This week, we walk to talk about the sweet thing in all of our lives: Sugar. In the past few decades, carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap in the diet/nutrition world. However, recently, there’s been a movement to distinguish “good” carbs and “bad” carbs.
Good carbs are complex carbohydrates that come from all natural sources. These are fruits and vegetables. In limited quantities, we can also expand this definition to include other natural sources like potatoes and quinoa.
The key elements we are looking for in good carbs are minimal processing and the presence of fiber.
Bad carbs, on the other hand, are the exact opposite. For those carbs, we see a lot of processing and little to no fiber content. As yourself this questions: Can I eat this as it was harvested? If not, then it has been processed and should be avoided.
Perhaps the most prevalent and damaging quality of processed carbs is the presence of sugar. Sugar is as addictive as cocaine. If you look at the ingredients of the carbs you eat, and they are processed carbs, you are more likely than not to find added sugar.
Knowing sugar isn’t good for you, we receive a lot of questions about how to limit it or avoid it. First, you need a reason or purpose to avoid it. If you simply say, “I don’t want to eat sugar,” that won’t get you very far when the craving hits. Therefore, if you need some good reasons to avoid sugar, here are 10:
- Can Cause Weight Gain – Drinking sugar is a huge issue. One sugar sweetened beverage can contain as many, or more, carbohydrates than the average human should consumer in an entire meal.
- May Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease – Evidence suggests that high- sugar diets can lead to obesity, inflammation, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure – all risk factors in heart disease.
- Increase Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – High contents of sugar in your blood can lead to insulin resistance. When blood sugar remain high, your chances of developing diabetes also increases.
- May Increase Your Risk of Cancer – increased risk of obesity, increased inflammation, and insulin resistance have all been linked to developing cancer.
- May Increase Your Risk of Depression – It is believed that high swings in blood sugar impact your neurotransmitters which can be detrimental to your mental health.
- May Accelerate the Skin Aging Process – Consuming a diet high in refined sugar leads to the production of Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs), which may cause your skin to age prematurely.
- Can Increase Cellular Aging – Consuming high amounts of sugar has been shown to accelerate telomere shortening, a process that leads to faster chromosome deterioration.
- Drains Your Energy – Having constant blood sugar swings can lead to major fluctuations in energy levels.
- Can Lead to Fatty Liver – When the liver is taxed with too much sugar processing, it converts the sugar to fat and that fat builds up in the liver.
- Other Health Risks – Sugar consumption has been linked to other issues such as kidney disease, dental health, gout, and dementia.
This week, we will give you strategies for reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet.