12 December, 2010

40 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health

 It's been three weeks since I've had any sugar - but I'm not celebrating just yet.  I know that getting past the one-month mark means that a habit has been developed, and that I have beat my own "personal best" time for going without the white stuff.

My friend told me that, when trying to quit caffeine, she kept herself motivated by reminding herself that caffeine was bad for her.  If she could reinforce the fact that caffeine was doing her body and her health a disservice, then it was easier for her to pass up the dark cola, coffee, or tea.

Now, this line of thinking will only help those who actually care about their health...and believe it or not, there are plenty of people who just plain don't care.  That's a hard concept for me to wrap my brain around.  Even though I have not been the epitome of health, I've always known it and I've felt bad about it.  I'll save that topic for another post (it will be something along the lines of aligning your actions/lifestyle with your values/beliefs).

So I decided to take my friend's advice and educate myself (and now you!) on various ways that sugar can be a detriment to your body, mind, and overall well-being.  In my research, I found more than the list shown here, but I picked the ones that I thought would resonate the most with people who care about being healthy.

40 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health
  1. Sugar can suppress your immune system, which impairs your defenses against infectious disease.
  2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  3. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children
  4. In juvenile rehabilitation centers, when children were put on low sugar diets, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior.
  5. Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.  This can lead to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
  6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.
  7. Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.
  8. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.
  9. Eye health - sugar can weaken eyesight and cause cataracts.
  10. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  11. Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.
  12. Sugar can cause premature aging.  In fact, the single most important factor that accelerates aging is insulin, which is triggered by sugar.
  13. Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
  14. Sugar contributes to obesity.
  15. Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.
  16. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections) because yeast feeds on sugar.
  17. Sugar can cause gallstones.
  18. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
  19. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
  20. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
  21. Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.
  22. Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.
  23. Sugar can increase your systolic blood pressure (the top, or higher, number).
  24. Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.
  25. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
  26. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
  27. Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
  28. Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function, which inhibits proper digestion (read:  vile & unsatisfactory bowel movements).
  29. Sugar can increase your body's fluid retention.
  30. Sugar can compromise the lining of your capillaries, leading to varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
  31. Sugar can make your tendons more brittle.
  32. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
  33. Sugar can cause depression.
  34. Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease.
  35. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances such as: increasing estrogen in men, exacerbating PMS, and decreasing growth hormone
  36. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability (I'm still waiting for effects of this one!) 
  37. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.
  38. Sugar can impair the function of your adrenal glands (adrenal glands play an important role in the body, producing numerous hormones that impact our development and growth, affect our ability to deal with stress, and help to regulate kidney function)
  39. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in normal, healthy individuals, thereby promoting chronic degenerative diseases.
  40. Intravenous feedings (IVs) of sugar water and cut off oxygen to the brain.
Source:  Nancy Appleton, PhD, author of Lick the Sugar Habit and Suicide by Sugar

Kind of makes that ice cream or chocolate souffle look a little less appetizing, doesn't it? 
No, not really?  Eh...actually, I'm with you on that one.  It still looks pretty damn tasty. 
(Must...remind...self...sugar is bad for me, sugar is bad for me, sugar is bad for me...)


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