Sugar: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Have you been buying food with organic sugar, honey, maple sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar hoping you were making a better choice?  Don’t be fooled: Sugar is sugar is sugar. Other names you will find it under: Fructose, glucose, glucose syrup, beet sugar, cane sugar, caramel, carob syrup, corn syrup, barley malt, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, lactose, malt syrup, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, golden syrup, etc.   It takes as little as two teaspoons to cause distress, inflammation, and disrupt your body and brain’s well being.

Sugar itself has no nutrients.  It does not contain any of the major macronutrients (Protein, Fats & Carbohydrates).   Some say everything in moderation. Would you ingest arsenic in moderation? That may seem a little extreme example, but it’s true.

A well functioning digestive system is a window into our health.  Everything starts in the gut. Bloating, digestive distress, gas, feeling full after only a few bites are all signs of a distressed gut.  This can be the root cause of several other issues throughout the body. Our body needs enzymes to break down our food. Enzymes require minerals to function.  Sugar strips the body of our minerals, inhibiting the functions we need to break down food.

Our immune system becomes week the more sugar we consume. To function at an optimum level our tissues need protein.   Our body is vulnerable to virus’s and disease as the necessary protein is unable to assimilate in our cells. Our immune system breaks down, we become inflamed, cognitive responses slow down and we susceptible to infectious disease and bacteria.

Sugar highjacks your brain! Sugar is as addictive as any other drug, it just has less severe consequences (depending on who you ask). The American Society of Addiction Medicine short definition of addiction is “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.”  Sugar is often used and interpreted as a reward. As it dulls our dopamine receptors, our willpower also begins to deteriorate.   The behavior will need to be repeated and in higher doses.

The best way to avoid the downfall of sugar is abstinence.  There’s a reason why addicts use this method. It works. This is not the most practical for most people.  It is in the body and mind that you will overcome your cravings.

-Fill you daily diet with well balanced meals.  If your body has all of the nutrients it needs for your daily activities, you will not have bodily cravings.

-EAT your macros.  When you eat the correct amount of Protein, Fat and Carbs for your body you will feel full and nourished.

-Be mindful.  Take your time to enjoy and chew your food.

-Remove sweets from the house.  Don’t rely on willpower alone.

Once you’ve made the decision to cut sugar from your daily diet you will see massive changes in your fitness, function, mood and sleep.  Cognitive responses get better. Mental clarity is ensued. Less inflammation and an overall better, more optimized version of you!


Additional reading:

The harmful effects of sugar on the mind and body:

The relationship between sugar and inflammation:

Why sugar is worse than Darth Vadar:


About the Author:

Still have questions? Need a coach to help guide you?  Hit me up: [email protected]

Danielle Faith is an online health coach.  Focusing on nutrition for greater mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.  Her expertise is creating new healthy habits that turn into rituals and routines to align with your goals.  She works with high level CEO’s who travel, stay at home parents, retired/active duty military with adrenal fatigue & PTSD, addiction, as well as professional fighters during weight cuts.

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