Sugar Addiction? Knowledge is Power to Self-Control

This time of year I’m really cued into issues with sugar, and how it can derail my clients, be it leftover Easter candy, or the warmer weather and the connection to drinking wine or even for those fit people, making the right choice for a sports drink.  Since knowledge is key, this season, be your own best friend and beware of what’s left around for snacking, as well as be a smarter shopper in the food and beverage aisle.  That comes from really looking at your food labels and tracking not only your calories but the actual breakdown of what you are taking in daily in protein, fat, sugar, etc.  The easiest way to see how you are doing in a program such as MyFitnesspal which has a free app and even allows you to photo in barcodes for easy submission.

Here are some of the top risks of sugar:

Sugar is disguised frequently in our foods.  Two really good ways to disguise sugar on food labels is to use a long, scientific sounding word or to rename the sugar altogether.

When you find words that end in -ose, there’s a good chance it is sugar. Sugars ending in -ose include: Sucrose, Maltose, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Galactose, Lactose, High fructose corn syrup, (HFCS) Glucose solids. Just because it doesn’t end in -ose, however, doesn’t mean it isn’t sugar. There are plenty of other names as well that may or may not sound like sugar.

Regardless of how they sound, the following are all sugar:
Cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice, Cane juice solids, Cane juice crystals, Dextrin, Maltodextrin, Dextran, Barley malt, Beet sugar, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Caramel, Buttered syrup, Carob syrup, Brown sugar, Date sugar, Malt syrup, Diatase, Diatastic malt, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Dehydrated fruit juice, Fruit juice crystals, Golden syrup, Turbinado, Sorghum syrup, Refiner’s syrup, Ethyl maltol, Maple syrup, Yellow sugar.

When it comes to Hydration, best to go for a healthy alternative, I offer a great drink to replenish from IsaGenix in three flavors your entire family will love! Costs less than these per serving too!  Click here to learn more about hydrate sticks!

Why is sugar so dangerous?

By the time you have finished reading this sentence, one person in the world will have died from type 2 diabetes. Two more will have been newly diagnosed with it. Yet it is a condition that rarely excites or interests the public. It has a slow, insidious progression that is interlinked with obesity, and as a result this disease is considered an abstract, boring and largely self-inflicted condition. While it’s a killer, it’s not a killer in the dramatic and attention-grabbing way that other conditions such as cancer and infectious diseases can be. And we now also know that type 2 diabetes is an epidemic with our kids.  So when I see chocolate milk as a post-workout suggested drink by local coaches being touted as a healthy option, I’m very, very concerned.

Given the huge personal and economic impact it has, we should be taking type 2 diabetes much more seriously and the link of sugar to it. Sugar poses such a health risk – contributing to around 35 million deaths globally each year – that it should now be considered a potentially toxic substance like alcohol and tobacco. Its link with the onset of diabetes is such that punitive regulations, such as a tax on all foods and drinks that contain ”added’’ sugar, are now warranted, the researchers say. They also recommend banning sales in or near schools, as well as placing age limits on the sale of such products.  There is compelling evidence that sugar is hugely dangerous, because it is a contributing factor in the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes faced by developed countries.

Particularly toxic, argue the researchers, is sucrose – a natural compound made from glucose and fructose which is refined to produce table sugar and a processed sugar called ”high-fructose corn syrup’’. Both of these are added to processed foods – cereals, breakfast bars, some meats, yogurts, soups and sauces. Rather than increase the fruit content of a drink, manufacturers will chuck in cheap processed sugar instead to make it taste better. In fact, this finds its way into all types of food from sweets to soups as a way to boost flavor. What makes this added sugar so dangerous, argue the researchers, is that fructose from refined sugar is primarily broken down in the liver (unlike glucose which is slowly released from complex carbohydrates during digestion). The strain that this refined sugar puts on the liver starts a process that can lead to fatty liver disease and liver failure. But most importantly, its presence can trigger the development of Type 2 diabetes. This is because high levels of sugar in the blood mean the pancreas has to produce large amounts of insulin – a hormone that helps control, and keep stable, blood sugar (glucose) levels by promoting its uptake by cells which need it for energy. Over time, the pancreas becomes fatigued and starts to fail. At the same time, cells in the body become increasingly resistant to the effects of insulin, and so blood sugar levels remain high, with damaging consequences.

It’s important to clarify that this is different to Type 1 diabetes, in which the body’s immune cells attack and destroy the insulin-secreting cells. It can affect very young people and is not associated with diet. Type 2 diabetes used to be a predominantly a disease of middle age, affecting the populations of affluent countries, and fueled by a diet rich in sugar and processed food. It is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Sufferers have a two-fold increase in risk of stroke in the first five years of diagnosis. It affects all organs of the body and is linked with heart and kidney disease, peripheral nerve damage, miscarriage and stillbirth. It affects the blood vessels and circulation and can lead to amputations and blindness.

