From: Nancy Desjardins
Actually, sugar is quite nice as it's sliding over the taste buds, but that's where it stops being good. Once in gets into the stomach, it really offers nothing but confusion for the digestive system, and if you don't work it off right away, it converts to fat.
Sugar has long been considered the most popular sweetener for just about every kind of food or dessert you can imagine, and that's where the problem lies. We've become accustomed to its taste and presence in just about everything from breakfast cereals to canned vegetables.
The truth is that sugar can literally make you sick - it leeches vital minerals and vitamins from the body to help the intestines digest it (no, sugar is not highly digestible in refined form), which leads to compromised bones, teeth, and health of many of our vital organs, including the liver and pancreas. It doesn't stop there. Excess sugar in our system also throws our body system out of whack. Too much sugar can create an acidic environment in our body, throwing the pH balance off. As a matter of fact, sugar ingestion has long been linked with a multitude of illnesses and disease processes, including but not limited to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and tooth decay.
However, that's not all. Diets high in sugar can lead to excessive amounts of nutrients that may be stored as fat if not burned off in a relatively short period of time. Remember however, that there's a difference between the sugar found in a candy bar and the sugars found in fruits. Table sugar is a dense and concentrated sweet that's loaded with empty calories. Natural sugars found in fruits are simple sugars like fructose and glucose.
The sugar found in table sugar is called sucrose. Compare the amount of carbohydrates found in an orange (26 grams) with those found in 2 Tbsp. of refined white sugar (24 grams). It must be noted however, that the orange also offers nutritious vitamins and minerals, while the table sugar doesn't - which is why it's called an "empty calorie" food.
Excess sugar in the diet leads to the development of kidney stones and hardening of the arteries. Excess sugar forces vital minerals from places where they're needed to help digest the sugar, which means they can't do the job they were originally designed to do.
Because your immune system doesn't have a back-up system in place while it's busy breaking down sugary foods, you're left wide open for attack and infection. Sure, you might think that a mere 2 tablespoons of sugar every day isn't going to harm you, but did you know that a mere 2 teaspoons of sugar are enough to throw your body into a quandary?
Sugar also makes you feel slow and sluggish. That's why most of us feel like taking a quick nap after we've eaten a large meal or an especially sugary dessert. You may not intend to eat so much sugar, but it's found in so many foods, it's hard to escape its presence!
For example, did you know that just a small bottle of orange juice contains over 10 teaspoons of sugar, or that a can of tomato soup contains about 8 teaspoons of sugar? You didn't? What about that container of yogurt that you ate for lunch, thinking it's a good diet food? Guess what? A 2/3-cup serving of yogurt contains about 7 teaspoons of sugar.
Sugar consumption should be limited to about 15 grams or less a day, but check out the stats of these food items and see how much sugar they contain:
Fat free yogurt - 17 grams of sugar
Sports drinks - 35 grams of sugar
Energy bar - 20 grams of sugar
Grilled chicken breast with Teriyaki sauce - 30 grams of sugar
Are you starting to see the dangers of a daily food habit where you don't really know what you're consuming? And you wonder why you're always fighting the Battle of the Bulge? It's no surprise, if you just stop and take a look at the list of ingredients in the common foods you buy and consume every day.
Do yourself, and your body a favor. Read the labels.
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