You have thousands of food and drink options at your disposal and ready to be consumed by you and your family. Most of these will include the most popular food addictive in the United States, sugar. It shows up in everything from our 'healthy' breakfasts to our 'hydrating' drinks, but the negative effects of this additive is highly under communicated because of big business. At BioHealth, we're committed to providing healthier alternatives that will help you live a better life. Here are our top 5 scary sugar facts that will help you make better nutritional decisions.
1. Sugar is highly addictive.
Prolonged consumption of sugar activates the same parts of the brain that drugs like meth and cocaine do, making it highly addictive. If you've ever had a craving from your sweet tooth, you've probably felt it. Because this takes place on a chemical level, you'll have little to no willpower once this craving hits unless you curb the intake.
2. Sugar is hidden in most everyday foods.
(mostly liquids) There are 61 different names for sugar that food producers use which makes it easier to hide with a long list of ingredients on nutrition labels. Refined sugar is hidden in almost 75% of packaged foods and can contain dangerously high amounts of sugar in every serving. Be careful to look at the sugar content on labels to avoid making easy mistakes.
3. Sugar makes you bloat and can lead to obesity.
Sugar is one of the primary causes of the obesity epidemic in the United States. Sugar adds empty calories with zero nutritional value to most of the foods available at the grocery stores. As we continue to consume more empty calories from sugar, we gain weight. After consuming sugar, it will feed the bad yeast in your gut, causing bloat and the production of fat. It triggers insulin resistance that causes the body to store fat, especially around your stomach.
4. Sugar can cause cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
High intakes of sugars and refined carbohydrates have been linked to some cancers, Alzheimer's disease, memory loss, and America's number one killer, heart disease. With sugar directly linked to these chronic issues, sugar affects organs like the pancreas and liver, leading to abnormal sugar regulation. High blood sugar leads to metabolic syndrome, which is a sign that you should monitor your sugar intake seriously to avoid further problems.
5. Sugar is as toxic as alcohol.
With sugar hidden in most foods and a lot of drinks, soft drinks are as bad for your health as heavily drinking. The Harvard School of Public Health reported that approximately 180k deaths worldwide occurred as a result of drinking sugary drinks. The average American drinks about 2.6 of these beverages every day on average, and the sugar in these drinks are absorbed by your liver. This metabolic process leads to the production of triglycerides and cholesterol which can harm the liver and increase your risk of liver disease.
What can you do to curb sugar intake?
1. Don't eat foods with ingredients you can't pronounce.
Start by reading the food labels at the grocery store. If it has more than five ingredients and contains anything that you don't recognize or can't pronounce, then try to find a healthier alternative.
2. When you can, switch to Stevia.
Because of the reasons above, we've switched to using a sugar alternative, Stevia to flavor our delicious protein shakes. It's a natural sweetener that can be added to foods without the negative health effects linked to sugar. It's also associated with certain health benefits as well so it's a win-win in our book.
3. Eat organic, local and sustainable.
Switching from refined sugar products can have an amazing effect on your overall health. Once you switch to whole, delicious foods, you'll find that you'll be feeling better than ever and you'll never look back.