We all know that too much sugar is probably not great for us; most of us associate excess sugar consumption with tooth decay or weight gain. While both of these connections are valid, it is becoming increasingly clear that the danger from sugar is in fact much more serious. Prolonged high blood sugar levels are inflammatory to the body and can play a role in diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and possibly even Alzheimer's (sometimes now referred to as Diabetes Type 3). And it's not just 'sugar', although that is definitely one culprit. Any refined carbohydrate can cause excessively high blood sugar, including cereal, bread, pasta, pizza, ice cream, pastries, desserts, and even over consumption of fruit. Here is a recent article in the LA Times regarding the connection between sugar and heart disease:
It all makes sense if you consider a few facts: refined sugar as we know it simply didn't exist prior to 400 years ago. at all. Even about 100 years ago, sugar was still a treat (corn syrup was still just a twinkle in the eye of the industrial manufacturers) and average yearly consumption most likely did not top 9 lbs a year. Fast forward to modern times and the age of the Standard American Diet (SAD): the average consumption is now estimated to be between 150-180 lbs per person per year. Clearly our bodies have had no time to adapt to this, and biologically we are simply not set up to handle this kind of onslaught!
The inclusion of sugar in everyday products has become so normalized that it is easy to think you are eating a 'reasonable' amount of sugar when really it is still too much. For greatest energy and vitality, and ultimately heart and brain health, steer clear of any products with added sugar. Avoid starting your day with refined sugars in toast, cereal, pastries, or pancakes. Read labels and avoid high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, cane sugar, fructose, maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and even honey. For more words that all just mean sugar, see this page:
Stay tuned for more posts on sugar!!