We hear a lot about the negative effects of sugar these days. Most people enjoy the warmth and sweetness of a berry cobbler, a cinnamon roll, or a slice of chocolate cake. These items usually contain white sugar (sucrose) and milk or buttermilk (lactose). Adding berries, dates, or raisins to the recipe adds fruit sugars (fructose). The occasional indulgence in sweet treats may not be problematic.
Unfortunately, in addition to obvious sources of sugar, there are hidden sugars in refined and processed foods (boxed and canned food items). White sugar is often sourced from genetically modified sugar beets and treated with pesticides which can cause toxicity in our bodies. If you check the ingredient list, you may notice terms like dextrose, maltodextrose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, or maltitol. All of these are a type of sugar.
Related Health Problems
The following is a list of possible health problems that can be caused or worsened by the use of sugar:
– Heart Disease
– Chronic inflammation
– Increased risk of bowel disease
– Weight gain / obesity
– Weakened immunity (leading to increased susceptibility to disease)
– Hormonal imbalances
– Dental problems
– Fungal overgrowth
– Sugar addiction
– Inflammatory skin conditions
– Impaired DNA
– Increased cholesterol
– Organ damage
– Adrenal dysfunction
Studies have indicated that sugar has an “addictive” component. It produces dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical and neurotransmitter that serves a primary role in reward-motivated behavior. Like any addiction, withdrawal ensues if the body doesn’t get the sugar it has grown accustomed to receiving.
Although fructose is also a form of sugar, there is some consolation. In addition to fructose, whole fruit also contains edible cellulose (dietary fiber). This fiber slows the absorption of fructose and glucose in the fruit so that these fruit sugars can be utilized as a source of energy for the body.
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5/ KJV)
Eliminating sugar altogether may not be feasible or desirable at all times. But with moderation and more thoughtful choices, you may be able to reduce some of the potential problems listed above. A small amount of raw unfiltered honey or pure organic maple syrup may satisfy a sweet tooth. Fresh organic whole fruits are a better option than a honeybun out of a vending machine.
“My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste.” (Proverbs 24:13 / KJV)
Is sugar consumption a problem for you? Have you experienced health issues because of it? If so, what tips do you have for others that may want to reduce their sugar intake?