26 May Six Reasons to Avoid Sugar
Hello 8 Mile Ninjas,
Did you know that sugar is categorized in the same group as heroin when it comes to addiction? Ingesting sugar triggers serotonin & dopamine neurotransmitters causing you to have a feel good effect. Because this happens, naturally you want more, but what you don’t realize is the negative effect of the aftermath of eating sugar filled foods, the end result is complete opposite. MOST of the time there’s this thing called regret after sugar is consumed. When you have regret along comes anxiety and depression, which in turn, lowers dopamine & serotonin which results in sadness. In most cases this becomes a cycle and sugar is then consumed to trigger dopamine & serotonin so you’ll feel happy, that my friends, is addiction. So this month I am going to cover some reasons why you should avoid sugar at ALL COSTS. Added sugars could possibly be the worst ingredient you have in your diet. It has harmful effects on your metabolism and contributes to all sorts of diseases.
- Added sugar contains NO essential nutrients and is bad for your teeth. Added sugars are empty calories, they have no value that will contribute to your life. Since we are all athletes, our bodies need nutrient dense foods that will help us in and outside the gym. It’s not just about what happens in the gym, it’s how you feel outside as well that’s important. So give your body what it needs and skip the junk. Also, sugar feeds bad bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Who wants that? Yuck.
- Added sugars are high in fructose, which can overload your liver. There are two types of sugar, glucose and fructose. We need glucose, if we don’t get it from our diet, our body will produce. Fructose (fruit is the exception here although moderation with fruit is important) is not produced by the body, therefore we do not need it & our liver can only metabolize so much of it at a time. Consuming large amounts of fructose will overload the liver, thus
forcing it to turn into fat. A fatty liver can turn into a plethora of issues. You could be a person whose never even consumed alcohol and you could still get a disease called non-alcoholic liver disease.
- Sugar can cause insulin resistance which is a stepping stone towards diabetes. Insulin is a very important hormone in the body with a very important role. It allows glucose to enter your cells and insulin “tells” the cells to start using the glucose as energy. Having too much glucose in your blood is actually highly toxic and causes diabetes. What starts to happen is your insulin will stop responding the way it should and your cells become resistant to it, thus leading to insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, comes type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
- Sugar can be a main contributor to cancer. Cancer is categorized by uncontrolled growth & multiplication of cells. Insulin is a key hormone in controlling that growth. Having high insulin levels can contribute to cancer for this reason. Also, sugar is a main contributor of inflammation, another potential cause of cancer. Studies have shown that people who consume large amounts sugar are at a high risk for getting cancer
- Sugar has a tricky fat promoting side effect. Fructose does not have the same effect on our satiety as glucose does. We have our hunger hormone called Ghrelin. When fructose is consumed it doesn’t lower our Ghrelin levels, thus leaving us hungry which then we eat more. Over time, this can lead to an over consumption of calories which will then cause weight gain.
- Here’s one for you that you probably didn’t know…..it’s not the fat that causes a raise in your cholesterol nor does it give you heart disease, it’s sugar. Yes. Sugar. As I said before in a recent blog, fats are our friends (except trans fats, those are enemies) & these guys have gotten a bad rap over the years that they are the cause of heart disease. Studies have recently shown that fructose raises
triglycerides (small dense LDL-cholesterol) and oxidizes (which basically is poisonous), raises blood glucose & insulin which then raises abdominal fat. Having a large amount abdominal fat is directly linked to cardiovascular disease. Point: eat more good fats eat less sugar
Hopefully your take away from this months blog is to cut added sugar. I’ve seen meal plans that consist of having sugary drinks prior or during a workout to fuel yourself for energy, I get it, totally makes sense due to the spike of insulin levels you get from sugar. But why not use fruit? Not only will it give you energy but you will also get a good dose of vitamins and minerals too! Bigger bang for your buck! Our fitness journey isn’t just short term, we are in this for the long haul. Therefore, treat your body right and give it what it needs now not just for today but for the future healthy happy you. As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or feedback.
Over & Out