Don't Be So Sweet...

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Sometimes we feel like having a little sweet treat but when sometimes turns into a lot of times, you can really do damage to your body. Sugar is the single worst ingredient in today's diet. It can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases. Over time, because the calories from sugar aren’t fulfilling, this can translate into an increased calorie intake. Added sugars like sucrose and fructose do not contain any essential nutrients but add plenty of calories. There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins, or minerals in sugar. And let's not forget what Moms and dentists have told us for years - sugar causes tooth decay by feeding harmful bacteria in the mouth. 

Added sugar which is high in fructose can overload the liver and cause liver dysfunction or even failure. Excess fructose gets turned into fat, which can lodge in the liver and cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure. It can also increase uric acid levels. Insulin is a very important resource in the body. Insulin allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and tells the cells to start burning glucose instead of fat. Having too much glucose in the blood is highly toxic and one of the reasons for complications of diabetes.

People that consume 10 to 20% or more of calories as sugar can experience many health problems and contribute to nutrient deficiencies. Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from our diet, our bodies produce it. Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it. The thing with fructose is, that it can only be metabolized by the. This is not a problem if we eat a little bit (such as from fruit) or we just finished an exercise session. In this case, the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until needed. However, if the liver is full of glycogen, eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver; forcing it to turn the fructose into fat. If we continuously consume large amounts of sugar, this process can lead to fatty liver and many other problems. When doctors need something to be transported to cancer in the body, they put it in sugar because sugar feeds the cancer.  Wow, right?

These are very strong and powerful learnings about sugar and what it can do to the human body. It is however important to understand that each person is different and some difference may occur based on levels of activity, other diet or lifestyle choices, and genetics. People who are healthy and active can tolerate more sugar than people who are inactive and eat a high-carb, high-calorie diet. Next time a sugary treat is tempting you, think back to all of these great reasons to instead make a healthy choice."

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