You’re Sweet Enough – The dangers of added sugar and sweeteners
If you’ve ever been hangry, raise your hand! The strange sensation of hunger and anger combined is brought about by sugar cravings, which in return is caused by unstable blood sugar levels!
Blood sugar problems are at an all-time high, with millions of people worldwide being pre-diabetic or suffering from full-blown type 2 diabetes. These saddening statistics go far beyond just feeling irritable and craving sugary foods and carbs.
The overconsumption of sugar and artificial sweeteners is being linked to many of the following conditions:
- Skin ageing and acne
- Increased risk of cancer
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of depression
- Fatty liver disease
- Low energy and fatigue
- Increased cellular ageing
- Increase kidney disease risk
- Impaired memory
- and more
But do you want to know something truly amazing?
The overwhelming majority of sugar-related issues we see in the world today are reversible, preventable and manageable!
Every meal you eat will either feed health or feed disease. Dr. Will Cole loves saying: “There is no neutral food, no Switzerland meal.”. Every time you eat or drink something it’s another opportunity to nourish your body with healing food.
Not sure where to start? Here are my 2 favourite tips to start turning around your ‘sugar story’ because you’re already sweet enough!
1.Look out for added sugar
Most of the time when I talk to clients or my community about the dangers of sugar the first place they want to start is the amount of sugar they drink in their tea or coffee every day. Now it’s great to become aware of the amount of sugar or sweetener you add to your beverages or meals but the real danger lies in the ADDED sugars in food and drinks that you’re not even aware of. From pasta sauce to peanut butter, from potato chips to your favourite low-fat salad dressing or milk. Added sugar can be found in even the most unexpected products.
You can find added sugar by looking at the ingredients in a product. Look for words ending in “ose,” such as fructose, dextrose, and maltose, and look for added syrups too. Also, try to stick to products that clearly state ‘no added sugar’.
The most natural thinking is to opt for products that contain ‘no sugar’, but that may not be the healthiest options as these products usually contain artificial sweeteners.
2.Ditch the artificial sweeteners ASAP
Artificial sweeteners are not a healthier option when trying to reduce your sugar intake. In addition to new studies showing that most artificial sweeteners, eg. sucralose, cause damage to your gut bacteria, they also worsen your sugar cravings (no one wants that!) and may cause high blood pressure and a slew of other long-term health issues and diseases.
Some artificial sweeteners may also put you at a higher risk for weight gain and obesity because they don’t trigger your bodies satiety hormones such as Leptin. Leptin is produced by your fat cells. It’s considered a “satiety hormone” that reduces appetite and makes you feel full. As a signaling hormone, its role is to communicate with the hypothalamus, the portion of your brain that regulates appetite and food intake. Most of the studies on artificial sweeteners have no definite result and little to no testing has been done on humans to see the definite long-term effects of these chemicals.
Rather train your tastebuds and body to crave less sugar and sweet things by reducing your intake of sweet food and drinks, and stick to natural sweeteners in your food by adding some berries, Medjool dates, or a little Rugani 100% Cloudy Apple Juice or 100% Carrot Juice to a recipe.
Reducing your sugar and sweetener intake may seem like a gigantic task, but once you learn the basics your hangry days will be behind you. Here is an easy, delicious low-sugar recipe to inspire you on your journey towards better health!
You’re Sweet Enough Crumpets
Melissa Lainn is an Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Coach, certified Meditation Practitioner, certified NLP Practitioner and the host of The LifeKraft Podcast. She is passionate about helping people ditch diets, transform their health holistically and find the freedom with food, the energy in their bodies and vitality in their minds that they’ve always wanted.