We all know that sugar is bad for us, and it’s now being labeled as ‘the worst thing you can eat’ in recent media.
But what does it actually do to our bodies, apart from adding a few kilos here and there? Is it really that bad for us?
Sugar is a carbohydrate that is turned into glycogen (energy) within the body. If you have too much sugar, it’s stored as triglycerides (fat) within your cells.
As sugar enters your bloodstream, it goes to your pancreas, where insulin is created to regulate your sugar levels. The sugar is then stored in the liver, muscles, and as fat, which can be used as energy later. But if we consume a lot of sugar over a long period of time, this can have serious consequences, such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and more.
Sugar can also have a negative impact on your mood, and can make you more susceptible to depression. As more studies arise confirming the link between nutrition and mental health, it has become more evident that an unhealthy diet can lead to serious mental illnesses.
It’s no surprise, considering the sugar crashes that happen after we consume sugar. This is because dopamine (the pleasure hormone) is released in the brain when sugar has been absorbed in the body. This is quickly followed by a post-sugar crash, which leads to mood changes, irritability, and mental fatigue.
According to a study conducted, people who drank multiple cans of soda each day were 30% more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda. And people who drank more than four glasses of fruit punch per day were 38% more likely to be depressed.
But we do need sugar in our diets - the natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables. As these sugars aren’t processed, they still hold their fiber and nutrients, which makes it much easier for your liver to digest, and they don’t cause the sugar rushes that refined sugar does.
So what are some tips to eating less sugar but still enjoying the foods we love? There are always healthier alternatives.
Craving a juice?
Try a freeze-dried juice powder instead. Freeze-drying locks in over 98% of fresh fruit’s nutrients, and maintains its nutrients for up to two years, as opposed to cold-pressed juice, which may only have 82% of its original nutrition remaining after just three days, in completely optimal fridge conditions. Bare Juices Immunity is a delicious and organic example of a freeze-dried juice powder.
A healthy, refined-sugar-free option
Try Raw Cacao instead. Full of antioxidants and great for improving your brain function, raw cacao is perfectly versatile, and can be made into many delicious treats, like this Super Creamy Chocolate Bomb.
The key of course, is moderation. If you regulate your sugar intake, your body will recognise how to use it for energy, rather than storing it as fat in your cells. At the end of the day, the right attitude makes all the difference.
A good trick to help control sugar cravings? Up your protein intake. If your protein levels are low, you could have shaky insulin levels, which can lead to sugar cravings and hunger.
Don’t forget the cocktails - swap your vodka lemonade for a vodka lime and soda water, and your body will be in a much happier place. Everything in moderation, right?
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