Rich Travis, Staff Writer
At every turn, SUGAR! Remember when you were a kid, it seemed sugar was only in candy, ice cream and cake! Oh and Halloween. It was so much fun dressing up in a silly costume, only to go out and ‘Trick or Treat’ for chocolate and all sorts of sugary, wonderfully evil treats!
Those wonderful rewards were the start of a love affair that has left millions of people battling with health issues. The problem is, sugars are in almost everything we consume, not in just a few items that we can easily avoid. It’s in EVERYTHING! From the “all-natural” orange juice we drink, to the “healthy” whole-grain bread we eat, to some vitamins we take – they all have sugar as an ingredient. Just because it has a healthy-looking label, doesn’t mean that it’s not loaded with sugars.
Did you know that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day?! That’s 355 calories, just from sugar alone. It’s a difficult thing to avoid when it is hidden in just about everything!
So what’s the big deal? Sugar makes us feel good!
It stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain that causes that ‘feel good’ response. The problem is, just like a drug addiction, withdrawing from it makes us crave it more. This highly addictive drug called sugar starts to wreak havoc on the autoimmune system and our overall health.
- aggravates asthma,
- promotes mood swings,
- linked to changes in personality,
- mood disorders,
- mental illness,
- development or worsening of arthritis,
- contributes to hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating especially in children,
- reduces the HDL cholesterol (good) and increases the LDL (bad) cholesterol,
- increases risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,
- and leads to kidney damage
On top of all of the above:
Ingested sugar causes an acidic effect on the body leaving you more susceptible to disease, viruses, and colds.
What to look for on labels and try to lower/avoid:
- Brown Sugar (still sugar! sometimes caramel coloring or molasses is added to it but doesn’t mean it’s healthy)
- High-fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
- Corn Sweetener, Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids
- Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Maltose, Sucrose, Lactose
- Raw Sugar
- Fruit Juice Concentrate
- Maple Sugar, Processed down to Table Syrup
- Malt (organic maple syrup is best)
Since our bodies are constantly trying to maintain alkalinity; it does this by pulling minerals from our bones, when this happens too much, it can result in mineral deficiency which results in osteoporosis over time from lack of calcium and magnesium in the bones. Magnesium is an important mineral in the body. Not to mention that the thyroid cannot function without it. A deficiency can cause an increase of toxins and acid in your body.This highly addictive drug called sugar, starts to wreak havoc on autoimmune system and our overall health. #Thyriod Click To Tweet
Our white blood cells (the blood cells responsible for fighting disease and bacteria) require vitamin C to deal with viruses and help to fight for our immune system. Glucose and vitamin C are very similar in chemical structure and so they actually compete with each other for uptake into cells, so the more sugar consumed, the less vitamin C we have. This slows our immune system down. With the exception of real, fresh fruit, simple carbs are all of the processed and refined sugars and starches.
This leads to weight gain since the body stores it as fat. Sugar consumption leads to a surge in insulin which signals the liver to take excess sugar and convey it to fat for storage. After an immediate energy boost, it is followed by a crash as the blood sugars drop and leave us feeling tired and sluggish and craving more sugar. This becomes a vicious cycle. It can be easy to become a sugar addict.
Here are some more healthy alternatives to sugar, and remember that even good things should be taken or eaten in moderation.
- Raw un-pasteurized honey: It’s anti-viral/ bacterial/ microbial, contains antioxidant properties, probiotics, phytonutrients, and live enzymes. You want it to be raw and un-pasteurized so that it contains the health promoting benefits. Honey doesn’t go bad so there is no need to pasteurize it.
- Pure maple syrup: Made from tree sap (the real deal), high in zinc and manganese
- Stevia: It has no calorie content, comes from the stevia plant, contains phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins, antibacterial and microbial properties.
- Sucanat: Un-refined cane sugar. Sugar cane that is clarified, filtered and evaporated and crystallized. The vitamins and minerals are still present after this process and since it is sweeter than sugar you can use less.
- Black strap molasses: A Powerful source of iron (necessary for energy and red blood cell production), great source of calcium (important for healthy bones, regulates enzyme activity, and aids in nerve function).
- Palm sugar: Low on the glycemic index, high in potassium, copper, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, and zinc.
- Coconut crystals and syrup: Low on glycemic index, helps with blood sugar balancing, and is rich in minerals.
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About the Author
Rich Travis is a staff writer for ThyroidNation.com. Living with his wife and 2 children, he has a front-row seat to the devastation thyroid disease can cause and offers an in-depth, up close and personal view of his experience. His wife of 17 years suffers from Hypothyroidism and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Adrenal Fatigue in 2012. Seeking help, offering compassion and supporting cures for those that suffer. Please follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr and read more of his articles here.