Sugar

How Sugar Destroys Your Body | Healthy Alternatives

Is sugar REALLY bad for you?  HOW does sugar destroy your body?  If it’s so bad for you, what are healthy alternatives?  Those are are really terrific questions and the answers may surprise you .

As it turns out, the sugar industry actually PAID for a phony research project that would shift the focus of sugar’s detrimental effects on our body and place the blame on fats as the true cause of increased cardiovascular diseases.  Pretty sneaky and underhanded if you ask me.

As of the writing of this article, I am 60 years old, so I lived through the whole era of low-fat diets, increased sugar intake and wound up pre-diabetic with high cholesterol as a result.

However, there is a way out!  There is a way through!!!

Before we cover the healthy alternatives to sugar, let’s review that second question of: HOW does sugar destroy your body?

How Sugar Destroys Your Body

Most people think that it is dietary fat that causes heart disease.  While it is true that certain fats, like trans fats do in fact cause heart disease, the major culprit in fact is high sugar consumption.  in 2014, studies found that people who consume 17-21 percent of their daily calories from sugar were 38% more likely to die from a cardiovascular event, and that percentage was more than doubled for those your consumed more than 21%.  WOW!!!  That’s HUGE!!!  All of that led the American Heart Association to come out with some sugar recommendations.

Here’s what they found:

AVERAGE ADULT SUGAR INTAKE

What the American Heart Association found is that the average adult consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar daily!  At 16 calories per teaspoon, that’s 352 calories just from added sugar daily!  No wonder it’s so darned hard to lose weight!

This prompted the American Heart Association (1) to come up with some daily recommendations for added sugar intake.

As you can see, the AHA guidelines of 9 teaspoons for men and 6 teaspoon for women, is a far cry from the average daily consumption.  

AHA-Sugar

What’s even worse, is that the average child is eating 32 teaspoons of sugar daily!

Is it any wonder that juvenile diabetes rates are skyrocketing?

Fatty Liver

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is currently on the rise, and has been directly associated with high consumption of added sugars (2), and is also linked to the progression of other diseases including obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Fatty liver disease happens when there is an excess build-up of fat in the liver, and since our body stores excess sugar as fat, and the liver is responsible for detoxifying our bodies and removing excess fats and sugars, this is a major problem.

In fact, a Tuft University researcher found that drinking just one sugar sweetened beverage a day greatly increases the risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) than those who do not (3).

I don’t know about you, but non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is NOT something I’m interested in!

Type 2 Diabetes

What I have learned about sugar and it’s devastating effects on health is the entire reason I became a health coach in the first place.  You see, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic with high cholesterol and my hubby was diagnosed as type 2 diabetic several years ago.  I knew that fixing us was going to involve diet and nutrition, but I had no idea where to start.  

It was learning about sugar how sugar was causing us to be sick and my resulting research and implementation of a healthier eating lifestyle that turned that all around for us.

It’s very interesting to me that the more time goes by, the more studies are finally being done that support that fact that sugar is the underlying cause of chronic inflammation in our bodies and that inflammation is what is the cause of nearly all chronic disease.

In fact, a 2013 study was published in PLOS ONE regarding the correlation of the consumption of 150 calories of added sugar (approximately one can of soda per day) increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 1.1 percent.  The studies findings held true, even when other lifestyle factors were taken into account (4).

How many cans of soda do you drink every day?  I know in the past, I used to drink 2 or 3 cans, and my hubby drank way more than that.  I would say it’s really no wonder why we got sick.

Cancer

Ah yes, the “C” word.   Studies have linked sugar consumption to colon, breast and lung cancer.  In fact, those studies showed that it is fructose, which is a component of table sugar and high fructose corn sugar (HFCS) that allowed metastasis of the lungs in breast cancer studies(5).

Further, it has been shown, that the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the high consumption of added sugars that the major cause of breast cancer and it’s correlated metastasis to the lungs (6).

so……

How Does Sugar Destroy Your Body?

Hopefully this article has shown the light on just some of the ways that added sugars are destroying your body and give you ample reasons to rethink your sweetener strategy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you give up sweets altogether, heavens NO!!!  I enjoy sweets just as much as the next person.  However, there are several things you can do right NOW to reduce your risks.

  • Stop drinking regular soda
  • Start becoming a label detective
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Begin using healthy sugar alternatives in moderation

Okay, so I’ve told you all about how sugar can destroy your body, and given you a few tips to reduce your risk, but what exactly ARE healthy sugar alternatives?  Great question!!  Let’s review that shall we?!

Healthy Alternatives

Before we get to that, you need to first understand that there are many names that have been given to sugar.  The sugar industry is sneaky that way.  They try to add it to our foods and call it healthy and disguise it in some way with another fancy name.

With all the different names for sugar, it’s really no wonder that you get confused when you’re looking at the labels.

It doesn’t matter if the label says it’s “raw”, “organic”, “non-GMO”, sugar is still just sugar.

That being said, I do believe that there are some definite health benefits to using the following sugar alternatives.  They are:

  • Pure Stevia
  • Raw Honey
  • Dates
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Pure Maple Syrup

Stay tuned for some follow-up posts on the health benefits, uses and information on these healthy alternatives.

The bottom line is this.  All added sugar needs to be avoided as much as possible.  There are PLENTY of delicious fruits and vegetables that contain naturally occuring sugars that are excellent sources to satisfy your sweet tooth.  But I TOTALLY get it!  I LOVE dessert too!  

How To Fix It

I couldn’t in good conscience give you all that bad news about sugar without providing you with a way to break free!

In my FREE 10-Day Sugar Cleanse Challenge, you’ll gain a better perspective on sugar, where it’s lurking, what to use instead, some amazing tips to break your sugar addiction, plus so much more.

I challenge you to retake control of your health and break free from the insidiously harmful effects of sugar.

Now it’s your turn!

What thoughts would you add to this conversation?  I’d love your feedback, so leave me a comment.

Medical Disclaimer

All information provided on Holistic Happy Living is based on my own and our expert’s personal experience. We are not medical professionals and no adjustments to care should be made without consulting your medical team. If you are new to exercise, haven’t exercised in a while and/or haven’t seen your medical team in the last 3 months, it is advised to do so before engaging in any kind of physical activities. You must not rely on the information on Holistic Happy Living as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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