Why you should ditch processed sugar

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Sugar – it’s everywhere! New health trends are encouraging us to exercise more, eat wiser and improve our overall health. A large part of this is minimising our intake of refined sugar.

Did you know that over the past 65 years, the amount of refined sugar consumed in Western societies, like Australia, has skyrocketed?  We’re eating about 60kg of sugar a year each! That’s the same weight as a baby rhino.

We’re not talking about natural sugar found in things like fruit and honey. No, we mean the refined sugar, the hidden sugar, that’s added to many processed foods.

So why is refined sugar so bad for you?

Recent studies are beginning to find that unlike we previous thought, fat is not the source of all evil. Instead, that title goes to refined sugar.

The hidden killer

That Sugar Film has recently highlight one key issue around why sugar is having such a negative impact on our health – it’s in everything! Foods that we perceive as healthy, such as low-fat yogurt and smoothies, can actually be loaded with sugar, yet we consume them in larger quantities in the hope of being healthier. Ironic, right?

“If I’d gone and consumed Mars bars and Cokes the whole time I think we all would know I’d have had ill effects. We get that,” Actor and director of That Sugar Film, Damon Gameau, says. “Where people have been duped is around the lack of integrity and accountability in labelling. You see some of these products in the supermarket with a sunset on them. Or words like Mother Nature and a bee and a flower or something. And people believe it.”

Following on from Gameau’s comments, studies into obesity have found there is one common fact limiting the reliability of research; people don’t actually know the amount of sugar they are consuming. When relying on subjects to record their daily sugar intake, they often underestimate the amount of sugar in the food products they were consuming. After all, there’s no sugar in Natural Greek yogurt, right? It’s healthy? And so begins the vicious cycle of weight gain and obesity, in both adults and children.

Obesity

Many studies have found an undeniable link between sugar and obesity. Researchers from the University of Reading, the University of Cambridge, and Arizona State University compared sugar intake in 1,700 people in Norfolk, UK. They found that those eating the most amount of sugar were 54% more likely to be overweight than those who reportedly consumed the least amount of sugar. This in turn brings about various other medical conditions associated with obesity, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Nerve damage

Author and Peripheral Nerve Surgeon Richard Jacoby, M.D., says sugar is responsible for a surprising range of illnesses due to its ability to change the biochemistry of our nerves. In his new book, he explains findings that sugar compresses and damages nerves carrying electrical impulses from the brain to the muscles and internal organs, linking sugar to neurodegenerative diseases.

Jacoby explains that sugar causes your nerves to expand, which restricts blood flow and message transmission, and over time, starves the cells and shorts out the messages your body is trying to transmit. Eventually, your nerves become so damaged your organs and tissues begin to malfunction.

General Wellbeing

Jason Holborn has recently been making headlines after going 1000 days without sugar. Refined sugar was a big part of Jason’s diet, and while he never really suffered the physical effects of his diet, he made the decision to alter his life after reading an article published in The New York Times titled, “Is Sugar Toxic?” Since he made the cut, Jason says he has noticed a difference, both spiritually and emotionally. To his surprise, he found his emotions stabilised and he had an overall brighter outlook on life.

So now you’ve got the info to make wiser choices about what goes in, take the time to focus on what you put out. Love begets love, and with everydayhero it’s easy to get involved, support your community and keep healthy. Start your journey to a healthier and more fulfilled you here.

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