How can something so sweet be so bad for you? Sugar is everywhere in today's foods. Take a look at any processed food and most will have some form of added sugar -- be it actual granulated sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose or rice syrup to name a few. No matter the form, this sweet substance can wreak havoc on the body when consumed in greater than relative moderation.
So why is sugar our enemy?
Sugar is what we call empty calories or false nourishment. It is a simple form of energy, but its caloric value carries no nutritional sustenance. Processed sugar is stripped of minerals, and when consumed, it will actually leech minerals from the body, including the bones and teeth. Sugar also disrupts further mineral absorption by impacting the relationship minerals share with one another. Each mineral needs other minerals in order to function and be fully utilized. Without proper mineral absorption, metabolic efficiency and optimal health are compromised.
Consumption of sugar or related sweeteners will disrupt natural blood sugar levels. Just how much varies from person to person depending on their insulin sensitivity, but the resulting damage remains the same. Constant variations in blood sugar can cause added stress to the pancreas by forcing high insulin output, which could eventually lead to diabetes. This up and down cycle can disrupt enzyme production and lead to the inability of the body to fully break down food nutrients, leading to more malnourishment.
Sugar causes inflammation -- the underlying cause to many diseases, such as cancer, obesity and heart disease. Sugar has a way of upsetting body chemistry enough to cause disruptions in everyday maintenance and repair. If your body is having a hard time properly detoxifying from pollutants in your food and environment, how can it fight off disease and illness? Most inflammation can be controlled or avoided by limiting your sugar intake.
The scariest reason to avoid sugar is that it's addictive -- yes, addictive. Consumption of this sweet substance stimulates the central nervous system to release the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. This surge makes you feel good and therefore conditions you to eat more of these damaging foods. It becomes a vicious cycle of eating more sugary foods to satisfy the addiction, but then feeling bad once it wears off.
Limit the damaging effect of sugar by avoiding or limiting the following foodlike substances:
• Processed foods
• Granulated sugar
• Powdered drink mixes
• Soft drinks and bottled drinks
• Cookies, cakes, brownies, pies
• Sauces and condiments
So give your body a chance to perform and feel its best by limiting your sugar intake. For more exercise and nutrition tips, check out Push Fitness Schaumburg on Pinterest and Facebook.
• Joshua Steckler is the owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition. Contact him at PushFitnessTraining.com.