Sugar. Sometimes I honestly wonder if people know the danger of sugar and how sugar effects the body and mind. I get emotional when I see kids being given sugar.
Is it so that we don’t know about the danger, or do we just hide it for ourselves to satisfy our desires rather than the body’s needs?
I’m a recovered sugar addict
Me too, I had sugar cravings before. Yes, we can get cravings from sugar. My weakness was for white bread and ice cream! I don’t even want to think about how much sugar it was in the 500 ml ice cream box I used to eat frequently.
Somehow I justified the matter by that I wasn’t gaining weight and my size was fine, yet not perfect as I wanted. I was more ashamed of wasting money on the ice cream and ashamed of buying that sugar-ish stuff in front of the staff in the local shop, than actually considering the harmful effects on my own health! I told myself “I’ll stop tomorrow. I’ll stop on Monday, in Shaa Allah. Now it’s enough.”…. There were many, many more Mondays to come though…
Let’s wake up
Nowadays too, I see many people in my surroundings that are, or aren’t, necessarily overweight, but their daily sugar consumption makes me astonished! Do they know the effects of sugar?
Sugar is practically carbohydrates that gives you energy. As a general fact when it comes to nutrition is that if we eat more than we burn, we will gain weight. But it’s not only about calories and weight gain, it’s also how the cells, body and mind are effected by sugar that is to be concerned about too.
Natural- and hidden sugar
To make things very easy here, there is natural sugar and there is added, hidden sugar.
Natural sugar is found in fruit and milk for example, while examples of products with added sugar are soft drinks, cereals, fruit juice, fruit yoghurt, processed food, bread, candies and so on. Further examples can be found in a breakfast, compare for example oats and other pure grains which have about 0,5-3 gram sugar/100 gram to cereals that can have 40 gram sugar/100 gram!
Choose cereals with below 5% added sugar. Neither trust that a product is good just because it’s fat free, those products often have added sugar instead to taste well.
Sugar is so bad and empty
A British research showed that sweets that include Azo color, which is allowed in EU, can give people allergies, make people hyper active and can make it more difficult to learn. This is especially true for children.
One reason to why it is so bad with too much sugar is that sugar doesn’t give any nutrients, only empty calories. And when you eat a lot of sugar instead of proper food, you will likely not eat sufficient amount of proper food and therefore miss out on sufficient amounts of important vitamins and minerals.
What sugar does to you
In short, a high sugar intake can lead to overweight, obesity and type 2-diabetes. And there is a new study that confirms that Alzheimer’s disease may be a form of diabetes.
- Effects the brain almost the same as cocaine and alcohol, sugar is addictive.
- Increased risk for overweight, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
- Increased risk for cancer.
- Increased risk for fatty liver disease.
- Makes you age faster. Sugar can react with proteins in the body. When those enters into the muscles and skin, the muscles get stiffer and the skin wrinkled.
- Bad teeth and caries.
- There is a strong relationship between sugar and depression.
What are the limits?
“We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay,” says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. The WHO guideline does not refer to the sugars in fresh fruits and vegetables, and sugars naturally present in milk, because there is no reported evidence of adverse effects of consuming these sugars.
An average woman needs approximately 2,000 kcal per day. 10% of added sugar would be approximately 50 gram sugar or 8 pieces of sugar. A 100g bar of chocolate contains about 56 gram of sugar, to mention an example.
Eat 3-4 bananas instead to get about the same amount of sugar, but of natural kind including healthy nutritional value. And seriously, and honestly, what do we feel best from; banana or sugar-ish chocolate?
Sugar is a trigger without positive effects
Isn’t sugar giving us mood swings and even makes us more easily irritated? If sugar wouldn’t be addictive, why is it then so difficult to just stop eating it if you’re used to it?
The good news are, that if you abstain from sugar one- or more months, you might start to feel fantastic and you might even get disgust by even looking at it. Thanks to the clarity of mind, tranquility from within, calm stomach and calm mood that you’ve gained from eating pure food instead of sugar.
Livsmedelsverket, The National Food Administration which is a Swedish government agency, states: “There are no positive effects on the health to eat sugar”.
5 steps to get free from sugar
- Make your decision. Enough is enough. Stick to your decision. When your own excuses for eating sugar later on will attack you, be ready to handle it. Do you have any positive proofs that sugar is good for you? Please note that I’m talking about the daily habits here and I encourage you to have a balanced approached and healthy relationship to food. Not necessarily a “0-tolerance” or being too strict. Think 80/20, meaning that 80% of what you eat is healthy and balanced and then if you like, have something else 1 day a week for example. Again, when you get used to eat balanced and nourishing, sugar cravings will decrease and eventually disappeare.
- Eat proper food, in balanced amounts and in moderation. Meaning: cook yourself, choose lean meat instead of sausage and other junk food for example. Balance each meal between protein, (slow) carbohydrates and good type of fat.
- Eat slow carbohydrates instead of fast carbs. Meaning: choose brown fiber bread instead of white toast bread, brown rice instead of white rice for example.
- Understand the difference between your body’s needs vs. your body’s desire. We can easily be emotional eaters and think that we “need” a bar of chocolate as reward or support.
- It’s about you, not other people! We don’t have to eat all what we are being served or offered in order to be polite. It’s about you and your health. Choose healthy food and drinks for you. Ask for tea without sugar. You don’t have to follow practices of a culture or a family if it isn’t healthy for you.
What do you take with you from this blog post? Please comment below, or send me an email, I’d love to hear from you!
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