Sugar is not all that sweet

Enjoy another guest post from Big Sky Vernon Team Member Anne Crone!

The truth behind sugar consumption isn’t all that sweet. Humans weren’t designed to eat a ton of it. In fact, we used to get sugar only once a year when fruit fell from the trees! Fast forward to the 21st century and we now eat, on average, 140 pounds of sugar a year!  Our bodies are just not equipped to handle that much sweetness.

Furthermore, added sugars, (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup), contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. For this reason, they are called “empty” calories – there are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in them.

When people eat 10-20% (or more!) of their daily calories as sugar, it can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies. The list below includes just a few of the reasons to limit your sugar consumption.

It’s Bad for the Liver: So sugar hits the liver, and the liver says, “Whoa! I don’t know what to do with all this sugar!” It begins to metabolize it in unusual ways and turns it into what are known as low density lipoprotein particles, LDL. LDL cholesterol is considered to be the “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to plaque; a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result.

It’s a Stepping Stone to Diabetes: Bottom line – when people eat a lot of sugar, it can cause resistance to the hormone insulin which can contribute to many diseases, diabetes being one of them.

Sugar is Highly Addictive: Sugar can be addictive to a lot of people. The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release… much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature. For this reason, people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become strongly addicted to sugar and other junk foods. Everything in moderation is key!

It Can Lead to Obesity: Not surprisingly, people who consume the most sugar are by far the most likely to become overweight or obese. This applies to all age groups.

What can you do to combat the sugar overload? Be proactive when hitting the grocery store – read labels! Here are ingredients to stay away from: corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, sugar syrup, cane crystals, cane sugar, crystalline fructose, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup solids and malt syrup.

Remember, the key to a sweet life is to enjoy “everything in moderation!”

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