So, by now you probably have a good idea where The Alternative Daily stands when it comes to excess sugar intake. We have published countless articles based on well-documented research citing the dangers of sugar and sugar-laden foods and beverages.
Finally, we see a study that has been released that clearly indicates there are NO safe levels of sugar. Just released study statistics in the journal, Nature Communications, reveal just how deadly sugar really is.
Mice who were fed a diet comparable to ours along with the recommended 25% “safe” amount of daily sugar experienced symptoms associated with toxicity. This is groundbreaking news as previous animal studies fed mice amounts of sugar that were disproportionate to the sugar in the average American diet. This study is highly personal, and one which everyone should heed.
Using Obesity as a Health Marker
We also write a lot about the dangers of obesity and how being obese propels one towards a number of adverse health conditions. While this is all true, obesity should not always be used as the only health marker. Mice who were fed a diet that consisted of 25% sugar, half from fructose and half from dextrose, did not become obese or experience dangerous metabolic symptoms, but they did die more frequently than the control group and had far fewer offspring.
The diet that the mice were fed was comparable to what 13% to 25% of the American population consumes, and equal to us consuming about 3 sodas per day. So, don’t let your body shape fool you; if you are consuming even the recommended “safe” levels of sugar, you need to stop. This study sends a severe warning to everyone. Even if you eat a very healthy diet but consume 25% sugar, you are part of the group that needs to take note of this study.
All Sugar Counts
Sugar consumption in our country has increased 50% since the 1950’s, right along with obesity, diabetes, metabolic disorders and heart disease. This is not a coincidence, and now that our research tools are reaching highly sophisticated levels it is becoming easier to prove what many have thought all along – sugar is toxic!
Of course, the health implications of sugar are well documented, here are just ten reasons why you should avoid it completely:
- Sugar suppresses the immune system.
- Sugar elevates blood sugar.
- Sugar disrupts mineral balance.
- Sugar disrupts digestion.
- Sugar causes tooth decay.
- Sugar contributes to obesity.
- Sugar can cause heart disease.
- Sugar can cause food allergies.
- Sugar can cause depression.
- Sugar increases the risk of certain cancers.
The average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons per day, while teenagers consume an astounding 34 teaspoons daily. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that Americans consume about 156 pounds of added sugar annually, or over 31 five-pound bags per person.
Of course, most of that sugar doesn’t come directly from a sugar bowl. Just 29 pounds of it is said to be derived from traditional sugar with the rest coming from foods and beverages. Many of the sources are obvious, like soda, candy and junk food, but other sources aren’t so obvious.
Sugar lurks in many places where you might not expect it. Most processed foods are loaded with sugar, frequently in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. What’s also frightening is that scientists say this ingredient can cause reactions that are similar to cocaine. Research has found that there is an addictive quality to foods that contain high levels of high-fructose corn syrup which could partially explain the current obesity epidemic.
Weaning Yourself Off
Quit all sugar, you say, how can I possibly do that? If you truly have a “sugar-fix”, this is not an easy thing to do. However, it is necessary if you want to prevent a myriad of health conditions in the future. Here are five tips to help you end your sordid love affair with sugar:
Understand your sugar triggers – We all have them, they are what make you go for the sugar. This could be stress, hunger, boredom etc. Keep a food diary and make a note of when you crave sugar.
Eat nutrient dense food – Fill your body with whole foods, rich in healthy fats and organic fruits and vegetables. A well-nourished body craves less sugar than one that is nutrient deprived.
Start your day with a savory breakfast – A hearty breakfast that contains healthy saturated fat will help keep the sugar cravings at bay. Choose an omelet or a bowl of oatmeal with real butter or cream over a dry cereal or a bagel (whole grain foods are basically complex sugars).
Go on a sugar fast – Commit to at least five days without any sugar at all. Read your labels carefully; many foods are loaded with sugar. Although this will not be easy, your body will thank you.
Do not use artificial sweeteners – Many people have the wrong impression that artificial sweeteners will help them end their craving for sugar. In fact, these make it harder to quit and only encourage you to eat sugar-laden foods. If you need something sweetened, use coconut crystals, raw stevia or raw honey (in moderation).
If you must have a sweet treat, try our tasty sugar-free soda alternatives. They will keep you satisfied without compromising your health.
-The Alternative Daily