Added sugars have been highly stigmatised of late, and while Jamie Oliver’s ‘Sugar Tax’ in the UK is a welcome call for anyone wanting to improve their health, many people aren’t aware of the hidden dangers and harmful effects that are marketed as so-called ‘healthy’ sugars. Due to the high amount of fructose in sugar, this can play havoc with the metabolism.
When sugar is consumed in excess, it causes high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, along with insulin resistance and a build-up of fat in the liver and abdominal cavity – in just 10 weeks. [1, 2] These are just some of the reasons why you should be avoiding these sugar as much as possible…
- Raw Organic Cane Sugar. Despite its name and the ‘organic’ and ‘raw’ references, this is still sugar. It may be processed in a different manner to regular sugar, but its chemical composition is the same. The body breaks down raw organic cane sugar in the same way that it breaks down regular sugar into glucose and fructose within the digestive tract with exactly the same effects on the metabolism.
- Coconut Sugar. While the manufacturing methods for coconut sugar are natural and is derived from the sap (the sugary circulating fluid) in the plant, it is actually very high in fructose. It is often marketed as a healthy sugar as it contains some fiber and nutrients and a lower glycemic index but these are relatively small compared to the high level of fructose and glucose in this product.
- Agave Nectar. This has become a popular sweetener especially in the natural health community, due to its low glycemic index. Agave Nectar is high in fructose and while it doesn’t raise blood sugar in the short term, when consumed in high amounts it can lead to insulin resistance, leading to chronically elevated blood sugar and insulin levels. [3, 4]
- Brown Sugar. A by-product of brown sugar is molasses that occurs after the sugar has been refined and processed. While molasses contain small amounts of minerals, they also consist of 50% sugar – thereby negating any potential health benefits.
- Honey. This is considered as a natural and healthy alternative to sugar but while it does contain some nutrients, along with antioxidants and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals…it also consists of about 80% sugar, by weight. Enjoying the occasional honey is fine as it’s a better choice than plain sugar or high fructose corn syrup – but it isn’t the harmless sweetener that it has been made out to be. Raw honey in moderation is OK, but it should not be processed.
- Evaporated Cane Juice. This is just another name for sugar. Food manufacturers often use the term ‘evaporated cane juice’ on the ingredients label to hide the true amount of sugar content from consumers. Once this sweetener is in the body, it doesn’t matter what the term for it is – the damage that this sugar does to the intestines and liver is the same.
How to Avoid Sugar and Minimise Its Harmful Effects
The best way to avoid the damaging effects of sugar is to eat natural foods such as dark leafy green vegetables, dark skinned fruits, seeds and legumes and avoid all sugary and processed foods. It’s important to eat healthy fats such as avocados or nuts too as these can provide many essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins. Good fats also help to build healthy cells, hormones and can promote healthier skin amongst other benefits.
One of the ways to reduce your sugar intake is to take Cinnamon as this can inhibit the uptake of sugar into the bloodstream, essential for people who have Diabetes. Cinnamon27™ is highly recommended for anyone who wants to improve their diabetes symptoms or reduce their blood sugar levels to avoid inflammation as this is just one of the unhealthy side effects of having elevated blood sugar.
What is the alternative? Is there a safe substitute for sugar?
If you have sugar cravings, you can wean your body off this, actually very quickly once it is understood how cravings work. We have a Sugar Recovery menu available from Good Health Coaching Centres if you wish to coach with us direct, and also Cinammon27 available to help stop the sugar you are unable to avoid binding to your body’s stores as much as is possible. Alternatives would be a good pure natural honey, or maple syrup (in moderation of course), or if in supplement form, Stevia, or Xylitol (pure forms). http://www.MyGoodHealthClub.com