The single largest source of calories for Americans comes from sugar— specifically high fructose corn syrup. Just take a look at the sugar consumption trends of the past 300 years:
•In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year. •In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
•In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
•In 2009, more than 50 percent of all Americans consume one-half pound of sugar PER DAY—translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year!
Sugar is loaded into your soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, and hidden in almost all processed foods. And now most infant formula has the sugar equivalent of one can of Coca-Cola, so babies are being metabolically poisoned from day one of taking formula.
Here are some of the unhealthy effects of sugar on the body.
1. Sugar causes glucose levels to spike and plummet. Unstable blood sugar can leave you experiencing mood swings, fatigue, and headaches. It also contributes to cravings, which begins the cycle of false hunger. By contrast, those who avoid sugar report having fewer cravings while feeling more emotionally balanced and energized.
2. Sugar increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
3. Your immune function can be affected by sugar. As if being sick wasn’t bad enough, studies have shown that sugar can interfere with the way your body fights disease. Bacteria and yeast feed on sugar, so excess glucose in the body causes these organisms to build up and cause infections.
4. A high-sugar diet can lead to chromium deficiency. Chromium, a trace mineral, helps regulate blood sugar in the body.
5. Sugar accelerates aging. Sugar can also mess with your skin by contributing to wrinkles and sagging. After sugar hits your bloodstream, it attaches to proteins.
6. Sugar causes tooth decay.
7. Sugar can cause gum disease, which can lead to heart disease.
8. Sugar affects cognition in children.
9. Sugar increases stress.
10. Sugar takes the place of important nutrients. According to USDA data, people who consume the most sugar have the lowest intakes of essential nutrients––especially vitamins A, C, B-12, and calcium.
Now that you understand the negative effects of sugar on your body and mind, it’s time to be more careful when choosing foods. The first step is getting educated about how to find added sugars.
When it comes to convenience and packaged foods, let the ingredients label be your guide— you’d be surprised how many low carb or “diet” foods contain added sugar.
SWEET SYNONYMS Watch for these sneaky ingredients when reading food labels. Some sound scientific, some almost healthy—but in the end, they all mean “sugar.”
Barley Malt Syrup
Cane Juice Crystals
Corn Syrup Solids
Evaporated Cane Juice
Fruit Juice Concentrate
Grape Juice Concentrate
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Organic Raw Sugar