Over the past several decades our sugar consumption has increased dramatically. It is not only the white grains that are of concern, but the highly processed sugary syrups that are added to so many foods and beverages. In particular, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which forms the base of soft drinks, baby foods and many processed foods. The HFCS is quite removed from the fructose in fresh fruit, however, due to excess consumption our bodies now also ‘over react’ to the fructose from fruit.
Fructose behaves differently in the body and ends up getting stored – mainly as fat and mostly in the liver. It has been found to be a major contributor to non-alcohol fatty liver. Another reason why fructose is causing problems is our high intake of wheat. The proteins in wheat increase fructose and gluten sensitivity – even in the absence of true coeliac disease.
Foods that turn to sugar in the body include grains and products made from grains – breads, breakfast cereals, pasta, biscuits, crackers, cakes. These processed simple carbohydrates turn to sugar and FAT. We are all too often told to avoid eating fats as these make us fat. This is, for the most part, incorrect. Good fats are essential to our health and are readily burned off as energy. High sugar intake is damaging to health on many levels.
High sugar intake contributes to insulin resistance, development of diabetes, raises cholesterol levels, causes weight gain, erodes teeth resulting in cavities and contributes to over-acidity of the body which is a direct cause of muscle pain and arthritis. Most cancer cells also preferentially thrive on sugar.
You would be excused if you believed that artificial sweeteners are a safe option to enjoy sweetness without the damage. Artificial sweeteners are a significant threat to your health and brain function.
Other forms of ‘natural’ sugars should also be avoided – these include honey, agave and rice syrups. The main reason is the over-consumption of other sugars and processed foods. Learn about which sweeteners are safe. The best approach is to gradually reduce and eliminate the sweet things from your daily diet. Your taste buds will adapt quickly and you will be surprised just how quickly you will taste the true flavours of wholesome foods. In time any damage done to your digestive system and liver will heal enabling you to again enjoy an occasional small sweet treat.