Just How Bad is Sugar for You?
An eye-opening article in The Irish Times today reminds us just how bad sugar is for the body, and how we are abusing it to our detriment.
The 5 Truths about Sugar:
1) Sugar is an empty calorie - meaning: there is no nutritional value in sugar. When you eat it, you rob your body of vital nutrition. Eating sugar is like drawing from your bank account, as digesting the sugar will draw nutrients out of your body that it actually needs to run and repair itself every day. So if you want to grow old healthily, don't overdraw your account!
2) Sugar causes diabetes, systemic inflammation and thus chronic disease - this may sound like a mouthful and can be difficult to digest news. But excess sugar really does throw your system and overloads your organs (especially your pancreas and liver) and leads to diabetes (where your pancreas's ability to produce insulin packs in), and fatty liver (where your liver's overloaded stores turn more and more sugar into triglycerides/fat).
3) Sugar is the food industry's secret weapon - simply put, if you add sugar to any food you will sweeten it up and improve its taste. You can add sugar to cardboard and make it palatable. It is also an incredibly cheap ingredient. Meaning, by adding more sugar to cereals, biscuits, cakes, breads, soups, sauces not only will it make them more palatable but also cheaper to produce.
4) Sugar has been proven to be addictive - yes, you got this right. Brain scans have proven that eating sugar activates the same region in our brain which is activated by cocaine! That's big news. Basically, you can feed addicitive behaviour by eating sugar. Put into context: every time you reward yourself (or your child!) with a sugary treat for doing something you feed your own addictive region in the brain.
5) Sugar really has no place in our daily diet - ideally, wean yourself off sugar this year. But heed this advice: as it is addictive, your brain will be craving it, making you feel like a loser everytime you do end up eating something sweet, telling you it is ok to eat just one more sweet item, telling you you deserve a treat after having done something difficult, making you feel you neeeeeed your sugar fix every day.
YES, YOU CAN BEAT your sugar habit. Baby steps - take it day-by-day, take one small step at a time, and give yourself realistic timelines, don't expect miracles overnight. Eat regular filling nutritious meals to naturally reduce your cravings.
Come into clinic and speak to me about beating the habit successfully in 2017!
call 085 739 9603 or 01 255 7846