Because of our diet, Type 2 diabetes is now reaching epidemic proportions. Globally, the economic burden of the disease is estimated at $465 billion a year. To put that in perspective, the economic cost of the Japanese earthquake/tsunami was around $100 billion. Yet unlike the tobacco/lung cancer link, the refined sugar/diabetes link has yet to grab public attention and cause panic or mobilize any meaningful public health policy.  Perhaps those American researchers are right, and it is time that we did view food with added sugar in the same way we now view cigarettes. But what hope is there of doing this when the fast food and confectionery industries are having ever more of an influence on health policy?   If you don’t believe that you need to use extreme caution with the propaganda that food and beverage producers and lobbyists use to get you to buy them, just know that until December 2009 the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley had been earning £25,000 a year for 12 days’ work as a non-executive director of Profero, a marketing agency whose major clients include PepsiCo, makers of Pepsi, and the confectioner Mars. This experience clearly gave Mr. Lansley a sweet tooth, because in 2013 he decided, as part of plans to relax regulations on salt and sugar in foods, to enlist McDonald’s, Mars, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other fast-food companies to give the Department of Health advice on healthy eating campaigns and health policy. Critics at the time likened it to placing the tobacco industry in charge of smoke-free spaces. Given the clear potential for conflict of interest between these companies and the nation’s sugar intake, what hope is there for real change? It would seem sugar’s toxic effects are far-reaching.

Here are some more concrete facts from me that will hopefully disuade you from letting sugar and HFCS into your diet: 

sugar-addiction-perpetual-cycleSUGAR IS ADDICTIVE

Sugar is the primary dietary cause of the obesity epidemic. Fat doesn’t make you fat. But sugar that turns into fat will. Too much fructose can also lead to insulin resistance, a key problem of Type 2 diabetes. Too much sugar can make you obese, and lead to this disease. Drinking just one 12-oz can of regular soda boosts your risk of heart attack by 24% and this heart disease risk is apparent after just a few years of the beverage consumption.

Sugar is the primary reason for high cholesterol. Your body’s innate healing system, which uses cholesterol, goes into high gear when the body is traumatized at the cellular level by high sugar, insulin, and inflammation. The solution to high cholesterol is not to lower it forcefully but to remove the interference in the body causing it to rise in the first place.

Sugar causes hormonal and metabolic imbalance. Swinging insulin and cortisol levels in the body, which decrease then increase blood sugar, not only cause your system to crash but set up a cascade of abnormal hormone functions that lead to premature aging and illness. Do you need an even moodier teenager?

Sugar damages your liver. When fructose is metabolized in the liver, it generates fatty substances called triglycerides. Most of these stay in the liver where they interfere with the ability of that organ’s function. You should also protect your liver by limiting alcoholic beverages — including wine — and unnecessary medications such as acetaminophen or Tylenol that tax this organ.

HCFS has shown to bring on an 85% increase in the development of gout, a painful form of arthritis that is most likely to strike women after menopause, (based on a Canadian study of
46,000 people, which followed them for 12 years.) Gout is caused when crystals of uric acid take up residence in the joints.

Sugar increases the acidity of the body and Sugar causes inflammation. Inflammatory enzymes are elevated on higher-sugar diets. Inflammation is at the heart of 98 percent of disease. All disease thrives in acidic environments.

Sugar leads to heart disease. Elevated inflammation in the arteries increases the risk of high blood pressure, hemorrhage, stroke, and heart attacks.

Sugar promotes cancer and is a known toxin. Like all toxins, your body is constantly trying to eliminate it from the bloodstream. You can assist your body by not giving it more sugar to handle

Sugar gives you wrinkles. Think of healthy collagen as a rubber band. According to research and development at Estee Lauder, sugar ties it up in knots. It deactivates antioxidant-protecting enzymes in the skin, making you more prone to sun damage and skin cancer.

Sugar is an anti-nutrient.    Your body’s expenditure to manage sugar is greater than the energy it gains from it.  If you think you are better off eating chocolate , or even a piece of white bread than being hungry, thing again.

What about no calorie sweeteners?: Research by Purdue University has shown that no-calorie sweeteners may make people gain weight. It confuses the brain when you eat artificial sweeteners, and you even may overeat because you body has lost its ability to gauge incoming calories.


Click here for an important post on why not to drink and diet!




Don’t let sugar derail you!  It has much more of an impact to your body than calories.  I’m here to help!


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