“Like the summer sunshine pour your sweetness over me
(Pour your sweetness over me)
Sugar, pour a little sugar on it honey,
Pour a little sugar on it baby
I’m gonna make your life so sweet, yeah.. yeah.. yeah”
Desire. Need. Want. Just a small taste of sugar activates the taste buds by sending signals to light up the pathways in the brain and causing a surge of feel-good hormones. The need for sugar is addictive. Americans are consuming roughly 26 pounds of sugar, known as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) per year. While sugar is a recognized ingredient in many candies, jellies, condiments, juices, sodas, and sports and energy drinks, there are a surprising list of foods that are unknown. In fact, 80% of all processed foods consist of fructose. While the short-term energy boost may appear, at the time, worth it, the negative impacts on the body are significant.
The brain on fructose is similar to the feeling of walking through a room of molasses. It will act slower. In fact, a critical sensor, which releases a signal to the brain to say it is full, will essentially freeze. As a result, fructose will empower the mind to increase both hunger pangs and the need to eat more glucose. Research has revealed high-sugar diets can lead to obesity, inflammation and high triglyceride levels, high blood sugar and blood pressure. And these symptoms can lead to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Fact: Studies have suggested there is a comparison of alcohol intake and fructose to liver damage. As the body converts dietary carbohydrates into fat, the result is insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, which causes an abnormal fat level to appear in the blood. Can sugar kill? Yes!
Alters Mood, Mental Health, and Memory
After the body’s blood sugar spikes, the depletion of energy is referred to as a “sugar crash.” Research has discovered that over-consumption of fructose can alter the neurotransmitters, namely serotonin, and stabilize the body’s mood. Even though the result can lead to feelings of anxiousness, moodiness, or depression, high levels of fructose can alter the means to learn and retain new memories and information.
Fact: Glucose is the primary type of sugar found in starchy foods.
A 2,000 Calorie Diet
Based on age, height, and activity levels, an average woman needs to eat approximately 2,000 calories per day to maintain the same weight, and 1,500 calories to lose one pound per week. In reading labels, consumers can control the type of food they buy, especially prepackaged foods. Additionally, managing a diet also implies you are aware of your intake of calories. For instance, one 12-ounce can of soda contains 52 grams of added sugar. Six teaspoons is the daily limit of sugar for women; one soda includes 13 teaspoons.
Watch your condiments, too!
- One teaspoon of ketchup would equal your daily serving of sugar.
- The label may say, “fat free” salad dressing.Two teaspoons contain six grams of sugar.
Task: Go to your pantry and pull out ten favorite pre-packaged foods loved by your family and you. Determine the percentage of HFCS contained in each serving, and factor in how much fructose is consumed per day or week!
Is Honey Good for You?
Honey has wonderful benefits such as amino acids and vitamins B and C, and contains trace minerals and antioxidants. Studies have concluded it can reduce body weight, lower LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, and prevent heart attacks. It also can increase the HDL cholesterol levels. While buckwheat honey, dark in coloring, has greater benefits, it should be consumed in moderation.
Make a Choice
Feel-good hormones promoting a balance of energy and mood can be acquired through better food choices. Planning meals and snacks in advance can eliminate the need to grab a pre-packaged food that promises to contain high fructose corn syrup. In appealing to the need to eat while making dinner, choose to cut up an apple or peel an orange. Awareness is the first step in changing your diet, and the need to boost your energy levels. Listen to podcasts and find a favorite chef to learn how to creatively make delicious meals and snacks that comprise fresh fruit and produce, beans and whole grains. You may discover great new recipes and perhaps a love for infused cucumber or strawberry and blueberry water. The proof that sugar has poor effects on the body provide you every reason to make a dietary change!
“Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies