It’s a fact that can’t be denied: sugar nowadays is a major concern and it’s affecting our health, giving us an increasing risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and its multiple consequences.
The more I read, the more I become aware and worried about this worldwide health issue. And the more I feel oriented to share some of this trustworthy facts I read throughout the web every day.
As I mentioned on my last sugar post, I love sugar and I’m not giving it up. But what I can do is have a healthy relationship with it before it takes my health away. I truly believe in this action. I want you to be aware too that this is a possibility.
Become better informed and also get to know your body better. That’s the right approach, not just for sugar but for many other things in life, if you think about it.
All this madness on TV, newspapers, magazines, ads and elsewhere is simply nonsense if you are not able to apply your common sense to all this. Media wants to sell and to show you this or that, which is fine. There’s lots of good info out there, but there’s also lots of bad info.
Sadly, most ads on delicious sugary stuff are made for a specific (easy) target. Guess who? Right: children. Making our children severely unhealthy and obese. Unfortunate truth.
That’s why, to me and in the very end of things, it comes down to common sense. To the basics of our human body and our grandparent’s diets. No need to go obsessively worried about reading food labels. Most of the times when we read labels, we are actually reading half the information due to misinformation. Low fat, for example, usually means more added sugars. It’s wrong but most people doesn’t know this fact. Did you? So, reading food labels become somehow useless.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits every day! True.
- Drink more water! True.
- Avoid sugary drinks and excessive pastries! True.
Take a Coca Cola can, for example, as shown by BBC journalist Jeremy Paxman to the Coca Cola Europe president on this video:
Calls are growing for high sugar drinks to be taxed in the same way as cigarettes to curb rising obesity. Does the drinks industry’s resistance echo that of the tobacco industry denial in the 1960s? Jeremy Paxman spoke to James Quincey, president of Coca Cola Europe.
Let’s stop the food/sugar madness and let’s use common sense.
Let’s take some time to observe our bodies: the way they react after eating certain foods every time, after sleeping, eating behaviours related to menstrual cycles (yes, that’s a real thing), cravings after a stressful day, grumpiness and tiredness after a week of eating compulsively.
Let’s observe some more, read more and stop the madness. Don’t believe everything the web says, not even this that I’m sharing. Go beyond this point, like I did. Go read, research, find links, talk to people, to experts, to friends, share experiences, ask around.
Because the body is wonderfully chemical. So many reactions taking place as we eat or as we exercise that we can’t notice them but they are actually happening. In our blood stream and all the way up to our brain.
There are substances in our body called neurotransmitters. These are substances that control and respond to tons of processes controlled by the brain which gives order to the rest of the body. The brain is our control tower and neurotransmitters are the ones in charge of doing the controlling job. They respond to specific orders and actions.
Sugar is a one of these orders. Every time we consume something sugary, the brain receives the information. It then gives orders to the different organs involved to process and do their thing to make sugar «feel welcome» in the body. This usually involves the pancreas, digestive track and the brain.
Sugar flow releases one of many neurotransmitters. It is called Dopamine. Dopamine makes us feel happy at specific moments (after eating sugar, for example). The brain learns and enjoys this feeling, which is why…
Sugar can be an addiction.
And it can be a tough messy one.
The brain now knows that sugar gives a happy sensation, so the brain will crave it more and more because it knows that the happy feeling is a good thing. What the brain doesn’t know is that this feeling comes from a damaging substance. This is what happens with drugs.
Sugar addiction appears to be even more effective than a drug addiction, because our body has the receptors for sugar on easy accesible surfaces (like the tongue) which connects directly to the brain, different than intravenous drugs that go into the blood stream first and into some filtering process before reaching the brain. Sugar has it the easy way to our brain.
We’re discovering when someone’s addicted to a food, the dopamine release in response to candy corn, let’s say, happens every single time you have a candy corn. It’s no longer like a food, and it’s more like what you’d see with a drug. ~ Lisa Young, Nutritionist. Via News Works.
Debate has raged recently about whether junk food, the hyper-processed, hyper-palatable food that has become our SAD (standard American diet) is addictive in the same way that heroin or cocaine is addictive. A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that, in fact, higher sugar, higher glycemic foods can be addictive. ~Dr. Mark Hyman
And it also affects your health on the long run: fact.
• Sugar has been shown to increase blood pressure, independent of other health problems it can trigger.
• It increases unhealthy blood fats such as triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, while decreasing “good” HDL cholesterol.
• Excess sugar can trigger inflammation in the body.
• High-sugar foods are also often high in calories leading to weight gain. ~The Budapest Times
Read some more. Get informed.
If I got your attention for a bit longer, please read these links on some more important facts related to sugar on our diets. I promise it’s valuable information.
- How Diet Sodas Mess With Your Brain (Short video)
- Top Sources of Added Sugar on Our Diets
- Dr. Nancy Busts Myths You’ve Heard About Sugar (Short video)
- Exactly How Sugar Damages Different Parts of the Body
- Think Like a Doctor: Sugar-free
It’s all about balance and common sense.
For more guidance and tips on how to eat sugar the smart way, visit my sugar project for you.