Sugar. It is in everything. Coffee & tea, pastries, it’s also hidden in things that people consume on a daily basis, such as pop, fruit juices, candies, coffee creamers, energy drinks and ice cream. What most people don’t know is it is in almost all processed foods, including breads, meats, and even ketchup (high fructose grossness!).
A lot of damage can be done when you consume sugar on a regular and excessive basis. And sugar also causes a crazy amount of additional problems in your body from immune system suppression to aging.
Is Sugar Natural?
The white, granular, powdery stuff that comes out of huge factories, after it’s been processed and messed with by man with various chemicals and additives, is NOT a natural substance. And the effects of sugar on your body, health, and well-being are far from “natural”.
Sugar is everywhere and in so many things that people don’t realize.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is another name for sugar and should be avoided at ALL costs. Like I said above, it is in a TON of things.. even ketchup and breads. WHY?! HFCS is commonly used because it’s very cheap, particularly in the US.
When used, even in moderation it is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, tooth decay, and much more.
With high fructose corn syrup, no digestion is required so it is more rapidly absorbed into your blood stream. Fructose goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol) this is why it is the major cause of liver damage and causes a condition called “fatty liver” which affects 70 million people.The rapidly absorbed glucose triggers big spikes in insulin.
Avoid products that contain high fructose corn syrup because they are a marker for poor-quality, nutritionally-depleted, processed industrial food full of empty calories and artificial ingredients. If you find HFCS on a label, you can be sure it is not a whole, real, fresh food full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Stay away from anything that has this ingredient if you want to stay healthy!
What Is High Fructose Corn Syrup?
It is a sweetener derived from cornstarch. Corn starch is composed of a chain of glucose (simple sugar) molecules joined together. Corn syrup, which is basically 100 percent glucose, comes from the breakdown of cornstarch into individual glucose molecules.
In order to create high fructose corn syrup, enzymes must be added to corn syrup to change some of the glucose into another simple sugar called fructose. The enzymes used in high fructose corn syrup have been genetically modified to improve their heat stability for the production of HFCS.
Some of the effects that consuming too much sugar has on your health:
- It damages your liver. The effects of too much sugar or fructose are similar to the effects of alcohol. All the fructose you eat gets shuttled to the only organ that has the transporter for it: your liver. This severely taxes and overloads the organ, leading to potential liver damage.
- Weight gain and affects your insulin. Fructose fools your metabolism by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. It fails to stimulate insulin, which in turn fails to suppress ghrelin, or “the hunger hormone,” which then fails to stimulate leptin. This causes you to eat more.
- It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar causes symptoms that include weight gain, abdominal obesity, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure.
- It increases your uric acid levels. High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease along with gout. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome, and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.
- Leaky gut. The “net” in your digestive tract gets damaged, which allows proteins, like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested particles to pass into your bloodstream. These invaders are not meant to be in the bloodstream so they trigger inflammation in the body. Inflammation is at the root of soooooo many health problems including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, dementia and aging.
Natural Alternatives to white sugar & high fructose corn syrup
- coconut sugar (baking, coffee, tea..)
- raw honey (tea, lattes, baking…)
- dates (smoothies, if you make your own nut milks like almond milk, cashew milk..)
- rice syrup
- maple syrup
- raw sugar