I received this article from another blogger called "Grass Fed Girls." They have so much good information about food. I'm posting this one in particular because I have found that not eating sugar or anything with high fructose corn syrup in it has made a huge difference in my physical, emotional and mental health! I highly recommend :)
As I have been addicted to sugar and carbs most of my life, I have to be very careful not overdo it with these foods. I sometimes eat a bit of raw, dark chocolate on special occasions such as birthdays or holidays, although I’m always fighting the impulse to eat the whole bar. Then, I want chocolate again the next day at the same time. It was only when I started on a higher fat/ lower carbohydrate diet that I began to feel relief from my constant sugar cravings.
Adopting a diet of traditional fats, organic veggies, and sustainable meats not only helps to control weight and avoid the mid-afternoon blahs; it can help us to avoid many of the modern diseases that many people currently suffer from.
I have not eaten sugar on a regular basis for almost three years. Not eating sugar helps to maintain my appetite and improve my mood.
Here are some startling sugar facts according to renowned holistic nutritionist Nora Gedgaudas, author of the popular book, Primal Body, Primal Mind
• In 1850 sugar consumption was just 20 lbs per person per year; in 2007 the average person ate160 lbs per person per year
• The average person in the USA eats 6 oz or 1/3 lb of sugar per day
• High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is the #1 source of calories in the American diet
• Increases in chronic disease, including cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease directly correlate with HFCS hitting the market in the 1970’s
• The average American eats 4,000 lbs of sugar in a lifetime-imagine a dump truck full!
• Ninety cents of every dollar is spent on processed food full of HFCS
• High Fructose Corn Syrup is metabolized into fat faster than other sugars
• HFCS has significant traces of the neurotoxin mercury
Did You Know That sugar can affect these vital areas of your health?
Eating a diet high in sugar can disrupt the balance of estrogen and testosterone. People need the right balance of these hormones to keep inflammation in the oil glands under control. A low fat, high carb diet stimulates insulin which increases androgen production which in turn increases oil gland secretions causing more breakouts–and not just in puberty.
Eating a diet high in carbohydrates produces excess eicosanoids, which stimulate smooth muscle of the lung tissue. When the diet is high in carbohydrates and sugar, more insulin is produced, disrupting the eicosanoidbalance and causing smooth muscle to contract, triggering asthma. Eating sugar causes the lungs to work harder to get rid of the carbon dioxide produced by carbohydrates because these foods have a higher respiratory quotient than fats and proteins.
3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Gas, constipation, bloating or diarrhea are all symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Generally, carbohydrates should be broken down into simple sugars in the small intestine but if eaten in excess the sugars will pass into the large intestine. There they will be broken down by the bacteria causing uncomfortable gas. Bloating and loose stool can also occur because the body extracts water from the bloodstream into the colon to respond to the excess sugars. Essential B vitamins may not be absorbed due to an inflamed intestinal lining caused by eating too many processed carbohydrates. B vitamins help to prevent anemia, depression, dry skin, low metabolism, and joint aches.
4. Accelerated Aging
Vitamin/ mineral depletions and metabolic damage result from eating a diet high in sugar, which causes us to prematurely age. Sugars such as fructose, sucrose, maltose, corn syrup, and maltodextrin can cause accelerated cell aging. Alcohol, a sugar that is derived from fruit or grains, has similar consequences of vitamin depletion, insulin resistance and wrinkles.
Another process that occurs with a diet high in sugar is called Advanced Glycation End Products or AGEs, which can accelerate aging and mental decline. Glycation occurs when sugars from the diet bind to proteins or fats and cause them to oxidize, which contributes to inflammation in the body. Elevated insulin and blood sugar levels, which are very common today, also accelerate age related conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Excessive sugar intake can exacerbate hormone imbalances such as the drop in estrogen that occurs right before the menstrual cycle, resulting in increased carb cravings. When a woman eats more protein and fat the body maintains appropriate hormone levels, making sugar easier to resist.
Cancer is abnormal, uncontrolled cell growth which causes DNA damage. After heart disease, cancer is the number two killer in the U.S.. There are numerous studies linking alcohol and sugar consumption with cancer. Thin people who eat low-fat high carb diets get cancer just as much as people who are overweight. Eating a high carbohydrate diet over time elevates insulin levels causing imbalanced hormones, excessive body fat, and rapid cell growth which all set the stage for cancer.
7. Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is an inflammatory disease of excess insulin caused from eating too many carbohydrates. Excess carbohydrates from sugar and starches cause insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance. A diet high in sugar causes insulin spikes that signal the body to store fat, making it very hard to lose weight. The body is not designed to deal with the amount of carbohydrates eaten today. Excess insulin and glucose from a high carb diet can cause nerve damage.
Surges of insulin cause a stress response called the “fight or flight” mechanism, which depletes magnesium, and can lead to high blood pressure. Plus, sugar damaged proteins called AGEs can constrict blood vessels, which affect proper hearing, vision, and sexual functioning.For additional information on blood sugar, see When Your Normal Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal.
Eating a high carbohydrate, low-fat diet causes bone thinning and osteopenia. Sugars from alcohol are particularly bone-depleting. Women who favor carbohydrates over proteins will never develop peak bone mass because there is not enough collagen to form strong bones. Healthy fats from foods like meat and butter are required for sex hormone production, which in turn supports healthy bone formation. Eat foods that are high in essential fats, proteins, and calcium, such as almonds, sardines, wild salmon, and sesame seeds.
My Observations: I see this type of “healthy” eating all the time when I look at food journals- cereal for breakfast with skim milk, toast and jelly, oatmeal and a low-fat yogurt, sandwich with turkey for lunch, and a veggie burger for dinner. Does this type of eating sound familiar? These foods are high in sugar but low in fat and protein. A more nourishing diet would be eggs cooked in butter and 1 cup of blueberries for breakfast, wild salmon, sauteed kale and boiled beets for lunch, and a satisfying dinner of grass fed steak, broccoli and a small sweet potato. These foods are full of essential fats and proteins and lower in carbs and sugar.
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I'm a Christian counselor who loves to help people get to the root of their current problems so they can live from a place of authenticity and freedom!