Why Is Sugar So Bad?
If you want to lose weight the number one thing to remove is excess sugar It's sort of ironic that "fat free" foods will make you more fat than the full fat version. “How in the heck does sugar make you fat if there’s no fat in it?” When we have more sugar than our body needs to use, it converts to fat on the body. If you want to geek out on the why..
First, let’s make some qualifications. Sugar isn’t inherently evil. Your body uses sugar to survive, and burns sugar to provide you with the energy necessary for life. Many truly healthy foods are actually broken down to sugar in the body – through the conversion of long and complex sugars called polysaccharides into short and simple sugars called monosaccharides, such as glucose. In additions to the breakdown products of fat and protein, glucose is a great energy source for your body.
However, there are two ways that sugar can sabotage your body and cause fat storage. Excess glucose is the first problem, and it involves a very simple concept. Anytime you have filled your body with more fuel than it actually needs (and this is very easy to do when eating foods with high sugar content), your liver’s sugar storage capacity is exceeded. When the liver is maximally full, the excess sugar is converted by the liver into fatty acids (that’s right – fat!) and returned to the bloodstream, where is taken throughout your body and stored (that’s right – as fat!) wherever you tend to store adipose fat cells, including, but not limited to, the popular regions of the stomach, hips, butt, and breasts.
As an unfortunate bonus, once these regions are full of adipose tissue, the fatty acids begin to spill over into your organs, like the heart, liver, and kidneys. This reduces organ ability, raises blood pressure, decreases metabolism, and weakens the immune system. Source
It Causes Energy Crashes
If you notice you have spurts of fatigue, moodiness, weakness or get "hangry", it might be due to sugar. Sugar causes you blood sugar to spike...and then fall. This leads to a blood sugar roller coast for the rest of the day. This is why it is particularly important to start your day with something that is high protein and high fat. Don't start your day with something that will put you on that roller coaster.
It can overload your liver leading to many health issues including non-alcoholic fatty liver. When fructose get turned into fat in the liver, it is shipped out as VLDL cholesterol particles. However, not all of the fat gets out, some of it can lodge in the liver. This can lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), a growing problem in Western countries that is strongly associated with metabolic diseases. Studied show that individuals with fatty liver consume up to 2-3 times as much fructose as the average person. Source 1, Source 2
The evidence is mounting that sugar, NOT fat, may be one of the leading drivers of heart disease via the harmful effects of fructose on metabolism (source). Studies show that large amounts of fructose can raise triglycerides, small, dense LDL and oxidized LDL (very bad), raise blood glucose and insulin and increase abdominal obesity...in as little as 10 weeks. Source
Diabetes causes a whole host of problems in the body. Having too much glucose in the blood is highly toxic and one of the reasons for complications of diabetes, like blindness.
There are many other factors that contribute to cancer as well but sugar should not be dismissed. Source 1, Source 2
Many of us have candida overgrowth (and most don't even know it). We know the importance of probiotics and having that good bacteria in the gut. Candida is a gut bacteria that easily overgrows, causing many health issues. Candida feeds on sugar!
My personal strategy to control sugar cravings:
- get lots of sleep. when you are tired you naturally crave sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- hide it or get it out of your house. Watch for sugar in things like yogurt, granola bars, etc.
- make sure you are getting enough healthy fat in your diet!! I've found this to make a huge difference in cravings! Eat more coconut oil, nuts, seeds, organic butter, olives...
- load up your fridge and pantry with healthy alternatives. Things like nuts, nut butter with celery or apple, any whole fruit, veggies and hummus, green smoothie ingredients...
- start your morning with something that won't spike your blood sugar level (think high protein and high fat)
- if you like to start your day with coffee (coffee spikes blood sugar), have breakfast with it or try Bulletproof Coffee to prevent the blood sugar rollercoaster which equals sugar craving later on.