Discover Why Sugar Is a Silent Enemy!
There is a major fallacy in the medical community that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease. This theory is unsound, and until today, several doctors are questioning it. Since the body produces most of the cholesterol in it, changes in diet, etc. have a limited effect on cholesterol levels.
The question here is: Why would the body produce something wrong for it?
After all, even LDL only becomes harmful after oxidation. Studies by several doctors have shown that fat is NOT a cause of heart disease. There is a silent enemy in most of our diets that is wreaking havoc in our bodies, and nobody is talking about it.
That enemy is – Sugar!
Sugar creeps into most of our processed foods and is the cause of the obesity epidemic. It’s also the leading cause of diabetes, inflammation, and several other nasty diseases linked to sugar. Even cancer cells die off when there is no sugar in the body.
Now let’s see how sugar affects the body. When we speak of sugar, we mean both the processed kind that you see coating donuts and starchy carbs such as white rice and white flour products such as bread. These carbs are converted to sugar in the body through a chain of processes.
When you consume sugar, your blood sugar level rises. The body will then release insulin. Insulin is a potent hormone that must be controlled. It affects diabetes, cancer, hypertension, inflammation, and heart diseases.
The insulin in your body promotes fat storage, while another hormone, glucagon, assists in breaking down the sugar. These hormones work together to regulate your blood sugar level.
However, these days, our diets are overly high in carbohydrates and sugar. So, the body keeps producing insulin. Over time, this leads to insulin insensitivity. That means, the pancreas secretes more insulin than required to cope with the sugar. To exacerbate matters, most of us lead sedentary lifestyles.
Why does a sedentary lifestyle make things worse?
Simple. Sugar is stored in the muscles for use as fuel. However, when you do not engage in regular activity, the body realizes that the muscles do not need much fuel.
So, your body creates a lot of insulin to remove the sugar from your muscles. Now the sugar needs to go somewhere, and that somewhere is your fat stores. This is why people keep getting fatter.
One of the most severe consequences of this process is that is has a direct impact on your heart, and raises the risk of heart disease. Eating fat doesn’t cause half as much damage as eating sugar.
Sugar raises the triglycerides in your body and that, in turn, increases your risk of heart disease. Sugar is toxic, causes inflammation, damages your LDL, and leads to many health problems.
Insulin has an impact on cholesterol too. So, by controlling your sugar, you will manage your cholesterol. It will also make it much easier to lose the excess pounds since sugar makes your fat cells cling on stubbornly to the fat stores.
Once you reduce or eliminate your intake of sugar, your insulin sensitivity will improve. You’ll shed the weight much faster, and you’ll lower your risk of heart disease. Always watch your sugar.
Is Sugar Making Your Inflammation Worse?
There’s nothing quite as intelligent as the human body. When you trip and twist your ankle, it swells up, notifying you that something is wrong.
An acute inflammatory response is healthy. It is your body signaling for you to take action so that it can heal. But increasingly, perhaps due to changing environments and different diets, people are experiencing chronic inflammatory responses.
Often, these come in the form of allergies which could be due to an overreaction by the body to environmental, ingested, or vector-borne triggers. If you have allergies, it is vital that you consult a physician to help you manage the symptoms and exposure to causes.
Sometimes, however, your body mounts a chronic inflammatory response. This is when inflammation persists for weeks, months, or even years. Unlike a twisted ankle, there is no time-frame as to when you can expect the inflammation to subside. If this sounds like you, consult your physician immediately. Often, because the symptoms of chronic inflammation are non-specific, it takes several tests by your doctor to determine the cause.
During this time, you may experience body aches, joint pain, and sometimes a low-grade fever. The prolonged pain and fever can exhaust you, leaving you drained and fatigued. Just thinking about the most straightforward tasks overwhelms you and getting through the day is like wading through mud.
It is a debilitating and distressing as it sounds. Chronic inflammation has even been linked to heart disease, depression, and cancer.
So the million-dollar question is this: is there something you can do right now — as you read this — to reduce chances of chronic inflammation drastically?
• Kick processed sugar right out of your life
The soldiers and guardians of our well-being are our white blood cells. They monitor our bodies carefully and rush in when there is an infection or an acute inflammation.
Unfortunately, sugar drastically decreases the power of white blood cells, leaving us even more vulnerable to infections and inflammation. We get caught in a cycle that gets more vicious with every turn.
Until recently, we have lived with the vague notion that too much-processed sugar isn’t very good for us. But sugar can be downright unhealthy, even harmful in some cases. Put another way: if you think of inflammation as an ugly, stubborn weed in your body, processed sugar is a potent fertilizer.
Eliminating sugar is, of course, an ideal. But given the average person’s lifestyle, budget, and general lack of restraint, it seems more realistic to minimize your intake rather than avoiding sugar altogether.
There are several ways in which you can do this:
• Sugar Substitutes
Sometimes we reduce our intake by using sugar substitutes. Do be aware that some “natural, unprocessed” stand-ins can also be chock-full of sugar. If you plan on using an alternative, read up on it thoroughly before you do.
• Weaning Off
Once you’ve decided which substitute you’re happy with, try and use less and less of it in your hot beverages and baking. This is because replacements themselves are not free of undesirable side- effects.
Give yourself a generous timeline to do this. Often, in our eagerness to get healthy fast, we set ourselves impossibly high standards. Failure almost always follows; we get discouraged and give up on the healthy track altogether. Be a little kinder to yourself: reduce the amounts weekly or even fortnightly. Just make sure to make the cuts regularly.
Ketchup, mustard, Thai sauce, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, honey mustard dressing – the mouthwatering list doesn’t end. A hot dog drowned in ketchup and mustard. A chicken salad generously doused with honey-mustard dressing, barbecued wings with a sweet glaze, apple pie — these were no doubt invented to test human endurance.
Unfortunately, there is also a hefty dose of processed sugar in each of them. Does that mean you have to ditch all of these — and more — and forever lead a joyless life? That may just be one of the impossible standards which evolve into roadblocks. A more sustainable approach may be to allow yourself “cheat days” or days on which you permit yourself to indulge just a little.
Two vital things to note:
1. Mark these days well in advance.
If you decide your cheat days randomly or on the spur of the moment, you’ll have more cheat days than you can count.
2. Cheat days are not binge days.
Eating these foods till you’re stuffed just puts a massive amount of sugar in your body all at once. Remember the weeds and the fertilizer? Enough said.
Some of these measures may seem drastic, even laced with panic. After all, humans have been consuming sugar since time immemorial, and we seem to be doing just fine. Or are we?
Try a small experiment. Cut down your sugar intake significantly for a week. At the end of that, take a long, hard look back.
• Were your moods better?
• Did you feel like you had a little more energy?
• Did the quality of your sleep improve?
• Was your mind clearer?
If you feel any of these in the slightest, think about a lifetime of that. Think about days filled with energy, less stress, good sleep, and a clear mind. You deserve all of that, and you can have it if you watch your sugar intake.
The above is not a substitute for medical advice from a physician. Before you embark on any lifestyle or dietary change, be sure to consult your doctor.