send signals that you are hungry lengthy just before your physique really wants fuel.
  2. The reality that it is place in virtually Every thing! Unless you are following the “No Packaging Diet program” and acquiring ALL of your meals from the generate section, you are consuming HFCS! Go down the processed meals aisle of your grocery retailer and choose up ANY item. Verify the ingredient list and there is a 99% opportunity that HFCS will be listed in the best five components. This is how you get addicted to sugar. HFCS (an exceptionally addicting substance) is added to an alarmingly substantial quantity of our “meals” (and that term is employed Extremely loosely) so our taste buds come to be accustomed to the super sweetness AND our physique becomes conditioned to finding that sugar “hit” frequently. So not only do we crave meals extra normally, we crave the sweet meals due to the fact our physique desires sugar, and even when we attempt to consume healthier solutions, our taste buds are so conditioned to consume chemically altered sweetness, that all-natural sweetness no longer cuts it! We are just not happy.

So, in a warped economically inspired way, HFCS guarantees that you eat extra food and consume the type of meals that will maintain you coming back for extra. When you appear at how numerous children's “foods” include HFCS, it is virtually the precise exact same argument we had when Joe Camel was employed to marketplace cigarettes to young children. By finding to the customer even younger, you build a extra lucrative customer for life. It is definitely saddening. But, I digress. Moving on…*

When the public became incredibly conscious of calories in their meals, and have been seeking to consume as tiny calories as feasible, they noticed that sugar had a important quantity of calories. In order to continue to manufacture and consume sweet foods, zero-calorie goods have been designed to replace sugar. These goods come in the type of artificial sugar substitutes, also identified as artificial sweeteners. Given that artificial sweeteners are not a naturally occurring meals, they will have to be authorized just before becoming added to foods as per the Meals Additives Amendment to the Meals, Drug and Cosmetic Act (passed by Congress in 1958) which needs the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve all meals additives, like artificial sweeteners, just before approval for sale in the US.

The FDA has at the moment authorized of 5 artificial sweeteners:

  1. Aspartame,sold below the brand names NutraSweet and Equal
  2. Saccharin,sold below the brand name Sweet'N Low
  3. Sucralose, sold below the brand name Splenda
  4. Acesulfame K (or acesulfame potassium), developed by Hoechst, a German chemical organization broadly employed in foods, beverages and pharmaceutical goods about the planet.
  5. Neotame, developed by the NutraSweet Business the most current addition to FDA's list of authorized artificial sweeteners, neotame is employed in diet regime soft drinks and low-calorie foods.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) can't claim a definitive hyperlink in between artificial sweeteners authorized by the FDA and the threat of cancer, leukemia, brain tumors and other adverse side effects in humans. Nonetheless, quite a few research have identified direct hyperlinks in between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and cancers, leukemia, brain tumors, and so on in laboratory rats. Due to these research, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) advises every person to stay clear of aspartame, saccharin and acesulfame K due to the fact they are “unsafe in amounts consumed or is incredibly poorly tested and not worth any threat.” Please refer to CSPINet.org for the complete list of foods to reduce back on and stay clear of fully.

Aspartame, having said that, is of additional concern as it is composed of 3 chemical compounds: phenylalanine (50%), aspartic acid (40%) and methanol (10%). These chemical compounds are all identified to be risky neurotoxins. Under is a list of symptoms that have been linked with aspartame consumption:

  • Headaches
  • Hearing loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory loss
  • Character modifications
  • Anxiousness attacks
  • Edema or swelling
  • Skin lesions
  • Fatigue
  • Chest discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Tinnitus
  • Eye troubles
  • Slurred speech
  • Violent episodes
  • Hyperactivity
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Muscle cramps
  • PMS
  • Elevated appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Mild to suicidal depression
  • Mood modifications
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Seizures
  • Joint pains
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Numbness and tingling of extremities

All of these symptoms considerably boost upon discontinuing the consumption of aspartame. Dr. Mercola has a great deal extra data on the composition of aspartame and its elements at Mercola.com.

