Sugar is EVERYWHERE! With Halloween approaching everywhere you turn there are buckets of that sugary goodness all around us. This time of the year is especially challenging for those with a sweet tooth and kids. Making the lifestyle change to reduce or eliminate sugar is a daunting and challenging task. Sugar, in its many forms, is an increasingly common ingredient in processed foods. A shocking statistic is that many of us eat the equivalent of 53 teaspoons of white sugar every day. That is approximately 25 gallons of sugar a year! Yikes. Many experts agree reducing sugar intake is vital to obtain optimal health. If you don’t believe me read below five reasons to avoid refined (white) sugar.
- Sugar causes the body to release more adrenaline, which has been linked to hyperactivity in young children.
- Ingesting sugar makes the pancreas work harder to produce insulin. Diabetes results when the overworked pancreas can no longer eliminate sugar from the bloodstream.
- Sugar increases mood swings, irritability and anxiety. If you’re already an anxious or stressed person, sugar won’t make your life any easier.
- Sugar has been known to compromise the immune system because it lowers the efficiency of white blood cells for a minimum of five hours.
- Eating sugar can decrease helpful high-density cholesterol (HDLs) and result in an increase in harmful cholesterol (LDLs).
There are healthier options if you are searching for ways to sweeten your foods, such adding honey, dates, or raisins. Fruit is a healthy alternative, but you even want to be careful that you are balancing out the amount of fruit you are consuming as this also contains sugar that can have an affect on your body. Try to avoid the sugar packets, but if needed honey or Stevia are better options. Stevia does not have calories and won’t raise your blood sugar levels.
If you are interested in a nutritional review and recommendations to improve your health please let us know and we will be happy to schedule an appointment.
–Melanie Dockter DC CACCP