Every time I decide to walk to the store, rather than drive, I pass loads of bakeries filled to the brim with seductive sweets. It’s no different in other areas of the country than it is in Florida, sweets are popular. The sweet taste doesn’t mean it’s sweet to your body. In fact, sugar is ruining your health, if you eat a lot of it. There’s a theory that man has a taste for sweet foods, since in the early times, when plants were sweet, it meant they were safe to eat. Today, sugar is in everything and even worse, types of altered natural sugar, like high fructose corn syrup, create even more health issues.
So if it’s natural, it’s healthy?
Okay, that’s sounds like it should be right, but it isn’t. You’ll hear a lot of hoopla about high fructose corn syrup being a natural sugar from corn. Too much sugar increases your risk of heart disease, contributes to the rising statistics for obesity, increases your risk of diabetes, impairs your immune system, causes tooth decay and accelerates aging. To say it’s healthy because it’s natural is like saying tobacco is healthy because it’s natural.
It’s even worse if it’s HFCS—high fructose corn syrup.
High fructose corn syrup is found in about everything on the shelf at the grocery. It’s taken from corn stalks and released via a chemical process to create a product that’s not chemically at all like sugar and even worse than regular sugar. They’re different chemically and how they react in your body. Fructose causes all the same problems as regular sugar, but also adds more. It goes into the blood stream rapidly, can cause fatty liver, spikes insulin and creates metabolic problems. It boosts your appetite, increasing the risk of weight gain. It increases the risk of heart disease, dementia and can even cause damage to the stomach lining.
It’s sugar, not fat, that’s really the villain in heart disease.
Back in the 1950s the sugar industry paid Harvard scientists to run a mega study and conveniently omit studies that found sugar was a major player in heart disease. Instead, they were to use those that showed that fat was. That set the precedent for fat being the enemy at the table. Even healthy fat was suspect. Today, we know differently, but some doctors still haven’t changed their recommendations. Trans fats do cause heart problems, but food with healthy fat like coconut oil, avocado and nuts improve your health.
- When you eat sugar, it affects the same receptors in the brain as cocaine. In fact, some scientists believe it may be as addictive as the real drugs. It also alters our sense of taste, so what we normally would find sweet isn’t sweet enough.
- HFCS actually makes you hungrier. It increases leptin resistance. Leptin tells our body when we’re full. Just like insulin resistance, leptin resistance dulls the feeling of fullness.
- Sugar plays a big role in high blood pressure. It may be as bad as salt when it comes to making your numbers rise.
- Often food manufacturers break up sugar into several different types so it doesn’t appear at the top position on ingredients. It might be sugar, fructose, corn syrup, dextrose or other synonyms.