While nutrition experts tend to disagree on a variety of topics, they all seem to agree that we’re consuming far too much sugar. Besides contributing to the obesity epidemic, sugar in its various forms is causing diabetes cases to skyrocket.
Sugar, in its many forms, is an increasingly common ingredient in processed foods. Many of us eat the equivalent of 53 heaping teaspoons of sugar every day! Many experts now agree that reducing sugar intake is essential for better health.
Here are ten reasons to avoid refined (white) sugar:
1. When certain bacteria in the mouth digest sugar it produces an acid that etches tooth enamel and causes tooth decay.
2. Calcium loss in urine occurs when a person consumes a soft drink containing sugar.
3. Ingesting sugar makes the pancreas work harder to produce insulin. Diabetes results when the overworked pancreas can no longer eliminate sugar from the blood stream.
4. Bleached with chlorine, when white refined sugar is exposed to certain organic compounds it converts to dioxin, a lethal compound.
5. Sugar can hinder weight loss because high insulin levels (see #3 above) cause the body to store excess carbohydrates as fat.
6. Sugar increases the likelihood of chronic fatigue.
7. Sugar increases mood swings, irritability and anxiety.
8. Sugar compromises the immune system, lowering the efficiency of white blood cells for at least five hours after eating.
9. Eating sugar can decrease helpful high-density cholesterol (HDLs) and result in an increase in harmful cholesterol (LDLs).
10. Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity.
Careful. Sugar is commonly disguised. If you wisely read nutrition labeling, avoiding obvious sugar ingredients when they’re listed as cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup is relatively easy. But sugar goes by many other names.
Here are some of them. Barley malt, beet sugar, buttered syrup, cane juice, caramel, castor sugar, dehydrated cane juice, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, golden sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltodextrin, molasses, sorbitol, sucrose and treacle.
Because food manufacturers must list ingredients in descending order by quantity, using different types of sugar permits them to list them among the sixth or eighth or tenth ingredients. Yet when added together, sugar may be the number one ingredient!