Now, just before your dreams of ever consuming a thing sweet once again are fully crushed, do not despair! Right here is the Terrific news! There ARE, in reality, sweeteners out there that are not as damaging to the physique and blood sugar levels. Just to clarify, they are nonetheless a variety of sugar and have to go via some type of processing. Hence, even all-natural sweeteners should really be consumed in moderation. But, considering that numerous nonetheless have fiber, vitamins and minerals in tact, they are a much better selection than any processed or artificial sweetener.

Right here is a list of extra all-natural sweeteners. If you have under no circumstances attempted, or even heard of, any of these, expand your taste buds and give some a shot. You will be shocked at how scrumptious they are and how effortlessly you can make the switch!

  • Agave Nectar
  • Barley Malt
  • Birch Sugar
  • Birch Syrup
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Date Sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Maple Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Rapadura
  • Stevia
  • Sucanat
  • Vegetable Glycerin

Now that you are armed with understanding, a single incredibly crucial factor to try to remember is that the physique craves balance. Absolutely stripping your life of sugar and all circumstances exactly where you may possibly come face to face with sugar can finish up becoming extra stressful, and consequently damaging, then building a healthier partnership with sugar.

If there have been a single factor to take away from this post, it would be that the sugar you are conscious of in your diet regime is not necessarily the culprit. You are conscious of how numerous cookies, and how numerous slices of cake you consume. It is the sugar that sneaks into your diet regime, hidden in the type of beverages (soda, and…*gulp*…Starbucks!), peanut butter, pasta sauce, yogurt, and all of these “zero-calorie” power drinks! If you ween oneself off of these sugar-laden goods, you will see a important distinction in the variety of foods that you crave. In addition, you will start out to appreciate the taste of true meals, grown by our incredibly personal Mother Nature.

So in the sugar debate, you have 3 alternatives:

  1. Naturally occurring sugars – fruits, grains, sweet vegetables (I consist of raw honey in this category).
  2. Processed sugar – table sugar, brown sugar, and so on.
  3. Artificial sweeteners – NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet'N Low, Splenda, and so on.

Even although the research on artificial sweeteners do not concretely hyperlink them to risky symptoms, they are nonetheless a chemically derived substance. Humans are not meant to consume chemical compounds. The human physique is incredibly complicated and to uncover a connection in between an artificial sweetener and a symptom is incredibly tricky to prove. There are so numerous other components that can come into play, such as strain, general diet regime, and physical activity level, that these conducting the research can't say that the artificial sweetener is the sole trigger. Nonetheless, if you merely appear at what these goods are created of and all the feasible side effects, that is sufficient of a explanation to stay clear of them at all fees. Processed sugar may possibly not pose the critical threats that artificial substitutes do, but it may possibly nonetheless come with its personal side-effects. Stay clear of processed sugar as a great deal as feasible, but attempt to stay clear of isolating oneself in undertaking so. Lastly, naturally occurring sugars are your very best selection. Not only will they have the least side effects, but they also will save you income in the lengthy run: significantly less physicians visits, and reduced grocery bills due to the fact you merely will not consume as a great deal meals when you start out incorporating true, complete foods into your diet regime. Sweet foods that include naturally occurring sugar will assist to lessen your general sugar cravings. These foods also include vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber that assist the physique in the assimilation of sugar. Nonetheless, even right here the rule of “almost everything in moderation” nonetheless applies. Also a great deal of a excellent factor is no longer a excellent factor!

General, assume of your want for sugar as a craving for sweetness in your life. Your physique craves balance and wants appreciate, humor and rest just as a great deal as stability, concentrate and activity. If you reside a stressful, busy life, make a point to add extra sweetness (perhaps in the type of hugs and kisses) to your life, and you may possibly finish up not needing any sugar at all!

Jan Michelle Filoso is an Holistic Wellness Counselor certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She also founded Moving Bodies, Altering Minds, via which she offers a single on a single and group Holistic Wellness Counseling applications. Despite the fact that Jan addresses numerous wellness and weight issues inside her practice, her key concentrate is on strain management and digestive issues by going back to fundamentals in the diet regime.