The Perils of Excess Sugar Consumption: Part 2
Updated: Apr 28
Sugar is a very popular ingredient and is found in many foods. From peanut butter to pasta sauce to cured meats and many more. It goes by many names in the food industry and in North America we consume anywhere from 17 teaspoons to a whopping 42 teaspoons daily, depending on age.
Our most vulnerable are our children, who do not yet understand the dangers of excess sugar consumption. A can of pop contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar, while the largest Slurpee contains around 50 teaspoons of sugar. A helpful proposition would be to make reading labels easier and familiarize ourselves with the many different names for sugar.
So, why the bad rep?
Refined foods are broken down easily in the digestive tract which can increase our blood sugar very fast. It is our obsession with sugar excessive consumption that is leading the way to many non-communicable diseases. Also this can lead to dysregulation or hormonal imbalances.
If you are craving sugar, there is an underlying reason.
Cravings can be a cry for much needed energy. Some reasons include the body needing energy to carry out trillions of bodily functions daily. Or maybe your mood needs it’s daily boost due to fatigue, stress or depression from undernourishment. Each individual will have their own reasons and needs that should be addressed immediately, at the core.
Poor sleep can drive next day cravings for refined carbohydrates and sugar through the roof. One major concern is the rollercoaster ride we experience when refined sugar is in the diet. After a spike in blood sugar, an energy crash and a low mood will soon follow - so we go for another sugar-hit. When this is repeated daily, we teach the body to solely rely on incoming sugar as an energy source. The foods we eat are the messages we give our cells. Eating refined sugar trains the body to burn sugar instead of fat. Instead, it is best to teach our bodies to release stored fat and use it to fuel us daily - which in turn will eliminate the nauseating uncontrollable blood-sugar rollercoaster ride.
There are other culprits that drive our cravings for sugars including but not limited to blue light, stress, Candida, and low mood. Some refined sugar in our diet is not so bad, but we need to recognize and be mindful of how many times we drive towards it in a day, a week, and beyond.
During the summer we are provided with many delicious and sweet eye pleasing fruits. Fruits can provide a triple whammy... First, they provide sweetness when ripe. Second, they contain many nutrients. Third, they provide defendants to guard us from any hazards in our current environment.
We are meant to eat sugar- but in its whole form, which is accompanied by fibre and/or other benefits. Nature has provided us with an abundance for a reason - it is when it is refined that the problems arise because it has been stripped of all its nutrients and protective benefits.